UEFA U19 Futsal EURO qualifying guide
By Nick Hamblin | November 2, 2018
It’s in! January’s preliminary round and March’s main round has been drawn and will decide the seven teams to join Latvia in September’s finals in the UEFA Under 19’s Futsal Euro.
The draw for qualification has been made for the UEFA Under 19’s Futsal Euro. Youth futsal players have been given the chance to compete for European honours at national team level with the first edition of the UEFA European Under-19 Futsal Championship. There are 34 teams aiming for seven slots alongside finals hosts Latvia in next September’s Riga finals.
Futsal Euro Draw
So here we have it, the Futsal Euro Under 19’s qualifying draw is as follows:
Preliminary round draw (21–26 January)
Group A: Montenegro, Greece, Lithuania (hosts), Andorra
Group B: Sweden, Kosovo, Cyprus, San Marino
Group B hosts are yet to be confirmed. Two group winners progress to main round and join group 2 and group 6.
Once the preliminary games are played, we move onto the main draw, where 28 teams play for 7 slots hoping to join hosts Latvia in the finals from 8 to 14 September 2019 at Arena Riga.
Main round draw (26–31 March)
Group 1: Kazakhstan, Poland, France, Finland (hosts)
Group 2: Azerbaijan, Slovenia (hosts), Netherlands, Preliminary Group B winner
Group 3: Portugal, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (hosts), Moldova
Group 4: Ukraine, Romania, Belgium, FYR Macedonia (hosts
Group 5: Spain, Hungary, Georgia (hosts), Turkey
Group 6: Russia (hosts), Czech Republic, Belarus, Preliminary Group A winner
Group 7: Italy, Croatia (hosts), Slovakia, England
Finals (8–14 September)
This is where starts getting real for the final eight. In the finals, two groups of four will be formed, with the top two in each proceeding to the semi-finals, all with the ambition of being crowned Champions for the first edition of the UEFA European Under-19 Futsal Championship.
England have it all to do with Italy, Croatia and Slovakia standing in their way of progressing.
Big Challenge ahead
That said, England Futsal recently faced Croatia at the senior level during the two day international friendlies played at St. Georges Park. England Lost by 4 goals in each of the games, 4-0 and 6-2. Croatian keeper Zoran Primic managed to get on the score sheet from his own area, whilst England were playing fly goalkeeper, attempting to get back into the game.
England Futsal Under 19’s success
Having taken that into consideration, back in March England U19’s the started their international campaign by travelling to Zeist to play Netherlands U19’s in friendlies across two days, playing two games. The new Youth set up secured back to back wins of 4-2 and 3-1. Read more on the FA’s website:
The Squad that played against Netherlands Under 19’s
Most noteworthy is that England’s youth set up have started with great success, the under 19’s already have a great pool of players, and this is just going to attract more to the game. The existing selection are going to have to continue to prove themselves to secure selection by Under’s Head Coach Pete Vallance.
- James Black – Genesis Futsal Club
- Kai Bone – Tranmere Futsal Club
- Jared Rand – Reading Escolla Futsal Club
- Michael Bulmer – York City Futsal Club
- Liam Hunt – Southend Futsal Club
- Zak Brunt – Sheffield United FC
- Ollie Whaley – University of Nottingham Futsal
- James Dirkin – Reading Escolla Futsal Club
- Raul Radulescu – Reading Escolla Futsal Club
- Tom Doar – University of Nottingham Futsal Club
- Drew Hodgson – Newcastle Futsal Club
- Henrique Do Carmo – Reading Escolla Futsal Club
For myself, being a former University of Nottingham Futsal Club player, it is great to see a few former teammates getting their time to shine! Ollie Whalley, Zak Brunt (Now Sheffield United FC) and Tom Doar are ones to watch with their exceptional talent and understanding of the beautiful game.
Futsal is on the up
Considering all of this, it is fair to say that as Futsal continues to grow and continues to demonstrate why it is such an amazing sport, the opportunities are growing across the UK from coaching campes, clubs and leagues, all the way up to the international setup. Many compare the sport to football, for obvious reasons, but with the right strategy in place, along with sponsors and an audience, Futsal has the chance to really become an established sport on the global stage!