FIH: EHF FINAL8 to be played out this weekend

Courtesy of EuroHockey: 

The ABN AMRO Euro Hockey League lands at the Wagener Stadium tomorrow as 16 of the continent’s best club teams – from six different countries – do battle to become the latest European champions.

The knock-out action begins on Thursday afternoon with four FINAL8 encounters taking place, beginning a series of 20 games over five days of knock-out action. 

Another four FINAL8 battles take place on March 29 before the semi-finals take centre stage on Saturday, March 30 and Sunday, March 31 before all the medals will be decided on Easter Monday, April 1.

It promises to be another beautiful showcase of the passion, speed and skill that typifies European club hockey at its finest.

Wherever you are in the world, you can enjoy every minute of the action with broadcast options for each region. 

EuroHockeyTV – www.eurohockeytv.org – will show every minute of the competition live (worldwide except Belgium and Latin America) with further broadcast information available here: https://ehlhockey.tv/broadcast/ 

The action begins with the meeting of Irish and Spanish champions Loreto and Junior FC at 12.30pm (CET). The former have already wrapped two titles this season, winning the EY Hockey League and regional Jacqui Potter Cup crowns to show their red-hot form.

Junior, meanwhile, will play in EHL Women for the second time following their run to the Spanish title last season. Their last appearance saw them pick up bronze in 2022 at the Wagener Stadium.

Next up is the showdown between England’s Old Georgians and Club de Campo in the men’s competition (2.45pm CET). 

OGs produced some of the performances of the EHL KO16 weekend in Barcelona last October to reach the FINAL8 and have subsequently topped the English regular season league table and are within touching distance of a place in the final playoff phase.

Spanish champions Club de Campo de Madrid are competing in the EHL for the seventh season with their most memorable run coming in 2011 when they reached the GRAND FINAL. They sit in second place in the MSG league.

Game three features Campo’s women who have won silver medals in both 2021 and 2023 and are the only ever-present club in EHL Women. Their opponents (at 5pm CET) are newcomers Mannheimer HC who are making their debut.

After a number of near misses, Mannheimer HC finally get their chance in the EHL Women’s competition after they took the German title last season via a shoot-out. They are well set once more with the second-best record in the Bundesliga this season.

Day one concludes with men’s hosts Pinoké looking to delight the home crowd when they take on Spanish leaders Real Club de Polo (7.15pm CET).

It will be the Dutch club’s second EHL campaign following their first-ever national championship win last year. They are going for a first EHL medal following a fifth place last season.

Friday has another special line-up of fixtures on the agenda, starting off with Rot-Weiss Köln against Royal Léopold (1.15pm CET). Rot-Weiss Köln are seeking a second EHL Men’s title after silver medals on this stage for the last two years, denied both times by Bloemendaal. They have the best record in the German competition so far despite injuries to key strikers Christopher Rühr and Elian Mazkour.

Léo are the Belgian league leaders and returned to the EHL last October after a two-year break having won the Belgian Honor Division regular league season. Narrow wins over Harvestehuder THC and Post SV in the KO16 secured their passage to this phase and they also have a commanding league in the Ion Hockey League.

Dutch runners-up SCHC are back for a second EHL season against Belgium’s leading lights Gantoise (3.30pm CET).

SCHC hoping they can push for glory in this competition for the first time. They bring a star-studded line-up featuring international stars like Yibbi Jansen and Xan de Waard and are flying high off a recent cup win over Den Bosch.

Gantoise, meanwhile, are just one win away from confirming they will top the Belgian regular season table with four rounds to go with firepower of their own via Ambre Ballenghien, Alix Gerniers and Milou Sinia.

Gantoise’s G-Force fans will certainly stay on for the second part of their double-header as their men play SV Kampong at 5.45pm (CET). 

The Belgian club ended a 101-year wait for the Belgian men’s national title last season when they overcame Waterloo Ducks in the championship final. 

Winners of the 2023/23 Dutch Hoofdklasse regular season, SV Kampong are hoping they can capture the spirit of 2016 when they won their maiden EHL title.

The first phase of the weekend concludes under the Friday night lights at 8pm (CET) when AH&BC Amsterdam take on debutantes East Grinstead.

Amsterdam will hope they can emulate their last appearance in the EHL Women’s competition in 2022 when they took ultimate glory with the gold medal at the Wagener Stadium, adding to 14 successes in the EuroHockey Club Cup.

EG will make their EHL Women’s debut following their maiden English women’s title last April when they ended the long reign of Surbiton in the final.

It sets the tone for a bumper weekend of action. Keep up to date with the competition throughout the weekend via the EHL’s website – www.ehlhockey.tv – and catch the flavour of the event on the EHL’s social channels.


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