Former Ireland stopper Packie Bonner has revealed his long-time friend, Netherlands goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek, had planned Tim Krul’s decisive late entrance into Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final.
The Dutch face off with Argentina tonight for a place in Sunday’s biggest game in world football and Ireland’s Italia ‘90 hero reckons Louis Van Gaal will again take counsel from his sidekick Hoek if another penalty shoot-out unfolds.
“I know Frans going back many decades, and he has the full trust of Van Gaal,” said Bonner yesterday, at the launch of next month’s Macron Galway Cup tournament.
“I was talking with Frans recently and he thought they could get to at least the semi-finals. With such a talented goalkeeping coach on the sidelines, it could help them get into the final now.
“He would have worked for many hours on the training ground with all his goalkeepers in the Dutch squad and realised which of them was the best at saving penalties.
“That homework would have been done weeks, if not months, ago. You could see even by how accurate their own penalties were that they’d devoted hours to practising.”
Many felt the hauling off in the 120th minute of Jasper Cillessen against Costa Rica was humiliating but Bonner insists there’s no place for sentiment at the World Cup.
“The main thing is that Holland reached the next round,” he said. “How it happens is all about getting the best of your squad during the tournament.
“It’s not like the Champions League, where there’s a week or two between games. I’m sure the first-choice keeper (Cillessen) realised the value in bringing in Krul on because he won them the shoot-out.”
n The 10th annual Macron underage Galway Cup will take place at Salthill Devon’s Drom facility from August 6 to August 9.
Squads from five countries, including the FAI’s development panel, Ipswich Town, Scunthorpe United, Chivas Guadalajara of Mexico, DC United from the United States and Maccabi Haifa from Israel will feature in this year’s tournament.
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