Match of the Round

The Berlin Crocodiles are set to host the Hamburg Dockers this Saturday in Berlin. The blockbuster match headlines round 6 of the Australian Football League Germany (AFLG) and is set to be one of the most thrilling this season, with the top two AFLG teams going head to head. See what both teams had to say about how they’re preparing for the big match:

Berlin Crocodiles

The Berlin Crocs are coming off a break out season, only losing one game in 2016 by 2 points to Munich in round 1. We met Munich again in the AFLG 2016 Grand final, unfortunately losing by a fair margin with a depleted and undermanned side who limped into the game.

Thankfully we lost no players from the 2016 season and all of the Crocs have returned hungrier than ever with the grand final loss still fresh in their minds. 2017 thus far has been a completely different story, and after 7 rounds the Berlin Crocs find themselves undefeated and on top of the ladder. The top spot is shared equally with the Hamburg Dockers only separated by percentage. So far we’ve had huge wins home and away over the Rheinland Lions, Dresden Wolves, Frankfurt Red Backs and even the reigning premiers, the Munich Kangaroos. With experienced players throughout every line, the Crocs have been able to implement a mixture of hard inside contested play alongside free flowing outside run.

Led from the front by our fearless captain Bart Rijckaert, the relentless Dutchman is not one to shy away from a contest. Bart is a lock down defender normally giving up a lot of height when lining up on the taller forwards in the comp, Bart still finds a way to beat his opponent and win the one on one battles, in doing so lifting his team mates on the day.

The core group of players have all stuck together, and having spent a couple of seasons together now, the Crocs are really starting to gel. The appointment of new coach Jan Meinecke has been a huge plus for the Crocs. The professionalism, communication skills and training expectations that he has brought to Berlin has been the direct reason for the improvement from 2016.

Jan Meinecke is confident in his team’s ability to get the win over the Dockers this weekend, saying “The team is jumping at the bit for the weekend. We know that it will be a tough game, since the Hamburg guys always bring their best, but we have been preparing well and the boys have set a really high standard of footy in the 9-a-side rounds. There is definitely some excitement in the air, with it being a match between the top 2 sides as well as a bigger match format of 14-a-side, the boys are keen to put on another good performance in front of our home crowd.

Crocs’ Players to watch this match:

The Crocs have been bolstered by the inclusion of CHF in Josh Bollmeyer who is having a terrific season showing class and dominance in the air, kicking plenty of goals and providing options up forward.

Along side the Crocs B&F and AFLG association winner from 2016, Luke Edwards has also continued his red hot form coming into the 2017 season, with his damaging running style of play and lightning pace.

Mitch New – Quick outside half back, accurate kicker sets up the play.

Rowan Miegel – 200cm Full forward, kicks goals, club stalwart

Chris Woods – Full Back, lock down defender, club president, heart and soul of the Crocs

Hamburg Dockers:

The 2017 season has been one of the most successful seasons for the Hamburg Dockers with a currently untarnished record.  A highlight for the team was beating our traditional rivals the Munich Kangaroos in Dresden 56 to 28.  The Dockers have gone largely unchallenged for the season and we are anticipating a tough game in the upcoming top of the table clash against another undefeated side the Berlin Crocodiles.

The last couple of months have seen some hard work being put in by the players on the training track preparing themselves for the big game. We’ve placed a major focus on moving the ball cleanly out of stoppages and efficient use of space transitioning out of defence, through the centre corridor and into the forward line.  If our boys stick to what they have been learning at trainings and keep their minds focused we will really test the Berlin outfit.

On Saturday, spectators should be keeping an eye out for some of our most spectacular players – most notably our new recruit, power forward, Sean Gilbert who kicked a 7 goal bag against Rheinland in our last match.

Also of worthy note is our ever reliable hard working midfielder Kaden Fletcher and our on field leader and back line maestro Johannes Satory.

We are also taking to Berlin some players new to the sport of AFL who have being showing some promising signs of developing into fine players; the Frenchman Nick Trzebiatowsky and rugby league convert Matt White.

 

Good luck to both teams in their big match this Saturday – check out who came away at the top of the ladder in next week’s Around the Grounds.