AFL Austria launches new league

Martin Schittegg

The kickoff for the Austrian Footy League (AFL Austria as working title) is done and we had a great evening/night of footy on 16th of July.

There are three teams: (all with some DownUnderDogs players and some rookies)

Castle Rock Mammoths

Castle Rock Mammoths

Gradec Earthmovers

Gradec Earthmovers

Murtal Mountain Goats

Murtal Mountain Goats

Although some players where not available we still had 10 players on each team and so we could play all matches 9 a side (with 2 umpires, 2 goal umpire, and 2 guys for scoreboard and statistics)

We had three matches (each 2 x 15 minutes (Euro Cup format)
Mammoths – Earthmovers: 39 (6.3) : 25 (3.7)
Earthmovers – Mountain Goats: 23 (2.5) : 22 (3.4)
Mountain Goats – Mammoths: 49 (7.7) : 18 (2.6)

and the ladder after the first day is:
1. Mountain Goats: 4 Points 71:41 (173%)
2. Earthmovers: 4 Points 48:61 (78%)
3. Mammoths: 4 Points 57:74 (77%)

So every team has had a victory and the spirit of all teams was great. We had the perfect mixture between fun and ambition to win and all players are very motivated and are already looking forward to the next game day.

The next game day will be 10th August dependant on player availability.

It was a great day for the DownUnderDogs and a great day for footy in our region.

 

Want to run a club? Visit our page or contact the Australian football federation in your country.

“Big Daddy” and the Vikings

AFL Europe’s new resident writer, Michael McCormick writes his first exclusive for afleruope.org.

The Danish Australian Football League (DAFL) is one of the oldest and most successful leagues in Europe and with team names like the Copenhagen X-Men playing in the local leagues, the national team, the Denmark Vikings, are sure to bring plenty of entertainment to the European Championships this year.

 

Australian football in Denmark originally began in 1989 with a newspaper advertisement placed by a couple of Australian guys who missed kicking the ball around. They asked for expressions of interest and had very few replies. Those who did reply however formed the basis for the initial competition which began in 1991. From there the competition grew and most years saw at least one new team join the competition. After a few structural changes over many years of recruiting, training and playing, the league today stands as one of the strongest in Europe and is arguably the largest in the non English speaking world.

 

One of the men at the forefront of the Vikings’ pursuit to become European Champions in 2013 is their Centre Half Back and DAFL board member, Jens Djernes aka Big Daddy.  Djernes first experienced Australian football as a high school student on exchange in Western Australia. During his exchange from July 2005 till July 2006, the Western Australian teams were quite successful in the AFL competition and in turn the atmosphere in the state was electric. Because of this Djernes discovered a liking for the game and began to play with his school mates. Soon after discovering the game, he came to support the Fremantle Dockers largely due to the influence of his initial host family who liked to support the “underdog”. When Djernes returned to Denmark he founded the Randers Dockers who are now a strong fixture in the Jutland local league.

 

As the game has developed somewhat of a following over the years in Denmark, recruitment for the league is not as difficult as it is for some other European nations. Schools and Universities are heavily targeted as recruiting grounds which is proving to be very successful for the league. The decelerator for the next level of development of the sport however is the lack of commercial television coverage. According to Djernes, American Football and Rugby gain exposure through sometimes peak hour free to air television whereas AFL games are only accessible through the pay TV channel, Euro Sport. This being the case, recruitment efforts are initially slow as the teams have to “start from scratch” when trying to explain the game to prospective players. Thanks to a strong leadership group however, the efforts don’t go unnoticed with the numbers playing the sport steadily increasing year to year.

 

The league’s strength hasn’t ever really transferred to sponsorship from or links to any AFL clubs however. In fact, the league hasn’t got any real connection to Australia despite its efforts. The DAFL had approached the Australian born and raised, Danish Crowned Princess Mary with a request of ambassadorship but to no avail. Strangely enough though the players get plenty of attention from AFL clubs.  Vikings midfielder, Aksel Bang is the perfect example of this. After being recognised as one of the best players in Europe, Bang was offered an international scholarship by AFL side Greater Western Sydney which allowed him to train with the team and play a game with their reserves side. This has set a precedent for AFL clubs to now look to Europe as a wealth of potential talent.

 

Denmark is on the cusp of earning the title of European Champions and with potential future AFL stars building the foundation of a very strong team, the Vikings are looking very likely to achieve their dream and take home the trophy.

 

Join an Australian football club in Denmark today.

World XVIII’s triumphant trip to Australia shows Cope what it takes

The last Round of the NAB Under 16 National Championship were held on Saturday and we have the latest from GB Bulldogs player Cameron Cope and the World XVIII Team, in their quest to win the Division 3 title.

 

The day before our final game against the Boomerangs:

As a team we did an early training session in fresh conditions with the fog just above the pitch, meaning visibility was low and it was slippery underfoot. This was perfect preparation for an early game the next day. In the afternoon we attended the GWS training ground for a few photos and to meet the players so we could chat about our time and experiences playing AFL. I managed to get an interview with the head coach of the Giants and shared my experience of playing AFL back in England. I shared how I started playing AFL; it is thanks to Ian Mitchell, a PE teacher along with being a player and GB captain. He has shown me the skills I needed to make it in this sport. After an eventful day talking to the media we went to the cinema to watch Superman as a team before an early night’s rest for the final game.


It is game day and I have got my eyes set on the prize of being Division 3 winners. The early morning game suited my game a lot more as I am used to playing in wet conditions. After the first quarter we were ahead by a small margin meaning our efforts needed to be increased in the next quarter. At the end of the second quarter we were creating an impressive lead but we knew the game wasn’t over until the final siren sounded. At the end of the third quarter the gap between the World team and Boomerangs was finally too big for a comeback. We kept pushing and playing our footy until we knew the final goal would be kicked.  During the final quarter of my carnival there were hard tackles going in from both teams. Further goals were kicked to make the final score 163 -33 meaning World team won the division without having lost a single game. Celebrations at the end of the game were in high spirits belting out our team song with all staff for the final time.


The day after the carnival I was sitting on Coogee beach looking at the sunrise after a run along the beach. Diligence and commitment was a key for recovery after a long 10 days footy. A quick dip into the sea is what I needed to shock the system before heading off to the Sydney derby in the afternoon. Watching the AFL match showed me how committed you need to be to make it in this sport. Seeing all the hard tackles, awesome marks and amazing athletic skills this made me realise this is what I want for my future.

 

World XVIII 25.13 (163)

Boomerangs 5.3 (33)

 

Goal Kickers included 3 from David McGivney and 2 from Colin Kenny both out of Ireland. More to come on them in the next couple of days.

 

Congratulations to the World XVIII team, undefeated. They won the Division 3 of the NAB Under 16 National Championship 2013! AFL Europe are proud of you all.

 

This Englishman is Cope-ing well in Australia

Cameron Cope tells us about his experience after winning his first game with the Word XVIII team in the 2013 NAB U/16 National Championship:

The day after the game, we trained and we did a recovery session in the coldest pool in Australia at the Crowne Plaza. At night, we went bowling as a team for a fun night out.

Tuesday, we did a recovery session with the fitness coach and went to training to work onto set ups in certain circumstances along with a session in the pool for our muscles to recover. We did a gym session to show us how to warm up the muscles before a big session; the session was aimed at technique. We trained how an AFL player would. We also went sightseeing as a team in Sydney.

On game day, we had a late start as we went for a media opportunity with the GWS Giants and I managed to get interviewed by the head coach. In preparation for the game we went for a warm up before the team meeting to see where we can improve in the game. We viewed footage of our last game with a one to one feedback from the coach.

Wednesday the 10th July, for their second game, the World XVIII team defeated the South Pacific 142-30. The last game is this Saturday and if the teams wins they will take out the Division 3 title! Leave your words of support on our facebook page.

World XVIII 22.10 (142)
South Pacific 4.6 (30)

GOALS
World XVIII: Mostert 6, Sokoyi 5, Jok 3, Moussalli 2, Paligorov 2, Kerbatieh, Moshoeshoe, Sekori, Mamur
South Pacific: Siwee 2, Havea, Morehari

BEST
World XVIII: Mostert, Volker, Kerbatieh, Sokoyi, Aujla, Jok
South Pacific: Ngata, Misioli, Clark, Havea, Tirang

GB Bulldogs future star Cameron Cope’s diary from Australia

Cameron Cope is one of three European players who have been selected to represent the World XVIII in the 2013 NAB U/16 National Championships in Australia, running from July 6 to 13. He describes what his first days in Sydney and the training camp that took place before the starting of the tournament have been like.

Cameron Cope’s diary

On the first day in Sydney I met up with the other players at the first hotel to settle in as a team and we went for a training session on a park oval. Then we went in the sea for recovery, it was more like survive or die moment as the Australian waves were crazy.

Day 2: We did the same routine but the training session focused on team bonding with groups of boys from different backgrounds. Then we went to a rock pool for recovery, it was freezing but good for sore muscles and fatigue.

Day 3: We moved to another hotel and went training on the oval. We focused on game plans and on how we can benefit from each type of player. I have a feeling I will be in the back line to start on their fast leader. We watched the first half of the division one teams and saw how they move and work as a team.

When we train, we have push-ups if we are not listening and not working as a team.

Last weekend, for the first round of the NAB AFL Under-16 National Championship, the World XVIII team won their first game 75-66 against the WA North-West. A great start to the campaign as WA NW won division three in 2012.

World XVIII 10.15 (75)
WA North-West 10.6 (66)

Goals
World XVIII: Moshoeshoe 2, Paligorov 2, Mostert 2, Kerbatieh, Choi, Kennedy, Greyling
WA North-West: Gore, Birch, Seton, Evans, Shaw, Simons, Cox, Oakley, Ahchee, Djiagween

Best
World XVIII: El Mousalli, Mostert, Aujla, Kerbatieh, Santillo, Moshoeshoe
WA North-West: Seton, Petera, Gore, Daley, Birch