Team Netherlands - Men's Derby are up next in our series of articles about the competing teams in the 2016 MRDWC. Here we find out how they have been preparing for Calgary and what they want to achieve whilst over there!
In the 2014 World Cup, Team Netherlands finished a creditable joint 11th, tied with Team Germany, after losing to Finland in the knockout stage. This time, they're placed in Group Blue, where the formidable France looks like dominating. The second spot in the group for the top tier of knockouts will be hotly contested, and Netherlands will have to contend with Australia and Belgium for it...
We caught up with Johnny B Rude to learn how Netherlands are preparing for Calgary!
How has your selection process this year differed from the selection of your last MRDWC team? Did you find there were different factors you were looking for in skaters?
- We started out with quite a big pool of skaters to choose from but due to circumstances we were down to 14 players ready to come to the MRDWC. We still had a bout and a try-out session to make sure everyone fitted well in the team. Sadly, one more player had to drop out due to an injury, leaving us with a team of 13 players going to Calgary
At the last MRDWC you came joint 11th with Team Germany. Is there anything that you have learned from your performance last time that you are taking forward for the 2016 world cup?
- We learned that we still have a lot to learn :). The way derby has evolved, we feel there is more focus on teamwork than on individual skills, and this is something we've worked on a lot. On the other hand, with the more compact walls used...
This World Cup is being hosted in Calgary, Canada which is a bit further than the last edition which was in the UK! How has the team been fundraising to get themselves over the Atlantic?
To be honest our fundraising has been quite minimal, and currently everyone is paying everything out of their own pockets. A lot of people are combining the trip with holiday in North America to make the most out of it. We do have a go fund me page: https://www.gofundme.com/nlmrdwc
Compared to the last World Cup how do you think your training schedule has evolved? With only a few months left how is that affecting your training schedule?
- We grew from only having a few practices before the world cup to having a monthly practice for the last year, which I think helped us to get used to each other.
You are up against quite a mixed group this year with the number 4 and 5 seeds being in your group as well as a few new comers to the MRDWC. Is there anyone you are really excited to play against in your group?
- There are a lot of things to look forward to. France and Australia because I think we can learn a lot from them, and we get to play against some world class skaters (Ballistic Whistle, Mr. Furieux aka Kilian David). Belgium will be exciting since this is going to be the 4th time we play each other, and it’s always a lot of fun to play the neighbours. Two players of my own league in Liege play for Belgium. Puerto Rico is a bit of a mystery for everyone, and it would be great if we can make an exciting game out of it.
In the run up to Calgary is there any specific goals you are aiming for whilst you are there? (If there's anything you would rather keep to yourselves for now we understand!)
- The aim of this MRDWC for Team NL is mainly to gain experience, have fun, and hopefully win a game in the process.
Team Netherlands first fixture will be against Team Australia at 14:00 local time. For the full schedule please visit http://mrdwc.com/schedule-2016/ .