The draw for the women’s Champions League Qualification Round has been made in Podgorica, site of the men’s U19 European Water Polo Championships. From this season, new playing formats apply in the women’s competitions, offering more matches for the participating teams.
The women’s top club event, running under the name of Champions League from this season, will kick off mid-November with the qualification round. The draw was conducted today in Podgorica and there will be a handful of great games right away, including the re-match of last season’s LEN Trophy final between Ethnikos (GRE) and Dunaujvaros (HUN).
With three Spanish, Hungarian and Greek teams in the mix, plus two Italians and Dutch sides, the opening round shall already be packed with action. The top three sides shall advance to the Preliminary Round where Olympiacos (GRE), Sabadell (ESP), UVSE (HUN) and Orizzonte (ITA) will join the field to play for the quarter-final berths.
However, together with the names of the competitions, the playing formats also change and will be similar to the men’s events. The eight teams not making the cut in this round, will continue in the women’s Euro Cup, together with the other eight teams falling short later in the Champions League prelims. Then the second-tier cup will run like the men’s version, after the prelims with four groups four, the quarter-finals, semis and finals are to be played on a home-and-away basis (no Final Four in the Euro Cup). As another major difference, the four losing quarter-finalists in the Champions League will not play on (unlike until this year), their journey will end there.
Women’s Champions League, Qualification Round, 17-20 November
Group A (Pacos de Ferreira, POR)
CN Mataro (ESP), Olympic Nice (FRA), Vouliagmeni NC (GRE), Pacence (POR), ZVL 1886 (NED)
Group B (Glyfada, GRE)
NC Glyfada (GRE), ZV De Zaan (NED), CN Terrassa (ESP), Grand Nancy (FRA), Tigre Eger (HUN)
Group C (Lille, FRA)
Plebiscito Padova (ITA), UA Lille (FRA), Sirens ASC Malta (MLT), FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN), CE Mediterrani Barcelona (ESP)
Group D (Rome, ITA)
Dunaujvarosi Foiskola (HUN), Spandau 04 Berlin (GER), SIS Roma (ITA), Ethnikos Piraeus (GRE), Mulhouse WP (FRA)