ANZAC Cup returns to Villers-Bretonneux

AFL Europe are pleased to announce that their partnership with National Australia Bank will extend into 2019, making it a two-year consecutive partnership to date.

National Australia Bank is returning as the major partner for the 2019 ANZAC Cup. Held in the small town of Villers-Bretonneux in northern France, the match will showcase the Australian Spirit and the French National sides in both the men and women’s competitions, as each side attempts to claim victory in the 11th instalment of this special event.

Action from the 2018 ANZAC Cup women’s match

The match will take place on Saturday the 27thof April, although there will be a constant Australian presence in the town from earlier in the week – starting with the ANZAC Day Dawn Service held at the Villers-Bretonneux Australian National Memorial on Thursday the 25thof April. The build-up to the match will also include the players spending time with their host families, delivering AFL clinics to students, visiting memorials and marching through the centre of town prior to the match. This is guaranteed to be a special week for all of the players, umpires and officials as they honour the Diggers and the sacrifices made over 100 years ago. Players putting on the Australian Spirit jumper have been selected for this match by their connection to World War I, the Western Front and particularly, the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux – not their playing ability.

In 1918 the town of Villers-Bretonneux was captured by German forces, however, overnight Australian troops rallied together and reclaimed the town on the 25thof April 1918. This moment in history has never been forgotten by the people of Villers-Bretonneux and each year they open their homes to Australian players as both nationalities reflect on what transpired over 100 years ago.

Action from the 2018 ANZAC Cup men’s match

AFL Europe General Manager, Ryan Davey, was delighted to be extending the partnership: “We are thrilled to once again be partnering with National Australia Bank. This is an organisation that is extremely well connected with the AFL in Australia through their support of the NAB Auskick program, the NAB AFLW competition and the NAB Rising Stars Pathways. Each of these programs have played a massive part in assisting with the growth of the game in Australia, and through their partnership in AFL Europe – primarily as the Major Partner for our ANZAC Cup – they will also assist us with growing the game of Australian Football throughout Europe. We were so pleased that some of the team from the London office of National Australia Bank could join us in Villers-Bretonneux last year and we look forward to hosting them again in 2019.”

2018 Australian Spirit Captain’s present His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, with a special present ahead of his 70th Birthday following the dawn service in Villers-Bretonneux.

John McClusky, Head of National Australia Bank in London said he felt proud that their London Branch continues to support AFL Europe.

“As a proud supporter of the AFL in Australia, we’re pleased to have extended this relationship to the UK and Europe. AFL Europe’s ANZAC Cup in Villers-Bretonneux is a terrific event in a community that holds a special place in Australia’s heart.”

Anyone interested in attending the 2019 ANZAC Cup at Villers-Bretonneux on Saturday the 27th of April should contact 

Liam McAllion – AFL Europe