Balzan must overcome the challenge of Danish club Copenhagen Futsal and Croatian side Zagreb Futsal if they are to advance to the main round of the UEFA Futsal Cup for the first time in their history after the draws held at the house of European football in Nyon.
Balzan, who captured their league title after beating arch-rivals Hibernians, were among the unseeded teams for this afternoon’s draw and were put into pot 3.
“It’s a very tough draw, ” Mario Vella, Balzan’s president told this website.
“The Croatians are a great squad and the majority of the players play with the national team. Despite all this, Balzan will work hard to produce a great performance in this competition.”
Club official, Nathan Jones expressed the same opinion when he said that Balzan were pitted in a difficult group.
“It will be very hard, but not impossible,” said the team’s player/coach Gabriel Dobre.
“We have our chance but we need to show enough courage to play well.”
On the other hand, Balzan’s talisman player, Emil Raducu claimed that his team was not very lucky in the draws.
“We need to prepare very well during this time, we will work hard and hope in a good result even though we are considered as outsiders.”
Balzan will play both matches of the preliminary group in Croatia between the 26th and the 31st August 2014.
Preliminary round (26–31 August)
Group A: Hovocubo (Netherlands), Eden Futsal (Ireland), Istanbul Üniversitesi SK (Turkey), Wrexham Futsal Club (Wales)
Group B: Baku United FC (England), MNK Centar Sarajevo (Bosnia), Malmö City FC (Sweden), Gibraltar Scorpions FC (Gibraltar)
Group C: FS Ilves Tampere (Finland), Record Bielsko-Byala (Poland), Perth Saltires (Scotland), FK Lokomotyvas Radviliškis (Lithuania)
Group D: APOEL FC (Cyprus), NAFI Stuttgart (Germany), FC Anzhi Tallin (Estonia), KF Flamurtari Vlorë (Albania)
Group E: MFC Stolitsa Minsk (Belgium), FC Encamp (Andorra), FSC Schwaz (Austria), FC Talgrig Yerevan (ARM)
Group F: MNK Alumnus Zagreb (Croatia), København Futsal (Denmark), Balzan FC (Malta)
Group G: KMF Zelezarec Skopje (Macedonia), Asa Ben Gurion (Israel) , FC Agama Podgorica (Montenegro)
Group H: FC Grand Pro Varna (Bulgaria), Uni Futsal Bulle (Switzerland), FC Progress Chisinau (Moldova)
Main round (30 September–5 October)
Group 1: FK EP Chrudim (Czech Republic), Sporting Club de Paris (France), Winner preliminary round Group E, Winner preliminary round Group G
Group 2: Iberia Star Tbilisi (Georgia), FK Nikars Riga (Latvia), Winner preliminary round Group H, Winner preliminary round Group C
Group 3: ISK Dina Moskva (Russia), FC Lokomotiv Kharkiv (Ukrania), FC Deva (Romania), Winner preliminary round Group F
Group 4: Inter FS (Spain), Futsal Team Charleroi (Belgium), KMN Kobarid (Slovenia), Winner preliminary round Group A
Group 5: KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac (Serbia), Luparense C/5 (Italy), Athina ’90 (Greece), Winner preliminary round Group B
Group 6: Slov-Matic Bratislava (Slovakia), MVFC Berettjóújfalu (Hungary), Vegakameratene (Norway), Winner preliminary round Group D
Bye to elite round: FC Barcelona (Spain, holders), Kairat Almaty (Kazakhstan), Araz Naxçivan (Azerbaijan), Sporting Clube de Portugal (Portugal)