Ireland Hockey is gearing up for the Hockey Women’s World Cup starting July 1.
The team is currently three games into the four game SoftCo series against Japan, and at the moment, the series is split—Japan winning the first game 2-0, and Ireland winning the second 1-0, and Japan winning the third 2-1.
Team captain Katie Mullen, led the national team to a silver medal during the 2018 World Cup, and is taking every opportunity she can to prepare the green army for this year’s Championship.
“It's been fantastic to get to play a team with the quality of Japan so close to a World Cup,” said Mullen. “It's such a great opportunity for us. I suppose these games for us are all about performance and making sure that we're ready for the World Cup now.”
Due to the delayed Olympics, the team had to prepare for a quick turnaround. This quick turnaround also had to account for the six retirements the team saw following the Olympic Games. The team saw the introduction of plenty of new faces—some under 21s and under 23s—that needed to be brought up to speed for the looming World Cup.
“It's been such a privilege for me at training to see these girls really come into their own and really flourish,” said Mullen. “I'm the one that gets to see it week in week out now, but I can't wait for them to go out on the world stage and show everyone what they've got.”
Ireland Hockey is ranked 12th and are set to play their first match of the tournament against the number one ranked host nation and current Olympic Champions—the Netherlands.
“It's fantastic that we are playing the hosts in the opening game of The World Cup. I think that it will be an amazing spectacle, and for us, we would rather play the Dutch in their first game. All the pressure, all the eyes—everything—will be on them, and we'll have that Irish underdog mentality which is a great place to be.”
Ireland’s game against the Netherlands will take place on Saturday 2 July at 7:30 pm. They will then go on to play Chile on Tuesday 5 July at 2:00 pm and Germany on Wednesday 6 July at 4:30 pm.
Watch the full interview with Katie Mullan below and be sure to tune into The Her Sport Show every Wednesday for all of your sporting news and interviews.