Group Play for the EHF Cup starts this weekend with 4 teams broken up into 4 groups. Normally, I don’t pay much attention to the EHF Cup as there are only so many hours in a day and it is the second fiddle to the more prestigious EHF Champions League. Unless you have a “dog in the fight” watching the EHF Cup is a bit like watching the NIT instead of the NCAA Tournament.
However, this season, I, and other USA Team Handball fans, indeed, have a dog in the fight with Drew Donlin, playing for Ademar Leon, 1 of the 16 clubs fighting for the title. Leon is in Group C and will be battling German club, Madgeburg, French club, Nantes, and Slovenia club, Velenje for a spot in the quarterfinals. 1st place guarantees advancement and placing 2nd also may advance depending on the ranking of the 2nd place teams in the the 4 groups.
This should be a very interesting competition and on paper I would assess that Nantes (2nd in the French League and Magdeburg (5th in the German Bundesliga) are the two favorites with Leon and Velenje the outsiders. But, the competition is a double round robin and won’t be played on paper.
Even better news is that every match will be available on ehfTV and unlike the EHF Champions League there is no pesky geoblock in the way of enjoying the matches. (There are ways around geoblocks, but it’s nice not to have deal with that. How to watch the EHF CL: Link)
Here’s Leon’s schedule in Group C (All times CET / US ET (+6)
Sunday, 9 Feb 1700 @ Nantes Livestream
Wednesday 12 Feb 2000 vs Magdeburg Livestream
Saturday, 22 Feb, 1930 vs Velenje Livestream
Saturday, 29 Feb, 1700 @ Velenje Livestream
Saturday, 21 Mar, 2000 vs Nantes Livestream
Sunday, 29 Mar, 1700 @ Magdeburg Livestream
(Bookmark this page for future reference: I will update this page with On Demand streams when they become available)
It’s not clear how much game time, Donlin will be seeing in these matches. Of late he’s been seeing a few minutes of action as a defender in each half. However, as we discussed in this podcast, coach Cadenas has told him that his size might be needed against bigger teams like Nantes and Madgeburg.