Women’s water polo: the Dutch really love playing water polo in Budapest
The Hungarian women water polo team had a challenging game last year with the national team of the Netherlands. The two teams met in the final of the European Championship in Belgrade. Hungary emerged as the clear winner of the match, leaving the Dutch team being eager to fight back. The Dutch love Budapest, especially when it comes to playing water polo.
„We had a good practice today and last week we participated in a tournament in the Netherlands. We played with China, Canada and France and in the end I think we had a good preparation for this Championship.” – said Arno Havenga, the head coach of the Dutch women’s water polo team, following a training session on Friday.
Havenga’s team starts the Championships with a strong determination, something they will presumably need being in the same group as the national team of the hosting country, Hungary. According to the Dutch head coach, the group itself is not that strong. However, being second and facing off the teams of Group D gives more concern.
Photo: Máté Balogh/Bp2017 Média
„In Group C there is Hungary and us. I think it will be this two teams who will reach up to the first two places of the group. Group D is really strong with Greece, Russia and Australia being there. If we finish off second we’ll meet them in the further rounds. That’s gonna be tough, it’s a difficult group” – added the leader of team, finishing off as the silver medallist of the Kazan World Championship.
There hasn’t been many changes made to the Dutch team. There are two new players though. Havenga had many junior players to choose from but the head coach considered it to be very important to come to Budapest with the most experienced players of the Dutch national team. We also asked him about the venue, Hajós Alfréd Swimming Complex.
„It’s like there are many sports in many countries and this is water polo and Hungary so we love to be here. We visited Budapest many times before, but it’s always a pleasure to be here related to water polo. It’s the way it’s supposed to be” – added the head coach.
The Dutch national team will face off the French as their first match in Budapest on Sunday at 17:30.