The second-ranked men’s team and sixth-ranked women’s teams from Germany always pose a threat at any major hockey tournament, although it is the men’s team, who are current Olympic Champions, who are most likely to bring home the medals.
The men’s team, which has won this competition on two previous occasions, have a depth of talent in their squad, including 2013 FIH Player of the Year, Tobias Hauke and the 2012 Young Player of the Year, Florian Fuchs. In addition, the man at the helm, coach Markus Weise, is as experienced as it gets. He is the only coach to win Olympic gold with both a men’s and a women’s team. The loss of Moritz Furste is a blow to the team, but with the strength in the ranks that Germany possesses, they should never be counted out of the running.
Like the men, the women’s team have a good history in the World Cup, winning gold twice, but those successes came back in 1976 and 1981 and coach Jamilon Mulders will be feeling the time is right for a German resurgence. Captain of the team, Julia Muller is pleased with the way her team are shaping up for the tournament and says the squad contains a lot of members of the successful Junior World Cup team – giving the team an injection of youth to complement the experienced side.
Stalwart of the women’s team Tina Bachman plays domestic hockey in the Dutch league, and for her the biggest thrill will be playing the Netherlands in front of a large home crowd: “I’m getting really excited now the World Cup is getting closer. There is still enough time to work on details and fine-tune our game. In general, I’m really looking forward to playing such a tournament in my second home.”
Photo: EHF/Frank Uijlenbroek