The 2022 championship race is hotting up as half the teams take advantage of the mid-season transfer period making crucial changes to their all-star line-ups in the race to the Finals and the GC Prague Playoffs.
The biggest name to come into the Championship is current world number one Martin Fuchs who will join Shanghai Swans. Interestingly the Swans who are 4th on the Championship rankings have opted to make two changes and also bring in world number 7 Marlon Zanotelli to join Christian Ahlmann, Max Kühner, Pius Schwizer and U25 rider Jeanne Sadran.
Miami Celtics have also chosen to acquire two new names for the second half of the season with team manager Helena Stormanns trying to boost them up the overall rankings. Jos Verlooy and Edouard Schmitz will join the impressive lineup of Jessica Springsteen, Michael Duffy, Michael G Duffy and Bertram Allen.
8 teams remain untouched retaining their star strikers, highlighting the strength of their selections at the start of the season after an intense period of signings at the beginning of 2022. These teams include Championship leaders Stockholm Hearts, Berlin Eagles, Madrid In Motion, Hamburg Giants, New York Empire, Cannes Stars, Paris Panthers and Istanbul Sultans.
Last year’s season Champions Valkenswaard United bring in European Champion André Thieme to replace Maurice Tebbel as the German makes his debut on the GCL circuit alongside one of the strongest sides on paper, John Whitaker, Edwina Tops-Alexander, Marcus Ehning, Laura Kraut and young talent Gilles Thomas.
The London Knights, who suffered bad luck earlier in the year after Laura Klaphake was out for 5 weeks due to injury have just made one change to their team. Samuel Hutton will be a strong addition to their lineup with Klaphake, Tobias Meyer, Hans-Dieter Dreher, Abdel Said and U25 of the season so far Mike Kawai.
Constant van Paesschen formerly of the Doha Falcons last year moves to Prague Lions to join Sergio Alvarez Moya, Niels Bryunseels, Pieter Devos, Anna Kellnerová and Brian Moggre. While Pieter Clemens steps off the Rome Gladiators as Beth Underhill joins the squad of Edward Levy, Shane Breen, Fernando Martinez Sommer, Nina Mallevaey and U25 rider Zoe Conter.
Emeric George will join forces with the St Tropez Pirates team for the second half of the season and the final change is the addition of Jorge Matte to the Scandinavian Vikings, completing this year’s transfer window change.
This year fans have already had the thrill of watching show jumping stars like John Whitaker team up with Marcus Ehning to secure a win and Ben Maher join forces with Harrie Smolders thanks to the unique concept of GCL where top riders from different counties have the opportunity to compete together on the same team.
Team tactics are being sharpened for the big push to the GC Prague Playoffs where €6 million will be up for grabs in the GCL Super Cup. But the majority of teams are sticking with their winning formula and leaving their rosters unchanged meaning this weekend in Paris will be one not to miss!
The pressure is on the squads to strategically play to their strengths in the diverse arenas and unique scenarios across the remaining events of the season. Heading into leg 9, GCL Paris 24 - 26 June, all eyes will be on the teams to see who they will field under the Eiffel Tower, with the spotlight shining on those who can gain the most number of points to shake up the overall order.