May 24 2016; Ireland and Wales are the main movers in the latest Euro Hockey League with both increasing their quota of teams in the elite club competition for the 2016/17 at the expense of Russia and Austria.
It follows the release of the latest final ranking positions following the EHL FINAL4 in Barcelona and the EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy in Glasgow last week.
The top four ranked nations – the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Spain – stay in the same order with each nation guaranteed three places in the EHL next season.
England are still in fifth place while France and Poland swap places, the French clubs moving into sixth rank and Poland dropping to seventh.
Ireland, meanwhile, are up to eighth place follow Banbridge’s run to second place in the Trophy, a result that does enough to lift them above Russia who fall to ninth place. The move is significant as it brings with it a second EHL berth, one which Banbridge will take up themselves as Ireland’s runners-up this season.
Scotland and Italy move up a place each while Wales oust Austria for the last place in the EHL. It is thanks to Cardiff & Met’s victory at the Trophy, meaning the Welsh side will play next season in the EHL.
So far, subject to confirmation from the respective national associations, 17 sides now have their place confirmed in next season’s Euro Hockey League. From the Netherlands, Oranje Rood – the new name for Oranje Zwart following their merger with EMHC – and AH&BC Amsterdam are destined for the KO16. Reigning champions SV Kampong will go to Round 1.
Belgium’s top two – KHC Dragons and Racing Club de Bruxelles – have a KO16 ticket while Royal Leopold play in Round 1 once again.
From Germany, Mannheimer have booked one of the places following their regular season victory. The remaining places will be filled by two from Rot Weiss Köln, Harvestehuder THC, UHC Hamburg and Crefelder HC who are all still battling for a place in the German playoffs.
Spain’s playoffs continue next weekend. Club Egara have won the first EHL spot as regular season champions with Club de Campo, Atlètic Terrassa and Real Club de Polo battling for the other places.
Wimbledon are England’s number one seed with Holcombe – the one absolute newcomer confirmed at this stage – second seed and destined for Round 1.
France’s representatives will be Racing Club de France and St Germain. In Poland, WKS Grunwald Poznan have won the regular season with two games to spare but their playoff series remains to be played out. From Ireland, Lisnagarvey go into the KO16, the second time in their history, while Banbridge have a Round 1 group to look forward to.
Russia’s league has six rounds still to play in the regular season but Dinamo Kazan look in formidable form with Dinamo Elektrostal and Dinamo Stroitel in the chasing pack. Scotland’s Kelburne, Italy’s Amsicora and Wales’s Cardiff & Met have their places confirmed.
To view the full rankings table, click here
** All places are subject to final confirmation from each country’s national association. As usual, all entries need to come to the EHF via the National Associations; entry forms will be sent in due course .
Some Stats from this EHL Season: