Caption: The poster of the ECL24 Berlin Qualification Stage

EGCA – Champions League Season 2024 continues this upcoming weekend in the German capital, Berlin, where a qualification stage will be held between 22nd – 24th March featuring ten teams from eight different countries. The teams aim to secure a spot among the top three, thus gaining entry to the Final Stage held in Blankenberge, Belgium from June 27th to July 1st. There are following clubs already qualified to the Final Stage: Noordzee (BEL, organizer), Saltinis (LTU, reigning champion), RGC Hansa (GER, 1st at Krakow Qualifier), Old Power (FIN, 2nd at the Krakow Qualifier), Ha. Vi. 2 Bruxelles (BEL, 3rd at the Krakow Qualifier).

Füchse Sport Park serves as the main venue for the Berlin Qualification Stage (address: Kopenhagener Str. 33, 13407 Berlin). All 27 matches over the weekend will be available for live streaming with English commentary on the GoalballTV YouTube channel.

Below you’ll find brief introductions to all the teams participating in the tournament. You can find the team line-ups as well as all the results and statistics from the tournament on the official event website.

Please follow also EGCA Facebook to get more information about the tournament during upcoming weekend.


FÜCHSE BERLIN (Berlin, Germany)

  • Füchse Berlin is participating for the first time and also hosting the Champions League tournament for the first time in its home city Berlin;
  • The still very young club faced some growing pains last year when it had to skip the whole Goalball I Bundesliga season which is why the team will be playing in the Goalball II Bundesliga this year;
  • However the team is not merely on a learning journey in its first Champions League tournament as the roster boasts a couple of world-class players; the club’s leader Michael Dennis who has won several major Championship medals with the German national team along with the rising star of the USA national team Christian King ensure that the team has a lot of firepower. Qendresa Maliqi is one of three female athletes at the Berlin Stage together with Rebekah Krebs (Hammarby IF Goalball) and Femke van den Born (USV Hercules).

AARHUS GOALBALL (Aarhus, Denmark)

  • The reigning Danis champion Aarhus Goalball has taken part the Champions league during last two season but has not yet managed to break through to the Final Stage;
  • The team lineup includes some of the strongest Danish players at the moment, such as prolific goal-scorer Gustav Koch Rasmussen but also a lot of young potential from Sigurd Lund and Silas Friis-Hansen.
  • This team practices together a lot so it can be expected to deliver really balanced performances that on their best days can carry them all the way to the Final Stage.

HAMMARBY IF GOALBALL (Stockholm, Sweden)

  • Hammarby Goalball is one of the most traditional Swedish goalball clubs, which made a strong comeback to the goalball scene last year by winning the Swedish championships and also participating in the EGCA – Youth Championships 2023 tournament.
  • Although the team’s lineup includes several young players who participated in the youth championships held in Stockholm and this is the first time for the club in the Champions League there are also a few more experienced players like Piotr Lawniczak and Magnus Mozart in the team’s roster who have experience from the Champions League from years ago.
  • Hammarby Goalball is an intriguing mix of youthful enthusiasm and strength brought by experience, so the team is poised to surprise, but can it pave its way to the knockout stages from its group?

GC Perun (Prague, Czech Republic)

  • For the past few years GC Perun has been carrying the flag of the Czech Republic high in the Champions League. Although the team didn’t perform at its best in last season’s qualification tournament held in Finland, this year the situation could be different.
  • GC Perun has a prestigious history in the Champions League as the team celebrated silver at the end of the 2018-2019 season and also impressively finished fourth in the 2021 season.
  • When we look at the roster of GC Perun we can’t overlook one of the best European goalball players of the last decade, Jan Bosek, whose imposing presence of over two meters will surely bring strength to the relatively inexperienced team and also pose a significant threat to Perun’s opponents.

SSG BLISTA MARBURG (Marburg, Germany)

  • SSG Blista Marburg is a new acquaintance for those following the Champions League tournaments, an this is indeed the club’s debut in EGCA competitions. The club was founded as early as 1970 and it is a multisport club for the blind and visually impaired with over 100 members.
  • Although the team is making its international debut just now, domestically, the club has been quite successful, as SSG Blista Marburg has won the German championship 11 times, as well as the German Cup and the Youth Championships four times each.
  • As we review Marburg’s roster, one familiar name stands out for those who followed last year’s Vilnius final Stage: German national team player Daniel Arendar. He performed exceptionally well last summer with Chemnitzer BC, filling in for Felix Rogge and contributing to winning the bronze medal. Another name worth noting is Nils Emig, as he has been one of the top scorers in the Goalball Bundesliga over the past couple of years. Marburg is coached by the German men’s national team head coach Stefan Weil.


GC NIKSIC (Niksic, Montenegro)

  • From Montenegro, a country with just over 600,000 inhabitants, emerges a determined team that ranks among the top favorites at the Berlin Qualification Stage. GC Niksic has been a participant at the Champions League Final Stage for the past two seasons and this is also the team’s minimum goal for this season.
  • GC Niksic made its debut in the Champions League in the 2022 season, during which it also hosted one qualification tournament in its hometown. The debut season concluded with a remarkable performance at the Rostock Final Stage, propelling the team finally to secure the silver medal. Last season the team faced some challenges due to various key player health issues but still managed to qualify at the Vilnius Final Stage.
  • The team roster features a pair of brothers whose names have been on the lips of goalball followers for the past few years; Marko and Nikola Nikolic are among the absolute top players in Europe. It’s also fantastic to see the return of Matej Ledinek, a Slovenian goalball legend to the Champions League after a five-year hiatus.

NORTHERN ALLSTARS (Newcastle, England)

  • May we introduce the reigning champion of the Goalball UK Super League and the runner-up in the Goalfix Cup 2023, Northern Allstars who are making their debut in the Champions League at the Berlin Qualification Stage.
  • Over the past few years Northern Allstars has been a strong competitor nationally against the familiar Fen Tigers from the Champions League and indeed last season the team achieved the long-awaited champion title. Currently the team shares the top spot in the Super League with the London Elephants.
  • In the lineup of the Northern Allstars there are two long-standing members of the Great Britain national team; the highly balanced center player Matthew Loftus and the extremely skilled attacker Calep Nanevie. If the team manages to find a third balanced player alongside these gentlemen, who knows, perhaps the team will succeed in making their way to the playoffs.

CSAVH LYON (Lyon, France)

  • CSAVH Lyon is the reigning French champion, and this is their fourth consecutive season participating in the Champions League. The club is still hunting for its first qualification at the Champions League Final Stage.
  • Last season CSAVH Lyon came very close to securing a spot at the Final Stage when they hosted the qualification stage in their hometown. Unfortunately the team had to settle for fourth place in the tournament thus missing out at the Vilnius Final Stage. This surely leaves the team hungry for success at the Berlin qualifying tournament.
  • As we have a look to the lineup of CSAVH Lyon, several French national team players stand out, such as Nabil Baich and Kada Boualia, but it’s also delighting to see that Felix Vargas, a key player for the Spanish national team is once again in Lyon’s roster, surely boosting the team’s firepower.

USV HERCULES (Utrecht, Netherlands)

  • USV Hercules is a major multi-sport club from Utrecht, Netherlands, making its debut in the Champions League at the Berlin Qualification Stage. The club has already been seen in European Grand Prix tournaments, even as the host last year. Additionally the club had its own team in the EGCA Youth Championships in Stockholm last November.
  • USV Hercules is the reigning champion of the Dutch Goalball League and it has been the biggest powerhouses in the club goalball in Netherlands together with GV Waalwijk that represented Netherlands last year in the Champions League at the Lyon Qualification Stage. USV Hercules has manyt teams in the Dutch Goalball Leagues at the moment.
  • Looking at Hercules’ lineup, we notice that the team indeed possesses quite a bit of attacking prowess; Corne Speksnijder excelled as the top scorer of the inaugural European Grand Prix tournament in Rostock in the spring of 2021 and the young talent Sem de Jong has also been scoring goals impressively in European Grand Prix tournaments as well as in the Youth Championships. A big question mark hovering over Hercules is whether the team can maintain a sufficiently tight defensive game, as its experience against tough international opponents is quite limited

CHEMNITZER BC (Chemnitz, Germany)

  • Chemnitzer BC has been one of the most impressive clubs in the Champions League over the past two seasons, and as a reward the team has celebrated winning the bronze medal at the end of both seasons.
  • If the team has celebrated on the international stage, it experienced a real shock in the domestic league when it lost by just one goal margin the Champion title to another major German goalball club RGC Hansa. Now however, the team’s focus is undoubtedly on the Berlin Qualification Stage from which the team is eager to advance to the summer Final Stage in Belgium.
  • Oliver Hörauf has been unstopable in the Champions League during last two seasons; during season 2022 he made one season record, incredible 107 goals and also last season he was totally on fire especially at the Final Stage in Vilnius. Felix Rogge has been a reliable support for Hörauf on the court and with the team’s center player Rouven Schetelich gaining a lot more experience including in tough international matches with the German national team Chemnitzer BC’s lineup looks the most convincing ahead of the Berlin Qualification Stage..