Three Rock Rovers have been awarded the hosting rights for the men’s EuroHockey Club Champions trophy, the second highest tier of club hockey on the continent, with the tournament taking place from May 22 to 25, 2015.
The Rathfarnham club qualified for European competition by virtue of their first Irish Senior Cup win in 40 years last spring.
Rovers will take on Belarus’s SC Stroitel, Ukraine’s OKS-SHVSM Vinnitsa and Scotland’s Grange in the initial group phase with Welsh side Whitchurch, Azerbaijan’s Atasport, Italy’s SG Amsicora and the Czech Republic’s Slavia Praha in Pool A.
Speaking about being awarded the hosting rights, club President Ailis Kennedy said that it is a huge honour for the club.
“Everyone in the club is delighted to be hosting such a great event, bringing top quality hockey to the area,” she said.
“We are really looking forward to preparing for the Euros and welcoming the local community to get behind the club. It shows the ambition Three Rock have to promote the sport in the best possible light and we believe that this will be a great showcase for doing just that.”
The club has regularly been used as a tournament venue in Irish hockey circles, hosting interprovincial tournaments while it has been the host of the Irish Hockey League finals three times, most recently in 2013.
“While we have hosted local events, this will be the biggest event at the club since 1994, the club’s centenary, when we hosted an international tournament featuring England, Holland and Germany.
“It is the perfect way for us to celebrate a wealth of improvements at the club. We relayed our front pitch this summer and are opening a new club cafe – The Wooden Spoon – this week with all welcome to drop in.
“These are great times to be involved in the club and we look forward to a huge volunteer effort to make these Europeans a spectacular success.”
UCD’s women, meanwhile, are bound for Bilthoven in the Netherlands to play in the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup.
They are one of eight teams taking part in that competition, lining out against the host club SCHC as well as Dutch champions Den Bosch.
England’s Surbiton and Canterbury, Germany’s Rot-Weiss Köln, Spain’s Club de Campo and Russia’s CSP Izmailovo.
Following their heroics in Den Bosch last season, Railway Union will play in the Club Champions Trophy in Minsk, Belarus. They have been grouped with Ukraine’s MSC Sumchanka, a side they met two years ago in Belgium, as well as Azerbaijan;s Atasport, with whom they were in the top tier with last term.
Royal Wellington complete the group while Germany’s Uhlenhorster, Spain’s Real Sociedad, Russia’s Metrostroy and Belarus side Minsk are in Pool A.
Euro Hockey League (m): 10th – 12th October (Monkstown) Barcelona, Spain
Full schedule http://www.ehlhockey.tv/schedule
EuroHockey Club Champions Cup (w): UCD – 3-6th April 2015 (SCHC, Netherlands)
EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy (m): Three Rock Rovers, 22-25th May (TRR, Dublin)
EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy (w): Railway Union, 22nd – 25th May (Minsk, Belarus)