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Sesvete Double Blues On The Rise In Croatia

  • Saturday, July 04 2015 @ 10:38 am ACST
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The 2015 season has seen continued development of the Australian Rules football code in Croatia as they gear towards the upcoming Axios Euro Cup to be played in Umag in October. With the development of the new women’s team – the Velika Gorica Mambas Mambas Ready To Rock Croatia – and the new Sesvete Double Blues, the new season has been huge.

Josip Kravar, president of the Association of Australian Football in Croatia (AAFC) details the rise of the Double Blues in part two of a look at the acceleration of the game in the lead up to the Euro Cup.

“So the story is that three ex-Hawks players had idea to start a club in Sesvete. It is a small town near Zagreb, and they did it.”

“The club now is competing in HLAN and CEAFL where they struggled through the start of the season, but now they have won against both the Tigers and Styrian Downunderdogs, and so two games in row are here [in the bag].”
“The club has their own field with lockerooms and they are keen to start women’s club also.”

“We are proud that we have five men's club in 2015. HLAN is growing every year and AAFC have in mind to start one more club next year where we will draw the line and turn our efforts to women’s clubs and juniors. According to our estimates this is a number that can be sustainable. We want to spread clubs within 2 hours driving distance. It will not be too far until we will be recognised as a sport and will receive funds for our travel in HLAN or CEAFL.”

“Sturt Football Club (SANFL) are big brother club of Sesvete and they will help the club with footys and jumpers. AAFC is happy to extend our friendship with Sturt FC as Croatian Knight and Zagreb Hawks star player Josip Habljak (ruckman) is going to play for Sturt next season.”

“The Sesvete Double Blues have big potential and I hope we will see some Knights players from this team. Their dedication and hard work on field and off the field is now showing results and I hope it will continue. I am happy that we are expanding and what is best is enjoying the best sport in the world.”

“Also important to mention, as it is a story here in Croatia, the Sesvete Double Blues are 100% local players (20 players) which is what makes the story in Croatia more interesting. In the whole league we have maybe two or three ex Aussies. I think that is a strong foundation of this club and other clubs. Dedicated locals.”

Croatia has long been one of the best performing European teams at the Euro Cup, and this is now translating to a huge growth in interest, which in turn has seen a near doubling of clubs in the past two to three years. That is ferocious growth and a credit to the dedicated men and women in Croatia who have done so much to grow the game.

With the Sesvete Double Blues, the Croatian footy scene now has another string to its bow. With the Axios Euro Cup on the horizon there will be many proud Croatians now playing their hearts out for the game they love.