AFL Europe Trivia with Belushi’s – #7

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 3rd of June 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.

For all terms and conditions, click here.

Good luck!

Time Left: 3:00

Time's up!


QUIZ #7

1 / 10

Can you name this AFL team in the photo below?

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2 / 10

Cousins Nick and Jack Riewoldt have European heritage from which country?

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3 / 10

Who is the newest team to join AFL Switzerland?

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4 / 10

What is the total distance from the Melbourne Cricket Ground to the Big Ben in London?

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5 / 10

Winners of the 2019 Finland AFL grand final were who?

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6 / 10

Jack, Sergio, Ben and Stephen belong to which well-known football family?

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7 / 10

Maddy Prespakis won the 2020 AFLW Best & Fairest award polling how many votes?

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8 / 10

Which of these AFL Europe women’s team names has been made up?

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9 / 10

In what year did the VFL/AFL officially commence its first season?

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10 / 10

What are the surnames of the two Irish Conor’s that play for the Hawthorn Hawks?

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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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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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The average score is 90%

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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.

To find your closest St. Christophers Inn hostel, click here.

Zurich ready for Giant start

‘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, checked in with AFL Switzerland secretary and player-president of the Zurich Giants, Ulrike Senti, discussing the team’s journey since coming together in September 2019.

AS the latest addition to AFL Switzerland, the Zurich Giants AFC are continuing to wait for their first official match of Australian footy.

The Giants are the new arrivals for just the second season of AFL Switzerland, joining the Geneva Jets, Basel Dragons and the Winterthur Lions.

The Giants have been given the green light to recommence training this week, holding their first session on Wednesday.

Training with the Team

The pause on the season due to COVID-19 has not dampened the enthusiasm of the Giants players according to President Ulrike Senti.

“We are trying to keep that spirit going although coronavirus is present at the moment, but we are a happy and lucky club,” Ulrike said.

The Giants formed in September 2019, immediately following the inaugural AFL season in Switzerland.

“It was just a really lucky coincidence that we had good people around and our core committee put in so much work to get this club going.

“Of course we had other clubs already in Switzerland so it was easier to build up a club.

Unlike most competitions across AFL Europe, the Swiss competition is a mixed competition, with men and women playing on the same team.

As they prepare for their debut season, the Giants have built an impressive list of over 30 players.

“We tried to do lots of recruitment work, we went to the University, we handed out flyers, we even walked through the city talking about footy.

“Just spreading the word and trying to be supportive with letting people join, even if they have no experience at all, we are very welcoming. That is what newcomers want; they want to join a club where they are welcome.

“We have a good mixture, we have a couple of experienced players, but also some not experienced but they bring other skills with them. We have a couple of girls and more men at the moment from Switzerland, Australia, Spain and all over the place which is really cool and it gives an extra culture touch to our club.”

AFL Switzerland were ready for the 2020 season prior to the lockdown, with five round-robin style days scheduled with each team hosting a day and a grand final in September.

As well as overseeing the Giants, Ulrike is also secretary of AFL Switzerland.

“We have already had to cancel two rounds unfortunately, so what we are trying now is to get some more rounds in for June-July if possible but as everyone knows you have to be quite spontaneous about that,” she said.

“We would have been ready for our second season, we had a couple of changes within the committee of AFL Switzerland itself, some additional volunteers who will help us to grow the sport within Switzerland. The main thing is that we are ready, we just have to wait until this crisis is over.”

The Swiss clubs took great pride out of representing their country in the Euro Cup last year and were looking forward to the 2020 competition in Scotland before it was postponed.

“Last year we had the women’s and the men’s national teams going and this year we would have two teams again. We were all looking forward to it.

Swiss National Womens

“Now we are looking to take the chance to build it up even more and get stronger out of it, so we are more ready for the tournament.

“It’s an important part of AFL Switzerland; we really want to have those national teams going to represent Switzerland as a country within AFL Europe.”

To learn more about the Zurich Giants you can head to their brand new website.

To find your Newest Team in Town, check out our Find Your Club page.

James Brosnan – AFL Europe

My European Heritage | Ailish Considine

GROWING up in West Clare, Ireland surrounded by empty fields, Ailish Considine lived a childhood that many kids would dream of.

“We played Gaelic football, soccer, hurling, basketball at school, volleyball, baseball, tennis… whatever sporting equipment we had really, we played.”

Considine and her older sister experimented with every sport they could, which often led to the two going head-to-head with one another.

“Sport had always been a major part of our childhood and yeah we were lucky we had each other to practice with.

“She was the athletic one whereas I had the skill side… don’t ask me to run!”

Considine (left) pictured with her family.

Considine (left) pictured with her family.

However, there was one sport growing up that Considine never quite got her hands on, the sport that is Australian football.

Whilst she knew of Australian footy through seeing glimpses of it on TV, as well as the International Rules series, it wasn’t until late-2017 where she was introduced to the sport by Mike and Rosie Currane.

“I was lucky enough that Mike Currane had set up AFL Women’s here in Ireland, which I found through playing (Gaelic) football with his sister.

“He (Currane) had set up a tournament and wanted to get as many teams as possible to it. His sister Rosie (pictured below) said will you come play, and I thought I may as well.”

From the get-go, Considine fell in love with the sport and the talented Gaelic footballer became well-known amongst the AFL Europe competition.

“We went to Amsterdam at the start of 2018 and won the Champions League, and it just kept growing from there.”

Considine and West Clare Waves would experience large success, going on to win almost every game they played that year.

Just months into a new sport where she was still unsure of what all the rules were, her sister would forward on to her an email that would change everything.

“My sister sent me an email about this CrossCoders program, asking if anyone was interested in playing Australian Football or wanted to come to Australia and trial for it.

“You just had to express your interest with your email and then list your previous sporting achievements.

“I threw my name in the hat for the one and only reason to go over to Australia, see it and then come home and play (Gaelic) football because I really had no notion of getting picked up.”

West Clare Waves at the 2018 Champions League. Considine pictured back/centre.

West Clare Waves at the 2018 Champions League. Considine pictured back/centre.

Time went on and Considine later found her submission had drawn some interest, as CrossCoders were now asking her to send on a few videos in action playing Gaelic and Australian Football to show AFLW teams.

“I was then lucky to get a video call with the Bulldogs and I got picked to make the trip… I was delighted! It was a trip out to Australia, with the opportunity of a lifetime.

“I didn’t think anyone would pick me over the calibre girls that were going over. Some of the girls going over were serious, inter-county football stars.

“But just like that I headed out to Melbourne, and that was all thanks to AFL Ireland, AFL Europe, Mike Currane and everyone else that started me off in playing AFL over here (Ireland).”

Considine said her time in Australia flew by, spending 10-days in Melbourne playing games alongside Irish teammates, meeting and trialling with AFLW clubs and watching the Victorian Football League finals.

“We started the training and testing, Adelaide Crows were there, Collingwood, Western Bulldogs and a few other clubs.

Ten Irishwomen embark on a trip to Melbourne to trial for the AFLW. Considine pictured front/centre.

Ten Irishwomen embark on a trip to Melbourne to trial for the AFLW. Considine pictured front/centre.

“The Crows seemed to show a bit of interest pretty quickly, and Mike was telling me they were looking into me but I thought he was only telling me that to make me feel better.

“We had an interview with Phil Harper & Katrina Gill at the Crows… it went pretty well, it was just a general chat and they told us they were looking into a few of us.

“The following morning we had interviews at 9AM, and I remember going into that interview with the Crows and thinking they’re not going to pick me anyway so I’ll just have a nice chat with them.”

The Crows spoke with Considine about her life in Ireland, her family and growing up being surrounded by sports.

“It was probably one of the nicest interviews I’ve ever had.”

Moments later, an unexpected surprise would soon change her life.

Ailish Quote

“I was just sitting there speechless, is he asking me this just to show me the guernsey or is he offering me a contract?

“Mike was sitting beside me and thank god because most of it was going over my head because I just didn’t believe it was happening.

“He (Phil) was like well we think you’d look pretty good in it and we want to offer you a contract.

“I went out to Australia, and did not expect a contract coming home. My mother was even preparing for how she was going to console me once I got back.

“Mike was smiling ear to ear and he knew what was going on. I couldn’t get over it, and I was like this is just not happening, it’s not real.”

From there and then, Considine would come to learn that she was going to be back in Australia living out a professional career in the AFLW.

But first, she had some unfinished business with Australian football in Ireland.

Irish Banshees at the 2018 Euro Cup. Considine pictured back, third from left.

Irish Banshees at the 2018 Euro Cup. Considine pictured back, third from left.

Once returned and in that following October, she would head down to Cork to represent the Irish Banshees at AFL Europe’s Euro Cup.

The Banshees overcame women’s teams from Germany, England, Sweden, France and more, to be crowned 2018 Euro Cup champions.

Considine believes her time with AFL Ireland (pictured with Mike below) and playing in AFL Europe had prepared her extremely well for her move to Australia to compete in the AFLW.

“It definitely really helped me to start me off and get me to certain level, and then obviously get recognised by the Crows… I think getting involved over here (Europe) is a good starting point for anyone that wants to pursue it (a career in the AFL/AFLW).

“It gave me a good base of how it’s played, and then obviously the basic skills, learning where the ball was going to bounce, judging the flight of the ball, even getting used to the tackling.”

Considine’s winning ways would soon follow her into Australia, capping off her first season in the AFLW with the Crows by winning the 2019 premiership in front of 53,000 fans.

Within one year, Considine had become one of the most decorated Irishwomen in the game, having won AFL Europe’s Champions League, Euro Cup, and now, an AFLW grand final.

Considine pictured with her mum and sister after the 2019 AFLW grand final.

Considine pictured with her mum and sister after the 2019 AFLW grand final.

Her remarkable journey also makes her one of the first players to have competed in the AFL Europe system, to then sign on with a professional club in Australia.

In her first season with the Crows, she managed to only miss one game and credits those who took the time out of their lives to help her work on her skills, but also support her with settling into Adelaide.

“They (Adelaide Crows) had really made me feel apart of the family, I had flown how many miles across the world not knowing a single person in Adelaide, and literally didn’t feel homesick at all in my first year.

“They flew me home at Christmas, made sure I felt safe and at home with the club and really looked after me.

“I just learnt so much and got so much support from the coaches, and Phil Harper in particular.

“We used to train Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and then on a Tuesday and Thursday Phil and I would go kicking for an hour or two at the oval. It really helped me so much.

“I had all the support I needed and was just full-time into my footy.”

Considine celebrating with the Adelaide Crows.

Considine celebrating with the Adelaide Crows.

A dreamlike introduction into the league led to an eager Considine raring to get her second season underway, but not all things were perfect for the Irishwoman.

“In my second year I actually felt a bit of homesickness which was a surprise, I knew Adelaide, I knew the players and I knew what I was going into.

“I got dropped for one of the games and I think Katrina Gill knew it wasn’t just the ‘being dropped’ that was why I was down, and she just said do you want to go for a coffee… little things like that do really go a long way.

“The club have been great like that, they really make an effort to reach out when something’s up.”

It’s one of the biggest challenges that international recruits have to deal with when making the move to play in Australia.

“And to be honest, reaching out to people is something that I find very hard to do.

“When I kept things to myself and was feeling a bit down on things, that’s where I struggled most. But when I actually picked up the phone and talked about it all, even when I was just listening, all of that helped.

“I think for anyone that is feeling a bit down from being away from home, you really have to try and reach out to your club and your core group, they’re there to help you.

“And your family will always be there for you, even just making a FaceTime call to interact with them as much as possible goes a long way…”

Whilst she’s currently back living in Ireland, Considine is hoping to eventually be back with the Crows that would see her return in Australia for the 2021 AFLW season.

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

PSS Presents: Around the Grounds – Socials Edition #8

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

Closing in on the month of May, more teams around Europe have continued to make a safe return to training.

Footy in Denmark has resumed with the Odense Lions and Lionesses training last week, and the Copenhagen Barracudas to follow suit this week.

The first training back for Odense has resulted in an attendance record for the club of 35 people! Safe to say footy has been missed.

Teams in Germany continue to make their way back onto the track.

The Frankfurt Redbacks and Frankfurt Redcats held a training last week for the first time in over two months!

Frankfurt have made it all-the-more easier for you to keep up-to-date and get involved with the club through the launch of a new website. Check it out!

The Waterland Eagles in the Netherlands have joined a number of clubs to officially return to training in these past few weeks, and were all smiles!

If your local club is nearing a return, please make yourself aware of your government’s guidelines and regulations so training can resume safely.

Yo FB, WE’RE OFFICIALLY BACK!Last night we kicked off our COVID regulations training. Absolutely loved seeing the guys…

Posted by Waterland Eagles on Monday, 18 May 2020

Geelong star Zach Tuohy hasn’t lost his touch over the quarantine break.

Three in a row from 50 out on the tightest of angles, no biggie for the Irishman.

Teams in the AFL made a return to training last week and will now be allowed to resume contact drills this week.

View this post on Instagram

Just how we roll in #Group4 😏

A post shared by Zach Tuohy☘️ (@zach2e) on

The cancelled All Points East festival, a favourite for many at the North London footy club, was meant to take place last weekend at Victoria Park.

So, the North London Lions and Lionesses decided to put on their own festival ‘All Points North’.

The event live streamed performances from across the world, as well as a replay of the AFL London 2019 women’s grand final between North London and Wandsworth Demons.

An entertaining night for all, we’re looking forward to the sequel!

Great to wake up here in North London and see the huge love 💛🖤❤️ from all around the world for our All Points NORTH…

Posted by North London Lions on Sunday, 24 May 2020

The West Lothian women’s team have been continuing on with their fitness trainings through isolation.

Credit to the girls for keeping at it! Hopefully a return to training in the UK is nearing.

The ‘Sheagles’ are always welcoming new players so if you’d like to get involved once footy returns, or even in one of their Zoom fitness classes, send them a message through their Facebook page.

Great to see our Sheagles working hard on Zoom tonight with fitness class run by Michelle. 👏👏Also welcome to the club…

Posted by West Lothian Eagles ARFC on Wednesday, 20 May 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.

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Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

AFL Europe Trivia with Belushi’s – #6

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 27th of May 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.

For all terms and conditions, click here.

Good luck!

Time Left: 3:00

Time's up!


QUIZ #6

1 / 10

Which women’s team won the 2020 Fitzpatrick Cup?

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2 / 10

Previous AFL player Tom Boyd made the front cover of which country’s newspaper when he was drafted?

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3 / 10

What song do Port Adelaide Power fans sing before their home games?

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4 / 10

Who were premiers of the 2018 Danish Australian Football League?

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5 / 10

Who was the first woman appointed as a coach for a football club in the AFL?

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6 / 10

Which Irish star won Best First Year Player for Collingwood in the 2020 AFLW season?

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7 / 10

The AFL has announced a return date for season 2020. When is it?

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8 / 10

Scott Pendlebury from the Pies has won the Anzac Day Medal how many times?

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9 / 10

Which of these teams has the most followers on Instagram (as of May 22nd)?

 

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10 / 10

Who won the men’s 2017 CEAFL tournament?

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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.

-----

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).

-----

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

Your score is

The average score is 47%

0%

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.

To find your closest St. Christophers Inn hostel, click here.

Season start getting close for Redlegs in Croatia

‘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 explored Australian Football in Croatia to learn more about the newly formed Sesvete Redlegs, hearing from club president Dina Bednar and head coach Dinko Irsag.

WITH COVID-19 lockdown restrictions easing, teams in Croatia have been able to take the first steps in resuming their 2020 season, including the country’s newest team, the Sesvete Redlegs.

With close links to the Sesvete Double Blues men’s team, the Redlegs women’s team were preparing for their second season prior to the pause due to coronavirus.

Redlegs Team Photo

The Redlegs formed in December 2018, joining the Zagreb Panthers as the second women’s team in the Croatian competition.

President of the Redlegs, Dina Bednar, said the club built quickly throughout the 2019 season and are looking forward to the resumption of 2020.

“We started with only seven players which is not enough for European standards to play 9-a-side, so we started to look for new players and by the end of the season we had 25 players which is great,” Dina said.

Dina was among the first group of players working hard to get the club off the ground three years ago.

Redlegs Players

“I wasn’t doing anything at that time and was quite bored because I wasn’t physically active.

“I heard that something was going on online and I found the Facebook page and I came to the first training, that’s how I started and I stayed,” she said.

The Redlegs rapid growth is put down to a simple tactic.

“It was quite successful; we talk about footy all the time.”

Not only was their inaugural season a success in growing numbers, the Redlegs were also able to win all three of the round-robin style tournaments they competed in.

For now, the Redlegs were able to restart training two weeks ago, getting back together twice a week under the guidance of coach Dinko Irsag.

Dinko is well known as a current AFL Europe board member, president of Association of Australian Football Croatia (AAFC) and player for the Double Blues.

Coach Dinko

“Good news for us is that quarantine is letting up so we are hoping to start training and get the players back into shape,” Dinko said.

“We are looking to start mid-June with the league… We are hoping to have at least two rounds before summer kicks in.

“At the beginning of July, everything is going to slow down again but the next six weeks are going to be intense.”

The AAFC have had to face some other challenges in getting a season started following the lockdown.

“We can’t plan further than that… most of our players are students and they study in Zagreb so they want to go back home and see the seaside and that sort of stuff.

“We work with what we’ve got and we will see how it goes in the autumn period.”

Besides focussing on getting the season restarted, work will now continue on a significant project for the AAFC, one that will be the envy on many European organisations as they look to complete the build of a full size, 18-a-side Aussie Rules oval at the University of Zagreb.

“That’s the biggest and most important thing we have here in Croatia,” Dinko said.

“We’d like to thank the University for providing the field and we are putting all of our effort, finances and spare time that we can afford into building that pitch and getting it up and running as soon as we possibly can.

“We were hoping to play 18-a-side this autumn, we don’t know what’s going to happen with that but we will have the pitch up and running and it will be something special.

“We can’t wait to play on it, you want to play footy in the original way it’s played and we’re working on it.”

Dinko is excited about the prospect of an upcoming season, with plenty of bragging rights on the line for the three men’s teams, which includes the Sesvete Double Blues, Zagreb Hawks and the Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers.

Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers win the 2019 CEAFL

Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers win the 2019 CEAFL

“Currently with those three teams, each has two league championships.

“When we are able to play footy again, the team that wins the league will be up with three wins.

“It’s built up a bit of tension between the clubs. We love to play each other and its good footy and entertaining… it is going to be interesting.

“The female footy is good, we have two stable teams right now and they have upwards of 20 players in each club.

“They are really working on getting it up and running, the skill level is rising pretty quickly for the women.”

To learn more about the Sesvete Redlegs, or to find your Newest Team in Town, check out the Find Your Club page.

James Brosnan – AFL Europe

My European Heritage | Irishmen on the Gold Coast

ONE has played over 150 games, the other is just getting started.

Pearce Hanley and Luke Towey are two Irishmen that have taken two very different paths to get to the Gold Coast Suns.

Whilst their paths may differ, the pair share something quite particular; the journey they have made from Ireland to Australia in pursuit of a career in the Australian Football League.

Pearce Hanley was born in England, and at a young age moved with his family to live in the west of Ireland.

Hanley grew up a talented Gaelic footballer starring for his local county, Mayo, and was fortunate enough to represent Ireland in the International Rules series against Australia.

A young Hanley at the '05 International Rules. Picture: INPHO.

A young Hanley at the ’05 International Rules. Picture: INPHO.

Towards the end of 2007, he had officially announced his move to the Australian Football League after signing with the Brisbane Lions.

He set off to Australia knowing little about the sport, but recalls staying up some nights to watch it with his father at home.

“I was one of those people that stayed up and I think it was at like 10:30PM or 11:00PM that TG4 used to have the Aussie Rules on… it was so random, but yeah I used to stay up and watch it with my dad,” said Hanley.

“I kind of knew (about the AFL) but I didn’t think there was any pathway there… I just used to love watching it and the International Rules.

“After Tadhg Kennelly won his premiership with Sydney (2005), he became a pretty big household name in Ireland, and I think a lot of people then became aware of Australian Football.”

Hanley’s game style often reflected that of Kennelly’s, idolising his silky skills and lightning-quick pace from early on in his career.

The two Irishmen have shown similar traits in the AFL.

The two Irishmen have shown similar traits in the AFL.

“I used to watch his vision after every game, he was one of the best offensive half backs in the competition at the time.

“I’d get one of my coaches to give me vision of him and I used to watch where he got the ball and what he’d do with it, and I think that helped my game a lot.”

Hanley was fortunate enough to debut in his first season with the Lions, though in his second season, only managed the one game.

It was in these following seasons where he had begun to miss being at home in Ireland with his family.

“My homesickness came in my second and third year at the Lions.

“I think everyone has a bit of homesickness at the start… When I was younger, I pretty much spent the whole 8-10 weeks of off-season back home.”

In those early stages of his career, Hanley also felt plenty of challenges when on-field and at training with the Lions.

Hanley Quote

But as time went on, his skills developed, and the faith the Lions had placed in the Irishman motivated his breakout year in 2011, playing every game in that season.

Hanley has gone on to become one of the top Irish players to ever play the game, sitting behind just Jim Stynes, Tadhg Kennelly and Zach Tuohy for the most number of games played by an Irishman in the AFL.

He has also since represented Ireland in the International Rules series on multiple occasions, won two Marcus Ashcroft medals, become vice-captain for the Suns and has helped continue to pave the way for Irish players coming into the AFL.

In 2016, Hanley signed with the Gold Coast Suns, where he spent the past Australian summer training alongside fellow Irishman, Luke Towey.

Hanley at the Suns. Picture: AFL Photos.

Hanley at the Suns. Picture: AFL Photos.

“I think he (Towey) got a rude awakening when he first came with the heat and the pre-season’s that are… but he’s taken to it really well.”

An honest Towey was quick to agree.

“The first two weeks I could barely breathe!

“But even the lads who had moved from Victoria and Western Australia were finding it difficult, which made me feel a bit better.”

Luke Towey was born in Dublin, Ireland and lived in Kildare for a short time before his family moved up north to Sligo.

Towey found his way to the Gold Coast from trialling at the 2018 AFL Europe Talent Combine in Dublin.

Towey (centre) at the Combine.

Towey (centre) at the Combine.

“I got a phone call to come along to this session in Dublin on a Friday with about 20 people,” said Towey.

“My fellow county man Red Og Murphy was there as well and he had kind of been in the process a couple of months before me which helped.

“I actually went to his house the night before and he introduced me to the ball, we were kicking it and I was useless at it.

“The next morning, I went to the session and I realised I really, really wanted to pursue a career in the AFL.”

Towey’s elite speed made him a standout amongst others at the Combine, and once he had gained a taste for the sport, he was eager for more.

Towey Quote

“I was meant to give it back,” he laughed.

After the Combine, Towey was lucky enough to be invited along with three others to travel to Melbourne and participate in another trial.

“We trialled in front of some AFL clubs and from that, I got to have a conversation with a few of them.

“I was lucky to have Gold Coast want to fly me up north to do a trial with them, so I jumped at that without hesitation.”

Similar to Hanley, Towey hadn’t heard or seen much of the AFL before moving to Australia from Ireland.

“I knew what it was from International Rules and from Irish players being over there (Australia).

“And I maybe had watched a handful of games, but it wasn’t something I’d sit down and watch to really learn.”

This brought Towey a number of challenges after making his decision to sign with the Suns.

“Leaving your family, leaving your friends, I was in the middle of college and in the middle of football… I was really enjoying life, but I just felt the opportunity to get over to Australia and play professional Australian Football was something that I just couldn’t pass up.”

Towey in his first pre-season at the Suns.

Towey in his first pre-season at the Suns.

Since starting at the Suns, Towey has worked with a number of coaches to set numerous goals he would set out to achieve.

“I sat down with a couple of the coaches before Christmas, and we set some small goals such as making myself available for every session and then also getting through as many of the sessions as possible.

“The more training sessions I was doing, the more time I was getting to practice my skills, and the quicker I’d develop.”

He has also often sat down with teammate Pearce Hanley, who helped him refine his skills through watching tape and match footage.

“He’s been helping me loads, it’s obviously been great to have someone there that has done what I want to do.

“He’s had an amazing career over the 13 years… and he’s been brilliant in helping me with my skills.”

Whilst his initial goals have been put on hold, Towey has been working hard in Ireland to keep fit, in hope of getting back to the Gold Coast after the AFL’s recent announcement on a return date for the 2020 season.

It’s understood the AFLPA and Gold Coast Suns are currently working with the Australian government to get him back to Australia as soon as possible.

For other Irish or European players wanting to take a similar path as Towey’s into the AFL, his advice is to keep working hard.

“If you keep training hard and become solely focused on trying to get better and better, I think then everything else will come and fall into place.

“I’d encourage you to try and watch (AFL) games to try and pick up the skills, I feel that has really helped me.”

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

PSS Presents: Around the Grounds – Socials Edition #7

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

The AFL 2020 season is returning!

Last Friday, AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan announced a ‘return to play’ plan that would see AFL teams resume training this week.

The announcement also included a date for the season to recommence, which can be seen loud and clear in their Instagram post below.

View this post on Instagram

FOOTY 🙌 #Believe

A post shared by AFL (@afl) on

Some great news for Australian Football in Europe as AFL Croatia is also looking for a return to competition in mid-June.

The Croatian government began to ease restrictions in April and has since allowed outdoor trainings to resume.

The Sesvete Double Blues can be seen literally picking up training right where they left off.

View this post on Instagram

Rubber Biscuits #velebitljubav #neno104 #dbs4life

A post shared by Sesvete Double Blues (@sesvetedoubleblues) on

The Zagreb Panthers have also gotten back into the swing of things.

The girls recently held their first training session since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Earlier this month, the Bulgarian government announced that they too would begin to ease their lockdown measures.

This saw the Sofia Magpies able to hold a training session just yesterday!

They’re looking for more players to get involved so if you would like to get along to one of these sessions, please message the club’s Facebook.

Варна винаги е била наш втори дом заради морето и лепкавия въздух. Може би и отчасти защото кажи-речи половината ни…

Posted by Sofia Magpies Australian Rules Football Club on Saturday, 16 May 2020

The Wimbledon Hawks and Cardiff Panthers celebrated International Nurses Day last Wednesday with photo’s of one of their own!

AFL Europe would like to say a big thank you to Jen, Martha and all nurses who have been working tirelessly, particularly in these last few months.

The Irish Banshees have taken to socials to celebrate some of their amazing women who have been involved in their international success in the past few years.

First up was Banshees captain Mella Morey, who featured in Ireland’s 2019 European Championship win as well as their 2018 & 2019 Euro Cup victories.

You might also recognise Mella from her recent performance on AFL Europe’s social media.

#BeBanshees #CantSeeCantBeSimply celebrating our AMAZING Women who have represented Ireland at our recent…

Posted by The Irish Banshees on Wednesday, 13 May 2020

The home deck of the London Swans is looking in top nick in their latest Instagram video.

With restrictions on outdoor exercise beginning to ease in England, a few Swans players grabbed a footy (and a drone) to head out for a kick!

Whilst lockdown rules are changing, and we encourage you to get outside for a kick of the footy, social distancing guidelines still stand and must be strictly followed in accordance to your government’s guidelines.

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

AFL Europe Trivia with Belushi’s – #5

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 20th of May 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.

For all terms and conditions, click here.

Good luck!

Time Left: 3:00

Time's up!


QUIZ #5

1 / 10

Which Irish player won AFL Europe's Champions League, Euro Cup & and an AFLW premiership in a 12-month period?

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2 / 10

This 9-a-side tournament see’s European national sides face off to contest for the title of Champions of Europe.

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3 / 10

Patrick Dangerfield has been selected into the AFL’s All Australian side how many times?

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4 / 10

The inaugural AFL International Cup was held in Melbourne. Do you know what year?

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5 / 10

Only five club’s in V/AFL history have won three consecutive premierships in a row. Which of these four clubs is not one?

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6 / 10

David Zaharakis has European parentage of which country?

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7 / 10

The record for the most disposals in an AFL game is 54. Pearce Hanley’s current highest is how many?

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8 / 10

Which team has the highest number of wooden spoons in V/AFL history (last place finishes)?

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9 / 10

Which Australian comedian was a guest speaker at 2019 AFL Europe Grand Final lunch?

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10 / 10

Who won the 2018 AFLW league best and fairest?

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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.

To find your closest St. Christophers Inn hostel, click here.

Vale Patrick Simon

AFL Europe are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Villers-Bretonneux mayor, Patrick Simon.

Patrick was a great supporter of Australian Football in France, and would regularly attend AFL Europe’s annual ANZAC Cup match between the Australian Spirit and French national sides.

Patrick played an integral role in maintaining the special relationship between Villers-Bretonneux and Australia, which earned him an honorary Order of Australia medal in 2015.

We pass on our support and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Patrick during this tough time.