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Croatia seeking sponsors to get them to IC11

  • Tuesday, January 25 2011 @ 07:18 am ACDT
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The Croatian Knights are seeking sponsors for their 2011 International Cup campaign, with team manager Kolja Koracak currently rating his team only about a 25% chance to be able to attend.

"We never had big sponsors, but now we have none. We would stay with people in the Croatian community in Sydney and Melbourne, but have no funds for travel expenses, as most of my players are students, or recent graduates still unemployed," says Koracak.

There are about 40 active players in Croatia, although Koracak says that selection will be made mainly by who can travel. "There are 7 guys that will go no matter what, even if Croatia doesn't field a team they'll come to watch. And there are 10 guys that can go for sure if travel expenses get covered. We also plan to find few Croatian blokes in Australia that fit the criteria of eligibility," Koracak says.

The coaching panel is led by head coach Adam Loncar and assistant coach Josip Kravar, both of whom led the Knights at the European Championships and Euro Cup last year. Added are Josip Josipovic as a conditioning coach and Matija Mamic.

Croatia has been one of European footy newer power sides, performing strongly at the EU Cup and making their full-field footy debut at the European Championships in 2010. There has also been some strong domestic growth, with a fourth local club aligned with the West Coast Eagles to join the Zagreb Hawks, Agram Power and Velika Gorica Bombers in 2011.

"We don't have a host team, as we are not sure we'll make it down under, but we are in contact with members of Croatian Community and if we decide to go we'll have their support," says Koracak.

Sponsorship in Croatia has been hard to come by, but Koracak believes that with his team's relationship with the Australian Croatian Community it would be a good investment. "Media attention we create when needed. In March we'll do a guerilla campaign to create some buzz in Zagreb and Croatia."

"Maybe people will realize that we are not asking for a donation, but that the investment will pay off, as any Croatian company that does business with Australia would benefit from being our sponsor. We would wear their name everywhere, the whole Croatian community would be aware of that company, the visibility would be great with all the interviews and reports done on us, as we partner with the Croatian Herald as out media sponsor. We would do a presentations of programs or services in Croatian cultural houses, have a booth at the games... The sky is the limit."

The Croatian Knights can be contacted at footycroatia.com.