Two Pronged Danish Return to Euro Cup 9's
Tuesday, October 09 2018 @ 09:55 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Cam Homes
After an absence from the Euro Cup for a couple of years by the Valkyries and Vikings, both teams are mounting a two pronged assault upon Cork.
Maybe even hoping to instill a little "dread" into the Irish and other cup contestants as in history as did those dragon headed ships when they appeared on the horizon.
The women’s side will once again be led by Odense Lionesses veteran and superstar Maria Falkesgaard.
Now the Valkyries captain for the fourth consecutive year running, Maria is very excited to lead out a new-look Danish outfit.
“When we have our full squad, the women on our team have very different profiles,” Maria said.“We have tallies, smallies, smarties, fasties, oldies and young guns.”
With many of the girls taking place having just played for the runners-up in the WNAFL in the Odense Lionesses, Maria is bullish about her team’s chances of progressing through to the latter stages of the tournament.
“Our goal is to advance from the group stage and we want to challenge us selves and aim for the top four,” Maria said. “Everybody that has been to Euro Cup in the past few years knows that Ireland and England have been dominating on the women’s side. It was the case even before I started playing footy.”
“But seriously I reckon they (the Danish girls) are the toughest bunch of sheilas I’ve ever met.”
A fifth place finish in 2016 was the last time the Danish girls played as a single entity at the Euro Cup.
In contrast, the men’s side are looking forward to regaining some experience at an international tournament after missing the Euro Cup in 2016 & 2017.
After winning the tournament in Umag in 2015, the Vikings were excited to announce their squad earlier in the year. With a mix of players from the DAFL including teams like the Farum Cats, Copenhagen Barracudas and premiers the Copenhagen Giants, the men’s team are out to impress on the international stage according to captain Thore Lauritzen.
“Anything less than a top three spot would disappoint me,” Thore said.
“We’ve still got a young squad, but all the players have either played with each other or competed against one another. They know each other and they know how to perform as a team.”
With expectations high, the Vikings are looking forward to coming up against some of the heavyweights playing Australian Football in Europe. “Of course, it would be nice to win, and I’ve been to 2 Euro Cups and won at both occasions, but I know the competition is going to be tough,” Thore said.
Among these tough competitors are the Irish which Thore believes will be the Danes toughest competition this October.
“They’ve got the home advantage and they are a strong side,” Thore said.
“But there are a lot of contenders and I think it comes down to which team weathers fatigue best at one-day tournaments.”
With the Danes fresh off their domestic seasons in the WNAFL and the DAFL respectively, the Valkyries and Vikings may just be the biggest threats to take home the chocolates in both the men’s and women’s divisions.