AFL Europe Championships Preview
14th -20th August
The pinnacle of full format AFL in Europe has arrived. National teams from around Europe have landed in London to compete for the title of best national team in Europe. Great Britain, Ireland, Sweden and Germany will contest the men’s division while Great Britain, Ireland and a combination of players from France, Denmark and Britain will form a European Crusaders side to compete in the women’s side of the draw.
The week long tournament will be held at the home of Aussie Rules in London, Motspur Park, and runs from Sunday 14th to Saturday 20th of August. The first round of men’s matches takes place tomorrow with the Irish Warriors taking on the German Eagles at 1pm. This will be followed by the host nation, the Great Britain Bulldogs going head-to-head with the Swedish Elks at 3pm.
The men’s draw has each team play one another once before they contest the finals on the Saturday. The host nation, the Great Britain Bulldogs, along with the Irish Warriors are tipped to be the strongest sides at the triennial competition. The Bulldogs are renowned for their hard and tough style of football while the Warriors like to take the game on and use the space utilising their run-and-carry.
The Swedes and Germans are harder to get a gauge on and they’ll be real surprise packets at this tournament. Both countries have thriving domestic competitions and on their day can cause upsets to their more fancied opponents. The Elks and Eagles won’t mind the underdog tag and will work it in their favour come game day.
The women’s tournament kicks off on the Thursday with three consecutive days of fixtures culminating in the final on the Saturday. The GB Swans have set the benchmark early in 2016 with a host of victories at shorter format tournaments. The Irish girls will do their best to get the ball on the outside where they are most dangerous with their speed and skill. The biggest unknown in the women’s tournament is the European Crusaders. They’re a side made up of the most footy-mad girls from France, Scandinavia and Britain who were desperate to get a game when their countries were unable to fill a full squad. They’ll be a real unknown force in this tournament and depending on how they gel as a side could seriously contend for the top prize.
With games taking place on every other day from Sunday London will be brimming with Aussie rules action. Keep an eye out on the AFL Europe social media and website for updates and match reviews daily.
The full tournament schedule:
Sunday 14th August
- 1pm Irish Warriors v German Eagles
- 3pm GB Bulldogs v Swedish Elks
Tuesday 16th August
- 4pm German Eagles v Swedish Elks
- 6pm GB Bulldogs v Irish Warriors
Thursday 18th August
- 1:30pm GB Swans v Irish Banshees
- 2:15pm Irish Banshees v European Crusaders
- 3pm European Crusaders v GB Swans
- 4pm Irish Warriors v Swedish Elks
- 6pm GB Bulldogs v German Eagles
Friday 19th August
- 11:30am Irish Banshees v European Crusaders
- 12:15pm GB Swans v Irish Banshees
- 1pm European Crusaders v GB Swans
Saturday 20th August
- 12:40pm Men’s third place P/O
- 2:30pm Women’s final
- 4pm Men’s final