Falcons Men vs Serbian University All-Stars
After tasting success in their last outing back in June against an athletic Team India, the Emirates American Football League (EAFL) Falcons men’s team is embarking on another overseas trip – this time heading more than 5,000 km north west – as they go head-to-head against Belgrade University this Saturday.
It is the Falcons’ first visit to Serbia and will bring with it an element of the unknown and an air of anticipation. They will also face a team not unlike themselves – comprised of players from a variety of teams – playing in division one and two of the Serbian league. However, each is a student at the university.
After winning their last three games by a combined 106-19, Head Coach Kyle Jordan has quite a task on his hands. Not only is he without a number of key players, including a trio of elite running backs in Luke Norrey, Vivaldi Tulysse and Davion Miller, he has very little film on their opponents. “Although we don't have a lot to go on, we know they'll be trying to impose their will on us. We'll keep things simple early on to understand what they're trying to do and then we'll make adjustments where necessary,” explained Jordan.
Offensive Coordination Brett Turek will rely heavily on Abu Dhabi Wildcats running back Mohamed Fouda to carry the bulk of the load, whilst talismanic quarterback Zavier Cobb will once again bring his guile and experience to the fore. “Having a strong leader at that position is key and Zavier’s a coach on the field that can make special plays with his arm and feet,” added Jordan.
One area in which Serbia University may have the upper hand is fitness. It’s currently the offseason in the EAFL with many players having only just started conditioning work after a much-earned rest following the 2016/17 season. Their counterparts are in full flow and scouting reports have confirmed they have talented athletes right across the field.
“We are very excited to play in Serbia. They play football to a high standard out there and their leagues are very successful. The level of talent and experience will also be high,” enthused Dustin Cherniawski, EAFL Falcons Men’s Program Director.
“This will be the biggest challenge our men have faced for a long time. We also want to thank Nikola Davidovic, president of the Belgrade Blue Dragons for arranging this game,” continued Cherniawski.
Once the Falcons land, they’ll have one full practice session on Friday, with several walkthroughs either side to ensure they’re prepared for what promises to be a stern test the following day. When asked about the difference in weather conditions between Serbia and the UAE, Kyle Jordan answered in typically upbeat mood: “Whatever the weather, it will be football weather.”
The game kicks off on Saturday at 12.30pm at the Bask Stadium in Belgrade.