The AFL International Cup is nearly upon us. It has been a huge few months for the teams finalising their preparations for the two week tournament held in Melbourne. In the lead up to the tournament kicking off on Sunday 6th August we’ll be taking a look at the eight European teams making the journey and competing for the title of IC Champions. Next up in our tournament previews are IC newcomers, the German Eagles.
History of the Eagles
The German Eagles were founded in 2006 and have been participants in Euro Cup’s and European Championships since they began.
The Eagles have placed in the top four of the 9-a-side Euro Cup 4 times and have improved their European Championship ranking at each of the three tournaments.
They’ve developed nicely alongside their national league, AFLG. This year’s International Cup attendance marks the next stage of their development and provides them with the opportunity to test themselves on the world stage.
Last IC and European Championships
This will be the first International Cup for Germany and is a credit to their management to get the side over to Australia.
It’s been a huge 18 months of preparation for the side as they competed in the European Championships claiming a 3rd place in a thrilling minor final against Sweden.
They were competitive in their games at the Champs last year but fell off in final quarters which blew out the score line against the top two sides. The experience will be invaluable and knowing how to prepare in a tournament environment will be beneficial for the Eagles.
Round 1: vs Pakistan
Round 2: vs India
Round 3: vs Japan
Grand Finals: TBC
Player to Watch
Jakob is a former member of the European Legion squads that played against the AIS-AFL Academy each year. He’s played against some very high-level footballers going head to head with the likes of Isaac Heeney.
He is fit, very strong and is skilled on both sides of the body. He was at stand-out performer in last year’s European Championships for the Germans despite getting very close attention each game from the opposition.
Jakob will thrive on the big stage and will be one of the best midfielders in the competition. How he plays over the two-weeks will have a big say in how far Germany go in Division 2.
IC17 Crystal Ball
The Eagles will be a very strong competitor in Division 2. They’ve been placed in a pool with Pakistan, India and Japan and will go into each of these games with confidence knowing they’ve played and competed for periods of games against Division 1 quality opposition in the GB Bulldogs and Irish Warriors.
The week spent in London last summer will do wonders for the Germans when they arrive in Australia and they’ll need to tap into everything they’ve learnt to knock off round 1 opponent, Pakistan.
They should be too strong for India in round 2 but will come up against an IC regular in Japan for their final group game.
A semi-final berth is expected for the Germans and they should realistically challenge for the Division 2 title.