Race to the MCG – Week Eight Review

TWO months through our Race to the MCG with O’Neills and we’re nearing the finish line in both the men’s and women’s competitions!

As the Wales men’s look to approach the MCG in a matter of days, Germany’s women’s are not too far behind in reaching the 16,900km finish line.

Led by two enormous efforts from Jana. E (237.3km) and Leila. M (232.2km), Germany’s team in week eight have continued on at full throttle.

Extending their lead to almost 4,000km, they sit clear of Scotland (2nd) and Wales (3rd) both who have now passed the halfway mark.

Week eight saw six of the women’s teams improve from their previous week’s tally, as five still remain in the draw to win free entry into the 2021 Euro Cup.

France have shown steady improvement over the past month, continuing to beat their previous week’s tally with help from Haralyaa. Q’s 54.2km.

The AFL Europe Umpires team have put on their best weekly performance yet, finishing in 9th place.

The team is represented by a number of nationalities and locations across the world, logging runs and walks from a total of seven different countries.

Renowned AFL Europe umpire and winner of the Golden Whistle at the 2018 Champions League, Katrina Stopinski, said the team has very much enjoyed participating in the competition and keeping active.

“We have a small team of umpires taking part in the race, many of whom regularly run and walk to keep active,” Stopinski said.

Fresh off their best result in the competition, Stopinski was thrilled to see how far the team has come since the start of the race.

“I’m really proud of the group to have covered some of the distances they have.

“Those who have taken part have made significant contributions to our weekly total!

Joel from Melbourne, Christoffer from Sweden and Josh from Wales have all been huge contributors to our cause.”

Along with the umpires, Switzerland in 4th and Germany in 2nd have also finished week eight with their best placings yet.

Germany’s week of 1,240km had them crack the 10,000km mark whilst still sitting amongst the top three.

Carrying on in first position, a 1,700km week from Wales has them steaming towards the finish line.

Austria, Germany, Poland and Wales all remain in beating their week one benchmarks.

Jon. S from Wales (211.4km), Dan. S from Germany (172.6km) and Mark. H from Wales (170.5km) were some of the standout runners in week eight.

Whilst no changes were seen in the overall leaderboard, Ireland, France, Norway and Poland all managed to improve from their previous weekly total.

President of AFL Norway, Sébastien Muller, said the competition has been great for the Norwegian players to keep engaged as a team.

“It’s been an extra way to keep connected. Some of the members go for runs together or meet up afterwards for celebratory beers,” said Muller.

“I’m proud of everyone for keeping going while we continue to lead the pack from the back,” Muller joked.

With Wales closing in on first prize, this could be the last week for our men’s teams to make an impact on the ladder.

Over in the women’s, there’s no settling yet as we look forward to a few more long days of gut running to be had. Stay tuned!

Share with us your journey to the Melbourne Cricket Ground by tagging @AFLEurope and using the hashtag #RACETOTHEMCG.

O’Neills was founded in 1918 as a manufacturer of Gaelic Footballs and is now the largest and leading sportswear manufacturing company in Ireland. O’Neills are an 100% Irish owned organisation, specialising in the design, manufacture, personalisation and supply of performance multi-sportswear, leisurewear and sports equipment globally.

2020 marks O’Neills fifth consecutive year as the official Apparel Partner of AFL Europe. Over the five years, the entire team at O’Neills have been extremely supportive of AFL Europe and contributed to promoting the game by ensuring teams are provided with quality playing gear and equipment.

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

PSS Presents: Around the Grounds – Socials Edition #19

Featuring the best online posts from the AFL Europe community, PSS International Removals Presents: Around the Grounds – Socials Edition.

Approaching mid-August, we are pleased to see both trainings and matches being held by teams largely across Europe.

We’ve seen countries such as Denmark, Russia, Ireland, Switzerland and the Netherlands able to commence their (somewhat) usual leagues, and also many others that have had to form a much more smaller and localised league.

AFL Sweden, Germany, Finland and France were among those who formed new leagues and tournaments, in order to get games played amongst their teams whilst complying with government guidelines.

Where some countries have been unable to create new leagues, certain teams from Austria, Czech Republic, Germany and Hungary have been safely pursuing and organising practice matches with their neighbouring countries.

A brilliant effort by all who have ensured the matches and leagues that are being played have been done so in a safe environment and in accordance with government guidelines. We’re looking forward to what the rest of the year may hold!

But for now, we recap a big week on the AFL Europe social channels…

The St. Petersburg Cats caught our eye last week as the St. Petersburg Australian Football League (SPAFL) is now well underway.

In round two, the Northern Tigers took an 11-point victory over the Baltic Hawks. Check out some photos taken from the game below!

Keep up-to-date with the SPAFL results by downloading their brand new app.

The 2 round SPAFL result:8 August 2020, LTU PitchHawks 60 – 71 Tigers#AFLinEurope

Posted by St.Petersburg Cats on Sunday, August 9, 2020

The West Lothian Eagles in Scotland made a long awaited return to footy training last Wednesday.

West Lothian add to the list of teams in the United Kingdom who have been allowed to restart training sessions over the past month, and have already got two sessions under their belt!

Make sure to send the Eagles a message if you plan to attend one of their trainings so that they can keep track of exact numbers.

The Danish Australian Football League 2020 season commenced last week!

The season is set to play out over the next few months, with seven teams involved this year.

The Copenhagen derby kicked things off, as the Barracudas returned to the league with a win against the Giants.

The DAFL 2020 season is finally here. 7 teams will fight for the trophy during the next few months. Yesterday a…

Posted by DAFL – Dansk Australsk Fodbold Liga on Saturday, August 8, 2020

Take a peek into training with the Frankfurt Redcats & Redbacks.

The teams at Frankfurt seem to be making the most of their new training ground, with plenty of people attending training sessions.

“Thanks to our coach Malte, we had pretty amazing drills today and everyone did more than 100%!”

The Waterland Eagles have shared “an Eagle-eyed view of training” on their Instagram.

A fun approach to capture training, using a drone to film from above!

We very much enjoy seeing teams share their trainings in such creative ways. Keep them coming!

The South East London Giants kitted up for a comeback to training on the weekend.

Braving London’s spell of 30+ degree weather, the Giants looked pretty excited to be back onto the park.

Message them via their Instagram if you’re interested in getting along.

It may be footy’s summer break in Croatia, but that doesn’t stop Croatia’s passion towards the sport!

The Zagreb Hawks got a workout in as part of their summer preparation for the upcoming season.

Follow them below to keep up with how the team is tracking and preparing for 2021.

There were a few Irish features in footy news across Australia last week.

Firstly, congratulations to former West Clare Waves and Irish Banshees player, Ailish Considine, who has signed on with the Adelaide Crows for the 2021 AFL Women’s season!

Considine shared the news via her Instagram page, as well as featuring in a post by the Crows.

We spoke to Considine earlier this year about her unique journey to the AFL Women’s competition a few years ago.

Conor McKenna was seen showing off his silky skills once again, this time pre-game.

The Bomber was caught by the AFL practicing his rabona kick at goal.

Looks pretty impressive! Anyone think they can pull it off?

And finally, Geelong’s Mark O’Connor was given the mic post-game interviewing teammates after Geelong’s win against North Melbourne.

“Roaming Mark” makes his way around the Cats rooms, questioning players about the match.

A bit more of this please Cats Media!

Roaming Mark in the Rooms

Roaming Mark 🇮🇪 ☘️ Join Mark O'Connor in the rooms after our win over the Roos, presented by Ford.

Posted by Geelong Cats on Wednesday, August 5, 2020

PSS International Removals are a family run, international removals company equipped with staff that are experts in the field whom are dedicated to providing a friendly and professional moving service to every customer. To check out what PSS have been up to online, visit their Facebook @pssinternationalremovals or Twitter @PSSRemovals. For info on their deals or offers, click here.

PSS International Removals

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

National Australia Bank announced as Major Partner for new Festival of Football

Preparation is underway for an Australian Football tournament like we have never seen before.

The Festival of Football, partnering with the National Australia Bank (NAB), will unite teams from across the continent as they ‘come together’ to play Australian Football matches throughout Europe.

The governing bodies of AFL in Europe are invited to host a tournament on the 26th of September, in a local city of their choice.

Countries that host a tournament as part of the Festival of Football will be receiving items from AFL Europe to assist with their event, including medals for the winning team, a team of the tournament guernsey to present, a new Kangaroo Brand football and more.

The Festival of Football would not be possible without AFL Europe’s partnership with NAB. They are the major partner for AFL Europe’s annual ANZAC Cup, were announced earlier this year as the official Ball Partner of AFL Europe, and have now extended their partnership to become the major partner for the Festival of Football.

NAB are not only a great supporter of AFL in Europe, but they continue to provide tremendous support to the growth of Australian Football back in Australia, through the NAB AFL AusKick program, NAB Rising Stars pathway and NAB AFLW Competition.

National Australia Bank extended their deal as AFLW naming rights partner until 2022.

National Australia Bank extended their deal as AFLW naming rights partner until 2022.

John McClusky, General Manager & Head of NAB’s London Branch, very much looks forward to seeing the AFL Europe community come together for the Festival of Football, especially given the challenges faced this year by all, and is excited to announce NAB as the major partner.

“Over the last six months, we have seen the world change before our eyes, but some things remain the same – NAB are excited to continue our support of AFL globally by signing on as the major partner for AFL Europe’s Festival of Football,” said McClusky.

“We are excited to play our part in bringing this event to life and cannot wait to see players from all over Europe out on the field enjoying the great game that is Australian Football.”

McClusky pictured with the Australian and French national team captains at AFL Europe’s 2018 ANZAC Cup.

McClusky pictured with the Australian and French national team captains at AFL Europe’s 2018 ANZAC Cup.

Those wishing to host a Festival of Football tournament in their country will only be permitted to do so if the event complies with the COVID-19 government guidelines that are in place in their country.

Ryan Davey, General Manager of AFL Europe, has been in contact with many countries around Europe who expressed large excitement around the event.

“We understand that 2020 has been a difficult time for everyone and whilst the health and safety of our AFL Europe community, and the wider European community, remains the priority – we did want to provide an extra opportunity for our teams get some matches in,” said Davey.

“Many countries around Europe have already returned to regular training sessions and matches, all of which comply with government guidelines in their country. However, we believe the Festival of Football will provide the AFL community throughout Europe with extra motivation & drive over the next two months as they prepare for this inaugural tournament.

National Australia Bank were announced as official Ball Partner of AFL Europe earlier this year.

National Australia Bank were announced as official Ball Partner of AFL Europe earlier this year.

“Whilst we are disappointed that we are unable to bring our teams together in 2020, we take some comfort knowing that on the 26th of September (the original AFL Grand Final date) we will have AFL matches being played in countries all over Europe.

“We have no doubt the matches played will be fiercely competitive as always, although looking beyond the results, the Festival of Football will give us a chance to come together as a community and celebrate AFL in Europe.”

It’s going to be a big few weeks as we prepare for the Festival of Football, and we hope you are all excited as we are.

AFL Europe and the event committees around Europe participating in this event will continue to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 in the coming weeks. Matches will only be played if they comply with appropriate government guidelines.

Keep your eyes out for more news on the #FestivalofFootball via our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

AFL Europe Trivia with Belushi’s – #17

Think you’re the smartest Australian Football fan in Europe?

Take on our weekly AFL Europe Trivia, presented by Belushi’s, for your chance to win a Beer and Burger Voucher to redeem at any Belushi’s Bar.

Winner’s from each week’s Trivia will also go into the draw to win 2-night’s Accommodation For Two People at any St. Christopher’s Inns across Europe.

You’ve only got one shot and just three minutes to complete it!

Submissions must be in by Wednesday 12th of August 11:59PM (BST) to be eligible to win.

The winner will have the highest score in the quickest time.

Make sure to provide your details at the end of the quiz to submit your answers and go in the running to win.

Please check revised terms and conditions here.

Good luck!

Time Left: 3:00

Time's up!


QUIZ #17

1 / 10

Which AFL team in Europe belongs to this logo?

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2 / 10

Who was the last AFL player to win back-to-back Coleman Medals?

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3 / 10

In what year did Eleni Glouftsis become the first female on-field umpire in AFL history?

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4 / 10

Which of these teams is not nicknamed ‘Lions’?

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5 / 10

Can you complete the following pattern? Adam Goodes, Jimmy Bartel, Adam Cooney, …

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6 / 10

The Irish Banshees and Great Britain Swans were two of the three European women's teams to attend IC17. Who was the third?

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7 / 10

Irishman Mark Keane made his AFL debut for which team last week?

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8 / 10

Which club finished on top of the AFLW ladder at the end of the 2018 regular season?

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9 / 10

In 2019, Fremantle’s Michael Walters tied his career high for most goals kicked in one game. How many did he kick?

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10 / 10

Sydney Swan Dane Rampe has European heritage of which country?

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Please fill in your full name and email to submit your answers to go in the running to win AFL Europe Trivia.

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By submitting, you agree to allow AFL Europe share your first name, last name (first initial) and country of residence on a dedicated post to our social media channels (should you win).

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You are not subscribing to anything by submitting your email. It is purely for AFL Europe to be able to contact you.

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Spread all over London and across Europe, Belushi’s Bars and St Christopher’s Inns are Europe’s leading entertainment and accommodation venues that host a variety of Australian and international events.

To find your closest Belushi’s Bar, click here.

Cardiff back out of the blue

‘Newest Team in Town’ introduces some of the upcoming Australian Football clubs who have recently joined their respective league’s around Europe.

Reporter for AFL Europe, James Brosnan, recently spoke to club president of the Cardiff Double Blues, Rhys Silver, on the clubs revival.

After six years in recess, the Cardiff Double Blues have returned to the Welsh Australian Rules Football League (WARFL).

The Double Blues are now the second team in the Welsh capital along with the Cardiff Panthers, joining the Bristol Dockers and Chippenhan Redbacks to make up the league.

The Double Blues were an original club in the WARFL when it formed in 2007 and have been revived by former player, Rhys Silver.

“The Double Blues were my starter club when I first started playing AFL, they introduced me to it,” Silver said.

“I played for them for about six years and we slowly disbanded due to people leaving and other commitments. It got to a point where we had to close up shop and combine with the Cardiff Panthers just to be a stronger squad.”

After taking a break from the game for three years, Silver returned to the field, playing a number of seasons with the Panthers.

“I won a grand final with the Panthers and it got to a point where the league was strong enough to support another Cardiff team. So I went away from the Panthers and tried to bring back the original club I started at,” Silver said.

“We are just looking to improve AFL in Wales constantly.”

The club had a small number of training sessions prior to the COVID-19 lockdown. With the Welsh Government restrictions amongst the toughest in the UK, the Double Blues are eager to get back into some training.

“I started recruiting around December getting ready for February to start training, but with everything on lockdown we put the brakes on it for a bit but are now progressing into training in the next couple of weeks,” Silver said.

“We are working out how to keep people safe and what sort of drills we can do.”

The Double Blues had some clear goals for the season ahead prior to the lockdown. For now, the focus continues to be on recruitment for when a restart is approved.

“Originally the goal was to introduce a whole new team of players to the sport, there is a huge potential in Wales for the rugby and football players who come in and enjoy the sport,” Silver said.

“I wanted us to get to a stage where we were competitive this season, and hopefully next year be competing for the season title.

“Now it’s all about getting the recruitment back up which has been going really well since we have started the uni teams.

“We are looking to compete in a tournament or two in the winter or compete with any team who wants a practice match and then hopefully next year we will be back up and running properly.”

The Double Blues pictured in 2014.

The Double Blues pictured in 2014.

The Double Blues have connected with a rugby club in Cardiff, which has helped drive interest along with social media, and flyers scattered around Cardiff.

At this stage, Silver is the only Double Blue who played for the club before it disbanded, but he has been in touch with some of his old teammates.

“It’s sort of come full circle that we can bring back the original club, it will be great to make it happen,” he said.

To learn more the Cardiff Double Blues, find them on Facebook.

To find a club near you, check out our Find Your Club page.

James Brosnan – AFL Europe

Race to the MCG – Week Seven Review

WE ARE now seven weeks through the competition as teams around Europe continue their Race to the MCG in pursuit of a new set of playing kits for the 2021 Euro Cup, thanks to O’Neills.

Both overall leaderboards went unchanged in week seven however there were still plenty of impressive performances on display.

In the women’s, Germany have continued to extend their lead in first position, as the battle below them for second place begins to heat up.

Wales narrowly outran Scotland to finish second in the week, which was their first time since the beginning of the competition.

Jenny. G and Sophie. W provided some impressive totals for Wales, as Kirsty. G led the way for Scotland with 136km.

Some other notable performances in the women’s included Switzerland’s Norina. F (52.2km) and Sweden’s Katren. R (83.8km).

Germany, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales were all once again able to beat their week one benchmarks.

Week seven for Sweden had the team finishing in fourth position, as they recorded their second highest weekly total yet.

Swedish Ravens player and Port Malmo Lynx co-captain, Sammy Vallgren, said the girls have all really pulled through as a team, which includes some former players.

“The team is mostly players, we have one or two social members to fill up our 30 runners”, said Vallgren.

“It is both current players and some players that left some time ago… It is awesome to see them a part of the team again.”

Vallgren has been impressed by her teammates who have showed no signs of backing down, despite some minor setbacks.

“We have had some bad luck with injuries but hopefully that has played out by now. The team really put an effort in to cover up for the hurt runners.

“We have a goal of trying to double our benchmark and I hope that some day we will do that.”

In the men’s, week seven brought more movements mid-table as England and Austria reached their best weekly placings yet.

A few big weeks from Poland and Sweden, led by Michał. B and Shane. S respectively, has them closing-in on Ireland and France for 7th and 8th place.

Wales 1,700km+ week has them on top for the fifth week in a row, despite 27 of Scotland’s runners hitting double digits for distance covered.

Patrick. T from Switzerland put in his best week yet with 130.9km, but on top for the week was Manuell. G from Germany, covering 212.8km.

Leading the way in the Umpires team was Christoffer. H and Joel. S, as the Umpires recorded their highest weekly total since the first week of the competition.

Austria, Germany, Poland and Wales are the only remaining teams to win free entry into the 2021 Euro Cup, in what could be just a few weeks left of competition.

Share with us your journey to the Melbourne Cricket Ground by tagging @AFLEurope and using the hashtag #RACETOTHEMCG.

O’Neills was founded in 1918 as a manufacturer of Gaelic Footballs and is now the largest and leading sportswear manufacturing company in Ireland. O’Neills are an 100% Irish owned organisation, specialising in the design, manufacture, personalisation and supply of performance multi-sportswear, leisurewear and sports equipment globally.

2020 marks O’Neills fifth consecutive year as the official Apparel Partner of AFL Europe. Over the five years, the entire team at O’Neills have been extremely supportive of AFL Europe and contributed to promoting the game by ensuring teams are provided with quality playing gear and equipment.

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

PSS Presents: Around the Grounds – Socials Edition #18

Featuring the best online posts from the AFL Europe community, PSS International Removals Presents: Around the Grounds – Socials Edition.

More footy friendlies, team trainings heating up and an Irishman making his AFL debut all feature in this week’s edition of Around the Grounds.

With last Saturday originally the date for the 2020 AFL London grand final day, AFL London shared a throwback to last year’s grand final division winners.

The past month has seen several teams in England resume training under strict government guidelines however a 2020 season remains uncertain.

“In the meantime, AFL London wishes everyone a happy summer. Stay safe, wear a mask and wash your hands!”

Another Irishman has officially made their debut in the Australian Football League.

20-year-old Mark Keane was selected to play his first game for the Pies having only joined the club less than two years ago.

The key defender collected seven touches and added two tackles against Fremantle.

Check out the touching moment Keane called his mother to inform her of the great news. Below, head coach Nathan Buckley announces Keane’s debut.

AFL Switzerland took to Facebook to welcome their newest umpire.

A big congratulations to Ben who officiated his first (practice) match on the weekend ahead of the 2020 AFL Switzerland season.

“He did a wonderful job for his first time and will be an excellent addition to the AFL Switzerland umpires team.”

Last night our newest AFL Switzerland umpire Ben Coupland officiated his first (practice) match ahead of the AFL…

Posted by AFL Switzerland Umpires Association on Thursday, July 30, 2020

It hasn’t taken long for the reigning premiers to make their mark in the 2020 AFL Netherlands season.

Taking place in Delft, the Devils went undefeated in round one with convincing wins over both the Blues and Eagles.

Round two is set to take place on the 15th of August, hosted by Waterland in Purmerend. Read the full round one review.

AFL Wroclaw have officially held their first training session.

Led by head coach Jeremy Coombe, over ten people attended the training as the Polish Devils selection pool now begins to expand!

Congratulations to everyone who attended the session and have put in the effort to make it all happen.

Wow! Tyle i aż tyle wystarczy żeby opisać emocje które towarzyszyły nam wczoraj! Już oficjalnie rozpoczęliśmy nasze…

Posted by Futbol Australijski we Wrocławiu on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The Nottingham Scorpions have been putting in the hard yards over the past few weeks.

Since resuming training in early July, the Scorpions have already held several sessions throughout the rain and sunshine!

Great numbers look to be attending for both the men’s and women’s sides.

The Dresden Wolves welcomed Prague Dragons last weekend for a footy friendly.

Joining the Wolves were some players from the Leipzig Quokkas, one of the newest teams to join AFL Germany.

Click below to check out a few photos from the day. Keep your eyes out on both Leipzig’s and Dresden’s social channels for the match report.

Great day out in Dresden. Well done to everyone that played!

Posted by Leipzig Quokkas Australian Rules Football Club on Sunday, August 2, 2020

Fresh off their match against the visiting Prague Dragons, the Vienna Galahs are straight back into training.

On their home deck, the Galahs managed to beat the Dragons by just over five goals.

We’re looking forward to seeing who the Galahs will face next!

AFL is better no matter the weather.Football training tonight at 18:00, Auer-Welsbach Park, rain or shine ☔☀

Posted by Vienna Galahs Australian Football Club on Monday, August 3, 2020

Rapperswil-Jona Football Club have announced the team will be put on hold until 2021.

Next year will hopefully see safer circumstances and more chances for players to attend trainings and the team to grow.

For the meantime, they will cheer on the Winterthur Lions in the AFL Switzerland season!

PSS International Removals are a family run, international removals company equipped with staff that are experts in the field whom are dedicated to providing a friendly and professional moving service to every customer. To check out what PSS have been up to online, visit their Facebook @pssinternationalremovals or Twitter @PSSRemovals. For info on their deals or offers, click here.

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Jackson Jones – AFL Europe