Hockey: Plan Ahead

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EUROPEAN hockey's finest will be in Britain next month when Birmingham stages the European Cup-Winners' Cup for clubs over the Easter weekend.

From 9 to 12 April the top seven national cup winners in Europe, plus the holders, will compete in the A Division of this competition at the University of Birmingham and Britain has a strong representation. Hounslow finished runners-up in 1992 to HGC, of the Netherlands, in the men's section and this year the clubs are in opposing pools.

Bloemendaal, the Dutch national cup winners, Germany's Rot Weiss Cologne, Atletic Terrassa from Spain, Fili Moscow, Royal Boudoin from Belgium and, from Dundee, Torbrex Wanderers, complete the opposition.

First Personnel Sutton Coldfield, automatically qualifying as champions, and the English national cup winners, Hightown, join Swansea in the women's competition. It could be a memorable year for Sutton Coldfield. This is their third competition and before a local crowd could repeat last year's victory.

However, HGC's women and Germany's Bayer Leverkusen will provide formidable opposition for the domestic clubs. Spartak Moscow, CF Junior, from Madrid, and Austria's Vienna Neudorf complete the group.

Eight games will be played each day on two artificial pitches, starting at 10am. The finals are on Monday.

European Cup-Winners' Cup, men and women, 9-12 April, University of Birmingham, Bristol Road, Edgbaston.

Admission: Good Friday to easter Sunday: pounds 3 adults, children under-16/Oaps pounds 1.50; Easter Monday pounds 5, pounds 2.50. Reduction for 10 or more tickets. Four-day rover pounds 10 adults, pounds 5 under-16s. European Cup-Winners' Cup Office, Munrow Sports Centre, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT. (Tel: 021-414 4117).

Accommodation enquiries to Conference Support Limited, 29 Chester Road, Birmingham B36 9DA (Tel: 021-776 7799).

Draw: Friday: Men Pool A: Bloemendaal (Neth) v Rot Weiss Cologne (Ger) (12.0); HGC (Neth) v Fili Moscow (Rus) (3.0). Pool B: Hounslow v Torbrex Wanderers (Sco) (4.0); Royal Boudoin (Bel) v Atletic Terrassa (Sp) (5.0). Women Pool A: Hightown v Bayer Leverkusen (Ger) (10.0); Sutton Coldfield v Swansea (2.0). Pool B: Spartax Moscow (Rus) v CF Junior (Sp) (11.0); HGC (Neth) v Vienna Neudorf (Aut) (1.0).

Saturday: Men Pool A: Bloemendaal v Fili (11.0); HGC v Rot Weiss (12.0). Pool B: Royal Boudoin v Torbrex; Hounslow v Terrassa (2.0). Women Pool A: Hightown v Swansea (3.0); Sutton Coldfield v Bayer Leverkusen (4.0). Pool B: HGC v CF Junior (10.0); Spartak v Vienna Neudorf (5.0).

Sunday: Men Pool A: Rot Weiss v Fili (11.0); HGC v Bloemendaal (4.0). Pool B: Hounslow v Royal Boudoin (10.0); Terressa v Torbrex (3.0). Women Pool A: Bayer Leverkusen v Swansea (12.0); Sutton Coldfield v Hightown (2.0). Pool B: CF Junior v Vienna Neudorf (1.0); HGC v Spartak (5.0).

Monday: Lower place play-offs (9.0 and 11.0). Women's final (1.0); men's final (3.0).

Details of forthcoming events with information on tickets and venues should be sent to The Sports Desk, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB or faxed to 071-956 1894.