Van der Weerden’s Oranje-Rood bond on Barcelona trip

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Mink van der Weerden says Oranje-Rood’s weekend in Barcelona can have a bonding effect for the Eindhoven club as they look to marry youth and experience this season.

This season, Oranje-Rood feature a large number of young faces with teenagers Jim van de Venne, Bodie Berenos, Max de Bie, Max Kuijpers and Sander van Berkel all getting their first taste of the action as did 20-year-old Gijs van Merrienboer. Teun Beins was another teen in the line-up.

They have joined a panel with the experience of former world player of the year Rob van der Horst, Bob de Voogd, Thomas Briels, Pirmin Blaak, Muhammad Rizwan and van der Weerden.

Passing on that vast array of knowledge to the next generation is a key part of this team’s development according to the club captain.

“It was a really important weekend for us,” van der Weerden told the EHL website. “There is a gap in age and experience for us, in terms of lifestyle and looking after yourself and this kind of things.

“We are trying to work on closing the gap, getting to know each other better and better as well as our tactical preferences. A five-day trip is really helpful for this kind.”

They proved too strong for Scotland’s Grange in game one, winning 6-0, before finding it tough to break down Austria’s SV Arminen. Two goals from Benny Stanzl against his compatriots did the damage in a 2-1 win.

“We knew Arminen would be a good game. Benny knows these guys really well what they are capable of and how structured their defence. We had the ball a lot of the time. In the end, they managed to keep us away from their goal; we had a couple of chances which could have, should have gone in.

“But still they managed to defend in a really structured way and made it hard for us. We had to remain calm and not get too stressed out about it that they might get an equaliser.”

The two wins sent Oranje-Rood through at the top of Pool A, confirming they will host the KO16 in Eindhoven next Easter from April 17 to 22.

“Really looking forward to it. It made our task of qualifying for the KO16 here in Barcelona even more important.

“It’s an honour to host as a club. We did a really good job in organising it two years ago and every one of us is really keen to play in front of our home crowd in such a tournament.”