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Kamber sounds off
The ASVÖ Gladiators are preparing to go on a trip to Serbia in a back to back week, with this week’s game being way bigger than the one four days ago. The SELAF playoffs and their match versus the Vukovi are on the schedule, and it’s potentially the last game of the season for the Austrian team and their quarterback Bernhard Kamber.
Although he meant no harm and it was just in good fun, Kamber’s comments before the first game between these teams, how they would send the Vukovi home to Belgrade with a loss didn’t sound too good after the Vukovi won 21-14. Now, he’s downgraded it a notch.
“Belgrade is the favorite in this game, they have a new quarterback and home field advantage … Our goal for the season was to make the play-offs, of course now we’re in it and we want more.”
They’re in, but just barely with wins over two of the last place teams, and no wins over other playoff participants. After winning two straight to advance into the playoffs, maybe it’s time for them to break Belgrade’s own winning streak that stretches to six games. One that started exactly in Rudersdorf and one after which problems started piling up. First they lost their coach, and then they started losing.
“I told my guys, hey let’s go down to Belgrade to play football and have some fun, we’re the underdogs and I like this situation! … The Gladiators came out of a hard time but it gets better every day!” says Kamber.
“The first time we played the Vukovi a lot of things went wrong way from our side. Very bad officials, plus no discipline from my team made an easy victory for Belgrade. I’ve heard after the game that they didn’t play with the whole team so it’s possible
that two brand new teams face each other on Sunday.”
The officiating part is debatable, as is how easy the win was for Belgrade. But what’s true is that two different teams will meat – Belgrade was without a couple standard players, and also without their coach at the time.
Still, after they had licensed several new players from other Austrian teams, the main difference will come from the Gladiators’ side. Because all needed to play at least two games in order to qualify for the post season, play they did, with most of them making an immediate impact; most notable is Joe Widner, formerly of the Vienna Vikings.
The smallish receiver, who because of his size can easily be confused for a running back, caught four touchdowns from his current and former teammate Kamber, as the Gladiators toyed with the last two teams they faced. Widner and Kamber played together years ago in another Austrian teams, Cowboys, that eventually became the Carinthian Black Lions. Now, he’s another receiving weapon for a team that’s one of rear primarily passing teams – and for the most part, successful at it.
The game in Belgrade will be played at 3PM on Sunday, on Ada Ciganlija.