Europe’s best club hockey teams play off in Amsterdam, The Netherlands this weekend. The men battle for the Euro Hockey League (EHL) crown and the women compete for the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup (EHCCC) title.
Saturday’s first EHL Semi Final sees the EHL double winners UHC Hamburg (GER) facing KHC Dragons (BEL). HC Rotterdam (NED) have the chance to take revenge against Amsterdam H&BC (NED) in Saturday’s second EHL Semi Final. AH&BC defeated Rotterdam twice in the Dutch Finals to win their 21st championship in history.
The women’s EHCCC Semi Finals will be played on Friday. German champions UHC Hamburg take on Hoofdklasse runners-up Larensche MHC with Spanish champions Club de Campo playing record champion HC ’s-Hertogenbosch. Den Bosch claimed their 14th Hoofdklasse title in 15 years after defeating Laren in the Dutch Finals.
The EHL and EHCCC Finals are scheduled for Sunday.
Many national players will be in action over the whitsun weekend such as the German internationals Moritz Fürste, Oliver Korn, Florian Fuchs, Nico Jacobi and Marco Miltkau with UHC Hamburg, the Dutchmen Taeke Taekema, Floris Evers, Valentin Verga, Billy Bakker and Klaas Vermeulen with Amsterdam H&BC as well as Jeroen Hertzberger, Roderick Weusthof, Robert van der Horst and Pirmin Blaak with HC Rotterdam. The Belgian internationals Jeffrey Thys, Florent van Aubel, Renaud Pangrazio, Loick Luypaert and Felix Denayer play for KHC Dragons.
The women’s EHCCC will see world-class players like Den Bosch’s Maartje Paumen, Maartje Goderie and Lidewij Welten, Laren’s Kim Lammers, Naomi van As, Joyce Sombroek, Wieke Dijkstra and Julia Müller, Uhlenhorst’s Yvonne Frank, Eileen Hoffmann, Janne Müller-Wieland and Jennifer Plass as well as Campo’s Maria Jesus Rosa, Barbara Malda and Pilar Sanchez.
Amsterdam’s only EHL medal came in 2010 when they won Bronze. Rotterdam are the only team who have ever beaten Amsterdam in EHL competition as AH&BC are unbeaten in 12 of their 14 EHL matches. In the 2010 Semi Finals they went down 3-4 to Rotterdam in the Wagener Stadion, in 2009’s Quarter Final they lost on penalties.
Rotterdam claimed medals in all three of the EHL tournaments that they have participated in, Bronze in 2008 and 2009 and Silver in 2010. Rotterdam have the EHL all time top scorer in their squad. Dutch international Jeroen Hertzberger scored 26 goals in Rotterdam’s three EHL appearances. He leads it from Ronald Brouwer (24) and Guillermo "Willy" Schickendantz (20).
UHC is the most successful as well as most experienced team in EHL history, having played 25 EHL matches in total and having won the title in 2008 and 2010. They also claimed Silver in 2009. Uhlenhorst have never lost a Semi Final in EHL competition.
The Wagener Stadium has played host to some of the biggest international events in hockey, including the 1973 Men’s Hockey World Cup, the 1986 Women’s Hockey World Cup, the EuroHockey Nations Championship in both 1983 and 2009, the EHL Final Four in 2010 as well as numerous FIH Champions Trophy events.
Founded in 1892, Amsterdamsche Hockey & Bandy Club is the oldest hockey club in The Netherlands. After a period which saw various relocations, the club finally settled in the ‘Amsterdamse Bos’ around the Wagener Stadium in 1938.
Detailed tournament information such as the schedule, live-streaming, previews, tickets, teams and officials and even more is available on www.ehlhockey.tv , the official website of the Euro Hockey League.
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