Sixteen of Europe’s finest club teams and many of the world’s greatest players are competing in the Euro Hockey League this weekend, with Easter’s KO16 tournament taking place at H.C. Rotterdam’s world class facility.
Top hockey nations England, Spain, Germany and The Netherlands each have three teams still remaining in the competition, with sides from nations such as Belgium, Poland and Ireland completing the line-up in the world’s most exciting club competition. The trademark of the KO16 tournament is that every match is a knock-out, meaning that the winners will go through to the next round while the losers will be eliminated. This process will mean that of the sixteen teams that start the tournament on Friday morning (2nd April), only four will be left standing when the tournament finishes on Monday (5th April).
The world’s best hockey players will be competing at KO16, including the three most recent winners of the WorldHockey Player of the Year Award: Jamie Dwyer (winner in 2004, 2007 and 2009, playing for Dutch club HC Bloemendaal), Pol Amat (winner in 2008, playing for Spain’s Club Egara) and Teun de Nooijer (winner in 2003, 2005 and 2006, also playing for HC Bloemendaal). Dwyer and De Nooijer were simply sensational as Bloemendaal surged to glory in last season’s EHL, and the Dutch champions will certainly be the team to beat in this year’s competition.
Dwyer, De Nooijer and Amat are far from being the only top class internationals competing at KO16 Rotterdam. German club champions Rot-Weiss Köln have no less than eight Olympic Gold medallists from Beijing 2008 amongst their ranks, including Timo & Benjamin Wess, Tobias Hauke, Tibor Weissenborn and the Zeller brothers. Christopher Zeller marked his EHL debut with a seven goal haul against Italian club side HC Bra in an 11-1 win, before grabbing a hat-trick against Pol Amat’s Club Egara to secure a second victory.
Other stars of the world game on show include Dutch drag-flick star Taeke Taekema (Amsterdam H&BC), Germany striker Matthias Witthaus (RC Polo Barcelona), England’s European Gold medal-winning midfielder Glenn Kirkham (East Grinstead) and Moritz Fürste, the Germany midfielder and Olympic Gold medallist who guided his UHC Hamburg team to the EHL title in 2008. Host club H.C. Rotterdam – Semi Finalists in both previous editions of the EHL – are expected to mount another strong challenge in this year’s competition. With players such as New Zealand stars Ryan Archibald, Phil Burrows and Simon Child as well as Dutch internationals Jeroen Herzberger and Robert van der Horst, they are certainly a team that should not be under-estimated.
The Euro Hockey League KO16 will be a tournament where all 12 matches will be played with passion, tension, endeavour and extreme competitiveness. EHL Final Four – the tournament which features the Semi Finals and final – will be played 22-23 May 2010 at a venue to be named shortly after Easter.
For complete information about the EHL including videos of past tournaments, information about our free live web stream and how to get tickets for the event, visit www.ehlhockey.tv – the official website of the Euro Hockey League.
KO16 Rotterdam Match schedule
Friday 2 April 2010
09.30 Beeston HC (ENG) v KHC Leuven (BEL)
12.00 RC Polo Barcelona (ESP) v Reading HC (ENG)
14.30 Amsterdam H&BC (NED) v East Grinstead (ENG)
17.00 Rot-Weiss Köln (GER) v Pembroke Wanderers (IRL)
Saturday 3 April 2010
09.30 Atlètic Terrassa HC (ESP) v WKS Grunwald Poznan (POL)
12.00 HC Rotterdam (NED) v Club Egara (ESP)
14.30 HC Bloemendaal (NED) v Der Club an der Alster (GER)
17.00 UHC Hamburg (GER) v Waterloo Ducks (BEL)
Sunday 4 April 2010
12.00 RC Polo Barcelona / Reading HC v Rot-Weiss Köln / Pembroke Wanderers
14.30 Amsterdam H&BC / East Grinstead v Beeston HC / KHC Leuven
Monday 5 April 2010
12.00 H.C. Rotterdam / Club Egara v Atlètic Terrassa HC / WKS Grunwald Poznan
14.30 HC Bloemendaal / Der Club an der Alster v UHC Hamburg / Waterloo Ducks
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