Match Day Report: FFC Redbacks vs Heidelberg Knights
by Lars Riedel
The AFLG is „Alive and Kicking“!!
On the 7th of August the first AFLG 9v9 game of the season 2021 kicked off at 2pm with Frankfurt Redbacks vs Heidelberg Knights. Although two other AFLG teams, Köln and Zuffenhausen, also kicked off their seasons this weekend, this game was extra special, because after being founded in September 2020, the Heidelberg Knights have now played their first official AFLG Game. Welcome to the AFLG!
Although boasting a strong roster of promising AFLG players, a tough and corona-interrupted preseason has seen troops depleted due to injury. To balance the numbers, the Redbacks provided 2 players per quarter to the Knights. The following players played for Heidelberg at some point: Daniel Rupert, Marc Herbert, Jose Martinez, Lars Riedel, Rubio Santiago and Samuel Gillings. The field umpire was Samuel Dawkins, and goal umpires were Kevin Müller and Kaiser Matthias.
The final Score of the Game was 27.16 (178) to 8.10 (58). While it was a crystal clear win for our Redbacks, the Knights made a really good go of it, and have laid a proud foundation for this new club to build upon.
Constantin was the first goal kicker, early in the first quarter. This started a strong quarter predominantly led by the Redbacks forward line, with ruthless, fresh defence holding the Knights scoreless. The new captain of the Redbacks, Xavier, was able to kick two “Captain’s Goals” in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Redbacks continued to extend their lead significantly. However, towards the end of the quarter Heidelberg strengthened emphatically and became increasingly dangerous in attack. This surging response resulted in the Knights first three goals in the AFLG. Our new vice-captain, Matthias Klusemann, was moved into the full forward position and instantly dominated in front of the goals, kicking 3 for the quarter. Jose Martinez had a streak of goals from the wing, also slotting 3 for the quarter. At the half time siren the score was: 101 to 20.
In the third quarter, the performance of the Heidelberg team continued to improve, increasing their score by 16 points, unfortunately falling far short of the Redbacks, who kicked 41 points. In the final quarter, we noticed as a team that there are still areas in which we can improve. Our fitness, in particular, must be better in order for us to assert ourselves in our next games. The new leaders of the Redbacks lead us into battle and we were victorious at home, well done team
In the third quarter the Redbacks’ José Martinez suffered a leg injury/strain and stayed on the bench for the remainder of the game. In the fourth quarter our club president Sebastian Handke, was also forced to leave the field prematurely after bruising his ankle during a contest.
This week’s Redback Man of the Match was Andrew Molloy, who (according to the Coach, Malte) gave everything in the game and always pressed ahead in the in-game situations. The award was notably not awarded to the highest goal scorer, but rather to the man who continually showed up, followed the ball, put in second efforts, and continuously pressured Tim, one of the key players from the Knights. He finished with 4.2 (26 Points). Heidelberg man of the Match was Thomas, with the Number 41. The Player with the most goals from Heidelberg was Jonas, who scored 2.1 (13 Points).
Many of the players from both teams kicked their first goal, and therefore, as tradition demands, had to drink beer from their now-blessed football boot. There can be no greater reward. These „Shooies“ were shared by both teams, 4 for Heidelberg and 3 for Frankfurt. Among the Frankfurt players who scored their first AFLG goal/s were: José Marinez, Rubio Santiago and Andrew Molloy. May their lips always remember the taste of glory.
Comment from the Redback Captain (Xavier)
I was super proud and humbly honoured to captain my first official match for the Redbacks and it was made even better by a strong win. The most pleasing thing was seeing key components we’ve been working on in training coming through in the game, such as running past to receive a handball, leading out to space from kick-ins and most importantly running hard to support our teammates. Heidelberg were a strong opponent despite their inexperience and should be commended on their team culture. It was great to share a beer with them postgame, after meeting many of them at a preseason training camp earlier in the year.
A big ‘thank you’ must also go to Malte for taking on the coaching duties and managing the team in both trainings and match day. A special mention to Sammy for umpiring (even if he was late after going to the wrong ground!). Lastly, to all the fans (and Redcats!) who came to support the guys. It definitely made for a fun afternoon.
All in all, it was a great day for the club, go the Redbacks!
There will certainly be some work to be done, but I’m looking forward very confidently to our next game against Cologne. Join us on the 4th of September, 2021 at our new stadium in Frankfurt.