#EJC2015 – Team draw announced
Date: 2/5/2015 9:21 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

Time has certainly flown since Ankara 2013 when Denmark claimed back the European Junior Team Championship crown that they had lost two years previously in Finland. This year’s event will take place in Lubin, Poland where the organisers successfully ran the recent Polish Junior International with a great event set up.

A record 34 countries have entered the 2015 European Junior Team Championships event and once again Team Denmark will be favourites to lift the title led by dynamic duo Mia Blichfeldt and Anders Antonsen.

Group 1 will be led by the defending champions and with only one team progressing from each of the eight groups a premium will be set on getting out of the blocks quickly. That being said Denmark could not have asked for a better start with Armenia and Latvia in the same group with only the Portuguese likely to make the Danes extend themselves.

Group 1: Denmark, Armenia, Latvia & Portugal.

Group 2 has England as the seeded team. The English underperformed in Ankara 2011 and this year they will aim to put things right. Team England will be tested in an altogether tougher group than Denmark with Austria, Sweden and the Maja Pavlinic lead Croatians.

Group 2: England, Austria, Croatia & Sweden

Group 3 and Germany, the 2011 champions, will have the top spot in their sights.  Iceland and Lithuania will most likely battle it out for pride while Poland will offer a reasonably stiff resistance to the Germans especially on home soil.

Group 3: Germany, Poland, Lithuania & Iceland

Group 4 is a group where anything could happen. France, after their bronze medal in 2013, lead the group as the seeded team but team Scotland, with a range of complete juniors, will test the much lauded French youngsters. With Bulgaria also in the group upsets could be on the cards if all Bulgarians sing off the same hymn sheet while Slovenia will most likely, but not exclusively, make up the numbers.

Group 4: France, Slovenia, Scotland & Bulgaria

Group 5 have the physical dominant Turks as top seed. Italy and Czech Republic will show glimpses of greatness but it could possibly be the Ukrainians who bring the biggest threat to Turkey. Ukraine were bronze medallist in 2011 and always have the knack of showing up with a well prepared team.

Group 5: Turkey, Italy, Czech Republic & Ukraine

Group 6 and Russia are the seeded nation. The Russians like the Turks, are always physically well prepared and with Russia you always get a high level of technical skill also. Hungary, Belgium and Slovakia are likely to make up the numbers in this group with the Russians hot favourites to advance.

Group 6: Russia, Belgium, Slovakia & Hungary

Group 7 is a five team group with the Spanish led by Clara Azurmendi at the helm. Cyprus, Romania and Norway will look to take points off each other with the Irish the likeliest team to threaten the Spanish.

Group 7: Spain, Hungary, Ireland, Norway & Cyprus

Group 8 see The Netherlands take the last seeded spot and in another five team group the Finns and maybe Estonia will bring the fight to the Dutch. Switzerland will also add flame to any potential upset fire while Greece will look to gain valuable experience for their juniors from their trip to Poland.

Group 8: The Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, Finland & Estonia

The 2015 European Junior Championships kick off on the 26th of March with the team event. The individual event will follow in a competition that will finish on April 4th.

Article by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe.

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