ANZAC Cup applications now open for 2021

AFL Europe are now accepting applications to play in next year’s ANZAC Cup.

The ANZAC Cup is played on ANZAC Day between the Australian Spirit team and French national sides for both men and women and is part of the annual ‘Australia Week’ celebrations held in Villers-Bretonneux in the lead up to April 25th.

The small town of Villers-Bretonneux in Northern France has a strong connection with the Australian Armed Forces. On 24th April 1918, the town was captured by German forces.

Overnight, the Australian troops retaliated and by dawn on the 25th April 1918, the town had been retaken.

Applications to play in the men’s and women’s Australian Spirit teams are welcome from any Australian or New Zealander with selection for the event emphasised on a player’s personal connection to WW1 and the Armed Forces, not just purely football ability.

Those who were selected last year and missed out on the opportunity to play have already been contacted and were given priority into the 2021 teams.

We can announce that there are still three spots available in the men’s team and four in the women’s.

Players interested in applying for the 12th ANZAC Cup should express interest to admin@afleurope.org to receive an information sheet and application form.

Players will be expected to arrive in Villers-Bretonneux on Saturday, 24th of April to attend the Dawn Service on ANZAC Day. Matches will be played on Sunday, April 25th with teams departing VB the following day.

The ANZAC Cup fee is £100 per player and includes a full playing kit, some meals and billeted accommodation for the duration of their stay.

Application forms must be returned by Sunday, 29th of November to be considered.

For more of a look into AFL Europe’s ANZAC Cup, watch this highlights video from 2018.

View the photo album from 2019 here.

The ANZAC Cup in April 2021 will only go ahead if it safe to do so. Appropriate government guidelines will continue to be monitored by AFL Europe over the coming months.

Tigers second half goes unmatched in comeback thriller

RICHMOND’S success rolls on with the club winning its third premiership in just four years.

The Tigers came from behind at half-time to beat Geelong by 31-points, claiming back-to-back AFL premierships and winning the first-ever AFL Grand Final at The Gabba in Brisbane last Saturday.

A complete second half by the yellow and black saw them kick nine goals to Geelong’s two, led by best on ground and Norm Smith medallist, Dustin Martin (21 disposals and four goals).

It was disappointment for Ireland’s Mark O’Connor and Zach Tuohy after becoming the first Irishmen to reach the AFL Grand Final since 2006.

The pair were off to a great start, linking up across Geelong’s backline to push the ball forward and into the hands of Tom Hawkins who registered the first score of the match.

O’Connor finished the match collecting nine disposals and had five intercepts across the backline.

Tuohy had 14 touches and one behind, as well as leading the Cats in contested possessions with ten.

Photo: Getty Images.

It was the match that had it all and within ten minutes of the first quarter, both sides had been dealt with huge blows.

A contest in Geelong’s forward line saw Tigers defender Nick Vlastuin struck in the head whilst coming back with the flight, ruling him out for the rest of the match with concussion.

For Geelong, superstar Gary Ablett Jr. landed awkwardly on his shoulder in a tackle, sending him straight down to the rooms. Ablett would return near the end of the first term to battle out the rest of the game on a suspected broken shoulder.

The first half ended in favour of the Cats as Geelong’s pressure dominated the Tigers, before a late goal from Dustin Martin cut the lead to 15-points.

It was the first time since 1921 where Richmond had trailed at half-time in a Grand Final, but it didn’t take long for this Tigers outfit to recoup and play like the team we had all seen in recent years.

Two quick goals through Jack Riewoldt and Jason Castagna seemed to have given the Tigers enough momentum to command the second half and limit Geelong to just two more goals for the rest of the match.

The fairytale finish for Geelong’s little master, Ablett, looked more and more uncertain while Martin cemented himself as one of the AFL’s best big-game performers.

A five-goal final term from Richmond saw them secure their 13th premiership and beat the Cats by 31-points.

RICHMOND     2.1     3.2     7.4     12.9     (81)
GEELONG        2.2     5.5     6.8     7.8      (50)

As per AFL.com.au:

GOALS
Richmond:
Martin 4, Prestia 2, Riewoldt 2, Castagna, Lambert, Lynch, McIntosh
Geelong: Menegola 2, Dangerfield, Duncan, Guthrie, Hawkins, Miers

BEST
Richmond:
Martin, Short, Edwards, Prestia, Cotchin, Bolton
Geelong: Duncan, Stewart, Selwood, Menegola, Dahlhaus

INJURIES
Richmond:
Vlastuin (concussion), Houli (calf)
Geelong: Ablett (shoulder), Simpson (concussion)

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

Geelong’s Irishmen get set for AFL Grand Final

TWO of Ireland’s most exciting Australian Footballers are preparing to set foot on the AFL’s biggest stage.

Final 22 selections announced this morning has Cats Mark O’Connor and Zach Tuohy ready to become the first Irishmen to play in an AFL Grand Final since Sydney’s Tadhg Kennelly in 2006.

Whilst the feat has been more recently accomplished by an Irishwoman in the AFLW, O’Connor and Tuohy could potentially join Kennelly in becoming just the second and third Irishmen to win an AFL premiership.

Kennelly celebrating his '05 premiership with Sydney.

Kennelly celebrating his ’05 premiership with Sydney.

Geelong’s commanding display against the Lions last week has put the club through to the grand final for the first time since 2011.

A tightly contested first half soon turned to be all Geelong, dominating the third and fourth term kicking 7.8. to Brisbane’s 2.3 and winning by 40-points.

Playing much of a high half forward role, Tuohy was able to collect 16 touches and add a goal in the final term that stretched Geelong’s lead to 23-points.

Off the backline, O’Connor managed 13 disposals at an outstanding 85% disposal efficiency.

Post-match, Tuohy joked with commentator Luke Darcy on his pronunciation of Portlaoise as well as his family back home being able to watch the game in ‘real time’.

The Irish pair have led fantastic seasons and head into the match against the Tigers in good stead.

O’Connor’s 2020 campaign has been his best yet, including a 20 disposal game in round 4 (one short of equalling his career high) and a lockdown defensive effort against gun forward Charlie Cameron in round 6.

Tuohy, playing both up and down the ground, has managed to kick five goals across 15 games and surpassed fellow Irishman, Tadgh Kennelly, to move up into third for total career AFL games played by an Irishman.

Young O’Connor has also accomplished a milestone of his own, reaching the 50-game mark just last weekend.

The last time the Cats and Tigers met fell on Tuohy’s 200th on September 11th, round 17.

Despite a late surge from Geelong, the Cats fell short by four goals.

The Cats may look to pay closer attention to Tigers forward Jack Riewoldt, who kicked four goals in their last meeting.

Despite this, O’Connor and Tuohy held their own and combined for 33-disposals and eleven intercepts.

Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

The 2020 AFL season has been like no-other.

Heavily impacted by COVID-19, all Victorian teams were moved into ‘hubs’ in Queensland in early-July.

In these hubs, the AFL featured their own festival of footy, where for the first-time the league held matches played over 20 straight days.

Teams would also travel to the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia for a period of usually two weeks, where they would face teams they hadn’t yet come up against.

By reaching the preliminary finals, Geelong (O’Connor pictured middle, below) celebrated 100 days in the hub last week.

The AFL Grand Final kicks off at 9:30AM (GMT +1) and is set up to be a thriller.

Should Geelong win, it will be their first since 2011 and fourth in 14 years.

The Tigers however are in the hunt to go back-to-back and win their third premiership in just four years.

Good luck to both teams tomorrow and to Mark O’Connor and Zach Tuohy for your outstanding achievement.

If you’re looking for a way to watch the game at home, visit Watch AFL and purchase a ‘Grand Final Pass’.

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

 

How to watch the AFL Grand Final in Europe

With the AFL Grand Final fast approaching we thought we’d showcase one of our partners, Belushi’s Bars as they’re going to be showing the game live across several European cities.

We’ve experienced the atmosphere first-hand and can attest it gets lively!

Here’s a guide to the where you can watch all the action kicking off at 9:30AM BST on the 24th of October, with Belushi’s Bars. Click on the images below for more information on each venue.

Please note that whilst all the information in this article is correct at the time of writing, viewings are subject to local COVID-19 regulations.

Watching in London

Belushi’s will be showing the game in their refurbed Hammersmith (West London) bar and famous Dugout bar at London Bridge (Central London).

Get your household organised and bookings sorted by emailing your group size and the time you will arrive to party@belushis.com.

HAMMERSMITH

LONDON BRIDGE

Watching in Paris

Get along to Belushi’s Gare du Nord for the action, they’ll be showing the game on dozens of TV’s in their sports bar.

They sponsor Paris Cocks Footy so you might even see a few of the team down!

To book, email GDN@belushis.com with your party size and the time you will arrive.

Watching in Berlin

Belushi’s Berlin was the original Belushi’s to start showing the AFL Grand Final and over the years has built a dedicated following.

The atmosphere will be second to none and its central location makes it easy to get to.

Email berlin@belushis.com if you’d like to book a table or click on the image below for more info.

Watching in Barcelona

They’ll be showing the game on two massive projector screens as well as having the commentary blasting out.

Just off the Ramblas, this bar is in a great location.

Get your booking in by emailing barcelona@belushis.com.

Watching in Amsterdam

The recently refurbed Amsterdam bar is the perfect place to watch the game.

Located in the Red Light District, the famous bar will be serving Aussie beers and hot breakfasts

Send an email to amsterdam@belushis.com to organise a table for you and your friends.

PSS Presents: Around the Grounds – Socials Edition #26

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

As we near the winter months, certain teams around Europe have been changing up training days, times and venues to adapt to the cooler conditions.

One of those teams is the Frankfurt Redbacks & Redcats, who have moved training onto artificial turf under some bright lights.

“Lights on and the stage is set for our new winter training ground!”

The Copenhagen Barracudas have finished off the 2020 DAFL season in style.

Beating the Aarhus Bombers for their sixth win saw the Barracudas finish the season undefeated and on top of the ladder.

Heading into the finals as favourites, they will now prepare for their matchup against Odense this weekend.

Another team making it through to the post-season in the DAFL was the Farum Cats.

Over the weekend, the Cats defeated the Aalborg Kangaroos by 58-points.

The second-placed Cats will take on the Copenhagen Giants in the the DAFL’s second semi final.

Over to France, and footy for the year is only just beginning.

The season launched just last weekend and is set to last until April 2021, with teams scheduled to have at least a two-week break between games.

It’s been a long wait for the French teams so we’re excited to see some of the results that come through!

Check out this highlights video from the Bordeaux Bombers’ first game against Perpignan Tigers last weekend.

We’re excited to share and congratulate the 17th Irishwoman to sign for the 2021 AFL Women’s season, Brid Stack.

The announcement came early in the week with the NAB AFL Women’s draft occurring last Tuesday.

Stack has had quite an amazing Gaelic career and the accolades have most definitely followed! (Click below).

We’re looking forward to seeing you with the GWS Giants and wishing you all the best in Australia.

And 16 has officially become 17 ☘️ Extra special news as Cork Ladies Football Ladies Gaelic Football legend Brid…

Posted by AFL Ireland Women's on Wednesday, 7 October 2020

How’s this for dedication to your team!?

West Lothian Eagles have shared a snap of one of their own players with the club logo tattoo’d on his leg.

The Eagles are always keeping active on social media so make sure to give them a follow to check out more of their content.

The Polish Devils have taken to Instagram comparing the two Warsaw teams and their first eight games.

It’s quite equal thus far with both teams registering four wins each!

The rivalry between the Boars & Saints is definitely going to be one to watch in 2021 and over the next few years.

View this post on Instagram

AFL jest jedną z najbardziej bogatych w statystyki gier na świecie, a z naszymi 2 nowymi zespołami w Warszawie mamy bardzo interesującą sytuację. Poniżej możesz zobaczyć statystyki i fakty z 8 meczów, które rozegrali Warsaw Boars i Warsaw Saints w ostatnim miesiącu. Grafika jest w języku angielskim, ponieważ niektórych słów nie można przetłumaczyć 🤷‍♂️Komu kibicujesz?⠀ ⠀ Our game is one of the most statistic-rich games in the world. And with our 2 new teams in Warsaw, we have a very interesting situation. Below you can see the statistics and facts from the 8 games that the Warsaw Boars and Warsaw Saints have played in the last month. The picture is in English because some of the words can't be translated 🙈⠀ ⠀ #AFL #AussieRules #FutbolAustralijski #Sport #Australii #Futbol #poland #polska

A post shared by Polish Devils (@polishdevilsafl) on

Would you like to know which AFL players were born or have parents born from your home country?

The AFL Players Association have released their 2020 Multicultural Map, that features more than 200 players and 40 different countries.

Have a look below, plenty of European countries feature!

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

Europe unites for a spectacular day of footy

AFTER several months of competitive footy being put on hold, countries finally saw a return to action last Saturday, 26th of September.

Partnering with National Australia Bank, AFL Europe’s Festival of Football invited the governing bodies of AFL in Europe to host matches with their local teams in a city of their choice.

The format and organisation for each differed; some playing single matches, others hosting tournaments with up to four teams.

But for the ten countries and almost 40 teams participating in the Festival of Football, one thing remained the same, all were back playing the game they love.

AUSTRIA


Austria were graced with plenty of sunshine on Saturday after a cold and wet day prior. Participants travelled to Graz to compete in a mixed match that was made up of players from the Styrian DownUnderDogs, Vienna Galahs and plenty of first-timers including three women; forming Team Edelweiß and Team Enzian.

The match went for the full four quarters as Team Edelweiß ended the day victorious.

“We had a great day and had a lot of luck with the weather… it was great to be able to enjoy the day outside and celebrate a little all together,” said Martin Schittegg.

At just 15 years of age young gun Bennie was voted best afield, competing against players almost triple his age and earning himself a Player of the Tournament guernsey provided by AFL Europe apparel partner, O’Neills.

BULGARIA


Sofia Magpies have taken their first win in the inaugural Australian Football match between two Bulgarian sides.

The Varna Demons fell just short in what would have been their dream debut, losing to the Magpies by three goals.

The first half saw both sides taking turns kicking with the wind, resulting in level scores at halftime.

“It was a great day overall… Magpies used their greater experience to keep ahead in the second half and took home a three goal win; 13.10. 88 to 10.10. 70,” said Atanas Kirachin.

Best on ground in Aksakovo was awarded to Petar Petrov, who kicked five goals despite playing on the wing for most of the game.

Both player-coaches for the Magpies and Demons (Kirachin and Jon Zophoníasson) were the two umpires for the game, each alternating quarters.

CROATIA


In Croatia, the Sesvete Double Blues, Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers and Zagreb Hawks played each other once to make a mini three-team tournament.

Game number one was a close match for most but saw the Double Blues eventually break-free and lead by four goals with just minutes to go. Despite a late surge, the Hawks could not recover a win.

The Hawks stayed out on the field for game two to face the Zagreb Dockers. The Dockers were ready to go right from the first bounce and became too much for the Hawks, kicking three goals in the first four minutes of the match.

This momentum for the Dockers would continue into the final match of the day against the Double Blues.

Leading by five goals at halftime, the Dockers went on to finish the tournament undefeated and become champions in Croatia.

Following the men’s tournament, the Sesvete Redlegs and Zagreb Panthers went head-to-head for Croatia’s women’s match.

It seemed to be all smooth sailing for the Redlegs, who led by three goals at halftime. However, the second half was a completely different story with the Panthers edging back into it and the final result being decided in the dying seconds.

“The final 2-minutes were played in front of the Panthers goals and they turned out to be the most exciting of our whole Festival of Football tournament,” said Dinko Irsag.

“With the Panthers leading by 2-points, a free kick was awarded to the Redlegs 30-seconds before the end.

“The crowd was going wild… but unfortunately for the Redlegs, the kick was missed.”

Congratulations to Josip Karadza in the men’s and Matea Sedlacek in the women’s for being awarded Player of the Tournament, as well as Dinko Irsag for winning Umpire of the Tournament.

FINLAND


The Helsinki Heatseekers, Turku Dockers, Uusimaa Kangaroos and Waasa Wombats ventured to the town of Paimio for Finland’s participation in the Festival of Football.

Finland’s tournament ultimately decided the champions of Finland AFL 2020, as they were unable to go ahead with their season earlier in the year.

Along with Poland and Russia, Finland held a total of eight games in which all teams were able to secure a win.

Helsinki took the first victory of the day against the Roos and did not slow down, lasting the day undefeated including a 38-point win in the grand final over the Dockers.

To make the grand final, Turku had to beat Uusimaa in the final round of the day in which they did so very narrowly, by just 3-points.

Before the grand final, Uusimma and the winless Waasa Wombats played off for third place.

Unfortunately for the Roos, inaccuracy in front of goal proved costly and they lost by less than six points for the second game in a row.

Finland enjoyed a very successful day in Paimio with the four teams and a fantastic group of umpires officiating the games.

GERMANY


In Berlin, the North Berlin Crows, South Berlin Giants and West Berlin Eagles each played two games and recorded one win each.

Further south, Germany’s women’s held a tournament in Leipzig that invited the Berlin Crocodiles, Hamburg Dockers, Rheinland Lions and Allied Giants into town to face off in a four-way tournament.

Unfortunately, heavy rain became too much in Berlin and Leipzig, forcing the tournaments to stop halfway through.

Less than six points decided the outcome in each of the games in Berlin, as the Eagles were crowned champions due to maintaining the highest percentage.

Congratulations to Luke Quinn from the Crows for being awarded Player of the Tournament.

Experience played a big part in the matches in Leipzig as the teams fought through the wet conditions, but without finishing the tournament, the day was judged as a four-way tie.

A best and fairest player was announced from each team as recognition was given to all coaches, umpires and helpers of the tournament.

“We had many first-time players in the combined Allied Giants and it was great to see some strong tackles and muddy smiles,” said Emily Flanagan.

“Planning an event during a global pandemic proved quite challenging; however, everyone pulled together to create a successful day. Hats off to our three rookie umpires who were confident and spent the day in the rain.

“It was great to have the Germany women’s community together again. Bring on the 2021 season!”

IRELAND


Ireland’s involvement in the Festival of Football was two games in two different cities.

Game one saw Leeside Lions take on the UCC Bombers in Cork. The Bombers were off to the perfect start with two quick goals, but it didn’t take long for the Lions to retaliate as they went on to kick the next six goals in the first half and lead by 21 at half-time.

The Bombers came out of the main break ready to go, pressuring Leeside all quarter and keeping them scoreless for the entire third term. With that, the Bombers managed to kick two of their own, ending the third down by just 7-points, 38 to 45.

The final quarter had it all and for the first time since the opening minutes of the game, UCC had hit the front! Speckies, run-down tackles and nifty goals kept it even throughout the fourth quarter until Leeside broke away in the final minutes.

Congratulations to both teams on a great match and to the Lions for winning 10.14. 74 to 8.11. 59. Conor Nagle was awarded best on ground.

The second game in Ireland was in Belfast as an intra-club match with the Redbacks.

In sunny conditions, it didn’t look like any ordinary practice match between the Redbacks and White Tails as both teams displayed great skills and gut-running.

In a close fought battle, the White Tails ended the intra-club victorious.

Best on ground was voted as Dean Skinner for the White Tails, and David McElhone for the Redbacks.

NETHERLANDS


Just a week after their 2020 grand final, AFL Netherlands were back out onto the park for the Festival of Football.

Last Saturday looked a little different to their grand final, as they played non-contact footy and mixed the men and women players in the Netherlands into three teams of the Blues, Devils and Llamas.

Whilst line-ups may have differed, the results didn’t, with the Devils able to make it through to the grand final in consecutive weeks and become victorious yet again.

Well done to all for organising a successful tournament just a week after the Netherlands grand final.

POLAND


A total of eight matches were played in Wrocław which started with the intra-city rivalry between the Warsaw Boars and Warsaw Saints.

In wet weather, the Saints recorded the first win of the day which later on proved to be vital points to qualify for the grand final.

The rain cleared for the second game where the two teams on debut went head-to-head. The Lions made a big statement and comfortably defeated Fort Nysa.

Fort Nysa showed great improvement throughout the tournament, from not kicking a goal in their first game to kicking three in their final match.

“A historic day for the growth of footy in Poland, not even a torrential downpour would stop four Polish teams competing in the Festival of Football,” said Geoff Puzzi.

The sun parted the clouds for the grand final and the crowd roared as the Saints hoped their experience would get them over the line against the Lions.

Undefeated heading into the final, the Lions kept their momentum rolling through the first all-Poland Australian Football tournament and defeated the Saints 5.4. 34 to 1.1. 7.

Congratulations to Paweł Łysy from Fort Nysa, voted Player of the Tournament. An exceptional accomplishment for a player that had only been training for five weeks.

Another congratulations goes to the Umpire of the Tournament, Roger Scott, who did a fantastic job umpiring all games bar one.

RUSSIA


Baltic Hawks, Northern Tigers and Moscow Bears were up early to kick off the first tournament in the entire Festival of Football.

Enjoying the St. Petersburg sunshine, each team would go on to play four games to determine who should make finals.

The Bears started with the first win of the day but unfortunately it was to be their last. This meant that they would miss finals as the Hawks recorded their second victory against the unbeaten Tigers, putting them just ahead of the Bears and into the grand final.

The final brought out the very best of both teams, becoming the highest scoring match of the day as the 2020 SPAFL premiers proved they were the best team all year, defeating the Hawks by 11-points.

Umpire of the Tournament was awarded to Viacheslav Belov, while Evgeny Trofimov took the Player of the Tournament honours.

SWEDEN


The tenth country who participated in the Festival of Football were Sweden with five teams.

Norrtälje Dockers made their way to Limhamn Australian Football Ground in Malmö as favourites in both the men’s and women’s competitions, lasting undefeated all year.

The Dockers would go on to play the Port Malmö Maulers in an 18-a-side game to start things off for the day.

In an epic match, the home-side were pleased to end their drought and overpower the Dockers by more than ten goals.

In the women’s and along with the visiting Dockers were the South Stockholm Giants. The Giants were the least experienced side of the three with majority of their players making their Australian Football debut at the tournament.

The round robin between the Port Malmö Lynx, Giants and Dockers had some terrific talent on display as the Lynx and Dockers made it through to the grand final.

Undefeated all day, the Dockers looked ready to take their fourth victory and win Sweden’s tournament before a huge three goal second half by Lynx player, Alannah Ni Fhinn put the girls well ahead, beating the Dockers by 23-points and for the first time in 2020.

Congratulations to Lynx player Sammy Vallgren and Maulers player Daniel Peters who each won Player of the Tournament in the two competitions.

AFL Europe would like to thank and congratulate each country’s event organisers, committees, players, umpires, supporters and all volunteers who helped get each tournament up and running in a safe and successful manner.

It was great to see the AFL Europe community all out playing and enjoying some fantastic games of footy.

Our thoughts are with those that could not participate on the day. We hope to follow the progress of you all through the winter and to see you back playing games in 2021.

A final thanks goes to Festival of Football major parter and official ball partner of AFL Europe, National Australia Bank, for your ongoing support of Australian footy both in and outside of Australia. The day could not have gone ahead without you.

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe