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10-24-2011, 11:38 AM
S E P H's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Avs Country!
Country: Poland
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Originally Posted by tobo View Post
a. Flanders, so close enough :p
b. In Belgium, Field hockey has the upper hand: Men and Women national Teams do it well internationaly. Ice Hockey on the other hand, that's a lost cause. Belgians just don't dig ice.
In winter, give us some cyclo-cross. People go out in droves to see some guys biking in the mud and snow.
c. I never said it's a niche all over Europe. It's a no-brainer that in regions where you do have a wintersport tradition, certain sports -like hockey- will be popular.
What I've noticed is hockey is popular from the countries around it.

Looking at the European map, Belgium is surrounded by

France (Where Football is #1. Majority of hockey teams are in the Southeast region.)
Netherlands (Where Football is #1.)
England (Where Football is #1 and Cricket #2.)

That right there has a big influence over a countries sport.

Just look at Germany and the growth of hockey in their country. They're surrounded by,

Czech Republic

The only country on that list is Poland, where there isn't a big hockey craze.

But looking at this list I guess the next countries that will grow in hockey will be,

1. Italy (Especially Northern, joining the KHL is huge news.)
2. Denmark (Is already a pretty good hockey nation, but I believe they will make major improvement over the next decade.)
3. Central France (As I said the majority of teams in France are on the Suiss boarder, but I have this feeling that hockey has great potential in France. Even though it's not a major sport just yet. A lot of French people travel to Montreal and the Habs are the best thing there.)
4. Poland (They're surrounded by some of the best hockey nations in all of Europe, so there's got to be growth. Also include that a ton of Polish people live in Chicago, where hockey is their favourite sport. I sense hockey's only way is up and not down.)
5. Netherlands (It will be a matter of time where hockey will grow to the popularity of speed skating in that country.)

I'm not saying hockey will over take football in any of these countries, but I see potential as Europe's 2nd strongest sport.

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