08.10.2015, Brussels; The ninth edition of the Euro Hockey League gets underway in Hamburg on Friday morning as 12 teams from 12 different countries start their journey, hoping to stake their claim to be the best club in Europe.
Round 1 features four groups of three teams with each club vying to be the winner of their group in order to advance to next Easter’s KO16 knock-out phase.
Host club Harvestehuder THC – winners of the title in 2013-14 – is hosting the EHL for the first time and will be the clear favourites in Pool B.
They will face Scottish champions Grange, who will be looking for their first in the competition, on Friday evening before meeting Austria’s HC Wien on Sunday. Wien are playing in their maiden EHL having won their national title for the first time in 22 years.
Their star man is 2013 FIH Player of the Year Tobias Hauke and he says the club has pulled out all the stops to make it an event to remember.
“We are really happy to host such a big tournament at our home ground; our club members have worked really hard to make this tournament the very best and we are looking forward to welcoming the other top teams from all over Europe.”
Amsterdam are the big attraction in Pool A, a group that also features the runners-up from France and Poland, namely Saint Germain and KS Pomorzanin Torun.
South African sharp-shooter Justin Reid-Ross has been in inspired form for Amsterdam over the past few seasons and he is looking forward to playing in the competition for the first time.
“Playing in the EHL has been a dream of mine for a long time and the first round in Hamburg will be a special moment for me.
“European club hockey is played at an incredibly high level and being exposed to it has definitely helped to shape and refine my game.
“The club competitions provide players from around the world a great opportunity to play at the highest level and to be exposed to many different styles of European hockey.”
Pool D looks like the most evenly matched group with Spain’s Club Egara, England’s East Grinstead and Irish champions Monkstown battling it out.
Egara’s Pere Arch says “it is, without any doubt, the hardest group in the Round 1.”
“You only have to see the last European Cup to see how quickly Irish hockey is improving. “East Grinstead are an historic club that has been always on the top of Premier league for the last few years. They will be a dangerous team.”
Belgium finalists Royal Leopold, meanwhile, are the fancied bet in Pool C where they will hope to get the best of Russia’s Dinamo Elektrostal and Italian newcomers SG Amsicora who become just the second side from the country to contest the EHL.
The action gets underway on Friday morning at 10.15am (Central European Time) with live streams available on the EHL website (www.ehlhockey.tv) as well as via the FIH and EHL channels.
There will also be “almost live” video highlights of all the goals and other key incidents through the EHL’s social media channels so you will never miss a big moment!
Where to follow the Euro Hockey League?
– Twitter – Official hashtags: #EHL and #EHLHamburg; Official EHL twitter handle: @ehlhockeytv
– Instagram – Tag us using #EHLHockey – this will instantly filter through to our Facebook page!
– Facebook – Find us at “Euro Hockey League”
– Tickets – To experience the world’s premier club competition live, tickets can still be bought online here and will also be available at the gate!
Friday 9 October
10.15h, Pool C: Dinamo Elektrostal (RUS) vs SG Amsicora ASD (ITA)
12.30h, Pool D: Monkstown HC (IRL) vs East Grinstead HC (ENG)
14.45h, Pool A: Saint Germain HC (FRA) vs KS Pomorzanin Torun (POL)
17.00h, Pool B: Harvestehuder THC (GER) vs Grange HC (SCO)
Saturday 10 October
10.15h, Pool C: Royal Leopold (BEL) vs SG Amsicora ASD (ITA)
12.30h, Pool D: Club Egara (ESP) vs East Grinstead HC (ENG)
14.45h, Pool A: AH&BC Amsterdam (NED) vs KS Pomorzanin Torun (POL)
17.00h, Pool B: HC Wien (AUT) vs Grange HC (SCO)
Sunday 11 October
09.30h, Pool C: Royal Leopold (BEL) vs Dinamo Elektrostal (RUS)
11.45h, Pool D: Club Egara (ESP) vs Monkstown HC (IRL)
14.00h, Pool A: AH&BC Amsterdam (NED) vs Saint Germain (FRA)
16.15h, Pool B: Harvestehuder THC (GER) vs HC Wien HC (AUT)