Holcombe announce EHL KO16 panel

Holcombe have announced their travelling squad of 18 for the KO16 round of the Euro Hockey League in Barcelona from 6th-8th October.

Barry Middleton’s side will return to Europe following their second-placed finish in the Premier Division in 2022/23, losing to Old Georgians in the final.

Middleton has included new signings Alex Pendle, Brad Read and Louis Duprez in his squad, with Duprez potentially coming up against one of his former clubs with Holcombe drawn against Racing Club de France.

** Picture shows Phil Roper shooting in Holcombe’s win over Reading. Pic: Theresa Field

They will face the French side at 3:45pm local time on Friday, 6th October before taking on either hosts Real Club de Polo de Barcelona or CA Montrouge in the next stage or a classification match at 4pm on Saturday, 7th October or 12pm on Sunday, 8th October.

The squad also includes a wealth of international experience with Great Britain and England players Ollie Payne, Sam Taylor, Phil Roper and Nick Bandurak included alongside Middleton, Great Britain’s most-capped player, Rhodri Furlong (Wales), Hayden Phillips and Read (both New Zealand), Rob Field (Scotland), Mo Mea (South Africa), Louis Duprez (France), Tom Russell and Pendle (both Great Britain Elite Development Programme).

“I’m really happy with the guys coming in – one from a playing side and what they can bring on the pitch but they also fit into our group really nicely as people, which is something we’re always looking at,” Middleton said when previewing the season.

“One of our big things has been retaining the group that we had last year, so we’re starting from where we finished last season and just adding a couple on, rather than bringing six new people in and trying to start again re-shaping the team and what we look like.

Holcombe kicked off their Premier Division campaign with a 4-0 win over Reading at the weekend. Before the EHL, they head to Southgate on Saturday (7pm) before two other league matches against Old Georgians at home (8:30pm, 28th September) and Surbiton at Sugden Road (6pm, 30th September) ahead of the Barcelona trip.

Words: Lucas Ball