Eindhoven is gearing up for an Ulster-invasion next April as Lisnagarvey and Banbridge will travel to the south-Netherlands’ club Oranje-Rood for the KO16 phase of the Euro Hockey League from April 14 to 17.
The announcement of the venue came this morning with the draw for the next round set to be made on November 18 and the schedule following soon after.
It follows Bann’s superb hosting of EHL ROUND1 which drew over 5,000 fans to Havelock Park while 2.8 million viewers from over 100 countries, 55 media outlets took in the competition.
The Co Down club will look to carry that momentum into a huge game with Monkstown in the men’s EYHL on Sunday. Coach Mark Tumilty said it is important to match the level of intensity again this week.
“We set a standard there and we have probably got two teams in [the EHL] again next year but we have to got to make sure we are one of them.
“We celebrate being in the KO16 alright but we have to then make sure we prepare in the right way for Monkstown.”
It is the stand-out fixture of the fourth week of the competition with the sky-blues looking to continue their perfect start to the EHYL season while Bann have seven points from nine.
Elsewhere, Railway Union will look to put a curb on their alarming set of recent results, conceding 15 times in two games. They do so with the talismanic Mark English back in Ireland after a spell in Australia to give them an extra spark to midfield and attack while Kieran Springett – a new addition from Australia – comes in as a drag-flicking central defender.
They host a Cork C of I side on Saturday that have impressed in the early stages of the season. David Hobbs can potentially return after a lengthy spell out but selection is not a given with young stars like David Lynch showing strong form.
Glenanne are another side looking to shake off a sluggish start to the campaign with numerous absentees. Stephen Brownlow and Joe Brennan were both abroad for their 2-0 loss to Three Rock Rovers and could return while Neil Byrne is approaching fitness after a knee injury has curtailed his involvement.
They meet Pembroke who gave debuts to Cian Murphy and Riain McDonald last time out while Ivan Cooke is another young face in their panel for this campaign.
Three Rock Rovers travel up to Lisnagarvey looking to avenge their dramatic Irish Senior Cup loss at the same venue from last season, succumbing to late goals before falling on penalties.
Garvey are amid a run of 21 successive wins in EYHL competition, doing so in spite of a rest period for Timmy Cockram and already have three wins from three to date this term.
At the lower end of the table, the two promoted sides UCD and Instonians face a crucial tie with both seeking their first win of the campaign. The students have added significantly to the side that fell 2-1 to Inst in the promotion playoffs last term and will hope that makes the difference.
Men’s EY Hockey League
Saturday: Railway Union v Cork C of I, 2.15pm, Park Avenue; Glenanne v Pembroke, 2.30pm, Glenanne Park; UCD v Instonians, 2.50pm, Belfield; Lisnagarvey v Three Rock Rovers, 3pm, Comber Road
Sunday: Banbridge v Monkstown, 2pm, Havelock Park