02:04:2015, Brussels: Tomorrow we get underway at SCHC for the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup in Bilthoven, The Netherlands.
In it’s new format, the first round of games are knock-out with the winners going directly to the semi-final and the losers then going to play classification games 5th-8th and gain vital ranking points to try to stay in this prestigious Division of the EuroHockey Club Championships, so we asked the coaches about their thoughts on the change of format, their ambitions for the Tournament and their players to watch.
Surbiton and Club de Campo kick off the EHCCC2015.
10:30 Surbiton HC – Club de Campo
Both coaches Garrard and Aguilar like the ‘winner takes’ all line-up of games. Aguilar reckons they will have a tough game against Surbiton who are flying high in the English Premier division. Club de Campo have strengthened their squad in the form of Annette Winkler, from Klipper, Germany and she is making a difference as their player to watch.
The second game of the Day is the German Champions v University College Dublin, Ireland
12:45 KTHC Rot-Weiss Köln – UCD LHC
UCD Coach, Jonathon Harte said that they are looking forward to the tournament and are excited about the knock out format. They are keen to pit their wits against some if the best club sides in the world and are looking forward to playing Rott-Weiss Koln in their opening game. They are lucky enough to have five players who have just returned from successful International duty with Ireland at World League 2 Katie Mullan, Gill Pinder, Anna O’Flanagan, Nikki Evans and Chloe Watkins, with a number of other players who have also gained representative honours.So they expect to compete and are relishing the opportunity.
Next up it’s the consumate Champions HC ‘s-Hertogenbosch v CSP Izmailovo
15:00 HC ‘s-Hertogenbosch – CSP Izmailovo
Raoul EHREN said that their preparation for all games is similar so the change of format will not change their preparation. They always try to approach each game separately and make a game plan to win each match! In relation to their opening game he said that Since they don’t know anything about our opponent they will approach the game with a plan based upon their own strengths. Den Bosch’s tournament goal is to reach the final and then hopefully bring the trophy back. When is comes to players to watch, it’s like a parade of hockey stars, Maartje Paumen, Lidewij Welten, Margot van Geffen, Marloes Keetels and in addition he did mention two ‘up and comings’ Joosje Burg and Pien Sanders.
CSP’s coach Oleg POTAPOV, said the goal of any team participating in a tournament is a victory. We will try to move towards to this goal. We know that our opponents are very strong teams and we respect them. He didn’t highlight any particular players in his squad, preferring to mention that their strength is playing together, with some National Russian players they have some experience at this level.
In the final game of the day Canterbury Ladies face the hosts S.C.H.C who are flying high having beaten Den Bosch in their recent league game.
17:15 Canterbury Ladies HC – S.C.H.C.
Jen Wilson, Canterbury likes the winner takes all format. It bodes well for exciting hockey as teams push for the win. It puts pressure on the higher ranked teams but gives the lower ranked teams a one off opportunity to make something happen! On facing the home crowd on Day 1 she said “We have no doubt that our first match against the host team will be a tough, hard fought battle. We want to ensure we bring a quality performance against all of the other top teams in Europe.” Not wanting to be drawn on her ‘players to watch’ she’s happy that she has a great balance throughout her team with plenty of players to watch!
Nettie van Maasakker, from SCHC, was clear, in such a short Tournament, you have to win each game! She reckoned that their opening game v Canterbury will be a tough one as they have a very experienced squad, playing at a high tempo. As first time hosts and playing at this level they hope to make the Final, and hope to win, in combination with a lot of fun and in front of a big home crowd. Their player to watch is Carlien Dirkse vd Heuvel, their captain, number 9 , she is an Olympic and World Champion.
Get your tickets online!
Be ready with your ticket in hand. Best value is the Passe partouts and they are only available online. The number is limited. You can buy yours here. Day tickets will be sold at the venue. Children under 7 are free.
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Semi-Finals and Final Day – http://ehccc2015.com/live-stream/
See you all soon at EHCCC!
Main photograph: SCHC, our EHCCC2015 hosts (SCHC (c))