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.
Friends make sure that the Rest Rooms are Clean
Since 2010 the friends Jeanett Christensen and Elke Zeh have made sure that the rest rooms in the Centre Area at Vendiahallen are clean. The two large rest room vans are placed centrally and, as a consequence, they are very much in demand – and, therefore, they were not always that fun to visit.
'Consequently, four years ago we were approached by the then manager of Dana Cup, John Robert Larsen, who asked, if we wouldn't like to be in charge of the rest rooms. We accepted and now we have a lot of satisfied 'customers', who are grateful that they can visit a clean and inviting rest room,' say the two friends, who sit next to the two rest room vans every day.
'In the beginning we got a lot of positive feedback saying that it was nice to use a clean rest room. Now only new 'customers' notice the cleanness. Regulars are used to the high standard,' smiles the two happy women, who sit in a shady pavilion with plenty of cold beverages.
Dream Equipment to Ghana and India
'We, Namsos IL Fotball, have changed jerseys from Nike to Adidas this year and, consequently, we have spare sets, sizes ranging from age 11 to seniors. Do you think that we should bring them to Denmark and then hand our three year old jerseys over to a team in need from 'poorer' countries?
This mail turned up at Dana Cup two weeks ago and, naturally, Dana Cup happily said yes. On Thursday, during Dana Cup, 400 pieces of sports equipment from Namsos changed owners. In the near future the equipment from the cold North will be used in hot India and Ghana.
'It means a lot to us that other people can enjoy the equipment, now that we no longer have to use it. We have changed our sponsor from Nike to Adidas. This means that the Nike equioment will be put in got use in places where it is difficult to get funding for that kind of sports equipment; things that our children take for granted,' Hans Kjetil Andreassen from Namsos IL Fotball says.
The managers of Moonlight FC in India and Lizzy FC in Ghana were very pleased to receive the fine sports equipment.
'We know that children and youth, who will now be given the jerseys, will be very happy,' the Asian and African managers said. This kind of equipment is a wish come true for the children, thanks to the Norwegian club.
In the picture some of the players from U.E. Castelldefels are pictured together with pilot and dad, Kim Søegaard
Spanish Football with Danish Touch
The Spanish boys from the club U.E. Castelldefels, which is situated around 20 kilometers from the center of Barcelona, got their personal pilot, Kim Søegaard, to fly the 16 players, 4 coaches, plus 19 parents and siblings to Denmark.
This was due to the fact that the pilot son's, Rasmus, was among the B12 players. And, of course, dad brings the kids to football! Moreover, the connection to Dana Cup is also quite obvious since Bettina, Rasmus' mum, is a football girl from Hjørring.
Having participated in DBU's summer Football School in Hjørring last year, Bettina just called to ask if Rasmus might be allowed to experience Dana Cup by playing for a Danish team. This call took a rather unexpected twist when Bettina was suddenly asked to work as a kind of guide during the study visit by Dana Cup's board in Barcelona and in order to thank Bettina Dana Cup invited Rasmus' team to the tournament.
'While the boys are enjoying Dana Cup, the Spanish families like Denmark very much. The Danes are a kind and welcoming people. However, they still have to get used to the fact that Danes normally eat dinner around 6 p.m. and not 10 p.m.,' Bettina smiles.
Wife has come along
Jacky Wong Siu-Kei from Hong Kong is here as a referee at Dana Cup for the second time. In 2012 he travelled the long way to Denmark on his own but, this year, the happy referee has brought along his wife, Mary Yang Wenxiu.
'It is the first time that Mary Yang Wenxiu visits Europe,' explains Jacky Wong Siu-Kei, who works as an accountant in Hong Kong.
Jacky Wong Siu-Kei has made a lot of good friends among the referees at Dana Cup; for instance, he has gotten to know many referees from England. However, on Sunday, Mary Yang Wenxiu and Jacky Wong Siu-Kei will travel the long way home to Hong Kong. The couple is going to fly from Copenhagen to Stockholm and via Beijing they will return home after a 16-hour flight.
'I say, it is a very long journey,' the referee smiles before he is to referee two games in the burning sun.
Large Portions in the Kitchen
When more than 12,000 football players and coaches are to be fed, one needs a kitchen with huge pots – and a long shopping list. The more than 500 employees, who work in the outdoor kitchen behind Vendiahallen during the week, are some of the daily heroes of Dana Cup, and they cook large portions every day, when they have to cook 12,500 meals twice a day.
For instance, this year they cook 1489 cabbages, 1865 carrots, 2911 kilos of pasta, 2952 kilos of rice, 758 cucumbers and 885 kilo of sweet pepper. Meatballs are extremely popular among the young players. As a consequence, 120,000 meatballs are made this year, plus the staffs use 1125 kilos of meat for goulash and 14,500 chicken fillets.
Moreover, the heat means that it is very important to keep drinking water the entire day. Accordingly, the players have to drink at least 18,000 liters of water.
Berlin in the red jerseys.
Colourful Team from Berlin
Highly concentrated but, nevertheless, fairly relaxed, the selected team from Berlin prepare for their next game. The high level of skills is no coincidence, since the players are specially chosen talents, aged 15-18, from the area around Berlin as the head coach Aileen Poese puts it. They select players from what is roughly the size of the Danish population.
'The contact was established through our youth committee. I was then asked which age group and, the players here are presently in the middle of the preparation for the new season. Some normally play in the second Bundesliga or B-Jugend Bundesliga and, thus, the team have some young and fairly experienced players. Moreover, that is the age group we are interested in,' explains Aileen .
As the clubs are in the middle of their prepartions for the new season, it is naturally difficult to bring along the players. However, since it is a one-week competition it is ok. Thus, they have brought along 18 players to Dana Cup. Some of they have already played 1 or 2 games for the German national side or at least been selected.
'It is a very colourful team in respect to both age and experience, but they are all very skilled. Let me put it like this. We can easily make substitutions,' smiles Aileen, whose goal is to reach the final. Nevertheless, the team still had time to visit the North Sea to recover.
Forus & Gausel New in Club 100
Club 100 is an exclusive club, which consists of the clubs that, over the years, have sent 100 or more teams to Dana Cup. At this year's VIP-party, Forus & Gausel became a new member of Club 100 and, actually, most of their teams have only participated within the last 10 years.
'10 years ago we began to send teams to Dana Cup for real, a bit more organised. Before that only a few teams had been to Hjørring,' explains the head of the delegation, Thor-Erik Østebø, whose daughter Katrine is among the 160 players and managers in 9 teams.
Forus & Gausel has 1100 members playing either football or handball. Every year the football players aged 9-12 participate in Sør-Cup in Kristiansand and then they can look forward to travelling to Hjørring.
'They really look forward to coming. Dana Cup is a great tournament, both sporting and socially, plus it is nice to be Norwegian in Denmark,' Thor-Erik Østebø smiles. For the last 10 years they have lived in Højene School and, throughout all the years, they have had a wonderful co-operation with Hirtshals Diving School, which is one of the clubs running things at Højene School.
'We start communicating with the diving school before we arrive. Moreover, the day before we leave Norway we send a man in a van to Denmark with our sports equipment. He makes sure that we are already check-in, plus prepare everything for our arrival. It works perfectly,' Thor-Erik Østebø stresses.
Players from TSV Eintracht Eggebek drink plenty of water during halftime.
Enthusiastic about Dana Cup
On a hot day like yesterday, it was important to drink plenty of water in order to stay fit and focused on the game. Thus, the players from TSV Eintracht Eggebek deservedly had plenty of water during halftime in a tight match, which they lost 1-2 to the Norwegian team Austenvoll.
' We chose to come to Dana Cup because it is easy to get here by car. Moreover, we asked the players if they wanted to go to Gothia Cup or Dana Cup and most of them said Dana Cup; and so did the parents,' coach Bjørn Morbeck explains.
'My impression is that the players like Dana Cup very much. This is due to the fact that the tournament is very familial, and they can walk about freely. I can divide them into small groups of three without having to worry. It is easy to find the correct bus. The bus drivers are always friendly. It is easy to get around and, accordingly, we are not afraid of loosing a player,' Bjørn Morbeck continues.
Parents from TSV Eintracht Eggebek support their local team
World Championship Mums
During Dana Cup many parents have chosen to follow their children to Hjørring in order to support them – both on and off the pitch. Consequently, the parents from the village of Eggebek in Northern Germany are here to support their local team and the ones, who are unable to come keep up to date via text messages.
'Our coaches went to the VIP-evening the other day, where it was once again pointed out that, even if, one wants to win the tournament it is important to be together. Naturally, some teams will find it hard to compete against other teams but, simply, happy to take part in the tournament. Moreover, it is important for everybody, the coaches, volunteers and supporting parents, to have a great time. It is almost a kind of World Championship,' smiles Britta Hansen, who always travels with the team and, as a consequence, is at Dana Cup for the fourth time.
Here is the team Berliner Fussballverband
Co-operation with Berlin
In recent years, Fortuna Hjørring has experienced that it has become more and more difficult to find qualified opponents in Denmark. As a consequence, the club wants to establish a co-operation with competent clubs aboard. In that connection, head of Marketing Flemming Nielsen is in the process of establishing a co-operation between four clubs in Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, respectively.
'Now that we want to set up a co-operation, we thought that it would be a good idea to invite the selected team from Berlin, Germany, to this year's tournament. Accordingly, we also plan on sending Fortuna Hjørring to Berlin next year,' Flemming Nielsen says.
The selected team from Berliner Fussballverband consists of players from four local clubs in and around Berlin, who have all been handpicked. Several of the players play in the second Bundesliga or for the national side.
'In order to developed the skills of the girls, it is important to find qualified opponents and, besides, Berlin is not very far away. During the winter season we will also try to launch training camps, where especially Norwegian teams can come and play,' explains Flemming Nielsen, who is looking forward to creating a tournament for four clubs. The tournament is supposed to rotate between the participating partners.