International | Focus on… Spain

The women’s team will be looking to sharpen themselves up for further competition when they face Spain in a friendly this weekend.

While Spain haven’t had much success in international tournaments so far, they look like a team primed for improvement.

They qualified for their first IFAF Women’s World Championship in 2013, but failed to put up a single point in either group game, while giving up 97 along the way. Their struggle continued in their 5th place play-off against Sweden where they took a 64-0 hammering as their only souvenir.

Spain versus Canada in the 2013 World Cup. Image taken from footballcanada.com.

Roberto Torrecillas Sanchez‘s team made a slight improvement as hosts for the 2015 Women’s European Championship. They dropped both of their games in the group stage, losing to Finland and Austria, but bounced back to get their revenge on Sweden in the 5th place play-off, edging the Swedes 14-12.

While they might’ve failed to break the top four on home soil, they put up more points on the champions Finland than anybody else managed, and had players on both sides of the ball make the 2015 WEC All Star team.

While Barbera Rookies players make up a fourteen of the forty-five woman roster, ten of the fourteen women’s teams in Spain are represented in the friendly. It’s no surprise, as the Barbera Rookies beat the Barcelona Búfals to finish as champions in 2016, and have won five of the six titles in the history of the women’s league.

The team held a training camp in Madrid last week, which should give the roster a better chance at gelling and making an impact on what is a very highly regarded team in the GB Lions.

Beatriz Herzog takes off against the Barbera Rookies. Image from jabatos.es.

It’s the first meeting between the two teams, but the Lions will have to take some time to focus on Spain’s stars.

Lightning fast Allison Rodriguez of the Barcelona Búfals, who can line up at Running Back or Wide Receiver is arguably the star of the show and was selected to the WEC All Star team in 2015. Beatriz Herzog of the Las Rozas Black Demons should start under centre after leading the league in touchdowns in 2016. On the other side of the ball, Carol Casamitjana Correas of the Barbera Rookies can wreak havoc, and joined Rodriguez in the WEC All Star Team.

While the GB Lions no doubt enter the game as favourites, Spain have the players that can make big plays, and will look to prove their worth on the back of a rapidly improving domestic system.

Spain play the GB Lions on Saturday 17th September at 7 PM at Sixways Stadium, Worcester.

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Gareth Thomas

Gareth has played for the Birmingham Bulls and Sandwell Steelers, and as a frustrated offensive play-maker craves only the sweet rush that comes with interceptions. He joined Double Coverage at the request of Rob Amor and is only here until he's picked up by ESPN or Sports Illustrated.