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AFL EURO CUP – ISRAEL TOP 10

Photograph: 2023 AFL Israeli Beasts Team 

 

Ido Schnitzer, the coach of the Israeli Beasts men’s national team, couldn’t hide his excitement as he shared his experiences from the recent EuroCup tournament held in Kiel, Germany. He told The AJN, “It was an awesome day – the love we got from all of the teams was amazing and we truly feel part of the European footy community.”

The day-long EuroCup featured electrifying half-hour nine-per-side matches. Alongside the men’s competition, a women’s tournament also unfolded, featuring ten teams battling for victory.

In the men’s pool, Israel demonstrated a strong performance, securing the fourth position in their five-team group. They emerged victorious in one match, while falling short in three.

They faced defeat in their first match against the Swedish Elks, with a scoreline of 10-26. Subsequent matches resulted in losses to the German Eagles and the Welsh Red Dragons, with scores of 11-33 and 14-50 respectively. But, Israel ended the group stage on a high note, showing their potential by defeating the Ulster Wolfhounds 31-7. In a thrilling match to determine the ninth position overall, they triumphed over the Netherland Flying Dutchmen with a stunning score of 51-19.

The prestigious title of the men’s tournament went to the Irish Warriors who outplayed the Welsh Red Dragons in the grand final with a score of 47-17. The Israeli squad, primarily comprised of native Israelis who train and play for teams mainly in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, has always been open to collaborations with Aussie expatriates. In fact, they enjoyed a pre-tournament visit from AJAX footy legend Jake Lew and Maccabi Victoria co-president Sharon Roseman in Tel Aviv.

Reflecting on the Beasts’ performance, Schnitzer noted, “We lost a close game to Sweden in which we had opportunities to score more goals but missed. Germany was last year’s EuroCup runners-up and the Welsh team were the in-form team on the day, knocking out three-time champions England before falling short to eventual champs Ireland.”

He further added, “We had two decisive wins that secured us the ninth spot. Solidifying ourselves as a consistent top-10 finisher in Europe was unthinkable only a couple of years ago. We intend to keep pushing it in this tournament for years to come and crack the top five.”

Credit AJN

Sharon Roseman, our petite yet mighty Maccabi Victoria Co-President, stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the towering Israeli Beasts during their final training in Israel before setting off to compete in Germany:

 

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