About one month is left, before the Sparkasse Junior European Championships at Dresden will be held, all teams are in the stages of final preparation, with the host of Germany conducting a camp over Whitsun which will end with a international friendly against Switzerland on May 25 at Stuttgart. At Dresden the hosts will face France on June 25 in the semi-finals, a few hours earlier defending champion Austria will take on Denmark at the same venue, Dresden’s Heinz-Steyer-Stadion. Gold and bronze medal games are scheduled for June 27.
The French rushed through their qualifying tournament at home soil in May without any opponent’s scores, defeating Italy (35-0) and Serbia (49-0). France won the European junior championships in 2004 and 2006, on both occasions in final games against Germany. In 2011 and 2013 the „Equipe Tricolore“ was the runner-up to Austria in the championship finals. The reigning U19 champions in the semi-finals will start their quest for a third title in an row against Denmark. The Danes won their qualifying tournament at home with victories against Great Britain (31-19) and Sweden (31- 0).
The Sparkasse Junior European Championship at Dresden will be the second U19 Championship final tournament in a row, which will be held in Germany. In 2013 Germany stepped in as a replacement host for Russia, the task of organizing such an event on short notice was one which only AFVD with his Partners felt be capable of amongst the European federations. For the Dresden tournament the AFVD with his partners aims to prove that within a sufficient timeframe of preparation it is very well possible to achieve advancements for junior American football not only in theoretical talking but also in reality.
The Ostsächsische Sparkasse as a name-giving sponsor, the City of Dresden and the State Ministry of the Interior of the Free State of Saxony are three partners who generously support the event financially and conceptually. So the Organizing Committee is capable to fully fund all boarding and lodging costs for the whole time of the tournament in Dresden for all participants. The focus of investment was to provide optimal athletic preparation to all the teams. With accommodation and meals being covered by the organizers all participating federations were free to use their own budgets for athletic activities in the preparation of their teams.
Unfortunately this is not standard prodedure in international American Football tournaments, and especially not in the youth sector, in which allocation of assets to athletic measures should always be the first priority. Even for the men’s senior national teams World Cup in the United States a few weeks later, participants not only have to pay all their travel but also nearly 40,000 Euros for an additional entry fee. No wonder that the original approach of a 12-nation tournament will not even closely be met. In contrast, the competition for the junior European championship, which will culminate in the Dresden tournament in June including qualifying matches and tournaments not only virtually had about a dozen participating teams, but in fact this number of teams actually competing on the field.
What’s left to ask for, is one thing: Broad support from fans from all of Europe for Europe’s finest young football players! Tickets for the semi-finals on June 25 and the final games on June 27 at Heinz-Steyer-Stadion in Dresden are on sale: Ticket prices range from five to twelve Euro and may be ordered her: