23 Aug. 2019
The 2019/20 edition of the SEHA – GAZPROM League, one of Europe’s top international club competitions, is just days away from throw off, with the first matches to be played on September 2. In what is the ninth season of the league created for south-eastern European clubs, the competition will feature a Chinese club for the first time: Beijing Sport University.
Alongside the new entrant from Asia, the 2019/20 SEHA – GAZPROM League will feature clubs from eight other nations. Croatia, North Macedonia and Serbia are each represented by two teams: HC Nexe, HC PPD Zagreb (both CRO), HC Eurofarm Rabotnik, HC Vardar (MKD), HC Metaloplastika and HC Vojvodina (SRB).
Record domestic champions and two-time SEHA League winners HC Telekom Veszprem will represent Hungary. Alongside five-time SEHA champions and current title holders Vardar, Zagreb are the only other side to have raised the trophy, in 2013.
The other participants this season are HC Meshkov Brest from Belarus, HC Motor Zaporozhye from Ukraine, HC Spartak from Russia and HC Tatran Presov from Slovakia.
The 12 teams are divided into two groups for the regular season, which will begin on September 2 and run through into December. Group A features defending champions Vardar along with Nexe, Presov, Vojvodina, Motor and Beijing. In Group B, Zagreb, Meshkov, Rabotnik, Metaloplastika, Veszprem and Moscow will vie for the places in the next stage.
From the preliminary round, the two top-ranked teams in each group will progress directly to the quarter-finals. The clubs ranked third to sixth will play off for quarter-final places. The quarter-finals will take place in March, with the winners qualifying for the Final 4, which will feature the semi-finals and finals played over one weekend.
More information on the SEHA – GAZPROM League can be found on the official website.
Photo: Nebojsa Tejic/kolektiffimages