2019 Champions League Team Previews: Part Four

The annual AFL Europe Champions League is returning to Amsterdam once again for what is set to be a competitive day of football as the best club teams from around Europe battle it out.

This will be the fifth time the tournament has taken place, as this year will see all the games take place on Saturday the 6th of April. As part of the buildup, AFL Europe will be previewing all the teams competing. For part four of our team previews we will be taking a closer look at the Oslo Crows and the Norrtälje Dockers in the Men’s side of the draw, and the Nottingham Scorpions in the Women’s.

 

Men’s Competition:

Oslo Crows

Anthony Harrison – Team Manager

How did you qualify for this year’s Champions League?

We don’t have the biggest league in Norway compared to other countries, the league consists of 2 teams, the Oslo Crows and the Ås battlers (an all Norwegian university team). We played six rounds of footy in 2018, which saw the Crows win all matches bar one, in which Ås really turned it on!

Have you been involved with any pre-season tournaments? If so, how did that go? If not, have you had the chance to play any other teams recently in preparation?

Preparation isn’t easy in the cold, with the amounts of snow we receive in the winter but we have recently secured a large warehouse to train indoors which should greatly improve our preparation for this years tournament.

What can we expect to see from your team this Champions League?

We are aiming to beat our previous records of 1 win each year thus far at Champions League. Returning after winning the Crows player of the tournament last year, Danny Akuema is looking in fine form to bag a few goals. One of our newest Norwegian/Japanese recruits is one to watch out for. Christian K. Poppe is set to turn a few heads with his speed and quick ball skills off the mark. In addition our solid back man and captain Eivind Myrvold is looking fit and ready and last but not least club legend Tommy-Andre is hungry to bag a few goals again in the spotlight.

Where do you rank competing in the Champions League in the AFL Europe calendar and what does it mean to the team?

Champions League is a calendar event for the club and everyone looks forward to representing the Oslo Crows at Champions League knowing we have quite the reputation off the field. This year we hope to bring that onto the field as well.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the club, like past years funny/interesting stories?

We have 2 players in their 40s but with their skill and fitness, you wouldn’t know it.

 

 

Norrtälje Dockers

Martynas Alijosius – Team Manager

How did you qualify for this year’s Champions League?

The Swedish league is divided into two parts. The northern clubs plays in one series and the southern clubs play together with the Danish teams. We qualified by winning the Swedish Cup last year. A very even and good final match against Port Malmö Maulers where we triumphed by an exciting two points.

Have you been involved with any pre-season tournaments? If so, how did that go? If not, have you had the chance to play any other teams recently in preparation?

We have been training indoor all winter and also played an indoor tournament here in Norrtälje. Only a few weeks ago we couldn’t go out and play outdoors, due to the crazy weather. We have one or maybe two practice games before we go to Amsterdam.

What can we expect to see from your team this Champions League?

Hopefully a team that’s playing a good and nice footy. We have a lot of interesting, new players for this season. Unlike the last time we participated in the tournament (2017), we have a wider squad. Much more routine in the team, so I hope we will be able to win more matches this year.

Where do you rank competing in the CL in the AFL Europe calendar and what does it mean to the team?

We look very much forward to going to Amsterdam and playing the Champions League in 2019. Of course, we rank it highly to be involved. It is an acknowledgment that we as a team did something good last year. Then getting a test of meeting the top teams in Europe is great for us as a club. It will also be nice to visit Amsterdam again.

 

Women’s competition:

Nottingham Scorpions

Laura Turner – Team Manager

How did you qualify for this year’s Champions League?

We played in an England ‘outside of London’ women’s league with Cardiff Panthers and Sussex Swans. We did three tournament style days.

Have you been involved with any pre-season tournaments? If so, how did that go? If not, have you had the chance to play any other teams recently in preparation?

Not yet, we have only recently started training but we have some practice matches lined up against young guns Birmingham University.

What can we expect to see from your team this Champions League?

You can expect to see a team with some experienced and established players but also some new ladies who have only recently taken up the sport. We like to play good football and pride ourselves in playing the game in a smart way but of course having a great laugh at the same time!

Where do you rank competing in the CL in the AFL Europe calendar and what does it mean to the team?

It’s one of the most important parts of the season for us as we get to showcase our skills on the European stage. We work really hard all year round to develop the team and recruit more players for the opportunity to prove how much of a powerhouse the city of Nottingham is compared to other places in Europe.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the club, like past years funny/interesting stories?

We like to save the funny stories for kangaroo court at the end of the day and shared between players, over some drinks and celebrations after the tournament has concluded!

 

Liam McAllion – AFL Europe