China Head Coach Jamilon Mülders has announced his team for the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup, London 2018.
This will be the first major global event for China under the leadership of the former Germany women's head coach, and both coach and players will be looking for a strong showing after months of preparations.
A third place in the recent Donghae Asian Champions Trophy will have given Mülders plenty to think about as China were the top ranked team at that tournament and might have expected a higher placed finish.
At the Asian Champions Trophy, China (World Ranking 8) lost by 3-1 score lines to both India (WR:10) and Korea (WR: 9). They then rallied to beat Malaysia to take bronze.
The team for the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup has some familiar names in it, with veteran goalkeeper Li Dong Xiao adding to her 142 caps. The defence will also be bolstered by the presence of experienced Cui Qiu Xia (137) and Gu Bing Feng (51), both of who are part of a strong leadership team.
The forward line will be led by Zhang Xiao Xue and Wu Qiong, who have mustered more than 150 caps between them.
Song Xiaoming was China’s top scorer at the Asian Champions Trophy and, although the player is relatively inexperienced at international level, with just 20 caps to her name, she is a talented striker who will add firepower to China’s attack.
While Mülders has selected a team full of experience in each area of the pitch, he has also added some exciting young players to the roster. Li Hong and Zhong Jia Qi are two new names on the China team sheet and, with both players being just 18 years-old, Mülders will be looking for the teenagers to add the spark of youthfulness to the team.
As a final preparation before the World Cup gets underway, China will be heading to Europe for a series of test matches against fellow World Cup hopefuls Belgium.
China are in Pool A at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup. Their campaign gets underway with a match against Italy on 22 July. They then face the reigning champions, the Netherlands, on 27 July before playing Asia rivals Korea on 27 July.
For the full Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup London 2018 schedule, .