The stage is set for a momentous event in the world of hockey as Chile prepares to host the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup for the third time in the nation's history. With the country brimming with enthusiasm, the anticipation is palpable, and the excitement is building. Two young and talented players from the home team, Francisca Irazoqui and Monserrat Obon, shared their thoughts with us on the upcoming tournament.
Francisca Irazoqui, 19-year-old midfielder, embodies the spirit of determination and growth that the tournament represents. She expresses her hopes for the test that the competition will provide which she hopes will push her team to new heights. "I hope this Junior World Cup will be a challenging tournament that makes us grow as a team and as players," says Francisca. Her words reflect the underlying philosophy of any World Cup – a test of skills and a journey of personal and collective development through the length of the tournament.
Irazoqui's vision extends beyond the playing field. She understands the significance of representing Chile on home turf. "There is no better place to represent Chile than at home," she proclaims. With thousands of Chileans ready to rally behind their team, the support from the crowd promises to be a formidable force.
Monserrat Obon, 20-year-old defender, echoes the sentiments of a dream come true for every athlete. Playing in a junior World Cup is the pinnacle of any young sportsperson's career, and playing it at home adds a layer of excitement that is hard to match. "As an expectation for the players, friends, family, followers, rivals, staff, referees, the entire hockey family, we want this experience to be unique and unforgettable," Monserrat asserts. Her words underline the responsibility and privilege they hold as representatives of 'Diablas Jr Chile.'
The Chilean women’s senior team has made major strides over the past couple of years, impressing at their first ever World Cup appearance in 2022, as well as winning the gold medal at the 2022 South American Games at Asunción, Paraguay. With the Junior Women’s World Cup being played at home, it is not just a sporting event; it's an opportunity to further propel hockey forward in the nation as well as inspire young athletes. These young women, along with their teammates, are the embodiment of the hopes and dreams of their nation. They carry the dreams of young girls who aspire to be on that field one day and of every Chilean who will cheer for their team.
As the countdown to the FIH Hockey Women's Junior World Cup in Chile continues, Francisca Irazoqui and Monserrat Obon remind us that it's not just about winning or losing. It's about the journey, the growth, the unity, and the shared dreams. The eyes of the world will be on Chile, and the 'Diablas Jr Chile' have a golden opportunity to make this World Cup a truly unforgettable experience for themselves and their nation.
The FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup 2023 will run from 29 November to 10 December. For more details about the event, including the complete match schedule, please click here.