Elzemiek Zandee (22) excelled as a defender at SCHC in the last competition. But in the Dutch national team, she has made several international appearances in the attack under national coach Paul van Ass in recent weeks.
It’s a special moment, Tuesday night at Wagener Stadium. There, Zandee is in the circle of New Zealand, to sweep away a pass from Felice Albers, the 4-1. His right arm is proudly raised in the air. Her teammates flutter touchingly around her neck to congratulate her. It’s Zandee’s first international goal, in his ninth match for the Dutch national team.
Moments later, everything gets even better for the SCHC player. She also hits the 6-1 from the corner, her forehand hitting the ropes hard. “It was a great game for me. Fantastic that I scored. And twice as much,” the proud Zandee beamed. Last April, she played her first two Pro League internationals against India, when the Netherlands traveled to the Asian country with a rejuvenated selection.This season, national coach Paul van Ass brought her into the training squad after the play-offs.In recent weeks, she has been thrown out to the lions of the FIH Pro League.
“I have a pretty good impression of the games I’ve played. I think I can be very happy with that. I think it’s super fun in the squad. The atmosphere in the stadium is great. I’m enjoying just.
I don’t consider myself an attacker. So it was a surprise to me that I was put in front. But I play Orange, I stand where I’m needed Elzemic Zandee
Scoring isn’t necessarily his sixth sense for Zandee. Her solo against Hurley in September, crowned with a magnificent shot, was voted the most beautiful goal of 2022. But she is generally better in defense than in attack. It’s not for nothing that coach Lucas Judge has dropped him a rank this season, from midfield to defence. Paul van Ass put her in three top international matches last month, against the United States in London (twice) and against New Zealand in Amsterdam. The other four international matches she has won this month, she has played in the back.
“I had never really been up front before that. I don’t consider myself a striker either. So it was a surprise to me that I was put up front. In London it was mainly because we had a shortage of players. forwards at the time, Paul said. But also because I also have action at home. Paul wanted to let me play hockey freely. It took some getting used to. I still don’t know not exactly what to do, because I’ve never been there. But I think it went pretty well. And I don’t mind playing in front at all. I play Orange, I stand where we have need me.’
What are his chances at the European Championship?
Along with Marleen Jochems, Zandee joined the training squad after the play-offs. National coach Van Ass said of them on Tuesday after the game against New Zealand: “They did well. I think you can now say that I rightfully brought them into the group. They have the advantage of having been able to play a lot of minutes. We now have to give them time to fully internationalise. It goes faster with one than with the other.
How does Zandee assess her chances of participating in the European Championships in Mönchengladbach in mid-August? ‘I find it difficult. This group already has so much experience. I just saw. Maybe the European Championship is coming too soon for me. But of course it would be cool if I did.
“Devoted bacon guru. Award-winning explorer. Internet junkie. Web lover.”