KUYT, CASTELEN GET VAN BASTEN NOD

Dirk Kuyt and Romeo Castelen have been included in the Dutch squad for two of the country’s up-and-coming internationals. The lowlanders face Liechtenstein in a friendly on 3 September in preparation for the Netherlands’ first World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic five days later. Kuyt’s inclusion surprised him. ‘I was disappointed when I wasn’t included for the Sweden game. To avoid being disappointed again I assumed I wouldn’t be called up.’

Kuyt has been in blazing form for weeks. ‘The whole time I was thinking my chance would come as long as I kept up my form. My selection now for a match ‘for real’ shows how serious this is. I hope I get a chance and am able to show what I can do in Oranje.’

Romeo Castelen is carrying a slight knock, but he will be hooking up with the national squad Monday too. ‘After consulting the medical staff at Feyenoord and the KNVB [Dutch FA] I’ve decided to continue you my rehab with Oranje,’ explained Castelen, who was forced out of the Willem II game with a minor hamstring injury. ‘I’ll probably be available to play against Liechtenstein, so the national coach can use me in the match against the Czech Republic. I didn’t expect to be selected, because I’m not fit. It shows his confidence in me that he is taking me despite my injury. I seem to have made a good impression against Sweden. I hope I can repay the confidence Van Basten has shown in me on the pitch.’

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