1st EFTA Men’s European Championship that took place on 7 and 8 October in Corte, Corsica, was definitely a historic event for our European association. But what did it mean for its participants? What impressions did they go away with? Here are the opinions of some of those who took part – in various roles – in this championship.
Joe MONKS – England (coach and player)
We thoroughly enjoyed the European Futnet Championship in Corte. Obviously our results were not the best but we were happy to qualify and use it as a learning curve so we can come back next year better prepared. It was an excellent experience with a great atmosphere in the main arena. We have set ourselves a target for the next tournament and are thoroughly looking forward to it.
Gabriel VINANSKY – Slovakia (President of Slovak Futnet Association)
We are obviously very happy with our excellent results, to win the gold in all three disciplines is like a dream. As an association we are extremely satisfied. Our praise and thanks go to the organisers and to everybody who participated in the promotion and organisation and contributed to this very successful event. This championship will definitely stay in our memories and will have a particular place in the history of Slovak futnet!
Régis MORVAN – France (coach)
I was not happy with our results and the level of refereeing in some of the matches, unfortunately, I think it cost us a bronze medal in the doubles and influenced also the semifinal against the Czechs. It’s necessary that the association pay more attention to the refeerees’ preparation. It’a pity that countries such as Romania and Hungary couldn’t participate in the tournament, there would have been more top quality matches.
Otherwise, we really enjoyed the event and had a great time after the tournament where we could finally relax and celebrate the end of the playing career of Jimmy (Libert), Petr (Bubniak) and mine in the morning in the hotel swimming pool.
Michal KLOSINSKI – Poland (player)
After coming to Corte we were very surprised because we didn’t think the local inhabitants would be interested in this sport. To our amazement, futnet is quite popular in Corsica. There were more supporters than we expected who came to enjoy the matches and supported the teams. That was a result of hard work of organizers. Posters and banners informing about the competition were everywhere – in supermarkets, newspapers, sports clubs, TV, etc.
The level of the tournament was really high. Slovak and Czech players were out of range for the rest of participants. Swiss and French national teams also showed great futnet skills and they deserved to stay on the medal podium with Slovaks and Czechs. We knew that all of these four teams were too strong for us, so our objective was to win 5th place in all categories. We were finally a bit disappointed because we managed to do so only in doubles.
For me it was a great opportunity to see and learn from players like Jan Brutovsky, Patrik Perun or the great single player Milan Izol. I hope the experience gained at the tournament will bring us better results in the future.
Corsica is really a wonderful place. There is all one can imagine – amazing mountains, beautiful blue sea and sunny weather. We felt like being at home, thanks to hospitality of its people. Big thanks to the organisers and my special thanks to Jean Deloffre who gave me lot of advice in single matches.
Eric JECKER – France (organiser)
Although the first impression after the championship was a certain disappointment because of the lower number of the audience than expected, it was very quickly replaced by satisfaction. The most important thing was to make players happy with what we offered them. And I am proud of having been able to offer to every participant a championship at a very high level. The competition went as we expected. We saw spectacular matches and we could organise a soirée after the championship which was an important moment of the event where all the teams could meet and enjoy a friendly atmosphere. As an organiser I am definitely satisfied if the players are. And I think they are so and will remember this historically first EFTA European championship for a long time.