‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
New national coach Marco van Basten has included Dirk Kuyt, Pascal Bosschaart and Romeo Castelen in his provisional squad ahead of the Netherlands' 18 August friendly in Sweden. Ex-Feyenoorder Robin van Persie also makes the list. 'I didn't believe a word of it. It was only when I arrived at the stadium that I got confirmation from Pascal. This is so great and at the same time so unreal,' admitted Castelen.
'I really thought it was a joke. I told the friend who called me to get real. But he kept saying it. This is so unreal. I've just joined Feyenoord, I haven't played a competitive game yet and I've already been called up to Orange. Things are moving really fast. So fast that I cannot get my head round it yet. Two months ago I was playing at ADO. What a day.'
'I was speaking about it on the radio this morning,' says Bosschaart. 'I can still hear myself saying that Orange is the ultimate goal. A couple of hours later and I've been selected. It's really fantastic. I'm fairly relaxed about it now, but when I heard about it in my car I couldn't believe it. I've run out of dreams for the moment. My boyhood dream has come true with my transfer to Feyenoord and now this.'
Dirk Kuyt was a little bit more reserved. 'Clearly, I knew there was a new national coach and so I was hoping to be included. This is great for Feyenoord. Maybe it's the start of a new era in which Feyenoord's Dutch players also play for the national team. It was sad that there wasn't a single Feyenoorder active at Euro 2004. My inclusion shows that Van Basten likes the look of me. But this a provisional squad. We'll have to wait and see whether I make the final cut. The competition in attack is strong, but I can gain strength from this. Right now I'm just very happy.'