|Selected questions from our interview with captain Justin Palmer:
How many players does your team have? How many of them are making their beach debut?
We're bringing a big squad of 15 players to the Championship – lots of interest this year because it’s on home soil. A handful of players are debuting with the Spanish team but, coming from Spain, all of them have lots of beach experience.
Talk us through the selection process for your team.
We had a record turnout this year because ECBU is in Spain. The selection committee (Amán, Alberto, Litus and Jota) sent out initial invitations, put the interested players on teams according to various criteria and brought approximately 100 players together for a concentración in early 2013. The captains of the individual teams then finalized their rosters and chose their preparation tournaments.
How has your team's season gone so far? What tournaments have you played?
We got in some good work at the concentración, and then took a break to focus on individual preparation. We got in our first and only preparation tournament a couple weeks ago at BUM, where we played against a handful of national sides and finished 3rd. The result wasn't ideal, but the team’s progression over the course of the weekend was very positive and has motivated all the players to be in top form for the end of June.
Which teams are you looking forward to playing against the most in Spain and why?
The Swiss always offer a unique challenge, and I'd like another crack at Germany after losing to them at WCBU2011. But it’s also fun to play against new faces like Hungary or traditionally spirited teams like Ireland or Belgium. It's a shame that teams like Austria and the Netherlands don't have open teams, because they always give us good games.
Who do you think will be the big contenders for the title in your division?
The Swiss are the defending ECBU champions and had the best European finish at WCBU in 2011, but lots of teams seem to be taking the Championships seriously this year. Germany, GB and France are always contenders in Europe, and Italy and Spain are usually pretty strong on the beach.|