The 10th edition of the Euro Hockey League promises to be one of new departures as the world’s premier club competition explores new lands, arriving at Banbridge for its first visit to Ireland since the tournament’s inception.
Over the course of October 7th to 9th, 12 clubs from 12 different countries will battle it out in four winner-takes-all groups of three, all gunning for a coveted ticket to next Easter’s KO16. It means there is little margin for error for any of the competitors.
EHL ROUND1 from Banbridge will be exclusively streamed via the Euro Hockey League website with all 12 matches available worldwide via www.ehlhockey.tv.
Pool A could be the closest of the lot with reigning EHL champions SV Kampong coming up against England’s rising force, Holcombe. They feature a half-dozen Olympians and will become the 67th different club to play in the world’s premier club hockey competition. Polish runners-up KS AZS AWF Poznan have their work cut out against two major contenders.
In Pool B, the EHL’s most decorated force – UHC Hamburg – are the side to beat. They are grouped with two teams from nations who have never won a game in the EHL before, SG Amsicora representing Italy for the second time and Cardiff & Met the Welsh champions in their second trip to the competition.
Hosts Banbridge will hope to delight their home fans in Pool C. They face a star-studded Royal Leopold who feature Olympic silver medalist Elliot van Strydonck and Australian hero Glenn Turner. Saint Germain, with a quartet of returning of international stars, make up a well-matched pool.
Pool D features a number of EHL stalwarts. Spain’s Atletic Terrassa reached last year’s FINAL4 thanks to dramatic wins over KHC Leuven and KHC Dragons and will be the team to catch against ever-present Dinamo Kazan and Scotland’s leading lights Bromac Kelburne.
It promises to be yet another masterclass as the race to be Europe’s best club side begins in earnest!
EHL ROUND1 fixture schedule (all at Havelock Park, Banbridge, Ireland)
Friday, October 7
Pool D: Bromac Kelburne (SCO) v Dinamo Kazan (RUS), 11.45am
Pool B: Cardiff & Met (WAL) v SG Amsicora (ITA), 2pm
Pool C: Royal Leopold (BEL) v Saint Germain (FRA), 4.15pm
Pool A: KS AZS AWF Poznan (POL) v Holcombe (ENG), 6.30pm
Saturday, October 8
Pool D: Atletic Terrassa (ESP) v Dinamo Kazan, 10.15am
Pool B: UHC Hamburg (GER) v SG Amsicora, 12.30pm
Pool C: Banbridge (IRL) v Saint Germain, 2.45pm
Pool A: SV Kampong (NED) v Holcombe, 5pm
Sunday, October 9
Pool D: Atletic Terrassa v Bromac Kelburne, 9am
Pool B: UHC Hamburg v Cardiff & Met, 11.15am
Pool A: SV Kampong v KS AZS AWF Poznan, 1.30pm
Pool C: Royal Leopold v Banbridge, 3.45pm
Photo: EHF/Frank Uijlenbroek