Team Serbia, Europe #10, will travel to France to face the defending champions and number one ranked, Team France, in the biggest ever game for the Serbian national team as the IFAF 2020 European Championship Group A qualification round winds up.
Serbia and the France play in Division A which also includes the Czech Republic. The winner of this game advances to the final four teams in Europe who will do battle in 2020 for the European crown.
Serbia has never come this close to the top teams in Europe. The Serbs are ranked as the #10 team in Europe while France, after winning the 2018 IFAF European Championship, are the number one team.
The Serbs defeated Team Czech Republic 16-0 two weeks ago to set up this showdown. The French national team had defeated the Czechs 28-3 a month ago in the first game of the three team division.
That game against the Czechs was the first game for Serbia in two years. The Serbians had not played a game since 2017.
Serbia’s head coach Doug Adkins has brought with him more or less the same 45 man roster as he had against the Czechs.which includes 10 members of the Serbian champions, the Kragujevac Wild Boars and eight from SBB Vukovi Belgrade. Adkins quarterback for this game will again be David Hanomihl-Lukić (Resita Locomotives) who he has relied on in previous tournaments. In the win over the Czechs, Hanomihl-Lukić was solid, throwing a touchdown pass and generally keeping the Czech defense off balance.
There have been four changes to the roster include the addition of linebacker Mihajlo Miskiv (Banat Bulls) and offensive lineman Srdjan Aleksandrovic (Blue Dragons Belgrade) along with running back Bojan Nesic (Banat Bulls) and defensive back Nenad Andonovic (SBB Vukovi), all replacing other players.
Adkins is no stranger to international tournaments. He coached Serbia to a 56-0 whipping of Team Hungary in 2015 and a 17-0 blanking of Switzerland the following year. He was the defensive coordinator for the Team Finland teams that won the 1985 European title.
These two nations have never faced each other in international competition.
Team Serbia Roster
Quarterbacks (QB): David Hanomihl-Lukic (Resita Locomotives), Mladen Zlatic (Banat Bulls)
Running backs (RB): Ivan Pleva (Blue Dragons Belgrade), Mihailo Josovic (SBB Vukovi Belgrade), Mihailo Novakovic, Aleksandar Ristic (Wild Boars Kragujevac), Filip Vlajic (Swarco Raiders Tirol), Bojan Nesic (Banat Bulls)
Wide receivers (WR): Stefan Borkovic, Filip Nedeljkovic, Stefan Djuric (Wild Boars Kragujevac), Milos Kolibar (SBB Vukovi Belgrade), Tihomir Todorov, Davor Soldo (Wild Dogs Novi Sad), Milan Nikolic (Banat Bulls);
Offensive Line (OL): Nikola Davidovic (Blue Dragons Belgrade), Alexander Blazic, Vladimir Ikras (Meridian Indians), Dejan Sarenac, Dragan Kovacevic (SBB Vukovi Belgrade), Srdjan Aleksandrovic (Blue Dragons Belgrade)
Defensive Line (DL): Milorad Novakovic, Danilo Mijuskovic (Wild Boars Kragujevac), Dusan Novakovic (Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns), Igor Timotijevic (Milano Seamen), Uros Josipovic (Wild Dogs Novi Sad), Milos Jankovic (Banat Bulls)
Linebackers (LB): Predrag Scekic, Strahinja Grujic (Wild Boars Kragujevac), Luka Vujnovic (Wild Dogs Novi Sad), Nebojsa Rajkovic (Banat Bulls), Mihajlo Miskiv (Banat Bulls)
Defensive backs (DB): Goran Zec (Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns), Ivan Radojicic (Wild Boars Kragujevac), Slavoljub Dukovski, Lazar Bucan (SBB Vukovi Belgrade), Aleksandar Borkovic, Aleksandar Zivanovic (Meridian Indjija Indians), Milos Katic (Meridian Indjija Indians)/Lübeck Cougars), Nemanja Vuckovic (Wild Dogs Novi Sad), Aleksa Denovic (Royal Royal Crowns), Marko Bates (Potsdam Royals), Nenad Andonovic (SBB Vukovi)
Special Team (ST): Zeljko Stegnjaja (SBB Vukovi Belgrade).