Monkstown will meet Belgium’s third place finishers Daring and French runners-up Racing Club de France in round one of the rejigged Euro Hockey League in Barcelona with just one side to progress to round two.Daring feature Belgian international like Tanguy Cosyns while they have been busy in the off-season, signing five new players including, most recently, Inaki Alvarez et Théophile Ponthieu.
Alvarez arrives from Argentina while Ponthieu was a member of the French U-21 side that won silver at last year’s Junior World Cup. Racing missed out on the French title at the hands of St Germain in June’s grand final.
All three sides are tournament debutants and represents a reasonably tough draw though Town will be happy enough to have avoided Pool A where both David Harte’s SV Kampong side and England’s East Grinstead have been paired with Russia’s Dinamo Stroitel.
In the new format, just the winner from each of the four groups in Barcelona will go through to next Easter’s KO16 with 12 sides given byes through to that phase of the competition.
The Round 1 Pools are as follows
Pool A: SV Kampong (NED), Dinamo-Stroitel (RUS), East Grinstead (ENG)
Pool B: Royal Daring (BEL), Racing Club de France (FRA), Monkstown (IRL)
Pool C: KTHC Rot-Weiss Koln (GER), HC Bra (ITA), WKS Grunwald Poznan (POL)
Pool D: Atletic Terrassa (ESP), Kelburne (SCO), SV Arminen (AUT)
Friday 10 October 2014 (all times local)
10am, Pool C, HC Bra v WKS Grunwald Poznan
12.30pm, Pool D, Kelburne v SV Arminen
3pm, Pool B, Monkstown v Racing Club de France
5.30pm, Pool A, East Grinstead v Dinamo-Stroitel
Saturday 11 October 2014
10am, Pool C, KTHC Rot-Weiss Koln v WKS Grunwald Poznan
12.30pm, Pool D, Atletic Terrassa v SV Arminen
3pm, Pool B, Royal Daring v Monkstown
5.30pm, Pool A, SV Kampong v East Grinstead
Sunday 12 October 2014
9.30am, Pool C, KTHC Rot-Weiss Koln v HC Bra
12pm, Pool D, Atletic Terrassa v Kelburne
2.30pm, Pool B, Royal Daring v Racing Club de France
5pm, Pool A, SV Kampong v Dinamo-Stroitel