Celebrating 30 years: One of the oldest Australian Football competitions outside of Australia

Thirty-one years ago, the Victorian Football League underwent a major rebrand and was renamed the Australian Football League to reflect the sport’s growth and presence across the country.

Italian Tony Liberatore went on to win the Brownlow Medal, and the Collingwood Magpies, with the likes of Daicos and Starcevich, claimed their first premiership in 32 years.

Beyond the sport’s expansion in Australia, 1990 became a significant year for Australian Football worldwide. The first official Australian Football competition in Europe had just been launched.

Last year, AFL London, formerly known as the British Australian Rules Football League (BARFL), turned 30 years old.

However, its 30th anniversary season, like many sports and leagues across the world, would soon become suspended.

The wait for AFL London Co-Presidents Marianna Graham and Sarah Howell, and all teams, to get the celebratory season underway proved a little more onerous than it ever had before.

“It was difficult initially… We didn’t really know what restrictions we were going to have or if there was going to be another lockdown,” said Graham.

“Testament to Sarah’s perseverance, the sport is recognised through Sport England, which was a huge tick for us and helped get our 2021 season underway.

“It was a really short season, but I think all clubs were just really happy to be playing footy after almost two years.”

Despite its shortened format, the season quickly became a remarkable one. For the first time in the league’s existence, each division’s grand final was won by a different club.

And finally, club members, umpires, current players, former players and officials were able to celebrate the year and the league’s existence at the AFL London 30th Anniversary Dinner and Awards Night earlier this month.

Held in Marble Quay, Howell and Graham kicked off the event by welcoming and thanking all attendees for their contribution to the 2021 season, before proceeding into an interview with Collingwood Magpies star, Chloe Molloy.

Molloy spoke to Graham about her journey into the AFL Women’s (AFLW) competition, from wearing her footy boots to bed as a kid to making her debut in 2018 and winning the league’s best first year player award.

The AFLW was first played in 2017, two years after the AFL London women’s competition had launched.

The AFL London women’s competition begun with four teams in one division, and quickly grew to nine teams across two, spiralling the growth of women’s footy across the continent.

Howell and Graham then progressed through the awards for the 2021 season, announcing each men’s and women’s division’s leading goal kicker, best and fairest winners and each coach of the year.

Umpire of the year was announced, as was best club of the year which was awarded to the youngest team in the league, South East London Giants.

The most prestigious award of the night was reserved until the very end. Howell and Graham announced the third-ever recipient, along with Sam Percy (2016) and Chris Rea (2017), of AFL London Life Membership.

The crowd erupted as renowned Australian Football umpire in Europe, Katrina Stopinski, became an AFL London Life Member.

Stopinski has umpired in Europe for nearly five years across numerous tournaments, events and matches in over ten different countries.

Heading all AFL Europe Umpires, Stopinski’s contribution and devotion to the sport in Europe has been tremendous, and she will be dearly missed by the entire community as she returns home to Australia.

Congratulations to Stopinski and all award winners on the night, and to AFL London for a fantastic event.

Eight clubs participated in the inaugural BARFL season in 1990. Of the foundation teams, four still compete; West London, North London, Wimbledon (formerly the London Hawks) and Wandsworth.

The season was played just a year prior to the launch of Danish Australian Football League (DAFL). The two leagues would soon meet in 1994 for the first international match between two European sides; Great Britain and Denmark.

Australian Football in Europe has since grown to be played in more than 20 countries, with even more men’s and women’s leagues established across the continent.

Teams compete locally as well as travel for international friendlies and tournaments including the AFL Europe Euro Cup and Champions League.

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

AFL Europe Podcast: One Kick Later – Matea Sedlaček

Welcome to episode thirty of the AFL Europe Podcast with Matea Sedlaček from Croatia.

Matea was introduced to Australian Football in Zagreb by a colleague at work and became instantly hooked on the sport, as well as how welcoming the community was.

Playing with the Zagreb Panthers now for over five years, we jump into and chat about the history of women’s footy in Croatia, her experiences travelling across Europe playing at AFL Europe events as well as how a coaching role in 2019 has helped her grow her knowledge of the sport.

Listen to episode thirty via Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Alternatively, type in and search AFL Europe Podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Teams are in: Players selected for AFL Ireland’s Clover Cup announced

Fixtures and team lists have been confirmed for AFL Ireland’s Clover Cup in Northern Ireland on Saturday, October 16th.

Starting at 10:30 AM local time, England Vixens and Welsh Wyverns are scheduled in at game number one to kick off the tournament being held at Sarsfields GAA club, West Belfast.

Soon after, the men’s competition will begin as the Scottish Clansmen line up against newly formed home side, Ulster Wolfhounds.

Both tournaments will be played in a round robin format with each team playing their respective opponents once before determining which two sides will progress into the grand final.

Joining the Vixens and Wyverns in the women’s competition are the Irish Banshees, Scottish Sirens and newly formed home team, Ulster Machas.

Teams in the women’s competition will be heading to Belfast with squads of up to 18 players. The women’s tournament will be played in 12-minute halves and feature a number of players on debut.

The Machas side is yet to be confirmed.

Joining the Clansmen and Wolfhounds in the men’s competition are the Irish Warriors and Welsh Red Dragons.

Four teams make up the men’s tournament that will be played over three rounds and in 14-minute halves, before determining the top two place-getters to qualify for the grand final.

Both tournaments will also feature a final match between third and fourth, to determine the third best team of each competition.

Best of luck to all teams, umpires and officials this weekend who will be participating in their first international tournament for almost two years.

Congratulations to the many players who will be representing their national team for the first time.

More information on the tournament can be read here.

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

AFL Europe Podcast: One Kick Later – Daphny Bergqvist

Welcome to episode twenty-nine of the AFL Europe Podcast.

In this episode, we journey up to Sweden for our One Kick Later series to hear from current Swedish Ravens co-coach, and Port Malmö Lynx head coach, Daphny Bergqvist.

Daphny first played Australian Football in 2017 and after a couple of games and trainings, was off to Bordeaux to compete in the AFL Europe Euro Cup with Sweden.

Daphny shares how she first learned of the sport, her experiences representing Sweden and playing at international events,  the importance of culture and community in a growing sport and the transition from player to coach.

Listen to episode twenty-nine via Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Alternatively, type in and search AFL Europe Podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts.

South Dublin men’s and women’s host AFL Ireland Round 5

Round five of the Irish season saw the South Dublin Swans men’s and women’s sides host their Cork counterparts in Dublin, while the Belfast Redbacks made their way west to take on the Galway Magpies who were in search of their first premiership win in 2021. Thanks to Stephen O’Sullivan from AFL Ireland for the recap.

Galway Magpies v Belfast Redbacks (men’s)

The Redbacks headed to Galway knowing that only a win would do in their pursuit of a second place finish and a home preliminary final. They also needed the Leeside Lions to keep their unbeaten record intact, however, they could only do their own job and hope for the best result from match in the capital.

The Magpies were still chasing their first premiership win of the season and this was possibly their best chance, being their final home game. Any hopes of that were dashed early on, the determined Ulster men, knowing the task at hand, hit the scoreboard early and raced into a comfortable lead.

To their credit, Galway fought hard and their talisman, Shaun Murphy, added two more goals to his impressive haul. The Aussie rarely let’s his side down in front of the big sticks. James O’Flatharta also on target for the home side.

The Redbacks were ruthless on the day and only for slightly skewed kicking, would have won by a more comfortable margin. Their job was done, winning by an impressive 68-points.

Final score: Galway Magpies 3. 4. (22) def. by Belfast Redbacks 13. 12. (90).

South Dublin Swans v Cork Vikings (women’s)

The Cork Vikings came into this one on top of the ladder and were eager to cement their place in first position, to ensure a grand final spot. The hosts, still looking for their first victory were determined to try and upset the favourites.

In a unique opening to the day, fixture clashes meant that the venue of St Brendan’s GAA was unavailable for a 12.30 PM start. The game was moved to nearby Phoenix Park. The Swans welcomed back Aisling Hanley and Vanessa Sterry from injury as well as Tanya Farell and Ita Heneghan who togged out for the Swans for the first time.

After a messy start, the Swans had a promising first quarter, showing huge improvement from their previous clash. They contested fiercely around the footy but the experienced Vikings were the ones who impacted the scoreboard most. Captain, Maria Quirke and Annie Walsh taking control for the Vikings early on.

More confusion meant the second quarter was back at St. Brendan’s. The Swans lost two players due to prior commitments which saw their bench diminish. The Cork women picked up where they left off, dominating around the stoppages and taking control of the contest. The Swans fought hard against the seasoned Vikings and there was some beautiful football played by both sides. Shannon Stevenson was again influential on the scoresheet for the Vikings, who welcomed back Caroline Condon, who was also amongst the goals.

The second half continued in the same vein as the first. Annie Walsh and Maria Quirke added to their goal tally while Ashling Hanley (2) and Sorcha Nolan (2) bagged the majors for the home side.

Joanne McNaughton, Jane Leahy, Vanessa Sterry and Mailin Vettiger were particularly impressive in the backline with hard tackles for the Swans. Special mention also to CJ Murphy for the Vikings who kicked two goals once more for the Cork Vikings and Bláthnaid Wiseman who was impressive throughout.

In the end, the Vikings were comfortable victors against a steely and determined Swans outfit who will gain much experience from the contest.

Final score: South Dublin Swans 3. 3. (21) def. by Cork Vikings 14. 13. (97).

South Dublin Swans v Leeside Lions (men’s)

In the top of the table clash, and plenty at stake, the Lions put their unbeaten record on the line against a home side who knew victory would secure at least a home preliminary final.

The Cork women had won earlier in the day and the men were determined to complete the double in the capital. They came out of the blocks firing, enhancing their status as the top team on the ladder. Five unanswered goals in the first quarter gave the Lions a comfortable looking lead in what are normally tight encounters. Harry Hynes, Darren O’Dwyer and Kev Jones all on target for the Leesiders.

The Swans, for all their efforts, couldn’t get going in the first quarter hitting a few behinds. They quickly bounced back in the second term however, and the returning Gavin Murray and Seamus Owens were impressive along with debutanst Rasmus Bruun and Conor McGroarty. They dragged their side back into the contest! The home side kicked six unanswered in the second term and took a slender lead into the big break.

The second half was a much tighter affair, both sides showing their mettle with tough tackling and fearless contests throughout the park. Paul Murphy and Alan Daly goaled while Gene Casey and Drew Baldwin responded for the Swans. Behinds were traded in a nervous finish and Andrew O’ Neill kicked his second of the day for the Lions to give them a chance to snatch victory. Seamus Owens was on hand to claim the victory for the home side after some great play down the right wing through Connor Dunne and Joey Carroll gave the Dublin man the simple task of finishing from a few yards out, to claim the spoils and a home final for the Swans.

A cracking encounter with top quality footy saw Keith Whelan, Gene Casey and Conor McGroarty impress for the home team, while Kevin Jones, Paul Murphy and James Daly had great games for the travelling Lions.

Final score: South Dublin Swans 9. 15. (69) def. Leeside Lions 9. 7. (61).

A cracking round of footy saw the South Dublin Swans claim a home prelim, at a minimum, while the Belfast Redbacks claimed a confidence boosting victory going into the final round of matches. The Cork Vikings continued their domination in the women’s league and secured the first spot in the grand final.

If you would like to get involved and contribute to AFL Europe as a County Reporter, please contact your local AFL league president or email jackson.jones@afleurope.org.

Stephen O’Sullivan – Reporter for AFL Ireland

New Australian Football tournament in Belfast to host national teams from Ireland and UK

Some of AFL Europe’s top national teams are heading to Northern Ireland for a 10-a-side tournament on Saturday, October 16th.

The inaugural Clover Cup, hosted by AFL Ireland, welcomes the men’s and women’s national sides from Ireland and the United Kingdom to compete at Patrick Sarsfields GAA club in West Belfast.

A total of nine teams will be participating across two pitches in what will be the first time that these sides have lined up against one another since AFL Europe’s Euro Cup in Norrtälje, Sweden two years ago.

The five teams making up the women’s tournament on October 16th are England Vixens, Irish Banshees, Scottish Sirens, Ulster Machas and Welsh Wyverns.

It’ll be an exciting match-up between the Banshees and Vixens who last met in the grand final of the Euro Cup in 2019. A commanding second half saw the Irish girls steer clear as 30-point victors.

Wales finished 6th in the 2019 Euro Cup, while Scotland did not compete. The Scottish girls have been longing to get back into some international footy and will be ready to challenge Ireland and England after the completion of the inaugural AFL Scotland women’s competition (SARFL Women’s).

The Machas are a new team competing at the tournament and will be made up of players within the Ulster area.

Four teams will take part in the men’s tournament; Irish Warriors, Scottish Clansmen, Ulster Wolfhounds and Welsh Dragons.

The Warriors are expected to be strong with a number of national team tryouts and trainings already held over the past few months.

The Clansmen, Wolfhounds and Dragons will be up for the challenge in what is going to be a very competitive tournament.

Unfortunately, there’ll be no Euro Cup men’s grand final rematch due to the absence of the England Dragonslayers who are unable to participate in the upcoming event.

The Wolfhounds, like the Machas, will be made up of players from the Ulster region.

Both tournaments will begin at 10:30AM local time in what will be the first encounter of Australian Football for the venue in Belfast.

The round robin format for both competitions will see games played in 14-minute halves, with the day’s play wrapping up before 5:00PM.

The Clover Cup is still welcoming more umpires to officiate across the day. If you or someone you know would like to attend and help out with umpiring at the event, please contact any of the national team coaches or reach out to AFL Ireland via Facebook.

Fixtures and team lists are currently being confirmed and will also be announced on the AFL Europe website in the coming weeks.

Good luck to competing teams and congratulations to AFL Ireland and all involved for getting this tournament organised.

All attending teams fall within Northern Ireland’s Common Travel Area and will be able to safely attend the tournament.

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

AFL Europe Podcast: With Special Guest Nicola Barr

Greater Western Sydney Giant Nicola Barr joins the AFL Europe Podcast as a special guest for episode 28.

Nicola was the first-ever player to be drafted into the AFL Women’s competition ahead of its inaugural season in 2017.

She has continued to play at the Giants since, and just a few months ago signed a two-year extension to see her with the club until at least 2023.

The AFL Europe community will remember Nicola from her travels around Europe in 2019, visiting and coaching more than ten different clubs as well as attending the Euro Cup in Norrtälje, Sweden.

Nicola speaks on how much she enjoyed spending time with the AFL Europe community as well as sharing a bit about her AFLW career with GWS, playing alongside Irishwomen Staunton and Stack, balancing life as a part-time pro athlete and the exciting upcoming stars at her club and in the competition.

Listen to episode twenty-eight via Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Alternatively, type in and search AFL Europe Podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts.

AFL Europe Podcast: One Kick Later – Bérengère Portal

Welcome to episode twenty-seven of the AFL Europe Podcast for another instalment of our One Kick Later series.

Bérengère Portal joined us last month to talk about the rise of Australian Football in France and in particular, the growth of the women’s game.

During an internship in Australia in 2008, Bérengère discovered Australian Football and was fascinated by it. Upon her return to France, Bérengère tried the sport with her university and has since played a significant role in the growth of the sport across the country.

Bérengère has represented France in international tournaments and events on numerous occasions, including travelling to Australia for the AFL International Cup and to Villers-Bretonneux for the AFL Europe ANZAC Cup.

Listen to episode twenty-seven via Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Alternatively, type in and search AFL Europe Podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts.

In-form Vikings the team to beat in Ireland | AFL Ireland Round 4

The men’s and women’s footy seasons continue in Ireland as the league approaches finals. Check out the latest action thanks to Reporter for AFL Ireland, Stephen O’Sullivan.

Galway Magpies v South Dublin Swans (men’s)

The Swans were back on the road, this time The Swamp in Claddagh was the venue for their round four match-up with the Galway Magpies. The Magpies would have gained encouragement from their first win of the season during the Festival of Football, and it just so happened to have come against the same opposition.

For the Dublin outfit, they knew a win would cement a place in the preliminary final, at least.

The Swans needed no more encouragement than the promise of finals footy. Ben Coughlan, playing in a more advanced role, set the tone for the afternoon early on. Presenting well on the lead, he managed a couple of early impressive contested marks, with matching accuracy in front of goal.

Shaun Murphy was at his usual best early on, kicking two majors, including a goal from the boundary for the Magpies. With their fast, hard-working midfield, the Swans took control and added further goals through the impressive Frank O’Donnell and Connor Dunne. Seamus McSorley marked his first competitive start for Swans with a goal and also played his part in the Swans stubborn defence for part of the game.

The Maggies produced their best footy in the second quarter. Once more Shaun ‘Smurf’ Murphy got on the scoresheet, along with Mark Kavanagh, as they matched their Dublin counterparts in the goal kicking stakes, each booting three in the second term. The Swans, however, would edge further in front. Noah Copping snapped a clever goal in the dying stages for the Swans.

A tactical shift in defence in the third, allowed the Swans to capitalise in the forwards. Connor McGrorty and Shane Faulkner did a great job in marshalling the Magpies forward line, allowing just one goal against them through Darren Dennehy. Levi Kalms from the boundary and a trademark running goal from Connor Dunne responded for the Swans.

In the final term, early Galway goals from Murphy and Sean Madden highlighted their fighting spirit. The use of the interchange bench has been impressive from the Dublin side this season and they used that to great effect in the fourth quarter.

Capitalising on a tired Galway defence, Stephen O’Sullivan kicked three final term goals, the first a fantastic team goal through impressive handling in the midfield with Frank O’Donnell finally releasing to the small forward for a simple finish. Ben Coughlan grabbed his third of the day, again through intelligent leading and unerring accuracy off the boot.

In the end the South Dublin Swans remained top of the ladder after their most complete team performance of the season.  They even managed a few sociable drinks in the Claddagh sunshine with their Galway counterparts afterwards.

Final score: Galway Magpies 8.4. (52) def. by South Dublin Swans 17.15. (117).

Cork Vikings v Ulster Kookaburras (women’s)

The top two teams did battle once more, this time the Vikings taking home advantage. After winning the women’s Festival of Football in Ireland, the Cork girls would have been confident of avenging their opening round defeat at the hands of the Kooks.

Once more, Amanda Brosnan was dominant for the Cork outfit. The Kerry woman was flawless in the middle and booted a goal to match her performance. The Vikings set the pace in the first quarter, kicking six goals along with five behinds. The Ulster side remained within touching distance with three goals of their own.

Annie Walsh was once more in form for the Vikings. With an eye on the top scorers award she bagged five more goals to add to her tally on the day. The Vikings edged further in front with three more goals in the second term to their opponents one.

The final two quarters were a near carbon copy in terms of scores. The Cork Vikings outscoring their Ulster rivals by five goals to two in each of the last two quarters. Eva Cafolla was fantastic for the Ulster Kookaburras. She remained on the scoring trail kicking three goals on the day, along with two from Elaine Maguire which ensured some pride for the hardworking Kooks.

Shannon Stevenson wasn’t to be left out. She added four goals to her season’s total, while Marie Keating and Rebecca Corbett grabbed hat-tricks apiece. The returning Caroline Condon also got on the scoresheet with a goal of her own.

An emphatic victory for the ever improving Vikings was capped off by memorable performances from their captain Maria Quirke and Amanda Brosnan, in the midfield.

It sets up a mouthwatering finish to the season as these two teams will surely do battle to the very end.

Final score: Cork Vikings 19.12. (126) def. Ulster Kookaburras 8.9. (57).

Leeside Lions v Belfast Redbacks (men’s)

A repeat of the opening round game, the Belfast Redbacks made the arduous journey south to Cork to take on the unbeaten Lions. The Redbacks themselves were impressive at the Festival of Football two weeks earlier. They cruised to the grand final and finally overcame the Leesiders in the final match to claim the title.

With Premiership points on the line this time around, the Redbacks needed to keep pace with the top two sides to enhance their chances of a home prelim.

In simple terms, this game was a cracker. Both sides cancelled each other out in pretty much every department, which is testament to the quality of players on show. Kevin Jones and Dean Skinner battled hard in the midfield for their respective sides, while both forward lines fought hard against hardworking defences.

Darren O’Dwyer for the Lions was once more at his accurate best, kicking three goals in what was a relatively low scoring game in comparison to previous rounds. The Redbacks boasted a sharp shooter of their own, Kyle Devine wasn’t to be outdone and he kicked three majors to share top scorer on the day with O’Dwyer. The Tyrone man ensures goals and has been a welcome addition back into the Redbacks squad since round two.

In the backline for the Lions, James O’Callaghan had a fantastic game. Along with his defensive teammates, they managed to keep the free scoring Redbacks to eight goals on the day, which is an impressive stat.

The Lions forward line kept ticking over in round four. Padraic O’Connell and James O’Shea added two goals apiece to the scoreline. Gerard Walls and Sean Paul Henry were solid for the Redbacks and managed to quench the Lions forwards thirst for goals.

In a seesaw encounter it was the Leesiders who finally came out on top, outscoring the Redbacks by just ten-points. Both teams can take great encouragement from their battling performances and who knows, we may get another meeting between the two as we edge closer to finals footy.

Final score: Leeside Lions 9.12. (66) def. Belfast Redbacks 7.14. (56).

Cork Vikings v South Dublin Swans (women’s)

In this rescheduled round three encounter, the Cork Vikings showed why they were favourites for this season’s AFL Ireland Womens Premiership.

Playing in Tramore Valley Park, the free-scoring Vikings were relentless.

After an inaccurate first term, the Cork outfit soon found their feet. Amanda Brosnan once more starred in a fantastic performance by the whole Vikings side. Seeing plenty of the footy, Brosnan managed a game high seven goals. The Swans to their credit dug deep and Angie Crispe reflected the spirit of the newly formed side through hard work and determination in the middle of the field.

The more experienced Vikings were in no mood to be generous, however, limited their opponents to just three-points in total. The Swans certainly weren’t helped through an early injury to their main goalscorer, Sorcha Nolan.

The Cork side grew in confidence as the game progressed. Annie Walsh added four to her tally while Caroline Condon, Maria Quirke and CJ Murphy each claimed two majors each.

It was a whitewash for the Cork Vikings in truth. The South Dublin Swans can be encouraged by the fight shown by their players and will get better as they gain more experience with each match.

Final score: Cork Vikings 19.24. (138) def. South Dublin Swans 0.3. (3).

If you would like to get involved and contribute to AFL Europe as a County Reporter, please contact your local AFL league president or email jackson.jones@afleurope.org.

Stephen O’Sullivan – Reporter for AFL Ireland

Jets and Giants to meet in AFL Switzerland Grand Final

The fourth and final round of the AFL Switzerland, hosted by the Geneva Jets at a beautiful ground by the Lake of Geneva, has finally determined which two teams would progress into the Swiss grand final. Read the full review of round four and a finals preview thanks to Keelan Seen from AFL Switzerland.

Seniors

Geneva Jets vs. Winterthur Lions

The hosts from Geneva took on the Winterthur Lions in the first game of the day and well, playing against a fresh Jets side is never easy. There were also some last-minute emergency list changes for Winterthur as some of their players got up a little too late for the long drive down to Lausanne. Nonetheless, the Lions knew what they had to do.

The Lions had to manage their percentage going into the game against the Jets if they wanted to make it into the grand final. But of course, the Jets had their own agenda, and it was relentless.

With a full squad and some new young guns coming in, the Jets once again proved dominant. Whilst the Lions were winning most of the hit-outs, it was the hard running and great link-up play from the Jets that helped them to a big win in the first match of the day.

Final score: Geneva Jets (76) def. Winterthur Lions (9).

Geneva Jets vs. Zurich Giants

In game two, it was the Giants who took on the Jets. Just like the Lions in the previous game, in order to make the grand final, the Giants needed to win or preserve their percentage.

Right from the start of the game, the Giants seemed the stronger side. They were outrunning their opponents and hitting up their teammates perfectly. The Jets seemed exhausted from their first game and couldn’t keep up with the Giants at all in the first half.

It seemed that the Jets would finally be beaten for the first time since 2019, when the mighty Basel Dragons defeated them in round one. Well, in the last five minutes of the game, that all quickly changed.

Suddenly, the Jets seemed to wake up and started playing their well-known ruthless footy. By kicking a couple of late goals, they managed to turn the game on its head.

Congratulations to the Jets on making their third consecutive Grand Final and ending the season undefeated!

Final score: Geneva Jets (80) def. Zurich Giants (48).

Winterthur Lions vs. Zurich Giants

The final seniors match of the day was going to decide who would face Geneva for the premiership, held in Basel today. However, after the Giants incredible performance against the Jets, the Lions had to not only beat the Giants, but do so by a big margin.

Of course, the Giants were a bit out of breath after their game against the Jets but they are still a very strong side, so it really promised to be an interesting game. The Lions went in hard for the early clearances and got a lot of the ball.

While the Giants defended very well, there was one man they could not defend. Lions full forward Jacob Brownley was clunking everything out of the air and was very reliable with his kicking too. At half time, the Lions led by 23-points and their hopes of playing in grand final were very much alive.

The Giants switched up some of their positions in the second half and seemed a lot better organised. Both teams were scoring goals and it was a great game for any neutral spectator to watch. However, for everyone playing it was nerve-wracking.

In the end it was a great win for the Lions but thanks to their consistency throughout the season the Giants remained ahead on the league ladder by percentage.

Final score: Winterthur Lions (71) def. Zurich Giants (51).

Reserves

Geneva Jets vs Winterthur Lions

Once again there was a great turnout for the reserves game with many new faces on both sides. It was the Jets with their young core of players who seemed fitter but there were a lot of really good passages of play for both sides.

Both teams managed to share the ball around and get their teammates into the game. Every possession had to be fought for and the intensity was no lower than in the seniors games beforehand.

It’s really exciting to see not only the talent developing on both sides, but also the fantastic attitude that all the players on the ground had.

Final score: Geneva Jets (115) def. Basel Dragons (24).

And that’s a wrap for the home and away season in Switzerland! The third ever AFL Switzerland Grand Final will be held on Saturday, September 18th in Basel. We’re all looking forward to it and can’t wait to get back out on the field again.

Details about the grand final can be found here.

If you would like to get involved and contribute to AFL Europe as a County Reporter, please contact your local AFL league president or email jackson.jones@afleurope.org.

Keelan Senn – Reporter for AFL Switzerland