The American Connection at Dana Cup
Sven Erik Jensen is not the only one sending American football teams to Dana Cup. Nevertheless, it is not wrong to look upon the former schoolteacher as the American connection at the Dana Cup. In fact, since 1984 he has been a tour operator for up to 800 teams from the USA.
‘As a coach for a football team in Vodskov, Denmark, we were once visited by a team from the USA. The Americans expressed their desire to take part in a tournament and knowing that Dana Cup had started two years previously, I made the connection across the Atlantic and then things quickly progressed. Already in 1986 I retired as a schoolteacher to open my own travel agency, Sport International, providing football trips from the USA to Europe, in particular to Denmark, Sweden and Norway,’ explains Sven Erik Jensen, who received the new Dana Cup Honour Award for his great work promoting the tournament.
’In the beginning, I travelled with the management of Dana Cup to South Africa, the USA, Australia and South Africa to promote Dana Cup. Today I’m an agent for Dana Cup enabling me to made agreements around the world on behalf of Dana Cup,’ explains Sven Erik Jensen, who also sends teams from other countries such as Arab countries and Spain, for instance.
‘Not least the Americans are very happy to visit Dana Cup, because they experience an amazingly well-organized tournament, where everything works and from where they travel home with more than just a football experience. In connection with the visit to Dana Cup we usually combine it with experiences in Denmark, plus many also take part in Gothia Cup and/or Norway Cup, for instance. This year several teams have taken part in a training camp at Dana Cup Sportscenter and some of them have already booked a stay in week 28 next year,’ smiles Sven Erik, who has sent 6 teams to Dana Cup this year.
Liverpool is honored to be at Dana Cup
‘The girls are getting some extra attention, just because they come from Liverpool FC,’ smiles RTC Manager at Liverpool Ladies Academy, Ianthe Mumford.
‘The girls are very dedicated to football and, as a consequence, they are very focused. We recognise that the standard of the teams at the Dana Cup is extremely high, it is an international tournament with some outstadning teams and we are honoured to be part of this year's tournament. Ianthe Mumford smiles.
It is the first time Liverpool Ladies Academy takes part in such a huge tournament as Dana Cup. Last year the team took part in a tournament in Iceland, but Ianthe Mumford stresses that the academy would like to return to Dana Cup, if possible.
New Balance at Dana Cup
From the 1st of July, New Balance has entered into a new agreement with Fortuna Hjørring and Dana Cup and, consequently, New Balance is very visible at the tournament. Actually, New Balance already sponsors famous clubs like Liverpool FC, Celtic FC, FC Porto, Sevilla FC and LOSC Lille.
‘It’s the first year with New Balance as a sponsor. So to be honest, I am just here to have a good look around and to see the enormity of the actual tournament. I’m really impressed I have to say,’ says the General Manager of New Balance Football Richard Wright, who has come to Dana Cup to experience the tournament.
‘I think that we have come off to a good start. It really helps having the Liverpool guys here; and with Robbie Fowler as well. He has been an absolute superstar,’ Richard Wright says and emphasises that the two Liverpool coaches have also been fantastic.
Liverpool Most Popular
Norway is the country with most Liverpool FC fans outside England. By looking at the huge interest in New Balance products in the large Sportsmaster-tent at Dana Cup, one can clearly see that this is true. The American sports brand is at Dana Cup for the first time as main sponsor for both Fortuna Hjørring and Dana Cup.
‘Even though New Balance was founded in 1906, regrettably, the brand is still rather unknown, at least in some sports. A pity because New Balance has many great products,’ stresses Matthias Jensen, who has experienced an increasing interest in both shoes, football boots, plus running and leisure shoes.
‘Without doubt the Norwegians are very fond of Liverpool FC and the interest in the English club wear is great and, consequently, it is presently Liverpool FC that puts extra focus on New Balance during the Dana Cup,’ he smiles.
Scottish Debut at Dana Cup
Scottish Monifieth Athletic FC is at Dana Cup for the first time and, even though, they have not won as many matches as they would have liked to, the tournament has nevertheless been a very positive experience states David Ralston from the club, which is situated on the east coast close to Dundee.
Monifieth Athletic FC consists of 10 teams up to 19 years and, moreover, they organize football schools for children in the area. Monifieth Athletic FC is more than 50 years old and, thus, entails many traditions.
‘We have travelled far to be at Dana Cup and the long trip has made its mark with the players who are tired. Regrettably, it can be seen on the results. In addition, we have played a couple of good teams, but we could definitely have done better if the players hadn’t been tired,’ David Ralston is sure.
Practice Makes Perfect
265 matches and 128 goals for Liverpool FC. Robbie Fowler is one of the biggest legends of the Mersey-club on Anfield Road. Already as an 11-year-old boy people noticed his talent for scoring goals, so he knows, what it takes to make it to the top.
’Practice, practice and practice,’ was his advice to the young players when he was on stage at the VIP party Tuesday night as part of the entertainment.
Invited managers, sponsors and dignitaries saw a relaxed and funny football legend, who talked about life on the football pitch and his work as an ambassador for both Liverpool FC and New Balance.
Five New in Club 100
At this year’s VIP party in Fiberhallen Tuesday night five clubs joined the so-called Club 100 – an exclusive group of clubs having sent at least 100 teams to Dana Cup.
Fana IL, Egernsunds IK, Stord FB, Kongsberg IF and Madla IL, all from Norway, are the new members of the distinguished club, and the chairman of Dana Cup, Ole Vang Bruun, gave the representatives of the clubs diplomas and flowers.
Awards Handed Out for the First Time
As from this year on Dana Cup will initiate the presentation of the ”Dana Cup Honour Award” and this time the organisation would like to honour and thank four people.
Inger Mostad has worked vigorously and loyally for Dana Cup from her domicile at Dues Sportsrejser in Grimstad in Norway. She is the reason why our tournament hosts so many Norwegian participants. But Inger’s engagement is not limited to providing service in Norway alone. Every year she accompanies her Norwegian customers – our guests – all the way to Hjørring to make sure they are all right. A truly remarkable effort. Congratulations to Inger!
Ingo Müller from Düren Niederau in Germany attends Dana Cup every year with a huge group of young talented players, who always show good performance. It is our impression that Ingo really feels at home at Dana Cup. In any case, throughout the year he will remember us in Hjørring since his wrist is covered with pervious tournament bracelets. Ingo is a real Dana Cup ambassador. Thank you and congratulations!
Sven Erik Jensen has proven an important Dana Cup ambassador right from the day we wanted to get teams from North America to participate in the tournament. Year after year, Sven Erik has met with American teams – even from more exotic places in the U.S. This has made Dana Cup more colourful. Thank you for your on-going commitment and congratulation on the award.
José Guimarães Júnior also known by everyone as ”Jockey”
For more than 30 years Jockey has attended Dana Cup with talented players from his hometown, Sao Paulo. Here, he provides them with school and football education. Every year the “Pequeninos do Jockey”, the boys of Jockey, increase the standard at Dana Cup. Jockey himself has become a highly appreciated institution. Even though he had to carry the Olympic torch on its way through Brazil in 2016 he participated in Dana Cup. From the Gothia Cup in Sweden he travelled home, where he did his run with the flame and the next day he took a flight to join his boys at the Dana Cup. Thank you for your great effort and for being a unique example to all of us! Congratulations!
Stage for Extraordinary Events
Dana Cup is a stage for extraordinary events. Football, friendships and events go hand-in-hand and become an experience for life. Nevertheless, the organisation behind the world’s third largest football tournament for youth has for many years wanted to create a stage to present extraordinary events. In particular, great football matches or interesting events, in general.
‘Therefore, this year we have turned the pitch closest to the Centre Area into a kind of Centre Court dedicated to extraordinary events. Three stands have been placed next to the pitch and, for instance, this year Liverpool FC have used the place to practice, events with New Balance and PES2018 but, actually, we are open to several different kinds of events,’ the manager of Dana Cup, Jette Andersen, underlines.
‘Center Court is also an obvious offer to locals to experience some of the highlights of Dana Cup up close,’ stresses Jette Andersen, who is also very impressed by the high standard in the Event Area.
‘First and foremost, I think that we are able to offer players, managers and families a broad variety of opportunities when not playing football. Additionally, I also think that the quality is high. At Dana Cup we want the best,’ Jette Andersen states.
Free Massage for Sore Muscles
Free pleasures are often the best. At Dana Cup there is something about the talk because players, coaches and referees can get free massage to relieve sore muscles.
‘We are 10 masseurs, who are ready to help the participants every day,’ emphasises the head of the massage tent, Bente Lauridsen, who has softened sore muscles for 11 years at Dana Cup. The tent is situated next to the MASH-tent at Fortuna’s clubhouse and is open on a daily basis from 9.00 am till 8.00 pm.
‘When the football pitches are wet we see many players and referees with hamstring muscle injuries, while hard pitches cause muscle soreness,’ Bente Lauridsen says.
MASH in Close Contact with the Hospital in Hjørring
Statistically speaking, between 600 and 700 players are injured in the Dana Cup. And the injuries include anything from blisters to broken legs or head injuries. Most people are treated in the MASH-tent at Dana Cup, but serious injuries are treated at the hospital, Regionshospital Nordjylland, in Hjørring.
’We have a close and excellent cooperation with Region Nordjylland. For instance, two of our laptops have direct access to the hospital in Hjørring. This means that we can book a time in the hospital X-ray department directly from the MASH-tent if we suspect somebody of having a fracture. As a consequence, waiting time is less and treatment faster and, at the same time, the pressure on the public health care system is less because we have already assessed the patient and filled out the necessary documents’, nurse Jette Nordberg underlines.
’In the MASH-tent we are able to stitch wounds or give injections against tetanus, for instance. We buy most of the medicine ourselves, while Region Nordjylland help us with a lot of materials such as surgical cotton wool,’ Jette Nordberg explains.
Without MASH injured players would be forced to seek help from local GPs or the hospital.