Oranje 30 announced

The Dutch national team has just announced its preliminary 30-man squad. Here they are:
 
Goalkeepers
 
(a) Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax Amsterdam)
(b) Sander Boschker (FC Twente Enschede)
(c) Michel Vorm (FC Utrecht)
 
* Note: – The goalkeepers selection should be complete as there are only three goalkeepers in the 30-man roster (to be reduced to 23-man soon after) unless Bert van Marwijk is only planning to take two goalkeepers to South Africa.
 
Defenders
 
(a) Vurnon Anita (Ajax Amsterdam)
(b) Khalid Boulahrouz (VfB Stuttgart)
(c) Edson Braafheid (Celtic FC)
(d) Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord Rotterdam)
(d) John Heitinga (Everton)
(e) Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg SV)
(f) Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord Rotterdam)
(g) Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax Amsterdam)
(h) Andre Ooijer (PSV Eindhoven)
 
Midfielders
 
(a) Otman Bakkal (PSV Eindhoven)
(b) Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munchen)
(c) Wout Brama (FC Twente Enschede)
(d) Orlando Engelaar (PSV Eindhoven)
(e) Nigel de Jong (Manchester City FC)
(f) David Mendes da Silva (Alkmaar Zaanstreek)
(g) Stijn Schaars (Alkmaar Zaanstreek)
(h) Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan)
(i) Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid CF)
(j) Demy de Zeeuw (Ajax Amsterdam)
(k) Ibrahim Afellay (PSV Eindhoven)
 
Forwards
 
(a) Dirk Kuijt (Liverpool FC)
(b) Jeremain Lens (Alkmaar Zaanstreek)
(c) Eljero Elia (Hamburg SV)
(d) Ryan Babel (Liverpool FC)
(e) Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (AC Milan)
(f) Robin van Persie (Arsenal FC)
(g) Arjen Robben (Bayern Munchen)
 
Surprise inclusions are Vurnon Anita, Wout Brama and Jeremain Lens which I feel should be omitted by the time the 23-man squad is announced soon. The goalkeepers are already somewhat confirmed as there are not enough good Dutch goalkeepers and I think that Sander Boschker is finally getting his international swansong at the tender age of 39. I never thought of Maarten Stelekenburg as a good custodian at goal, so the title-winning veteran should be seriously eyeing his chance to establish himself for the first-round games.
 
Still, if any armchair manager proclaims that the Dutch are among the favourites for this tournament are not entirely missing the point – Robin van Persie is still a pivotal figure in the Dutch setup and names like Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart, Mark van Bommel and to a lesser degree; Dirk Kuyt, Ryan Babel, Nigel de Jong and Ibrahim Afellay do make for familiar read in international setups anywhere. Still, I’m skeptical of the defence which comprises of the remants of World Cup 1998 veterans – Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Andre Ooijer. That these 2 are still making the grade for consideration at the highest level is testimony to their skill. I don’t think that this is a weak squad but I don’t think that 2010 would be the year the Oranje make history by winning football’s ultimate prize.
 
The Dutch Nike World Cup kits are also out but I think I’m giving it a miss:
 
     
 
Either way, just enjoy the football. It’s only once in four years and each World Cup has something to treasure.
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