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Hockey: Germany tipped for World League Final despite absent stars

Midfielder Tobias Hauke, pictured in action at the World League Semi Final in Malaysia, has 214 caps and is Germany’s most-capped player at the Hero World League Final in New Delhi. Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek.

Midfielder Tobias Hauke, pictured in action at last year’s World League Semi Final in Malaysia, has 214 caps and is the most-capped player in the Germany squad at the Hero World League Final in New Delhi. Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek.

January 8, 2014: Top seeds Germany will be missing some of their biggest stars at the inaugural Hero World League Final in India, where the Olympic champions push off with a Pool A battle against New Zealand on Friday.


Team captain Max Müller is injured, Christopher Zeller is doing his law exams and 2012 FIH Player of the Year Moritz Fürste is representing Germany in the EuroHockey Indoor Championships in Austria.


However, Germany coach Markus Weise believes his squad is still strong and experienced enough to make a strong bid to lift the silverware in New Delhi, having won last year’s World League Semi Final event in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.


“For us, the tournament in New Delhi, even if it is still relatively far away from the World Cup, is an extremely important tournament,” Weise said in reference to this year’s FIH World Cup in the Netherlands, which starts at the end of May.


“Almost all the other nations are coming with very strong teams, in which there will be only marginal changes to what they will use at the World Cup.”


Germany’s other Pool A matches are against England on Saturday and hosts India on Monday, while the Netherlands, third-ranked Australia, Belgium and Argentina compete in Pool B.


In the absence of Müller, Germany will be captained by 29-year-old attacking midfielder Oliver Korn, who has won over 150 caps for the reigning European champions.


A further six players have in excess of 100 caps – Tobias Hauke (214), Benjamin Wess (160), Oskar Deecke (157), Martin Häner (118), Linus Butt (104) and Martin Zwicker (101).


Strapping striker Thilo Stralkowski and Florian Fuchs, the 2012 FIH Young Player of the Year, will lead a powerful forward line, while the squad also includes midfielder Jan-Philipp Rabente, who famously netted twice as Germany beat the Netherlands 2-1 in the final of the 2012 Olympics in London.


The squad does not contain any players from the U-21 team that won last month’s Junior World Cup in New Delhi. The youngest and most inexperienced player selected is 22-year-old Dan Nguyen Luong, who has eight caps, while 34-year-old goalkeeper Tim Jessulat is the oldest member of the squad.


Germany squad

No. Player (caps)                   Age (Born)

1. Nicolas Jacobi (GK) (54)    26 (13-04-1987)

3. Linus Butt (104)                  26 (12-03-1987)

6. Martin Häner (118)              25 (27-08-1988)

7. Tobias Matania (30)           23 (05-09-1990)

9. Oskar Deecke (157)           27 (16-05-1986)

10. Christopher Wesley (94)  26 (23-06-1987)

13. Tobias Hauke (214)          26 (11-09-1987)

14. Jan Philipp Rabente (97)             26 (03-07-1987)

15. Benjamin Wess (160)       28 (28-07-1985)

16. Pilt Arnold (72)                   25 (31-05-1988)

18. Oliver Korn (C) (153)       29 (10-06-1984)

20. Martin Zwicker (101)         26 (27-02-1987)

22. Marco Miltkau (18)   23 (18-08-1990)

23. Florian Fuchs (89)             22 (10-11-1991)

24. Benedikt Fürk (50)   25 (20-10-1988)

25. Dan Nguyen Luong (8)     22 (08-12-1991)

26. Thilo Stralkowski (73)       26 (02-05-1987)

31. Tim Jessulat (GK) (52)     34 (19-09-1979)


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Source: FIH

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