KO16 is the jewel in the crown of the Euro Hockey League, being an event that witnesses sixteen of the finest club teams in Europe going head-to-head in knock-out action. Just four teams will remain in the competition at the end of the four day event, forming the line-up for the EHL Final Four in May.
The opening match on Friday morning will see the English champions Beeston HC facing last year’s silver medallists and Spanish runners-up Club de Campo from Madrid. That game is followed by an exciting meeting between double EHL champions UHC Hamburg from Germany and Spain’s Real Club de Polo de Barcelona who recently surprised by defeating champion Atletic Terrassa on penalties in the final of the Catalonian championship.
In the afternoon, Dutch champions Amsterdam H&BC will do battle with Dinamo Kazan of Russia. The day’s entertainment will be completed by the encounter between Teun de Nooijer’s HC Bloemendaal and Spanish champions Atletic Terrassa, the home club of Spanish international striker Santi Freixa.
Saturday morning begins with East Grinstead facing French Champions CA Montrouge, a team that has reached the Knock-Out phase for the very first time. With experienced international players such as Barry Middleton, Glenn Kirkham and Ashley Jackson amongst their ranks East Grinstead are the big favourites to march into KO8.
Belgian champions KHC Dragons – a team which defeated Jeroen Hertzberger’s H.C. Rotterdam 5-4 to win Pool E at Round 1.2 – take on Dinamo Elektrostal from Russia.
The encounter between German Bundesliga runners-up Uhlenhorst Mülheim and the hosts H.C. Rotterdam is expected to be a thrilling contest that will surely be played in front of a sell-out crowd.
The final match of the KO16 phase will be played between German Champions Club an der Alster and Reading HC, who claimed the Bronze medal in last year’s Euro Hockey League competition. Reading is the home club of Great Britain internationals Richard and Simon Mantell, Jonty Clarke, Ian MacKay and goalkeeper Nick Brothers.
The Quarter Finals will be played on Sunday and Monday.
H.C. Rotterdam has a fine tradition in hosting world level events, being the stage for a number of FIH Champions Trophy events (2001 & 2008) as well as the Men’s Junior World Cup in 2005. Founded in 1925, H.C. Rotterdam is one of the biggest hockey clubs in the Netherlands with over 2.450 current members and an impressive venue that includes three water-based as well as four sand-filled full-size hockey fields. “We are extremely excited about returning once again to H.C. Rotterdam”, said Jons Hensel, Chairman of the Euro Hockey League board.
Detailed tournament information such as previews of all eight KO16 matches, ticket sale, the host city Rotterdam, team and officials lists, the schedule and even more is available on www.eurohockey.tv , the official website of the Euro Hockey League.
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