|16 June 2014|
|Spain head coach Anna Caula is gunning for a third consecutive U20 gold this summer|
When Spain take to the court in Udine for the U20 European Championship Women they will be bidding to land a wonderful fourth consecutive crown at the event, with head coach Anna Caula intent on taking her third.
Ever since current senior national team boss Lucas Mondelo finished top of the podium back in 2011 on a memorable night in Novi Sad, the Spanish Armada has continued to prove impregnable under the watchful eye of Caula.
Taking her first title in Debrecen and retaining it last year in Samsun, it looks like the play-caller will ensure Spain are once again the team to beat.
Not least of course because the holders possess a player who is officially the best young player on the continent.
For their challenge will be spearheaded by current FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year, Astou Ndour who is also preparing for a head-spinning and pulse-racing move to Turkish juggernaut, Fenerbahce where she will play EuroLeague Women and compete for minutes with former WNBA MVP, Tina Charles.
Caula can also call upon last year's U18 European Championship Women MVP in the shape of Leticia Romero, a former team mate of Ndour at club level with Gran Canaria who might just be glad to get onto the court again.
The stellar playmaker has been at the centre of a well-publicised NCAA wrangle when having moved to Kansas State University, she was then effectively sidelined during her Freshman year after wanting to move elsewhere because of a coaching change at the institution.
Having been the team's top scorer, Romero has recently realised a switch to Florida State, where she will play from the autumn. Most importantly of all, it has drawn a much needed line under the saga and means the standout guard can do what she does best and tear it up on the hardwood.
As well as Romero, Coach Caula will be looking to utilise a host of other players who have made the move Stateside, including the likes of Elena de Alfredo, Yaiza Rodriguez, Ariadna Pujol, Irene Gari and Marina Lizarazu.
"Talent, imagination, illusion - is it enough?" asked Caula ahead of the event which tips-off in just over a fortnight.
"These virtues will join the values of work and sacrifice and then we will have the tools to approach the podium.
"We hope to not be satisfied with being good, but to dream of being the best!
"It is a championship of maturity, where the best Europeans competitors are well known and play basketball at a high level.
"This forces you to fully optimise your resources and above all, you must understand that you have to fight and earn it," added Caula.
The Spanish team are currently in the middle of an intensive ten day team work-out, before competing in a triangular tournament in Noia next weekend against Sweden and Czech Republic.