The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Netherlands picks inexperienced squad, including 3 debutants, for France friendly
AMSTERDAM - Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal picked an inexperienced squad Friday that includes three debutants for a friendly against France in Paris.
Van Gaal gave first call-ups to Jean-Paul Boetius of Feyenoord, Davy Klaassen of Ajax and Quincy Promes of FC Twente as part of his 23-man squad for the match at Stade de France on Wednesday.
The new players will have experience on hand from the likes of Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder.
The Netherlands has a tough draw for the World Cup in Brazil. It plays in Group B with defending champion Spain, Chile and Australia.
As well as first-time call-ups for Klaassen, Boetius and Promes, Van Gaal included PSV defender Karim Rekik, who was named in a squad once before but had to pull out with an injury.
Van Gaal is looking at potential internationals ahead of a May 13 deadline for filing a 30-man World Cup roster with FIFA.
He said he wanted to get to know the debutants as he scouts possible players to take to Brazil.
Swansea midfielder Jonathan de Guzman was left off the squad because his Premier League team, Swansea, is struggling at the moment.
One of the key missing pieces Van Gaal needs to find before the World Cup is a left back. He named only one — Daley Blind of Ajax — on Friday, but acknowledged that he would rather put Blind in the midfield.
"That's a signal to other left backs to grab this opportunity," Van Gaal said.
He also included Schalke striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who is back in form after a five-month injury layoff last year and scored a breathtaking stoppage-time volley to salvage a little pride at the end of Real Madrid's 6-1 Champions League rout of Schalke on Wednesday.
Huntelaar will have to compete with Van Persie for the main striking role up front. Van Persie is the Netherlands' top scorer with 41 goals in 81 appearances.
Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Michel Vorm (Swansea), Jeroen Zoet (PSV Eindhoven)
Defenders: Daley Blind (Ajax), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord), Bruno Martins Indi (Feyenoord), Karim Rekik (PSV Eindhoven), Joel Veltman (Ajax), Paul Verhaegh (Augsburg), Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa), Gregory van der Wiel (Paris Saint-Germain)
Midfielders: Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Stijn Schaars (PSV Eindhoven), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Kevin Strootman (Roma)
Forwards: Jean-Paul Boetius (Feyenoord), Memphis Depay (PSV Eindhoven), Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Schalke), Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Quincy Promes (FC Twente), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)
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