EHL confirms line-up for 2013/14 season




The
Euro Hockey League (EHL) and the European Hockey Federation (EHF) are delighted
to reveal the teams that will compete in the next edition of the EHL, Europe’s
pioneering and hugely successful club competition.  24 men’s teams representing twelve countries from across Europe will battle it
out in what is widely recognised as the finest club hockey competition in the
world.As usual, the four highest placed nations in the EHL Rankings Table will each
have three representatives in the competition, with two sides representing each
nation ranked between five and eight. The nations ranked from nine to twelve
will each have one representative.
The
Netherlands currently stand at the summit of the EHL Rankings Table, with
H.C. Rotterdam, MHC Oranje Zwart and SV
Kampong
being the Dutch representatives in the 2013-14 season. Rotterdam –
lead by talismanic Dutch international striker and EHL all-time top scorer
Jeroen Hertzberger – will come into the EHL determined to add Europe’s top
prize to the Dutch league title they claimed this year, while Oranje Zwart and
EHL first timers SV Kampong will be aiming to stamp their authority on the
competition. Reigning EHL champions HC Bloemendaal finished fourth in the Dutch
play-offs, meaning that they miss out on the chance to defend their title in
the 2013-14 season.
As
always, the Dutch clubs can expect a strong challenge from their German
counterparts, a nation that also has three teams in the tournament thanks to
currently sitting second in the EHL Rankings. German champions
Rot-Weiss Köln will be hoping that ace
Germany international marksman Christopher Zeller can fire them to glory during
the 2013-14 season, while nine-times European Champions
Uhlenhorst Mülheim have qualified for a third successive EHL
tournament. The German contingent is completed by
Harvestehuder THC, who will make their Euro Hockey League debut during
October’s Round 1 events. 
Belgium
is the third placed nation in the EHL Rankings Table, and will be represented
by
Waterloo Ducks, Racing Club de Bruxelles and KHC Dragons. WatDucks come into the
event as national champions, while the Racing Rats return to the EHL after a
season’s absence. KHC Dragons complete the Belgian contingent and will be keen
to add gold to the silver (2013) and bronze (2012) medals collected in recent
seasons. However, they will have to do it without inspirational captain and
Belgian international star Jeffrey Thys – a nominee for last season’s EHL Most
Valuable Player Award – who has moved across the border to add extra quality to
a H.C. Rotterdam side that has set its sights firmly on the title. 
As usual, England will also have three representatives, with league
champions
Beeston HC heading the
field ahead of EHL newcomers
Surbiton HC
of London. Surbiton have long been considered one of the most talented
clubs in England and will certainly be keen to make their mark in Europe this
season.
Reading HC are the third
ranked team from England and are one of a handful of EHL “ever-presents”,
having played in every edition of the tournament since its inception at the
start of the 2007-2008 season.
 Real Club de Polo de Barcelona
and
Club de Campo de Madrid will
represent Spain (EHL Ranking: 5) in this year’s competition, with Polo Club
coming into the tournament as the top ranked team thanks to victory in the
Spanish league. They will be joined by elite Russian (EHL Ranking: 6) outfits
Dinamo Kazan and Dinamo Elektrostal. Kazan is a regular competitor in the EHL, while
Moscow’s Elektrostal return to the competition after a one season absence.
Poland and France are respectively ranked seventh and eighth in the EHL
Rankings and therefore also have two sides each in the tournament.
WKS Grunwald Poznan and AZS Politechnika Poznanska will be
aiming to do Poland proud, while French representatives
St Germain and Lille MHC
will bring flair and high fitness levels to this season’s competition.
 Scotland’s Glynhill Kelburne, Austria’s SV Arminen, Belarus’s SK Stroitel Brest (BLR), and Cardiff & Met of Wales complete the line-up of what is expected to be yet another sensational competition.
Cardiff’s participation in the Euro Hockey League marks a little bit of history, as they are the first team from Wales to play in the competition. Recent strong performances from Welsh clubs in the EuroHockey Trophy and Challenge divisions has seen the nation move from 16th to 12th in the EHL Rankings Table, enough to earn a place amongst the European elite. By contrast, Ireland has dropped from 9th to 13th in the EHL Rankings, meaning that there will not be an Irish representative in this year’s competition for the first time.
Fourteen of the 24 teams that will take part in the 2013-14 edition of the Euro Hockey League were present in last year’s competition, with ten teams either making their EHL debuts or re-joining the competition after absence.Fourteen of the 24 teams that will take part in the 2013-14 edition of the Euro Hockey League were present in last year’s competition, with ten teams either making their EHL debuts or re-joining the competition after absence.The Euro Hockey League Round 1.1 and 1.2 events will take place in October. Full details of the draw and venues for Rounds 1.1 and 1.2 will be announced in the coming weeks.The Euro Hockey League Round 1.1 and 1.2 events will take place in October. Full details of the draw and venues for Rounds 1.1 and 1.2 will be announced in the coming weeks.Euro Hockey League (Men) 2013/14: List of EntriesNetherlands: HC Rotterdam, MHC Oranje Zwart, SV Kampong
Germany: Rot-Weiss Köln, Uhlenhorst Mülheim, Harvestehuder THC
Belgium: Waterloo Ducks, Racing Club de Bruxelles, KHC Dragons
England: Beeston HC, Surbiton HC, Reading HCSpain: RC Polo de Barcelona, Club de Campo de Madrid
Russia: Dinamo Kazan, Dinamo Elektrostal
Poland: WKS Grunwald Poznan, AZS Politechnika Poznanska
France: St Germain HC, Lille MHCScotland: Glynhill Kelburne
Austria: SV Arminen
Belarus: SK Stroitel Brest
Wales: Cardiff & MetRound 1: 11-13 October 2013 (R1.1) & 25-27 October 2013 (R1.2)  
Venues and teams: To Be Confirmed. 
The 24 clubs will play in 8 pools of 3, at 2 venues (4 separate pools in each venue). Over 3 days each club will play the other two, once. The top 2 clubs in each pool will progress to Round 2. The club finishing third in each pool will be eliminated from the competition. No clubs from the same country will play in the same pool in Round 1. IMAGE: H.C. Rotterdam's Jeroen Hertzberger will be aiming to fire his team to EHL glory in the 2013/14 season.CREDIT: Euro Hockey League / Frank Uijlenbroek.