It’s been a while since ETC 2019, time to take a look at who the contenders are for the 2022 titles in Eindhoven in the 48th edition of the European Team Championships …
After losing out to France in three of the next four years the men reclaimed the title last time out, but the women were sensationally beaten … by France!
There are plenty of new caps in the England lineups, but there’s the experience of James Willstrop and Sarah-Jane Perry too, and based on rankings England will start favourites to claim their first double since 2016.
In an unprecedented move, the seeding were altered from the usual “where you finished last time is your seeding” when the reigning women’s champions announced that Camille Serme would not be playing. So France’s women are now fourth seeds, the same as the men, who lost out to Scotland in the 2019 3rd/4th match.
They’ll have great team spirit as ever, and with Gregory Gaultier in the men’s lineup they have every chance of exceeding their seeding, but it would be a big surprise if they were to win both titles.
There’s team spirit aplenty in the Scottish squads, and the men have finished in the top four in seven of the last eight editions. Their only title came in 1992 and their last final was 1996, so they’ll be out to end that run at least, and with Greg Lobban and Alan Clyne leading the way they have a good chance of doing just that.
With the absence of Lisa Aitken the women have an uphill task in repeating last time’s top four finish, but it won’t be for the want of trying.
With the addition of Emily Whitlock, the Welsh women’s team was boosted to third seeds, and with Tesni Evans at number one they have every chance of attaining or exceeding that level.
The men’s team is headed by the highest-ranked male player in Joel Makin, and after being fixtures in the top three for most of the nineties and noughties, they too will be looking for top four at least.
The Spanish men were jubilant as they beat defending champions France in the 2019 semis, securing a best ever second place finish. Missing Iker Pajares this year and led by veteran Borja Golan, a repeat seems unlikely and staying in the division might be their priority.
The women look to have a good chance in Division Two and promotion will be their aim.
Their men’s prospect may depend on the form of the retired Simon Rosner, but paired with Raphael Kandra at the top of the order and a strong lower order, they are capable of troubling any of their pool opponents.
The German women, fresh rom the Division Two title in 2019, have strength throughout but lack top ranked players and will probably settle for staying up.
They will start as underdogs in both pools – even with veteran Olli Tuominen for inspiration – and survival would be a result for them.
The women will once again be contenders for promotion.
The Dutch women will have home support, and all of their pool matches are on the glass court, but they will have their work cut out to survive.
The men will be hoping home support can lift them to challenge for promotion.
Top seeds in the men’s and women’s second divisions, the Swiss squad is spectacularly strong with Nicolas Mueller and Dimitri Steinmann heading the men’s team and Cindy Merlo and Nadia Pfister topping the women’s.
They look nailed on for the titles and a double promotion to Division One.