ZAGREB, 30 October – The future looks bright for Croatian football after a successful last couple of months for Croatia’s youth national football teams.
In October, five Croatia national youth sides progressed to the elite rounds of European Championship and World Cup qualifying after impressive results and one won silver at a European Championship last month.
The Croatia U-17 national team, coached by Tomislav Rukavina, advanced to the European Championship elite round qualifying, as did the U-19 national team, led by former international Josip Simunic, the U-19 girls national team, coached by Bozidar Miletic, Stella Gotal’s U-17 national girls team, whilst the men’s futsal team coached by Mato Stankovic advanced through the World Cup qualifying elite round.
Meanwhile, the Croatia U-15 national team won a international development tournament in Medulin, and the U-19 futsal team won silver at the European Championships.
Croatian Football Federation’s head instructor says the results over the past two months show how much quality is at Croatia’s disposal.
“I am very pleased with the performance of the Croatian national teams this fall and I would like to thank all the selectors and members of the coaching staff for their quality work. I also thank our football clubs, which play an important role in shaping young players. The fact that in October five Croatian national teams qualified for the elite round of qualifications is a testament to the quality of our professional staffs, as well as the talent and work of our players,” Petar Krpan said.
Krpan says he is convinced that a few players will emerge from every age group team and will one day contribute to the senior national team.
“Our development system will continue to develop excellent players, just as it has done so far. All of the Vatreni, except Ivan Rakitic, have come up through the system of age group Croatian national teams, and recent successes are an indication that the present generations of young national teams will produce worthy successors for today’s Vatreni,” Krpan said.
Success of the young Croatian national team at the U-19 European Championship in futsal, where they won a silver medal, shows that there is a bright future in the growing sport of futsal.
“The silver medal at the first U-19 European Football Championship is a great success that we should all be proud of. Congratulations to coach Mavrovic and all the young national team players, and especially congratulations to Josip Jurlina and Fran Vukelic, who were included in the best team of the tournament,” said Krpan.
“The qualities of our senior national team the coaching staff are indisputable. Our senior national team serves as an inspiration for our young players and as proof that everything can be achieved through hard work, “ Krpan concluded.