2023 Champions League Tournament Preview

The final preparations are underway for the 2023 Champions League Tournament, with just two days to go until matchday. The competition will look far different from the previous six outings, with a new location sure to bring exciting fresh challenges and experiences for players, coaches, volunteers, and organisers alike. Just outside the centre of Paris, France, is the beautiful Parc du Tremblay, which will play host to the 24 teams travelling from various cities in Europe and the UK on Saturday April 1st.

The competition will involve 15 men’s teams, and nine women’s teams, which is the biggest involvement the competition has seen since 2018, reflecting the impressive rebound since the two-year hiatus of the competition across 2020 and 2021. The Amsterdam Devils return ready to defend their 2022 title. However, without the home-country advantage they had in 2022, will they be able to achieve the same feat 310 miles south-west of home?

In the women’s division of the League, the Cork Vikings will be eager to remain European champions after their sheer dominance in 2022, remaining undefeated all day, topped off with a fierce victory in the grand final. With fellow grand-finalists East Coast Eagles unable to achieve qualification for this year’s competition, it will be all up to another side to steal the Vikings hopes of retaining the cup.


Across both competitions, the teams will be placed into pools which will decide who they face throughout the group stages, however the structure is slightly different for the two leagues.

Beginning with the men’s division, the 15 teams have been divided up into pool’s A, B and C, where each team will play the other four team’s once throughout the day. The top team in each pool at the end of the fixtures will progress into the semi-finals, whilst the fourth highest ranked team across all three pools will make up the final spot in the semi-finals. 1st will play 4th and 2nd will play 3rd. The two defeated semi-finalists will play off for 3rd at 4:30pm on the main stage, while the victors will fight for the ultimate prize at 5pm, looking to become champions of Europe in 2023.

As mentioned previously, a different route will need to be taken within the women’s competition to be crowned the greatest team in Europe. At the start of the day, the nine teams will be placed into three pools: Pool WA, WB, and WC. After teams play each other once in their respective pools, they will then be split up into three new divisions, where every team will face new opponents for the second half of the day. All teams will be placed into one ladder, and the top four teams will then follow the standard finals structure – which is the same as the men’s. This fresh format has been implemented to ensure equality amongst the competition, as well as allowing every team to play a different side each game.




Pool A contains reigning champions Amsterdam Devils, with Paris Cockatoos, Norrtälje Dockers, Geneva Jets and Mid Ulster Scorpions all hoping to remove any chance of the Devils winning consecutive tournaments. Pool B hosts the West London Wildcats, Belfast Redbacks, Copenhagen Barracudas, Cardiff Panthers, and the Vienna Galahs. Meanwhile, Pool C is made up of Waterland Eagles, Berlin Crocs, Sesvete Double Blues, Edinburgh Bloods, and Oslo Crows.


Pool WA is made up of West London Wildcats, Oileann Hounds, and the Edinburgh Bloods. The predatory nature of their team names leaves nothing to the imagination, with this first pool sure to be a brutal battle to begin their respective quests for glory. Pool WB contains Norrtälje Dockers, South West Suns and Cardiff Panthers. There is no doubt that a tough day begins here for the Dockers and Panthers, as the Suns have the home-ground advantage for the first time. The third pool features Cork Vikings, Seveste Redlegs and Northern Griffins. Having the honour of playing in their home country, the Griffins will be desperate to put on a show for all, but the Vikings and Redlegs will be doing all they can to prevent this from occurring. Following the first half of the fixture, Pool WA 2, WB 2 and WC 2 will be introduced. Pool WA 2 contains the Wildcats, Redlegs and Panthers, Pool WB 2 comprises of the Vikings, Suns and Bloods whilst Pool WC 2 carries the Dockers, Hounds and Griffins.

With a fresh host city, new pool structure for the women’s competition and the rare opportunity to be crowned champions of Europe, be sure to follow all the action here, on the AFL Europe YouTube site, accompanied by commentary from our dedicated Croatian broadcast team. The first match begins at 9am, and presentations will start at 5:30pm.

Upcoming 2023 Team Previews:

Part One: Paris Cockatoos and the Edinburgh Bloods (men’s and women’s)

Part Two: Cardiff Panthers (W), Vienna Galahs and Oslo Crows,

Part Three: Belfast Redbacks, Oileán Hounds, and Northern Griffins

Part Four: Geneva Jets, Waterland Eagles and Copenhagen Barracudas

Part Five: Norrtälje Dockers (men’s and women’s) and Sesvete Double Blues

Part Six: West London Wildcats (women’s and men’s) and Cardiff Panthers (M)

Part Seven: Berlin Crocs, Sesvete Redlegs and Cork Vikings

Part Eight: South West Suns, Amsterdam Devils and Mid Ulster Scorpions

  • Sam Briggs, AFL Europe