As the clock ticked down on the Indoor World Cup, the European players, the staff and the EHF all looked to Mulheim, Lyngby, Rotterdam and Varna as the final plans were put in place for the EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Cup.

Tomorrow the Tournaments begin and we had the pleasure to catch up with the coaches ahead of the EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Cup, which will take place in Mulheim, Germany 13-15 February.

SV Arminen:

Starting with World Silver Medalists, Austria we spoke to Dariusz Rachwalski from SV Arminen who had a really strong group at the Indoor World Cup in Leipzig, they had 8 players in the the National Team, plus two of our players were in the coaching staff. They were really proud that so many people from our club were involved in the success of Austrian hockey in Leipzig. However “It made though our preparations for the EuroHockey Club Tournament tournament a bit complicated.” However they believe that they have a strong team and they hope their players will be recovered well after the Indoor World Cup and perform well in Mulheim. Rachwalski said “Our goal is to get into the semi-finals after a group phase and then fight for a medal. He didn’t highlight a player to watch, given the quality in the side, anyone of them has the capacity to become one.

HTC Uhlenhorst Mulheim:

The hosts, HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim  are very proud of their players Thilo Stralkowski, Ferdinand Weinke & Timm Herzbruch, who represented Germany and won Bronze at the Indoor World Cup. Whilst it was such a short time, the belief is that these three guys will be rested and motivated enough to show their top performance at this home event.

Having had less than two week to switch from German Hockey6 to international Hockey5 without any test match they have a disadvantage compared to all our competitors. But they trust in their game philosophy and will adjust to Hockey5. The challenge will be to improve from game to game within a very short time meaning during a day. In the words of ChristianWindfeder “Finally, we want to score more goals than our opponent in every game!”  With a good mix of young and experienced players and well managed interchanging they will depend on a good team performance. 

Partille SC:

Partille SC, arrive with a depleted squad as 2 of their key players  were injured during the World Cup campaign. With this in mind, they have targeted staying in the division. Their ‘players to watch’ are no.2  Karl  Hemvik and no.17 Anders Lundqvist.

Dinamo Yekaterinburg:

The team of Dinamo Yekaterinburg arrived this morning via Moscow and their head coach Vladislav Kuznetsov said “3 players (Dmitry Volkov – captain, Dmitry Nikitin, Aleksandr Lykov) took part at Indoor World Cup. All of them are tired and didn’t have enough time to rest and recover. Each match was very important in Leipzig and very tough and as a consequence took all the power of the players. Mentally it’s even more difficult because we lost to Iran which pushed us out of the fight for medals.” In addition “Most of the leading players of our team are players of National team that went to Spain to prepare to Round 2 of the World League. So the half of the team are young players. The main target for us is to let young players ease themselves iton the role of leaders of the team at and international tournament. Of course we expect to be in the top four best teams of Europe”

Rotweiss Wettingen:

So what of Rotweiss Wettingen? Rene Schmidt explained that they had five players in Leipzig and he hopes that they are well rested. Their target for the Tournament is a semi-final slot.

Royal Hockey Club Namur:

The Belgian team may not be tired from being in the Indoor World Cup as Belgium was not there, but as they won the Belgian Championships last weekend, their manager Fred Pokorny hopes that the guys are well rested after their celebrations! They will do their best to try and keep Belgium in the Championship division, so their realistic target is 4th – 6th. When pressed on ‘players to watch’ Fred said ” They are all passionate about indoor hockey, and therefore quite pleasant to watch but Gilles Jacob, Viktor Pokorny, Nico Van Diest are the stronger players. Gaby Garreta is also very spectacular to watch and Harold D’Hayer can come out with acrobatical goalkeeping

East Grinstead HC:

We spoke to Scott Ashdown, Coach and of course as England wasn’t in the Indoor World Cup none of the players was in the Indoor World Cup. “ The squad does have some world class talent in its ranks however and a number of current full internationals who are keen to show indoor pedigree having picked up the English National Indoor Championship title 3 weeks ago at the famous Wembley Arena for the 7th year in succession.” Having missed out on challenging for a medal by a whisker last year, the squad are more determined than ever to seize the opportunity and be the first English club to medal in the EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Cup division.” Who are your ‘players to watch. “Glenn Kirkham, Mark Pearn and Niall Stott bring a wealth of both international and indoor hockey experience to the squad having formed the backbone of the team for a large part of the last decade. The squad is bolstered by the recent additions of Andy Bull, Chris Griffiths, Patrick Smith & David Condon, all of whom are currently in the senior England & GB programme.”

C.H. SPV Complutense:

C.H. SPV Complutense made their debut at the EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Cup last year in East Grinstead, finishing a very credible 4th. This year they are hoping to go one better and medal. As players were also not at the Indoor World Cup and with the Spanish Championship under their belt early in February, they could concentrate on their preparations for this event.

Friday’s line up is:

10:30 A HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim – East Grinstead HC
11:40 A C.H. SPV Complutense – HC Rotweiss Wettingen
12:50 B Dinamo Yekaterinburg – Partille SC
14:00 B Royal Hockey Club Namur – SV Arminen
15:30 A East Grinstead HC – HC Rotweiss Wettingen
16:40 A C.H. SPV Complutense – HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim
17:50 B Partille SC – SV Arminen
19:00 B Royal Hockey Club Namur – Dinamo Yekaterinburg

Website

Full coverage of the Tournaments will be available via www.eurohockey.org

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Photograph: East Grinstead’s Niall Stott on the ball at the 2014 EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Cup (Peter Savage (c))