Match of the Round – AFLG Grand Final
AFLG Grand Final – Berlin Crocodiles v Munich Kangaroos
After a long six months of tough Aussie Rules, the Australian Football League Germany (AFLG) is about to top off a great season with a blockbuster match between the two top teams in the country. This year’s Minor Premiers, the Berlin Crocodiles, will take on reigning 2016 Premiers the Munich Kangaroos in the AFLG Grand Final in Dresden this Saturday. After an eventful season for both teams so far, check out how the Berlin Crocodiles and the Munich Kangaroos are shaping up for their biggest match of the year.
The Berlin Crocs are enjoying their best season to date in the clubs 16 year history, after finishing the AFLG home and away season with the minor premiership and an undefeated run. The Crocs stormed into the finals to get a win against the Frankfurt Redbacks, and qualifying for back to back grand final appearances this coming Saturday against the Munich Kangaroos.
With big wins at home and away throughout the season, the Crocs have been finding a way to play consistent, high intensity football week in, week out. The Crocs were lucky to retain their entire 2016 team as well as finding some new talent this season, and have had plenty of opportunities to gel as a team in 2017.
A highlight match of the year was the recent win over the Hamburg Dockers away in dreadful conditions, but the Crocs gritted their teeth and dug in for tough day of footy. They walked away with the minor premiership and it was a great way to finish the season on a high.
Last matchup against the Roos:
With the 2016 grand final loss to the Munich Kangaroos still fresh in the Crocs minds, they were able to seek some redemption with a convincing win at home earlier in the year against their rivals. The game was fast paced with plenty of aggression and bone crunching tackles. The Crocs were able to withstand the physicality brought by the Roo’s in the opening minutes of the match to get their usual running style of play going, and they ran away with the win.
There is definitely no love lost between the two rivals who will once again lock horns to contest for the AFLG premiership in what is sure to be a cracking game of football.
Comments from the Coach, Jan Meinecke:
“The boys are shaping up well for the big game after a really strong performance against Frankfurt in the Semi-Final. We are also fortunate to welcome back some players from injury and travel, which makes selection really tough since obviously no one wants to miss such a big game in the club’s history. I suppose it really shows how much the group has grown and improved from last year’s Grand Final where we were struggling to fill the full side.”
“Last year’s loss has definitely driven us to go further this year, but come Saturday we can’t focus too much on the opposition or what happened last year. The 2017 season we have had, really shows that when we focus on the task at hand and play team footy we are hard to beat.”
Key players to watch:
Josh Bollmeyer – will be looking to continue on his great form in his first season with the club. A big target up forward, who has taken out the leading goal scorer award for the league.
Luke Edwards & William Acworth (VC) – unfortunately both missed last years Grand Final through travel and injury, so the 2 boys will be looking to make a big impact in the Crocs midfield in this decider.
Bart Rijckaert (C) – The courageous captain will be leading the backline with his tough and hard attack on the ball and will ensure its a tough day for the Munich forwards.
After losing some key personnel from last years victorious premiership team, it’s been a rather tumultuous season for the Munich Kangaroos. Whilst they’ve celebrated some great victories, the Roos have also suffered a couple of morale sapping defeats. A few of their new German recruits have come leaps and bounds in their development this season, and will be playing Saturday in their biggest game so far – especially against the might of Berlin who have impressed everyone with their unbeaten run this year.
The Roos have had a rather injury plagued season, which has meant that it’s been a bit of a mixed bag with availability and performance. One game against the Rhineland Lions earlier this season saw the team needing to travel the 500km to the Lions’ home ground, and were struggling right up until the last minute to pull a full side together to avoid a forfeit. They managed to scrape together the bare minimum to field a team and nicknamed themselves “the walking wounded”. With two serious injuries early on in the match and no bench, the Roos were left a player short when their Assistant Coach stepped up to the plate despite nursing a calf injury. Despite spending most of the match sitting down in the goalsquare, he managed to kick three goals for the quarter, winning the match and injecting some much needed grit and determination into the Roos’ campaign to finish in the top two.
Last matchup against the Crocs:
The Roos’ describe their last performance against the Berlin Crocs as “very un-munich like”, but praised the Crocs for their “clinical display of top quality football”.
Comments from the Coach, Julien Kann:
“It will take a big effort to stop the Crocs, but it can be done – I’m sure of that.”
“We’re certainly going in as underdogs but we’re okay with that. I’m curious to see who steps up on the big stage and steals the show – I just hope he is wearing a Roos jumper!”
Players to watch:
The Roos have a number of experienced campaigners playing on Saturday who have played in a number of Grand Finals.
There’s a good blend of these more experienced players mixed with a few new young players who are ecstatic to be playing in the Grand Final and are really looking forward to the challenge.
Good luck to both teams heading into the Grand Final and well done to the AFLG on a fantastic season of footy in Germany.