Rachwalski signs off on Arminen EHL journey

One of the EHL’s most regular features, Dariusz Rachwalski, signed off on a high last weekend as SV Arminen got the best of SK Slavia Prague 4-2 in their Ranking Match in Hamburg.

It was an eighth season dating back to 2013 in which he has been either player, coach or player-coach for the Austrian sides but he confirmed in the aftermath of the tie, it will be his last EHL campaign with the club.

“It feels extremely special because this was my last EHL with Arminen,” he told the EHL. “After nine years, I decided to get fully involved with Poland which is my next port of call.

“To finish with a win is always great and I think we deserved it. We worked hard for it and I think we were the better team. Of course, it wasn’t easy – it never is in the EHL – in this nice Hamburg weather but to finish in the sun after it rained through the game! A well deserved win for the boys in black and white.”

It was a career with a number of breakthrough moments for Austrian hockey, famously eliminating Atlètic Terrassa in 2014 in Barcelona in ROUND1. They advanced to the KO16 where they put it up to eventual champions Oranje-Zwart, only losing 2-0 with a last minute goal going in.

“We always treated it as a reward for our season of hard work, getting to play and compete at the absolute top. It is not easy for sides coming from lower-ranked nations, even losing against those types of top team. 

“But to measure yourself in that way gives you a really great perspective. The EHL was always something special. Barcelona in 2014 when we managed to go through to the KO16 as the first Austrian club in history was fantastic. Last season, we finished in the top eight in Amsterdam which was also huge.”

Rachwalski celebrates with his Arminen side in Barcelona in 2014. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek/World Sport Pics

He also departs after five European club indoor silver medals along with eight Austrian championships but will now focus on his role as Polish men’s national side, something he has done in tandem with club duties for the past two yeats.

“I want to go back to my homeland and dedicate myself 100% to hockey there, working in different areas to make Polish hockey better. 

“It is hard to leave Arminen when everything is going well. At some point, a man needs to do what a man needs to do. We need to make hard choices. 

“It is extremely tough as Arminen is my second family but my first family is Polish and this is the mission I am now on.”


You can watch back all the games and highlights from the EHL Men’s KO16 on www.eurohockeytv.org