The Dutch coach of the Red Panthers has had to make many choices, having worked with a group of 25 players in the last six Hockey Pro League matches. “Making this selection was very complicated. But we made our choices to have the best group possible”, assured Raoul Ehren at a press conference. For the purpose, the coach opted for the duo Aisling D’Hooghe – Elena Sotgiu while Elodie Picard is not included.
In defense, Helene Brasseur, Lucie Breyne, Lien Hilewaert, Emma Puvrez and Stephanie Vanden Borre are selected.
Charlotte Englebert, Pauline Leclef, Barbara Nelen and Justine Rasir will play in the middle of the game. Ehren has also taken on forwards Michelle Struijk, Judith Vandermeiren, Ambre Ballenghien, France De Mot, Alix Gerniers, Alexia ‘t Serstevens and Louise Versavel. “Many of them can play in the middle as well,” insisted Raoul Ehren, delighted to be able to count on a versatile team.
Tiphaine Duquesne and Abigail Raye are the two reserves. The coach can call on them in case of injury. This change will be final, unlike what the Red Lions were able to do in Tokyo for example.
The entire group, with the two reserves, will leave Thursday for London, where the Red Panthers will challenge England twice, June 18 and 19, in Hockey Pro League matches.
Placed in Group D of the World Cup, which will be played on the grass of the Olympic stadium in Terrassa, around Barcelona, Belgium will begin its competition on July 3 (3 p.m.) with a duel against South Africa. The Red Panthers will then continue against Australia, the scarecrow of the group, on July 5 (9 p.m.) and will finally challenge Japan on July 7 (6 p.m.).
The Red Panthers, bronze medalists at the last Euro 2021, will have to finish in first place in their group to qualify for the quarter-finals and thus avoid the cross-overs, reserved for the 2nd and 3rd of the groups. The 2nd in group D will face the 3rd in group A, made up of the Netherlands, defending champions and first in the FIH ranking, Germany (FIH 5), Ireland (FIH 12) and Chile (FIH 17). ). The 3rd in group D will play against the 2nd in group A, whose matches will be played at the Wagener Stadion in Amstelveen, in the suburbs of Amsterdam.