PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC — Israel and seven other countries have their schedule for the 2019 Men’s U-20 European Championship, which is being held at Aritma Sports Club in Prague, Czech Republic, from June 29-July 6.
The blue-and-white are ranked #6 in the Men’s Junior rankings, behind fellow European powerhouse #5 England.
They will open their campaign on June 30th in the Euro U-20’s against Poland, who is making their debut in the Junior ranks.
On July 1st, Israel takes on host Czech Republic, who are considered a medal contender despite not participating in the 2016 U-19 World Championships. The Czechs — like Israel in 2016 — finished 6th in the 2012 U-19 World Championships in Finland, and have a strong youth development program.
Israel will wrap up pool play on July 2nd against Ireland, who are ranked right behind Israel at #7 in the world. The blue-and-white earned a tough 12-10 win over the Irish in 2016, and the two teams are considered rivals. Ireland is expected to have a strong team and is also a medal contender.
Sun, Jun 30 — Israel vs Poland — 4pm
Mon, Jul 1 — Israel vs Czech Republic — 6:30pm
Tue, Jul 2 — Israel vs Ireland — 4pm
Playoffs begin on Wednesday, July 3rd
While it’s anyone’s guess which team will emerge on top of the pool (and earn a bye to the semifinals), the top three teams from the pool will advance to the six-team playoffs. Seeding within the pool is crucial, as Gold Medal favorites England are expected to take the other pool, which also features medal contenders Germany and Wales, as well as newcomer Latvia.
Israel’s Championship and Festival teams will be arriving in Prague on June 26th and competing in the 22nd-annual Prague Cup as a training event for the Euros. The festival team will be competing in the European Lacrosse Festival from July 3-5, the National Team Challenge from July 6-7, as well as several exhibition matches. For more information, contact Seth Mahler at firstname.lastname@example.org.