16 teams aiming for glory in Mönchengladbach’s Hockeypark
It is time to crown the seventh Women’s Junior World Champion in FIH history! 16 teams have come to Germany from around the world to participate in the Women’s ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup held in Mönchengladbach from Saturday, 27 July until Sunday, 4 August 2013, and close competition is guaranteed.
“We are delighted to be returning to Mönchengladbach, the home of German hockey and to a venue that has hosted so many top events in its comparatively short life. I am very confident that we can look forward to the Deutscher Hockey Bund putting on yet another show case hockey event” said FIH President Leandro Negre.
The current Junior World Champions are the Netherlands who defeated Argentina 3-0 in the final in Boston, USA in 2009. Both teams are also amongst the favourites for success here in Mönchengladbach, even though 2009 semi-finalists Korea and England should not be underestimated. Australia and host nation Germany, finishing 5th and 6th in 2009, have also set their eyes on the prize and aiming for a better finish than four years ago.
Pool A: Ghana, Korea, Netherlands, USA
Netherlands and Korea are the most successful teams in Women’s Junior World Cup history, with each of them having participated in all editions of the Junior World Cup so far and having won the tournament twice in the last four editions, with the Netherlands having been crowned champions in 1997 and in 2009 and Korea having finished on top in 2001 and 2005. In 2013, both are favoured to reach the quarter-finals again by finishing in the top two of Pool A. Marloes Keetels, Maria Verschoor and Xan de Waard were part of the Dutch senior team that finished second at the Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final in Rotterdam last month, a tournament Korea’s goalkeeper Jung Hae Bin was selected for as reserve goalkeeper.
The USA’s best result came in 2005 when they finished 7th in Santiago, Chile. Top level experience can be found with 18-year-old Emily Wold who represented the USA at the recent Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final in London.
For the team from Ghana, the tournament in Mönchengladbach will be a new experience as they make their Junior World Cup debut from tomorrow.
Pool B: Argentina, Canada, China, South Africa
One of the most experienced sides in the event, Argentina’s line-up contains four players with substantial senior team experience. Shooting star of the Leoncitas (little lionesses) is Florencia Habif who won Olympic Silver with the Leonas in 2012. Recently, Habif and her Leonas finished third at the Investec World League Semi-Final in London, and the 19-year-old Leoncitas captain was also nominated for the FIH Young Player of the Year 2012 award. Argentina participated in all six editions of the tournament although they were able to win it only once, in 1993 in Terrassa, Spain.
Canada are the third team from Pan America that joins the field of participants, aside from Argentina and the USA. They will make their sixth appearance in tournament history with their best result being a 7th rank achieved when hosting the first-ever Junior World Cup in Ottawa in 1989. China have sent a rather young and inexperienced team to Mönchengladbach with 14-year-old Li Hong also the youngest player of the tournament.
Like Canada, China have participated in five Junior World Cups so far, reaching their best result in 1989 when finishing 5th.
South Africa will also be aiming to secure one of the top two positions in Pool B in order to seal a place in the quarter-finals. The current African champions make their fifth World Cup appearance this year, with their best results being two 6th places reached in 1997 and in 2001. The team boasts five players with senior experience, Quanita Bobbs, Tanya Britz, Lilian Du Plessis, Izelle Lategan and goalkeeper Phumelela Mbande who competed in the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final in London four weeks ago, helping their senior team finish seventh.
Pool C: Australia, India, New Zealand, Russia
Australia’s Jillaroos are strong contenders to finish on top of Pool C. The team contains five members of the Hockeyroos squad that recently won the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final in London. While Jane Claxton, Karri McMahon, Georgia Nanscawen, Emily Smith and 2012 FIH Young Player of the Year, Anna Flanagan, were in action with the Hockeyroos, the rest of the Jillaroos squad played a test series against Korea. From this team, the remaining 13 players were selected to travel to Japan to play against the Japanese senior team as well as a provincial team. „This was during World League, so many of the girls who were in the senior team did not attend. However the team performed well, proving how much depth and competition exists in Australian Juniors“ said Jillaroos team captain Claxton. Nanscawen, Smith and Flanagan were also part of the Hockeyroos at the London Olympics. In Junior World Cup history, the Jillaroos were close to clinching the trophy in 1993 and in 1997 but lost the final on both occasions.
India’s best results are two 9th places reached in 2001 and at the most recent Junior World Cup in Boston in 2009. Although they will face tough opponents in Pool C, India too are obviously keen to reach the quarter-finals, and can build on the experience of several players who have also been part of the Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final in Rotterdam. This includes 18-year-old Rani, who despite her young age has amassed almost 100 caps after a senior debut at the tender age of 13 and was the proud winner of the Best Young Player award at the FIH World Cup in 2010.
The team from New Zealand features six players who are currently in the Black Sticks squad. Rosie Keddell, Julia King, Cass Reid and Sian Fremaux recently travelled to Rotterdam for the Rabobank World League Semi-Final where the Black Sticks finished 4th. “We are aiming for a semi-final spot, but it will be tough” says coach Chris Leslie. The Junior Black Sticks have never reached the Top Four in a Junior World Cup, their best finish a 5th place from Quilmes in 2001.
Pool C is completed by Russia who will make their second appearance in tournament history, having debuted in Quilmes twelve years ago.
Pool D: Belgium, England, Spain, Germany
Belgium are competing in their first-ever Junior World Cup, and will be hoping to emulate the recent successes of their senior teams. The Red Cheetahs are a fast improving team which is prepared to face the strong opponents in Pool D, but have also brought a relatively young squad to Germany, with only four players in their twenties and including 15-year-old Emma Puvrez. Recent results include a three-match test series between Belgium and England in Kent with England winning twice and Belgium winning once.
England have participated in all six Junior World Cup editions so far, achieving their best result in Boston in 2009 when they finished 4th, but similar to Belgium, the Mönchengladbach squad has limited top level experience.
Spain’s best finish was a 6th rank in Santiago in 2005 but the 2013 squad has the potential to break into the semi-finals with a relatively experienced roster, with a total of five players who represented their country at the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final: Patricia Maraña, Xantal Giné, Berta Bonastre, Júlia Pons and Cristina Guinea.
Host nation Germany enters the tournament with big expectations. “Our goal is to finish better than previously. Of course we will go game by game throughout the tournament, but our long-term goal is reaching the semi-finals. And there, anything is possible“, said German team captain Rebecca Grote when talking to FIH.ch. 21-year-old Pia Oldhafer is the only member of the team to have had the taste of success with the German senior team that surprisingly won the Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final in Rotterdam. Although Germany have participated in all Junior World Cup editions, they were able to win it only once, their biggest success having come in 1989 when they grabbed Gold in Ottawa.
For more information about the Women’s ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach, please visit our official tournament microsite by clicking here. The microsite will bring you all of the news coming from the event, including written match reports, action photos, official match documents, goal scoring statistics, match highlights and more.Back