In the latest of a series of video interviews with the teams that will participate in the upcoming FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers, Netherlands (FIH World Ranking: 3) men’s star Seve van Ass looks ahead to his team’s crucial two-game clash against Pakistan (WR:17). The all-important matches will take place in Amsterdam, Netherlands on 26/27 October 2019, with timings to be confirmed in the coming weeks. A transcription of the interview can be found below.
The FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers will be taking place very soon. How will your team prepare for these hugely important matches?
Seve van Ass: Obviously we want to be well prepared. So, we are going to train, we are going to be together and have meetings together. Basically, throughout the [club] season, which is also starting, we want to be as prepared as possible. We will get the [training] programme this week, but I think we are going to train Mondays and Tuesdays together.
What can we expect to see from your team in the FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers?
Seve van Ass: You can expect us to be at the top of our game. It is a huge moment for us, and it’s very important that we qualify. You can expect high energy, high level and all of our players are eager to perform there.
What are your thoughts about facing Pakistan, your opponents in the FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers, and how is your squad feeling about these matches?
Seve van Ass: I think Pakistan are a really good team, actually. We’ve played them a couple of time in [recent] years. I have huge respect for Pakistan, quality players with some individual skills, and we’ve had some tough matches against them. We like playing against them, it’s a good, tough opponent. What I expect from Pakistan is a good side, and I respect them as a team. We played them a couple of times in the past few years, and I think always it was a tight match [against] quality individual players. Fun, but tough, I guess.
Finally, what would qualifying for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 mean to you and your team?
Seve van Ass: Qualifying for the Olympic Games for us means the world. We want to perform there. We want to be on top of our game and show what we are capable of. It is very important. I think it is the highlight of every player in his career, so obviously we want to be there.
Each qualifier consists of two back-to-back matches which will be played in the same venue. The winners of these FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers will qualify for the 2020 Olympic hockey tournaments which will be staged in Japan’s capital city next year and involve 12 Men’s and 12 Women’s teams.
For complete information about the men’s and women’s draw for the FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers, .
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