It is still uncertain whether Estavana Polman will travel with the Dutch handball team to the World Cup in Spain next week. That depends on this week; the 29-year-old mid-level player hopes to make her first minutes of play again at a practice tournament in Norway.
“It’s a kind of gauge for me. I’m not getting fit anymore, not one hundred percent. That’s not going to be him. I hope I have a good week,” says Polman.
Two years ago, Polman was the best player in the World Cup won by the Netherlands in Japan. In the run-up to the Olympics, she suffered a serious knee injury, which forced her to miss Tokyo.
During the last international match in October, Polman was there for the first time, then only to train. She was not in the match selection for the European Championship qualifiers against Greece and Belarus, which the Orange won. She is now fully training again with her club Esbjerg, but she has not made any game minutes there either.
At the Orange squad, Polman hopes to be able to really test her knee again in duels, initially in the training sessions. “Battle for a week and hope it goes well. Then we’ll make a decision. It won’t be sixty minutes, but maybe for two times five minutes or two times ten minutes… It could be.”
“But it must feel good. If that is not the case, you must also be honest with yourself and your teammates,” said Polman.
The Dutch handball players are preparing for the World Cup, which starts for the Orange on December 3. Starting Thursday, the team will play a practice tournament in the run-up to the World Cup, where it will meet the strong Norwegian team, Russia and Korea.
Interim national coach Monique Tijsterman, who took over from Emmanuel Mayonnade after the disappointing Games, has selected 21 players for the tournament. After the tournament in Norway, three more players will be dropped.