O’Neills and AFL Europe make it three in a row in 2018!

O’Neills and AFL Europe make it three in a row in 2018!

AFL Europe and O’Neills Irish International Sports Company Ltd. will be continuing their partnership for a third year in 2018 as the official apparel partner for Australian Football across the continent. Both O’Neills and AFL Europe are excited to be joining forces once again, as together they aim to strengthen and grow the game of Australian Football throughout Europe.

AFL Europe General Manager, Ryan Davey, stated that, “we couldn’t be happier to be working alongside Kieran, Orla and the entire team at O’Neills once again. This year is going to be a fantastic year for everyone within our AFL Europe community and we consider ourselves very fortunate to have such a great apparel partner on board who can provide quality products, and superior service, to our entire community.”

Australia Rules Football is played across over 20 countries in Europe. O’Neills will supply quality bespoke playing kit and leisurewear for key tournaments such as the ANZAC Cup, the Champions League & Euro Cup.

Commenting on the renewal of the partnership for a third year, Kieran Kennedy, Managing Director said: “O’Neills are delighted to extend our partnership with AFL Europe. We are celebrating our centenary this year and we will be using our expertise developed over the last one hundred years to meet the apparel needs of the AFL Europe community.  Our business is based on a hundred years of innovative thinking, entrepreneurial spirit and empowering athletes to achieve their best.   We are committed to sport, community and empowering athletes at all levels to become champions and reach the top of their game.  We look forward to working with Ryan and the AFL Europe team”.

For information on how your club can develop their own unique identity please contact Orla Ward at oward@oneills.com

About O’Neills

O’Neills Irish International Sports Company Limited is Ireland’s largest sportswear manufacturing company, employing over 800 staff on the island of Ireland. Specialising in the design, manufacture, personalisation and supply of performance playing kit, training kit, and leisurewear.  O’Neills has built its reputation on supplying high quality Gaelic games kit and combine cutting edge sportswear design with unbeatable delivery times. The brand is now the choice of champions in Australian rules, rugby, soccer, netball, hockey, boxing, cricket, athletics, cycling, and boxing.

AFLW – Round 1 Report

AFLW – Rd1 Report

 

The stars of the competition were out to shine in the opening round of the new AFLW season over the weekend, as the biggest names in the game in Daisy Pearce, Tayla Harris and Katie Brennan all stamped their authority on early proceedings to lift their respective sides to victory.

The competition picked up right where last season left off in front of strong crowds right around the country, and it was an exceptionally positive start for AFL Europe’s Kate Shierlaw, Lauren Spark & Laura Corrigan-Duryea who all featured in the wins for their respective clubs, as GAA legend Cora Staunton also made headlines with her highly anticipated AFLW debut for the Giants.

Afleurope.org will be keeping a close eye on the progress of all five listed players with a connection to AFL in Europe right throughout the season, so stay tuned each week for updates on how each of the girls are tracking.

 

Cora Staunton – #13 – Greater Western Sydney Giants – Recruited from GAA

The Gaelic champion and Mayo stalwart Cora Staunton made the most anticipated debut of the round in the Giants game against Melbourne, and she certainly wasted no time in showing what she was capable of with the oval ball.

Playing across half-forward, Staunton became the first international recruit to hit the scoreboard after she showed some trademark dash to clear the pack and create enough space to have a snap on goal, which she duly converted with the composure of a ten-year veteran to give the Giants the lead early in the first quarter.

Staunton looked right at home throughout the game and took several strong marks while on the lead, but despite her best efforts the Giants were unable to hold the Demons out after a seesawing final quarter, with the home side kicking a late go-ahead goal to take the honours in the match of the round.

Her next assignment will come on Friday night (AEDT) as the Giants face fellow round one victors Carlton in Western Sydney.

GWS were defeated by Melbourne by 6 points

 

Laura Corrigan – #11 – Melbourne Demons – Irish Banshees Co-Captain (2017 International Cup)

As Staunton made her debut for the Giants, fellow Irishwoman Laura Corrigan was holding down the fort in defence for the highly-touted Demons and got her own new season off to the perfect start to follow her jam-packed 2017, helping her side see off a late charge from the visitors and claiming the round one points.

The Irish co-captain was typically uncompromising down back and was right in the thick of the action throughout the match and in the thrilling dying stages, as teammates Daisy Pearce, Elise O’Dea & Richelle Cranston produced strong performances to get the Demons across the line in the highest scoring game of the round.

It doesn’t get any easier for Corrigan and the Demons next week as they face the reigning premiers Adelaide at Casey Fields, with the Crows fresh from a tight loss in the Grand Final rematch against Brisbane and hungry to get their own season back on track.

Melbourne defeated GWS by 6 points

 

Lauren Spark – #11 – Western Bulldogs – Formerly Wimbledon Hawks (2015/16)

The Western Bulldogs were the big winners of the round with a 26-point victory over the Dockers at the Whitten Oval, with former Wimbledon Hawk Lauren Spark playing a key role alongside superstar teammates Ellie Blackburn & Katie Brennan as the Dogs got their season off to the perfect start.

Spark was lively throughout the match as she registered 11 disposals, but it was her big defensive play to stem the Fremantle momentum in the third quarter that was her shining moment. After two quick goals in succession, Fremantle surged forward once again and threatened to bring the margin back to an uncomfortable 16-points until Spark upstaged two opponents to take a strong contested mark deep in defence and halt the move.

https://twitter.com/GirlsPlayFooty/status/960041054614376448

From that point on the Dogs managed to keep the Dockers at bay and now head into next Sundays matchup in Brisbane sitting on top of the AFLW ladder for the first time.

Western Bulldogs defeated Fremantle by 26 points

 

Kate Shierlaw – #25 – Carlton Blues – Formerly Wimbledon Hawks (2016)

After missing the corresponding fixture last season, Kate Shierlaw was selected for the Blues Friday night blockbuster against Collingwood and stepped out onto Princes Park in front of 19,852 Melbournians hungry for their first foot fix of the year.

Shierlaw was in the action from the get go as the 186cm ruck/forward answered the Pies opening goal by kicking truly when given the opportunity from her own set-shot to register Carltons first goal of the season.

That early involvement proved decisive in the tight, low scoring affair, as the Blues took the lead shortly after and were never headed thanks to big games from Brianna Davey, Nicola Stevens and new-recruit Tayla Harris.

 

https://twitter.com/GirlsPlayFooty/status/959349339486220294

Shierlaw and The Blues travel to Western Sydney for another Friday night clash next week against the Giants, as they look to match their 2-0 start from 2017 and stamp their premiership credentials.

Carlton defeated Collingwood by 8 points

 

 

Lauren Tesoriero – #7 – Collingwood Magpies – Formerly Wandsworth Demons (2017)

Tesoriero was not selected in Collingwood’s 21 to face Carlton on the weekend but will be looking to push her case for inclusion to coach Wayne Siekman at training this week, ahead of the Pies round two clash at the brand new 60,000 seat Optus Stadium against Fremantle in Perth.

Cork confirmed for Euro Cup 2018!

AFL Europe is excited to announce that this year’s Euro Cup will be held in Cork, Ireland.

The Euro Cup will be held at the incredible facilities of the Cork Institute of Technology Sports Grounds and will take place on Saturday, the 13th of October.

The annual 9-a-side tournament will see both men’s and women’s national teams from all across Europe competing to be crowned Champions of Europe. Last year saw a double England victory with the England Dragonslayers and the England Vixens taking out the titles, and there will be plenty of teams trying to take their crown in Cork this year.

AFL Europe is very much looking forward to organising a fantastic Euro Cup hosted by AFL Ireland.

More information will be released in the lead up to the tournament. For more information please contact lily.beck@afleurope.org.

 

 

Fitzpatrick Cup 2018 – Tournament Review

Fitzpatrick Cup 2018 – Tournament Review

A mixture of rain, wind, hail and sunshine met participants at the 5th Fitzpatrick Cup hosted by the University College Cork (UCC) on Saturday. ‘The Farm’ played hosted to the annual universities tournament for the second year running in what proved a typically mild February day in Ireland.

11 teams made the journey to this year’s Fitz with 8 men’s and 3 women’s varsity teams battling it to be crowned university champions of Europe.

The Group Stages

3 women’s teams took to the field at the start of this year’s Fitz with defending champions, UCC, Cambridge and a Cork Mixed side competing in a round-robin to start the day off.

UCC won both their games convincingly to book their place in the final and lined up against an inexperienced but enthusiastic Cambridge side. Despite finishing second after group stages, Cork Mixed weren’t eligible for the finals due to non-university students playing.

Women’s Pool Standings

  1. UCC
  2. Mixed Cork*
  3. Cambridge

Two pools of 4 took to field in the men’s tournament. The competition proved fierce and the level was above that of previous years. New comers, CIT Saints, went through Pool A undefeated with English counter-parts Birmingham and Cambridge finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively after a thrilling final pool game between the two determined their placings. Maynooth battled hard but couldn’t get a win in the pool games but certainly showed improvement on previous years.

Pool A Standings

  1. CIT
  2. Birmingham
  3. Cambridge
  4. Maynooth

Pool B saw defending champions UCC1 go through undefeated but had some close games with the Mixed universities and their grand final opponents from last year, UCC2. Mixed universities finished 2nd with UCC2 finishing a close 3rd. Dublin universities in their first tournament toiled hard but couldn’t register a win.

Pool B Standings

  1. UCC1
  2. Mixed Universities
  3. UCC2
  4. Dublin Universities

The Finals

For the women it was defending champions, UCC, taking on Cambridge. UCC jumped out of the blocks early and piled on a massive 46-points in the opening half. Making it next to impossible for the visiting Cambridge side to claw back the deficit.

The 2nd half started positively for Cambridge with a quick centre clearance and forward foray but unfortunately did not register for a score. Despite a much stronger showing in the 2nd half, UCC were too powerful and continued to score at will reclaiming their title with a convincing 76-0 score line.

In a consolation for Cambridge the women’s player of the tournament went to Catherine Ludden in an amazing display across her three matches.

The men’s final series was a tantalizing prospect for the crowd with CIT taking on Mixed Universities and UCC1 taking on Birmingham.

In the first semi-final CIT held control for the majority of the game and kept the Mixed side at arm’s length to run out 34-15 winners and booked their place in the final at their first Fitzpatrick Cup.

The second semi-final pitted the two most decorated Fitzpatrick Cup sides in history against one another with UCC1 taking on Birmingham. In a fiery game with a seesawing score line it was UCC1 who edged in front in the 2nd half and just held on to victory by 8-points.

The men’s final was an all Cork affair with UCC1 looking to reclaim their crown and CIT hoping to make it the perfect debut tournament. The teams went score for score in the opening half and went into halftime tied at 2 goals, 2 behinds a piece. The defending champions jumped out of the blocks in the second half with two quick goals and from then on controlled the game to run out 38 to 21-point victors.

The men’s player of the tournament went to CIT captain, Paul Murphy.

The Golden Whistle for umpire of the tournament went to Brent Morrison.

A special mention to all the volunteers and umpires who made the day possible in what was at times very testing conditions.

We look forward to the 6th edition of the Fitzpatrick Cup in 2019!

Women’s Final

Men’s Final

Fitzpatrick Cup 2018- Tournament Preview

Fitzpatrick Cup – Tournament Preview

A sunny 7 degrees will greet the 11 teams contesting the Fitzpatrick Cup hosted by the University College Cork. 8 men’s and 3 women’s varsity sides will make the journey to ‘The Farm’ where three pitches will host a huge day of Aussie rules action.

First run in 2013 the Fitzpatrick Cup will be contested for the 5th time this year with both UCC and Birmingham taking home the title twice.

2018 will be the strongest field yet for the men’s division with UCC1, UCC2, Birmingham, Cambridge, Maynooth and Mixed Uni’s all returning to the competition whilst CIT and Dublin Uni’s will be competing for the first time.

Pool A will see a returning Birmingham looking to take back their Fitz title. They’ll be up against tournament regulars Cambridge and Maynooth alongside first-timers, CIT, who will be tough opposition.

Defending champions, UCC1, will deservedly go into this year’s tournament as favourites. They’ll be met in Pool B with very, very close rivals UCC2 alongside the Mixed Uni’s and first-timers Dublin Uni’s.

This year’s field is poised as the strongest yet, UCC1 have shown recent dominance but Birmingham are making the journey west with the sole purpose of taking the title back to English soil.

The women’s division will again host 3 teams with defending champions, UCC, taking on Cambridge and a Cork Mixed side.

The three sides will take each other on in the pool stages before Cambridge and UCC will face-off in the women’s final at 3pm.

Play starts at 11am with the men’s final culminating the days play with a 3:30pm ball up scheduled.

Good luck to all teams and officials making the journey.

Past Winners:

Men’s

2013/14 – UCC

2014/15 – Birmingham

2015/16 – Birmingham

2016/17 – UCC1

2017/18 – ?

 

Women’s

2016/17 – UCC

2017/18 – ?

AFLW EUROPE PREVIEW

AFLW EUROPE PREVIEW

Season two of the AFLW is now only days away, and the 2018 instalment is set to see a strong European presence taking the field amongst the best 242 female footballers who will be strutting their stuff over the next eight weeks.

The inaugural AFLW season was set to be a roaring success from the moment AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan stepped onto the Princes Park concourse prior to the first match between Carlton and Collingwood to announce a lockout to the hundreds of fans waiting outside, and the final euphoric image of Adelaide Co-Captains Erin Phillips & Chelsea Randall lifting the premiership cup alongside coach Bec Goddard capped off a momentous first year for the competition.

Across the eight AFLW clubs in 2018 there are five currently listed players with a connection to AFL in Europe, and afleurope.org will be keeping a close eye on all their progress throughout the new season. Stay tuned each week for updates on how the ladies and their clubs are tracking as the season unfolds.

Lauren Spark – #11 – Western Bulldogs – Wimbledon Hawks (2015/16)

Spark was taken with pick 76 in the inaugural AFLW draft by the Bulldogs and went on to play in all seven of the sides regular season matches after making her debut against Fremantle in round one.

Having previously plied her trade for Melbourne University in the VFL Women’s competition as well as a two-year stint with the Wimbledon Hawks in London, Lauren also represented Australia in beach volleyball at the 2007 Asian Championships and worked as an assistant coach for the Great Britain Swans throughout their 2017 International Cup campaign, where they were only narrowly beaten by the eventual winners Ireland in a pulsating semi-final.

The versatile key defender and ruck produced a strong first season in 2017 and was duly rewarded with her selection to play for Victoria in the State of Origin match against the Allies, and you can expect her to go from strength to strength in 2018 as a pillar of the Dogs line-up once again.

Her season will kick off on Sunday afternoon AEDT (5:35am GMT) against Fremantle at the Whitten Oval just as it did last year, with the Bulldogs desperately hoping for a similar result that will get them on track to improve on their sixth-place finish in 2017.

Kate Shierlaw – #25 – Carlton Blues – Wimbledon Hawks (2016)

Kate Shierlaw is another product of the Wimbledon Hawks in London who remains relatively new to the game of Australian Rules after taking it up in February 2016, but she is now set for her second season at the elite level with Carlton after playing six games in 2017.

The former South Australian basketballer and national junior javelin thrower caught the attention of the Blues prior the inaugural AFLW season courtesy of a five-minute highlights tape from her best and fairest winning season with Wimbledon that was posted to YouTube, with Carlton securing the 186cm ruck/forward as a rookie pick.

After making her debut in round two last season against GWS, Shierlaw played all six of the Blues remaining games and can be expected to hold down a spot in the side again this season, starting with the round one match-up against arch-rivals Collingwood at Princes Park on Friday Night.

Laura Duryea – #11 – Melbourne Demons – Irish Banshees Co-Captain (2017 International Cup)

Laura Duryea will be a familiar name to many readers after the second-year Demon co-captained the Irish Banshees to their thrilling International Cup victory back in August, which was just one of many honours bestowed upon the key defender in 2017.

After being taken as a free agent by Melbourne and making history as the first Irish woman selected to play in the AFLW, Duryea featured in all seven of her sides matches before embarking on the Irish International Cup campaign where she proved a rock in defence as the Banshees went through the tournament undefeated. Her performances were recoginised with selection in the World Team, and she fell only just short of capping off the season in perfect fashion as her Diamond Creek side was defeated narrowly in the VFLW Grand Final by Darebin.

Expect the tenacious defender to continue to make waves in 2018, as the highly-fancied Demons line-up look to improve after missing out on last year’s Grand Final to the eventual premiers Adelaide on percentage. The Dee’s face GWS in the first game of the new season this Saturday at 5:05pm (6:05am GMT).

Cora Staunton – Greater Western Sydney Giants – Recruited from GAA

A legend of the Gaelic game back in Ireland, Cora Staunton heads into her first season with the Giants on the back of significant successes in her native country where she has won four All-Ireland titles and been selected in ten Ladies Gaelic Football All Star sides after making her debut for Mayo as a fifteen-year-old back in 1995.

Having also played Rugby Union and Soccer throughout her career, Staunton was selected with pick 46 in the 2017 draft by GWS despite never having played Australian rules previously, though given her elite pedigree the Giants are expecting that she can make an immediate impact as a marking forward in 2018.

Fans will be able to get their first glimpse at Staunton as the Giants face Melbourne at Casey Fields on Saturday afternoon (AEDT), with the side looking to improve on a disappointing first season where they won just the single game and claimed the wooden spoon by finishing on the bottom of the ladder.

Lauren Tesoriero – #7 – Collingwood Magpies – Wandsworth Demons (2017)

On the other side of that Friday night blockbuster is the Magpies hard-nosed midfielder Lauren Tesoriero, who embarks on her second season in the black and white after making her debut in the historic round one lockout game against the Blues in 2017.

Tesoriero was considering retirement prior to being selected with pick 107 by Collingwood in October 2016, having played her football for the Eastern Devils in the VFLW, but after five games for the Pies in her debut season she will be keen to consolidate a spot in the side as the Magpies look to improve on their fifth-place finish in 2017. Tesoriero spent some of her 2017 off-season assisting the two Wandsworth Demons women’s sides in London passing on a lot of knowledge and experience.

Tesoriero and Collingwood will be eager to even the ledger against their biggest rivals on Friday night after the Blues took the honours convincingly in the corresponding fixture last year, with kick-off at Princes Park at 7:45pm AEDT (8:45am GMT).

Footballs are back in stock!

Footballs are now back in stock and ready to order!

We currently have size 4 & 5, red and yellow Lyrebird Sherrins available for purchase.

The Lyrebirds are £35 + postage – get in quick before they sell out!

To order, please fill out the order form below and send it through to admin@afleurope.org

Kangaroo Brand Sherrins will also be arriving in March but are available for pre-order now.

The Kangaroo Brand Sherrins are £80 each + postage and are available in red & yellow, size 4 and 5.

AFL Europe – Football Order Form 2018