Hermes-Monkstown will travel to Den Bosch while Pegasus will go to Munich next June as the venues for European club competition was confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.
For Hermes-Monkstown – the new amalgamation club for the 2016/17 season – in the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup, they will find out who they meet in knock-out play in due course when the draw is made. They will hope to avoid the hosts who have won the European title for 14 of the last 17 years and feature world player of the year winners Maartje Paumen and Lidewij Welten.
AH&BC Amsterdam are another shark with Ellen Hoog and Kitty van Male in their number but Eva de Goede may not be playing at that stage as she takes a year out to travel to South Africa.
England’s Surbiton – with Olympic gold medalists Hollie Webb, Georgie Twigg and Giselle Ansley – and Canterbury, Germany’s UHC Hamburg – with seven Olympic bronze winners – Spain’s SPV Complutense and Russia’s CSP Krylatskoye make up the rest of the competition.
Win in the quarter-finals and Hermes-Monkstown go into the final four; lose and they go into the 5th to 8th classification playoffs.
For Pegasus, they are the eighth-ranked side travelling to Munich where they will play in the EuroHockey Club Trophy where they have been placed in a group with hosts Munchner SC, Spain’s Club de Campo and Ukraine champions MSC Sumchanka. The other pool features Belgian winners Braxgata, Belarus’s number one side Ritm Grodno, Italy’s top dog SG Amsicora and Scotland’s winners Grove Menzieshill.
This second tier is run across two groups of four with the fourth day involving playoff ties. Both tournaments run from June 2-5, 2017.
The news came on the same day that Irishman David Balbirnie was confirmed on a shortlist of nominees for the President of the FIH. Balbirnie held the role of EHF secretary general for many years having previously been part of the Olympic Council of Ireland going head to head with Pat Hickey over accounting principles, calling for his resignation as President as far back as 1995.
The position became vacant following current FIH president Leandro Negre’s decision to step down from the role after eight years. There are three names on the shortlist for the role. Australian Ken Read is a member of the FIH competitions committee and has been a key player in some of the new developments in the sport (as detailed here on The Hook). The outspoken Narinder Batra, the current President of Hockey India, is the third nominee.
The vote will take place on Saturday, November 12 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with five positions on the Executive Board to be voted in.