The Hague, May 27: Dutch football coach Bert van Marwijk named his definite 23-man squad for Euro 2012, including uncapped Jetro Willems and Luciano Narsingh.
Vurnon Anita (Ajax), Siem de Jong (Ajax), Jeremain Lens (PSV) and Adam Maher (AZ) were dropped from the squad.
“I spoke extensively with the dropouts and gave them an explanation,” Van Marwijk was quoted as saying by Xinhua. “They deserved an explanation after their good work. They can leave the training camp with their heads held high.”
Both 18-year-old defender Willems and 21-year-old forward Narsingh were fielded in last Tuesday’s friendly against Bayern Munich (2-3 loss), but that match did not count as an official international. The inclusion of 33-year-old Wilfred Bouma was also surprising because the PSV defender played his last international at Euro 2008 against Romania.
Ahead of Euro 2012 the Netherlands have scheduled friendly games against Bulgaria Saturday in Amsterdam where they suffered a 1-2 loss. They also will be up against Slovakia May 30 in Rotterdam and against Northern Ireland June 2 in Amsterdam. The Dutch start the tournament with the group match against Denmark June 9, before taking on Germany and Portugal.
Dutch Euro 2012 squad:
Goalkeepers: Tim Krul (Newcastle United), Maarten Stekelenburg (AS Roma), Michel Vorm (Swansea City)
Defenders: Khalid Boulahrouz (VfB Stuttgart), Wilfred Bouma (PSV), John Heitinga (Everton), Joris Mathijsen (Malaga), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax), Jetro Willems (PSV)
Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay (FC Barcelona), Mark van Bommel (AC Milan), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City), Stijn Schaars (Sporting Portugal), Wesley Sneijder (Internazionale), Kevin Strootman (PSV), Rafael van der Vaart (Tottenham Hotspur)
Forwards: Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Luuk de Jong (FC Twente), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Luciano Narsingh (sc Heerenveen), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich).