Paris Cockerels won Bordeaux Bombers in the French competition

In France, the national competition is ongoing. On Saturday 23rd, two of the best historical teams in France were facing each other in Saint Médard en Jalles (venue were was hosted the last Axios Euro Cup).

The ground wasn’t as nice as the Euro Cup ones as the Rugby and rain seasons restarted but it was a nice day to play footy.

The game was really nice to watch and both teams were evenly match. Each team had a lot of opportunities to win the game and the experience of the Paris Cockerels helped them to secure the win a couple of minutes before the final whistle. The final kick of the Bombers was touched by one of the Cockerels giving the Bombers a behind and a 5 points win to the visiting side.

Final Score: Bordeaux Bombers 12.10.82 – 13.9.87 Paris Cockerels


Will Maley, coach of the Bordeaux Bombers and Angus Makintosh, follower of the Paris Cockerels (one of the best on the ground that day) shared their feelings about the game :


Will Maley :

1/ How was the game?

The game was played in great spirit and intensity from both sides. Obviously for us it was disappointing to come away without the win, but to Paris’ credit they held their composure and were particularly strong defensively.

2/ What were for you the main moments of the game? Why did Bordeaux lose the game?

We had a great start to all the quarters which is a credit to the team. It shows they were switched on from the first minute which as a coach is fantastic to see as you know they are there to play. As the quarters played out we tended to have a few minutes where our intensity dropped or we couldn’t find a way to goal. When you are playing against a side like Paris that has a lot more experience in the sport this comes back to hurt you. I thought when we switched Clement (ruck) to defense and brought Alex in to ruck we started to control the game as we were able to dry up their forward movement, sadly Alex got injured which impacted us. Paris had a great match from their full back who marked anything that came in to the forward zone meaning that we had to attempt goals from too far out or scrap for opportunist goals from the ground. A few indiscipline acts and situations where our new players were uncertain on rules impacted us in terms of giving away free kicks which gives us more to work on. Against the best teams, these have dramatic impacts on the scoreboard. Overall, we gave ourselves every opportunity and it wasn’t through a lack of effort or desire that we weren’t able to win.

3/ What is your favorite memory of this game ?

I would have to say the tackle that Pascal put on in front of the Paris bench was fantastic! Beyond that, I thought when our play clicked we played some incredible footy and now our challenge is to do it more often.

4/ What does this loss mean for the Bombers ?

From an overall perspective it shows us where we are at. For me and the team we are getting more of an understanding on what we need to do to improve. For a team of French playing against a team with many Australians you learn a lot tactically and technically. To win the league, we now have a match against Toulouse which is a must win for us to stay in the hunt and we will work hard over the next 3 weeks to give ourselves every chance.

5/ What are your personal/team objectives for this new season ?

For me it is my first season coaching so there is many challenges in this. When you growing up watching the game from a young age you have different ideas and perceptions, so for me it is about understanding where the guys are at and how we can build their skills and understanding of a sport that has many subtleties. I also want to help the club build awareness in the community so that we get good crowds at home games, build our player numbers and hopefully one day a second Bordeaux side. For the viability of the competition, I am a big believer that 2 clubs in the bigger centres such as Bordeaux, Toulouse, Paris, etc would greatly strengthen the competition. For the team, we are probably in a year of transition, we have had a number of long term players move on for travel & family reasons and we have some great guys who have joined the team and offer an incredible future for the club. We don’t want to have a dip in our performance and competitiveness so expect to see the Bombers there fighting for the league and the various cups on offer.


Angus Makintosh :

1/ How was the game?

The game was one of the most competitive I’ve played in. It was a real pleasure to have a physical match that was played in good spirits where both teams were very evenly matched too.

2/ What were for you the main moments of the game? What helped the Paris Cockerels to win the game?

I think some of the last ditch defending at the end from the likes of Mathieu and Gaz was probably what helped us. Nico managed to get a miraculous touch on a shot that would’ve been the goal that won Bordeaux the game so that had to be the key moment.

3/ What is your favorite memory of this game ?

Kicking a run-around banana goal with the left foot at the end felt pretty good! That or the final whistle.

4/ What does this win mean for the Cockerels ?

I’ve only been with the Cockerels for a couple of months but you could tell it meant a huge amount. It was such a tough match against good opposition that we were delighted to win.

5/ What do you do to involve new local players ?

We’ve held ‘bring a friend’ training sessions where every member of the team has to bring someone. We’re also holding a training session for a Parisian school next week to try to involve more youngsters.

6/ What are your personnal objectives for this new season ?

I’m not here for very long! But probably to try and help the Cocks as much in the league until I leave. And maybe come back if they reach the final!

Seeds sprouting across Europe

Image : Portuguese side Lisbon Dockers during the Algarve 9’s

Wesley Hull – WFN

A quick look at the list of clubs receiving start up grants from AFL Europe is a reasonable indicator of the slow but steady growth of Australian Rules football across the continent. Some might argue that the true growth is only seen in the number of players listed with clubs. Others might argue that not all of these clubs will see the distance. But one thing that is true is that the line-up of people seeking grants on behalf of fledgling clubs continues.

For some the journey is just beginning. Some are well into their journey, whilst others are little more than a name on an application. But a projection looking forward might see a landscape with more teams, more players and more opportunities than ever before if all goes well.

World Footy News first reported the possibility of a new club in Portugal in our article about the recent Algarve 9’s tournament played in Vilamoura, north of Lisbon (see: This group, in Averio, has received a grant from the AFL Europe Start-Up Club Program to kickstart a new club. In Hungary, another group in Budapest has applied for and received a grant. According to Ben MacCormack, the General Manager of AFL Europe, “We have supplied start-up grants to two groups in Budapest and Averio, Portugal however they aren’t at new club stage yet.” We will monitor the progress of these parties in the new year and report any further growth.

There has been much movement on this front in Denmark. The Copenhagen X-Men also received a grant and have recently finished their first full season in the DAFL. Whilst they only managed one victory, fittingly against the North Copenhagen Barracudas, their presence has expanded the playing options in Denmark and contributed to the future growth of the game there. Additionally, as we reported earlier this year, the Odense Lions returned as a determined force. Whilst they did not play in the DAFL Premier League this year, their goal is to be there in 2014 and beyond (see:

Another Nordic country, Finland, has seen an increased level of interest in Australian Rules football, resulting in grants being approved for both the Tampere Bobcats and the Lappeenranta Wildmen (see: Whilst both groups are making the transition to clubs by recruiting and developing localised programs for a future playing in the FAFL, the mere fact that multiple clubs are developing in Finland speaks a great deal about growth of the game in the country.

Similarly, a grant was approved for the development of another Icelandic team, with the Drekarnir Dragons listed as the name of the new team in the north of Iceland in the town of Akureyri (see: As stated by AFL Iceland General Manager Solvi Fannar Sigmarsson, “I contacted AFL Europe and applied for the [grant] because we’re starting the club up here in Akureyri. They sent us two leather balls and four plastic ones. It was a great help. Our main focus continues to be on recruitment and growing the sport here.”

In Scotland, the Kingdom Kangaroos have undergone a transformation from the Central Magpies to be a new force in years to come representing central Scotland and Fife. They are due to join the SARFL in 2014 (see:

Over in Ireland the UCC Bombers in Cork also received a grant which has seen them develop into a side capable of joining the ARFLI competition sooner rather than later. College or university based teams are also growing across Ireland with UCC, the NRC Eagles in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland and a team from the Dublin City University.

Even aside from the issuing of grants by AFL Europe, the growth can be seen across Europe. In Germany the Dresden Wolves will join the CAAFL (Czech league) based in Prague. There is also movement across Germany with teams forming or developing in Boblingen (Pirates), Ludwigsburg (Taipans) and Haslach (Hawks) (see: ).

Russian teams are in their infancy in Yaroslavl and Novokuznetsk, and France has already seen the addition to the CNFA of the ALFA Lions, with the possibility of future teams from Pau, St Nazaire and Toulon having been discussed in the past year. Even in Austria the Styrian DownUnderDogs have given birth to a litter of small nine per side clubs named the Murtal Mountain Goats, Gradec Earthmovers and Castle Rock Mammoths.

There are many unknowns here. Some teams will prosper, whilst others may fall away through lack of interest, funding or both. Some teams may progress to 18 a side and others may remain forever at nine per side. But whatever happens, many clubs are benefitting from the assistance of AFL Europe. At the same time other clubs are springing up with the assistance of local leagues and dedicated individuals.

This is the kind of epidemic I approve of.

Internships available with AFL Europe – we want you!

Exciting opportunities exist for the right applicants to join the high action sport that is growing rapidly across Europe. If you are interested in helping us achieve even more please have a look at the job description below. Applications close December 6th. We are looking for one Junior Development Intern and an Events/Admin Intern.

Intern Job Description 2014

Fitzpatrick Cup

Having played host for the European Championships in August where they successfully defended their title, the Irish were flying high.

This was of course followed by a clean sweep in the two match International Rules series where Ireland demolished Australia by the biggest recorded margin in the competition’s history.

Accommodating the inaugural Fitzpatrick Cup in the last weekend of October was the icing on the cake for what has been a year of celebration for AFL in Ireland.

The cold weather in Dublin didn’t dampen the spirits of the competing university teams at this exciting tournament, which will no doubt add to the growth of the game throughout Europe.

The four competing clubs were Northern Regional College, (NRC) University College Cork (UCC), the newly formed Dublin City University (DCU) and the oldest AFL team outside Australia, Oxford University.

AFL Commission Chairman, Mike Fitzpatrick, whom the tournament is named after, kicked off proceedings at the Opening Ceremony, recalling stories from his time spent at St Johns College and his association with the Oxford University football club.

“I am very humbled that this great tournament is being held in my honour”, stated Fitzpatrick. “I look forward to seeing some potential AFL stars take the field today.”

AFL Europe Chairman, Chris Dow then addressed the special guests ahead of the knockout tournament.

“This is an historic day for AFL in Europe and each participating club”, he said.

The matches got underway just before midday, Saturday, with a fiery encounter between UCC and DCU. The newest team in the competition, DCU, didn’t want to give anything away and appeared dominant early.

UCC’s defence were able to hold off the early onslaught however, through the strength of full back and half back, who provided great run and counter attack into the forward line.

The half time scores reflected a hard fought first half of football by both clubs with UCC holding a slight advantage.

The 40-man squad of UCC had the fitness in the second half but DCU had plenty of spirit. Led by speedster, Caolite O’Baoill, the Dublin based university gave the tournament favourites a scare as they closed to within two goals just before the siren.

A stabilising goal by UCC full forward sealed his side the victory and a spot in the final.

Next up on the Islandbridge ground was the match between NRC and Oxford University.

Big man, Buckets Wolgomot dominated the ruck from the start of the match and Oxford were able to move the ball forward with purpose early on.

Fitzpatrick’s al mater capitalised on their quick movement into the forward line via a strong midfield outfit consisting of ball magnet, Tim Cole and former captain, Trav McLeod.

The game was won with a run of goals in the last quarter.

The siren to signal that the Grand Final was underway, sounded just after 2pm. University College Cork kicked away to an early lead in the opening term, winning most positions on the ground.

Oxford slowed UCC’s momentum in the second quarter through the defensive efforts of Matt McGilvray at Centre Half Back and Genie Duff who saved numerous goals on the last line of defence.

With the rain pouring down in typical Irish style UCC’s superior fitness shone as they piled on several unanswered goals in the third quarter to claim what proved to be a match-winning margin.

Oxford attempted a comeback in the last quarter but to no prevail. As the final siren sounded, the exhausted UCC players threw their hands in the air with elation, in the knowledge that they had etched their names into the history book, and claimed the title of Fitzpatrick Cup champions.

The final scorecard read, University College Cork; 7.11 (53) defeated Oxford University; 3.4 (22)

At the awards ceremony following the match, DCU Chairman and Captain, and Ireland national team midfielder, Caolite O’Baoill, took out the tournament’s Best and Fairest Award.

“It was a great tournament and I’m looking forward to playing in many more,” he stated. “[DCU] will train hard and come back next year ready to go.”

AFL Europe Chairman, Chris Dow was on hand to present the cup to UCC captain PJ O’Brien and coach, Eoin O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan, who was an instrumental player in Ireland’s 2011 International Cup and 2013 European Championships victories, was elated with his players efforts.

“This is a well deserved victory,” he stated. “The guys worked so hard on and off the field to prepare for this day and to come out and play the way they did is a testament to that endeavour.”


Competition photographs from Derek Clarke can be accessed via his Flickr page:


Scores on the day:

Semi Final 1: UCC 8.6 (54) vs DCU 4.7 (31)

Semi Final 2: Oxford 8.4 (52) vs Magherafelt 4.7 (31)

3rd Place Play-off: Magherafelt 7.5 (47) vs DCU 5.3 (33)

Final: UCC 7.11 (53) vs Oxford 3.4 (22)

AFL Europe - Fitzpatrick Cup - NRC Eagles v Oxford (26-10-2013) (21)

The story of the new Odense Lions Danish club

In 2011, Daniel Petrolo and a few other players tried to start a team in Odense in Denmark. This is when the story of the club starts.

Due to the lack of players interested in joining the club, the project was even more difficult to build from nothing. Some of the players moved. So from 6 at the beginning the numbers were reduced to 3 and the club couldn’t really stay alive even though there was strong motivation from the main stakeholders. “The Odense Lions project was stopped before it really started” said Morten Merhøj.

In early 2013, Morten Merhøj moved to Odense to study. He used to play footy in Farum in Denmark from the age of 13 thanks to junior programs run there. He has been involved heavily in footy including representing Denmark at the last International Cup.

He decided to continue playing Australian Football in Odense so he tried to get in touch with potential players and learnt that the project was in stand-by. Daniel Petrolo and Morten Merhøj decided to trigger the project again with a more concrete approach.

The first step to develop the game and promote it to players was to get a field to train on. To do so, the club needed to be registered and well structured; they have been given a soccer ground with good facilities to train on.

They could then spread the world around. Morten recruited players from his university, resulting in a first training session attended by 11 players. Daniel involved his brother Peter Petrolo in the project who became a key player of the club. Three French players from Toulouse Hawks studying in Odense for the semester also contributed to the restart of the club.

The group formed with Morten, Daniel, his brother Peter and the 3 French players was very strong and built a good foundation for the club. Their high motivation ensured the training sessions to have increased attendance and to show the game to many new players.

As the 2013 DAFL season already started and the Odense Lions club couldn’t play in the competition yet, they made a deal with Randers Dockers, allowing players to join them during the season which gave them the opportunity to start playing and gaining field experience. Then the DAFL gave the Odense Lions the permission to host the Danish 9-a side Championship (taking place during one day) as a step for their development. The Odense Lions lost their 3 games and kicked their first goal in the second game “but every Lion needs to learn how to walk before it can run and kill”.

The goals set by the Odense Lions for the 2013 season have been achieved: having a sustainable group to count on, playing their first games and to be part of the DAFL competition for the next season.

“The next chapter in the story of the rebirth of the Lions is to try and get more committed players” to make the squad grow for their first season. The footballs and jumpers received from the AFL Europe Start-up Club Program and the indoor area they have for the winter will allow the club to train during the winter coming and keep improving the skills and the team development.

Congratulations to the Odense Lions for their encouraging story and all the best for their next season to come.




Manchester Sports & Music Festival – play all day, party all night, camp all weekend !

AFL Europe is happy to introduce you to a new Event organized by Bthere Events in partnership with Manchester Mosquitoes ARFC. The launch of the Aussie Rules tournament at the Manchester Sports & Music Festival during this new and exciting festival will take place on the 16-18 May 2014.

Festival organisers are looking forward to hosting one of the most exciting Australian Football tournaments in the UK. Teams are expected to enter from around the UK and Europe.

The event will include male and female competitions as well as AFL 9’s (touch), over the two days. The games will be played 9-a-side (with 6 substitutes). There are no regulations regarding the number of Australian players per team.

Other sports will be played as well during the event. Team entry is now open and starts at £15 per player for the whole weekend (£225 per team).

Have your flip-flops and bikinis at the ready, as the festival fancy dress theme is Beach Party! Cocktails, champagne, food from all around the world and DJs music will be the key words of this entertaining, relaxing and chilled-out atmosphere.

Live sports will be shown over the weekend on a Big Screen, including the FA Cup final and the two Aviva Premiership rugby semi-finals.

Once the trophies have been handed out and the fancy dress outfits are on head to the Festival Marquee, the atmosphere will be electric and it is the perfect place to party hard after playing hard. Expect headline DJs spinning tunes until the late hours, ensuring the party never stops.

Fitting it all in could be a challenge, so the best way to experience all aspects of the festival will be to camp. The Festival Campsite is ideally located in the heart of the arena and Family & Female Only campsites will also be available for those looking for a quieter environment. Camping is priced from just £20 per person and it is advised that you book early to secure your place.

Be prepared to play hard and party hard at the Manchester Sports & Music Festival!

Women willing to play, please get in touch with your country coordinator so we can best organize the teams.

If you would like to umpire at the festival you can register online.

For more information about:

– The event and tickets, please visit .

– The Australian Football tournament, .