The first round of the EY Hockey League (EYHL) gets underway this weekend on the 26th of September.
After a sudden end to last year’s league due to COVID-19 causing the 2019/20 season to be declared null and void, the all-island EYHL will see Ireland’s top ten male and top ten female clubs battle it out to become league champions over 18 weeks of exciting, fast-paced hockey.
The Women’s EYHL2 will also commence this weekend, with the Men’s EYHL2 preparing to take to the pitch on the 10th of October, with each of the EYHL2 teams vying for promotion to the EYHL for the following season.
The 2020/21 season will see an additional three teams added to the Men’s EYHL2 for this season only; one team from each of the three Provincial Branches that compete in the Men’s EYHL2: Munster, Leinster, and Ulster.
The EYHL and EYHL2 showcase some of Ireland’s top players and is seen as an integral part of Hockey Ireland’s athlete development, the EYHL provides an opportunity to further develop high performance players for the challenge of international hockey.
The winners of both the Men’s and Women’s EYHL will earn themselves a spot in the Euro Hockey Club Trophy. The top four teams in the EYHL will battle it out to win the EY Champions Trophy over an exciting weekend to close off the league season.
The winners of the EY Champions Trophy will claim the much coveted prize of a place in the Euro Hockey League for the following season.
Frank O’Keeffe, Managing Partner for EY Ireland, said: “We are proud to continue our support all of the amazing men and women in this incredible sport, and we look forward to celebrating their continued success this year in both the EYHL and EYHL2. The great contribution that hockey makes to our lives became even more apparent this year. We all felt the acute loss of our favourite sport at the height of the pandemic, but it is fantastic to see that spirits remain high as we embark on a new season and we are all very excited at what this year’s league will bring.”
Graham Reid, Partner, Head of Markets, EY Ireland, commented: “The all-island sport provides men and women the opportunity to build high performance teams, and develop and enhance their skills, as they compete at such a high level throughout the year. When it comes to leadership, dedication and developing winning strategies, there is a great deal to learn from such high calibre athletes.”
Jerome Pels, CEO of Hockey Ireland, said “It is fantastic to see the return of the EYHL and EYHL2 after the unfortunate sudden end to last season. Hockey Ireland is really looking forward to some top-class matches taking place again weekly all around the island. The EYHL and EYHL2 are the pinnacle of the domestic hockey scene here in Ireland and we’re very grateful to have the continued support of EY throughout the season.
EY’s support is invaluable to us in assisting with the organization and promotion of the EY Hockey League, its high quality of matches, and ensuring clubs across the island are able to compete at the highest levels.”