Monday, July 22, 2024

Women’s Hockey World Cup: Black strip holds key for Germany!

Germany produced classy performance in their black outfit PIC: England Hockey

After Kit-gate came the Germany response – and they did so with their second strip which struck fear into the youthful Argentinians on Wednesday.

The Hockey Paper‘s ranking of all 16 nations before the World Cup was seen by Germany captain Janne Muller-Wieland this week and has caused a stir with some teams.

Uhlenhorster Muller-Wieland had tweeted that she was ‘offended’ – jokingly, of course – by seeing Die Danas languishing rank last on the list.

And after their second pool win, the German great, who won young player of the year a decade ago and has accrued 270 international caps, was only too happy to reveal that their black number had played a part in a brilliant 3-2 victory over Las Leonas.

“When we play in Argentina we like to call oursleves Las Bestias Negras, ‘The Black Beasts’,” revealed a jubilant Muller-Wieland.

“So it was good to play in black and prove our name right.”

And admirably showing off her kit to The Hockey Paper, she added: “We were fighting a long time to get vest tops so we are very proud to have our kit.”

Argentina, the 2010 champions, fell to a double by Charlotte Stapenhorst, who helped Germany top Pool C to leave them favourites to qualify outright for the quarter-finals.

Stapenhorst scored twice in five minutes late in the first-half in a thrilling contest.

Her vital second will rival the goals of the tournament award for sheer skill.

“As a striker you hope it’s going in and the diagonal pass from our defender who has such a good eye means I always look for those passes as the defender always go on one side,” said Stapenhorst.

The 23-year-old admitted that the key to their pool win was being asked by Xavier Reckinger – their new coach has clearly changed the team’s outlook – not to back down against Argentina.

“Don’t hide,” said Stapenhorst, “and we used that to ask them questions as we have loads of technical ability in our build-up to keep them defending.”

Stapenhorst spent 10 months in England back in 2011 after studying for her AS levels at Repton College.

After a year, her parents asked her to come home to continue studying for her German exams, but she took away a bundle of experience.

“I was doing school hockey and playing for Beeston. I learned about the English style of play and how to be really physical. As a young player, I learned form Hollie Pearne-Webb and have tried to use my body and being physical.”

Stapenhorst and Muller-Wieland, the only thirty-something in the German side, have been tour room-mates for the last few tournaments.

And there is a clear bond between the two. “We talk a lot about hockey, what else?” joked the captain.

“Charlotte is my room-mate and all I do is pep talk her. Everyone knows she is a great talent and forward. I think she was struggling to find her form and skill in the right moment, even two weeks back.

“But it is amazing to see now she makes the right decisions. She is very dangerous and no defender or goalkeeper wants to have her with the ball in front of them.”

The Hockey Paper’s World Cup coverage is supported by St. Bert’s Clothing – SUMMER SALE

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