Hoenderloo (The Netherlands): The Dutch national soccer team started its preparation for the trip to Indonesia and China with many players missing, but captain Wesley Sneijder was present and fit.
Sneijder last played for his Turkish club Galatasaray May 5 against Sivasspor, but was rested in the weeks after that championship match because he suffered from a groin injury.
During the first training of the training camp of the Dutch camp in Hoenderloo Wednesday, he showed his fitness. "Partly because we had already captured the championship I could focus on this trip," Sneijder said. "I am fit and ready."
Dutch coach Louis van Gaal had a limited choice for his squad because 12 regular internationals were sent to Israel to play for the Netherlands at the European under-21 Championships, while Rafael van der Vaart withdrew from the squad due to an Achilles tendon injury Wednesday.
In addition, Jonathan de Guzman, Dirk Kuyt, Robin van Persie and Champions League winner Arjen Robben were allowed to join the squad on Monday June 3, one day before the flight to Jakarta. The Netherlands will play Indonesia June 7 and China June 11 in Beijing.
Coach Louis van Gaal decided not call up a replacement for Van der Vaart and for that reason he started the first training in Hoenderloo with sixteen players.
Two-times international Siem de Jong was one of the other players, who profited from the absence of so many regular players. The 24-year-old Ajax captain was very much looking forward to show his abilities.
"For me it`s only the second time I am part of the squad this year," De Jong said.
"I am happy to be here. For me it`s a moment to prove myself. The coach indicated that he wants to see us play and especially the debutants. I will do my best, but during next season more will be clear about the squad for the World Cup in Brazil," he said.