The new era of the world’s best club hockey competition, the Euro Hockey League, is beginning to take shape with the draw for the EHL Men KO16 taking place this morning in Barcelona. The first step on the road to the Alain Danet Trophy sees the competition move to a fully knock-out format with 16 clubs from 11 different countries contesting the KO16 at the Pau Negre Stadium from October 4 to 6, 2019.
They will battle it out through the KO16 and KO8 rounds, hoping to win one of the coveted tickets to the FINAL8 which will take place next Easter in tandem with the newly introduced EHL Women’s FINAL8 event.In the draw, conducted by European Hockey Federation President Marijke Fleuren and EHL Board Member Jorge Alcover, eight enticing match-ups were confirmed.
In the top quarter of the draw, 2018/19 bronze winners Mannheimer HC were pitted against French side CA Montrouge. The winner of that game will come up against either 2011 champions HGC or English newcomers Hampstead & Westminster.
The second quarter features a potential firecracker between England’s Surbiton and Spanish kingpins Real Club de Polo who are looking to build on their FINAL4 appearance last season. Whoever advances from that tie will face either the ever-present Russian side Dinamo Kazan – contesting their 13th season of the EHL – or French champs Saint Germain.
The next section of the draw is headed up by 2016 EHL winners SV Kampong who will be favourites against Belarussian winners HC Minsk. The victor from their game will play 2018 FINAL4 side Herakles from Belgium or Austria’s leading side, SV Arminen. The bottom quarter of the draw sees a Celtic battle between Scotland and Ireland’s top sides, Grange and Three Rock Rovers. They are battling for the right to challenge either 2017 EHL winners Rot-Weiss Koln or Belgian new boys Beerschot.
The KO16 games will take place on October 4 and 5 with the KO8 games being played on October 6. The KO16 losing sides will play classification matches on October 5 and 6 on the “second pitch” at the Pau Negre complex in Barcelona’s Olympic quarter.
The KO8 winners will join Germany’s Uhlenhorst Mulheim, Belgium’s Royal Leopold, the Netherlands HC Bloemendaal and Spain’s Club Egara in the FINAL8 next Easter. The finalised match schedule and ticket information will be confirmed in the coming week following discussions with the EHL’s stakeholders and potential broadcast partners.
EHL Men KO16 draw:
Mannheimer HC (GER) v CA Montrouge (FRA)
HGC (NED) v Hampstead & Westminster (ENG)
Dinamo Kazan (RUS) v Saint Germain (FRA)
Surbiton (ENG) v Real Club de Polo (ESP)
SV Kampong (NED) v HC Minsk (BLR)
Herakles (BEL) v SV Arminen (AUT)
Grange (SCO) v Three Rock Rovers (IRL)
Rot-Weiss Koln (GER) v Beerschot (BEL)
Byes to FINAL8: Uhlenhorst Mulheim (GER), Royal Leopold (BEL), HC Bloemendaal (NED), Club Egara (ESP)