Daphne van Domselaar traveled with the Orange Women to the European Championships with the idea of helping her great example Sari van Veenendaal. At her first major tournament, the FC Twente keeper was forced to fill in for the injured Van Veenendaal against Sweden on Saturday. “I’m going to dream about this.”
It is the tenth minute of the Netherlands-Sweden when Van Veenendaal collides with both Lynn Wilms and Stefanie van der Gragt on a free kick. From the reserve bench on Bramall Lane, Van Domselaar only sees Wilms and Van der Gragt fall. “Then I thought: okay, there’s nothing wrong with me yet.”
But when she sees Van Veenendaal with a shoulder injury also lying on the ground a little later, Van Domselaar realizes that it is getting “serious”. She looks at the trainers in front of her. “Is this the time? Should I go?”
It’s time: Van Domselaar puts on a vest and warms up. And while she is busy with the warm-up, Van Veenendaal swallows the pain in her shoulder. After more than ten minutes, the captain gives up the fight: she lies down and has to be substituted.
It is not the moment when Van Domselaar’s heart is pounding in the throat. She is quite level-headed, says the North Holland woman. “I was a little nervous inside, but luckily I was able to stay close to myself. And I didn’t have time to be nervous. It was more of: gloves on, shin guards on.”
Even before she comes in, Renate Jansen walks up to Van Domselaar, the captain of their joint club FC Twente. Van Veenendaal then gives her a boxing and encouraging words. In front of 21,342 spectators, 22-year-old Van Domselaar makes her appearance at the Orange Women in a topper at the European Championship. “I had the confidence that I could handle it.”
Daphne van Domselaar only played her second international match against Sweden.
As a fan in the stands at the European Championship of 2017
Van Domselaar boarded a plane to England last week with the idea of enjoying her time with the Orange Women and learning from Van Veenendaal. She had looked up to the captain of the Netherlands for years, she recently told the NOS† “It’s still a little surreal to learn from her now and get to know her personally.”
Five years ago, Van Domselaar was still a supporter in the stands in Enschede when the Netherlands became European champion for the first time in history with Van Veenendaal on target. In recent years, the goalkeeper talent has made a name for itself in the Women’s Eredivisie.
Van Domselaar has been a permanent fixture at national champion FC Twente for seasons. National coach Mark Parsons rewarded her development in February with a debut in the friendly against Finland in Le Havre, France. Until the European Championship match with Sweden, that was her only international match.
Daphne van Domselaar towers over everything and everyone at a corner from Sweden.
Compliments from Van Veenendaal
Without too many nerves, Van Domselaar comes in the lines at Bramall Lane in the 21st minute. Fifteen minutes later she gets a goal, through no fault of her own. She only realizes for the first time what is going on in the silence.
Van Domselaar sees from her goal that the Netherlands will come out of the dressing room strong. It resulted in Jill Roord’s 1-1 in the 52nd minute. “I got goosebumps with that goal.” Then her highlight is yet to follow: three minutes before the end, she cleverly taps a shot from Fridolina Rolfö from the corner and gives the Netherlands a creditable point.
Afterwards, Van Domselaar visits the battered Van Veenendaal. “She said I did well and she’s proud of me. It’s sad to see her like this, because she has a pain in the shoulder. I hope it’s not too bad. This is now at the expense of someone who is really hurting But I’m glad the team was there for me. I’ll see what happens next.”
Camera after camera, Van Domselaar has already gone to tell her story. “All this adds up. It’s a really crazy night,” she says. “I haven’t checked my phone yet. I’m going to call my parents right away and then I’ll let it sink in for a while. I have no idea if I can sleep. I’m going to dream about this.”
European Championship program Orange women
- Netherlands-Sweden 1-1
- July 13 in Leigh: Netherlands-Portugal (9 p.m.)
- July 17 in Sheffield: Switzerland-Netherlands (6 p.m.)