Holland just happy to be back, says Veltman

Albion defender relishing first tournament appearance since 2014 for the Dutch.

By Bruce Talbot • 10 June 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Joel Veltman says getting through the group stages is Holland's priority at the Euros.

Joel Veltman says Holland’s only focus is to get through the group stages as they return to tournament football for the first time in five years.

The Dutch failed to qualify for either the 2016 Euros or 2018 World Cup having finished third in the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

The Albion defender, one of five players from the club taking part in the Euros, said, “I don’t even know who we would play if we got through the group stage, that’s what our focus is and I think it’s possible.”

The Dutch have been drawn with Austria, Ukraine and North Macedonia in Group C. They open their fixtures against Ukraine on Sunday before taking on Austria four days later. They face North Macedonia on 21 June, with all their group games taking place in Amsterdam.

If they top the group they could potentially face England or Scotland in the round of 16 while second place might mean a game against Italy, if they win Group A.  

“It’s just good to be back in a major tournament again, the last time for us was the 2014 World Cup in Brazil when we finished third which was amazing when time people didn’t think we would get through the group stage,” added Veltman, who has won 27 caps.

“The team environment is good now. You can have a lot of good players but if they don’t work with each other then you won’t get to the semis or the final.”

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