PSS Around the Grounds

Recruiting Umpires and volunteers for 2017 Euro Cup!

AFL Europe are still on the hunt for umpires and volunteers to join in at this year’s Euro Cup in Bordeaux. The Euro Cup takes place on the 7th of October and volunteers are needed to help out with the tournament with everything from pitch managing to goal umpiring. If you’re interested in volunteering or umpiring at Euro Cup please contact us at admin@afleurope.org.

 

South Dublin Swans take out ARFLI Semi-Final 

The South Dublin Swans have secured themselves a place in the ARFLI (Aussie Rules Football League Ireland) Grand Final after defeating both the Galway Magpies and the Belfast Redbacks in the semi-finals last week. After three matches of ARFLI footy last weekend to determine who would take on reigning premiers the Leeside Lions for their title, the Swans came out on top; sealing their win over the Magpies with a goal kicked after the siren to break their tie. The scores from the semi finals are as follows:

Game 1: Redbacks 9.10.(64) defeated Magpies 2.1.(13)

Game 2: Swans 4.5.(29) defeated Redbacks 1.4.(10)

Game 3: Swans 2.10.(22) defeated Magpies 2.4.(16)

The Swans will certainly have their work cut out for them on Saturday when they try to take the Lions’ crown from them. As last year’s Premiers and this season’s top of the table finisher, they’re sure to be the Swan’s toughest opponent yet.

 

Berlin Crocs’ head into AFLG Grand Final undefeated

After finishing their AFLG 2017 season undefeated and on top of the ladder, the Berlin Crocodiles will be looking to take home the first premiership in their 16-year history to crown themselves the Champions of Aussie Rules in Germany. They’ll face up against last year’s reigning premiers, the Munich Kangaroos, who’ll be looking to defend their title and continue their run of AFLG Premierships. After the recent semi-finals round, the AFLG season ladder has finished as follows:

  1. Berlin Crocodiles
  2. Munich Kangaroos
  3. Hamburg Dockers
  4. Frankfurt Redbacks
  5. Stuttgart Emus
  6. Rhineland Lions
  7. Freimberg Taipans
  8. Dresden Wolves

Congratulations to all the AFLG teams on a fantastic season and best of luck to the Berlin Crocodiles and the Munich Kangaroos in this weekend’s Grand Final. Look out for our Match of the Round on Friday as we preview both teams heading into the big match.

 

Odense Lionesses host Women’s taster session 

The Odense Lionesses will be hosting a women’s session this Thursday evening with all new players welcome – regardless of experience! The Lionesses will be on hand to teach new players all the basics – from handballing to tackles! If you’re interested in joining in check out the Facebook event here.

 

Ireland gains a new club 

It’s “Club’s Day” at The Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) tomorrow, and CIT is celebrating the arrival of their new CIT Saints AFL club! The Saints may be brand new but they’re kicking things off with their first competition coming up in November when they take on some fellow Irish University teams at the Irish Intervarsities tournament in Maynooth.

From there, they’ll make their AFL Europe event debut at the Fitzpatrick Cup, hosted by their local rivals the UCC Bombers in February before competing in regular matches against other University teams next season. For more information about the CIT Saints AFL team, visit their Facebook page here. Best of luck to the Saints!

 

IC17 Tournament Review – Irish Warriors

2017 AFL International Cup 

Irish Warriors 

3rd Place – Men’s Division 1

 

BY SIMEON SWAIN

It was always going to be two weeks of tough matches for an ambitious Irish Warriors side, who had their hearts set on taking out the 2017 International Cup Grand Final for the 3rd time. Group stage matches against highly ranked teams Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, and fellow European contenders the Great Britain Bulldogs and the French Coqs meant the Warriors would most likely need to remain undefeated if they were to be any hope of charging through to grand final day at the MCG.

The Warriors started strongly against the defending 2014 International Cup champions Papua New Guinea winning the physical affair in blustery conditions. Direct play and moving the ball on quickly from the contest were crucial tactics to keep the scoreboard in their favour.

The next game saw the Warriors travel to St Patricks College Ballarat for the schools round to play a fast improving French team. The Warriors were favoured to win and never surrendered control of the game. In the end however they were a little disappointed with the lack of points on the board as they knew a spot in the finals may come down to points differential, especially if they were to lose a game. St Patricks College is well known for nurturing future AFL stars and it was a great experience for both teams to see the strength of AFL at a junior level in Australia.

After the two wins against PNG and France the Warriors seemed incredibly focused and were playing with plenty of confidence. The third game against arch rivals the Great Britain Swans was highly emotional and physical, but it was the Warriors who kicked away in the second half to dominate what many thought would be a closer encounter.

The running rebound off halfback alongside clever midfield work and a strong forward presence in Padraig Lucey had proven to much to handle for the PNG, French and GB teams.

The Warriors next faced an imposing NZ team that was also sitting on three wins. This game would determine who would move on to the final to play the other semi-finals winners, PNG. It was end to end for most of the game and both teams played with an intense ferocity. The Warriors looked sure winners with 30 seconds to go and 2 points in front, but a last second goal from New Zealand put the Warriors heartbreakingly four points behind.

A resilient Warriors would bounce back to defeat a much hyped USA team despite having no substitutes due to numerous injuries. It was a strong finish for the disappointed Warriors who had only days before narrowly missed out on their shot to win a record 3rd International Cup title.

Although the 2017 tournament may of been the last for a few veteran players, the team will take confidence that they will again be strong at the next International Cup with a mix of experienced IC players and some new talent.

Match Results: 

Round 1 – Irish Warriors 6.5.(41) defeated PNG 4.5.(30) at Royal Park

Round 2 – Irish Warriors 11.13.(79) defeated France 2.2.(14) at St Patrick’s College

Round 3 – Irish Warriors 9.16.(70) defeated Great Britain 8.7.(55) at Carnegie Oval

Round 4 – Irish Warriors 7.7.(49) defeated by New Zealand 8.5.(53) at Royal Park

Finals Round – Irish Warriors 7.6.(48) defeated USA 2.4.(16) at Royal Park

Tournament Goalkickers: 

Padraig Lucey well and truly lead the Warrior’s goalkicking with a whopping 14 goals across the tournament. Other goalkickers included Declan Nannery, Patrick Brennan, Liam Burns, Michael Finn, Fiachra O’Dheasmhunaigh, Gavin Murray, William Gleeson, Robert McElhone, Ronan Cull, Muiris Bartley, David McElhone, Padraic O’Connell, Colin Lordan.

Best on Ground for IC17:

Padraig Lucey, Fiachra O’Dheasmhunaigh, Paul O’Halloran, Shane O’Sullivan, Gavin Murray, Liam Burns

World Team Selection: 

Paul O’Halloran (Ruck)

Padraig Lucey (Full Forward)

Fiachra O’Dheasmhunaigh (Interchange)

Keep up with the AFL Finals with WatchAFL!

The 2017 Toyota AFL Finals Series kicks off tomorrow and the best way to keep up with all the finals action is with a WatchAFL pass! A WatchAFL pass means you can watch any match live on your mobile.

WatchAFL is offering a discount code to receive 10% off any pass until the Grand Final. Use the promo code AFLFINALS10 to take 10% off your pass at checkout.

The current pass types available are:

  • Whole finals series – access between now and the 30th November
  • Grand Final – Access from 26th September – 31st October
  • Season Pass – 12 months of access

To purchase your WatchAFL pass click here.

IC17 Tournament Review – Irish Banshees

2017 AFL International Cup 

Irish Banshees 

1st Place – Women’s Division 

 

BY RILEY BRETTELL

They came, they saw and they certainly conquered all.

Ireland’s road to International Cup glory took them from the parklands of Carlton, to Ballarat, to Hallam and most importantly to the big stage of Etihad Stadium, where their 2014 Grand Final defeat to Canada was cast aside as a distant memory as the Banshees claimed their revenge with one of the most exhilarating victories you could ever hope to see.

The side kicked off their campaign at a blustery Royal Park with a clash against the USA where many of the Banshees players took the field with their teammates for the first time. If there were any issues with team chemistry early on they certainly didn’t show, as Carol Breen, Sandra Ryan and Clara Fitzpatrick dominated and Linda Connolly bagged three goals in the 38-point win.

A trip down the highway to Ballarat followed for a clash against the European Crusaders, and in front of a crowd of hundreds of St Patricks schoolboys the Banshees overcame a slow start on the back of a brilliant performance from Molly Cullen to run out 61-point winners. While the final margin flattered the Banshees they importantly went into a big clash with Papua New Guinea undefeated.

That third matchup in Melbourne’s outer-eastern suburb of Hallam proved to be one of the most physical of the tournament, with the Banshees seeing off a fiery PNG side on the back of three goals to Christine McCutcheon and two to Olivia McCann, in another game where the final score did no justice to the quality of the Banshees opposition.

Finishing on top of Group B set the Banshees up for a crack at Group A runners up in the Great Britain Swans back at Royal Park. A hard-fought contest saw the underdog British side hold the edge over the Banshees for most the day, before Ireland threw caution to the wind with a fourth quarter assault that saw them run over the top of their rivals, with Colleen Quinn nailing the go-ahead goal before Gillian Behan slotted a magnificent major shortly after to add icing to the cake.

Through to their third straight International Cup final against the Canadians, the Irish faced their toughest test of the tournament and trailed at every break before a final quarter that no player, staff or supporter who witnessed it will ever forget. Clinging to a 4-point lead for the final ten minutes and under immense Canadian pressure, the Banshees heroically stood firm to claim a memorable and richly deserved victory.

The magnificent performances of Clara Fitzpatrick (ruck), Gillian Behan, Laura Corrigan-Duryea (half-forward), Carol Breen (midfield) and Colleen Quinn (interchange) were all recognised with team of the tournament selection.

Match Results: 

Round 1 – Irish Banshees 7.4.(46) defeated USA 1.2.(8)

Round 2 – Irish Banshees 8.13.(61) defeated Crusaders 0.0.(0)

Round 3 – Irish Banshees 9.6.(60) defeated PNG 0.3.(3)

Round 4 – Irish Banshees 3.5.(23) defeated GB Swans 2.3.(15)

Grand Final – Irish Banshees 4.1.(25) defeated Canada 3.3.(21)

Tournament Goalkickers:

Christine McCutcheon, Gillian Behan, Olivia McCann, Aisling Gillespie, Colleen Quinn, Fiona Roarty, Carol Breen, Linda Connolly, Aine Higgins, Molly Cullen, Maebh Moriarty, Emma Kelly, Marie Keating, Rachel McGee.

Best on Ground for IC17:

Carol Green, Clara Fitzpatrick, Gollian Behan, Colleen Quinn, Marie Keating.

World Team Selection: 

Clara Fitzpatrick (Ruck)

Gillian Behan (Half-Forward)

Laura Corrigan Duryea (Half-Forward)

Carol Breen (Midfield)

Colleen Quinn (Interchange)

The countdown is on to the 2017 Toyota AFL Grand Final Lunch in London!

2017 TOYOTA AFL GRAND FINAL LUNCH IN LONDON

in Partnership with the Office of the Agent General for South Australia & Adelaide Crows

WHEN: Friday, 29 September 2017
TIME:
1pm – 4:30pm
WHERE:
Australia House, London
WHAT:
Delicious three course lunch, 3.5 hour beer & wine beverage package & entertainment to fill your afternoon
TICKETS:
£120 per ticket or £1,100 for a table of 10 (Exclusive of VAT)
HOW:
Email events@afleurope.org (include name, company, and number of tickets)

As the AFL Finals Series is about to kick off, we’re counting down to this year’s 2017 Toyota AFL Grand Final Lunch in London! Join us at Australia House on the 29th of September as we preview the biggest match of the year while enjoying a delicious three course lunch and plenty of beer, wine and cider.

We are excited to announce that the Adelaide Crows will, once again, partner the event in conjunction with the Office of the Agent General for South Australia. If that wasn’t enough, we have some stellar entertainment lined up, including an Aussie comedian, unique and enviable auction items up for grabs, some up and coming AFL Talent and, to top off an epic afternoon, an AFLW panel including AFLW Premiership Coach, Bec Goddard from the Adelaide Crows.

With less than a month to go until the Grand Final Lunch, tickets are selling out fast so make sure to get in quick to secure your ticket by emailing events@afleurope.org.

We look forward to seeing you there for some great footy action!

PSS Around the Grounds

St. Petersburg Cats on a winning streak

Round 3 of AFL Russia took place this weekend at the MSU Stadium in Moscow, with the St. Petersburg Cats defeating the Moscow Koalas 81-51.

The Cats also had another victory  last month when they defeated the Tigers 77-24 in the 3rd round of the St. Petersburg league. Well done Cats!

Heatseekers take out FAFL

Congratulations are in order for the 2017 Finland AFL Grand Final winners – the Helsinki Heatseekers! The Heatseekers managed to defeat the Waasa Wombats and hold onto their premiership title for yet another season.

 

Devils visit Denmark

The Amsterdam Devils travelled to Denmark this weekend to take on the Odense Lions in a special farewell match for club stalwart, Stephen Dillon, who put on his boots for the Devils for the last time.

Meanwhile the Odense Lionesses were busy taking on the Port Malmo Lynx and getting a win under their belt! The Lionesses fought a tough game and ran out winners with a final score of 60-30. Lionesses goalkickers for the match included: Maria Falkesgaard, Sidsel Wraa, Amanda Teglhus, Nina Løvengreen, Michaela Saugstrup, Janie-Lou Green, and Mette Brøndserud.

Women wanted for AFL in Germany

AFLG and the German Eagles have set their sights on expanding their women’s footy and have hopes of developing both a women’s league in Germany and having a women’s national team. AFLG currently has 8 men’s teams across the country with regular matches and they have plenty of opportunities to create a regular women’s competition. Their aim is to send a women’s team to the AFL Europe Champions League next year as well as a women’s national team to the 2018 Euro Cup. If you’re interested in playing women’s footy in Germany check out the Facebook group here.

Giants take out the SARFL Grand Final

After their third attempt at a SARFL (Scotland Aussie Rules Football League) Grand Final, the Greater Glasgow Giants have finally come away with the 2017 SARFL Premiership after defeating the Kingdom Kangaroos in a thrilling grand final after a very strong season from all the SARFL teams. Although the Roos put up a good fight, the Giants managed to take them down with the scoreboard reading 117-79 at the final whistle. Well done Giants!

Recruiting umpires and volunteers for 2017 Euro Cup!

AFL Europe are still on the hunt for umpires and volunteers to join in at this year’s Euro Cup in Bordeaux. The Euro Cup takes place on the 7th of October and volunteers are needed to help out with the tournament with everything from pitch managing to goal umpiring. If you’re interested in volunteering or umpiring at Euro Cup please contact us at admin@afleurope.org.

IC17 Tournament Review – Croatian Knights

2017 AFL International Cup 

Croatian Knights

1st Place – Men’s Division 2

 

BY CHRISTOPHER CHRYSOSTOMOU

A fairy tale ending to a brilliant tournament for the Croatian Knights, who claimed the Division 2 premiership in their first International Cup. The Knights were expected to be contending for the title, but few would have predicted they would clinch the crown in relative breeze.

The Knights didn’t get off to the best of starts at the International Cup, going down to China by a point in the opening match. The Knights were suffering from jet lag, after only arriving in Australia the day prior to the game. But Croatian coach Josip Kravar didn’t use the jet lag as an excuse for his side’s poor performance, instead criticising the players for not sticking to the game plan.

Needing a win in their second match, the Knights travelled to Eltham College to face Indonesia. The intensity of the Knights was prevalent from the opening bounce. The Knights midfielder’s gained the upper hand and helped Ivan Ivos kick six goals. Half back, Josip Habljak found his way forward and kicked three goals.

The Knights travelled to a windy Lyndhust for their third match against Sri Lanka. The Knights players found it difficult to adjust to the windy conditions and their kicking in front of goal was wayward. But their inaccuracy was not an issue, as their defence held Sri Lanka to only one goal for the match. Captain, Tomislav Cvetko, adjusted to the conditions better than most players and took plenty of marks, while player-coach Josip Kravar kicked three goals in only two quarters on the field.

The Knights finished second in pool 1 of division 2 and faced pool 2’s ladder leaders, Japan in the semi-final at Royal Park. The Japanese were favourites heading into the match, after clinching top spot ahead of Germany.

The Knights defence were rock solid in the previous two matches, with the pairing of Fran Tonkovic and Igor Galez stopping any opposition attacks. The Knights would save their best defensive performance for Japan, holding the Samurais to a sole behind, while scoring 66 points of their own.

Earlier in the tournament coach Kravar had said the Knights wanted to play the German’s on the Grand Final. Kravar got his wish and on a wet Friday afternoon, the Knights took the field to quash the highflying Eagles. Croatian fans watched on, as their side’s ferocious attack on the ball outmuscled the German’s.

The wet condition’s made marking difficult, but the forward pairing of Cvetko and Ivos showed their class by taking a total of 15 marks and kicking seven goals. Cvetko and Ivos were again supported by Habljak’s line breaking runs off half back. The midfield also worked in tandem and continued to supply the forwards with the ball.

As the siren sounded the Knights claimed a 66-point victory and celebrated by singing ‘The Mighty, Mighty Croats’ tune, that has become a fan favourite.

Tomislav Cvetko was named best on ground for his performance in the decider, while Josip Habljak was named in the World Team of the Tournament.

Kravar praised his team’s defence, which conceded a mere 27 points in their four victories. “We changed a few things in the backline after the first match and it has worked,” Kravar said.

The Knights will add the International Cup success to their trophy cabinet, which already includes two Euro Cups.

Best Forward:

Tomislav Cvetko proved to be a leader of the forwards throughout the tournament, with plenty of successful goals across all five rounds.

Best Midfielder: 

Dejan Pavkovic consistently earned his title as one of the Knights’ best players for his work in the midfield.

Best Defender:

Josip Habljak provided lots of run off half back and kicked plenty of goals.

Match Results: 

Round 1 – Croatian Knights 6.8.(44) defeated by China 7.3.(45)

Round 2 – Croatian Knights 14.7.(91) defeated Indonesia 2.0.(12)

Round 3 – Croatian Knights 9.5.(59) defeated Sri Lanka 1.0.(6)

Round 4 – Croatian Knights 9.12.(66) defeated Japan 0.1.(1)

Grand Final – Croatian Knights 11.8.(74) defeated Germany 1.2.(8)

Tournament Goalkickers: 

Ivan Ivos, Tomislav Cvetko, Josip Habljak, Josip Kravar, Tomislav Nedic, Bruno Bencic, Dejan Pavkoviv, Miro Jurmanovic, Viktor Kolcic, Josip Motik.

Best on Ground for IC17:

Tomislav Cvetko, Josip Habljak, Ivan Ivos, Dejan Pavkovic, Fran Tonkovic.

World Team Selection:

Josip Habljak (Fullback)

IC17 Tournament Review – GB Bulldogs

2017 AFL International Cup 

Great Britain Bulldogs

6th Place – Men’s Division 1

 

BY ANGUS BOYLE

The Great Britain Bulldogs have finished their 2017 AFL International Cup campaign in sixth position after they were defeated by Nauru in the fifth-position playoff on Friday 18th of August. This is the equal-highest finish for the Great Britain Bulldogs side at an International Cup, as they also finished sixth in 2002 and 2005.

Bulldogs coach Dean Thomas felt that the final result was not a fair reflection on his side, and he did not doubt their application or effort. After the final game, he praised Nauru for their quick style of play as the Nauru side played some fantastic football to defeat the Bulldogs. It was not the way the Great Britain side wanted to finish the tournament, and their pre-tournament expectations in terms of win-loss ratio were not met. Yet, when talking post tournament, Thomas said, “with the aid of hindsight, we were probably one of the youngest and most inexperienced groups in the top division. To lose games by no more than three goals, and a couple of convincing wins, showed we were not far off the top sides.”

Out of the 29-man squad that the Bulldogs had, 21 of them had not had any previous experience in an International Cup and the emergence of those young players gives the Bulldogs a bright future ahead. There was a feeling within the group after their final game that they had underperformed and those young players who are aiming to be playing for Great Britain in the next International Cup will use that disappointment to motivate them next time around.

One of the standout players for the Bulldogs was key forward Andrew Walkden who kicked 15 goals for the tournament. Walkden started off by kicking five goals in the Bulldogs opening game, which they won against South Africa by 37 points at Royal Park to get their tournament off to a perfect start.

Unfortunately, they then lost to Canada Northwind who caused a major upset by winning by 15 points in tough, windy conditions in Round 2, a result that Thomas said, “will burn for a long time.”

It was always going to be hard from there for the Bulldogs to make the Grand Final, but if they could beat Ireland in Round 3, they would still have a chance. However, the Warriors were too slick and a dominant third quarter meant the Bulldogs couldn’t get close enough as their European rivals won by 15 points in one of the best matches of the tournament.

Up next for Great Britain was Fiji, back at Royal Park. The Bulldogs controlled most of the game and got back onto the winners list with a comfortable 29-point win over the Fijians.

In their final match of the tournament, playing for fifth place, the Bulldogs played the Nauru Chiefs at Royal Park. A back and forth match saw the game in the balance at three quarter time, but the skill and speed from the Chiefs was too much for the Bulldogs as Nauru claimed fifth place by securing a 21-point victory. In the last game, the Bulldogs struggled up front as they could only manage five goals, all through five different players, an uncommon sight in today’s game.

Throughout the tournament, Walkden was well supported in attack by fellow forwards David Hastie and Ryan Floyd who kicked five and four goals respectively. Jack Coughlan contributed with three, while Andrew Cochran and Seyonne Kidnapillai kicked two for the tournament. Marc Cashman also chipped in with one goal, but it was Walkden who dominated in the forward line for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs generally played quality football, except for their unexpected defeat against Canada, but as a whole weren’t quite good enough. A few numerous key moments in games against Ireland and Nauru cost them a chance to record their best ever finish at an International Cup.

The next tournament, to be held in 2020 seems like a long time away, but most of the players will already be setting their sights on bigger and better things for the next International Cup. Thomas said after the tournament, “I wouldn’t bet against this group getting a lot better over the next 3 years.” So, next time the International Cup is on, everyone will need to keep an eye on the Bulldogs as they will be back with plenty of bite, and ready to roar.

Best Forward:

Andrew Walkden lead the Bulldog’s Forwards pack with his consistency in impacting the scoreboard, forward tackling pressure and his ability to turn half chances into goal conversions. Special mention to David Hastie, who recovered from a slow start in the competition to have a meaningful impact in the mid to later stages.

Best Midfielder: 

Through his sheer weight of possession, use of the ball, and physical presence in contested situations, Luke Booth was the best midfielder of the tournament. Luke Matias deserves a mention, as do Luke Murchie and Andy Cochran who recovered from injury to have a hugely positive impact. George Dibble was also very impressive and one to keep an eye on, and Alex Watson was a stellar ruckman.

Best Defender: 

Ross Denton and Myles Hudson were both exceptional in their intercept marks and rebound possessions.

Match Results: 

Round 1 – GB Bulldogs 9.11.(65) defeated South Africa 4.4.(28)

Round 2 – GB Bulldogs 2.6.(18) defeated by Canada 5.3.(33)

Round 3 – GB Bulldogs 8.7.(55) defeated by Ireland 9.16.(70)

Round 4 – GB Bulldogs 8.8.(56) defeated Fiji 3.9.(27)

Round 5 – GB Bulldogs 5.2.(32) defeated by Nauru 8.5.(53)

Tournament Goalkickers: 

Andrew Walkden, David Hastie, Ryan Floyd, Jack Coughlan, Andrew Cochran, Seyonne Kidnapillai, and Marc Cashman.

Best on Ground for IC17:

Andrew Walkden, Luke Booth, Ross Denton, Alexander Watson, and Myles Hudson.

World Team Selection:

Andrew Walkden (Forward Pocket)