La Manga Cup important for U17 men's Elite round preparation
Hungary's Under 17 men's team led by head coach Zoltán Szélesi are participating in the La Manga Cup in Spain between 8th and 12th February with matches lined up against their counterparts from Sweden, Norway and Slovakia.
Hungary U17s are currently preparing for their forthcoming UEFA U17 European Championship Elite round four-team mini-tournament which they will host from March 22nd, their guests including Israel, Slovenia and Romania. The eight group winners will progress from this stage to the finals in England where they will be joined by the seven best group runners-up.
So, how did our Under 17 national team reach this stage?
In August 2017, Szélesi's squad finished second in the Telki Cup before continuing their work together at the Syrenka Cup in Poland where they finished fourth. That period of preparation was for the Main round of the UEFA U17 Euros in which Hungary hosted Wales, Netherlands and Kosovo.
According to UEFA competition statistics, 52 teams were spread over 13 groups during the first qualifying stage in autumn 2017. The first two from each group progressed to the Elite round this spring, as did the four best 3rd-placed teams.
Hungary performed impressively throughout that first mini-tournament, overcoming Wales 2-1 and deservedly defeating the Netherlands in their second match. Their status as group winners was confirmed when they triumphed 3-1 against Kosovo.
The La Manga Cup
Hungary's Under 17 men's team will contest the La Manga Cup in Spain between 8th and 12th February with matches scheduled against Sweden, Norway and Slovakia in that order.
This tournament has been in existence since 1999. At the start, it primarily served club sides from northern European nations such as Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden), although now a different trophy is contested by national teams. Hungary arrived in the resort of La Manga in the region of Murcia on Tuesday.
Hungary's La Manga Cup fixtures:
2017. 02.08., Hungary-Sweden, ko: 18:00
2017. 02.10., Hungary–Norway, ko: 18:00
2017. 02.12., Hungary–Slovakia, ko: 15:00
The Hungary Under 17 men's squad (surnames first):
Ásványi Balázs (PFLA)
Kiss Ágoston (Illés Akadémia)
Lakatos Benjámin (DVSC)
Varju Benedek (MTK)
Farkas Marcell (DVTK)
Nyári Patrik (Illés Akadémia)
Szűcs Kornél (DVTK)
Papp László (PFLA)
Vida Kristóf (FTC)
Irimiás Gergő (Budapest Honvéd)
Csala Tibor (Csíkszereda)
Kocsis Bence Máté (PFLA)
Kovács Máté (MTK)
Csávás Bence (DVTK)
Kapronczai Gergely (MTK)
Papp Marcell (FTC)
Márton Adrián (SPAL)
Bukta Csaba (DVSC)
Tóth-Gábor Kristóf (Illés Akadémia)
Beke Péter (HSV)