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AFL Europe Match of the Round

CEAFL Tournament 4/6/16

This week’s ‘Match of the Round’ is changing it up a little. Due to a fixture change for the CEAFL tournament which was initially meant to be held this weekend we’re going to do a review of their first tournament from the 4th of June that was held in Croatia.

The CEAFL or Central European AFL is a series of tournaments amongst countries in that region to supplement their domestic competitions.

The first tournament was held in Croatia on the 4th of June and included the teams: Zagreb Hawks, Zagreb Dockers, Zaprude Giants, Ploče Eagles, Sesvete Double Blues, Styrian Downunderdogs and the Velika Gorica Bombers.

The Zagreb Hawks won this league in both 2014 and 2015, however, this year sees a new set of favourites with the Zagreb Dockers and Zaprude Giants pushing for early favouritism.

This tournament saw teams were split into two groups.

Group 1:

  • Zagreb Hawks
  • Zaprude Giants
  • Ploče Eagles
  • Velika Gorica Bombers

Group 2:

  • Sesvete Double Blues
  • Styrian Downunderdogs
  • Zagreb Dockers

Games Review

Group 1 saw the Hawks topple the Bombers in a tight affair before giving the Ploče Eagles a tough game, winning that one by a bigger margin. The Giants won all their games and stamped their authority on the competition by letting everyone know who the favourites were in the group. Ploče edged out the Bombers for another year and locked in third place.

Final Standings:

  1. Zaprude Giant
  2. Zagreb Hawks
  3. Ploče Eagles
  4. Velika Gorica Bombers

Best on Ground:

Lenić (Giants), Galez (Giants), Mamić (Giants), Diklić (Hawks), Prtenjača (Hawks), Nedić (Bombers), Kežić (Eagles).

 

Group 2 saw the Dockers and Double Blues head to head in an absolute thriller. The Dockers kicked 2 goals in 2 minutes to edge past the Blues and claim victory. The Dockers cruised through their game with the DownUnderdogs, as did the Double Blues.

Final Standings:

  1. Zagreb Dockers
  2. Sesvete Double Blues
  3. Styrian Downunderdogs

Best on Ground:

Cvetko (Dockers), Ivoš (Dockers), Motik (Blues), Pavković (Blues), Jud (Downunderdogs), Schittegg (Downuderdogs)

Following the group stages the final series was played out. The Zaprude Giants dominated the Zagreb Dockers in the Final and proved they’ll be tough to beat in the remaining tournaments.

 

Best on Ground:

Ignacije Valečić

 

Team Reviews

Zagreb Hawks

After winning back-to-back Croatian leagues and CEAFL the Hawks lost some of their key players. Josip Habljak went to play in Sturt FC and that story is well known, Tomislav Cvetko, Croatian Knights Captain and one of the best players of the league went to play for Dockers. In this CEAFL they played without captain and best player, Jan Doležal.

Josip Kravar started to play at full forward and some rookies emerged to the team. The

Hawks were not focusing on winning the CEAFL or Croatian league, but to rebuild team with rookies in order to bring back the flag one day with young forces.
Maybe not the strongest team, but for sure most dedicated workers.

 

Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers

After the arrival of Tomislav Cvetko, the Dockers team won the Croatian league in 2015. Despite Cvetko, the Dockers have Croatian Knights in forward line that cause headaches for all team’s. Lovre Čudina, Ivan Ivoš and Tomislav Cvetko are making a difference and combined with strong midfielders (Ivan Molnar, Luka Čudina and Zvonimir Marinovic). Their strong and determined defence is what holds this team together.

Hot favourites for the CEAFL and Croatian league.

 

Zapruđe Giants

Maybe the only rivals to Dockers this year. The Giants have best midfield in this league (Murković, Lazanin, Mamić) and probably best defence led by Lenić and Galez.

They have lost Nedić as a skilful HF but compensate that with Benčić (last year’s rookie and Knights player).

Giants are strong team that can win against any other team if they play to their ability.

 

Sesvete Double Blues
After last year debut in Croatian league and CEAFL, the Blues grew into team that can play side by side with stronger teams. They lost to the Giants and Dockers in Croatian league this year due to inexperience and some rookie mistakes, but they have potential to hurt top teams.

They have a strong midfield group lead by Motik and Pavković and reliable defence with Djuran, Pecikoza and Karamatić junior. As well as this, Karamatić senior is forever dangerous in the forward line.

 

Velika Gorica Bombers

Founded by young Giant, Tomislav Nedić and Hawk, Filip Martincevic, who have given their best to start up a completely new team. Josip Josipović joined in their back line as an experienced player and gave them some confidence.

Bombers in their first year are still learning but showing a promising future with young players that work hard on and off the field.

 

Ploče Eagles

Ploče also started to play in the Croatian League and CEAFL in 2016. Found by Johnny Ante Rončević who has given his life to this club.  Youngest team in competition where midfield is led by 15-year-old players like Hrvoje Kežić, who in his first year is picked to play for Croatian Knights which proves his talent and potential.

Their strength is their unity and ability to play as a team and that is what matters. They proved to be better than Bombers in the last game and we are looking forward to watching their next game.

 

Styrian DownUnderdogs

Apart from some experienced players such as, Michi Jud and Lukas Holzegger, they’re predominantly rookies that are keen to introduce themselves into this league. They will continue to develop with the increased exposure and will hopefully stick together despite a few tough games ahead.

They haven’t won a game in Croatia for a long time and they are hoping to change this.

 

Looking Forward

The next CEAFL Cup is on the 9th of July in Graz followed by another tournament in Prague on the 10th of September.

A special thanks to Josip Kravar for provding AFL Europe with such a thorough breakdown of the first CEAFL tournament. We look forward to hearing all things footy in the future.

 

IC14 Pools and Fixture

The fixture for the IC14 Men’s competition has just been announced. The Men’s teams will be divided into three pools:

 

POOL APOOL BPOOL C
IRELANDPNGNEW-ZEALAND
NAURUSOUTH AFRICAUSA
GREAT BRITAINTONGACANADA
FIJIJAPANSWEDEN
FRANCEINDIACHINA
INDONESIAPAKISTANFINLAND

 

Day 1 – Sunday 10 August – Royal Park, Parkville

POOL A 
Ireland – Fiji
Nauru – Indonesia
Great Britain – France
POOL B
PNG – Japan
South Africa – Pakistan
Tonga – India
POOL C
New Zealand – Sweden
USA – Finland
Canada – China

 

Day 2 – Wednesday 13 August – Royal Park, Parkville

POOL A
Ireland – France
Nauru – Great Britain
Fiji – Indonesia
POOL B
PNG – India
South Africa – Tonga
Japan – Pakistan
POOL C
New Zealand – China
USA – Canada
Sweden – Finland

 

Day 3 (Community Round) – Saturday 16 August – Venue TBC

POOL A
Ireland – Nauru
Great Britain – Fiji
France – Indonesia
POOL B
PNG – South Africa
Tonga – Japan
India – Pakistan
POOL C
New Zealand – USA
Canada – Sweden
China – Finland

 

Day 4 – Tuesday 19 August – Semi Finals and Division matches – Royal Park

Day 5 – Friday 22 August – Third place play off & Division matches – Royal Park

Day 6 – Saturday 23 August – Grand Final – MCG

 

(Fixtures can be subject to change) Women’s fixtures will be announced soon.

@AFLIC14 #AFLIC14

2014 International Cup fixture released

The AFL released the 2014 International Cup fixture today.

The 2014 International Cup will be played in Melbourne from August 9 to 23. There will be 18 men’s and seven women’s teams competing.

Men’s teams: Canada, China, Fiji, Finland, France, Indonesia, Ireland, Great Britain, India, Japan, Nauru, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Sweden, Tonga, USA.

New teams for IC14: Finland, Indonesia and Pakistan.

Women’s teams: Canada – Northern Lights, Canada – Midnight Suns, Ireland, Fiji, Tonga, USA – Freedom, USA – Liberty.

The majority of matches will be played at Royal Park in Parkville and for the first time a community round will be played as curtain-raisers to suburban, amateur and country matches.

The women’s grand final will be played at Punt Road Oval and the men’s grand final will be the curtain-raiser to the Round 22 AFL match between Hawthorn and the Geelong Cats at the MCG.

The men’s fixture is divided into three pools. Each team will play three pool matches and will then be ranked from one to 18. Teams will then be split into three groups for finals; top four, Division One and Division Two.

 

2014 International Cup fixture **

Saturday Aug 9           Official Launch at Federation Square & Parade of Nations at the MCG

Sunday Aug 10           Round One matches – Royal Park

Wednesday Aug 13    Round Two matches – Royal Park

Saturday Aug 16         Round Three matches – Community Round

Tuesday Aug 19          Round Finals & Division matches – Royal Park

Friday Aug 22             Third place play off & Division matches – Royal Park

Saturday Aug 23         Women’s Grand Final – Punt Road Oval, Richmond

Men’s Grand Final – MCG

The full fixture can be viewed at www.aflic14.com.au

** Fixtures are subject change.

 

AFL Head of Development Grant Williams said the International Cup celebrates the passion those outside of Australia have for the game.

“There are 100,000 international participants throughout the world who share our love of Australian football,” he said.

“IC14 will bring together the best 900 players from 18 countries. I look forward to the colour and excitement that the carnival will bring.”

The IC14 twitter and Instagram accounts were also launched today. Follow IC14 on @AFLIC14 and #AFLIC14

Expatriate Australians are ineligible to play in the International Cup. Teams are comprised solely of amateurs who must be nationals of the country they represent.  All players must have lived the majority of the years aged between 10 and 16 as a citizen of their nation.

The International Cup is played every three years. Previous International Cup winners are; Ireland (2002 & 2011), New Zealand (2005) and Papua New Guinea (2008).