Red Panthers will return firmly in the competition by participating in the Hockey Pro League . Their first opponents will be the Argentine players.
National coach, Niels Thijssen, unveiled the list of players selected for this first trip. In addition to the Argentina team, the Belgians will also face New Zealand (1/02) and Australia (3/02).
- 26/01 ARG-BEL (16:00 Belgian hour) in Cordoba
- 2/02 NZL-BEL (05:00 Belgian time) in Auckland
- 3/02 AUS-BEL (02:45 Belgian time) in Melbourne
“The whole team is obviously very eager to leave for this Hockey Pro League. For us, it is a great honor to participate in this tournament especially as we are ranked 13th in the world. We therefore show realism but also combat. We play games to win them, even against better ranked teams. Our debut against Argentina, which is a very strong team, will be a difficult encounter, but at the same time, a dream start, in a stadium full of Argentines, against a team that has so much history. It’s also for this kind of moment that we take part in the competition, “ explains Niels Thijssen.
After leaving a positive impression during the internship in the United States, Lucie Breyne and Alexia t’Serstevens were selected. They will again have the opportunity to compete with the international top. Note also the selections of Tiphaine Duquesne , and Mathilde Raymakers . Emilie Sinia also returns to the selection for an international competition after giving birth to a boy last year.
Anouk Raes misses the current selection. Anouk has not been judged enough “fit” by the staff.
Stephanie Vanden Borre decided, in close consultation with the staff, to take a step back from international hockey and focus on her club, the Gantoise. She will be back with the Red Panthers sometime in 2019.
Charlotte Englebert showed great talent during the internship in the United States. For the coming period she will continue with her own team, the Young Red Panthers, to prepare for the European Championships next summer.
Amber Ballenghien , like Charlotte in the United States, left a positive impression. Amber has to pass a number of important exams at school in January. She was not available for this part of the competition.
Regarding the keepers, the staff did not retain Elodie Picard . ” If Elodie continues to develop positively in 2019, as she showed in the USA, her chances will come in the future,” said the national coach.