Campo’s fighting spirit sees them target medal once more

Club de Campo de Madrid’s Belen Varela says her club’s immense competitive nature makes them a side to be feared at the Euro Hockey League.

They are the only club to play in all four editions of the competition since EHL Women was introduced in 2021, taking home silver medals both in 2021 and last year when they were only denied by a single Den Bosch goal.

“The EHL is really special for the club; it is a real target for us every season,” Varela said of their form on Europe’s top stage.

“We are a club which lives on its competitive environment throughout the team; it is one of our distinctive characteristics. We are not shy about performing on a major level, whether that is in the Queen’’s Cup, the Spanish league or the EHL.”

For Varela  – a Campo club member since she was 6 – she will unfortunately take on the role of supporter-in-chief after a cruel run of injuries.

Aged 18, she was part of the Campo silver squad in 2021 which, despite a Covid-19 empty stadium and icy cold weather conditions, she loved every second.

“It was actually amazing; our team is like a big family. I remember the event with pure happiness; sure, we lost the final to Den Bosch who are a beast of a team. We had a feeling we could get much closer and we did last year.”

An ACL injury to her right knee last year put paid to her chances of repeating the feat last year.

She had high hopes of returning this year but, on February 1st, in her first comeback training, her left knee succumbed to the same issue.

As such, she has had to embrace a watching brief, inspiring her team mates from the sidelines at every fixture.

“It’s so important for me to be around the team environment and still be part of the team. Although I cannot help inside the field,  I can be there for my team mates. When we lose a match, I can be there to talk it through, when we win, you are there to celebrate.

“And they’ve given me such support and remember that I’m still part of the team and will that eventually get my opportunity to give them back the what they gave me!

“It is not easy for anyone to but experience for such a long time, being away from the thing you love but the support that they’ve been giving me gives me strength to keep working and fighting to come back eventually in 2025.”

As for their chances against Mannheimer HC, she has full confidence her team mates can advance: “I’m pretty sure we’re going to win! We are at such a great level, winning the Queen’s Cup last week and we will always fight to the end.”