A deep analysis of the Spanish Men's field hockey competition by the Spanish reporter, Jordi Pi Lletí

6 minutes
A deep analysis of the Spanish Men's field hockey competition by the Spanish reporter, Jordi Pi Lletí


Let's talk about transfers First. 
1. Which team came the strongest out of the summer transfer window and why?

I think it was Real Club de Polo. The current title holders were the strongest side last year, and despite losing some key players such as Max Plenneveaux or Nano Ortiz, they could get two of the best Spanish players: Roc Oliva and Xavi Lleonart.
Xavi is returning to RC Polo after playing one year abroad (and winning EHL with Bloemendaal!), while Roc, one of the best players in the competition, is moving from Atlètic Terrassa to Barcelona to consolidate Carlos García Cuenca's side.
RC Polo are always top favorites to every national title in Spain, and this year they are also main candidates for both league and cup... Let's see their performance, not only in Spain, but also in Eindhoven next Easter!

2. Which teams have experienced the biggest loss (outgoing transfers)? Who would that be?

Atlètic Terrassa. They have lost not only their main coach, former Spanish national team coach Dani Martín, who retired after last season, but their two main key players: Roc Oliva to RC Polo and Marc Sallés to Club de Campo. They are both players raised at the yellow club, and have been essential in the last titles of the team, including 2016-17 league, with an outstanding Final Four. Their presence in midfield and attack, and their high penalty corner transformation ratio, will surely be missed! Also, Marc Torrente who has been an important player in the last decade has retired, while young Spanish international defender Ignasi Torras has moved to Belgium. Young forward Arnau de Bruijn has transferred to FC Barcelona.

But Atlètic has suffered lots of losses in the past few years, and they have always overcome them. I'm sure new coach Xero Gasol (former Vallès, Atlètic's second team, coach) will be able to take the maximum from the remaining players and all the youngsters Atlètic are always producing.

3. What are the top 3 most exciting transfers to follow up to?

Josep Romeu: He has returned to Club Egara this year from Leuven, he is an excellent and very secure defender with one of the best PC in the country; Marc Sallés in Club de Campo, after a tough year missing important matches due to injuries, this midfielder has started the season at full performance getting all the responsibility at Club de Campo's midfield, and Xavi Lleonart, one of the most dangerous forwards of Spanish hockey in the last five years, is now back home with the experience, knowledge and responsibility he got in The Netherlands... and surely with hunger for goal this World Cup season!

Let's talk individual talent.

1. Which players will we need to watch out for? Which players will amaze the crowds? 

David Alegre (RC Polo), Marc Boltó (Atlètic Terrassa), Quique González de Castejón (Club de Campo)

2. Who do you think is the biggest U21 talent of the league?

I think Marc Perellón (Junior) would have had a great season, but unfortunately he recently got injured in his knee and will miss most of it. Also, keep an eye on Jan Vall, from Vallès (Atlètic Terrassa's second team), who I'm sure in the near future will be one of the best players of Spanish hockey!

3. Who will become the best goalscorer of the league?

Pau Quemada and Xavi Lleonart, both with great ability to score field goals and from penalty corner!

It's not all about individuals. Which teams will stand out, which one will be stronger than expected, etc..

1. Which teams will battle for play offs?

RC Polo, Junior, Club de Campo, Club Egara and Atlètic will fight for the Final Four positions!

2. Which team will be champion?

I think this year RC Polo are main candidates, but any of the other four teams can upset them. After last year's dramatic final going to the shootouts, I'd like to see Junior getting their first League trophy!

3. Which will turn out to be the unexpected surprise of the league?

I think CD Terrassa will be the next team after the big five. They have a pretty young team, but with plenty of talent.

4. Which teams will struggle for survival?

Línia 22, who are playing their first year at Spain's top division with a very new team, alongside with FC Barcelona and Jolaseta.

Do you want to share anything else about the Belgium men's competition?

Unfortunately, the regular season in Spain is not very important, as it is all decided in one weekend of Final Four. Also, it's the first year with the Pro League, and the World Cup... let's see how teams and coaches manage this year's crazy calendar!

Which country will become World Champion in December 2018?

The Netherlands