AFL Europe Umpires at USAFL Nationals!

The USAFL (United States Australian Football League) Nationals descended on San Diego this weekend, with teams from over 40 cities arriving to contend for the title across numerous divisions. It was a huge two days of Aussie Rules football action with 40 men’s and 13 women’s teams competing across 7 divisions, and the tournament welcomed over 1000 participants.

In 2015, the umpiring leadership groups from AFL Europe and the USAFL created a pathway for to umpire at the corresponding tournaments. This year, AFL Europe welcomed Laurie Rupe from the USAFL Umpire Association to the Champions League tournament in Amsterdam, and more recently to the Euro Cup in Bordeaux, where she was awarded the prestigious ‘Golden Whistle’ for her efforts across the tournament.

Three AFL Europe Umpires made the trip to San Diego this weekend to experience the USAFL Nationals in all their glory. John Enright from Ireland, Ian Kafka from England and Nilss Lode from Germany decided to umpire at the 2017 USAFL National titles. With six full size pitches and an 18-a-side format, the AFL Europe Umpires had to adapt quickly to the larger scale tournament but were in capable hands. The AFL Umpire Development Managers from Canberra, Sydney and Queensland were in attendance, as well as two AFL Grand Final Umpires; Hayden Kennedy and Chris Donlon.  

 Ian “Fabio” Kafka began umpiring in 2013, after being introduced to footy during his time at the University of Birmingham and spending four years playing for the Birmingham Bears in the AFL CNE (Central Northern England) League. Ian says that he was thrust into the umpiring role after a last minute cancellation but grabbed the whistle and never looked back – since then he has become an AFL London regular and has umpired at numerous AFL Europe Tournaments, including winning the prestigious Golden Whistle at his first European Championships back in 2013 and being awarded the AFL London Outstanding Umpire of the Season award this year. 

John Enright made the transition to umpiring after retiring from a long playing career in Ireland – including being a member of the victorious Irish Warriors side at the International Cup in 2011. Since then, John has become one of the best umpires in Europe, making the journey to San Diego fresh off the back of his sixth consecutive Euro Cup in Bordeaux. In addition to being a fantastic umpire, John is also a huge part of ensuring that AFL Europe tournaments run smoothly as part of his role as an AFL Europe Umpire Manager.

The third AFL Europe Umpire to join the ranks at the USAFL Nationals, Nilss Lode, has a similar story. Nilss played in the AFLG (Australian Football League Germany) for 14 years and switched to umpiring after attending an AFL Europe Umpiring workshop in 2011. Nilss soon became the Umpiring Coordinator of the AFLG and has umpired at seven AFL Europe tournaments, being awarded the Golden Whistle at the 2012 Euro Cup. Nilss is also one of the most internationally experienced umpires, having umpired at the 2014 AFL Japan Grand Final in Tokyo, and a USAFL Match last year in Chicago.

Following an umpiring workshop on the Friday afternoon, the tournament kicked off on Saturday morning in some sweaty conditions as temperatures soared into the 30’s. After an eventful tournament John, Ian and Nilss were honoured to umpire the Men’s Division 4 final, and were lucky enough to receive medals from Hayden Kennedy.  

Special thanks to Jonathan Mills, President of the USAFL Umpires for extending an invitation to our Umpiring Community and the brilliant hospitality shown to the AFL Europe Umpires. It was an unforgettable experience for all three of them to umpire a 2-day tournament at a high level of footy and receive coaching from AFL umpire development managers and staff. With the added bonus of umpiring with Chris Donlon in Division One, this was an invaluable experience and development opportunity with a potential trip to IC20 certainly on the horizon for the 3 umpires.

2018 Major Events Calendar

2018 Major Events Calendar

Fitzpatrick Cup  Saturday 3rd February – University College Cork, Ireland

The Fitzpatrick Cup will return to the University College Cork (UCC) in 2018! The annual 9-a-side tournament will see both men’s and women’s teams from Universities around Europe battling it out to be Fitzpatrick Cup Champions. The 2018 installment will take place on Saturday, February 3rd with the largest contingent of student’s expected to attend next years tournament.

Champions League – Saturday 7th April – Amsterdam, Netherlands

The 4th annual AFL Europe Champions League is back better than ever, with the Amsterdam Devils and AFL Netherlands once again co-hosting the tournament to crown the Club Champions of Europe. The 2018 tournament returns to the Sportpark de Eendracht in Amsterdam on the 7th of April, 2018.

Premiership teams from each country or league will be contacted in the coming weeks with more details regarding the invitational tournament.

ANZAC Cup – Wednesday 25th April – Villers-Bretonneux, France

2018 is a very special year for the ANZAC Cup as it commemorates the 100th year of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux and our 10th Annual AFL Europe ANZAC Cup. In honour of the centenary year, the matches will be played on the ANZAC Day following the Dawn Service in Villers-Bretonneux, France. Applications for the Australian Spirit Team as well as for umpires will open in the coming weeks.

Euro Cup – TBC – Berlin, Germany

Berlin will be the next city to host the infamous Euro Cup. After a successful bid at the 2017 tournament, Berlin will play host to the national 9-a-side tournament. A date for the 2018 Euro Cup will be determined in the coming weeks.

London All-Stars set for VAFA clash!

London All-Stars set for VAFA clash!

This Sunday 15th October sees the return of the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) on English soil after their last visit two years ago.

The VAFA tour Ireland and the UK every two years and have spent 2 weeks in Ireland so far having played 3 matches of International Rules against Bishopstown, Tuam Stars and Donaghmore Ashbourne. They now make their way to London to take on an AFL London representative side in a hit-out of traditional Aussie Rules.

The London All-Stars are made up of players from the AFL London league which plays over the summer months in the capital. AFL London (formly BARFL) played its first season in 1990 with 8 clubs participating. The 2017 season saw 3 men’s and 2 women’s divisions played for the first time in the competitions 28-year history.

The side had their final training run on Thursday night and are in good shape heading into Sunday’s match. The match will be played at the picturesque King’s Meadow in Reading with both sides making the journey on the team bus on Sunday morning.

Belushi’s in Hammersmith will be hosting the two sides and supporters on Sunday night for all of those footy fans in the capital looking to join in on the post-game action.

Full details for the day can be found on the Facebook event page HERE and to check up on how the VAFA have been travelling jump onto their Facebook page HERE

Squads for the match can be found below.

London All-Stars
Tim Menzies West London Wildcats
Geoff Rouse Wandsworth Demons
Matt Wood North London Lions
Evan Johnson West London Wildcats
Mack Williams West London Wildcats
Paul Fry North London Lions
Ben Durance Wandsworth Demons
Matt Decler Wandsworth Demons
Adam Jeffrey Wandsworth Demons
Will Andrew Wandsworth Demons
Jared Risol West London Wildcats
Matt Patterson North London Lions
Jack Crameri North London Lions
Sam Bowler Wandsworth Demons
Josh Beattie Wandsworth Demons
Alex Watson Wandsworth Demons
Eamon Jenkins North London Lions
Keith Della-Vedova West London Wildcats
Guy McGrath South East London Giants
Tom Hogan South East London Giants
Jack Cornwall Free Agent
Daniel Clifford West London Wildcats
Riccardo Ribas Leumann Wandsworth Demons
Andrew Dennis Wandsworth Demons
Jack Threlfall North London Lions
Jack Noonan North London Lions
Alan Tobin Wandsworth Demons
Jim Riley South East London Giants
Trevor Baust South East London Giants
Coaching Panel
Francis Caldow Wandsworth Demons
Chad Sellenger West London Wildcats
Daniel Venditti North London Lions
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Jay Treloar North London Lions


VAFA Representatives
George Burbury Old Geelong
Alexander Armstrong Old Melburnians
Liam Whelan Aquinas
Brodie McLaughlin Bullen Templestowe
Sam Hibbins Collegians
Christian Carnovale Hampton Rovers
Alexander Mastromanno Old Brighton
Nicholas Reeves-Smyth Old Ivanhoe
Thomas Cameron Old Melburnians
Denis Symeopoulous Old Xaverians
Louis Denton Old Xaverians
Nicholas Nagel Powerhouse
James Musster Prahran Assumption
Christopher Hughes St Bernard’s
Luke Di Lizio St Bernard’s
Edyn Sibbald St Bernard’s
Thomas Jok St Kevin’s OB
Michael Dolan St Mary’s Salesian
Lachlan Dornauf University Blacks
Tyrone Bean University Blacks
Michael Culliver Westbourne Grammarians


Umpiring Squad
Oscar Ayyadi AFL London Umpires
Josh Davey AFL London Umpires
Cai Davies AFL London Umpires
Chris Goodman AFL London Umpires
Dom Nahon AFL London Umpires
Hayden O’Connor VAFA Umpires Association

Euro Cup 2017 Review

Euro Cup 2017 Review


21 National Aussie Rules teams from all across Europe converged on Bordeaux this weekend in the 12th edition of the Euro Cup. This year’s tournament welcomed 14 men’s and 7 women’s teams from 15 countries, making it one of the largest Euro Cup’s to date.

It was a massive action-packed day of Aussie Rules footy and wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible efforts of 11 umpires, 12 match volunteers, and countless volunteers from the CNFA and the Bordeaux Bombers supplying everyone with food and drinks all day and night.

Pool Stages 

With 7 women’s teams making the trip over to Bordeaux this year, two pools were formed for the first half of the day. The Irish Banshees and the England Vixens topped pools A and B, with the rest of the ladder proving to be a close finish with hard-fought matches played around the grounds all morning. The Swedish Ravens, French Gauloises and Scottish Sirens all celebrated their return to the Euro Cup with victories, and the Croatian Queens and Welsh Wyverns/Danish Valkyries teams made their mark on the early stages of the Euro Cup.

Standings after pool stages:

Pool A
1. Irish Banshees
2. Swedish Ravens
3. Croatian Queens

Pool B
1. England Vixens
2. French Gauloises
3. Scottish Sirens
4. Welsh Wyverns/Danish Valkyries

The men’s competition was split across four pools to accommodate the massive 14 teams that made the trip over to Bordeaux. Pool A consisted of the Austrian Avalanches, German Eagles, the Swiss Mountain Cocks, and the Jerusalem Peace Lions. The Eagles proved to be the leader of the pool and managed to take away 3 wins from their 3 pool games, fresh off the back of a strong performance at the International Cup in Melbourne. The Avalanches and the Peace Lions also managed to come away with wins, with the unlucky Mountain Cocks finding their competition too strong in the pool stages.

Pool B, a group of three teams, was headlined by the mighty Irish Warriors who came away undefeated from the morning’s matches, securing themselves a place in the Euro Cup quarter finals. They were challenged by a strong side from The Netherlands, with the Flying Dutchmen overcoming the Scottish Clansmen in a thrilling single point victory to earn themselves second and third place in their Pool respectively.

Pool C consisted of this year’s Euro Cup host country team, the French Coqs, who did themselves proud by taking out top spot in their pool and managing to stay undefeated throughout the morning. They were particularly thrilled to take down last year’s Champions, the Croatian Knights, in a narrow 4-point victory. The Croatians weren’t going to let a defeat diminish their spirits and went on to defeat the Czech Republic Dragons and the Russian Czars in the rest of their pool matches.

The final men’s group, Pool D, was championed by an in-form England Dragonslayers side, who proved unbeatable throughout the day but were challenged by their British neighbours the Welsh Red Dragons in the group stages. The Dragonslayers lived up to their name when they defeated the Red Dragons 15-5, and both sides proved too strong for their final competitor, the Swedish Elks, who struggled to get many points on the board against the two tough UK sides.

Standings after Pool stages:

Pool A
1. German Eagles
2. Austrian Avalanches
3. Jerusalem Peace Lions
4. Swiss Mountain Cocks

Pool B
1. Irish Warriors
2. Netherlands Flying Dutchmen
3. Scottish Clansmen

Pool C
1. French Coqs
2. Croatian Knights
3. Czech Republic Dragons
4. Russian Czars

Pool D
1. England Dragonslayers
2. Welsh Dragons
3. Swedish Elks


The Women’s finals saw the top two teams from each Pool progressing to the semi-finals, while the remaining three teams spent the afternoon playing round-robin style matches to play off for the 5th place “Plate” title. The Semi finalists included the Irish Banshees, Swedish Ravens, England Vixens, and the French Gauloises. The Vixens progressed to the women’s final after leaving their Swedish opponents scoreless during the semi’s, with the Banshees also earning their place in the final after a 63-1 defeat over the French Gauloises.

The third place playoff match saw the Ravens come away victorious to earn themselves the Bronze medal, and afterwards all eyes turned towards Pitch 1 to see the highly anticipated women’s final where the defending Champions, and recent International Cup winners the Irish Banshees take on the seemingly unbeatable England Vixens. The Vixens didn’t waste any time any establishing a fast lead, their stellar performance earning themselves the Euro Cup title with a 38-14 victory over the Banshees.

Women’s Final Placings:

  1. England Vixens
  2. Irish Banshees
  3. Swedish Ravens
  4. French Gauloises
  5. Scottish Sirens
  6. Welsh Wyverns/Danish Valkyries
  7. Croatian Queens

The Men’s finals saw each Pool’s top two teams progressing through to the quarter finals, while the remaining 6 teams were ranked on percentage to play-off in the Plate finals. The German Eagles, Irish Warriors, French Coqs, and England Dragonslayers proved to be the strongest four of the men’s side and entered into a gruelling set of finals matches as they battled it out to be Euro Cup champions. The French Coqs put up a great fight in the first semi-final but the Dragonslayers proved too strong for the Coqs and earned their place in the Men’s final with a 42-21 victory. Meanwhile, the German Eagles suffered a similar defeat when they were taken down by the Irish Warriors 26-40.

Following their semi-final defeats, the Eagles and Coqs prepared themselves for their biggest match of the day – the 3rd place playoff to earn themselves the bronze medal. It was a hard-fought, close match, with both sides giving it their all over a challenging 30 minutes. The German Eagles took the eventual lead with a narrow 14-11 point win over the hosting French Coqs. After a spectacular set of finals matches from both the men’s and women’s competitions, the crowd was eager to see who would take home the Cup to replace the Croatian Knights as the Champions of Europe. In a similar fashion to the women’s final, the English side pulled ahead early and earned their rightful place as Euro Cup winners with a 58-9 defeat over the Warriors.

It was the Welsh Red Dragons who took home the Bowl after earning their 5th place victory over the Flying Dutchmen. The Bowl was also contested by last year’s winners the Croatian Knights and the Austrian Avalanches, who came away with 7th and 8th places respectively. The men’s Plate found a new home with the Czech Republic Dragons who defeated the Scottish Clansmen for 9th place in the final. Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Peace Lions earned their 11th place after a convincing win over the Swedish Elks, and the Russian Czars avoided the bottom of the ladder with a victory against the Swiss Mountain Cocks.

Men’s Final Placings:

  1. England Dragonslayers
  2. Irish Warriors
  3. German Eagles
  4. French Coqs
  5. Welsh Red Dragons
  6. Flying Dutchmen
  7. Croatian Knights
  8. Austrian Avalanches
  9. Czech Republic Dragons
  10. Scottish Clansmen
  11. Jerusalem Peace Lions
  12. Swedish Elks
  13. Russian Czars
  14. Swiss Mountain Cocks


Umpire of the Tournament – The Down Under Centre Golden Whistle:

Laurie Rupe – USAFL

Men’s Team of the Tournament:

  • Austrian Avalanche – Andreas Junk
  • Czech Republic Dragons – Tomas Nemec
  • England Dragonslayers – Luke Booth
  • Netherlands Flying Dutchmen – Neil Cooke
  • French Coqs – Julien Dagois
  • German Eagles – Martin Schuttoff
  • Irish Warriors – Kevin McSorley
  • Jerusalem Peace Lions – Shir Shalev
  • Russian Czars – Pavel Eliseev
  • Scottish Clansmen – Matt Goodman
  • Swedish Elks – Nicklas Andersson
  • Swiss Mountain Cocks – Jeff Bishop
  • Welsh Red Dragons – Owain Ryland

Women’s Team of the Tournament:

  • Croatian Queens – Ana Barisic
  • England Vixens – Rania Turner-Ramadan
  • Irish Banshees – Rachel McGee
  • Scottish Sirens – Caroline Sellar
  • Swedish Ravens – Hanna Falkenstrom
  • Welsh Wyverns/Danish Valkyries – Chiara Palazzo

Men’s Player of the Tournament:

  • Croatian Knights – Josip Motik

Women’s Player of the Tournament:

  • French Gauloises – Camille Portal


Euro Cup 2017 – Tournament Preview

Euro Cup 2017 – Tournament Preview

National Aussie Rules teams from all across Europe will come together this Saturday, October 7th for the AFL Europe Euro Cup. This year, the annual 9-a-side tournament will be held in Bordeaux, France and co-hosted by the Bordeaux Bombers and the CNFA.

In what’s sure to be an action-packed day of Aussie Rules footy, 14 men’s and 7 women’s teams will converge on Stadium Robert Monseau in Saint Médard en Jalles for 53 massive matches scheduled before two lucky teams will be crowned Euro Cup Champions.

This year’s 21 teams hail from 15 countries across Europe with the Croatian Knights and the Irish Banshees looking to defend their titles as 2016’s Euro Cup Champions.

The women’s competition consists of 7 teams split into two pools with the reigning Irish Banshees, Croatian Queens, and the Swedish Ravens rounding out the first pool. The Banshees are the obvious team to beat here but the Croatian Queen’s side will be featuring some fresh talent and the Swedish Ravens will definitely be giving them a run for their money.

The second women’s pool consists of the England Vixens, French Gauloises, Scottish Sirens, and a combined Welsh Wyverns/Danish Valkyries team. Many of the Vixens and Sirens are fresh off the back of a successful International Cup where they represented Great Britain and came away with 3rd place. This will certainly give those players an advantage of international footy experience but the likes of the Gauloises and the mixed Wyverns/Valkyries are well adapted to playing 9-a-side football with their smaller side numbers in their home countries.

This Euro Cup’s men’s draw consists of 14 teams split across four pools. Pool A includes the German Eagles, Austrian Avalanches, Jerusalem Peace Lions, and the Swiss Mountain Cocks. The Eagles should be the team to beat in this pool with their recent success at the AFL International Cup, where they placed 2nd in their division. The Austrian side brings plenty of experience to the table with two of their key players, Martin Schittegg and Richard Claassen both representing Austria in their 10th consecutive Euro Cup. The Peace Lions and the Mountain Cocks will both be looking to challenge their their pool and improve on their last Euro Cup placings. The Swiss will be competing in their first Euro Cup since 2010 which is a great achievement for the nation.

Pool B will feature the Irish Warriors and Scottish Clansmen, both of which had plenty of players representing Ireland and GB at the recent International Cup. The Netherlands’ Flying Dutchmen will be taking them on and bringing lots of fresh talent to their side to take on the rest of Europe.

The Men’s Pool C is lead by defending Euro Cup 2016 Champions, the Croatian Knights. They’ll be contested by a strong French Coqs team, and two teams very familiar with playing 9’s footy – the Russian Czars and the Czech Republic Dragons who return to the Euro Cup for the first time since 2012.

Finally, Pool D includes the mighty England Dragonslayers, full of talented players from AFL London and AFL CNE. They’ll be challenged by the Welsh Red Dragons, fresh off a huge season in the WARFL, and the Swedish Elks, who are looking to make a big comeback after missing out on the last few Euro Cups.

This year is sure to be one of the biggest Euro Cup’s in AFL Europe history and we can’t wait to see who takes home the Cup.

Check out the fixture here and follow along with all the match results on the day on our facebook. 

A special thanks in advance to the 11 Umpires and 12 Match Officials making the journey to Bordeaux to make this amazing event possible. Along with these their will be over 60 volunteers from around France helping out to serve the players food and drinks throughout the day and night and make sure the event goes off without a hitch.

Good luck to all involved!

Umpires Squad

Name Country/Club
Katrina Stopinski UK – AFL London
Mitch Skelly UK – Wandsworth Demons
Chris Goodman UK – AFL London
David O’Hanlon France – CNFA
Matt Hewitt Italy – AFL Italia
Sebastian Walker-Staalkjaer Denmark – DAFL
Yann Cornaton France – CNFA
Xavier Holland UK – Wandsworth Demons
Laurie Rupe USA – USAFL
Dom Nahon UK – Wandsworth Demons
John Enright Ireland – ARFLI

Match Officials

Name Club
Amy Hammond Wandsworth Demons
Hayley Canton Wandsworth Demons
Bianca Valenzisi Wandsworth Demons
Emma Dillon Wandsworth Demons
Emily Campbell Wandsworth Demons
Karl Robson Paris Cockatoos
Glenn Sandford Wandsworth Demons
Gaelle Hazimeh Bordeaux Bombers
Doris Brkic Wandsworth Demons
Nick Noblett Wandsworth Demons
Siobhan O’Dwyer Wandsworth Demons
Frank Caldow Wandsworth Demons

Live Streaming Links – Euro Cup 2017

Live Streaming Links – Euro Cup 2017

The 2017 Euro Cup in Bordeaux this Saturday 7th October will be streamed live thanks to our BarTV Sports.

The main stadium pitch will stream every match from 9:00am and culminating in the men’s final which commences at 6:30pm.

All finals will be played on the main stadium pitch.

Regular updates on all matches from the tournament will be aired and can also be found on our Facebook page HERE

The main stadium schedule of matches can be found below

Pitch 1
9:00am German Eagles v Austrian Avalanches
9:40am Scottish Sirens v Welsh Wyverns/Danish Valkyries
10:20am England Dragonslayer v Welsh Dragons
11:00am French Gauloises v Welsh Wyverns/Danish Valkyries
11:40am Croatian Queens v Swedish Ravens
12:20pm French Coqs v Russian Czars
1:00pm Irish Warriors v Flying Dutchmen
1:40pm Irish Banshees v Swedish Ravens
2:20pm BREAK
2:30pm Men’s Plate QF2 (12v13)
3:00pm  Men’s Cup QF3 (C1vB2)
3:30pm Men’s Plate SF2 (10v11/14)
4:00pm Women’s Semi-Final 2 (B1vA2)
4:30pm Men’s Cup Semi-Final 2 (winner QF3 v winner QF4)
5:00pm Men’s Plate Final (9th P/O)
5:30pm Men’s Bowl Final (5th P/O)
6:00pm Women’s Cup Final
6:30pm Men’s Cup Final


The links for the stream can be found below:

2017 AFL Europe – Euro Cup @ Bordeaux – Morning Session

YouTube Link


2017 AFL Europe – Euro Cup @ Bordeaux – Afternoon Session

YouTube Link


2017 AFL Europe – Euro Cup @ Bordeaux – Finals

YouTube Link

Euro Cup 2017 – Team Previews

The Euro Cup, co-hosted by the CNFA and Bordeaux Bombers, is fast-approaching. In the lead up we’ll be taking a quick look at the teams who’ll be competing for the title of Euro Cup championsThe one-day tournament is being held at Stadium Robert Monseau, 5 rue Charles Capsec, 33 160 Saint Médard en Jalles with full event details able to be found at on the official event Facebook page (

Next up in our previews from the women’s side we have the Croatian Queens and the Irish Banshees, and in the men’s side the Irish Warriors. 


Irish Banshees

How have preparations for the Euro Cup in Bordeaux been tracking?

After the International Cup the Alfa Irish Banshees took a week or two off before getting back into training.  With the geographical spread of players around the country the players have been training in small groups in four different locations before coming together to train collectively every two weeks.

In the year leading up to the IC a number of Personal Trainers very kindly sponsored free weekly PT sessions to individual and these sessions have continued in preparation for the Euro Cup.

The squad travelling to Bordeaux will be comprised of 14 players who took to the paddock in Melbourne while we have two additional players, Monica Whelan who missed out on the IC following an injury at the London Footy Festival and Claire Cunningham who holds an IC11 medal and a Euro Cup 14 medal from her previous outings in an Irish Guernsey. The tournament will be the first outing at 9 a side for Amanda Maginn and Megan Creegan and it will be interesting to see how they bring their big oval game to the small pitch.

Who is your team’s player to watch?

Following a very impressive International Cup campaign, the player to watch will be Colleen Quinn. Her performances in Oz were rewarded with a place on the IC Team of the Tournament and also had the honour of kicking the winning goal in the Grand Final.  Colleen demonstrated one of the best moments of brilliance on the live stream at EC16 in Lisbon with a full length diving mark and kicking through for a goal and the Banshees will be hoping to see more of the same in Bordeaux.

It takes a massive team effort throughout the day for any team to win the EC and the team will be backboned by the likes of Marie Keating who has returned to the form she demonstrated in IC 11 and the Gweedore Four of Carolann Ní Chasaide, Aisling Nic Giolla Easbuic, Rachael NicAoidh and Fiona Ní Rabhartaigh.

What is your team’s best Euro Cup moment?

Having first competed at the inaugural Ladies competition in Milan 2010 there have been many highs for the Alfa Irish Banshees but undoubtedly the two final victories against the English Vixens ranks up there for the great display of footy by both teams on the day and the drama of a frantic few minutes in each final. EC17 will be a big tournament for stalwart Banshee Emma Kelly who will be looking to win an impressive sixth EC medal and it was her leadership which was the difference in the final last year.

Coach’s/Team Managers thoughts on Euro Cup 2017?

Euro Cup 2017 promises to be a great spectacle of Womens Footy. Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the International Cup was the performances of all three European ladies teams.  The GB Swans showed great spirit in their come from behind third place play-off victory over the USA and were unlucky not to get a result in the semi final versus the Banshees so the English Vixens and Scottish Sirens will be hungry to build on that success.

The European Crusaders were the true stars of the IC – The team displayed everything that was great about the game of AFL and with each player soaking up everything aussie rules in Melbourne it will have a huge impact on the growth of the ladies game here, particularly in France but also in Croatia, Sweden and Denmark.

Every EC throws up a few surprises with unlikely match winners in every team – with the smaller pitches and shorter game time it will lead to an exciting day of football.

We will also be hoping that the form displayed by Wandsworth Demons duo of Linda Connolly and Joint Captain Onóra Mulcahy at the IC and in the London league all year will help the Banshees out of any tight corner in Bordeaux while we are also excited to see how Claire Donnelly, Laura Ni Fhlannúra and Olivia McCann fare out at this years comp – 2016 was their first representative year with the Banshees and in the lead up to IC17 have totally transformed their game to become key assets in Melbourne.

Our hope for the tournament is for every team to play positive attacking football and two teams to serve up an exciting keenly contested final – hopefully the Alfa Irish Banshees will be a part of that final and round of a great 2017 with another piece of silverware.


Croatian Queens

How have preparations for the Euro Cup in Bordeaux been tracking?

For us naming the players was’t the easiest thing to do, as we are now down to one women’s club within Croatia due to a lack of players. A few new girls will be joining us at the Euro Cup who are very new to Aussie Rules, but are showing plenty of potential. Euro Cup is a highlight of the year for the Queens as it’s difficult to organise regular matches within Croatia, but we are working hard to change that and to get more matches in during the year. We are a young team and are working hard on building up women’s footy, but with the help of our well experienced Knights we should do well!

Who is your team’s player to watch?

Our player to watch is Dora Jakupović. This will be Dora’s second Euro Cup and she mostly plays in the midfield as rover. Dora is in excellent shape as an athlete, is a great kicker and is one of the most prepared players in the Queen’s side.


What is your team’s best Euro Cup moment?

Our best Euro Cup moment was winning the medal in Lisbon last year after only a few training sessions and games we had back in Croatia.

I think what we remember the most was the transition from losing to winning against the same team for the medal. It definitely was earned and no one here expected to do such a big thing in only our second year, so we were very happy and pleased to surprise everyone – even ourselves!

Coach’s/Team Managers thoughts on Euro Cup 2017?

We are going to give everything we have to win the medal again, but the thing we are looking forward to the most is giving new girls a chance to play with great teams such as Ireland and Sweden in early stage of the competition. It will be such a big thing for them, to be face to face with such great teams.


Irish Warriors

How have preparations for the Euro Cup in Bordeaux been tracking?

The Warriors Squad has been finalised last week, and the Coaches have selected a mix of experienced and new players for this tournament. Five of the squad took part in AFL IC17 in Melbourne . With the ARFLI domestic league in Ireland only finishing a couple of weeks ago the Coaches left the last few spots open until as late as possible  to give a few players a chance to impress and make the cut. Coach, Brian Currane has said “With the mix of a few new guys and the experienced players along with the few guys we have selected that are playing in the AFL London league, this could be an exciting Warriors squad to watch. One disadvantage will be that the squad will not have trained together prior to arriving in Bordeaux so it will be critically important that the guys gel together and hit the ground running on Saturday morning”

Who is your team’s player to watch?

Gavin Murray is proving to be a key player for the Warriors, he can play in a few different roles whether that be in Ruck, Defence or a Key Forward Position. He will always work hard for the team and his attitude is always right. This will be Gavin’s third Euro Cup with the Warriors and is definitely one to keep an eye out for.

Alan Tobin is playing in his first Euro Cup and will be another Warrior that is one to watch,  Alan is fresh off a strong season with the Wandsworth Demons in London and will be interesting to see how he takes to the 9s game.

Declan Morgan is another exciting player that caught the Coaches eyes over the last year and has deservedly got his first call up to the Warriors Squad. Declan’s speed and tackling ability is sure to annoy a lot of opponents.

What is your team’s best Euro Cup moment?

In last years EC in Lisbon, the Warriors lost out narrowly to a very strong Croatian team in the Grand Final. That Grand Final was probably the best game of footy in Euro Cup 9s history, taking extra time to be played to separate the two teams, with the Knights taking the honours leaving the Warriors with the silver medal.

The Warriors have won the Euro Cup on a couple of occasions and would love to be involved at the business end of Euro 17  again.

Coach’s/Team Managers thoughts on Euro Cup 2017?

The Warriors are delighted again to be in a position to compete in another Euro Cup, and Coach, Brian Currane feels that this year again will be a very high standard tournament and is expecting Croatia, England, Germany and France to be very strong again. If we meet any of these teams throughout the day then we will have to be at our best if we are to progress to the finals and win the tournament.

We are looking forward to another exciting day of footy with the AFL Europe Community where no doubt, more friends, stories and memories will be made.

Euro Cup 2017 – Team Previews

The Euro Cup, co-hosted by the CNFA and Bordeaux Bombers, is fast-approaching. In the lead up we’ll be taking a quick look at the teams who’ll be competing for the title of Euro Cup championsThe one-day tournament is being held at Stadium Robert Monseau, 5 rue Charles Capsec, 33 160 Saint Médard en Jalles with full event details able to be found at on the official event Facebook page (

Next up in our previews from the men’s side of the draw we have the Welsh Dragons, Jerusalem Peace Lions, French Coqs, and the Austrian Avalanches and from the women’s competition we have the French Gaulouises. 


French Gaulouises

How have preparations for the Euro Cup in Bordeaux been tracking?

The squad was named in mid-July by our Coach Thomas Urban. It has been based on the players who took part in the 2017 AFL International Cup with the European Crusaders as they have had a great experience over in Melbourne, so about half of the French Gaulouises side is made up of the IC Crusaders.

The Coupe de France took place on the 23rd of September in Paris. During this competition, a training was organised for the French women’s team during the lunch break. Then we played an opening of the final a 4×15 game, with a few guys jumping in to help complete the team. We have been playing mixed games for a year now after men’s games during the championship. It helped the team to improve a lot and allowed them to have more game time. Playing with men is also very good for the team as it’s making us construct the game play with more intensity.

We have improved a lot since last year, with a very good result at the Champions League. This result and the experience we had in Australia gives us plenty of ambition for the Euro Cup. We’ll be there with a thirst for victories.

Who is your team’s player to watch?

Being named as part of the World Team in the 2017 AFL International Cup, Coline Duquet is obviously our player to watch. She has been playing Ruck lately but she will be playing full back at the Euro Cup, the position she had at the IC where she showed lots of potential. Since 2013 when the Euro Cup took place in Bordeaux, she has participated in all the Euro Cups. Coline has played a season with the Shamrocks in Sydney before joining the Paris Cocks in 2013.

Camille Portal will also be one of our players to watch as she has won most of the Best Player jumpers for the last European competition. She will be playing midfielder. Like Coline, she has played in all the Euro Cups since 2013. Camille played with the Paris Cocks until last year when she moved to Bordeaux and joined the Bordeaux Bombers.

What is your team’s best Euro Cup moment?

I think one of our best moment was the Euro Cup in Umag, Croatia in 2015 when we placed 3rd. It was the first time we won a game in this competition, we even won 2 games, and finishing at the 3rd place was a great moment!! Umag’s after-party was also one of the best we’ve done, with everybody having fun together all night long.

Coach’s/Team Managers thoughts on Euro Cup 2017?

The Euro Cup 2013 in Bordeaux was the beginning of the Women’s Footy history in France. In that time I was the Coach of the boys and we finished 2nd. Today we have girls in 5 clubs and it was the first time I had to make a choice between so many talented and enthusiastic women. Our objective this year is to use this event as a launching pad to make the 2nd step after the 2013 epic Euro Cup.


Jerusalem Peace Lions

How have preparations for the Euro Cup in Bordeaux been tracking?

The squad was named at the end of August, after the team excitedly managed to raise sufficient funds for the tournament. We have been training once a week for 8 months. 6 of the 8 months were practices without a proper training stadium, at parks or basketball courts – anything for footy! The Peace Lions also recently played a tournament in Israel to practice for the Euro Cup.

Who is your team’s player to watch?

We have 4 players that played in the previous EuroCup, and one player (Sa’ed Barhoum) that has played in 3 previous EuroCups and 1 World Cup! The rest of the team will be experiencing their first EuroCup.

What is your team’s best Euro Cup moment?

Last year was the teams’ first Euro win, winning a clash against a great Russian Team! That win gave us the confidence we needed as a team to understand that we can play at top level.

Another moment was the quarter final defeat to the great Italian team, losing by a mere 2 goals. That defeat was the hardest loss for the team, but it gave us the confidence that we can win this year after coming so close to the semi-final of our level.

Coach’s/Team Managers thoughts on Euro Cup 2017?

Our expectation is first of all to show that differences can be put aside when footy is involved, with us representing the Jewish and the Arabic side! We expect to do better then what we did last year, reaching the final of our level.


French Coqs

How have preparations for the Euro Cup in Bordeaux been tracking?

The team is really excited following the intense footy experience at IC17. They’re really looking forward to getting back out on the field together. The team was announced last week including a few emergencies. Our local teams met in the French Cup last weekend, so it was a great chance for everyone to prepare for the carnival format, both in terms of their fitness and playing their roles for their respective teams. The vast majority of players were in Melbourne with just 2 of our players coming off a pre-season with limited footy.

Who is your team’s player to watch?

The player to watch this year is Vincent Monnier playing in his third Euro Cup. He was injured in his first, played largely in the ruck in his second and will now spend more time up forward and in the midfield. Vince will be playing on his home ground in Bordeaux and is coming off a really strong IC performance.

What is your team’s best Euro Cup moment?

Last year our boys had a solid win against Wales to secure 5th place but perhaps a more notable performance was our second half against Austria in 2015. There was a very strong wind causing havoc and favouring one end of the ground. Kicking into the wind, our guys managed to kick 8 unanswered goals by running with the ball, executing some great low kicks and kicking some memorable goals.

Coach’s/Team Managers thoughts on Euro Cup 2017?

The last two Euro Cups have seen us climb up the rankings and we certainly hope we can continue the trend in 2017. We have a team that has been developing the last few years and the core group has remained constant. With a strong backline and a potent forward line, winning the ball in the midfield could have us pushing the best teams all the way.


Welsh Dragons

How have preparations for the Euro Cup in Bordeaux been tracking?

Euro cup 2017 is already an historic one for Wales, with both Men’s and women’s teams travelling to the tournament for the first time.

With the Euros falling in October, many of the Welsh squad have a full season in their legs, as well as pre-season Champions League tournament too. The men’s squad warm up game against a travelling Canadian team was also invaluable. This has however led to some regular players being sidelined through injury (notably Rhos “Waterboy” Evans and his back proving even more unreliable than his catching).

Training has been led by Coach Josh, who also travelled to the International Cup in Melbourne to Umpire this year. With a women’s team to develop from scratch the focus has been on core skills and allowing more experienced players to demonstrate to newcomers how little they actually know about anything.

Many of the Men’s squad are still smarting from a close Grand Final defeat in the league as Cardiff Panthers were narrowly beaten by Bristol Dockers. This has stoked the desire for many to continue to train hard beyond the season end.

Who is your team’s player to watch?

It wasn’t just the coach who travelled to IC this year, with Wales’ Owain Ryland playing a vital role in GB Bulldogs most successful campaign to date. He must therefore go down as a player to keep an eye on. Owain will be looking to break Captain David Saunders’ unbroken streak securing Wales’ spot in the team of the tournament.

What is your team’s best Euro Cup moment?

There are many proud Euro Cup memories for the men’s Wales squad, with wins over their ‘local’ rivals Scotland and England being some. A resounding defeat of Scotland in Lisbon last year is still fresh in the mind. A closer fought victory over England in London 2014 now a distant memory and before many of the current squad’s international careers began.

Coach’s/Team Managers thoughts on Euro Cup 2017?

Fielding two teams will certainly be the highlight of this years tournament, but we are also keen to improve on previous tournament placings in Bordeaux.


Austrian Avalanches

How have preparations for the Euro Cup in Bordeaux been tracking?

The squad has already been named and it was once again an easy task as we were only able to find 16 players that were able to make the trip to Bordeaux.

Who is your team’s player to watch?

For two of our players, Richard Claassen and Martin Schitteg, this years tournament is very special because they are playing their 10th Euro Cup.

Richard is very versatile and has played in every position (except in the ruck) and was elected to the Team Europe in Milano (2010).

What is your team’s best Euro Cup moment?

Our best EuroCup moment happend in Bordeaux 2013 – after a couple of years where we nearly lost every game and where we always ended at the dark side of the ladder, we finally managed  to win two games in a row (both of them were open until the last seconds). We managed to reach 9th position and celebrated with the Plate in our hands!

Coach’s/Team Managers thoughts on Euro Cup 2017?

Our goal for the tournament is to finish at a Top 10 position again, and to even go a step up the ladder and improve on our last performance.