Hockey

Europe’s prime groups able to placed on a hockey spectacular

After months of uncertainty round pandemic restrictions and their affect on hockey fixtures, the Wagener Stadium in Amsterdam will as soon as extra be the scene of worldwide hockey motion.

The 2021 EuroHockey Championships, each males’s and ladies’s occasions, will probably be happening from 4-13 June within the iconic stadium, with the highest groups in Europe doing battle for each the continental title and qualification for the 2023 Males’s FIH Hockey World Cup and the 2022 Girls’s FIH Hockey World Cup.

Eight males’s and eight ladies’s groups will probably be competing, with the world primary males’s and ladies’s groups, specifically Belgium males and Netherlands ladies, hoping to repeat their success of 2019.

With the Olympic Video games Tokyo 2020 just some weeks away, most of the competing groups may even see this occasion as an opportunity to see their gamers in motion on a extremely aggressive stage. For a lot of gamers it is a probability to expertise hockey with the heightened environment of noisy followers, tv cameras and the presence of different media – one thing that hasn’t occurred for a lot of months.

Competing within the males’s match, alongside the reigning champions Belgium, are Netherlands (World Rating: 3), Germany (WR: 5), England (WR: 6), Spain (WR: 9), France (WR: 12), Wales (WR: 18), and Russia (WR: 22).

Within the ladies’s competitors, all three 2018 Girls’s World Cup medallists compete in Pool A, Netherlands (WR:1), Eire (WR: 8) and Spain (WR: 7). Scotland (WR: 22) are the fourth member of that group. Pool B sees Germany (WR: 3), England (WR: 4), Belgium (WR: 12) and Italy (WR: 17) lock horns.

Within the males’s competitors, groups that end within the prime 5 will qualify for the 2023 Males’s World Cup in India. For the ladies, Spain and Netherlands robotically qualify as joint hosts for the 2022 Girls’s World Cup, which implies the rest of the groups want to complete within the prime three – or prime 4 or 5 if both host nations end within the prime three.

In Pool A of the lads’s EuroHockey Championships, Belgium, England, Russia and Spain will probably be vying for place, with Shane McLeod’s star-studded Pink Lions anticipated to do nicely towards lower-ranked opposition. On this group of multi-capped gamers, Tom Boon is prone to get his three hundredth cap over the course of the competitors, with Victor Wegnez closing in on his one centesimal.

A lot of Danny Kerry’s England facet had been a part of the Nice Britain facet that beat Spain of their final FIH Hockey Professional League match, and in addition loved a double victory over Germany. Zach Wallace and Liam Ansell each confirmed good kind within the Professional League matches and can hope to proceed to carry out nicely on this massive stage.

Spain has heaps of expertise in its ranks, with goalkeeper Quico Cortes persevering with to impress between the posts and David Alegra, Pau Quemada and Xavi Lleonart all pushing the buttons from midfield. The newer members of the squad are additionally discovering their kind, with Marc Miralles and Jose Basterrra trying very sharp in current matches.

Russia is the bottom ranked group within the competitors however the expertise of gamers similar to Iaroslav Loginov, Nikolay Yankun and Pavel Golubev, mixed with a bodily and uncompromising model of play will make the Russian group a tough one to interrupt down.

The very best ranked group in Pool B is Netherlands, who will relish the possibility to play of their house stadium in entrance of a largely Dutch viewers. Head Coach Max Caldas has named an skilled squad, together with three gamers with greater than 200 caps apiece – Jeroen Hertzberger, captain Billy Bakker and Robbert Kemperman. Additionally within the ranks are the thrilling newer abilities of Jip Jannsen and Jorrit Croon.

It is a extremely aggressive pool nonetheless, as Germany is a facet that may be very a lot on kind. The earlier assembly between the 2 sides noticed Germany beat Max Caldas’ Netherlands 4-2 and 3-1. Head Coach Kais Al Saadi is continuous his coverage of blending expertise with youth by deciding on 4 21 12 months olds – Linus Müller, Justus Weigand, Teo Hinrichs and goalkeeper Alex Stadler – with fewer than 30 caps between them, alongside gamers similar to captain Tobias Hauke and defender Martin Häner, who’ve a mixed cap depend of greater than 570.

Each France and Wales are group able to inflicting an upset. France are big-stage performers, as they demonstrated once they beat Argentina within the 2018 Males’s World Cup in Bhubaneswar. Victor Charlet will present a wealth of expertise as he leads the group and he will probably be ably supported by seasoned campaigners similar to Simon Martin Brisac, Jean-Baptiste Forgues and Viktor Lockwood.

Jacob Draper will present a lot of the artistic aptitude for Wales, whereas Lewis Prosser and Rupert Shipperley are each gamers who can flip alternatives to targets.

Whereas Belgium and the Netherlands could be the sides to beat, it’s tough to put in writing off any of the groups contesting the highest spots.

Within the ladies’s competitors it’s tough to look previous the host nation. Alyson Annan’s group has solely been crushed a handful of instances for the reason that Head Coach took cost in 2015. For this competitors, Netherlands are prone to be with out their vastly gifted playmaker Lidewij Welten, who’s recovering from harm. The in all probability return of Eva de Goede following harm and the presence within the squad of confirmed winners similar to Margot van Geffen, Caia van Maasakker,  Xan de Waard is sufficient to strike dread into the hearts of their opponents. Annan has additionally included seven gamers with fewer than 10 caps apiece, together with Stella van Gils, Marente Barentsen and Rosa Fernig, who might all make their debut.

The final time Eire performed the Netherlands in a prime tier competitors it was the ultimate of the 2018 Girls’s Hockey World Cup in London. On that event the Inexperienced Military misplaced 6-0 however gained silver within the competitors. This time, Sean Dancer’s group are going through the Netherlands within the opening match of the EuroHockey Championships and Eire’s Roisin Upton is set the group has learnt from the World Cup expertise.

“We would have gone into that last a little bit bit naive,” she mentioned, including, “Arising towards the Dutch, you must be practical – you possibly can’t be conceding targets within the first half as flippantly as we did, taking as many dangers going ahead.”

For Spain, it is a probability to indicate that they’re a facet that continues to develop below the long-term stewardship of Head Coach Adrian Lock. Spain gained bronze within the equal match in 2019 and they are going to be seeking to equal or higher this end in Amsterdam. The Pink Sticks is a facet filled with expertise: Georgina Oliva, Berta Bonastre, Lola Reira, Carlota Petchame – it is a group oozing with expertise, expertise and – as the newest World Cup and EuroHockey Championships have confirmed – loads of ambition.

Scotland could be the lowest ranked group within the match however they will at all times be relied upon to punch above their weight. Head Coach Jen Wilson is an skilled campaigner following an extended profession as a South African worldwide. The drive inside the Scottish group is prone to come from the gifted midfielders Sarah Robertson and Charlotte Watson, with captain Becky Ward and Amy Costello retaining it regular in defence.

There will probably be some intriguing match-ups in Pool B. Belgium had been silver medallists on the 2017 version of this competitors, whereas England gained the occasion in 2015. Germany had been runners-up in 2019 and haven’t been out of the medal positions since 1987. The fourth facet, Italy, have by no means featured within the medals however are a group continually in search of to trigger an upset.

For Belgium, this era may be very a lot a time for rebuilding. They proved they had been on an upwards trajectory with two complete victories over USA within the FIH Hockey Professional League. They’re often called a bodily, powerful facet who like to counterattack. Gamers similar to Barbara Nelen and Alix Gerniers lead by instance and, in Ambre Ballenghien the Pink Panthers have an actual match winner.

Eight members of the England squad performed within the group’s 2015 gold medal-winning squad. On the identical time, Head Coach Mark Hager can also be bringing in recent faces with Esme Burge, Lizzie Neal and Fiona Crackles making their England debuts.

Germany will probably be fielding a facet that’s filled with expertise – Nike Lorenz, Anna Schröder, Charlotte Stapenhorst, Lisa Altenburg and Franziska Hauke, all have greater than 100 caps. Nonetheless, a shock omission is that of Janne Müller-Wieland, who has been a mainstay of the group since 2008.

The fourth group to line up in Pool B is Italy. Led by the Chiara Tiddi, who’s the center of the Italian defence, the Italian group has plenty of gamers making their debut at this stage of competitors. Head Coach Roberto Carta will probably be searching for his facet to play with the identical fearlessness they confirmed on the 2018 World Cup, once they defeated larger ranked groups by a mix of sturdy defending and chronic attacking. The Italian ahead line is led once more by Ivanna Pessina and Lara Oviedo.

The 2021 EuroHockey Championships get underway in Amstelveen on 4 June when Germany meets Wales, adopted by Netherlands towards France within the males’s competitors. The opening ladies match will see Netherlands face Eire, adopted by Spain towards Scotland.

Please visit the Euro Hockey Web site to know the place you possibly can watch the video games.

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