AHF: FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup Chile 2023: Pool A Preview

22 November 2023

Lausanne, Switzerland: As part of our build-up to the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup Chile 2023, we bring you the first of four Pool previews which examines the qualification routes, past form and crucial players from the teams that will compete at the showpiece event in Santiago, Chile.

Australia, Chile, Netherlands and South Africa all feature in Pool A, with a top two finish being the only way to secure a place in the competition quarter-finals and thus maintain hopes of Junior World Cup glory.


FIH Junior World Ranking: 9
How they qualified: 1st Place – Junior Oceania Cup 2022
Junior World Cup history: 2016 – 3rd, 2013 – 6th, 2009 – 5th, 2005 – 4th, 2001 – 3rd, 1997 – 2nd, 1993 – 2nd

About the team: With the continued fall-out of covid-19 forcing the cancellation of the 2021 Junior Oceania Cup, Australia were unable to qualify for the 2022 Junior World Cup in South Africa. However, they will be keen to remind the world of their qualities at the 2023 competition in Santiago. The Jillaroos have a fine Junior World Cup record, having medalled on four occasions and never finishing lower than sixth. That said, the Oceania giants have not yet managed to secure that elusive gold medal, something they will hope to change this time around. The team selected by former Hockeyroo Stacia Strain is hugely talented, with the majority having helped Australia to success at the Junior Oceania Cup 2022 in Canberra (AUS) to seal their berth in this competition. Numerous of Strain’s players have represented the senior side, with Maddison Brooks, Claire Colwill, Hannah Cullum-Sanders, Alana Kavanagh, Amy Lawton, Tatum Stewart and Grace Young having amassed over 170 caps between them. Lawton, who was shortlisted for the 2022 FIH Rising Star of the Year Award, will compete in Santiago alongside younger sister Josie.


FIH Junior World Ranking: 23
How they qualified: Host nation
Junior World Cup history: 2016 – 11th, 2009 – 12th, 2005 – 10th, 2001 – 12th, 1989 – 12th.

About the team: Having staged the FIH Women’s Junior World Cup on two previous occasions, host nation Chile will be hoping to make it third time lucky this time around. Their best finish to date was 10th at the 2005 competition in Santiago, but they will be setting their sights far higher in 2023. While the team might not have had to qualify for this competition due to their status as hosts, the team’s excellent third place finished at the Junior Pan American Championships in Barbados earlier this year ensures they will be taken very seriously in this event. Chile’s defeat in the Junior Pan Am semi-finals came at the hands of eventual winners USA, who edged the South Americans in a shoot-out after regular time finished 1-1. However, the team bounce back in sensational style with a thumping 5-1 victory against Canada, with Martina Gago, Marin Goñi, captain Francisca Irazoqui, Josefina Gutierrez and Constanza Muñoz all on target to seal the bronze medal. Irazoqui and Laura Müller were both part of the Chile senior squad that finished fourth at the recent Pan American Games 2023, played on the same pitches that will stage this Junior World Cup.


FIH Junior World Ranking: 1
How they qualified: 1st place – FIH Hockey Junior World Cup South Africa 2022
Junior World Cup history: 2022 – 1st, 2016 – 2nd, 2013 – 1st, 2009 – 1st, 2005 – 3rd, 2001 – 4th, 1997 – 1st, 1993 – 5th, 1989 – 4th.

About the team: In nine women’s Junior Hockey World Cups, the Netherlands have only failed to secure podium finishes on three occasions, winning a record four golds (Seongnam 1997, Boston 2009, Mönchengladbach 2013, Potchefstroom 2022), one silver and one bronze. With such an incredible track record and a fabulous pool of wonderfully talented players, you can expect the Jong Oranje Dames to be amongst the front runners once again. They were in sparkling form at the 2022 edition in Potchefstroom, scoring 49 goals and conceding just once on their way to the title. A bronze medal at the 2022 EuroHockey Junior Championship in Ghent was perhaps below expectations, ensuring they will be suitably motivated to re-affirm their status as the best in the world here in Santiago. The squad selected by head coach Dave Smolenaars, who is aiming to win his second successive women’s Junior World Cup, contains a handful of players who competed in the 2022 edition, including goalkeeper Sofia ter Kuile and Jip Dicke, who top scored in Potchefstroom with 13 goals. The team also features Lilli de Nooijer, daughter of Netherlands all-time great Teun de Nooijer and former Germany Olympian Phillipa Suxdorf.

South Africa

FIH Junior World Ranking: 8
How they qualified: 1st Place – Junior Africa Cup 2023
Junior World Cup history: 2022 – 7th, 2016 – 14th, 2013 – 8th, 2009 – 11th, 2005 – 8th, 2001 – 6th, 1997 – 6th.

About the team: Following their disappointing 14th place finish at the 2016 FIH Women’s Junior World Cup in Santiago, South Africa will be aiming for a much better outcome on their return to Chilean soil. They certainly have good reasons to feel optimistic. By finishing seventh at last year’s Junior World Cup on home soil in Potchefstroom, South Africa achieved their highest placement in more than 20 years. The team produced a string of dominant performances at this year’s Junior Africa Cup in Ismailia, Egypt, claiming the gold medal by winning all four of their matches, scoring 20 goals without once conceding. Twelve players from that squad have been named for Santiago 2023, including team co-captain Caylin Maree, who also competed in the Potchefstroom 2022 event. South Africa’s rising stars are coached by Lenise Marais, who as a player represented her country 232 times and competed at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics.

The FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup Chile 2023 begins on 29 November with 12 teams in action on opening day! Pool B encounter between Korea and Zimbabwe will get the event underway at 10am local time. High octane clashes between Netherlands and Australia, India and Canada, Argentina and Spain, Germany and Belgium will follow, before hosts Chile play the final match of the opening day against South Africa. The full match schedule for the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup can be found here.

Don’t miss a moment of the action from the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup Chile 2023! Subscribe to the FIH+ pass on Watch.Hockey and get worldwide* access to the FIH Hockey Junior World Cups 2023 and all upcoming major international hockey events! Fans can also relive all the magical action from the previous edition of the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup, on the “Explore section” of the Watch.Hockey app!

*except on the Indian subcontinent


For more information about FIH and hockey in general, please download the Watch.Hockey app or follow the FIH social media channels – FacebookInstagram and Twitter – and website.

by African Hockey Federation

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