Ahead of the 15th edition of the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup taking place in Spain and the Netherlands (1-17 July), we’re conducting a series of exclusive interviews with the participating teams. Today: Camila Caram (CHI).
Camila, you and your team will be writing history because this will be the very first FIH Hockey Women's World Cup for Chile. How do you feel about that?
We're very proud to be the 18 girls representing Chile because it's a dream come true for all the hockey community here. We're representing many other players that have come during the years, have trained with us during the years and had to leave for different reasons such as age or moving to different activities. So, it's really a dream come true and we just hope to enjoy it.
You qualified through the Pan Am Cup which you played at home earlier this year. It must have been such an amazing moment. Can you tell us about it?
Well, definitely! Our semifinal against the USA was our first opportunity to be definitely in the World Cup. It was a tough game but we had an incredible crowd. We had everybody cheering for us. We felt everybody very close to us, living that same dream that we were trying to live. So, after the shootouts, we just couldn't believe it. It was very, very surprising but we were ecstatic, we were very happy. Many, many emotions going around. And just to see each other’s faces after the game, it was amazing.
Since many people don't have necessarily the opportunity to see Chile that often at a worldwide level, what can you tell us about hockey in your country?
Hockey nowadays has been growing very fast in Chile. You would have thought that the pandemic maybe slowed down that growth. It did a little bit but then it started growing again this last year and a half. Everybody wanted to watch more hockey after the Pan Am Cup that everybody could see on TV. It was amazing. Now everybody is really ready to cheer us on during the World Cup and hoping the best for us of course.
What are your expectations as a team for the World Cup?
As it's our first World Cup, I think expectations are sort of low, but not in a bad way. We just don't have any other parameters and nothing to compare to, so anything that we can achieve is going to be great. Just being there is great. In our group, of course we will try to beat Ireland, because the other two teams are tough. We’ll do our best and we’ll do our best strategy to try and get some points there. But the most important game in our group is Ireland, so we'll just try and get the highest spot in the World Cup that we can.
You’re in a Pool with Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands. How do you look at each of these teams?
The Netherlands is of course a very tough game. They’re the locals, so they will have everybody cheering on, in a full stadium. We’ve done this before. The last time was in 2013 in Rotterdam. It was of course a tough game. I think it's just lots of defense and concentration. Then we have Germany where we can see a little bit more weak spots, so where we can try and get some goals. But it's still a very tough game. Ireland would be more on our level, I think, so that's the most important game for us in the group. With the games before, I think we’ll be very prepared for that one.
Is there any specific message which you would like to give to your fans?
I've heard lots of people are going to the Netherlands to go and watch us, so that's amazing! I hope we have at least a group of people with red T-shirts there and that they enjoy the tournament with us. It's going to be a tough tournament, so I hope that they stay with us until the end and keep supporting us in every minute of each game.