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Jonker: Van de Donk a big loss to Netherlands
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Netherlands head coach Andries Jonker will be without key midfielder Danielle van de Donk
Netherlands head coach Andries Jonker will be without key midfielder Danielle van de Donk

Netherlands boss Andries Jonker had admitted Danielle van de Donk will be a “big” miss as she sits out the World Cup quarter-final clash with Spain through suspension.

The 32-year-old Lyon midfielder will not be involved in Wellington on Friday having picked up her second yellow card of the tournament in Sunday’s 2-0 last-16 victory over South Africa in Sydney.

Van de Donk has started all four games to date and Jonker is acutely aware of the impact her absence could have on his team.

Asked how significant a loss she will be, he told “Big. Danielle is an extremely experienced player. She has over 140 caps, is a European champion, World Cup finalist.

“Not playing in this match, with her specific qualities that are really useful to the team, is a real shame for her but also for the team.”

Jonker, who has worked previously as an assistant to Louis van Gaal at the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich and was also academy director at Arsenal, was appointed Netherlands boss last year and is hoping to guide the nation to a second successive World Cup final after they were beaten by the United States four years ago.

He said: “This is one of the matches in your career that you will never forget because when you win, you are one of the final four, so it’s important.

“It’s my first World Cup as head coach, so it’s a special match, as I’ve seen many in my career. You are not going to forget that, so it is rather special, yes.”

The Dutch squad has been together for almost eight weeks and there is no intention within the camp to head back to the northern hemisphere just yet.

Jonker said: “It’s a real joy to work with these girls. I love working with people who try and get the best out of themselves and each other. And that’s what this group does, so yes, I’m doing this with great pleasure.

“We’re not going home yet.”


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