23. - 28. JULY 2018 - HJØRRING - DENMARK

 LYN Victory in a Norwegian Final

 Lyn FB (NOR) - Fortuna Ålesund FK (NOR) 3 - 1

Actually, it was a pity that Fortuna Ålesund lost the final. With a fantastic fight and lots of running the players in white worked hard during the entire game. But, in the purely Norwegian final, they had to admit that Lyn FC was the better team, nonetheless, and thus, deserved to win.

It was a very intense game with many fine, individual performances. However, to everybody's surprise Fortuna Ålesund scored after 9 minutes – surprisingly, because Lyn should have scored the first goal of the game just minutes before. After an impressive move, Lyn still equalised and about five minutes later Lyn's best player scored again making it 2-1.

All the time, Ålesund believed that they could win, but when Lyn scored yet again just seven minutes before the end of the match, the winner had more or less been found.

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 Kent ended Norwegian Dream of Victory

 Kent Sports Academy (UGA) - Eidsvold TF (NOR) 3 - 0 (2 -0)

Kent Sports Academy from Uganda ended any Norwegian dream of winning class B17 at Dana Cup 2014 with two goals in two minutes.

In a game, which was characterised by high intensity and few clear chances, the Africans had the most and best chances. With quick moves and fast passes, they pressured the Norwegians again and again.

Eidsvold fought bravely and played to win. Hence, the Norwegian boys kept running and pushed hard for an equaliser in the end, but they could not change the final outcome of the game. Thus, Uganda deserved to win!

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 Lyn won the Girls' Fair Play Competition

 This year the competition, Fair Play Girls 2014, was won by Lyn FB in G15.

The jury explained that they had chosen Lyn FB because the team had unselfishly helped an injured player in a situation in which the team could have scored a goal.

The situation arose in a tight game, in which the score was 1-1.

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 Confident Fortuna Victory

 G19 Finals: LSK Kvinner FK (NOR) - Fortuna Hjørring (DEN) 0 - 3 (0 - 3)

Friday evening the players from Fortuna Hjørring could for the second time raise the trophy at Dana Cup's first day of finals. Fortuna's team in class G19 had a confident 3-0 win against LSK Kvinner FK from Norway.

The home team actually had a scare when a personal error in the third minute resulted in a penalty for the opponents from Norway. However, the Danish goalkeeper was lucky as the ball hit the crossbar.

Instead Fortuna's strikers were very effective and accurate. Just two minutes later Fortuna scored from long distance and when the green from Hjørring headed home a goal, everybody knew who was going to win gold.

The intensity and quality of the game fell in the second half, as LSK Kvinner never managed to pressure the Danes.

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 Finns Deserved to Win

 Forus & Gausel IL (NOR) - Nummelan Palloseura (FIN) 0 - 2 (0 - 1)

On a wonderful goal scored directly on a free kick seven minutes before time, Finnish Nummelan Palloseura made sure who was going to win gold in G13.

The second goal was the culmination of a match, which was mostly played in the middle of the pitch without that many chances.

Nummelan Palloseura clearly dominated the game, so they deserved to win. However, Norwegian Forus & Gausel must be praised for believing that they might be able to win and, especially, player nr. 10 fought hard for the Norwegian girls. But in vain!

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 Brilliant Boys Football

 B12 Finals: Intercubs C. A. (MEX) - AaB (DEN) 7 - 3 (2 - 2)

While Danish SHI in the B11 final had to experience the truth of the fact that size might make a difference, then players nr. 10 and 11 from Mexican Intercubs in the B12 final were the proof that size is not always important. Again and again, the two small and fast players challenged the Danish defence, which could not keep up, especially when Intercubs' nr. 10 turned on the pressure. The brilliant little football player and all the others represented the best in boys' football.

The boys from the Danish championship club, Aab, and Intercubs played a great final on a high technical level. The first half was fairly equal but from the beginning of the second half Intercubs took control by scoring two goals within the first five minutes.

And then the game was decided.

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 Danish Girl at American Academy

 Steven Carrera from IMG Academy in Florida is at Dana Cup with his Elite Football Camp girls' team. The EPC team, which Steven has brought along to Dana Cup, is a mix of Danish and American girls, aged 14-16.

15-year-old Olivia Runge Pedersen from Denmark and student at IMG Academy is one of Steven's favourites. In 2013 for confirmation Olivia was given a two-week-stay at a football camp in the USA and at that camp she was offered half-a-year at IMG. Olivia played for Skovbakken IF and DBU. She says that IMG was amazing. The friends, the people, the weather and surroundings were fantastic. Moreover, the USA is great. However, she is very happy to be back in Denmark. It is wonderful to see her friends and family.

She participates in Dana Cup for the first time, and she thinks that it is huge. In addition, she has opened the eyes of Steven and other football coaches to Danish footballers. IMG Academy is a very expensive school, but after Olivia popped by, Steven has been busy visiting Copenhagen and Aarhus lately in order to find new players for the IMG Academy; players he will give a scholarship. He is looking for Danish girl players around 14 years of age, with a good logical way of thinking on the pitch and a passion for the game. He states that Danish players often posses those kind of skills.

'The kind of passion the Danish players have for the game, you cannot find anywhere in the world. It is rooted deep in their hearts,' he says. Moreover, he talks about Olivia in a very special way. Without her, he would not have discovered the 14 Danish players he has brought along to the IMG Academy and who, having been given a scholarship, now study and live at the IMG Academy.

Steven has an app on his phone, which enables him to see when the girls come to school, if they skip classes, what kind of grades they get etc. And when things do not go well, they are not allowed to practice football the following two nights. At school a kind of mum or dad keep an eye on them making sure that they behave. He thinks that is important. More than 700 people work at the IMG Academy.

Steven mentions that when Danes study at a Danish continuation school focusing on football it is not 100%. You do not improve as a football player or as a student. At IMG studying is very much in focus and so is football training. 98% of the students go to college when they finish the Academy and only 2% turn professional.

As a child he played in a good club on a high level, but having to travel three hours to and from the club several times a week meant that his grades began to drop.

'One should always have a plan B. Because what do you do, if your knee or foot weaken? Steven says and continues by talking about how his father, who used to be a professional soccer player in Argentina in his youth, seriously injured his knee and about how he then began to study business and learn Spanish and ended up at the IMG.

He has had many offers from clubs in the USA that want him to coach their team, but nothing compares to IMG; a place he loves. The IMG Academy accepts everybody: both professionals and amateurs.

'Everybody can improve,' he underlines.

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 Size made the Difference

 B11 Finals: PR Academy (SWE) - Skibsby/Højene IF (DEN) 4 - 1 (3 - 1)

In the final in class B11 it was obvious that size can make a difference in football. The boys from Skibsby Højene IF played a fine game, fought bravely and never gave up, but many of the boys from PR Academy were bigger and stronger and, viewed in the light of these fact, the Swedes deservedly won an entertaining final.

The Swedish boys kicked harder and were stronger physically.

After a lively first half with two goals within the first four minutes, the second half was a position warfare, in which PR Academy's goalkeeper had more or less nothing to do, while his Danish college made a lot of wonderful saves.

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 Hjørring-Couple have lost their Hearts to Romania

For 24 years the married couple Bodil and Holger Christensen from Hjørring have send clothes, tinned goods, cleaning materials and a lot of other things to children and grown-ups in the shires Bihor and Alba in Rumania.

'We were very moved when in 1990 we saw a video from Rumania, and then we have used all of our spare time, including holidays, to collect things for all the people in Rumania, who need support. In the beginning we gave away collected things for children in orphanages, but now we also give to homes for elderly, hospitals and children living in the streets,' explains Bodil and Holger Christensen, who used to drive to Rumania themselves but, nowadays, have made an agreement with a Rumanian road delivery business that drives the growing amounts of aid to Rumania.

'At one point we sent 7 trucks. Moreover, our old Ford Transit has driven more than 500,000 kilometres with the same engine,' smiles Holger Christensen, who is 66 years old and now on early retirement.

And age is the reason why they have decided to slow down a bit, despite not wanting to. They no longer have the same kind of energy they used to 24 years ago. However, they cannot let go completely because during Dana Cup Bodil and Holger Christensen follow the players and managers from FC Rival in Rumania closely.

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 Great Final

G12 Finale: Fortuna Hjørring (DEN) - Tiller IL (NOR) 3 -1 (1-1)

The rest of the teams, which have qualified for the finals at this year's Dana Cup by playing great football, have a lot to live up to. The first final of the year in class G12 between the host club Fortuna Hjørring and Norwegian Tiller IL was a great display of unyielding fight and, not least, fine technical details by both teams.

They had only played one minute when Fortuna Hjørring scored, but the joy only lasted one minute as Tillier equalised on a well-played attack.

Five minutes into the second half Fortuna went ahead on a free kick. And then they scored for a third time on a wonderful shot from the distance in stoppage time.

Fortuna deservedly won, but Tillier fought bravely. A real fight by two teams in G12. Well done!

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 Without Support No Dana Cup

 Coach André Zagrean from FC Rival in Rumania is not in doubt; without kind support by both Dana Cup and the couple Bodil and Holger Christensen from Hjørring 18 boys and 7 managers would never be able to come to Denmark and the world's third largest football tournament for youth.

'The support from Denmark means everything,' stresses 27-year-old André Zagrean, who participates for the first time. As a youth player he went to a tournament in Holland and then he turned professional abroad – until a serious injury ended his active career.

'Dana is a fantastic tournament. I am very impressed by how organised the tournament is. Everything works perfectly, and I sincerely hope that we will be able to return in 2015,' smiles André Zagrean, who had to watch his team loose the last sixteen.

FC Rival gathers selected players from a large area in Rumania. Accordingly, the players have only practiced together a few times before travelling to Denmark.

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