National coach Bert Goodkoop has called veteran Marko Klok back into the Dutch national squad to contest the 2003 World League to resolve his problems with the ever-important libero role. The now 35-year-old Klok exited the side in early 2000 after a dispute with the then coach Toon Gerbrands.
Klok was the first Dutch player to fill the libero role in the national side after the rule was introduced in the late 1990's. Since then, the libero position has become increasingly important in the configuration of the world's top teams.
Klok comes in to replace Jochem de Gruyter who went to the 2002 World Championship in Argentina as part of the Dutch team. De Gruyter has retired as national team player and will try his luck in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in 2003.
A veteran of some 203 national appearances and a member of the Dutch silver medallist team from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Klok's return will add stability to the Dutch lineup. He played for a number of years in the Italian league but is now back home at Ortec/Nesselande in Rotterdam.
Five of the starting six of last year return in this year's lineup for the World League. Captain Reinder Nummerdor (275 caps), power hitter Guido Gortzen (330), opposite attacker Richard Schuil (308), the young setter Nico Freriks and the talented middle blocker Joppe Paulides are all in Goodkoop's lineup. The only 'regular' not making an appearance is middle blocker Sander Olsthoorn from Dutch club team Piet Zoomers Apeldoorn who told the national coach that he would take a break during the 2003 World League season.
This World League season many eyes will be on the talented outside hitter Joram Maan, who was recently named Dutch Volleyball Player of the Year because of his outstanding performance in the Dutch national league.
Also back in the lineup after missing the World Championship is middle blocker Mike van de Goor, brother of Dutch icon Bas van de Goor, who retired from the nation team last year and is playing out the rest of his active career in the Dutch league.
Goedkoop has largely stuck to his regulars when choosing his 18-man squad with just three of the 18 players not in last year's national lineup. Besides Klok, Justin Sombroek, a player recognized as a major talent at the end of the 1990s who was sidelined because of illness, is now in the squad. Sombroek, now completely recovered, will be closely watched by observers as he launches his career with the national team. Rob Bontje is the sole rookie selected to join the Dutch World League lineup
Squad: Dirk-Jan van Gendt (Alcom/Capelle, NED); Nico Freriks (Noliko Maaseik, BEL); Marko Klok (ORTEC.Nesselande, NED); Reinder Nummerdor (Asystel Milano, ITA);
Guido Görtzen (Pet Company Perugia, ITA); Richard Schuil (Padova, ITA); Mike van de Goor (Piet Zoomers/D, NED); Erik Siebers (BMC/SSS, NED); Jeroen Trommel (VC Omniworld, NED); Erik Schuil (Alcom/Capelle, NED); Gerjan Huisken (Alcom/Capelle, NED); Justin Sombroek (Orion, NED); Joppe Paulides (VC Omniworld, NED); Robert Horstink (Piet Zoomers/D, NED); Joram Maan (Piet Zoomers/D, NED); Allan van de Loo (Alcom/Capelle, NED); Rob Bontje (BMC/SSS, NED); Dennis van der Veen (VC Zwolle, NED).