Hellin points to big EHL boost for Gantoise

Gantoise’s Guillaume Hellin says his club’s performance at the EHL KO16 last October in Hamburg has provided his side with a huge togetherness going into the second phase of the Belgian season.

There, the 21-year-old helped his side beat Rotweiss Wettingen 7-0 before they pulled off a big coup when they defeated AH&BC Amsterdam in a shoot-out.

It puts Gantoise in a unique position with both their men’s and women’s teams set to play in the ABN AMRO EHL FINAL8 at Easter.

“The performances at the KO16 in the Euro Hockey League was a special moment for our team,” Hellin said to the ION Hockey League website.

“Beating the great Amsterdam in the shoot-outs gave us an extra kick. We fought hard and went through fire for each other. The connection between the players has become very strong this season and that was fully reflected during that match. For the club, it is historic that both the ladies and the men play the final phase of the prestigious EHL.”

The Ghent club return to outdoor league action on Sunday after their winter break with a home game against Daring. They are currently in third place in the rankings with a playoff spot very much on the agenda.

“Of course, it is our ambition in the ION Hockey League to reach the top four and thus the play-offs. From there, everything is possible. To achieve that, we will have to continue to grow as a team, become even stronger individually and be there for each other in difficult moments.”

They will face Spanish opposition in Atlètic Terrassa in the FINAL8 and coach Pascal Kina is content thus far with how his side has performed locally.

“I’m not unhappy with the first round. We had difficult matches against Herakles and Orée for example. We grew during that first round. We were pretty dominant against the big teams even though we didn’t always win those games.

“We want to qualify for the Top 4, it will be very tight but that’s our goal.

“We have to be more efficient in the opposing part, especially in the 25 of our opponents. We also have to pay attention to the level of our offensive penalty corners but we are confident in our two shooters.”

Fellow EHL Men’s side Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles are also back in action on Sunday when they meet Old Club.

On the women’s side, Gantoise will also face Daring. They are currently equal on points with Braxgata at the top of the table with 31 points out of 36 so far this season.

Gantoise will come up against Club de Campo de Madrid in the EHL FINAL8.