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Spain aim high and newcomers hope

Spain coach José Venancio López has set his sights on another title while Switzerland and San Marino are looking forward to their debuts as UEFA.com rounds up the reaction from the draw.

Spain hope to lift the trophy again in Croatia
Spain hope to lift the trophy again in Croatia ©UEFA.com

Spain coach José Venancio López has set his sights on a fourth straight UEFA European Futsal Championship title – and third under his command – after his side were matched with last January's surprise semi-finalists Azerbaijan in the 2012 preliminary and qualifying round draws. UEFA.com rounds up the reaction from Nyon, hearing from two of the newcomers to the competition, Switzerland and San Marino.

José Venancio López, Spain coach
(playing hosts Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and the preliminary round Group D winners)
Since I was appointed we have won two titles, in Porto in 2007 and Hungary in 2010. Our goal for the next EURO is to win the title again, but first we need to qualify. The standard of our team is very high, but we are also refreshing it with young players to guarantee a successful future. Azerbaijan have improved hugely in recent years, from not being able to qualify to finishing fourth in the last European Championship. They have talented players of Brazilian origin. Their coach is Brazilian too. It will be a very difficult match against them, especially as it is the last match.

We already know Kazakhstan. We played them in the qualifying tournament in Badajoz, Spain, beating them 7-0. Lithuania are one of the favourites to qualify from the preliminary round and that could also be a difficult match, but the most difficult fixture of our qualifying group should be Azerbaijan.

Roberto Menichelli, Italy coach
(playing hosts Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the preliminary round Group B winners)
It's a complex and difficult draw, do not forget that it is always like that in qualifying for the European finals. We'll play abroad against strong opponents to be feared, we'll have to prepare very well for these three matches. In the commitments ahead [Grand Prix in Brazil and double friendlies against Spain and Serbia] we will need to assess the progress of players and continue to shape the squad which began working in September.

Gennadii Lisenchuk, Ukraine coach
(hosting Hungary, Belgium and the preliminary round Group A winners)
Even before the draw we were very happy that UEFA allowed us to stage a qualifying tournament in Ukraine. We would like to say thank you for that trust. It's the first time the Ukrainian national team will host such a tournament. We will make every effort to put on a fantastic festival and look after the visiting teams.

The teams drawn in our group are very good. We played against Hungary in the play-off for the [2008 FIFA Futsal] World Cup in Brazil and we had two tough games. We were able to qualify but these opponents are not easy. In Belgium, on the other hand, futsal has a long tradition and although in recent years they have not been too successful they will do everything to have a leading role in European futsal again. As for the preliminary round, I think that in that group Montenegro are favourites.

Marcel Loosveld, Netherlands coach
(hosting Russia, Serbia and the preliminary round Group E winners)
We are in a difficult group but that's a challenge for us. If we want to improve our futsal, if we want to have good results, we need to beat some very good countries. Now we know our opponents we will prepare and do what we can to achieve a good result in February. We hope people in Holland will get behind the home team and help us qualify for the final tournament in Croatia.

Vic Hermans, Malta coach
(hosting Lithuania, France and Bulgaria in preliminary round)
Every two years, when the draw is made, you have a feeling the teams only get better. I can see a lot of good games ahead in the preliminary and qualifying rounds. Malta's group could be an interesting one. We have France, we have Lithuania and they were way higher in the ranking and then there is Bulgaria. It's good for small countries to have strong opponents – it was a good draw for futsal.

David Meyer, Switzerland coach
(playing Moldova, hosts Turkey and Montenegro in preliminary round)
For our first participation we would have hoped for a friendlier draw. I have played in the UEFA Futsal Cup against the Moldovan champions, and I know a bit about the standard of the game in that country. Montenegro is a country where futsal is popular as well, and Turkey, who will host the tournament, have a bit more experience than us. I think this is a quite strong group and we had been hoping to get possibly easier opposition.

Stefano Bevitori, San Marino Football Federation board member and head of futsal
(playing hosts Finland, Cyprus and Albania in preliminary round)
For us this is a good draw. We are clear outsiders and there is not much chance for us, but I can see a very small glimpse of light. [The futsal side being more successful than the national football team] is my biggest goal. When we launched futsal in our association six years back, our president gave me the task of trying to win a first game by a Sammarinese national team. This is our immediate objective.