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Belgium, Denmark and Spain are three of the six countries that will be participating in the 2013 FIFPro Tournament, this weekend in Rijnsburg, The Netherlands.

 

The professional footballers associations of these three countries received more applications than ever before.

 

For the ninth consecutive year FIFPro organizes its tournament for players without a contract. This time six players unions will make their appearance at the event, which means that approximately 110 footballers will be trying to impress the scouts and earn a new contract.

 

In Group A, the players associations from Belgium (Team Sporta), Denmark (Team Spillerforeningen) and Spain (Team AFE) will meet each other.

 

The Belgian team will make its debut at the FIFPro Tournament. Last year, Sporta organized its first training camp for players without a contract. This year the Belgian union decided to continue the initiative. Team manager Dirk De Vos: ‘We opened training camp on July 1st. Since, we’ve had approximately 18 players at each training sessions. The number of participants depends on how many players have been invited to train with professional clubs.’

 

Team Sporta played two friendly matches. Coach Freddy Heirman’s team was narrowly beaten by both third-leaguer FCV Dender EH (2-3) and premier league side Cercle Brugge (2-3). De Vos: ‘Both matches were close.’ 

 

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Danish players union Spillerforeningen decided not to schedule any friendlies. ‘The teams from our premier league are too strong for us, the teams from our second league were still on holiday’, explains team manager Kresten Blæsild (photo).

 

‘We did play some matches during our training camp. In that way, we could play 24 to 26 players each match.’

 

The training camp started on July 1st with 25 to 32 players turning up each day. ‘In comparison with last year, more players are interested in our programme’, says Blæsild. ‘And I think the current level is higher than at last year’s training camp.’

 

Blæsild estimates that since the start of the training camp ten players have signed a new contract. On Monday three players left: Andreas Sørensen, Thomas Sørensen and Simon Bræmer to respectively FC Roskilde (3rd level), IA Akranes (1st level Iceland) and AB (2st level Denmark).

 

Blæsild expects many players to follow that example after the FIFPro Tournament, as a vast amount of Danish clubs still needs to add multiple players befor the new season begins.

 

The Spanish players union AFE received 98 applications for its training camp for players without a contract. Last week, the technical committee (including coach José Rojo Pacheta) selected 22 players who were allowed to train with the team and to participate in the FIFPro Tournament. The 76 other players must hope that they receive one of the 25 invitations for the so called Sesiones AFE, the training camp that starts on July 25th in Gijón.

 

Before travelling to the Netherlands, Team AFE will play two friendlies: on Tuesday against Hercules (2) and on Thursday against Elche (1).

 

Last year, Team AFE took the second place after losing on penalties to the Netherlands in the final. ‘I hope our team is as strong as last year’s. It is difficult to compare right now, because we haven’t played any match’, says team manager Vicente Blanco.

 

 

 

Fixtures:

  Saturday July 20      
A Denmark -Belgium   11.30 hrs
B Portugal -The Netherlands   12.45 hrs
A Denmark -Spain   14.00 hrs
B Portugal -France   15.15 hrs
A Belgium -Spain   16.30 hrs
B The Netherlands -France   17.45 hrs
         
  Sunday July 21      
  No 3 Group A -No 3 Group B   12.30 hrs
  No 2 Group A -No 2 Group B   13.45 hrs
  No 1 Group A -No 1 Group B   15.00 hrs