EJC 2011 Qualification Tournament

Category: European Championship - published 2010-08-10 by EFAF

With only 10 days left the 4 Nations Tournament in City Kragujevac in Serbia will have its kickoff.

Four junior national teams gather at the Serbian city of Kragujevac to determine the opponent for France in the final qualification round for the European Junior Championships 2011 in Spain. Hosting Serbian federation SAFS has been busy to prepare what will be the first EFAF tackle football tournament in Serbia, a country, in which American Football has not been played for more than a few years, but is developing in a fast pace. Serbian club teams already participate in European club competitions on a regular base, the senior national team had its debut in the C-pool European Championships 2007 - and the Serbian junior national team is one of 14 teams that entered the qualification rounds for EJC 2011.

And not only do they participate, the Serbians also took over the responsibility to host the four-nations tournament, in which Great Britain, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and the hosts will play for the remaining spot in the last qualification round and the right to face two-time European Junior Champion France in a game for a spot in the six-team final tournament at Spain in summer 2011. The Netherlands and and the Czech Republic will play the first semifinal game of the tournament on August 20 at noon local time, Serbia and Great Britain will square off later that day on 5 p.m. The second semifinal will be preceeded by an opening ceremony, and SFAS is expecting some honoured guests to be on hand for this first-ever game of the Serbian junior national team in the EJC competition. The city of Kragujevac is a vivid town with a large student population, quite a perfect place for hosting a tournament like this. The final game and a game for third place are scheduled for August 22.

Of course the hopes in Serbia are tremendous, home field advantage is deemed to help the Serbia players in their difficult task to overcome a British junior national team from an organisation with decades of experience in American Football. The British team already beat the Netherlands in the first round of the competition and should enter the Kragujevac tournament as the favourites. The Dutch team still made it to the tournament at Serbia, but now will have to face the team from the Czech Republic, a strong contender in junior American Football for some years now. The Czech hope to have their return to the final EJC tournament, in which they already participated in 2006.

All the four teams profit from the new qualification system in effect for EJC, which - for example by this four-team tournament - provides more opportunities to compete with each other. 14 member federations of EFAF entered the qualification rounds, junior players development in nearly all of the countries, in which American Football is played in Europe, is one of the highest priorities. Not only in those countries with a long tradition, but also in regions, where American Football itself is a new development. Federations in countries like Serbia benefit from the experience of all of the „older“ member federations of the EFAF family: Helping young domestic players to develop their skills as early as possible is the best way to establish American Football within the countries.




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