LIVESTREAM CEFL: Kragujevac Wild Boars @ Dacia Vienna Vikings, May 15, 17:00 CET (5 pm, 11:00 am ET)

The Central European Football League finally returns after a two years absence, as the Dacia Vienna Vikings (4-0) will host the defending Serbian champion Kragujevac Wild Boars (1-1) May 15 in Vienna, Austria.

This matchup pits two historic European franchises against each other in what should be an entertaining opening round of the 2021 CEFL tournament.

Coach Aleksandar Ristić Alf and his Kragujevac Wild Boars are two games into to their 2021 season. After a week one win, the Wild Boars lost a nail biter to another Serbian powerhouse, the SBB Vukovi Belgrade, 42-43. At the end of an electrifying back and forth game, Kragujevac decided to go for the 2-point conversion and the win. Unfortunately for them, it was unsuccessful as they picked up their first loss of the season.  Offensively, the reigning Serbian title holders are led by former Minot State (NCAA D2) quarterback Isaiah Weed. Joining Weed in the backfield is running back Ashton Heard, a shifty runner who most recently played for Denmark’s Copenhagen Towers back in 2019. In the Danish league, Heard ran for an impressive 743 yards and six touchdowns in only five games. Other key players on the Kragujevac offense are lineman Bane Petrovic, and receiver Petar Goic.

Kragujevac Wild Boars @ Dacia Vienna Vikings, May 15, 17:00 CET (5 pm, 11:00 am ET)

Wild Boars quarterback Isaiah Weed commented on the chance to play in CEFL’s international tournament:

“I am beyond excited moving into the CEFL. How I see it, each game is the most important game of the season. Just have to take it week by week and improve at every opportunity I get.”

On defense, the Wild Boars are led by Serbian veteran defensive lineman Milorad Novakovic and cornerback Ivan Radojicic. Head coach Alf has also brought in import Courtney Etienne from the UK to bolster the Kragujevac secondary. The Wild Boars’ defense will need to be stout against a powerful Vikings rushing attack.

Veteran Ivan Radojicic commented Kragujevac’s return to the CEFL tournament:

“We are very excited to come back on the international stage after a one year of pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We know the Vikings are the absolute favorite and beating them on their home field is a huge challenge, but we are not intimidated at all. We are coming to Vienna with clear heads, ready to play football without any pressure. We can’t wait to step on the field on Saturday!”

The home team Dacia Vienna Vikings march into this international matchup after an impressive showing last week, defeating the Prague Black Panthers 27-9. The offense featured a three-headed running attack consisting of quarterback Eystin Salum and running backs Florian Wegen and Andrew Spencer. Spencer was seeing his first action of the season and shook off the rust, running for 78 yards and a touchdown. Expect the Vikings to continue to pound the rock this week as their backfield is filled with talent.

Vikings’ quarterback Eystin Salum emphasizes getting back to basics when facing an unfamiliar opponent:

“We just need to worry about playing our best, having sound fundamentals and playing smart football. We are so talented I truly think only we can beat ourselves.”

On the other side of the ball, the Vikings have been able to create takeaways in all four of their games this season. Defensive end Leon Balogh has been Austria’s premiere pass rusher as he has already racked up a league leading seven sacks. The defensive combination of harassing the quarterback and having an athletic secondary has rewarded head coach Chris Calaycay and the Vikings with an undefeated record. One key member of the secondary has been 23-year-old defensive back Benjamin Straight.

Straight on preparing for a CEFL game compared to an Austrian Football League game:

“Getting ready for an international game is quite different then preparing for an AFL game, because you don’t really have any reference points. What I mean by that is, in the AFL you play a team once a year sometimes even twice, so over the years you kind of get a feeling of how they run their routes, how fast they are, what coverages they play.. etc. But with this game I think it’s best to focus on our stuff and just be ready to adapt to anything that will come!”

The most recent Serbian champions make the long journey to Austria eager to prove to the rest of Europe that they still belong among the continent’s best teams. Meanwhile, the Vikings look to keep their win streak alive as they aim to bring their dominant 2021 play style into the CEFL tournament.

Watch the game live here. Kragujevac Wild Boars @ Dacia Vienna Vikings, May 15, 17:00 CET (5 pm, 11:00 am ET)

Dacia Vienna Vikings roster

Kragujevac Wild Boars roster

 

 

 

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football