Bart Verbruggen will be the Netherlands’ first-choice goalkeeper at the European Championship, coach Ronald Koeman said on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old Brighton & Hove Albion player had emerged as the favourite for the role after weeks of speculation.

“It had been clear to me for several weeks that Bart would become the first-choice goalkeeper. Mark Flekken did well in March, but the choice was clear to me,” Koeman told a news conference.

Verbruggen said playing in the tournament was a childhood dream come true.

“I didn’t do a little dance, but I did have a grin from ear to ear,” he told reporters.

I don’t feel any pressure but maybe it come later because I have never been to a major tournament. But I feel I have the confidence of my teammates.”

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Verbruggen made his international debut in October and has won five caps.

The Dutch have struggled to find a regular goalkeeper in recent years. At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, then coach Louis van Gaal picked the uncapped Andries Noppert as his first choice.

Noppert, however, has not played since Ronald Koeman replaced Van Gaal as coach after the tournament, with Verbruggen, Flekken of Brentford and Justin Bijlow of Feyenoord selected to go to Germany.

The Dutch continue their preparations on Thursday with a friendly against Canada.

They face Iceland in Rotterdam on Monday before heading to Germany, where their first Group D game is against Poland in Hamburg.