By The Hockey Paper
Wimbledon will aim to kick start their season in Europe this weekend after another slow start to the domestic campaign.
Beaten by London opposition in their opening two games, Wimbledon head to the Euro Hockey League in Barcelona for two pivotal games in their quest to qualify for the last 16.
Wimbledon, beaten by last season’s winners HC Bloemendaal, will line up with 12 sides at the Pau Negre Stadium aiming for knock out berths.
Wimbledon take on Russian side Dinamo Elektrostal first before a potential firecracker against Mannheimer HC of Germany.
Wimbledon’s Mikey Hoare said: “We have a few new guys join the side and it will be their first experience of EHL but the majority of the team have played at an array of levels of this competition so will be confident in this environment.
“We need to make sure us experienced players step up.”
Spanish side Junior FC will be looking to delight their local fans a year after their 100th birthday.
They are in what looks to be a cracking group with Irish champions Three Rock Rovers and Racing Club de France in Pool D.
Belarus’s HC Minsk will play in their first EHL since the club’s formation just 10 years ago. They line up in Pool C against the most experienced side in the EHL, WKS Grunwald Poznan, who are playing in their 12th successive EHL season.
In Pool A, we have former champions HC Oranje-Rood – winning it as Oranje-Zwart in 2015 – in the mix and they will be the side to beat against Scotland’s Grange and Austria’s SV Arminen.
All games will be streamed on www.eurohockeytv.org
EHL ROUND1 match schedule (Pau Negre Stadium, Barcelona, October 5-7, 2018)
Pool A: HC Oranje-Rood, Grange, SV Arminen
Pool B: Mannheimer HC, Wimbledon, Dinamo Elektrostal
Pool C: Royal Leopold, HC Minsk, WKS Grunwald Poznan
Pool D: Junior FC, Racing Club de France, Three Rock Rovers