Central European nations combine for CEAFL Round One
It’s matchday one for the Central European Australian Football League (CEAFL) this Saturday, as six clubs from three nations converge on Zagreb for the first of two tournament days that will decide the premier for 2018.
The Sesvete Doubleblues, Zagreb Hawks, Styrian Downunderdogs, Prague Dragons, Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers & Velika Gorica Bombers will all feature on the day and be eager to get early wins on the board heading into the final CEAFL tournament in Prague on September 1st.
With an AFL Europe Champions League place on the line, the six clubs have been separated into two groups and will play off in a round robin format, with the top two sides from each pool progressing to the semi-finals.
The 2017 champion Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers side will be confident of defending their title after toppling last season’s Croatian league winners Sesvete by 21-points in their most recent competitive hit-out, but Croatian Team Manager Ivan Molnar says he expects a highly competitive day of football across the board.
“All teams are looking forward to the tournament, Czechs and Austrians will try to surprise some of the Croatian teams and win the CEAFL for the first time. Croatian teams will continue their rivalries from national league and compete hard for the title,” Molnar said.
“All will benefit from the tournament because it serves as a solid preparation for Euro Cup, and of course, everyone will enjoy a good day of footy and a beer with friends afterwards!”
While Italy will be without representation in Zagreb on Saturday, Molnar says the CEAFL continues to gather momentum despite logistical difficulties, with Switzerland registering an interest in joining the competition in the future.
“The league is played in the format of tournaments because all the costs of travel and accommodation are covered by clubs alone so this is the only way it could be sustainable.”
Along with the CEAFL action, fans will get a chance to see the women of the Zagreb Panthers in action in an exhibition game played prior to the men’s semi-finals.
Group A: Sesvete Doubleblues, Zagreb Hawks and Styrian Downunderdogs.
Group B: Prague Dragons, Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers and Velika Gorica Bombers.
10:00 am – Blues v Hawks
10:40 am – Dragons v Dockers
11:20 am – Blues -v Dogs
12:00midday – Dragons v Bombers
12:40 pm – Hawks v Dogs
1:20 pm – Dockers v Bombers
2:00 pm – Panthers black v Panthers blue
2:50 pm – Semi-finals A1 v B2
3:30 pm – Semifinals B1 v A2
4:10 pm – Fifth place playoff
4:50 pm – Third place playoff
5:30 pm – Final