Prague Lions Call for Fan Power Boost at GC Playoffs
With only a few days until the curtain raises on the GC Prague Playoffs, the home city team Prague Lions have called on fan power to help them battle for the GCL Super Cup, with Team Manager Jessica Kurten saying: "The support from the local fans is vital to help us against such strong opposition - I don’t underestimate the other teams!”
A formidable line up of 16 teams are heading to the O2 arena in the capital of the Czech Republic this week for the high-stakes knock-out GCL Super Cup. With over 3 million euros in prize money to the winning team in the GCL Super Cup Final alone, each team’s game plan will be crucial in the hotly-contested GCL showdown.
One of the Prague Lions’ star strikers Niels Bruynseels - who has also qualified individually for the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix - spoke of the incredible support the Lions felt from the home supporters last year and has vowed to make them proud this week: “The crowd last year were amazing, lots of people with a full house. We will do everything to take the best results here - for me personally on Saturday evening and also for the team.”
As well as top sporting action, spectators will have their senses dazzled with thrilling entertainment, beautifully choreographed presentations and spell-binding displays. U25 Prague Lions rider Anna Kellnerova, who is an ambassador for the event, highlighted: "I am especially looking forward to the Opening Ceremony when all the riders show up in the arena. It is something special which gives an extraordinary atmosphere to the event.”
Fans will have the opportunity to meet many of the brightest stars in the show jumping universe, with dedicated autograph sessions planned for each day and a chance to get up close and personal with heroes from around the world.
Local supporters will be able to get behind the Prague Lions team - consisting of Niels Bruynseels (BEL), Marc Houtzager (NED), Gerco Schröder (NED), Marco Kutscher (GER), Wilm Vermeir (BEL) and U25 talent Anna Kellnerova (CZE), and the team will want to triumph in front of a passionate home crowd. To watch the team’s film, please click here.
Team manager Jessica Kurten has revealed her squad for this week’s event, fielding Bruynseels, Houtzager, Schröder and Kutscher at the O2 arena - all bringing their top horses to the high-stakes showdown.
Kurten knows her squad are fired up and ready to go into battle on home turf, looking to maximise on the extra boost competing at a home event can give: “The GC Prague Playoffs is the highlight of the season. We have been building our team throughout the year to have our horses and riders in the best form possible and have a united goal for Prague.”
The Prague Lions team have one of the closest-knit throughout the season, and Kurten highlighted that the whole squad would be in attendance for the full week. "Both Anna [Kellnerova] and Wilm [Vemeir] will be with us in Prague to help fire up their team mates and support our efforts at the O2 arena.”
Kurten spoke of managing such a formidable team and the warmth from the Czech fans: "I feel extremely privileged to lead such a motivated and professional group of athletes and I’d like to thank our riders, their horses and the team owners. We’re really excited to meet many of our Czech fans [at the GC Prague Playoffs this year] - they were incredible last year, so we hope they’ll come back to support us and carry us through to the Finals this year. We have fans throughout the world, and we hope they will come to Prague and the Playoffs to join us at this incredible event.”
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For the full schedule, please click here.