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Slavonski Brod Tigers set to roar in Croatia


Tomislav Vlaović is the current president of the newly founded Aussie Rules club, the Slavonski Brod Tigers, from Croatia. Hot on the heels of the current drive in Croatia to have a full sized field built at the Zagreb University, the Tigers represent another compelling piece of evidence that Croatian footy is growing.

Following is Tomislav’s story about his own background and that of the Slavonski Brod Tigers, who will lock horns with the Zagreb Hawks, Zaprude Giants, Velika Gorika Dockers and their Austrian brothers the Styrian DownUnderDogs.

 “I was born and raised in Melbourne until the age of 14 when my family and I permanently moved to Croatia to live. I always preferred [Australian Rules]footy to soccer because simply footy is more dynamic and attractive to play. Where every player is ready to cross that line of no return, where there are no calculations. Where a Collingwood supporter can sit next to a Carlton supporter and not panic. That's why I love this game.”

The club was founded by Luka Đukic and Zvonimir Marinović, both originally from Slavonski Brod. They both were in involved in footy while studying in Zagreb. After Luka finished his studies, he returned to Slavonski Brod and together with Zvonimir they decided on founding a new footy club. Once you're hooked there's no looking back, that's just footy! Without them, there would be no club. Luka has taken over as the main coach and Zvonimir as the Vice president.”

“They named the club after the Richmond Tigers mainly to honour Ivan Maric who became the Croatian Ambassador for Aussie rules in 2013.”

 “Our main problems are jumpers and playing grounds. We have tried to contact the Richmond FC regarding old/spare jumpers that they could donate to us, but have no official response till now.”

 Playing grounds are a problem for all clubs in Croatia. Aussie Rules is not a recognized sport in Croatia so we have little or no funding at all. The SANH (Aussie Rules union of Croatia) have initiated a program called "Field of Dreams" in order to build the first Aussie Rules ground in Eastern Europe. The idea is fantastic and would mean a lot to all the boys playing footy in Croatia. It would be the first step of Aussie rules becoming a serious sport in the eyes of all Croatians.”

“I joined the club a bit later, partly because I live around 50 kilometres from Slavonski Brod and had no idea that a new club was founded. I can't describe the joy when I discovered that a footy club was founded nearby and that I could finally play footy again after 19 long years.”

The demand has been pretty good so far, there are around 14 of us that regularly train. Given the fact that besides Luka, Zvonimir and I, no one actually knew what footy is and never even seen some footage of a match, the guys are giving it the best and some have even potential to become Croatian national players.”

It will be very interesting to see how the Tigers develop, but it seems there is still a supply of interested talent finding the game and ensuring the continued growth of the game in the country. World Footy News will stay on top of their progress and hopefully have great things to report in the not too distant future.

Anybody interested in contacting the club for more information can go to their website at: http://brodtigers.wix.com/brodtigers or contact them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/brodtigers

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Slavonski Brod Tigers set to roar in Croatia | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Slavonski Brod Tigers set to roar in Croatia
Authored by: Wesley Hull on Tuesday, February 11 2014 @ 02:28 am ACDT

 We are currently on the lookout for a set of Richmond coloured jumpers to be donated to the Tigers. We may have found a set here in Cairns through a local club, but in case that falls through, please let us know if you are a "TIGER" club with a set of older jumpers that might be able to head to Croatia.

Slavonski Brod Tigers set to roar in Croatia
Authored by: Cam Homes on Wednesday, February 12 2014 @ 08:37 pm ACDT

Great story and good news to see further expansion of AFL(Aussie Rules) in another city in Croatia.

Croatian footy continues to demonstrate determination, strength and stability to grow footy in Croatia and Europe with this new club, along with their drive to develop their new OVAL in Zagreb. They have also supported Austrian Footy over the last 2/3 years with the DownunderDogs playing in their league to the extent that now Graz have been able to start their own three team "metro" league.

Best of luck and every success Tomislav, Luka and Zvonimir with your new club.

If the Austrian boys(and the Tigers) are counted, players and participants in Croatian Footy would number well into the hundreds this year I reckon!

Let's all hope that the SANH achieves its dream of getting the OVAL completed and up and running soon so the Tigers first kicks (in anger) might just be at the new ground :-) Wouldn't that be something to treasure? A first on the first!

Any indication that the AFL (World Ruling Body) is likely to kick in with some support (eg a grant or at least an interest free loan) to help develop this Oval dedicated to AFL in Eastern Europe?

Now wouldn't that be something to see!!!!

Slavonski Brod Tigers set to roar in Croatia
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, February 13 2014 @ 09:38 am ACDT

A cap on footy deparment spending by AFL clubs would go a long way to making all AFL clubs profitable and in turn should allow the AFL to save more money to spend on grass roots footy - be it in the expansion states, the heartland states, or in developing international markets.

That's one reason why I've long been a fan of a cap.  Plus in reality the AFL clubs are just in an arms race against themselves, it's an expensive civil war that just chews up money to what end?  Players 0.5% fitter or faster?  In which case the AFL caps interchanges to slow the game down. Or players that fractionally better able to execute a half field press or some other tactic?  It doesn't improve the game it's just money spent to give each other a slight edge, and in return we see poorer clubs getting massive "disequal" payments from the AFL (and then claiming they made a profit) and in effect millions each year wasted.

Imagine if an extra $10 million each year was put aside for grassroots development in Australia and $5 million internationally.  And yes grassroots in Australia needs it too. Just in the last 18 months in one small area of Adelaide, the inner north, two footy ovals have actually been lost.  One at a high school (and which was also used by a local group of indigenous players) which was demolished for housing (the kids will be packed off to distant private schools or the mega campus "super school" built a couple of suburbs away) and one at a club that was around 100 years old but the local council decided not to renew their lease for 2014 (technically speaking they made them bid for it but it was made plain they were no longer in the running) and looks set to award it to a soccer club instead.  I suspect that's typical across Adelaide as junior soccer numbers burst at the seams and footy clubs lose power, and urban infill and expansion has no interest in building ovals.

Bring on the cap and let's use the money to strengthen the game everywhere.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
Slavonski Brod Tigers set to roar in Croatia
Authored by: Cam Homes on Monday, February 17 2014 @ 10:43 pm ACDT

Unfortunately every thing you say, is too true when it comes to the AFL (world ruling body) supporting AFL (Aussie Rules) at grass roots level around Aussie and the world.

The $10 million and $5 million a year that you mention doesn't even have to be every year, if the money was paid out to the leagues from a development fund as an interest free loan. Monies paid back into the fund would earn bank interest so the AFL (world ruling body) wouldn't actually be losing any money.

The amount that Croatian Footy is trying to raise  to establish the first OVAL dedicated to AFL (AussieRules) in Eastern Europe might only be turning a toe hold into a foot in the door, but vitally important to the development of AFL (Aussie Rules) outside Aussie never the less.

When you come to think of it the amount is probably less than what the CEO of the AFL (world ruling body) pays in income tax. :-)

Let's all hope that Croatian Footy can get their oval up and running as soon as possible.

Hey Brett, you forgot to mention that other oval now lost to Aussia rules- Footy Park .:-)

Not quite on topic but I see that AFL Europe's calendar has Sweden playing Denmark and Finland later in the year and also Spain playing Scotland in an International Friendly match.




Slavonski Brod Tigers set to roar in Croatia
Authored by: josip13 on Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 09:40 am ACDT

Richmond sent Jumpers to Slavonski Brod. :)

Club will play first game against Hawks on 09 March .