HC Bloemendaal to host Euro Hockey League’s KO16 semifinals

HC Bloemendaal – the oldest hockey club in the Netherlands – has been chosen as the venue for the semifinals of the upcoming Euro Hockey League’s KO16 event, which is scheduled to be held next month.

According to the European Hockey Federation (EHF), the organizers of the event, the semifinals and the final would be a two-day affair – the two semifinals would be held on May 18th, while the third place play-off tie and the final showdown would be held on May 19.

It may be worth recalling that HC Bloemendaal is the home of celebrated Dutch forward Teun de Nooijer, who would be retiring from club hockey commitments at the end of this season, and it is only fitting that the business end of the Euro Hockey League’s KO16 event is held at his hometown Bloemendaal.

The semifinal match would be one last chance for Teun de Nooijer to showcase his skills in front of his home fans.

German club side Rot-Weiss Köln will lock horns with Belgium club side KHC Dragons in the first semifinal, while two Dutch clubs – HC Bloemendaal and Amsterdam H&BC would be pitted against each other in the other semifinal.

The rules of the Euro Hockey League’s KO16 event are pretty interesting.

The tournament clearly stipulates that if two club teams from the same country make it to the semifinals, then both clubs must face each other in the last four stage.

Clearly, the move is a good one, aimed at avoiding two club teams from the same country squaring up in the final clash.

The European Hockey Federation (EHF) needs to be lauded for this having this rule in place.

The Euro Hockey League’s recent KO16 event has been a novelty in many ways. Match officials took to the field wearing specially fitted high definition cameras for the first time, which provided television viewers an “umpire’s view” of the action as well as the conversations taking place between the officials and the players.

Earlier in the quarterfinals played at the Wagener Stadium Amsterdam, HC Bloemendaal, who have other international players like world’s best goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann, talented international fullback Wouter Jolie, midfielder Tim Jenniskens besides the Australian trio of defenders – Chris Ciriello, Mathew Swann and Fergus Kavanagh in their ranks, humbled English club side Beeston 4-1.

Amsterdam H&BC, which have the likes of Dutch international Floris Evers, Billy Bakker and legendary drag-flicker Taeke Taekema, edged out German club side Berliner 3-2 in a needle contest.

In the other quarterfinals, Rot-Weiss Köln pulled off a solitary extra time goal win over Uhlenhorst Mülheim, while KHC Dragons crushed Reading HC 5-1.

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