2017 AFL International Cup
2nd Place – Men’s Division 2
BY BONNIE BARKMEYER
The German Eagles finished off their 2017 International Cup campaign in the same conditions as they started: cold, wet and windy. The miserable Melbourne weather didn’t seem to dampen their spirits as they headed into their very first Grand Final in an international competition. Even though the Eagles went down by 66 points to an unforgiving Croatia, their final score was not a reflection of the dedication and hard work they displayed throughout the whole competition.
Although they didn’t quite finish with the fairy tale ending they hoped for, coach Mark Woods was more than satisfied with his team’s efforts. “We came into the tournament with less than one full training together and our first game against Pakistan was our first game all together as a team,” he said. “With this in mind I cannot be any prouder of the team.”
Woods named 22-year-old Phillip Evermann as the best forward player of the tournament, who racked up 5 goals for the Eagles. “Although Jan Huesken was our leading goal scorer, I would have to say that Phillip Evermann was our best forward, leading hard and attacking the ball at every chance,” Woods said.
In the midfield, Jakob Jung had a stellar tournament performance, getting better and better with each game. He was selected as a half forward in the World Team of the Tournament. He was well supported by his fellow Stuttgart teammate Martin Schuettoff, who got the most best on ground votes for Germany.
Sebastian Esche was uncompromising in the back line, holding down the position and rarely being beaten. However, the coach named the Eagle’s skipper as the best defensive player for the tournament. “I would give the best player in our defence to captain Florian Naumann who was always willing to put his body on the line for all his teammates,” Woods said.
In their first tournament, Germany’s semi final against China was a clear highlight for the team. The Eagle’s executed their kicks, marks and handballs effectively and played a really clean game. Coach Mark Woods was happy with his team’s performance in that match.
“The whole team played as a unit, every single player did their part, putting everything on the line to win in trying conditions,” he said. There is no doubt the German Eagles will return to their next competition bigger and better than ever.
Round 1 – Germany 11.5.(71) defeated Pakistan 0.3.(3) at Royal Park
Round 2 – Germany 12.14.(86) defeated India 1.3.(9) at Mentone Grammar
Round 3 – Japan 5.5.(35) defeated Germany: 3.5.(23) at Box Hill North
Round 4 – Semi Final: Germany 8.2.(50) defeated China 3.3.(22) at Royal Park
Round 5 – Grand Final: Croatia 11.8.(74) defeated Germany 1.3.(8) at Royal Park
Tournament Goal kickers:
Jan Heusken came away as the Eagle’s leading scorer with 8 goals for the tournament, followed by Phillip Evermann with 5 goals. Other goalkickers included Florian Naumann, Tobias Menzel, Martin Shuettoff, Jakob Jung, Fabian Cordts, Johannes Binniger, Jan Orlowski, and Constantin Pixa.
Best on Ground for IC17:
Martin Schuettoff, Jakob Jung, Tobias Menzel, Sebastian Esche, Phillip Evermann, Florian Naumann.
World Team Selection:
Jakob Jung (Half-Forward Flank)