Since the creation of the Berlin league back in 2011 the West Berlin Eagles had never had the opportunity to play in a grand final. After a break out season and finishing undefeated the boys finally had the chance to strut their stuff on the big stage against a finals experienced Crows, who have appeared in the last five grand finals and were no stranger to the occasion, it was all set up for a cracking day of football!
A huge blow was dealt to the Eagles before the game had even started, Captain and long time veteran of the WBE, Rowan Miegel was unavailable for selection due to prior commitments. If anything, this inspired the boys greatly to get the job done for the much loved club stalwart. With this bad news there was always a silver lining to come, the late recruitment of gun mid fielder Jake Snowden was a timely one, as Jake made his debut for the club on the big day and most definitely did not disappoint.
With slightly wet conditions to begin the game, Alex Dole was to step in for ruck duties with the absence of the skipper, doing a fantastic job and winning plenty of ruck taps to advantage he was able to give first use to Steele Sexton and Snowden to give the boys a huge start and a early quick goals.
Long time Crows forward Adrian O’reilly was proving troublesome for the Eagles defence at times, a smart user of the ball was able to find space through out the day to give the Crows plenty to kick to. Although, the Crows were also missing their captain, Bart Rijckaert this did not stop them from playing a very physical and inspired brand of football.
With a three goal lead at the break, the Eagles were really able to put the foot down in the second half as the conditions dried up and the boys were able to put together some classy passages of play. With a more attacking role for the day, Stacey Kent was given free run off the back line and was able to set up some crucial goals in the second half.
The Crows fought hard all day and did not give up until the last siren, the Eagles proving too much in the second half, running away with a 46 point win. With this, comes the Eagles first taste of premiership success in the Berlin League.
The West Berlin Eagles would firstly like to thank the North Berlin Crows for a great game and congratulate them another successful season. Also, to the South Berlin Giants and the East Berlin Mariners.
To the West Coast Eagles for their tremendous support in the 2017 season, providing new jumpers, training singlets and footballs has been an incredible help and the boys are looking forward to lining up in the blue and gold for years to come! If you are an Eagles fan and are looking to get your AFL fix in Berlin, please contact the club via the Facebook page.
Lastly, to the Berlin Crocodiles and all the people involved in the club this year, a competition like this does not happen by itself, it takes many hard working people willing to commit their time so that we can play the great game in Berlin. A huge thank you from the West Berlin Eagles to the Crocs president, board, coaches and all involved on match days to set up the ground week in, week out. The competition is growing every year and is showing no signs of slowing down whatsoever.