Croatia: Zagreb Patriots Are Back!

Photo: Dunja Buhin
After a turbulent pre-season last year, Zagreb Patriots shut down. However, love for the game brought everyone back together - and the team is preparing for the 2014 season full speed ahead.

Zagreb Patriots were the most dominant team in Croatian league, even though there were the youngest team at the same time. Something that started out as a big organization got crushed within couple months. Problems team started to face were unbearable, and at the final meeting, just a week before playing Ljubljana Silverhawks (Slovenia), team decided to end all activity.

At the same time, there were two more active teams in Zagreb - Raiders and Thunder. For a country where football development needs serious work, 3 teams in just one city was too much. Right after Patriots, both Raiders and Thunder couldn't keep up and had to consider other options. 

Like it usually goes, a group of Patriots players got together in the end of 2013. and decided to give it another try. Players from closed Raiders and Thunder teams also joined. Patriots had everything they needed to rise back to the top.

Dasovic. Photo: Dunja Buhin
"We couldn't just sit and do nothing. It was great to see Raiders and Thunder players to come and join us. Now, we have at least 40 men at practice. Just the other day only 30 showed up and we all felt like that number is not nearly enough!" - team president Ivan Dasovic laughs and continues: "This year we won't be signing any American coaches and imports due to the fact that our financial situation needs to be more stable in order to bring in coaches and imports. Our priority is signing an American coach, and that's what will remain our priority for 2015."

However, even with 75 active players, they had to seek an alternative to compete. Croatian league will have NO activity for now! 

With that being said, Patriots joined Alpe Adria League where they will play Sirmium Legionaries of Serbia in Zagreb this weekend.

It's interesting to mention that this is not the first time Patriots are playing against a Serbian team. Couple years ago, 7 linemen were travelling every weekend to play for the Novi Sad Dukes, where they also went against Sirmium.