Railway Union’s ladies will travel to s’Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands next April as Ireland’s first representatives in the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup following the announcement of the venues for the EuroHockey Club Championships.
Their bronze medal in Belgium last spring allied to strong results from Irish clubs over the past three years saw Ireland elevated to the top tier of European club competition.
As double-winnners, it means Railway – who are now coached by Nasir Munir – will test their skills against Europe’s elite sides including Dutch hosts Den Bosch and Amsterdam. They are included in an eight-team competition along with German sides Berliner and Uhlenhorster.
From last spring’s tournament in Antwerp, there are familiar faces with England’s Reading and Spain’s Real Sociedad de Futbol – the two sides that finished ahead of Railway – moving up with Azerbaijan’s Atasport completing the line-up.
Loreto await their destination but have been paired against two Russian sides and one from Belarus in their Club Champions Trophy pool.
On the men’s side, Monkstown are set for a hot date as they travel to Cagliari in Sardinia in early June the second tier following Ireland’s demotion from the EuroHockey League for the first time.
Graham Shaw’s crew will endeavour to bounce back via a group phase that features Austria’s Navax AHTC Wien, Italy’s HC Bra and Azerbaijan’s Atasport.
On the other side of their draw are teams from Scotland, Ukraine, Italy and Wales.
Banbridge are bound for Rakovnik in the Czech Republic. Their group features Slavia Praha, Gibraltar’s Grammarians and Croatia’s MAHK Mladost while the opposing pool has Swiss, Belarussian, Czech and Azeri teams.
Women’s Club Champions Cup, April 18-21, s’Hertogenbosch
Amsterdam (NED), HC s’Hertogenbosch (NED), Berliner (GER), Uhlenhorster (GER), Reading (ENG), Real Sociedad de Futbol (ESP), Railway Union (IRL), Atasport (AZE)
* draw to follow
Women’s Club Champions Trophy, June 6-9 2014, venue to be confirmed
Pool A: Victorya Smolevichi (BLR), Loreto (IRL), CSP Izmaylovo (RUS), Metrostroy (RUS)
Pool B: Leicester (ENG), SPV Complutense (ESP), Royal Antwerp (BEL), MSC Sumchanka (UKR)
Men’s Club Champions Trophy, June 6-9 2014, Cagliari
Group A: Grange (SCO), HC OKS-SHVSM (UKR), SG Amiscora (ITA), Whitchurch (WAL)
Group B: Monkstown (IRL), Navax AHTC Wien (AUT), HC Bra (ITA), Atasport (AZE)
Club Champions Challenge I, June 6-9 2013, Rakovnik
Group A: Banbridge (IRL), SK Slavia Praha (CZE), Grammarians (GIB), HAHK Mladost (CRO)
Group B: Rot Weiss Wettingen (SUI), KC Minsk (BLR), HC 1972 Rakovnik (CZE), Akkord (AZE)