WIN TWO TICKETS TO THE 2018 TOYOTA AFL GRAND FINAL

AFL Europe is thrilled to be able to offer one footy fan the chance of a lifetime to be at the MCG this Grand Final Day, with 2 tickets to the 2018 Toyota AFL Grand Final up for grabs via our Facebook competition.

Putting yourself in the running to be there for the biggest day on the football calendar couldn’t be any easier, simply;

  1. Like AFL Europe on Facebook here

  2. Tag a mate you would take to the game

  3. Tell us, in 25 words or less, which European team you would most like to play footy with and why. You can see the full list of European Australian Football Clubs here. 

Entries will close midnight London time, Saturday, September 22nd.

Full T&C’s applyThis competition is authorised with AFL Brandzone under the code GFAFL18/176

PSS Presents: Around The Grounds (September 12)

Around The Grounds with PSS International Removals

Catch up on all the latest footy action in Europe with this week’s edition of Around the Grounds.

 

 

Euro Cup 2018 – Swedes ready to rumble in Cork

As a nation creating a strong reputation for themselves in major European competitions, Sweden may just be the dark horse of the Euro Cup 2018 field in both the men’s and women’s divisions.

Having arguably the best preparation for the event given their leagues are still playing football, the Swedes are looking forward to bringing both their men’s (Swedish Elks) and women’s team (Swedish Ravens) to the prestigious international competition.

Historically their women’s side has been made up of players from the Port Malmö Lynx – a quality domestic footy side currently in with a chance of winning the Women’s Nordic Australian Football League.

This factor has previously resulted in the Ravens achieving a highly commendable results in the AFL Europe tournament.

After finishing fourth in 2016, the Ravens went one better in 2017 to finish third behind the Irish Banshees and the English Vixens in Bordeaux.

Now in 2018 with the women’s game growing rapidly in Sweden, the Ravens have announced a 2018 squad that features players from Linköping, Norrköping, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Norrtälje, Helsingborg and Malmö.

Mixing youth with experience, women’s coach Ryan Davidsson is looking forward to the challenge of improving upon last year’s outstanding Euro Cup run.

“The 2018 Ravens squad has a few new faces,” Davidsson said.

“We recently got together for a training weekend and everyone is super keen to get over to Ireland and try and improve on last years effort in Bordeaux.”

The Ravens in action during Euro Cup 2017. Image: Swedish Ravens

After finishing 12th in last year’s tournament, the Swedish Elks are confident they can turn their fortunes around when push comes to shove next month in Ireland.

With new guernseys and new sponsors, Elks skipper Nicklas Andersson is confident his team can play some good football this October despite missing some key personnel.

“We have some great players who wasn’t able to join the squad, but we still got a pretty strong team,” Andersson said.

“We are aiming to get a better position than last year, so I am realistically thinking we can make the top 8.”

Named in the Men’s Team of the Tournament in 2017, Nicklas is confident his side’s ‘good talk, good kicks and great team spirit’ will help the boys develop their skills and football IQ as they make their way to Cork.

The Elks finished 12th in 2017 and will be looking to push into the top eight this October. Image: Swedish Elks

Will Taylor – AFL Europe

Sweden Euro Cup Recent History

Ravens: 3rd place (2017), 4th place (2016)

Elks: 12th Place (2017)

Euro Cup 2018

CIT Cork, Ireland

Saturday, October 13th

Stay across afleurope.org for all the build-up to Euro Cup 2018.

Match Preview: Farum Cats v Port Malmo Maulers

The spotlight goes on the final round of the Danish Australian Football League this weekend with an all-important top of the table match-up between the Port Malmo Maulers and Farum Cats set to decide the competitions minor premiers.

Both sides will head into the game full of confidence after registering romping wins last Saturday afternoon, but they can expect a different level intensity this week with top-spot and a more favourable semi-final on the line.

More than just the for the symbolic reward of first past the post, Saturday’s winner could crucially avoid a semi-final clash with the likely occupants of third-place, the Copenhagen Giants, who have toppled both Farum and Port Malmo already this season.

While those finals machinations are an important sidenote to the contest, Farum Coach, Thore Lauritzen, stressed that his side will have their mind only on the Maulers this week.

“We know that Malmø is a tough opponent, especially when it comes to September matches, and just like us they will give everything they’ve got to secure the minor premiership, and hit the ground running for the finals,” Lauritzen said.

Despite a strong winning record and multiple Grand Final appearances in recent seasons – including last season’s loss to the Copenhagen Barracudas – Farum have somewhat franked expectations to perform as well as they have in 2018 following some significant changes to the playing list.

Lauritzen admits as much, saying the young Cats have outdone themselves to be in contention at this point in the season.

“It was actually meant to be a rebuilding season for us, yet here we are contending for the top spot in the last game before the finals,” he said.

“This proves, at least to us, that a lot of our young talented players are already shaping out to contend, even though we’re missing a lot of key players from the recent 5 years or so.

“Our young team manages to contend for the top spot, even though a lot of the older and very experienced players from our former premierships teams have retired.

“We think that the young squad have learned a lot from tough lessons from final losses in the recent years, and we know that they will have to give it all to raise the cup this year.”

For the Maulers, it will be a matter of overcoming a side who has had the wood over them in recent times, with the most recent round ten match between the two sides delivering a convincing 78-point win for the Cats.

Since then, Port Malmo has flicked the switch to win three consecutive games, buoyed by the goal-kicking exploits of forward, Ben Polmear, who booted another ten majors in the win against Copenhagen last week to draw within three of Farum’s Mikkel “Psycho” Hjerpe at the top of the DAFL goal kicking.

The race for golden boot is just another sideshow of a pure footy match-up,  where both sides will be out to leave a mark ahead of a potential Grand Final meeting.

 

Riley Brettell – AFL Europe

 

DAFL Round 17

FARUM CATS v PORT MALMO MAULERS

Follow:

Farum Cats

Port Malmo Football Club

Danish Australian Football League

Euro Cup 2018 – Captains determined to retain the English title

Preparations for Euro Cup 2018 in Cork are gearing up right across the continent as the countdown ticks to less than 40 days, and perhaps no nation is as eager to land on the Emerald Isle as the reigning champions from across the Irish Sea.

The England Vixens & Dragonslayers have been on the track in recent weeks with warm-up contests against the London premiers, the Wandsworth Demon’s, where two victories provided a welcome confidence boost as the competition for spots heats up.

Looking to retain the crown they earned at Bordeaux last October, the Vixens will be buoyed by an experienced leader in Laura Ramadan-Turner, with the Nottingham Scorpion named Captain for the fifth time in Euro Cup competitions.

The England Vixens girls watch on at Euro Cup ’17. Image – England Vixens

While the role and the tournament are becoming a familiar one for Ramadan-Turner, she says it is no less of a thrill.

“It’s an honour to be named the captain for my fifth Euro Cup. I love the tournament, and I hope we get the opportunity to belt out the national anthem again [in the final].” Ramadan-Turner said.

“We have gained a lot of new players to the squad this year – some really exciting young talent and combined with a few of the familiar experienced players, makes our squad very exciting,

“Our strengths will be our dynamism, our team ethos and our leadership. We have a new coaching team this year with Mitch Skelly and his assistant Bianca Valenzisi who bring copious experience and knowledge of the game, which we think will give us the edge.”

The obvious danger to the English crown comes from the side they toppled in last year’s final, the Irish Banshees, with Ramadan-Turner expecting the girls in green to provide stern opposition once again.

Is there another chapter in the Vixens Banshees rivalry? – Image – England Vixens

 

“Ireland is going to be tough, and we know they will also have new players, I played against the West Clare Waves at Champions League and if they have retained these ladies they will be a really strong squad.”

Ramadan-Turner’s assessment of the Irish threat is shared by her Dragonslayers counterpart, Matt Whiteley, although he expects his side will find equally difficult opposition in Denmark and Croatia.

“I see the toughest opponents being Ireland, as they are the home team and they will be wanting to win the tournament, so I am sure they will be going all out for this,” Whiteley said.

“The returning Denmark are always dangerous with their quick style of play, and we have also had good matchups with the Croatians over the years and they cannot be ruled out. With all that said, on the day any team can beat anyone that is the nature of tournament footy and what makes it so exciting.”

Whiteley says that the flexibility and work ethic throughout the Dragonslayers squad will be a key string to the sides bow, praising the current atmosphere amongst players overwhelmingly positive.

The Dragonslayers are expected to be a force again in 2018. Image – AFL England

“The squad has several returning players from last year and we have strengthened with the addition of players from all over the country. We have game winners right across the pitch and we all get on,” he said.

“I am excited to see how some of the new players go as they have shown in our recent warm-up game that they have the presence around the pitch to compete with anyone. With coach Garth Nevin as well leading us again, we have all the personnel capable of defending our crown.

“It’s an honour to be named as England Captain, and I’m hoping that we can emulate our performance last year and I will be able to lift the trophy once again come evening time. To lead the team out will be a magnificent feeling and one that will stay with me for a very long time.”

Riley Brettell – AFL Europe

England Euro Cup History

Vixens: Champions (2013, 2015, 2017), Runners-Up (2016, 2014)

Dragonslayers: Champions (2008-09, 2013, 2017), Runners-up (2015)

Euro Cup 2018

CIT Cork, Ireland

Saturday, October 13th

Stay across afleurope.org for all the build-up to Euro Cup 2018.

 

PSS Presents: Around The Grounds (September 5)

Around The Grounds with PSS International Removals

The final CEAFL tournament of 2018, a women’s international friendly and fixtures in Denmark, Sweden and Norway are all included in this week’s edition of Around the Grounds presented by PSS International Removals.