The newest Australian Rules football team in Israel will make their way down to Cork next month in anticipation for their debut at Euro Cup 2018.
As a nation that first started playing football as part of a Peace Team project before becoming the Jerusalem Peace Lions, the country has now developed a side called the Tel Aviv Cheetahs.
Starting in May 2018, the Cheetahs have developed a serious following throughout the nation on the back of regular trainings and matches in preparation for the Euro Cup in October.
This rapid growth in such a short space of time is making Cheetah’s captain Shir Shalev extremely proud of his squad.
“The feeling is great,” Shir said.
“I was playing in the Euro Cup last year as one of the players and this year I have the chance to lead the team which is awesome and I’m feeling blessed to do it.”
With Shir’s experience at the competition, the Cheetahs are under no illusions of the challenge that stands before them.
As a part of the Jerusalem Peace Lions in 2017, Shir had a big victory over the Swedish Elks to help the Lions finish in 11th spot.
This year however with a new team and some new competitors, Shir is hoping the Cheetahs can fair slightly better than his previous side at Euro Cup 2017.
“I think we have really good squad this year,” Shir said.
“We started practicing from only May but since then we’ve developed real good and I hope we’ll do well in the tournament.”
“I think our strength is our agility and fighting spirit. We plan to give a hard time to any team will go against.”
“I think this year we can win at least two games, and hopefully enter the top 8.”
With the expectations high for a newly formed club, the Cheetahs will be out to show the competition that football in Israel is seriously growing.