Austria and Russia the big winners on EHL rankings list

© Sander Uijlenbroek

Austria and Russia have emerged as the big winners in terms of the men’s national club ranking tables following the conclusion of last weekend’s competitions around the continent.

The combination of SV Arminen’s second place finish in the Euro Club Trophy along with AHTC Wien's sixth place in the same competition boosted Austria's cause. Those results were enough to lift the country above both Wales and Italy into tenth in the EHL rankings, meaning their national champion – which will be decided on June 17 – will qualify for the EHL next season.

Wales hang to their EHL place in 12th on the rankings list by virtue of Cardiff & Met’s victory over SG Amsicora last October in ROUND1. On the flip side, Italy, after three successive seasons in the EHL, lose their place in the top tier with their top team going into the 2018 Trophy.

Russia, meanwhile, moved up to eighth place in the list which brings with it two tickets to the EHL next season, overtaking Poland who will only have one place in next year’s competition.

Dinamo Elektrostal were the side to win the place by finishing third in the Trophy tournament in front of their home fans last Monday, adding to points won by Dinamo Kazan at ROUND1. Indeed, Elektrostal’s 4-0 win over Grove Menzieshill in the bronze medal playoff meant that Russia stayed ahead of Scotland by the narrowest of margins.

For Poland, losses for WKS Grunwald Poznan in the KO16 and AZS AWF Poznan in ROUND1 meant they drop back to tenth on the list from seventh.

Elsewhere, the top five nations stay in order with the Netherlands first, Germany second, Belgium third, Spain in fourth and England in fifth. Wimbledon’s run to the FINAL4 closed the gap to Spain in pursuit of a third EHL spot but the English side needed to reach the GRAND FINAL to have a chance of going up a place.

The other move saw Ireland move up to sixth in the European list from eighth, going above France and Poland. This was primarily due to Banbridge’s performances this season. They go into ROUND1 next October with Three Rock Rovers returning after a nine-year absence for the KO16.

At this stage, 22 of the sides have been confirmed for next year’s EHL with the qualifiers from Poland and Austria to be decided in the next 10 days.

** To view the EHL rankings list, click here

** Picture of SV Arminen celebrating a goal against AHTC Wien last weekend. Pic: Sander Uijlenbroek

EHL 2017/18 qualifiers (subject to approval by the national federations and the EHF)
1. Netherlands (3): SV Kampong, Rotterdam (both KO16), HC Bloemendaal (ROUND1)
2. Germany (3): Mannheimer HC, Rot-Weiss Köln (KO16), Uhlenhorst Mülheim (ROUND1)
3. Belgium (3): KHC Dragons, Herakles (KO16), Racing Club de Bruxelles (ROUND1)
4. Spain (3): Atlètic Terrassa, Real Club de Polo (KO16), Club Egara (ROUND1)
5. England (2): Surbiton (KO16), Wimbledon (ROUND1)
6. Ireland (2): Three Rock Rovers (KO16), Banbridge (ROUND1)
7. France (2): Racing Club de France (KO16), Saint Germain (ROUND1)
8. Russia (2): Dinamo Kazan (KO16), Dinamo Elektrostal (ROUND1)
9. Scotland (1): Kelburne (ROUND1)
10. Poland (1): to be confirmed
11. Austria (1): to be confirmed
12. Wales (1): Cardiff & Met (ROUND1)