Bulgaria may be hosting this year's UEFA Regions' Cup but the home team will have a tough task in matching the achievements of their representatives at the 2005 tournament in Poland. South-West Region-Sofia AMA reached the final that year only to lose out to Vasca AMA - although South-East Region AMA coach Angel Stankov is hoping that his side can go one better on home soil.
Former PFC Levski Sofia and PFC Rodopa Smolyan coach Stankov told uefa.com: "We are in a very tricky situation. Bulgaria will host the final tournament and it a great honour for us and two years ago the Bulgarian team lost in the final. Everyone will expect a lot from our side and we must be ready for the challenge."
The South-East Region side is based around players from FC Svilengrad 1921, who recently won promotion to the Bulgarian second tier after winning their regional amateur league. Stankov said: "We have several very talented young players and this tournament will be a great experience for them. In recent years players like Martin Kamburov and Kaloyan Karadzhinov benefited from such tournaments and were later capped by the senior team of Bulgaria."
Stankov was excited at the prospect of facing a multi-national cast of sides at the final tournament. "There is no chance of scouting our opponents," he said. "I expect the French will be one of the best - they have very rich traditions in such competitions. I expect the Northern Irish side to play very direct and physical football. The Bosnian side will probably have a style similar to ours."
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