Although the Dutch handball players were eliminated on Monday evening in Norway in the group stage of the European Championship, pride and satisfaction predominate with the team of Icelandic national coach Erlingur Richardsson. Orange was present for the first time at a European Championship.
The Netherlands started the tournament with a defeat against top country Germany, after which the first European Championship ever was won against Latvia. A 25-36 loss against title defender Spain meant elimination.
"We learned a lot and showed a lot. We really showed that we can achieve a high level against good teams," said star player Kay Smits, eight times accurate against Spain, at Ziggo Sport .
"Unfortunately not yet sixty minutes, but that will have to be the next step. We have achieved our first victory and have shown nice handball."
According to 22-year-old Smits, the Orange received compliments. "For example, the Danes (Denmark is also a top country in handball, ed.) Were very surprised and impressed. That says something. Now it is important to qualify for an EC and WC each year."
The handball players won at the European Championship of Latvia. That led to considerable discharge. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Schoenaker: 'Are not just a handball country'
Robin Schoenaker also enjoyed the first European Championship participation of handball players ever. "At least we have put the Netherlands on the map. We have shown what we can and that we are not just a handball country," he said.
"I think that people are also surprised by our rapid attack game. We have given everything and tried to make the accompanying audience proud."
Tim Remer, who scored twice against Spain: "In countries such as Spain and Germany, many people with years of high-level experience and tournaments are running. For us, it is a learning process."
The handball players hope to develop just like the Dutch handball women, who have reached the world top in recent years and crowned that last month by becoming the world champion for the first time.
The handball players were supported in Norway by a group of fanatic supporters. (Photo: Pro Shots)