The draw for the second Round of the Euro Hockey League – known as KO16 - has taken place in The Netherlands, and has created some fascinating contests between the best club sides in Europe. The draw took place in Amsterdam and was made by European Hockey Federation Competitions Manager Steve Catton at 12.00 (GMT +1) on Friday 5th December.
The Pool winners from Round 1 were drawn against the Pool runners up in what was a completely free draw, meaning that there was a possibility that teams could meet opponents from the same country or even play a club that they had already faced in Round 1.
Dutch champions HC Bloemendaal, who feature two of the world’s finest players in Teun de Nooijer and Jamie Dwyer, have been drawn against current English league leaders Cannock HC. For Cannock, it is a chance to avenge the 5-2 thrashing handed out to them by the Dutch giants in Round 1. Fellow English club East Grinstead will play St Germain of France, who reached the quarter final stage last season, with the winner facing either HC Bloemendaal or Cannock in KO8.
Two sides from Germany will meet in Round 2, thanks to Dusseldorfer HC being drawn against reigning EHL Champions and KO16 hosts UHC Hamburg. The match will be one of the highlights of the weekend, as two great German clubs meet on German soil in European competition. The winner could face German opponents again in KO8, as Der Club an der Alster aim to battle past Club Egara of Spain. This means that a maximum of one side from Germany can reach the semi final stage of the Euro Hockey League.
H.C. Rotterdam of the Netherlands were semi finalists last year, and have been drawn against WKS Grunwald Poznan of Poland, who were beaten heavily in Round 1 by Amsterdam H&BC. Amsterdam themselves will face Belgium’s Waterloo Ducks, with the winner playing either Rotterdam or Grunwald.
In Round 1, Belgium’s KHC Leuven and Three Rock Rovers of Ireland could not be separated, sharing a 0-0 draw. However, they will face each other in Round 2 and this time a draw will not be good enough. The winner of this match will play either RC Polo Barcelona (ESP) or Reading (ENG) in KO8. Polo Barcelona and Reading both have fine European pedigrees, suggesting that this could be a thrilling contest.
KO16 of the Euro Hockey League will take place in Hamburg at the picturesque Uhlenhorster Hockey Club, in Northern Germany. The tournament takes place over Easter between Friday 10th and Monday 13th April. The first phase of KO16 sees the 16 remaining EHL teams face each other in Round 2, to be played on 10th and 11th April. The Round 3 matches, also known as the Quarter Finals, take place on the 12th and 13th April.
For more information about the draw, the teams, ticketing and the competition in general, please visit the tournament website, EHLHOCKEY.TV.
The KO16 draw in full:
HC Bloemendaal (NED) vs Cannock HC (ENG)
East Grinstead (ENG) vs St Germain HC (FRA)
Dusseldorfer HC (GER) vs UHC Hamburg (GER)
Club Egara (ESP) vs Der Club an der Alster (GER)
H.C. Rotterdam (NED) vs WKS Grunwald Poznan (POL)
Amsterdam H&BC (NED) vs Waterloo Ducks (BEL)
KHC Leuven (BEL) vs Three Rock Rovers (IRL)
RC Polo Barcelona (ESP) vs Reading HC (ENG)
Matches to be played 10th / 11th April 2009.
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