Euro Hockey League comes to the UK

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The Euro Hockey League is coming to the UK for the first time! On 26-28 October, East Grinstead Hockey Club will welcome a host of superstars for Round 1.2 of Europe’s foremost club competition. Hockey magazine caught up with East Grinstead First XI Manager Matt Jones and Player/Coach Mark Pearn to get the lowdown on the unique experience that is an action-packed EHL weekend…

What’s the atmosphere around the club been like in the build up to the EHL?
Matt Jones: Great excitement, really. It’s a fabulous opportunity and an honour for us to be the first English club to host the competition. We want to make sure it goes off with a bang, not just for us but also for English hockey.
Mark Pearn: There’s a lot of excitement. It’s a fantastic event, the players want to play in it, supporters want to watch it and TV wants to show it. The standard is high – it’s all about great players playing for great teams – and hosting it is going to be an amazing experience for the club. It’s the sort of event that if I wasn’t playing in it I’d be going along to watch it all live.

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How is East Grinstead going to put its own stamp on the tournament?
Well, we’ve been involved with the competition since year two, so we’ve been to plenty of these weekends and have a good idea of what works and what we’ve enjoyed at other venues. We hope it’ll be a great event – there’s always a fantastic atmosphere at our games, there’s a real community at the club, and we’ve pulled out all the stops to make sure spectators have plenty of fun and come away saying “They like their hockey in England, don’t they…?”

Hosting such a high-profile event on the back of the Olympics must be pretty exciting?
MP: Most definitely – it’s an enormous compliment to the club. Hopefully we can put in some good performances and put on a good show. Avoiding any new injuries between now and then would be a decent start…

For the full interview, check out the next issue of Hockey, out in October.

To find out more about the Euro Hockey League and to book your tickets click here >>