The Dutch national football team will spend the next nine days on the elegant shores of Lake Geneva, for the second stage of their Euro 2012 preparation.
After a two-day training camp in the lush woods of the eastern Dutch village of Hoenderloo, the preliminary squad was trimmed down from 36 to 27 on Tuesday. Most of them are flying to Lausanne today with their wives and children, who’ll stay at the lakeside hotel until Sunday.
The idea is to repeat the same set-up from the summer of 2010, prior to Holland’s successful World Cup campaign, when the presence of families created a special, relaxed atmosphere that strengthened bonds between players and staff and their wives and girlfriends.
For some of them, the five-star Hotel Beau Rivage will be familiar ground. It’s where the Holland stars stayed ahead of UEFA Euro 2004 and 2006. Built in belle époque style, the hotel commands stunning views of both the lake and the Alps.
The price of a room starts at around 300 euros, roughly the same as for a three-star hotel in the Ukrainian city of Kharkov, the venue for Holland’s three group stage matches in early June.
Arjen Robben, Ibrahim Afellay and Stijn Schaars will arrive later in Lausanne. Club commitments this weekend will prevent them from joining up with the rest of squad. The trio will be available next Tuesday for a friendly against FC Bayern Munich, but are unlikely to play the full match.
The Bavaria exhbition match and the next friendly against Bulgaria (26 May, in Amsterdam) might therefore provide an opportunity to three uncapped youngsters to show their stuff.
PSV Eindhoven left-back Jetro Willems (18) is a possible candidate to replace injured club-mate Erik Pieters. He and AZ Alkmaar playmaker Adam Maher (18) and sc Heerenveen winger Luciano Narsingh (21) survived Holland manager Bert van Marwijk’s first selection on Tuesday.
The Holland boss will name the final 23-man party to travel to the final tournament in Poland and Ukraine before UEFA’s 29 May deadline.