Ukraine: EAFL Falcons from United Arab Emirates set to play Kiev Patriots

The EAFL Falcons from the United Arab Emirates head to the Ukraine this weekend to play an international friendly against the Kiev Patriots at Dynamos Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine.

Over the past 12 months the Falcons, an all star team made up of players from the various teams in the Emirates American Football League, have played in six international contests winning five of those games. Playing against teams from Saudi Arabia,  Kazakhstan, Holland, Serbia and India,  the Falcons have been building bridges through football while growing and helping improve the level of the game in the Emirates.

The Patriots will have a full 47 man roster made up of mostly of Ukrainian players and an American import player, running back Dileel Bartley who is a key to their offense.

Kiev Patriots RB Dileel Bartley

The Falcons are sending 20 players of mixed nationalities (many of whom are Americans) who are living and working in the United Arab Emirates. Players are drawn from the various teams in the EAFL including the Abu Dhabi Wildcats, Al Ain Desert Foxes, Dubai Barracudas, and Dubai Stallions.

Program Director fo the EAFL Falcons, Dustin Cherniawski:

“We’re very excited to have the Falcons on the road again. We really enjoy traveling to different countries and establishing bonds with quality football programs. Iurii Gundych and Maksym Shylo have done a great job organizing and promoting this event so we look forward to a fun and competitive game for the men.

EAFL Falcons’ RB Luke Norrey in action against Almaty Titans Photo:: Jan-Peter Mohwinkel.

Head coach of the Patriots, Jeff Vinall:

“The team is very excited about this game because of the quality of the opponent and the international nature of the event. This is a chance for individual players to shine on a bigger stage, but even more important is the team’s opportunity to positively represent Ukraine.

“Dileel Bartley is very important to this team because of his versatility and leadership. He can run the football, but he also helps us out in the passing game as a receiver and as a pass protector. He’s a dream to coach because he is always positive, prepares himself physically and mentally and helps keep the team positive with his easy going and friendly attitude.

“We’ll need to get good performance on defense from outside linebacker Vladimir Kulchitskii, or Army Boy as we call him, out of respect to his service to his country in the war in Donbas. He’s a hard nosed and disciplined player and perhaps our best tackler, who scored a defensive TD last week for us. We’ll also need a good game from On the offensive line, we’ll need our LT, Vitaliy Lysyi to play well, he’s a key to protecting our QB, and our most experienced lineman. We’ll also be leaning on Dima Zakharash, who’s played many positions for us but will play this game at TE. He’s an outstanding pass catcher who is also very valuable to us as a blocker in the run game.

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.