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: Laura Nunnink (NED).

Laura, how do you feel about playing a FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup at home?

I think it will be super special. We had the Europeans in Amsterdam as well a few years ago and it was one big spectacle. It was really nice to have the support of our fans at home. It's really special to have that but also hopefully continue to Spain to play some hopefully really exciting final games. It's really special that we have this opportunity this year to play some games at home but also go somewhere else to play the World Cup.

Does it bring a special excitement within your team?

I think it does. As I said the Europeans at home were really special. In the Netherlands we have such a big crowd normally that it's really special to have that and to have the support. Everyone likes it.

What can you tell us about the Wagener Stadium?

We've played a lot of games there already. Normally we play our international games there. Everyone from us in the team is really comfortable there. We know the place and everything. It’s quite big, a lot of people can come to watch. It's our home base.

Looking at the past, your team has clearly dominated the rest of the world… Is there a form of pressure generated by these successes or you're so much use to win that this is almost normal?

I definitely think it's a sort of pressure. We are always expected to win and anything less than Gold is not good enough for us. But it's also a drive for us to be there all the time, to keep improving our game and make sure we stay on top. So, it's a pressure but it's also something that drives us to be better.

What are your expectations as a team for this World Cup?
I expect us to make a lot of steps when we are together now. We have some time to train together, to play together and we really need that to be able to play the game of hockey that we like in the Netherlands. We normally like to play a passing game. To be able to do that, we need to have really strong connections. We just need time to be able to form them. So it's really important for us to have this time together to prepare for the World Cup. I expect us to show our qualities at the World Cup. We have so many talented players. We have a great team and I really hope we can show that at the World Cup.

You’re in a Pool with Chile, Germany and Ireland. How do you look at each of these teams?

If I start with Chile, I think it's for them a great opportunity to be able to be at the World Cup. I expect that they will just go for it, not have a lot of pressure and enjoy every moment. It's always tough to play against a team that doesn’t have a lot of pressure.
Ireland has shown at the last World cup that they can really play hockey and if all works out for them, then they can come really far into the tournament.
Regarding Germany, it’s funny because our coach - Jamilon Mülders - used to coach them! We always have really tough games against Germany. It's nice to play against them.

Is there any message which you would like to give to your fans?

I really hope that we have a lot of support in the Netherlands and that everyone will be cheering for us. I really hope that we have some fans that will come to Spain as well. It would be really cool to have some oranje support at the games, supporting us. And I really hope that we can make it a oranje party once again!