International Youth Soccer Tournament: Test Your Skills Against All Corners of the World
Every summer high level youth players from around the world pour into a small city in Denmark to compete in the Dana Cup. This unique tournament can be equivocated to a World Cup tournament at the youth level. What makes it unique is it’s highly competitive, but also social atmosphere which leaves kids with a lasting impression of significance and unity in their love for the sport with other youth from across the globe.
GoalNation’s Editor in Chief, Diane Scavuzzo Had the opportunity to interview Dana Cup Hjørring’s Marketing Manager Alison Forman about how this tournament brings together some of the best of the youth soccer players in the world to compete and measure their skill against one another, but also create lasting memories, and build friendships with kids of other nationalities.
Diane Scavuzzo: What makes this tournament special?
Alison Forman: Dana Cup Hjørring is a very special tournament due to the amazing international vibe created. The tournament takes place in a small city populated with around 30,000, but during the Dana Cup week, the city is happily invaded by 20,000 youth players and 10,000 leaders, coaches and parents.
“Within this safe environment you will live and breathe, international football, playing games against teams from all corners of the World.”
Diane Scavuzzo: Over the past five years what kind of growth has the tournament received? And how many teams are participating from America?
Alison Forman: Over the last five years our tournament has grown to a new level where we have constantly secured around 1,100 teams. This is our capacity for teams, giving us the possibility to secure quality and top class service at our tournament. From USA we can welcome anywhere between 20 plus teams each summer.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is the competition like?
Alison Forman: The competition of the tournament is fantastic, we cater for both social and elite teams. After the opening rounds the best teams move forward to the A-finals and the other teams to the B-finals.
Teams decide their own fate.
Diane Scavuzzo: Are there any Professionals who played in your tournament when they were young?
Alison Forman: We have a page on our website “Dana Cup Stars” where we update regularly the professional players who have played in our tournament.
At this time we know of: Allan Nielsen from Denmark, Andrea Pirlo from Italy, Brede Hangeland from Norway, Brian Laudrup from Denmark, Fredrik Torsteinbø from Norway, Frode Olsen from Norway, Javier Hernández Balcázar from Mexico, Jurgen Pisani from Malta, Júlio César Baptista from Brazil, Marco Fabián from Mexico, Valeria Aurora Miranda Rodríguez from Mexico and Zé Roberto from Brazil.
Diane Scavuzzo: If you were to describe the experience a American soccer player will have, what would it be like?
Alison Forman: I remember we met with Marco Fabian in Mexico at his football academy a few years back and he told us that he has played for some top clubs and for the Mexican National Team, but his fondest memories are the ones he has from our tournament.
The experience of taking part in our tournament is one that will remain with the young players for the rest of their lives.
Taking part in our tournament means you get the opportunity to test your footballing skills against other young players from all corners of the World. These International matches take place in a safe environment and an event area that gives the 20,000 players the opportunity to meet, talk, relax and make friendships across borders in their time off, and this is truly unique.
It is like playing in a World Cup just incredibly larger! The social aspect of the tournament is rated just as highly as the football itself.
Diane Scavuzzo: Can you please share some tips for success for travel and for preparing to compete in your tournament?
Alison Forman: For planning a successful trip to our tournament, you just need to get in touch and let us know what your needs are and we take care of everything else. We cannot assist teams with flights but we can assist with all land bookings in Denmark.
If teams need assistance with flights and a full package, we have agents that we can highly recommend for assistance. Denmark and Hjørring itself is a very safe place to travel to and there are no major surprises as far as playing football goes.
Our tournament is played on grassed fields and everything is centrally located without long distances to travel between games. So preparing for our tournament is like preparing for your own season back home.