Conditions camp Orange good, but result not (yet)

Conditions camp Orange good, but result not (yet)
Lieke Martens balks at Malta

NOS Soccer

  • Susanne Morren

    (social) editor NOS Sports

  • Susanne Morren

    (social) editor NOS Sports

With phone in hand and earplugs in. This is how most of the Oranje women are looking for a place on the ferry from Gozo to Malta, after the disappointing defeat against Austria (1-2).

The boat trip takes 40 minutes and then, even if you have just lost a match, at some point you start looking around. After a while there is some chatter and even a few laughs, but it doesn’t really get cosy.


A stark contrast to how the atmosphere is a day earlier. On a huge training field next to the Ta’Qali stadium, a short half-hour drive from the Maltese capital of Valletta, the team works out its training sessions.

Watch the summary of Netherlands – Austria

Assistant national team coach Arvid Smit leads a brisk warm-up, while Andries Jonker watches silently. Once we hear the national coach give a hint: “Walk around the pawns, if you can.”

Jonker’s eagle eyes do not stop Lineth Beerensteyn and Stefanie van der Gragt from doing a cartwheel and a dance in the middle of an exercise.

‘Would rather be a little warmer’

It is not very warm in Malta, but the sun shines a lot more than in the Netherlands. Training in 15 to 16 degrees Celsius seems to have a positive effect on the atmosphere at the Dutch team. And let the sun be the reason the team is on the island right now.

“I think soccer players who are heavily loaded at this time of year like to have some warmth,” Jonker says. “I would have preferred it to be even warmer.”

Still, the national coach may be happy with every ray of sunshine. Just a week ago, a storm raged over Malta, causing flooding.

Along on the ferry

It is the reason that the Orange will not play at the Tony Bezzina Stadium in Malta on Friday night, but will take a ferry across to the island of Gozo. The grass pitch on which the match was originally to be played could not handle the water.

Due to the sudden change of match venue – which only became known a day before the match – journalists were allowed to join the ferry to the Gozo stadium. It is almost impossible to get closer to a match preparation.

Danielle van de Donk balks at Malta

Although, Orange is up on deck and the media remain downstairs. We hear from one of the press chiefs that the players are not distracted by the unique transportation. Most sit as they will on the way back: with phone in hand and earbuds in.

On to the retake

In the first hour of the match there is no trouble for the Orange, but in the last quarter of an hour a 1-0 lead is given away. Austria scores twice and the Netherlands loses. Empty-handed and with a bad feeling, the players are sent back to the ferry.

Saturday the Orange will be back on the training field in the sun, where Jonker will have to work on a plan for next Tuesday. Then comes the rematch against Austria.

Watch a new episode of In the wake of Orange below.

Along on the players’ boat and who replaces Miedema | In the wake of Orange #15

Kayleigh Williams