AFL Europe Championships Team Preview – German Eagles
Every three years the AFL Europe Championships take place for teams to assert their dominance and claim bragging rights against their European counterparts as well as gain valuable 18-a-side match practice in the lead up to the International Cup the following year.
In the lead up to this year’s AFL Europe Championships in London we’ll be focusing on each team and previewing their chances of taking out the top prize.
The next team preview is of the German Eagles. They’ll be raring to go in the 18-a-side tournament especially after claiming the Bowl at last year’s Euro Cup.
How have the German Eagles been going since Euro Cup 2015?
The Eagles have been slowly building a group of passionate, focused and tough footballers over the past 10 years, as the sport grows along with it in Germany.
The Eagles finished Euro Cup 2015 in Umag, Croatia as winners of the Bowl. This highlighted the growth and development in Germany.
At Euro Cup 2015 a new management team was introduced, they continued to work on the principle of national team growth, whilst adding in a new intensity to the group.
Who’s in for the AFL Europe Championships in 2016?
Mark Woods will continue coaching the Eagles into the Championships in 2016. Woods is an Australian who currently plays in the AFL Germany competition with the Munich Kangaroos. His in-depth knowledge of the local German players will be invaluable come August. He brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge but more importantly has a passion to develop the game outside of Australia.
A full squad will be on the plane to London for the August tournament. The list will be very new and have many fresh faces. With their usual captain and half a dozen first 18 players missing from the squad this could prove a difficult tournament. With experience lacking there is a chance to blood some new players which can only strengthen the Eagles in the long-term.
Pulling on the German jumper is always a great honour for the players and each player knows their roles to help the Eagles compete strongly.
The Eagles squad comprises players from all over Germany. Most AFL Germany clubs are represented with Hamburg, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart, Freiberg, Frankfurt and Munich all providing players to the national squad. This squad will also include some players from England and the Netherlands.
The Eagles have met for a 2-day training camp during the mid-season AFL Germany break and proved a key lead up camp prior to the AFL Europe Champs.
The team is a mix of youth and experience and have established six team pillars they want to be renowned for in the competition. If all players stick to these team pillars they’ll be successful come August.
One key area of focus for the Germans in the lead up has been their ability to work hard without the ball in hand. They believe that this will be a key feature and highlight of their game style.
The Eagles are well-known for their team balance and drive. They are driven to do their country proud. They aren’t here to make up the numbers by any means and want to be the best team in Europe. They are lucky because their players are able to play in any position across the ground and are willing to put themselves on the line for their country.
However, their limited time together will prove challenging and the quicker they gel as a team the more dangerous they’ll become to their opposition.
Who has the X-Factors?
The Germans are strong across the park and are blessed with the ability to play their players in any position. A few names to keep an eye out for are big bodied midfielder/defender, Florian Naumann, who can take a strong mark overhead and hits very hard. Ruben Streicher is a raw talent who plays as a tall forward or ruckmen. He was named in the Euro Cup team of the tournament last year in Croatia and is only going to improve. Jakob Jung is one to watch for the opposition. He has all the attribute of a top-quality midfielder with his speed and skills, he’s also tough as nails so will be hard to stop in the Champs.
Players who have shown significant improvement for the Eagles are Jan Husken and Simon Assmus. Both will be hoping to continue their rapid develop and shake up competition.
The coach’s thoughts – Mark Woods?
“In Euro Cup 2015, Germany played their first matches under a new coaching style and set of team rules. The team had only come together two days before the cup. Yet when we played to the rules and stuck to our style, we played very well. We lost only one game for the day, against Ireland, and that by only a small margin, having been thrashed by them in previous years.
With this in mind, we are looking to continue to grow as a country squad. I will be most proud when we stick to the game plan and the team rules. We will play hard (and of course fair).
This being said, all of the players want to win. I want to win.”
- Florian Naumann
- Jonas Nebel
- Simon Assmus
- Martin Schuttoff
- Jakob Jung
- Jan Ostrawsky
- Johannes Mast
- Constantin Pixa
- Martin Krichler
- Markus Preib
- Martin Bauer
- Sebastian Esche
- Rob Macher
- Ruben Streicher
- Jan Husken
- Johannes Orlowski
- Sven Bonus
- Henrik van de Stay
- Jonas Jakobeit
- Matthias Schmitz
- Tobias Menzel
- Moritz Herthum
- Jascha Jung
- Karl Haigh
- Tristan Thormann
- Rob White
- Uli Schmoll
- Johannes Binninger
- Waldemar Schlundt
- Richard Meisenheimer