The Italian national team, Team Italy, face a daunting task Sunday, October 6 when they head to Vienna, Austria to face Team Austria in the opening round of the IFAF 2020 European Championship qualification tournament.
The Austrians are coming off a huge win last month when they handed Team Switzerland a 66-0 thrashing while Italy is playing their first game of the tournament. The last time the Italians took the field was in January 2018, when they too handed Switzerland a loss, beating them 43-8.
Austria are European silver medalists after finishing second in the 2018 IFAF European Championships. The Austrians lost 28-14 to France in the final.
Austrian head coach Shuan Fatah has made a few changes to the roster he had against the Swiss, most notably at quarterback as it looks as if Alex Thury will not play.
Check out the Team Austria Roster.
Italy’s head coach Davide Giuliano enters the game with a 45 man roster including starting quarterback Luke Zahradka. He is aware of the challenge of facing Austria, who finished second in the 2018 IFAF European Championships.
“Despite the long competitive stop on the international front, I expect to see the team take the field to compete and try to win, not just to participate. We’re a playing a team that is among the best in Europe, with a very high quality both in terms of players and coaches. We will have to play with calm determination, without ever giving up. We are obviously starting out as underdogs, but this could be the key to trying to bring home the result we all aspire to.”