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English Section

Poland's Australian Footy team gears up for unusual friendly

20.08.2019 08:00
Poland’s recently formed Australian Football League team, the Polish Devils, is gearing up for its first international friendly, with the game set to be played in an unusual format.
Polands recently formed Australian Football League team
Poland’s recently formed Australian Football League teamPhoto: Polish Devils

At a tournament in Estonia on October 12, the Polish Devils will lend those of its players who come from Australia to the home side. The aim is to boost the sport in Estonia.

Russia, Finland and a squad from Sweden will also donate their Australian players to the Estonian team during the competition.

AFL, as the sport is known, is in its infancy in Slavic countries but Australian expats and fans are working hard to generate interest, build teams and attract spectators.

The Devils were founded last November with just five players, but have grown quickly. An 18-strong squad travelled to Stockholm in June for the European Championships.

The Devils lost all their six games but continue training at Warsaw’s University of Physical Education in the hope of a better result next year.

AFL dates back to late-19th century Australia, where it was founded as a way for cricket players to stay fit during the off season.

It is a contact sport played on a cricket pitch with an oval ball. Two teams of 18 players aim to get the ball between four posts. A team scores six points if the ball lands between the two posts in the middle, and one point if it lands between the outer and inner posts.

Because of a deficit of cricket fields in Central and Eastern Europe, rugby or soccer pitches are used, and a nine-a-side format is adopted.

More information at futbolaustralijski.pl

(pk/gs)