By Chris Wright
Holland coach Bert Van Marwijk has named his provisional squad for this summer’s World Cup, with the former Feyenoord boss selecting a draft of 30 players, to be trimmed down to 23 names before the deadline passes on June 1st.
The biggest talking point is the exclusion of veteran Hamburg striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy from the squad. The former Manchester United goal machine retired from international football after Euro 2008 but has recently expressed an interest in making a return for the Oranje.
There are a some very inexperienced names included within the preliminary squad, notably those of Ajax’s 21-year-old Vurnon Anita, Twente midfielder Wout Brama and AZ winger Jeremain Lens – who have a grand total of one full cap between them (Brama, in case you were wondering!).
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The squad in full…
Goalkeepers: Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax), Michel Vorm (Utrecht), Sander Boschker (Twente).
Defenders: John Heitinga (Everton), Gregory Van Der Wiel, Vurnon Anita (Ajax), Khalid Boulahrouz (Stuttgart), Edson Braafheid (Bayern Munich), Ron Vlaar, Giovanni Van Bronckhurst (Feyenoord), Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg), Andre Ooijer (PSV), David Mendes Da Silva (AZ).
Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay, Orlando Engelaar, Otman Bakkal (PSV), Demy De Zeeuw (Ajax), Rafael Van Der Vaart (Real Madrid), Wesley Sneijder (Inter), Mark Van Bommel (Bayern Munich), Nigel De Jong (Man City), Stijn Schaars (AZ), Wout Brama (Twente).
Forwards: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Milan), Robin Van Persie (Arsenal), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Jeremain Lens (AZ), Dirk Kuyt, Ryan Babel (Liverpool), Eljero Elia (Hamburg).