22.07.2015, Brussels; Harvestehuder THC will become the latest club to welcome the Euro Hockey League (EHL) after they were awarded the honour of hosting Round 1 in Hamburg from October 9-11, 2015.
It will be the second time the tournament has arrived in the city – a candidate for the 2024 Olympic Games – following UHC who hosted the KO16 in 2008/09.
The festival of hockey will feature 12 clubs and 12 games over three days of high octane action, beginning the battle to be crowned the winner of the ninth edition of the world’s premier club competition. The draw for Round 1 has also been made with four enticing groups of three teams ready to lock horns.
Hosts Harvestehuder THC qualified as the third ranked German side and will play in Pool B, battling for top spot which brings with it a ticket to the KO16.
They have been paired against Austrian champions HC Wien who won their national title for the first time in 22 years. Scotland’s Grange complete the group having deposed Kelburne after an incredible 11-year reign as national winners.
In Pool A, AH&BC Amsterdam are back for their fifth EHL campaign having claimed the third qualifying place from the Dutch Hoofdklasse. Their group rivals are French and Polish runners-up, St Germain and KS Pomorzanin Torun.
Pool C welcomes Italian newcomers SG Amsicora ASD for their debut in the competition. Belgium’s Royal Leopold are back in the EHL for the first time since 2012/13 while Russia’s Dinamo Elektrostal make their fourth appearance on this stage.
Finally, Pool D looks to be a well-matched one with all three teams returning from the 2014/15 edition of the EHL. Spain’s Club Egara have never missed out on the knock-out stages but will face stiff opposition from England’s second rank, East Grinstead. Ireland’s Monkstown will aim to use last year’s debut experience to good effect and cause some surprises.
Hans Erik Tuijt, Chairman of the EHL, said that Hamburg is the perfect venue for this latest instalment of the premier club competition: “We are delighted to be bringing the EHL back to Hamburg to kick off our ninth season and we thank Harvestehuder and Hamburg Candidate City for their enthusiasm and support.
“We look forward to showcasing clubs from 12 different competitions in Europe at Harvestehuder. We will continue the tradition to host the KO16 over the Easter weekend while the FINAL4 will take place in Barcelona on the weekend of May13-15, 2016.”
Marijke Fleuren, President of the European Hockey Federation, added: “We are very pleased to be coming to Germany and to Hamburg for this year’s Round 1 of the EHL.
“Hockey in Germany, through its clubs, is an important player in European Hockey and it is wonderful to have Germany, through Harvestehuder THC, hosting events once more.
“As an Olympic sport we are proud to be able to showcase our sport, through the EHL, in partnership with a 2024 Olympic Candidate City.”
As for the host club, HTHC’s President Cito Aufenacker cannot wait to welcome some of Europe’s best teams to his home.
“When the EHF asked whether we in Hamburg wanted to host Round 1 of the EHL, we accepted instantly. “Hamburg is the capital city for hockey in Germany and we look looking forward to seeing 12 teams playing at a high level with national and international stars.”
The fixture schedule and ticketing information will be confirmed in due course.
Euro Hockey League (Hamburg; October 9-11, 2015)
Pool A: AH&BC Amsterdam (NED), Saint Germain (FRA), KS Pomorzanin Torun (POL)
Pool B: Harvestehuder THC (GER), HC Wien (AUT), Grange HC (SCO)
Pool C: Royal Leopold (BEL), Dinamo Elektrostal (RUS), SG Amsicora ASD (ITA)
Pool D: Club Egara (ESP), Monkstown (IRL), East Grinstead (ENG)
Photograph: Harvestehuder THC (Frank Uijlenbroek (c))