M1 Start EHL Campaign on Wednesday
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men start their Euro Hockey League campaign on Wednesday when they face French champions, Saint Germain in the Wagener Stadium, in Amsterdam (push back 1515 BST).
This match is a KO12 game because Dinamo Ak-Bars of Russia and Minsk of Belarus have been excluded due to the war in Ukraine.
Surbiton were unlucky to miss out at the KO16 stage when the Euro Hockey League was last played as a complete competition in 2018-19 in Eindhoven, losing 4-2 on a shootout to eventual winners, Waterloo Ducks of Belgium after a 1-1 draw in normal time.
Saint Germain were also in Eindhoven and lost 2-1 in a shootout to Club Egara of Spain, again after a 1-1 draw in normal time.
The subsequent ranking matches went different ways with Surbiton beating Three Rock Rovers 4-1 and Saint Germain crashing 7-1 to Royal Leopold of Belgium.
The Euro Hockey League FINAL8 in 2019-20, also due to be held in Amsterdam was cancelled due to Covid-19 and the next opportunity to compete came in split competition in 2020-21 due to logistical reasons.
Back in October, Surbiton competed in the Euro Hockey League Ranking Cup in Brasschat in Belgium, where they again lost on a shootout at the KO16 stage, this time to KHC Dragons of Belgium, 3-1 after another 1-1 draw. If Surbiton beat Saint Germain, Dragons will be waiting for them in the KO8 round on Friday (15 April) at 1245 BST.
Surbiton didn't get to play the ranking match against Dinamo Ak-Bars of Russia as the Russians forfeited the game. Saint Germain lost 6-0 to Dutch side HC's-Hertogenbosch at the KO 16 stage before losing 4-2 to HC Gantoise of Belgium in the ranking match.
The Euro Hockey League FINAL4 was held in Amsterdam, with HC Bloemendaal beating Atletic Terrassa of Spain, 5-2 in the final.
To follow the tournament, the games can be watched via EuroHockey.TV
An event pass costing €9.99 must be purchased to watch both the Men's and Women's Euro Hockey League streams.
Alternatively the games can be followed in real time on EHF Altius