Best result: Won gold at 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Games. They beat Spain and Korea in the finals, respectively.
Last Olympic: Finished fourth
The Dutch are one of the few teams in international hockey which have put up consistent performance at the Olympics. Their first Olympic medal had come in 1928 (silver) when they first participated and they featured in the last four at all Olympics since 1988 (total in 12 Games). They have three silvers and three bronzes in twenty Olympic editions. The Dutch, both the mens and the womens outfits, have won 14 medals in Olympic hockey, which is more than any other side. The Netherlands mens team also finished third at the 2010 World Cup, won silver at the European Championship and bronze at the last Champions Trophy held in December.
The Road to London:
The silver at the European Championship assured the Netherlands an automatic berth at the Games. Since Great Britain, the Olympic hosts, were one of the final four teams, the other three got direct entry to the mega event. The Netherlands 7-4 victory over Ireland in the final group match of the European Championship confirmed their Olympic participation.
Players to watch out for:
Veteran of four Olympics, Teun de Nooijer, is one of the modern-day greats of the game. Nooijer is known for his magical play and has scored over 200 goals. Billy Bakker, Flores Evers and Robert van den Horst are other star players of the side. Roderick Weusthof, who was the highest scorer in Dutch Hoofdklasse this year, will be another key competitor for the Dutch.
1. A tremendous blending of youth and experience.
2. A rich pool of talents, thanks to their competitive club games, ensure that the Dutch can always indulge in a healthy competition.
1. Absence of veteran stars Taeke Taekema and Jeroen Hertzberger from the squad. Taekema had played a key role in the Netherlands victory against Ireland in European Championship.
2. Law of average could catch up.
Chances of progress at the London Games: 9/10
The Dutch recently have not performed well against European rivals like Germany, which is also in the same group at the London Olympics. They, however, defeated Germany in the Champions Challenge last year. Asian powerhouses like India and Korea and Azlan Shah hockey champions New Zealand will not be easy oppositions, either. The Dutch, nevertheless, will be one of the top contenders for the gold. The Netherlands will play their first match against India on Jul 30.
Jaap Stockmann (gk), Sander Baart, Teun de Nooijer, Billy Bakker, Marcel Balkestein, Floris Evers, Rogier Hofman, Robert van der Horst, Mink van der Weerden, Robbert Kemperman, Valentin Verga, Klaas Vermeulen, Wouter Jolie, Bob de Voogd, Roderick Weusthof, Sander de Wijn. Reserves: Tim Jenniskens, Pirmin Blaak (gk).
Paul van Ass succeeded Michel van den Heuvel as the head coach in Jun 2010. Ass had a very successful stint with HGC club in Hoofdklasse. In 2008-9, Ass became the coach of Jong Oranje. His stint with the senior team has seen two Champions Trophy bronze medals and a European silver.