The entry list for the 2021 ABN AMRO Euro Hockey League next Easter has been finalised following nominations by the national federations.
This season will take in changes to account for the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic which led to the postponement of the EHL FINAL8 in April and eventual cancelation in October this year.
With qualifying leagues around the continent affected in different ways, each national federation was free to employ their own selection criteria for their representatives for next Easter’s events.
EHL Women will run in its normal FINAL8 format with eight of Europe’s best clubs battling it out to be the first continental champion under the Euro Hockey League umbrella.
It is a stellar line-up. Dutch giants AH&BC Amsterdam were the last winners of the European Club Cup in 2019 in the Wagener Stadium and meant they had their 14th top tier Euro title dating back to 1975.
HC ’s-Hertogenbosch are the other Dutch side and they are the modern masters of the competition, winning 16 titles since the year 2000.
Hoping to break the Dutch dominance are Germany’s Club an der Alster – Club Cup bronze medalists in 2019 – and UHC Hamburg who were runners-up in 2017 and 2018.
Spain’s Club de Campo are European regulars with bronze medals in 2015 and 2018 the highlights from seven appearances in the last decade in the top competition.
Surbiton represent England for a sixth successive campaign and will be hoping they can break into the medal positions following a best of a fourth place finish in 2017.
Ireland’s reigning champions Pegasus have plenty of experience in European competition with 20 previous campaigns with a fourth place in 1982. Their last entry in the Club Cup was in 2016 when they finished eighth.
Belarus’s HC Minsk are newcomers to this level following a trio of bronze medals in the EuroHockey Club Trophy in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
EHL Men will be split into a FINAL12 event with the addition of an EHL Cup competition (which we will announce the confirmed entries and format on Thursday).
The FINAL starts with four initial matches – titled the KO8 – between clubs ranked 5th to 12th for the right to face one of the top four seeds in the FINAL8.
The FINAL12 round will feature: 2019 bronze medalists Mannheimer HC (Germany), 2016 champions SV Kampong (Netherlands), newcomers La Gantoise (Belgium) and English champions Surbiton (England). That quartet will be drawn against either Dinamo Kazan (Russia), Saint Germain (France), Grange (Scotland) or Three Rock Rovers (Ireland).
The successful KO8 sides will come up against one of the seeded clubs in the FINAL8: Uhlenhorst Mülheim (Germany), three-time winners HC Bloemendaal (Netherlands), Royal Léopold (Belgium) or Atlètic Terrassa (Spain).
The draw for the respective competitions is currently scheduled to take place early in the new year.
ABN AMRO EHL Women’s FINAL8 participants: AH&BC Amsterdam (Netherlands), HC ’s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands), Club an der Alster (Germany), UHC Hamburg (Germany), Club de Campo (Spain), Surbiton (England), Pegasus (Ireland), HC Minsk (Belarus)
ABN AMRO EHL Men
KO8 participants: Mannheimer HC (Germany), SV Kampong (Netherlands), La Gantoise (Belgium), Surbiton (England), Dinamo Kazan (Russia), Saint Germain (France), Grange (Scotland), Three Rock Rovers (Ireland)
FINAL8 participants: Uhlenhorst Mülheim (Germany), HC Bloemendaal (Netherlands), Royal Léopold (Belgium), Atlètic Terrassa (Spain)