Australian Rules Commemorative Match – Peronne, July 2018

Australian Rules Commemorative Match

Péronne, France

7th of July 2018

The Experience:

Be apart of something unique and memorable.

A commemorative exhibition Aussie rules match will be played in the city of Péronne in the North of France on July 7 2018. The match will bring supporters from far and wide as they come to remember the Australian soldiers that defeated the Germans, liberating the town 100 years ago.

24 players will be selected to represent Australia and compete for the inaugural Robert Mactier Cup, and spend the weekend enjoying the best of one of France’s most beautiful and historic cities.

There will be a big Aussie BBQ, an Australian live band, drinks and party all put on by the town during your stay.

So sign up and take this unique opportunity to be apart of what is sure to be one of the highlights of the year!

What’s Included:

Transport

Friday 6th July – London to Peronne via bus

Sunday 8th – Peronne to London via bus

Meals

Includes welcome meal on arrival, breakfast (x2), lunch and BBQ.

Accommodation

2 nights accommodation included.

Uniforms

Custom commemorative playing kit provided.

Price

£100 per player.

Contact

footymatchperonne@gmail.com

Commemorative Match Application Form

Fitzpatrick Cup 2018 Team Preview – UCC Bombers

In the lead up to the 2018 Fitzpatrick Cup to be held once again in Cork, Ireland on the 3rd of February we’ll be taking a look at each side attending the annual universities tournament. Next up are 2018 Fitzpatrick Cup hosts the UCC Bombers, who are looking to hold onto their crown as reigning champions of last year’s tournament. 

What has happened since the last Fitzpatrick Cup?

Last year the Bombers had a very successful year on the field, retaining the Rebel Shield, winning the Fitzpatrick Cup, and having players in their ranks selected for National Teams. This year however, we have had a huge turnover in players, and the formation of CIT Saints has given us a new challenge. Our first game of the year was the Rebel Shield Rd. 1 vs current AFL Ireland premiers the Leeside Lions. Things didn’t really go to plan there, but it’s a steep learning curve – we probably took more from that game than most would think. Bombers also have drawn a high number of players to training this year, pushing one another to improve week on week. This year a whole host of new players are eager to go on and retain the Fitz.

Fitzpatrick Cup History
Inaugural winners of the Fitzpatrick Cup 2013, Current holders – 2017
Runners-Up 2015 & 2016

Players to watch
With the Leeside Lions being the current ARFLI Premiership winners a lot of our Bombers are playing 12 months of the year. The Bombers provided a number of players who went on to play for the Lions, with the likes of James “Enzo” O’Callaghan and Mark Kelleher have gained valuable experience of playing against players who have been playing footy for a number of years.
A number of Bombers have been called up to trials for the Irish Warriors over the past few months also, and with the likes of Oisín Collins and Shane Sull – fresh off an impressive IC17, and the experience of Ian O Brien & Rory O Donnell, we’re in decent shape.

While the Bombers have an exciting crop of new players, providing the team with new and fresh ideas, players like Shane Quigley, Marcus Prendeville and Mitch are just a few of the new players the Bombers have on board this year. You mix this in with Bombers that have Fitzpatrick Cup experience like Evan O Connor, Kev Sull and Conor Beasley, I think it’s safe to say the Bombers go into this year’s Fitzpatrick Cup full of hope and expectation.

So who’s in charge?
The Bombers are led by Lions & Warriors stalwart Eoin O Súilleabháin, and Leeside Lions successful coach Chris O Brien. Eoin has represented the Irish Warriors over a number of years and has won it all as a player. Now he hopes to continue that success as a manager. Chris O Brien has been the figurehead behind the Leeside Lions’ revival in the last few seasons, and their back to back Premierships. He too will be hoping continue this success with the college.

Also, the lads have enlisted experienced players in Dean Johnson & Conor O Halloran as coaches, who bring new drills and ideas to training each week. All in all, a strong and motivated coaching staff.

Interview with Eoin O Súilleabháin – Head Coach of UCC Bombers

Aims for the tournament?

“Our aims are to win it. No point in beating around the bush, it’s what we’re all aiming for. To be European Intervarsity Champions. On top of that, we also want to host a great tournament. The Fitzpatrick Cup is fast becoming one of the biggest events on the AFL Europe calendar, and we want to push on from last year and make this year’s instalment the best yet.”

Which players have the X-factor?

“It’s always tough to pick out individual players from a list. In UCC we have a high turnover of players, through graduation, impact of other sports, etc. so we essentially have a new crop each September, boosted by a few players with a year or 2 experience. It’s an exciting prospect, and when you see their natural talent on show, you just need to guide them along.
We have lost a few experienced players to CIT (formed this year), but have a few in our list that had call ups to the National Team, and some GAA and rugby converts that have taken to the game well, so it’ll be interesting to see how they perform.”

How have the preparations been going?

“Preparations have been going well on the whole. Pre-Christmas we had a few in-house games and warm-up games v CIT, and we had the first leg of The Rebel Shield recently which was another opportunity to get a run out. Although these weren’t in a 9s format, we’ve been focusing on that at training. Numbers have been great, application and effort the same, so hopefully it will all come together.”

What are the main attributes of your team?

“It’s tough to pick specific attributes when we haven’t played fully as a team yet, but the intensity of some of our guys for the footy is amazing.  The boys go whole-heartedly for the ball, take knocks and bumps, and just get on with it.
That, coupled with a few good legs and big grabs, it helps to get a good footing in a game.”

Fitzpatrick Cup 2018 Team Preview – Dublin Universities

In the lead up to the 2018 Fitzpatrick Cup to be held once again in Cork, Ireland on the 3rd of February we’ll be taking a look at each side attending the annual universities tournament. Next up are the mixed Dublin Universities team, who are taking the plunge into their first Fitzpatrick Cup in an effort to get teams up and running at all Dublin Universities. Check out what Team Manager, Michael Kitching, had to say about their team’s upcoming first AFL Europe tournament. 

Fitzpatrick Cup history and highlights:

We’re a completely new team, that aims to be a stepping stone to all Dublin Universities to have their own team. However, DCU did compete in the first Fitzpatrick Cup in Islandbridge (2013).

How is the preparation going?

We’re hoping to have our first mixed training session with Maynooth leading up to the Fitz.

What are the main attributes of your team?

Range of experience available. The more experienced guys are very happy to help out the newer lads.

So, who’s in charge?

Myself (Michael Kitching) is organising the team, while Peter Ross has agreed to coach the team.

Players to watch?

Everyone on the team is a potential player to watch.

Who has the x-factor?

Anyone is likely to have the X-factor on the day.

Goals for the tournament?

In a word. Compete. Play decent football and grab a few scalps along the way and set ourselves up for future competitions.

PSS International Removals stays on in 2018!

AFL Europe is pleased to announce that PSS International Removals has re-joined as an official partner for 2018.

PSS Sales and Development Manager, John Moynes said, “we are proud to be supporting AFL Europe for a 2nd year running. We have found the team to be great to work with in 2017 and whilst their primary focus is to grow AFL throughout Europe, they are also very proactive and supportive of their partners.

Ryan Davey, AFL Europe General Manager, echoed Moynes’ sentiments saying, “it is great to build on 2017 with PSS. They’ve been a massive support to AFL Europe and have assisted us with shipping over 1000 footballs from Australia to the UK within the past 12 months. We look forward to continuing with John and his team for many years to come”.

PSS International Removals is a family run business that has been assisting individuals with their international removal of their excess baggage, household furniture and vehicles to Australia and many other destinations.

When planning to move overseas it is vitally important that you receive the right information and the right support. One of their highly skilled removal consultants will happily discuss your moving requirements to ensure you receive the best level of service.

For all your International Removal needs look PSS up on their website at www.pssremovals.com and follow them on Facebook (@pssinternationalremovals) and Twitter (@PSSRemovals).

Switzerland Country Report

With the 2018 season fast approaching, we’ll be taking a look at each of the countries in our AFL Europe community to get a snapshot of how Aussie Rules kicked off in their country, some of their highlights, and their goals for 2018. Next up is Switzerland, who competed at 2017’s Euro Cup in Bordeaux, and have plans to expand their playing numbers in 2018. Check out what AFL Switzerland President, Stefan Burgener, had to say about AFL in Switzerland: 

What’s the history of AFL in Switzerland? 

AFL in Switzerland was started by a few Italians in ca. 2009 in Lugano (in the Italian speaking region). A men’s and women’s team competed in the Euro Cup once each and the Lugano men’s team competed in the Italian league.

Neither the men’s nor the women’s teams competed in the Euro cup a second time and an attempt by the men’s team to enter the International Cup in Melbourne in 2011 failed due to a lack of funding.

After the founders had to move back to Italy, unfortunately no-one took over and both national teams came to a halt. I’m not sure how much longer the Lugano team who played in the Italian league kept going for but it is my understanding that they don’t exist anymore.

Give us a snapshot of AFL in Switzerland:

At the beginning of 2017, with the help of a few mates, I started a men’s team based in Winterthur, Switzerland. We started training in May. We currently have ca. 20 players, but about 8-10 tend to show up to training at once. Training in 2018 is planned to be held once a week from March to October.

None of our players had played footy before prior to May 2017, apart from my brother and I who had kicked the footy around a couple of times at school in Australia (we are half aussie and moved here in 2009 at the ages of 14 and 15).

New players of any experience level (incl. beginners) are welcome anytime; please contact me: burgener_3@hotmail.com.

Switzerland at the 2017 Euro Cup in Bordeaux

What were some of the highlights of AFL in Switzerland in 2017?

Our highlight for 2017 was competing in the 9-a-side Euro Cup in Bordeaux in October. We finished last, but we were rapt to get a team together and have our first taste of competitive footy, meeting players from across Europe along the way.

What are your top three goals for 2018? 

Our goals for 2018:

– Hold our first general Meeting in February and officially found the club.

– Play at least one international friendly and/or compete in at least one Central & Eastern Europe tournament.

– Finish 9th in the Euro Cup.

Who’s a player to watch?

Jeff Bishop

DOB: 3. May 1993

Height: 181cm

Weight: 75 kg

Position: Full Back

Features: Fast, agile, good decision-maker and spoils opponents a head taller than him.

Achievements: Voted by myself, assistant coach Till Roost and vice-captain Chris Lauener as our player of the tournament in Bordeaux and was therefore included in the team of the tournament.

This is just the beginning and our long-term dream is for Switzerland to have it’s own league and a competitive 18-a-side national team.

AFL Switzerland’s Jeff Bishop at the 2017 Euro Cup

If you’re interested in playing AFL in Switzerland, send us an email at admin@afleurope.org for more information of how you can get involved. 

Fitzpatrick Cup 2018 Team Preview – CIT Saints

In the lead up to the 2018 Fitzpatrick Cup to be held once again in Cork, Ireland on the 3rd of February we’ll be taking a look at each side attending the annual universities tournament. Next up are the CIT Saints, who are taking the plunge into their first Fitzpatrick Cup after officially forming their club last year. Check out what CIT Saints Team Manager, Paul Murphy, had to say about their team’s upcoming first AFL Europe tournament. 

Fitzpatrick Cup history and highlights:

Seeing as we only established in September this will be the first Fitzpatrick Cup for the CIT Saints. Despite that we have a few players who have played in the competition previously. I’m sure the opportunity to represent CIT this time around will be a highlight.

How is the preparation going?

Preparation is going well – we were training once a week up until the Christmas break and now we have picked it up to two sessions a week in the build up to the competition.

What are the main attributes of your team?

Keeping the game simple and getting the ball to the scoring zone as quick as possible. That is until our full back decides to go wandering in a bid to grab himself a goal.

So, who’s in charge?

Conor O Hally Halloran is the man in charge. Hally has been a great help as he is a veteran of the game. In particular he has been great to the boys in and around the middle teaching them everything he knows including the dark arts.

Players to watch?

New first year players like Shane O Callaghan, Jerry Cronin and Shane Sweetnam are all excelling and picking up the game in no time which is sure to benefit the Saints as they bid to progress to the later stages of the competition. We can bring the older experienced lads who have played in the competition before the likes of Kevin O Regan, Jack Hayes and Paul Murphy. CIT have a good mix of youthfulness and experience that should see them pose a threat for any they come up against.

Who has the x-factor?

One of our X factors players is our pacey full forward Jack Hayes. Jack was joint top goal scorer in last year’s competition. The other X factor player is Conall Keane in the ruck who’s ability spearheads many of our attacks.

Goals for the tournament?

We are taking it game by game and we will see what happens.

Belushi’s join the AFL Europe team!

With Australia Day just around the corner now is the perfect time to announce AFL Europe’s latest partner for the 2018 season. The home of London’s best Australia Day party, Belushi’s, who have international sports bars and St Christopher’s Inns backpacker hostels throughout Europe, have now joined forces with AFL Europe.

Belushi’s has grown from a single venue in central London in 1993, to having six bars in London and a further 21 venues across Europe, most notably, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin and Paris. Belushi’s bars host some of the biggest Australian and international events including Australia Day, ANZAC Day and AFL Grand Final Day parties.

The 2018 partnership will see regular Friday Night Footy viewings at the various Belushi’s venues throughout London, as well as AFL Europe partnering with key Australian events during the year. Belushi’s Head of Marketing for UK & Paris, Sophie Herbert confirmed that “we were already working with a number of individual clubs on sponsorship and regular events, so when we were presented the opportunity of collaborating with AFL Europe as a collective, it seemed like the perfect partnership.”

AFL Europe General Manager, Ryan Davey said, “we are thrilled to partner with Belushi’s in 2018 and are excited to grow and develop both of our brands. Belushi’s have shown great interest in supporting AFL Europe in the past and we look forward to working with them to increase the awareness of, and participation in, Australian Football throughout Europe”.

Jump on www.belushis.com or follow them on social media Facebook (@belushis.bars), Twitter and Instagram (@Belushis) to learn more about their upcoming events.

Scotland Country Report

With the 2018 season fast approaching, we’ll be taking a look at each of the countries in our AFL Europe community to get a snapshot of how Aussie Rules kicked off in their country, some of their highlights, and their goals for 2018. Next up is Scotland, who’s Scotland Aussie Rules Football League (SARFL) has a rich history and who regularly compete in AFL Europe tournaments. Scottish players also represented the Great Britain Swans at the AFL International Cup in Melbourne last year. Check out what president of AFL Scotland, Kirsty Gray, had to say about how far they’ve come.

Give us a snapshot of AFL in Scotland:

AFL in Scotland is a growing sport with a small but passionate community of players, coaches, umpires and supporters.  The league has grown into an established competition with teams competing annually for the coveted SARFL premiership. Our clubs are the Edinburgh Bloods, Glasgow Sharks, Greater Glasgow Giants and the Kingdom Kangaroos from Fife. A new team are also establishing in West Lothian (the West Lothian Eagles) and are hoping to join the league in 2018.

At present, there is a men’s SARFL competition only, however it is an aim of AFL Scotland that the competition will expand to include both a SARFL Women’s and juniors competitions. There are around 150-200 players in the men’s competition and around 20 women players in Scotland at present. Junior coaching and competitions are being established in the Fife and Greater Glasgow areas.

West Lothian Eagles and the Kingdom Kangaroos

What’s the history of AFL in Scotland: 

The SARFL (Scottish Australian Rules Football League) was started in 2003 by a couple of enthusiastic guys (Andrew Butler and Richard Prentice) who had moved to Scotland from London, where they played with the North London Lions. Michael Tonner, current Vice President of AFL Scotland, was also heavily involved in the early stages of SARFL’s development. Teams were established in the Glasgow and Edinburgh areas and latterly Aberdeen. The inaugural SARFL season was held in 2004 with a league consisting of two sides in Edinburgh and one in Glasgow. The Scottish national team was set up, originally called the Scottish Puffins and then re-branded as the Scottish Clansmen in 2010.

In 2008 the Scottish league had difficulty in operating on more than a social match level and was relaunched in 2009 with the Glasgow and Edinburgh playing bases consolidated to one club in each city. They were joined by a new club in Aberdeen. The league has continued to grow and despite set-backs, such as the folding of the Aberdeen Eagles, is going from strength to strength, with new teams forming, the number of players increasing and the level of competition at SARFL level intensifying each year. Two clubs founded by Douglas Hunter, firstly the Kingdom Kangaroos in Fife and then the Greater Glasgow Giants in Glasgow, have become established teams and are providing strong competition for traditional rivals the Glasgow Sharks and Edinburgh Bloods. The SARFL Grand Final in 2017 saw the Giants and Kangaroos compete for the premiership. Greater Glasgow Giants emerged as 2017 premiers and are looking forward to their first appearance at the AFL Europe Champions league in April 2018. Unfortunately after promising starts, clubs in Falkirk (the Falkirk Silverbacks) and North Lanarkshire (the North Lanarkshire Wolves) have folded in recent years although we hope that footy will establish again in these areas. Newcomers, the West Lothian Eagles, are building well and hope to enter the league this year.

The Haggis Cup is another big part of AFL in Scotland. An annual invitational tournament for teams across the UK and Europe, the Haggis Cup has been running since 2004. Last year’s tournament in Glasgow saw a full women’s tournament for the first time which was a fantastic development, with the Nottingham Scorpions emerging as winners. The Wandsworth Demons took out the men’s competition on a great day of footy and sunshine.

Other memorable moments of AFL in Scotland include the 2011 Euro Cup in Belfast where the Clansmen finished 6th  and Euro Cup 2014 in London where the Scotland women entered for the first time. 2012 saw Scotland hosting the Euro Cup in Edinburgh and we’d love to host the tournament again in the near future.

Scottish Clansmen at the 2017 Euro Cup 

What were some of the highlights of AFL in Scotland in 2017?

2017 was a good year for AFL in Scotland.  It started off with a rare glorious day of sunshine at West of Scotland Rugby Club for the Haggis Cup, with men’s and women’s tournaments running for the first time. The after party at Malones Glasgow was also a highlight!  The SARFL league competition in 2017 was very competitive and close with a good standard of footy on display throughout.  There were close games won and lost by a few points and shock results throughout the season with the Kingdom Kangaroos home ground becoming something of a fortress for the Fife team. The Greater Glasgow Giants emerged as SARFL premiers in new head coach Ross Thomson’s first season at the helm.  There were positive developments in the women’s game aswell with nine Scottish women selected for the GB Swans inaugural International Cup 2017 squad.  The Swans had a great tournament, finishing 3rd and only losing to finalists Ireland and Canada.

What are your top three goals for 2018? 

 Our three top goals for 2018 are to grow the game in Scotland at all levels; to start building towards a SARFL Women’s competition and to improve performances and placings at the Euro Cup.

Scottish Sirens at the 2017 Euro Cup 

Who’s a player to watch in 2018?

There are a few exciting players emerging in the Scottish League. One of these is Liam Dolling, a young player who made his debut for the Clansmen at Euro Cup 17 and put in some impressive and promising performances. Liam has been named in the GB Bulldogs UK based training squad along with other Scottish based players Keir Wotherspoon, Matthew Goodman and Alexander Clark.

Another player to watch is Kieran McRedmond.  Last year’s Player of the Year for premiers the Greater Glasgow Giants, injury concerns restricted his playing time. An Australian now based in Glasgow, he could be in for a big season if he can remain injury free.

 

Ties between Scotland and the GB set-up have been strengthening over the last couple of years. As well as having nine of our women in the GB Swans squad for the International Cup in Melbourne, GB Swans then assistant and now head coach Ian Mitchell coached the Scottish Sirens (our women’s national team) at the Euro Cup in Bordeaux . Mitch will continue as coach this year.  Ross Thomson has also taken up the role of Scottish based scout for the GB Bulldogs.

Scottish GB Swans Players at the 2017 AFL International Cup

If you’re interested in playing AFL in Scotland, send us an email at admin@afleurope.org for more information of how you can get involved. 

Fitzpatrick Cup 2018 Team Preview – Maynooth Power

In the lead up to the 2018 Fitzpatrick Cup to be held once again in Cork, Ireland on the 3rd of February we’ll be taking a look at each side attending the annual universities tournament. Next up is Maynooth University, who are returning to their third Fitzpatrick Cup with plenty of fresh players up their sleeve. Check out what Team Manager Ciaran O’Hara had to say about his team:

 

Fitzpatrick Cup history and highlights?

This is the club’s third year in existence and third year in the Fitz. In both of the club’s previous forays, we’ve found that numbers have counted against the team when most important, but this year we’re confident with a big squad travelling that we can give a fair account of ourselves.

How is the preparation going?

We’ve been training once a week since October and the squad is largely composed of first year players, with just three or four returnees. The guys have been committed to their training and have improved week on week. Unfortunately, we have not had an opportunity to play games as yet, so the Fitz will be a new experience for most in that regard, but it presents a great opportunity to complete the player’s year one experience. 

What are the main attributes of your team?

The main attributes are enthusiasm, commitment and athleticism. The new players this year have really taken to the sport and are always determined to enjoy the experience. 

So, who’s in charge?

The club this year is being run by President Lochlainn Garvey, with support from a committee that includes stalwart Dylan Lacey and a great crew of first year players many of whom have taken positions on the committee. The team is coached by Ciaran O’ Hara.

Players to watch?

Our hope is that everyone is worth watching, that players take what they’ve learned and put that in to practice in game scenarios and show that they are able to compete with the bigger Colleges in Birmingham, Cambridge, Cork and Oxford.

Who has the x-factor?

Kevin Dunne, the man can have fun.

Goals for the tournament?

To have a say in the cup’s destination, to mix and make new friends and to showcase the talented footballers in the MU Power club.

Fitzpatrick Cup 2018 Team Preview – Birmingham University

In the lead up to the 2018 Fitzpatrick Cup to be held once again in Cork, Ireland on the 3rd of February we’ll be taking a look at each side attending the annual universities tournament. First up is Birmingham University, who will be looking to reclaim their title after two successive wins in 2015 and 2016.  Check out what Team Manager Joe Davies had to say about how his team is shaping up:

Most memorable moments of Fitzpatrick Cup? 

Most memorable moment would definitely be winning the cup when we hosted two years ago, making it back-to-back wins.

How is the preparation coming?

The season has been up and down so far, we won the Movember Cup but have lost a few friendlies. We’re on a strict post-Christmas fitness regime, aiming to be the fittest Aussie Rules team outside of Australia.

What are the main attributes of your team?

Fitness and strength. In the 4th or at the end of a long day of games in a tournament, we won’t be giving up, we always leave it all out on the paddock.

So, who’s in charge?

Inspirational coach Sam Walon, GB Representative. Possibly the worst kick of a football I’ve ever seen for the first six months of his footy career but an immense work ethic has seen him develop silky skills to go with his athleticism and leadership.

Players to watch?

Harry Williams, in his first year of playing Aussie Rules, has been instrumental in our season. Always comes off the ground with the filthiest jumper and will put his body on the line for the team.

Who has the x-factor?

Ciaran Jeanes has the fitness and skills to take a game by the scruff of the neck and win it singlehandedly and can score from anywhere inside the forward 50.

Goals for the tournament? 

We’re not coming just to have a few pints of the black stuff, we want to bring the cup back to Brum!