UK Times listed below – add one hour for local time)
|Uhlenhorst Mülheim||vs||Rot Weiss Köln||MAR 31 11:00 (UK)|
|Reading HC||vs||KHC Dragons||MAR 31 13:30 (UK)|
|Beeston HC||vs||Bloemendaal||APR 01 11:00 (UK)|
|Amsterdam||vs||Berliner HC||APR 01 13:30 (UK)|
[img_assist|nid=3469|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=100|height=66]Group A – must be billed as the battle of the drag flickers in both matches.
In the all German clash it is Strawlowski against Zeller – both deadly from set pieces. Koln perhaps have a touch more experience but essentially nearly all of the German Olympic squad are on show.
The second match is England’s Reading against KHC Dragons of Belgium. Reading beating Rotterdam is the best match of day 1. Richard Mantell still showing how important he is to Reading’s success. The Belgians have Loic Luypeart who seemingly scores corners at will high not the net.
Both games should be real fire crackers! By difficult to call who will come out on top.
Group B – Beeston will play Blomendaal in the first quarter final in Group B. it has to be said that Blomendaal look in fantastic form: breaking at speed and passing the ball with great precision. Against Campo they almost ended up scoring at will. It would be fitting to see Teun de Noijer’s side make the final four in what is to be his last season of hockey. I think that Blomendaal may be a step too far for Beeston
Hosts Amsterdam will face Berliner HC in the quarter finals. They have home advantage and are playing extremely well. They are patient, look to maintain possession and build attacks. Sublime skills on show from Billy Bakkar, the ever dependable Klaas Vermeulen. That is not to mention the deadly Taeke Takema.
Berliner are perhaps the dark horses of the competition. They grew in confidence and ability as the match went on. Former East Grinstead player Martin Haner is the player to watch at the back – great in defence and deadly from attacking corners.
Both Dutch sides look very strong indeed – comfortable on possession and creating numerous chances. I can see both Blomendaal and Amsterdam making it through to the semi finals!
Another fabulous set of mouth watering quarter finals await us.