Important spring fixtures await our national teams
Hungarian national teams at all levels are anticipating a series of exciting and competitive matches in the coming months, our youth sides hoping to reach the final stages of their various UEFA European Championship tournaments, our senior women's team vying for World Cup qualification and our men's senior side searching for the perfect preparation ahead of the inaugural UEFA Nations' League.
To this end, George Leekens' men's senior squad has had friendly matches against Kazakhstan and Scotland arranged for them in the month of March to follow the UEFA Nations' League draw which takes place on 24th January. Meanwhile, the Hungarian women's senior team faces two huge challenges within five days in early April, first entertaining the traditional giants of women's football in Sweden at home on 5th April before travelling to the Balkans for an away fixture with Croatia four days later, both matches part of their FIFA Women's World Cup qualification campaign. For the next six weeks though, participation in the 12-team Cyprus Cup in late February and early March will be the main focus of attention for Edina Markó's squad.
At youth level, all four of Hungary's U17 and U19 teams - male and female - have reached the Elite round stage of their respective UEFA European Championship tournaments for the second year in succession. The men's U19 team are first to contest a place in the finals proper later this year when they travel to Macedonia to face the hosts as well as Latvia and reigning champions England in late March, while at almost exactly the same time their Under 17 colleagues will welcome Israel, Romania and Slovenia to their respective Elite round mini-tournament in Hungary. In the men's U19 competition, only the group winners progress to the last stage of the tournament in Finland but in the U17 edition, the group winners plus the six best group runners-up qualify for the finals in England.
The last week in March also sees Hungary host the Women's Under 17 Elite round group with the home team contesting a place in the final stage of the competition in Lithuania alongside their Elite group rivals Czech Republic, Italy and Serbia. Hungary's U19 women's squad complete the Elite round participation with another mini-tournament held in Hungary, the Netherlands, Sweden and Slovenia providing the opposition as they all hope to secure their place at the finals tournament in Switzerland. In both the women's competitions, only the group winners qualify for the finals tournaments.
The men's Under 21 side will not be inactive during this busy period either, two European Championship qualifiers against Cyprus at home and Belgium away preoccupying the mind of head coach Michael Boris as he seeks to help prolong his team's unbeaten sequence in the qualifying group so far.
More details and reaction to follow.
Spring schedule for Hungary's national teams:
February 27-March 8: Women's senior team - Cyprus Cup
March 21-27: Men's Under 19: European Championship qualifiers: Elite Round, Macedonia
March 22: Men's Under 21: European Championship qualifier vs Cyprus
March 22-28: Men's Under 17: European Championship qualifiers: Elite Round, Hungary
March 23-29: Women's U17: European Championship qualifiers: Elite Round, Hungary
March 23: Men's senior team - international friendly vs Kazakhstan
Márch 26: Men's Under 21 - European Championship qualifier vs Belgium
March 27: Men's senior team - international friendly vs Scotland
April 4-10: Women's Under 19 European Championship qualifiers: Elite Round, Hungary
April 5: Women's senior team - World Cup qualifier vs Sweden
April 9: Women's senior team - World Cup qualifier vs Croatia