With solely 2 months left earlier than the kick-off of the subsequent World Cup, the Pink Lions start their 4th season of the world competitors, in Argentina, with one and solely goal: to work tirelessly and handle the small print. to win the gold medal in India subsequent January.Article reserved for subscribers
As anticipated, the journey to Mendoza was grueling for the organizations. 30 hours to succeed in the Cuyo area, on the foot of the Andes, not removed from the Chilean border. An actual journey which can, thankfully, be worthwhile for the reason that Belgian gamers will play 4 matches in 6 days because of the brand new system of the Professional League which, for this 4th season, will probably be performed in blocks, with 3 groups current for 1 week in a identical metropolis. A world match in deficit since its launch (some media point out cumulative losses of three million euros since 2019) and for which the FIH remains to be looking for the perfect system to persuade the supporters but in addition the gamers and the federations. Completed subsequently the closed league, the World Federation established a precept of rise and relegation,
Organizational considerations that hardly curiosity Michel van den Heuvel, the coach of the Pink Lions who focuses solely on the sporting features or the efficiency of his group. “I feel that first assembly was fairly nicely deliberate within the calendar. It can enable us to play 4 high-level matches towards two high quality opponents. And the truth that the surroundings of those conferences just isn’t the obvious can be a very good train for the group. Nevertheless, I don’t perceive how Argentina is permitted to host these conferences in Mendoza when this metropolis stays troublesome to entry. However hey, now we have to simply accept it and even when the circumstances will not be supreme, we must handle it. »
The most effective tactical and psychological stability
With a bunch of twenty-two gamers (during which there are nonetheless 2 younger hopefuls, Arno Van Dessel and Maxime Van Oost), the Pink Lions will proceed, in Argentina, the substantive work began final September. Dealing with the host nation (08 and 11/11) and Germany (06 and 09/11), additionally in pool B, in India, the Belgian gamers will actually be capable to check themselves towards groups which must also play main roles on the subsequent World Cup (January 13 to 29). For weeks, the workload imposed has marked the organizations. An uncompromising involvement and an funding that enchants the nationwide coach. “I’m clearly pleased with the present degree. In contrast to final 12 months and the post-Olympic season, I really feel a focus and complete involvement. Consideration, this doesn’t imply that we didn’t prepare nicely throughout all this era. However the expectation of the subsequent deadlines has made it attainable to set the bar even increased. The Olympic gold medal in Tokyo clearly modified all the pieces. That is an journey and an expertise that my gamers can depend on to construct the longer term. I’ve a gifted staff that is aware of its wants higher than anybody. »
This South American stage will even enable the workers (together with Shane McLeod who joined the group in South America) to refine the final decisions for his future choice even when Michel van den Heuvel doesn’t want to rush. “I’ll solely make a remaining selection when I’ve all of the helpful info for me and for the workers. It’s a posh course of and you must hold everybody concerned in case of harm. We should not overlook that this system will proceed after the World Cup with the Euro after which the Paris Video games. We should proceed to work making ready for the longer term. We should provide prospects to all core gamers. In fact, there are particular components which might be important. However to subject a aggressive staff, you need to above all have one of the best tactical and psychological stability. We are going to play one other 12 matches earlier than the beginning of the world match in Bhubaneswar. I want day by day confirmations and there’s no level in speeding. »
The outcomes achieved in Mendoza will subsequently not be the principle factor. The Pink Lions have set particular targets as a part of their growth and so they have prioritized sure features for the subsequent few days. As a result of it’s in India that they must attain their peak of type as a result of they are going to be anticipated on the flip by their opponents who clearly don’t intend to allow them to obtain the double at this subsequent World Cup.