Jakub Janda did an interview with the head coach of the Belgian national team, Sven Hendrickx, talking about the upcoming European Championship in Stuttgart, Heidenheim and Neuenburg in July.
Jakub Janda: Dear sir, how has your team been preparing for the 2010 European Championship? What kind of preparation have you gone through in last two years?
Sven Hendrickx: We practice once a week with the National Team. We started these weekly practices in January. Also we will have a training camp on July 10-11 in Belgium. We will leave for Germany on July 17 and we will play some exhibition games in Germany against Germany and Great Britain.
JJ: How does you roster look like? How many players do you expect from the national league and do you have any players playing abroad? How many players of your team play in the first league?
SH: In general, all our players play in our National League. One exception is Benjamin Dille who plays for Neptunus Rotterdam. Another exception is Thomas De Wolf but it is very doubtful that he will be available for the EC. He is signed by the New York Mets and he is currently playing in the Dominican Republic. Also, we have a couple of players with college experience in the USA.
JJ: Do you scout your opponents? What do you expect of the teams in your pool?
SH: We don’t send scouts out but we try to follow up on European Baseball in general. I think the Netherlands and Germany are the powerhouses in our pool, followed by the Czech Republic and France. Ukraine and Belgium can be considered the little ones in our pool but we’re gonna come out playing hard and we’ll see where we end up. It’s gonna be a tough battle to end up in the top 3 of our pool but it is baseball and so many times strange things happen.
JJ: What are your country’s goals for the EC? What would you consider a success?
SH: We are going to try to stay in the A-Pool and if we make this happen, it might be considered as a huge success. Our other goal is trying to play good baseball and show Europe that Belgium exists on the European baseball map.
JJ: Do you know anything about Czech national team? Do you have any experience with them?
SH: In the past, we have played a lot against the Czech Republic but that’s already a long time ago. A name that comes to mind is Pavel Budsky. Another familiar name is Stan Lucetich, an American coach who coached Belgium and later coached the Czech Republic and Spain. Jan Drabek is familiar to us because he played in the Belgian league.
JJ: Thank you for your time.
SH: You’re welcome.
Mister-Baseball thanks Jakub Janda and Sven Hendrickx for the Q&A.