2019 European Championships Squad Preview – Denmark Vikings

The 2019 European Championships are just around the corner and as part of the build-up, AFL Europe will be previewing all nine teams involved in this year’s tournament. The European Championship is AFL Europe’s premier 18-a-side tournament, played every three years, and this year will see teams from across the continent travel to London to see who comes out on top.

The Denmark Vikings will be aiming to be the surprise package of the tournament of next month’s European Championships, after being successful in other AFL Europe tournaments over the past few years.

Winning the Euro Cup 2018 in the nine-a-side game was a major achievement and now in their first AFL Europe tournament since, the Vikings will be looking to add to their trophy cabinet.

The Denmark national side started the year with some staff changes as former Assistant Coach, Atiba Jackson, was named as the teams new Head Coach and is excited for his first official AFL Europe tournament in that role.

Playing 12-a-side in their competition back home, Jackson and his side have concentrated on tactics to play with the full 18, and thanks to their preparations, are confident they can play well in London.

“We have trained together only focusing on the change of format. Running patterns, ball movement and how to create space have been our real focus points,” said Denmark’s Morten Merhøj.

Once the powerhouse of Australian Football in Europe, having won the Euro Cup back in 2015 and 2018, the Vikings will look to get into form this tournament and know that they can beat anyone when playing at their best.

“We were happy with the results we have achieved in our past tournaments, but we felt the potential in our group is to achieve even more and we will do our best to show it here in October,” said Merhøj.

With 10 debutants and a large number of experienced players used to the big stage, the Vikings have a great mix ready to take on the competition.

The Vikings have a number of personnel who know how to win high-pressure games, while also showing an X-factor that will excite the crowd in Wimbledon Park. Aalborg Kangaroos’ most improved player for 2019, Thorleif Riis, will be just one of those Vikings player to look out for.

He fits into the fast-paced Vikings side well, with his sublime skill and ability to win the ball for his team, and will be an exciting prospect in the tournament.

Joining the lists of experienced players are a number of debutants, but even though they are new to the side, they are in good hands through the great on and off-field leadership of the Captain, Thore Lauritzen.

Lauritzen, along with many of the Vikings leaders, will be playing in the backline, talking tactics to set up his team and be a lockdown defender for them throughout the tournament.

The Denmarks Vikings are eager for this major AFL Europe tournament and onlookers in London should be excited to hear they are going to be a part of it.

Their ability to win close games, with a mixture of youth and experience, combined with their ability to play consistent footy will put them in good stead for the tournament, which could see them as contenders at the end of the tournament.

Excited to come to London in October, this side will show the AFL Europe community how good they can be in an 18-a-side game and will aiming to bring their best footy in both this years Championships and future events.

Liam McAllion – AFL Europe