l KELBURNE will have to do it the hard way as they look to make their mark in Europe this season.
The Paisley club were handed a mouth-watering draw against German and Austrian opposition in the opening round of the Euro Hockey League.
But the fixtures drawn up by the competition organisers mean the Whitehaugh club face having to play two games inside little more than 24 hours.
Austrian cracks AHTC Wein, meanwhile, will be able to squeeze in a day’s rest between their two Group H games, which are being played at East Grinstead, in England.
’Burne will kick-off the schedule with a match against German champions Rott Weiss Koln when they meet on Friday, October 26, at 9.30am.
The next day, Kelburne will take on AHTC Wein, with the same push-back time.
Last night, club Kelburne chief Duncan McInnes admitted the back-to-back schedule was not the one they wanted.
He said: “The EHL schedule has been announced and we have drawn the short straw with the opening match on the Friday and another the next day, on the Saturday.”
Kelburne earned the chance to take on some of Europe’s elite clubs after blazing a trail of success in France earlier this year.
They shot their way to the final of the European Club Champions Trophy, the Continent’s second most prestigious club tournament, in Lille.
And, although they were outgunned in the final by the hosts, they secured a place in this season’s European Hockey League, the sport’s version of football’s Champions League.
Coach Mark Ralph said: “We have now qualified for the EHL and that is really important for the club. We are back in among the big guns and that will be a really good test for the club.”
The matches in Pools A, C, E and F take place in Barcelona, while East Grinstead covers the competition in Pools B, D, G and H.
Meanwhile, club bosses hope to make the most out of interest sparked in hockey following the Olympics by hosting a try out session tomorrow.
Club bosses have invited eager youngsters and complete novices to head along to Bellahouston Sports Centre in Glasgow – where the club plays its home games – from 10am till noon.