Satka Celebrates Qualification
Written by Newcastle Utd
Slovakia have secured the final place in the elite round of the European Under-19 Championships, which is good news for United youngster Lubo Satka
By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Young defender Lubo Satka is celebrating after Slovakia made it through to next stage of the European Under-19 Championships after an anxious wait.
Despite beating Kazakhstan 5-0 and Norway 2-1, Slovakia only finished third in Group 8 of the qualifying round with the top two going through from each group.
But Satka's side have claimed the last place in the draw for the elite stage after being confirmed as the best third-placed team out of the 12 groups.
Slovakia had to wait for four other groups to conclude before knowing that they would join the 27 other teams in the elite round. Holders Spain received a bye as did Serbia and Turkey due to their coefficient ranking. England were among the qualifiers.
The draw is made later this month and will see the teams divided into seven groups of four, with the winners of each group joining hosts Lithuania in the final tournament between 20th July and 1st August 2013.
Satka, who turned 17 last week, joined Newcastle in the summer from Dubnica and has established himself as a regular starter in Willie Donachie and Peter Beardsley's under-21 team. He is currently recovering from a minor groin injury which saw him miss the last second-string game against Aston Villa.
Speaking to the Club's official matchday programme earlier this month, he said: "I love it here and I'm really happy. My priority when I came as a first-year scholar was to play every game for the under-18s but I've not actually played for them in the league yet because I've been with the under-21s.
"That has been a big surprise but of course it's something I'm very happy about."