Looking forward to making it even better in 2011
German Eisbären Berlin won the Eurpean Trophy, defeating Swedish HV 71 in the final. But Eisbären were not the only winners of the inaugural edition of the tournament. ”In my mind, all the 18 participating clubs were winners” says tournament director Bo ”Kulon” Lennartsson as he tries to collect his thoughts after four weeks of intense hockey.
”Our ambition was to create a tournament which was attractive to players and fans with high quality matches early in the season, even before the national leagues had begun and I feel we achieved that” says ”Kulon”. ”There were some very well played hockeygames as early as in August with the play-off during the Red Bull Salute in Salzburg proving to be the icing on the cake.”
The eight teams that had qualified for the Salute produced some top-class hockey and gave the fans a taste of things to come when the national leagues start. The two divisional winners, Eisbären Berlin and HV 71, also proved to be the two strongest teams in the Salute with the Germans having that little extra edge, defeating the Swedes 5-3.
”The organizers in Salzburg made an excellent job with everything connected to the Salute and really produced a genuine hockeyparty” says Bo ”Kulon” Lennartsson. The both German clubs taking part in the European Trophy also made a big party of their respective homegames when they opened up their huge arenas, o2 World in Berlin and SAP Arena in Mannheim, when staging their games. Their home crowds were the biggest of the tournament with Adler Mannheim averaging an impressive 5 904 spectators in their four homegames, with the recordcrowd of 10 157 looking on as the Mannheimplayers won 3-0 against Djurgården. Eisbären Berlin were not far behind, averaging 4 766. In total more than 125 000 suporters found their way to the arenas to see the games in the divisional play. ”That is a great figure, bearing in mind that we played in August and that a lot of the games were played in small arenas. That is something that we talked about in connection with the Salute when all the 18 teams were gathered in Salzburg to evaluate the tournament. Perhaps we should look to emulate the German teams and play the games in bigger arenas next time around” says ”Kulon”.
The planning for next season is already underway. ”We will make things even better in 2011” promises ”Kulon”.
Bigger as well?
”That is something that all the 18 teams will have to sit down to discuss and than decide unanimously. The future will show how the tournament will develope, but it is very pleasing to hear that there is a huge interest from a lot of topclubs in Europe to be part of the European Trophy” says Bo ”Kulon” Lennartsson. The job with improving and creating an even better tournament in 2011 starts right now. ”Now that the national leagues are on their way, we will have more time to work with developing the European Trophy.”
He is full of praise for the way that the clubs have organized this years European Trophy though, and feels that all the 18 clubs have made the most of the tournament, with very limited resources. ”Together we have managed to create something really good and very interesting with very small means, giving the players and staff a high quality tournament with hard fought, intense and competative games and the fans interesting and well played games as early as in August. The European Trophy provides a perfect way to prepare for the national leagues. ”My ambition and conviction is that we will improve on the European Trophy in years to come and that we will be back with an even better product in August 2011” says Bo”Kulon” Lennartsson.
Per Csongrádi (2010-09-15 09:08:14)
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Three national champions to compete in European Trophy
European Trophy 2013 starts August 6th!