Tuesday Around the Grounds

 

International Cup (IC17) dates and location announced

The AFL has announced the 2017 AFL International Cup (IC17) will be held in Melbourne, from August 5-19.

It will be the sixth International Cup and will include both men’s and women’s competitions.

The AFL’s head of community and international development Grant Williams said he expects the 2017 carnival to be the biggest yet.

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Finland AFL’s 2016 Season kicks off

Finland AFL (FAFL) started this weekend with both Round 1 & 2 being completed in a Round Robin format.

Despite being hosted by the 2015 Premiers the Helsinki Heatseekers, the Turku Dockers came out guns blazing to beat both the Heatseekers and the Vaasa Wombats.

Results:

Helsinki Heatseekers 1.1.7 def. by Turku Dockers 5.6.36
Turku Dockers 10.2.62 def Vaasa Wombats 3.1.19
Helsinki Heatseekers 6.8.44 def Vaasa Wombats 5.6.36

 

AFL Head of Community and International Development visits AFL Europe

AFL Europe was fortunate enough to have Grant Williams, Head of Community & International Development for The AFL, visit Headquarters in Australia House for a few days of planning and strategy discussions.

We are excited about the way forward in terms of developing fledgling nations, women’s footy, and youth development.

 

Ex-AFL London player, Jess Edwards, represents South Australia 

Ex-AFL London and Wandsworth Demons player Jess Edwards played in the South Australia v Northern Territory friendly, that took place on Saturday night at The Oval in Adelaide.

The South Australian’s wowed with a 27-point win over Northern Territory, managing to keep them to one point after quarter time.

Edwards was the leading goal kicker slotting 2 of the 6 majors.

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100 of the Best from Port Malmo veteran 

Aaran Higgins notched up his 100th game for the Port Malmo Maulers at weekend with a convincing 178-38 win against Helsingborg.

The fearless midfielder, who is the current President of the Maulers, has been at the club since 2008 and spent three at the helm as senior coach.

Congratulations Az, a great achievement.

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GB Bulldogs announce first 18 for AFL Europe Championships.

The Great Britain Bulldogs have announced their first 18 players after a training camp in Manchester this weekend.

The first 18 so far comprise of players from the Huddersfield Rams, London Swans, Manchester Mosquitoes, North London Lions, Wandsworth Demons, West London Wildcats, Wimbledon Hawks and Wolverhampton Wolverines. Head Coach has been named as Dean Thomas.

#BackTheBulldogs

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Auskick programme is introduced in Malta

Head of Community & International Development for the AFL, Grant Williams met with Sport Malta and the Australian High Commission to introduce AFL into the winter sports programme.

The initiative aims to promote Aussie Rules amongst girls and boys from a young age, teaching them the skills of the game.

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Round 11 Broadcast Schedule – UK & Ireland

AFL Round 10 Broadcast Schedule for the UK & Ireland is:

 
3/6 10:30am BST (Live) North Melbourne v Richmond Tigers
4/6 5am BST (Live) Carlton Blues v Brisbane Lions
4/6 10:30am BST (Live) Fremantle Dockers v Essendon Bombers
5/6 4am BST (Live) Collingwood FC v Port Adelaide 
5/6 6:00am BST (Live) Western Bulldogs v West Coast Eagles
7/6 19:00 BST Highlights

For all games live and on demand jump onto www.watchafl.afl.com.au and subscribe with the code AFLEUR2016

AFL Europe Match of the Round

Finland AFL Premiership Round 1 – Helsinki

This weekend sees the first premiership round of the Finland AFL (FAFL) being held in the country’s capital, Helsinki. With a sunny day and a high of 20 degrees this is set to be an absolutely fantastic day of Aussie Rules.

This year’s competition has reverted to a FAFL Cup style format with 3 rounds and a Grand Final at the end of the season. The teams competing are the Helsinki Heatseekers, the Turku Dockers, and the Waasa Wombats, all of whom are hoping to stamp their authority and lay claim to taking out the premiership.

We got the inside scoop from the three coaches regarding their chances this weekend and for the remainder of the season.

Helsinki Heatseekers player/coach, Jason Wallace:

“The Helsinki Heatseekers have come off a great year in 2015 winning all the events they were in, including a magnificent win in the Grand Final.

We have good numbers within the club and a bunch of great guys here that love the game, for its toughness as well as mateship. We always look forward to a game of AFL and this year with the help of three Waasa Wombats players, we had a preseason hit-out with a combined Swedish team. We narrowly went down, unfortunately by only 4 points in the dying seconds of the game!

This year we’re looking forward to the challenge from both Waasa and Turku and watching the opposing teams get better and develop the more they play. It’s a very tight knit family in Finland AFL, so we help each other out as much as possible and enjoy a cold beer after the games.

If you’re ever in Helsinki or the other towns come down for a look or even a run, you’ll be hard pressed to find better blokes in the game.”

Turku Dockers player/coach, Steve Philips:

“After winning back-to-back premierships in 2013-14, the Turku Dockers struggled in 2015, and are looking to bounce back this year with a strong first showing in Helsinki on Saturday.

The Dockers will welcome some fresh faces in 2016, with recruits Olli Merilahti and Alex-Mikael Barkoff showing good form on the training track. Second year player, Elmo Primmer, who debuted for the Dockers in 2015 as a 16-year old, is continuing his development. The further addition of some experienced players, who missed most of 2015 due to injury and work commitments should see the Dockers field a far more competitive side than the one that took the field in 2015.

If the Dockers are to succeed in 2016 it will be on the back of their locally developed talent, with all but three Dockers players having learnt the game in Turku.”

Waasa Wombats player/coach, Joni Kinnari:

“The situation for the Waasa Wombats hasn’t got any better in the past few years. Lots of regular players have quit or gone inactive due to many reason and we’ve not been able to find enough new recruits to fill the boots. I’m sure we’re able to send a good base of a team with aid from other teams to have good matches.

Because of the situation of our team, the main event of the day will be the match between Turku and Helsinki. Both teams have loads of experienced players and have year after year been able to find some skilful rookies so I will definitely keep my eyes on the new guys during the first match. Turku has many good players but one should keep an eye on father-son duo Craig and Elmo Primmer. Helsinki has some of the best players in Finland. I look forward to seeing past Turku player Adam Vasey and ‘Rookie of the Year’ from a few years ago, Antti Annala, play. From Waasa, I’m glad to play beside probably the best ruckman in Finland, Aleksi Virtanen and last year’s ‘Player of the Tournament’, Antti Nurmikoski.

I can’t wait to play some rough but fair matches on Saturday. It’s been a long winter and the hunger to play has grown big. It’s going to be a blast.”

 

Schedule of Play

1pm Helsinki vs. Turku

2pm Turku vs. Waasa

3pm Helsinki vs. Waasa

5pm Presentations at Woolshed Helsinki

https://www.facebook.com/events/1584800395164407/

[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwcRBU3100c”]

 

AFL Player of the Week – Alex Watson

Each week AFL Europe is profiling a European player and finding out how they got into the great game of Aussie Rules and a bit about themselves. If you’d like a profile or know of anyone who would, then email ben.durance@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet.

First up on the AFL Europe ‘Player of Week’ is Alex ‘Nic Nat’ Watson. The English Ruckman is a fresh face to the game only in his second season but has already represented England at last year’s AFL Europe ‘Euro Cup’ in Croatia.

An exciting prospect, Nic Nat is currently honing his ruck craft  in the AFL London competition for the Wandsworth Demons. Hoping to further his representative football career, Watson is also training to be selected for with the Great Britain Bulldogs at the AFL Europe Championships in August this year. The tournament will be a great precursor to the International Cup in Melbourne in 2017 and provide the plethora of European talent, like Nic Nat, a chance to impress in the homeland of AFL.

Nic Nat imposes a dominant figure on the AFL pitch and has impressed with his leadership on and off the field in his short career, this year being named rest of the world Vice-Captain for the Wandsworth Demons. All the best for the 2016 season.

Name:

Alex ‘Nic Nat’ Watson

Club:

Wandsworth Demons

Nationality:

English

AFL Team you support:

West Coast Eagles

Favourite AFL Player:

Nat Fyfe

How did you find out about AFL?  

I was talking to a friend about the game (that I’d previously never heard of). As I was on my way home I came across a poster that was advertising training sessions for the Wandsworth Demons the coming Saturday so thought I’d give it a go.

How long have you been playing for?

Since January 2015

What do you remember most of your first Aussie Rules game? 

Not fully understanding the full rules of rucking I barged the other ruck whilst he was in mid-air with no intention for the ball. I’d been on the pitch for 20 seconds and had already given away a free kick.

Favourite moment when playing Aussie Rules? 

Making a well-timed tackle.

Any other information, quirky stories or interesting things about yourself?

In my day to day life I work as a graphic designer and along with sport, art has always been a big passion in my life.

 

Tuesday Around the Grounds

Coyotes claim Minor Premiership of CNFA champs

The Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes have wrapped up the minor premiership of the CNFA Championship sitting 3 points clear of perennial top of the table side, the Paris Cockerels.

The Coyotes claimed top spot after final round opponents, the Toulouse Hawks forfeited, and are now in the box seat to claim the major premiership when season 2015/16 of the CNFA Championships comes to a conclusion in a few weeks’ time.

Wildcats school Lions on home turf in AFL London Grand Final rematch

The much anticipated Grand Final rematch unfortunately ended in a blow out with the Wildcats running over the Lions by 87 points.

Wildcat’s, Jared Risol and Andy Challis receive notable mentions for the tireless hard work and their combined 9 goals.

The Lions sit in a similar position as they did in 2015, however, they’ll need to put in the hard yards from Round 5 onwards to ensure they have a chance at defending their title.

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Scoreboard leans in favour of Milan Eagles in Pisa friendly

The Milan Eagles took the chocolates against the Roma Football Club in a demo match between the two Italian clubs in Pisa at the weekend.

A couple of accidents within the first 5 minutes had Roma on the backfoot and were unable to get back in the game eventually going down 120 to 23.

A special shoutout for Josip Kravar for his help and insight along with all involved in getting this great exhibition up and running.

Roma v Milan

Port Malmo’s big day out

A massive day of Aussie Rules was had by all out at Port Malmo at the weekend.

3 huge games of football were played. First up were the Mini Maulers side who had a great hit out in the lead up to the big show down between the Port Malmo Maulers and Odense Lions. The Maulers ran out convincing winners 172-9.

The final game of the day was played between the Port Malmo women’s side, the Lynx, and some of the Mauler’s who backed up from their game previously.

Great day out for all showing the amazing growth and development in of AFL in Sweden.

Port Malmo

Oslo East sweeps West and Ås aside in Kenguru Cup opener

Oslo’s Eastside squad proved it will be the team to beat in Kenguru Cup 2016 after scoring strong wins in a high quality round one under sunny skies at Voldslokka.

Playing with a mixture of new and old faces, the East shrugged off an indifferent start against Oslo West in the first game to run out convincing winners 61 to 18.

Game two saw the Easties teach an inexperienced Ås side the finer points of contested, skilled football, and another comfortable win, 53 to 13.

In the evening’s final fixture, West took on and conquered the Ås side, which was ably helped out with some extra players from East. The closest contest of the night saw Ås start brilliantly and head into the half-time break up by eight points. West responded however, and hit back with a flurry of second half goals to put the result beyond doubt. Final scores were West 51, Ås 28.

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Copenhagen Barracudas go pink to fight cancer

The Barracudas host the Odense Lions in their 2016 Ladies Day Picnic.

Its what’s set to be a great day of Aussie Rules so make sure you get on down and support the fight against cancer whilst sipping ‘champagne in the sun, watching sweaty guys in tight shorts and tucking into a lovely BBQ’. Can’t beat that on a spring Saturday afternoon.

Jump on over to the event page if you’re in the area.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1190549217645690/

 

Ben Durance

AFL Europe Match of the Round

North London Lions vs West London Wildcats, Saturday 21st May, 3:00pm – Albert Road Recreation Ground, Bounds Green, London.

The West London Wildcats went into last year’s AFL London Grand Final as raring hot favourites only to have their hopes spoiled by underdogs, the North London Lions. The Wildcats were dominant throughout the 2015 season and were expected to easily account for the boys from North London. The Lions had other ideas and eventually came away with the Premiership, claiming victory by a solitary point.

This Saturday sees the two teams square off again for the first time since the showcase event last season. Both teams have had changes to personnel in the off-season and have started their respective 2016 campaigns in typical fashion.

The Lions have started off season 2016 with wins against the London Swans and Wimbledon Hawks before going down to the Wandsworth Demons in a fierce hit-out last weekend. Nik Schoenmakers has been pivotal in the ruck and provides the Lions midfield with first use at most stoppages. He’ll be looking to link up with the ever present Eamon Jenkins who has also been in a rich vein of form providing a great mix of inside grunt and outside leg speed for the Lions midfield.

The Lions will be hoping Captain Ben Quick will recover in time from a niggling knee injury he suffered in last week’s game as he could be the difference between the two sides come Saturday. His leadership and strong marking across the half-back line is vital to the Lions success.

It’s been a long, cold London winter for the West London boys pondering what could of been and this weekend’s Grand Final rematch provides them with the opportunity for a little bit of redemption. They started off their 2016 campaign with a point to prove and took out the AFL Europe Champions League and AFL London Pre-Season Cup with ease. Despite a tight loss to the Demons in round 1 of the regular season they easily accounted for the Putney Magpies and Wimbledon Hawks.

No doubt Lloyd Williams has racked up the fines at the Cattery for his constant mentions in AFL Europe media but it’s hard to go past the silky half-back and his game-changing ability. He’ll need to be stopped by the boys from the North and will be expecting some close attention from his opposition in an attempt to limit his impact on the game.

Evan Duryea will be hoping to continue his goal-scoring ways on the weekend after putting through 14 majors in the past two weeks for the Wildcats. A massive game from ruckmen, Jared Risol, will be needed to negate the influence of Schoenmakers. This match-up will be key to the result of the game.

Both teams are going to come out firing come 3pm Saturday. There’s going to be some real feeling in this one with physicality and contested footy set to determine the outcome between these two fierce rivals. If the Pre-Season Cup is anything to go by it could be on for young and old with emotions set to be running high.

If you’re looking for a game to watch in London this weekend, then make your way to Albert Road Recreation Ground, this one is set to be a thriller.

Free Stuff!

AFL Europe has done a big clean out of the store room and has realised we have old kit and merchandise to give away. It’s a first come first serve* basis on Wednesday 25th May, 7pm at the AFL Europe office in Australia House (entrance via the corner of Melbourne Pl & The Strand).

Come, have a beer (we also found Coopers!) and a chat with the AFL Europe team and pick up some free stuff!

We apologise to those outside of London, as our office is located here its an open invitation to anyone in the community that is in London that evening.

** Please do not arrive before 7pm as it is an office building and we don’t wish to disrupt the other employees.

KONINGSDAG CUP WRITE-UP

 

Koningsdag, or Kings Day in the Netherlands is a big deal. The country turns out in their thousands, wearing orange and ready to party. So what better excuse is there to host a match to celebrate this special day on the footy field! This year the Dutch Australian Football Association (DAFA) hosted the inaugural Koningsdag Cup, which saw the Netherlands National team, the Flying Dutchmen, take on the Aussies from the Amsterdam Devils. The lines were being marked an hour before the first bounce with hail crashing down from the skies and the Flying Dutchmen were licking their lips at the prospect of taking on the Aussies in truly unpredictable Dutch weather. Unfortunately for the Dutchies the sun split open the clouds like a free-flowing Hawthorn passage of play and the game was on with sunny skies and a slight chill in the air. 
 
The Aussies started the game strongly, turning early possessions into goals and the scoreboard was ticking over nicely. The Dutchies were struggling to get into the game until late in the first quarter when a number of turnovers and possessions turned into three quick goals. The first quarter finished up with the Aussies in front by 14 points, 3.1.19 to 5.3.33 and this was as close as the Dutchies got for the rest of the game. The Aussies let their experience and skills do the talking, kicking another 33 points in the second quarter, 34 points in the third and a whopping 49 points in the fourth quarter. The score at the final siren was 7.4.46 to 23.11.149 and the Aussies from the Amsterdam Devils lifted the inaugural Koningsdag Cup. 
 
With the sun still putting on a remarkable show, the lads pulled out the BBQ for the first time this season and finished the day off with a delightful selection of burgers, hot dogs and potato salad, washed down with a few chilled beers. 
 
The inaugural Koningsdag Cup was a success, and the Dutchies will be looking for revenge on May 21 when the sides meet again.
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Written by Neil Cooke for AFL Europe

Celtics Aggressively Shopping 3rd Overall Pick

Cup gold medal with a blistering 129-92 win over Serbia (5-4) at the Palacio de os Deportes de la Comunidad arena on Sunday night in Madrid, Spain. The USA, which distanced itself from Serbia early in the game with a 28-6 run to close the first quarter, became just the third country in FIBA World Cup history to capture consecutive titles, and more crucial, the championship earned the USA an automatic bid into the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

FC Barcelona locks up Satoransky through 2020

Cup gold medal with a blistering 129-92 win over Serbia (5-4) at the Palacio de os Deportes de la Comunidad arena on Sunday night in Madrid, Spain. The USA, which distanced itself from Serbia early in the game with a 28-6 run to close the first quarter, became just the third country in FIBA World Cup history to capture consecutive titles, and more crucial, the championship earned the USA an automatic bid into the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

The USA’s +33.0 points per game differential was the most of a U.S. men’s team in a FIBA World Cup or Olympic Games since the 1994 World Championship (+37.8). OI think the results were dominant, but we had spurts of dominance in a lot of games,” said USA coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). “And, we had tough games, and then FIBA

World Led by 26 points from tournament MVP Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) and 23 points from James Harden (Houston Rockets), the USA (9-0) saved its best performance of the World Cup for the gold medal clash as the Americans captured a second-consecutive Led by 26 points from tournament MVP Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) and 23 points from James Harden (Houston Rockets), the USA (9-0) saved its best performance of the World Cup for the gold medal clash as the Americans captured a second-consecutive FIBA World

16 Celebrities Who Own Sports Teams

Cup gold medal with a blistering 129-92 win over Serbia (5-4) at the Palacio de os Deportes de la Comunidad arena on Sunday night in Madrid, Spain. The USA, which distanced itself from Serbia early in the game with a 28-6 run to close the first quarter, became just the third country in FIBA World Cup history to capture consecutive titles, and more crucial, the championship earned the USA an automatic bid into the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

FC Barcelona locks up Satoransky through 2020

Cup gold medal with a blistering 129-92 win over Serbia (5-4) at the Palacio de os Deportes de la Comunidad arena on Sunday night in Madrid, Spain. The USA, which distanced itself from Serbia early in the game with a 28-6 run to close the first quarter, became just the third country in FIBA World Cup history to capture consecutive titles, and more crucial, the championship earned the USA an automatic bid into the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

The USA’s +33.0 points per game differential was the most of a U.S. men’s team in a FIBA World Cup or Olympic Games since the 1994 World Championship (+37.8). OI think the results were dominant, but we had spurts of dominance in a lot of games,” said USA coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University). “And, we had tough games, and then FIBA

World Led by 26 points from tournament MVP Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) and 23 points from James Harden (Houston Rockets), the USA (9-0) saved its best performance of the World Cup for the gold medal clash as the Americans captured a second-consecutive Led by 26 points from tournament MVP Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) and 23 points from James Harden (Houston Rockets), the USA (9-0) saved its best performance of the World Cup for the gold medal clash as the Americans captured a second-consecutive FIBA World