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Malta camp was ideal preparation for Netherlands – van de Donk

Danielle van de Donk charges forward for the Netherlands against Austria. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

The Netherlands women’s team concluded their first part of their 2023 World Cup preparations with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Austria, at the National Stadium.

Under the guidance of Andries Jonkers, the Dutch launched their 2023 appointments with a training camp in Malta which included a series of two games against the Austrians.

For the Netherlands, ranked 8th in the world, this is a preparation for this summer’s World Cup which will see them face defending champions the United States in their Group A commitment.

Their star-studded squad for this camp included midfielder Danielle van de Donk, formerly of Arsenal and now at last season’s Champions League winners Olympique Lyon.

Netherlands’ number 10 pointed out that these two games played in Gozo and Malta were good tests for them.

“I think in the first game we dominated for at least 70 minutes and then we just kind of gave it away,” she admitted.

“For us, that is a big detail and we wanted to make things right in the second friendly, which we did it.

We know there has been some changes in the team, but I thought we played very well as everything connected, which is really important for us.”

Since Jonkers replaced Mark Parsons as coach following the European Championships, the Netherlands were in action on seven occasions.

They recorded five victories as they are striving to reach the heights of 2017 – European champions, and 2019 – runners-up in the World Cup, both under current England’s coach Sarina Wiegman.

“I think the new coach has been an easy for us,” van de Donk explained.

“He makes everything so simple that you think everyone can be able to play football, which is not that easy at the end.

We are looking forward to the World Cup. I mean, it’s going to be hard if we press like this every game but it feels good and we have a lot of energy in us.”

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