Players from around the continent have welcomed the introduction of EHL Women at Easter 2020 following the announcement on Sunday morning.

Rocio Gutiérrez, captain of Club de Campo and recently-retired captain of the Spanish women’s team, was quick to hail the decision.

“This is great news for women’s hockey knowing that a Spanish team will have the opportunity to play in a competition of such great stature as the EHL.

“This is great news for women’s hockey knowing that a Spanish team will have the opportunity to play in a competition of such great stature as the EHL.

“It will be an additional motivation to compete during the season for an extra-special European qualification spot. I’m sure that EHL Women will be a great success and well-received by hockey fans throughout Europe and I hope that it grows to include as many qualifying rounds as the men’s equivalent so that we can enjoy European women’s club competition hockey over several weekends during the season.”

Rocio Gutiérrez

Oranje-Rood’s Polish international Marlena Rybacha added: “It is so amazing to have it for women. We have been watching it in the past and been so jealous of the men to play – as a club – an international-style game between the countries.

“I think it can really improve the level of other countries to compete against teams at a higher level in this style – it’s a really cool thing.”

Her club mate Laura Nunnink added: “The EHL is so professional and so big for hockey. I do hope soon more than two teams from the Netherlands will be allowed!

“It makes it an extra prize to play for this season; not just going for the playoffs but going for that place in the EHL.”

Pirmin Blaak, Oranje-Rood men’s goalkeeper, said it is an important step, adding that having joint male and female competitions has been a big asset to the Hoofdklasse and at the European Championships.

“I think its great to see the EHL Women competition. It’s good to be equal; the EHL and the Hockey India League was in the past only for men’s teams so this is a good signal and I am looking forward to it.

“It really adds to the atmosphere. Playing every Sunday with the women’s and men’s games together and formalising it more in the EHL in this format, it will bring more spectators from other countries. That combination will be really interesting.”

Pictured: Marlena Rybacha and Laura Nunnink, Oranje-Rood

Leading hockey stars added their voice over the weekend with several video message on Twitter and Instagram.

 

Here’s a flavour of what they said: