«Dolphins» and «Vikings» are League One favorites

Intrigue in the first league? No, it was not. The results of the weekend matches showed that strong teams, even with a weakened team, are still strong teams. For example, the Saturday match between the «Azov Dolphins» and the «Poltava Panthers» or the Sunday home game «Dnipro United 2» with the Nikolaev «Vikings». Both winners in matches last weekend are strong clubs with their own history. Dnipro team in principle, too. If you do not take into account the new name, it is still «Rocket» with a good addition of young players. But Poltava – the debutant team of the season ULAF 2019, here they are, really, heroes. The club is 3 years old. They brought 13 people (!) To the game in Mariupol. With what was … Full contact … Lack of a normal replacement … And they brought their touchdown! Yes, let alone. Yes, a lot of injuries. But imagine this tenacity of 13 people! This is wow! Of course, the final score of the match is 80 by 8 in favor of the «Dolphins», who take all the laurels. And in order to support the «Panthers», I invite you to get acquainted with the opinion of the representative of the «Azov Dolphins» team, Andrei Kulivets:

«We were waiting for a young and developing team. Due to the fact that there are 13 or 14 of them, it was hard for them to play. Athletes showed excellent training and a real fighting character. Of course, the lack of experience and teamwork affected the team. Thanks to the opponent for a good and clean game, I wish the injured guys to get better soon and prepare for the next game. Thanks to the team, young players, our legionnaires for the well-coordinated game and character on the field. Next, prepare for the “Vikings”. This is our principled and strong adversary. Thanks to the viewers, sponsors, partners and city authorities of Mariupol».

For the Mariupol club this is the second victory in the championship of the First League and we can say 100% of them are moving in the direction of the championship. But not everything is so simple.


On Sunday, another First League match took place in the Dnieper. This time the victory was won by the guests – «Vikings». Not to say that there was a rout, but the gap in the glasses is also decent – 8 to 32. And here is the most interesting. There is a history of rivalry between Mariupol and Nikolayev. It is not the longest in Ukrainian American football, but it is. And we will see this opposition already in the next game weekend of the First League. It should be very interesting, although only because part of the «Vikings» gain experience in «Odessa Storm», and the rivals in the Super League are much more experienced and tougher. As a result of the Sunday match, I propose to get acquainted with the views of representatives of both teams. Let’s start with the winners, «Vikings»:

Dmitry Gladilin:

«This is our first game, to win, like any other team, we were set up. We made preparations for the opponent, and everything that was planned was implemented successfully. The sensations after the game are ambiguous, as there are many factors that we did not have time to manifest during the game. But, in general, we are pleased with the result, given that the composition for this game was 15 people. Why did not declare to the big leagues? Yes, all because of the lack of composition for the season. A lot of people are tied up with football, a lot has left abroad. But we will do our best to ensure that this year was a reloading one, and already in 2020 Vikings again entered the field in the Super League!»

And finally, the opinion of Maxim Vasilyk, «Dnipro United 2» head coach:

«The team is slowly but surely looking for its own game, it is filling the bumps, and young players get experience. As mentioned earlier, United is an association of three teams, and it so happens that they have slightly different goals. Now all this needs to be put together. This is a very time consuming process. The result on the scoreboard is not the most important thing now. Very important is what happens inside the team, its transformation. If everything goes well, the victories will not be long in coming».

As we see, the attitude of all combat. «United» and «United 2» clubs are especially pleased – they have not a single victory either in the Super League or in the First League. But the progress on the face, as they bring the balls in the record book and each time the game seems more harmonious.

ULAF, and I personally, thank all the clubs for the great games, as well as for help in writing this material! Successes all! And, I think everyone will agree, separately we wish success to the Club from Poltava «Panthers» – guys, hold on! With such pressure as you, success will come much earlier than you yourself think.


Denis Polubinsky