10th July 2018: The EuroHockey U18 Championships gets underway in 5 days’ time (15th July) as teams from Spain (girls and boys), England (girls and boys) , Germany (girls and boys) , France (girls and boys), Belarus (girls), Poland (boys), The Netherlands (girls and boys), Ireland (girls and boys) and Belgium (girls and boys) undertake an amazing week of hockey to take the crown of European Champions!
The EHF is delighted to announce that we will be showcasing the EuroHockey Championships Live on our OTT platform www.eurohockeytv.org with every game on pitch 1 being live-streamed.
It’s shaping up to be a very tight event where the 2 top teams from each pool will go on to the semi-finals and the 2 bottom teams in each pool go into a relegation Pool C. They carry the result of the game that they played in Pool A or Pool B and play 2 more games to determine who will stay in the Championship division and who (teams ranked 7th and 8th) will be relegated to Championship II in 2020.
The preparations for these teams have been ongoing for the past number of months as international exchanges have helped prepare the teams for this intensive week. (15th – 21st July 2018)
Pool A, Boys:
Home side Spain (ranked 5th) faces Germany in their opening game of the EuroHockey Championships at 20.00 on pitch one. (click here for the stream) They will be hoping for a better start than in 2016 when they went down to England 4-1 in Cork.
Speaking with, Alejandro Siri, Spanish Boys U18 Coach he said ” The U18 Championship is one of the biggest hockey events our Region has hosted in the last 6 years. This is the second time we are in Santander, Cantabria and the effort in hosting is from Federación Cántabra de Hockey (Cantabria Hockey Federation). We are very grateful that we celebrate these Championships, Girls and Boys.”
Speaking about his players he said “For our players, having the opportunity to play at home, gives them a step of encouragement and enthusiasm and this will be very good for their performance”
For him personally as a resident in this Region since 1992, coaching the U18 National Team at his “second home” he added, “To be here with my family, friends, club players, supporting us in every match, give sense and honour to my job.”
The English boys showed impressive promise to come away from a series of games at the end of June versus current European Champions, Germany undefeated, winning 2 and drawing one game of the series. Great preparation for both teams as they will face each other later in Santander (Tuesday 17th July).
England’s opener, however, is on day 1 at 15.30 (click here for the stream) v Poland. Poland is one of the two teams that have been promoted from the Championship II in 2016, so they will be looking to get off to a solid start against the higher ranked team.
Pool B, Boys:
The Netherlands and Ireland get Pool B underway on day 1 at 9.45, on pitch 2. The Netherlands are favourites to win this game as they are the finalists from 2016 in Cork.
However, on announcing his team earlier this year Irish Coach Elun Hack said of his players “I believe that we have selected a talented and hard-working group of players and look forward to seeing how they deal with and respond to the challenge of the EuroHockey Championships.
France and Belgium make up the final line-up of the boys’ teams in Santander. Both squads have been busy in the build-up with France playing The Netherlands and Belgium taking on the English boys in Bisham Abbey where they recorded 1 loss and 1 draw.
The format for the girls U18 Championships is the same with 2 pools of 4. Once again preparations have been ongoing with the teams as they prepare for what will be the biggest event of the hockey lives so far!
Pool B, Girls
It is Pool B that kicks off the EuroHockey U18 Championships for the girls with Germany (ranked 2nd) taking on Ireland (ranked 6th), this opening game will be streamed live (and free!) on our OTT platform click here.
Next up, England faces newly promoted Belarus at 12 noon in Santander, this game, on pitch 1 will also be live streamed, click here.
England, who have just completed warm-up games v Belgium, where they lost 2 and won one, however, their Head Coach Sarah Kelleher was not phased “These heavily contested games were ideal as our final pre-Euro preparation games to build further on our strengths and providing some great learnings that will stand to us in the Euros.”
She added “The games continued to set the tone for the level and intensity of play that is needed at the Europeans. The players played fluid and gritty hockey with intensity and learned the importance of keeping this level of focus across all 60 minutes. They showed real character and determination playing to the very end in looking to find a win, knowing that through our efforts we will succeed.”
Pool A, Girls:
Pool A gets underway on 15th July as Belgium (ranked 4th) face newly promoted Belarus, who won the Championship II in 2016. Belgium must fancy their chances in this opening game. This game will take place on pitch 2.
The Belgian girls not only had warm-up games v England but played the current Champions, The Netherlands at the end of June where they were narrowly defeated in both games.
The final girls game of the opening day sees current Champions The Netherlands face hosts Spain at 17.45, watch the stream here.
Demonstrating the strength of club hockey in Europe, it is not a surprise that HC ‘s Hertogenbosch (current EHCC Champions) has 6 representatives on this strong Dutch side. They are going for their 8th title. Indeed, since the event started in 2002 Germany is the other name on this U18 Trophy! Their last win was in 2007.
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