LIVESTREAM IFAF European Championship: Team Serbia @ Team Austria, August 8, 15:00 CET (3pm, 9am ET)

The beautiful city of Vienna, Austria will play host to a key international matchup as Team Austria will take on Serbia in this IFAF European Championships semifinal.

The winner of this game will play Denmark in October for the fifth-place trophy. Expect Serbia to play well as they are coming off of a big win over the Czech Republic back in 2019. Across the field, Austria looks to bounce back after a stunning loss to Italy in the qualifying rounds.

Head coach Max Sommer enters his first game at the helm of Austria’s proud national team program as they look to return to dominance.

Sommer comments on how it feels to lead a revamped national team back on the field:

“Our entire program is really excited to get back on the field. We expect a strong team Serbia which almost made it to the gold medal bracket in 2019. But the focus is on us. We are in a rebuilding mode with many question marks along the way. One thing is sure, we will leave it all on the field come Sunday. This is what we can control and what we owe to ourselves and to all the people who have been involved in the past and present of Team Austria.”

Team Serbia @ Team Austria, August 8, 15:00 CET (3 pm, 9 am ET)

Coach Sommer’s offense will be quarterbacked by veteran Alexander Thury. Thury is a proven passer who has experience playing for the Vienna Vikings, Stockholm Mean Machine, and Marburg Mercenaries. Young quarterback Nico Rhouda could also see some playing time after a promising season with the Vienna Vikings. Expect the homegrown passer to look for Austrian Football League MVP Phillip Haun, Felix Reisacher, and Yannick Mayr. The running game features the Austrian Football League’s leading rusher Florian Wegen from the Dacia Vienna Vikings. Fans can expect Austria to run the ball early and often behind an experienced offensive line. Austria’s veteran quarterback Thury on the team’s potential following training camp:

“The team is set on a very good course, we are on our way to becoming the best Austrian team there has ever been. That’s our goal. We want to be the best possible version of ourselves. Whoever we cross paths with we want to beat them.”

Defensively linebacker Thomas Schnurrer is back with the national team after leading the Austrian Football League in tackles once again. In the secondary, Vienna standouts Luis Horvath and Benjamin Straight, along with Danube Dragons Florian Albrecht lead this defensive backfield against a talented Serbian offense.

Middle linebacker Thomas Schnurrer commented on what it means to wear red and white:

“It means a lot to me personally to be part of the national team. That can never be taken for granted because there are a lot of good players in Austria. The atmosphere in the team is great, we are focused on one goal and we have a lot of fun doing it. This national team has the potential to achieve great things.”

Doug Atkins returns as head coach of the Serbian national team. The first thing he did was lure veteran Serbian quarterback Andrej Tasić out of retirement to suit up for his country again.  Tasić was the first quarterback in Serbian national team history back when they took on Slovenia in 2005. Tasić is known around the country as one of the founding fathers of Serbian American football. Today he’ll be Team Serbia’s starting quarterback in his return to the international stage after years away from any organized football. Expect the veteran passer to knock off the rust quickly and target 2021 Serbian League MVP Tihomir Todorov. Running back Mihalio and receiver Milan Novaković (brothers of defensive end Milrorad Novaković) are expected to make an impact as the Serbian Eagles aim to move the sticks behind a veteran offensive line led by Branko Mutić and Branislav Petrović.

Receiver Tihomir Todorov commented on the team’s preparation for Austria:

“It’s always a pleasure going through the process and preparation whoever we play against especially against one of the best teams in Europe. We went through minicamp and practices making sure everything falls in place. We are motivated and ready to give our best on Sunday, and we will make sure that we represent our country in the best way possible.”

Serbia’s defense features some impressive size as 6’3″ 240 pound edge defender Dušan Novaković’s combination of speed and strength could cause headaches for this Austrian offense. The rest of a strong defensive front includes Igor Timotijevic and Milorad Novaković. Novaković is a decorated veteran with multiple MVP awards in the Serbian league. Defensive backs Ivan Radojičić and Marko Bates have been fixtures in the Team Serbia and will have to step up today facing a talented group of Austrian receivers. Radojičić on representing his country once again:

“It is a huge honor and privilege to represent your country on the international stage. Even if I am a member of our national team for the last 10 years, I still feel the same passion as if it was the first time I played for Serbia. It is an incredible feeling. This year we have an amazing group of young and talented guys and none of them carry fear in their hearts. We see the upcoming game as war. We will do our best to leave everything on the field. Let’s go Serbia!”

The Austrian national team entered the IFAF competition as one of the favorites to claim the European title after reaching the final in 2018. Now they’ll face Serbia and potentially Denmark to try and earn fifth place. Max Sommer’s team is filled with both veterans and athletic young players eager to prove themselves on the international stage. Today will be a great test for the talented squad as this will be their first game together since before the pandemic. They’ll have to mesh quickly facing off against a physical Serbian team hungry to make some noise after defeating the Czech Republic in 2019.

Watch the game live here Team Serbia @ Team Austria, August 8, 15:00 CET (3 pm, 9 am ET)

Team Austria roster

Team Serbia 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