Eindhoven is all set for a spectacular weekend of hockey as the Euro Hockey League’s KO16 arrives in Dutch club HC Oranje-Rood prepares for 12 knock-out matches over four days between the best club sides in Europe.
Over 11,000 hockey fans have already confirmed their tickets to the party which runs from Friday, April 14 to Monday, April 17 for what will be the tenth edition of the world’s premier club hockey competition.
The event will be broadcast live throughout the weekend on www.ehlhockey.tv while NOS (Netherlands), Eleven (Belgium), Sport 1 (Germany), Esports 3 (Spain), Supersport (South Africa) and BeIn (Australia) will all provide live coverage. Near-live video clips will be pushed out via the EHL’s Facebook and Twitter platforms.
As such, it promises to be another spectacular edition of the competition with plenty of thrills and spills as clubs from eight different countries battle for a ticket to the FINAL4 in Antwerp, Belgium on June 3 and 4.
On Friday, Ireland’s Banbridge take on Racing Club de France with both sides looking to reach the KO8 for the very first time. They provide the opening curtain at 12.45 (CET).
Real Club de Polo de Barcelona face Poland’s WKS Grunwald Poznan in game two at 15.00. The Spanish side bring Olympic gold medalists Lucas Vila, Matias Rey and Pedro Ibarra from Argentina to the party as they look to get one over one of only two clubs to play in every edition of the EHL.
At 17.15, KHC Dragons and Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles meet in an all-Belgian affair, a repeat of their national final last spring. Dragons won their most recent league meeting two weeks ago to build a six-point advantage in the Audi Hockey League but Racing are using this as extra motivation to turn the tables. The two clubs feature a wealth of Olympic silver medalists.
Friday’s schedule concludes at 19.30 with reigning champions SV Kampong facing a re-match with Rot-Weiss Köln. Kampong beat Rot-Weiss in the KO8 last season en route to glory but the German side are top of their national league and in great form. It is a match packed with world hockey stars including FIH goalkeeper of the year David Harte, Robbert Kemperman, Christopher Rühr and Timur Oruz.
Saturday’s line-up is similarly action-packed. Atlètic Terrassa bid for a second successive run to the FINAL4, beginning with the challenge of Irish champions Lisnagarvey at 10.30.
England’s Wimbledon are back for a second EHL season and do so with their national Premier Division title already confirmed with GB stars Henry Weir, Simon Mantell, Phil Roper and Ian Sloan in the line-up. They meet UHC Hamburg – the most decorated side in the EHL – at 12.45 with Moritz Fürste their superstar in a young line-up.
At 15.00 on Saturday, the home hosts HC Oranje-Rood will aim to delight the home crowd for a spectacular all-Dutch battle against AH&BC Amsterdam. It is a repeat of last season’s Hoofdklasse grand final and promises to be a passionate affair in front of a packed house.
The KO16 closes with Germany’s Mannheimer HC meeting Spain’s Club Egara at 17.15 with EHL legend Pau Quemada back at the club where he began his hockey after 12 years away. Mannheimer play in their second EHL campaign after a six-year gap and feature Gonzalo Peillat, the Olympic gold medalist who is probably the world’s most lethal penalty corner artist.
Each KO16 game brings with it a place in Sunday and Monday’s KO8 where clubs will play for a ticket to Antwerp in June for the FINAL4.
The ABN AMRO Junior EHL also takes the field on Sunday and Monday with the Under-14 teams from SV Kampong (Netherlands), Mannheimer (Germany), Wimbledon (England), Saint Germain (France), Real Club de Polo (Spain) and KHC Dragons (Belgium) competing for their title with the final taking place on the main EHL pitch.
In addition to the hockey, many special training clinics will take place for young children with the likes of Rob Reckers and Loick Luypaert lending their expertise.
With food, drinks and other special events around the EHL KO16, it is set to be a truly memorable event in the history of the world’s best club competition.
When: April 14-17 2017
Where: HC Oranje-Rood, Charles Roelslaan 13, 5644 HX Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Event website: http://ehlhockey.tv/
Match schedule: http://ehlhockey.tv/season/20162017/
EHL 2016-2017 KO16 and KO8 match schedule 14-17 April 2017 at HC Oranje-Rood, Eindhoven (NED)
Friday 14 April
M1 12.45h Banbridge HC vs Racing Club de France
M2 15.00h WKS Grunwald Poznan vs Real Club de Polo
M3 17.15h KHC Dragons vs Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles
M4 19.30h SV Kampong vs KHTC Rot-Weiss Koln
Saturday 15 April
M5 10.30h Atletic Terrassa vs Lisnagarvey HC
M6 12.45h Wimbledon vs UHC Hamburg
M7 15.00h HC Oranje-Rood vs AHBC Amsterdam
M8 17.15h Mannheimer HC vs Club Egara
Sunday 16 April
M9 12.15h winner M3 vs winner M1
M10 14.30h winner M2 vs winner M4
Monday 17 April
M11 13.15h winner M6 vs winner M8
M12 15.30h winner M7 vs winner M5