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Dacia determined to succeed

Dacia are hoping to prove in Poland that Romanian football still has plenty to offer.

By Paul-Daniel Zaharia

Dacia are competing in the UEFA Regions' Cup for the fourth time, although their trip to Malopolska will mark the first time that the team - who take their name from the old Roman province of Dacia - will play in the final tournament.

Select team
A select team of the best that Romanian amateur football has to offer, the majority of the squad hail from the regions of Oltenia - with its main city of Craiova - and Prahova. There are a few players from Bucharest too, home of Romania's most successful clubs, FC Dinamo Bucuresti and FC Steaua Bucuresti.

THE MAN IN COMMAND

A player for FC Inter Sibiu, FC Politehnica Timisoara, CF Sportul Studentesc and his hometown side CSM Resita, Dacia coach Dan Firiteanu has 22 years of coaching experience behind him. The 56-year-old now works for the Romanian Football Federation, leading their Under-17 teams and acting as assistant coach of the U21s. Since last year he has led Dacia too, and is soon to collect his full UEFA Pro licence.

uefa.com: What are you hoping to achieve at the Regions' Cup finals?

Dan Firiteanu: Each participation at a tournament, and especially at a final tournament, is a big challenge for any coach whatever the competition. Like any self-respecting coach, I want to win all the matches. Of course, I want to win this year's Regions' Cup, but I am well aware that it will be very difficult.

uefa.com: Have you enjoyed playing in the competition so far?

Firiteanu: Of course. Despite the fact that we faced some problems in selecting players, we did our job very well. In the first qualifying phase, we qualified as the best second-placed team, but in the second phase we proved that we are a good and skilful team.

uefa.com: What do you feel are the strengths of your team?

Firiteanu: First of all good technique, but also team spirit. We have several players who play for the same few clubs who know each other and who always show commitment in order to prove that they are good.

uefa.com: What kind of professions do you and your players have?

Firiteanu: It's hard to say, because there are a lot of professions, beginning with workers in agriculture and finishing with sports teachers and even unemployed people.

uefa.com: What would winning the trophy mean to you?

Firiteanu: It would be a big professional achievement and a sign that at the grassroots, Romanian football still has a enormous potential, great resources and talented players.