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Joan CuscóBSWW Executive Vice PresidentA World Cup... and much more! Ready for 2017?
22 Jun 2017
Hopeful Serbia prepared for European adventure
The hosts join Estonia, Norway and Czech Republic in Division B as the Euro Beach Soccer League kicks off.
The Euro Beach Soccer League 2017 gets underway on Friday as Belgrade, Serbia hosts the first of five normal stages ahead of the Promotion Final and Superfinal in Italy across August and September.
Serbia’s capital hosts top-flight beach soccer for the second season running after the Euro Beach Soccer League took place there last year, although there is a greater optimism that the hosts can pick up some points this time around.
Placed in Division B, alongside opponents of a more equal standing such as Estonia, Norway and Czech Republic, coach Dejan Knezevic and his side will hope to make the most of home advantage and start strongly.
“The guys have worked remarkably well at the training sessions,” he explained at this week’s press conference.
“We even played some friendly games in Greece, against a host national team. I would like to emphasise that this is not a professional team, not even semi-professional. This team is amateur, but with a huge desire to play for Serbia, for this country and its people.
“I really think that we can compete against the likes of Norway and Czech Republic, and we can win those games. We played against Estonia who defeated us with big difference.
“They are a better team but we will not give up easily. We will try to beat them as well on Sunday.”
In Division A, Russia and Spain boast nine Euro Beach Soccer League titles between them while France and Germany are also former winners.
Russia - ranked fourth in the world - look set to be the team to beat and will be eager to make up for lost time after missing out on a place at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup while Spain sit 14th and regularly feature among the latter stages of this competition.
France and Germany, 30th and 32nd respectively, will also pose a threat as Europe’s biggest annual international competition gets back in full swing.