BY BONNIE BARKMEYER
Published here AFL Europe

International Cup 2017 Match Report

Round 1

German Eagles VS Pakistan

Western Oval, Royal Park

Sunday, 6th August – 11:15am

The German Eagles were off to a soaring start for their first match in the International Cup, with a goal scored by Phillip Evermann in the first three minutes of the game. In wet and windy conditions at Royal Park, the German Eagles’ excitement for their inaugural season in the tournament was not dampened by the weather.

The Eagle’s unselfishness and team morale was on full display throughout the whole duration of the game. This was particularly evident in the first quarter, when Henrik van de Stay took a massive mark at about the 25-metre mark of the forward 50, but chose to selflessly handball to teammate Constantin Pixa to score the goal.

Germany had big targets in their forward 50 and kept it down their end for most of the match. Jan Heusken was a standout in the forward line, kicking four goals for the game. The back-line played a significant role, with quick transitions from turnovers coming from Pakistan’s forward 50. Sebastian Esche stood out in the defence end, keeping Pakistan to just three points and no goals for the match.

Coach Mark Woods was proud of the way the boys played all throughout the game.

“They all did what the team was meant to do today. Sebastian Esche played brilliantly; he stuck to the structure and no one beat him all day, no goals were scored against him so it’s fantastic when a back-man plays like that.”

Melbourne-based boy Phillip Evermann was a strong forward, getting numerous possessions and a couple of goals.

The slippery conditions proved to be testing at times, but this did not stop the boys from executing a clean chain of handballs and kicks in the final quarter, which the coach couldn’t fault.

“We managed to go handball-run-handball-run and kick-mark-kick-mark all the way forward, then a goal from the goal square, just purely from the guys’ run through from all the way back. When it’s raining like it was, you just can’t ask for more than that!”

Captain Florian Naumann played a solid game, getting his hands on the ball many times in the midfield and giving it to the forwards when needed. He said the boys were not disheartened by the wet weather today.

“Keeping the ball in front [in wet weather conditions] is pretty hard. We had a match on Thursday in preparation and it was the same, rainy and a bit windy, so we were pretty well-prepared.”

The German Eagles play India in their next match on Wednesday in Mentone. While they are hoping for some good results in all their upcoming games, coach Mark Woods says the team should not get ahead of themselves.

“I’ve told the boys to only pay attention to the next game, but basically if we do what we’ve done today, I would expect that we would have a similar result, at least similar result in terms of the way we play.”

Captain Florian Naumann agrees with his coach, but has confidence in his side.

“We still need to develop a couple of things, but I’m pretty positive looking forward. Our development has been great over the last weeks, months and even years, so I think another victory is coming up!”

This is the first time Germany has participated in the International Cup in Australia.

By Bonnie Barkmeyer.

SCORES

German Eagles 11.5 (71)

Pakistan 0.3. (3)

GOALS- German Eagles Jan Heusken (4), Phillip Evermann (2), Jakob Jung (1), Roland Odenthal (1), Constantin Pixa (1), Fabian Cordts (1),

BEST- German Eagles Jan Heusken, Phillip Evermann, Sebastian Esche, Henrik van de Stay, Florian Naumann, Constantin Pixa