LIVESTREAM IFAF U19 EC: France @ Italy, May 11, 15:00 CET (3 pm, 9 am EDT)

The IFAF U19 European Championships resume on Saturday, May 11, with two Group A nations in action for the first time in the 2024/25 competition when Italy takes on France at the Beltrametti Stadium in Piacenza (kickoff 3pm CET).

Italy is the marginally higher ranked team having finished sixth in 2023 and has never beaten seventh-placed France when the sides have met previously.

“Thanks to the work of the clubs and the federation’s development programs, in the last three years we have managed to move up in the international ranking and to realize our ambitions of being able to play a good team like France,” said Italy head coach Giorgio Longhi.

Watch live. France @ Italy, May 11, 15:00 CET (3 pm, 9 am EDT)

“Our game plan is simple but not easy, being able to manage the field position with special teams and setting up our game, to still be in the game in the fourth quarter and at that point trying to win. We expect France to be aggressive in defence and they will try to control the time of possession with long drives on offense.”

The Italian U19s have been practicing at a retreat at Cadimare, at the Logistic Support Center of the Air Force, Institute U. Maddalena, which has increasingly become the home base for the Azzurri. They will then move to Piacenza on Saturday morning to take on France.

Les Bleues rounded off 2023 by beating Great Britain to finish seventh overall under head coach Emmanuel Maguet and look to challenge Italy on Saturday and then bronze medalist Finland when they meet in November.

“After a disappointing 2023 European campaign, we are starting a new cycle with the ambition of going for a place in the top four by winning this group,” explained Maguet. “The group will not be easy with Finland and Italy who are very good football nations. Our roster will benefit from a dozen or so veterans who are still eligible to play and younger players who have earned a call up to the U19s squad. The players’ performances in their respective clubs and youth competitions have been closely monitored.”

Group A
Saturday, May 11 Italy vs France
September 21 Finland vs Italy
November 9/10 France vs Finland

Reigning champions Austria will enter the championships in the next stage and play a round-robin tournament against the teams that win Group A and Group B, which comprises of Germany, Denmark and Sweden. Austria will be ranked #1. The #2 team will be the highest ranked nation from 2023 that qualifies as Group winners. The #3 team will be the lower ranked nation from the current cycle that advances. The overall winners will be crowned IFAF U19 European Champions.

Watch live. France @ Italy, May 11, 15:00 CET (3 pm, 9 am EDT)

Michael Preston (@PRMikePreston) is currently working with IFAF in a PR capacity. He recently covered Super Bowl LVII as a member of the NFL PR team as he has done for 20+ years. He has held communications positions with NFL Europe, the North