FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup Malaysia 2023: Pool D Preview


As part of our build-up to the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup Malaysia 2023, we bring you the last of four Pool previews which examine the qualification routes, past form and crucial players from the teams that will compete at the showpiece event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Belgium, Netherlands, New Zealand and Pakistan all feature in Pool D, with a top two finish being the only way to secure a place in the competition quarter-finals and thus maintain hopes of Junior World Cup glory.



FIH Junior World Ranking: 5
How they qualified: 3rd Place – EuroHockey Junior Championship 2022
Junior World Cup history: 2021 – 6th, 2016 – 2nd, 2013 – 6th, 2009 – 11th, 2005 – 11th, 1997 – 12th, 1985 – 11th


About the team: 2016 Junior World Cup silver medallists Belgium were the host nation of the EuroHockey Junior Championship 2022, which was played in Ghent. The Young Red Lions bounced back from an opening match defeat against Spain (4-1) to reach the competition semi-finals thanks to wins against England (2-1) and Scotland (6-0). Their title hopes were ended when they suffered a 3-0 semi-final loss agaist Germany, but recovered in superb style when they met Spain for a second time in the bronze medal match, triumphing 3-1 thanks in part to two goals from Max Luyten. Belgium’s squad for Kuala Lumpur contains numerous players from that bronze medal-winning squad, including Luyten, Thomas Crols, Louis Depelsenaire and Guillermo Hainaut, whose younger brother Diego has also been selected. The team is coached by Jeroen Baart, who started working with the Young Red Lions as an assistant coach in 2014 before becoming head coach in 2016, guiding the team to silver at the Junior World Cup in Lucknow, India later that year.


FIH Junior World Ranking: 4
How they qualified: 5th Place – FIH Hockey Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021
Junior World Cup history: 2021 – 5th, 2016 – 7th, 2013 – 3rd, 2009 – 2nd, 2005 – 5th, 2001 – 8th, 1997 – 7th, 1993 – 4th, 1989 – 9th, 1985 – 2nd, 1982 – 6th, 1979 – 3rd

About the team: Remarkably, the Netherlands are yet to win a men’s Junior World Cup title, something they will be determined to change this time around. The silver medallists from 1985 and 2009 finished fifth at the Bhubaneswar 2021 event, a result which proved enough for a ticket to the 2023 competition. The Jong Oranje arrive in KL as the continental champions of Europe thanks to a string of marvellous performances at the EuroHockey Junior Championship 2022 in Ghent, Belgium. Miles Bukkens (5) and Duco Telgenkamp (4) top scored for the Netherlands in that event, helping the team to victories over France (4-3), Austria (7-0), Spain (3-0) and Germany (3-1). Striker Telgenkamp has been making a name for himself with the Netherlands senior side in recent times, finishing top scorer (6 goals) and named young player of the tournament at the EuroHockey Championship 2023 in Mönchengladbach, Germany. Could this be the year when the Netherlands end their Men’s Junior World Cup title drought?


New Zealand

FIH Junior World Ranking: 13
How they qualified: 2nd Place – Junior Oceania Cup 2022
Junior World Cup history: 2016 – 9th, 2013 – 7th, 2009 – 4th, 2001 – 9th, 1982 – 10th,

About the team: New Zealand were unable to qualify for the 2022 Junior World Cup in South Africa due to the continued fall-out of the covid-19 global health pandemic, which resulted in the cancellation of the 2021 Junior Oceania Cup. The Junior Black Sticks make a welcome return in 2023, which will be their sixth Junior World Cup campaign. Their best performance to date came in 2009 when they finished fourth, with Oceania rivals Australia beating them 4-1 in the bronze medal match. Following a second place finish at last year’s Junior Oceania Cup, the team finished sixth in the eight-team Sultan of Johor Cup, which took place in Johor, Malaysia in October / November. New Zelaand defeated Malaysia  (3-2) and South Africa (3-1) in Johor, with Luke Aldred top scoring for his team with three goals, all coming from penalty corners. Team captain Benjamin Culhane has earned 11 caps for the Black Sticks senior team, all of which came in the 2022-23 FIH Hockey Pro League season.




FIH Junior World Ranking: 12
How they qualified: 2nd Place – Junior Asia Cup 2023
Junior World Cup history: 2021 – 11th, 2013 – 9th, 2009 – 5th, 2005 – 7th, 1997 – 5th, 1993 – 2nd, 1989 – 3rd, 1985 – 3rd, 1982 – 3rd, 1979 – 1st

About the team: Pakistan appeared on the men’s Junior World Cup podium on each of the first five competitions played between 1979 and 1993, winning the inaugural event and claiming one silver and three bronze medals. Since then, two fifth place finishes have been the best achieved, coming in 1997 and 2009. Their 11th place finish at the Bhubaneswar 2021 competition was an historic low for the Junior Green Shirts, who will be keen to remind the world of their special talents here in Kuala Lumpur. Their silver medal at the Junior Asia Cup earlier this year could be a sign that, under the guidance of legendary Dutch coach Roelant Oltmans, the team have turned a corner. A narrow 2-1 loss to hosts India was their only defeat of the competition, with Abdul Rehman scoring nine times to finish joint top scorer and Hannan Shahid named player of the tournament. Shahid has also been impressive for Pakistan’s senior side, being named rising star of the tournament at August’s Hero Asian Champions Trophy, in Chennai, India. The team recently finished fourth on Malaysian turf at the Sultan of Johor Cup, with penalty corner expert Arbaz Ahmad scoring four times in the competition.


The FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup Malaysia 2023 begins on 5 December with 12 teams in action on opening day! Pool B action between France and Egypt will get the tournament underway at 09:00 local time on the opening day. Germany vs South Africa, Spain vs Canada, Argentina vs Australia and India vs Korea will follow the opening match. Hosts Malaysia will take on Chile in the final encounter of the opening day, with the hopes of making a perfect start in front of their passionate home fans. To see the full match schedule, click here.

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