"All in for your club" (Part II)
Date: 5/21/2013 12:14 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
After a long season both at International and domestic level the elite Badminton clubs of Europe make the trip to Beauvais in France. From the 28th May to 1st June, they will collectively fight it out for the most prestigious title in European club badminton and with it the bragging rights associated with the title of European Club Champions. We take a look at group 3 and 4.

Italians Dark Horse’s in Group 3

Italian outfit BC Milano travel to Beauvais as the nominated team by the Italian Federation after league champions Mediterranea declined their invitation to represent their federation due to injury to their top men’s singles player Kevin Cordon. BCM are a club that thrive on their youth policy and whatever small piece of the jigsaw they lack in quality they will make up for in team spirit and will to win.

The Italians will be looking up at Czech Champions Brno, with Koukal and Augustyn on board and French hosts Chambly. The French are many peoples outside bet for the title as home advantage will go a long way to winning some points. Throw into the mix the two outstanding female players on the Badminton Europe circuit this year, Kirsty Gilmour & Beatriz Corrales and there is a real recipe for success. Have the French got the strength in depth? Only time will tell!

Portuguese side CHE Lagoense with Pedro Martins, Telma Santos, Ana Moura and Filipa Lamy will worry the top sides but will struggle to win the three points in each match that they need to advance.

The Vittinghus Verdict –  “Brno and Chambly to battle it out for first place, looks difficult for other teams to progress. Milano could be a dark horse, but are maybe just lacking depth.”

Click HERE for the full schedule of Group 3

Group of death to be full of surprises

Group 4 is the third of the 5 team groups and to pick a winner and runner up is somewhat of a lottery. If there is to be a group of death group 4 has to be it. The French Champions Strasbourg, with players of the calibre of Adam Cwalina, Sashina Vignes Waran (pictured) & and French young gun Julien Maio can just about justify their top seeding in the group.

Bringing the fight to the French will be Dutch champions Amersfoort, Multi Alarm from Hungary and Ukrainian outfit SHVMS Telesens.  The Ukrainians have a youthful presence in their side with a handful of players who were a part of the national junior team who took bronze medal at the European Juniors in 2011.

One thing is clear from group 4, there will not be many 5-0 whitewashes at the group stage and do not be surprised if the Ukrainians come out on top albeit by virtue of a series of 4-3 wins. This group even has the potential to go to count back so every set and point might prove critical after all 20 group games are completed.

The Vittinghus Verdict –  “Without doubt the hardest group to predict, I can see any of the 4 top teams qualifying and a good start will be essential for each team in the group”

Click HERE for the full schedule of Group 4

The tournament kicks off on the 28th May in the fantastic Elispace arena in Beauvais and the big two will once again be expected to cruise through to the semi-finals and, as many expect, battle it out for the title come Saturday 1st June.

However, there is always the possibility that ‘Danish Syndrome’ might play its part with TSS only introducing their big guns at the weekend when the tournament really hots up. We have seen this tactic in the past from all Danish representative sides and more than once we have seen this tactic backfire in recent years.

Team events flow on team spirit and sometimes bringing in the heavy hitters at the business end of the event means that the feeling of progression is diluted which can be sometimes counterproductive. Who will forget the 2013 European Mixed Team Championships in Moscow earlier this year for example?

The net results means there will be opportunities for the smaller clubs to create an upset and both Primorye and TSS will have to be on their toes and take nothing for granted and in team club events there is always room for an upset

The Vittinghus Verdict –  “I see Vladivostok and TSS as the teams to beat. Vladivostok will hold a slight advantage on TSS, depending on how many players from their respective teams will be missing. Chambly looks like the team who are most likely to pose a threat to a repeat of last year’s final. They have very strong girls, but will still need something special to find a way of winning 4 matches.”

Preview and verdicts of group 1 and group 2: "All in for your club"

Badminton Europe TV will be in Beauvais for the duration of the tournament broadcasting on our dedicated Youtube channel live from the TV court each and every session of each days play. To watch just click HERE.

Follow Badminton Europe on twitter by clicking HERE and remember to use the hashtag #ECC13 with all your tweets.

Article By Mark Phelan with input from World number 16 Hans Kristian Vittinghus (TSS & Denmark)

Image Courtesy of Badminton Photo.
© All rights reserved.

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