Portsmouth back with new recruits for Euro Winners Cup mission

Steve Black
Steve Black
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A year on from making their debut in the competition, Portsmouth Beach Soccer are back representing England at the Beach Soccer European Winners Cup in Catania, Italy.

The competition is considered the biggest stage in European Beach Soccer.

Both previous tournaments were held in Italy in 2013 and 2014 and were a big success.

This year’s tournament starts today and closes on June 9.

Portsmouth were eliminated in the group stage last year.

But they have some new signings on board.

Greek duo Dimitrios Nikola and Konstantinos Papastathopoulos have signed and both have experience, playing for Greek team AO Kefallinia (AOK) in the 2013 and 2014 tournaments.

German goalkeeper Elvis Eckardt has also joined the Blues.

The club will be hoping these new additions will help them prove a stronger force this time out.

The only English team in the competition out of the 28 teams in Sicily, Portsmouth have drawn CS Djoker-Tornado Chisinau, from Moldova, Ushkyn-Iskra, from Kazakhstan, and Italian side Happy Car Sambenedettese in Group D.

It will be a good opportunity for forward Butchy Davy and midfielder Jay Woods to show their talents, alongside England international regulars like Mark Corbett, Terry Bowes, Scott Lawson and Steve Black, as well as the new recruits.

The Blues’ opening game against CS Djoker-Tornado Chisinau kicks off at 12.45pm today.

They will be seeking revenge after the team from Moldova beat them 4-3, after extra-time, in last year’s group stage.

Last year’s winners, BSC Kristall, from Russia, are favourites to retain their title. However, fellow Russian side Locomotiv Moscow will be feeling confident having strengthened their team and will hope to repeat their 2013 success.