The Wagener Stadium will be the stage for Easter 2022’s ABN AMRO EHL Men and Women’s competitions with AH&BC Amsterdam opening its doors once again for the world’s best club hockey competition.
The famous Dutch stadium will provide an immaculate arena for what is planned to be a return to the famous festival atmosphere of the EHL with 12 men’s teams and eight women’s teams competing.
In addition to top club hockey, the weekend will also feature a Hockey ID event, ABN AMRO’s Hockey Experience and the EHL U14 Boys and Girls tournaments.
“We are delighted that the EHL finals are taking place in Amsterdam,” said ABN AMRO’s Marco Moers.
“We are looking forward to April 14-18, 2022, in which the best men’s and women’s teams from Europe will compete for the most beautiful trophies in club hockey. In addition to top hockey, this event will also offer space to Hockey ID players and our project, The Hockey Experience, for children in disadvantaged situations.”
Welcoming the event, AH&BC Amsterdam’s Erich Schnoeckel is thrilled to see the EHL come back to the club, saying: “The largest and greatest EHL to date, we are excited to host it again!
“It comes during a special anniversary year for our club, one of the eldest on the continent, as we celebrate 130 years of hockey in 2022. If everything can come together, it is in Amsterdam, at AH&BC Amsterdam where we look forward to welcoming everyone to the iconic hockey stadium in the Netherlands!”
The EHL Men’s Cup, meanwhile, has been confirmed for Club Egara next Easter and will feature eight clubs contesting the second tier competition.
EHL Chairman Hans-Erik Tuijt said of the confirmed venues: “The EHL is delighted to have the venues confirmed for next Easter with 28 elite teams from around the continent getting to show their skills.
“AH&BC Amsterdam have been wonderful hosts many times for the EHL, particularly last Easter in really difficult conditions and we know they will be super again.
“For Club Egara, it will be our first time at the venue since 2008’s KO16 when the Terrassa venue saw some incredible highlights on the field and we hope for more of the same this season.”
European Hockey Federation President Marijke Fleuren added: “This promises to be one of our biggest EHL weekends. In addition to the 28 adult teams involved, we have 12 youth teams along with Hockey ID players all enjoying the EHL atmosphere.
“With the excellent support of ABN AMRO, we hope to bring a true European hockey festival to the world, showcasing the quality and passion of our club game.”
The draws for the EHL Women’s FINAL8, EHL Men’s FINAL12 and EHL Ranking Cup competitions will be made on Tuesday, November 30 (1pm, CET).
The EHL Women’s competition will be played on a FINAL8 basis with reigning champions HC ’s-Hertogenbosch the number one seeded side.
They won the first ever EHL Women’s competition to add to 16 successes in the EuroHockey Club Cup and qualified once again as the Dutch champions. 2019 Euro Cup winners AH&BC Amsterdam are the second side from the Netherlands to be part of the competition.
Club de Campo de Madrid’s run to the EHL Women’s final last Easter earned Spain a second ticket to the top tier competition. They take the top seed from their country with Spanish runners-up Junior FC getting the second place.
Düsseldorfer HC will be Germany’s representatives as national champions last spring. Gantoise HC’s women produced a breath-taking run last October with gold in the EuroHockey Club Trophy in Lille, a result which saw Belgium earn a place in the top tier for the first time since 2012.
England’s Surbiton will play in the EHL for the second time in quick succession having played in the Ranking Cup in October; they are the reigning English winners having won the crown in 2019/20 with their last league season cancelled.
Similarly, Ireland’s Pegasus are in a similar position with the last two years of their EY Hockey League annulled due to Covid-19. They were the most recent Irish winners in the 2018/19 season.
EHL Men will follow the format originally planned for Easter 2021 with 12 teams taking part in the primary competition while a further eight clubs will contest the EHL Cup.
In the main FINAL12 event, the champions from the top four ranked nations have received a bye through to the quarter-finals. These include 2021 EHL champions HC Bloemendaal (Netherlands), Germany’s Rot-Weiss Köln, Spain’s Club de Campo de Madrid and Belgium’s KHC Dragons.
They await a winner which will come from four preliminary fixtures. This phase features England’s Surbiton, Austrian champions SV Arminen, France’s Saint Germain, Belarus’s HC Minsk and Russia’s Dinamo Ak Bars as well as German runners-up HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim, Netherlands’ SV Kampong and Spain second seeds Atlètic Terrassa.
The EHL Men’s Cup will be played at Club Egara is made up of the most recent champions from Scotland, Grange, and Ireland, Three Rock Rovers.
They are in the mix with Belgian second seeds Waterloo Ducks, England’s Hampstead & Westminster and Austria’s Post SV and the third clubs from Germany, the Netherlands and Spain – Mannheimer HC, HC Rotterdam and Club Egara, respectively.
ABN AMRO EHL – Easter 2022
EHL Women (at the Wagener Stadium, Amstelveen)
FINAL8: HC ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED), AH&BC Amsterdam (NED), Club de Campo de Madrid (ESP), Junior FC (ESP), Düsseldorfer HC (GER), Surbiton (ENG), Gantoise HC (BEL), Pegasus (IRL)
FINAL12 preliminary round: Uhlenhorst Mülheim (GER), SV Kampong (NED), Atlètic Terrassa (ESP), Surbiton (ENG), SV Arminen (AUT), Saint Germain (FRA), HC Minsk (BLR), Dinamo Ak Bars (RUS)
Byes to KO8: Rot-Weiss Köln (GER), HC Bloemendaal (NED), Club de Campo de Madrid (ESP), KHC Dragons (BEL)
EHL CUP: Mannheimer HC (GER), HC Rotterdam (NED), Club Egara (ESP), Waterloo Ducks (BEL), Hampstead & Westminster (ENG), Post SV (AUT), Grange (SCO), Three Rock Rovers (IRL)