AFL Switzerland Seniors
Geneva Jets, Basel Dragons, Winterthur Lions
18/08/2019 Centre Sportif de Vessy, Geneva 1:00pm
Round four of the AFL Switzerland senior competition is set to be a thriller, with the Geneva Jets, Basel Dragons and Winterthur Lions all facing off in an exciting battle this weekend.
Being a mixed competition, this league allows both men’s and women’s players to be a part of the sport together and this inclusiveness is perfect for so many people to be a part of the great game. Plans for multiple stand alone women’s sides are well underway, as this competition will grow even more in the coming years.
Geneva have seemed the best side of the 2019 competition, already booking a place in this year’s grand final in September after some dominating performances.
The Jets play an exciting brand of footy and through quick clearances will put on a show for the crowd with some high scoring matches and plenty of scoreboard pressure.
Only losing the first game of the season to Basel, the Jets look to be in their best form, having not lost since, and they are looking to continue this in round four and towards the grand final.
This weekend is pivotal to the Dragons’ and Lions’ seasons, both fighting for that final spot in the big dance.
These two sides are some of the most evenly matched in all of Europe, having one win against each other and even a draw this season, expect another extremely close match up in a very important part of the season.
Basel Dragons Secretary and AFL Switzerland committee member Jason Ransome highlights the importance of this match up, “the other grand final spot is still very much up for grabs for both Basel and Winterthur. So this being the final match of the day will be the one to watch. Whoever wins that match will make it extremely hard for the other in round five requiring them to win both matches.”
Basel will be hunting for the ball at all occasions. A team who is strong in and under contests, they will be looking to win the clearance battle and have exciting ways of beating the opposition around the ground.
While Winterthur will look to use their size and strength to intimidate the opposition and win aerial contests making for a thrilling day of footy.
These three clubs have grown quite quickly in the space of a year, as all clubs were founded in 2018 and already taken major strides in the right direction.
The way that these clubs are able to recruit a combination of Australians and locals show that their tactics are paying off and it’s exciting to see people from all backgrounds are able to play the game of AFL.
“Each club is uniquely different in AFL Switzerland. Having many international organisations based in Geneva, means they have many Australian’s based here giving the club a large playing base to choose from each round. The Winterthur Lions are a majority Swiss based club, which helps them recruit a lot more Swiss to their club as opposed to the other two clubs. Basel has many families and has been modeled on an old suburban Melbourne club. This has helped attract families and is currently the only club in Switzerland that has juniors who attend training,” said Jason.
A major reason behind this is their great connection to the home of AFL in Melbourne, Australia where the Winterthur Lions and Basel Dragons are directly connected to two major clubs of the Victorian Football League (VFL).
Winterthur are partnered with the Coburg Lions and Basel with the Port Melbourne Boroughs. These efforts to work together have built a platform for AFL Switzerland to grow and through sponsorship and the sharing of ideas have already made a lot of progress.
With three huge clubs facing off, this is one of the most important weekend’s in their footy calendar. The Jets will be looking to continue their form towards a huge grand final, while the Dragons and Lions will be battling it out for that final place. Geneva will be home to a big crowd this weekend with exciting brands of footy on display and some high scoring affairs.
Stay tuned to next week’s edition of Around the Grounds to see who came out on top!
Special thanks to Fine Wine Partners for their support of the growth of the game throughout Europe.
Liam McAllion – AFL Europe