With less than a month to go until the 2019 Euro Cup in Nortallje, Sweden, we sat down with England Dragonslayers captain Myles Hudson to see how preparations for the event are shaping up.
This is the 14th instalment of the tournament, featuring the best international nine-a-side teams from across the continent. The Dragonslayers have won the tournament a record four times (2008, 2009, 2013 and 2017) and will be looking to bounce back after finishing a disappointing fourth in 2018.
After missing last year’s competition through injury, captain Hudson, who plays his club football for the Wimbledon Hawks, says that he has every confidence that after a mixed few years the team can regain their title in style.
“We will have to be consistent,” Hudson said. “We need to make sure we don’t run ourselves too hard early on so we have enough left in the tank against tougher opposition later on.
“I’ll be looking to ensure we manage our games well and give ourselves the best chance to get to the final. If we do that and apply the level of skill and endeavour that I know the lads are capable of, then I can see us being a difficult team to stop.”
With new coach Dean Thomas onboard, Hudson says that confirming the squad back in February, it has given the team plenty of time to prepare.
“This has been great for the team and has allowed players to plan ahead. With the leagues well underway, we’ve been hearing great things about Dragonslayers performing well and justifying that early selection.”
This year the tournament has moved from its traditional Autumn spot in the European footballing calendar to accommodate the Euro Cup’s bigger brother, the European Championship.
“With the competition taking place mid-season this year, we know that all the teams will be coming into the weekend match-fit from the regular season,” said Hudson. “There’s also the added risk of picking up a last-minute injury, but touch wood we haven’t had to change out many lads yet.
“I’m expecting the standard to be much higher than in previous years, which should make for a great day of footy.”