2019 Euro Cup Team Previews: Part Five

Not long now until the 2019 AFL Europe Euro Cup, this year the tournament will be held in Norrtalje, Sweden for what is set to be a thrilling day of football as national teams from 16 different European countries field their nations best players and over 350 players battle it out for the Cup.

This year’s edition of the Euro Cup will see all the games take place on Saturday the 29th of June. As part of the buildup, AFL Europe will be previewing all the teams competing. In our fifth edition of the team previews, we will be taking a closer look at the Israeli Beasts and the German Eagles in the men’s side of the competition and in the women’s, the reigning Champions, the Irish Banshees.

 

Men’s Competition:

Israeli Beasts

Coach: Shir Shalev / Yonatan Wengrowicz
Captain: Shir Shalev and Matan Polke

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup? 

We haven’t stopped training for the winter – thankfully Israeli climate allows this, and we were just too pumped after last Euro Cup in October, working on getting better for this one. In the last two months leading up to Sweden, we started training twice a week and were able to have some training games because we managed to recruit a lot new players in the past months.

How many clubs are represented in your national team? 

We have two clubs represented in the national team.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts? 

Around 5 to 8 players.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup? 

First of all we plan to play our hearts out and leave everything on the field, fighting each game till the end. We hope to improve our position and to finish in top 8 teams.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team? 

We don’t have a domestic league and regular tournaments in Israel yet, the Euro Cup is our main opportunity to play with other teams. It also means a lot to all of us have this chance to represent our country on an international event, and this year is the official debut for the Beasts (last year we came as Tel Aviv Cheetahs).

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

As always we’re expecting to have a fun and competitive tournament, and hopefully to have more wins than last time. It is also just great fun to hang out with footy players from other countries, to exchange experience and forge new friendships.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

Hadar Moran and Eli Lipshitz.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

We actually have a funny story from last year’s Euro Cup. Matan Polke who joined our team just a month before the Euro cup, was looking to buy cleats for the Euro cup. But his father who is an Australian and often umpiring our tournaments, told him to not sweat it and take his his own old football cleats which as it turned out much later were about Matan’s age. The cleats looked perfectly fine. But then in the morning of the Euro cup, during our warm up, when Matan ran in the wet grass, the sole separated off the boot and the boot pretty much fell apart. Because it was less than an hour before the games started, we didn’t really know what to do, and at the end, we just wrapped the cleat with all sorts of tape, keep adding more after each game, and in the end it lasted for Matan to play 4 games. Since then we have a saying “to pull a Polke” which means to destroy your boots to the point that the sole falls off. By the way Matan’s dad still hasn’t thrown the fallen apart old cleats away, it seems to have become Polke family’s heirloom.

One more fun fact about Team Israel is that half of the Israeli Beasts have degrees in math and physics!

The Israeli Beasts will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Fighting hard on the field, and having fun during the day.

 

German Eagles

Coach: Mark Woods

Captain: Florian Naumann/Jakob Jung

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

We had a two-day-training camp in May in Dresden with team building activities and a lot of tactical sessions between the breaks. With the camp we gathered more german players around the Eagles than ever! Our coach Mark Woods had some hard decisions to make when nominating the final squad. Some well-earned Eagles and very experienced players didn’t make it into the final squad, because of the big resume of the camp.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

With the Hamburg Dockers, Berlin Crocodiles, Rheinland Lions, Frankfurt Redbacks, Zuffenhausen Giants and the Munich Kangaroos nearly every club has one or more players in the final team. Only the Dresden Wolves are missing on the list for the Euro Cup. But a few of them are not far away to make the next team for the next tournament.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

Four players are making their debuts for the German Eagles. This is quite a lot, regarding the shorted team list for the Euro Cup-Team. But we are already looking forward to next year’s International Cup and therefore it is important that a lot of players know what it feels like to wear the Eagles Jumper in a real tournament.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

We are improving year by year. We know that we can beat every team in Europe on a good day. We want the gold medal.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team?

For the German Eagles competing in the Euro Cup is a highlight every year. We have a really good and hard crack on the field during the day and leave everything on the ground but then we’re not enemies anymore for the other teams but friends. I think the rest of Europe hates to play against us during the day but loves to party with us after the tournament.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

I think this goes along with the answer to two questions earlier. We aim high and want to see what we can achieve with that.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

We have a really good mix with good and experienced players all over the field. In the backline, our captain Flo Naumann is a wall. His strength is just superb. With Fabian Probst, we have one of the best ruck men in Europe. Tobi Menzel and I will be around him (former European Legion, Team of the Tournament IC 2017, …). Our forward line is probably the strongest. Phil Evermann is one of the most talented players Germany has ever had.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

Mate, one night with the team and you can write a book full of interesting or funny stories! For example, Thilo Mayer and Timo Ebert (both on the team this year) didn’t make the squad for the Euro Cup last year in Cork. They didn’t care and just flew to Ireland to support the team. And that will be the same with other people this year. That’s the team spirit we’re talking about. Our Coach shortened a business trip to Canada, just to be with us in Stockholm. He skips the last couple of days and flies directly from Canada to Sweden.

The German Eagles will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

For winning the Euro Cup for the very first time.

 

 

Women’s Competition:

Irish Banshees

Coach: Mike Currance
Captain: Mella Morey

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

Here in Ireland we are in the middle of our Australian Tax Solutions Super 7’s League which is our taster and development comp. We were very excited to pass the 200 player mark in Round One of the League. Unreal progress from a standing start  under 18 months ago. We also have new teams coming on stream all the time. This means there has never been as many players vying for Banshees Selection. Competition for spots is massive. We have also had a very successful inaugural Universities Cup in March and the first ever Universities International Cup in April. And of course we  had West Clare Waves make it 2 AFL Europe Champions League wins in a row in Amsterdam. So lots of action in the first half of this year, and lots of opportunities for players to impress in the run up to Euro Cup and some massive International Comps including European Championships 2019  in London in October and AFL International Cup in Australia next year.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

We have a lot of club and university teams represented on our squad and that includes some of our established teams and some of our relatively new club teams and new uni teams. The squad of 16 includes players from West Clare Waves, Dublin Angels, Cork Vikings, West Dublin Garrisons, South Dublin Swans and University Teams represented include UCD, AIT, Trinity and our Irish Universities Team.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

We have 9 players making their first appearances for Ireland. It’s very exciting to see so many players getting to wear the Banshees Guernsey for the first time. Of the 9 players we have 3 elevated from our Irish Universities Team which performed incredibly well in winning the first ever Universities International Cup against Great Britain Unis in April.  So it’s fantastic to see players coming through our talent pathway and cementing representing Ireland at Universities Level as a stepping stone to full International Representation.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

With so many new players it’s a bit of an unknown, and our aim is to develop these new players, but one thing for sure is these Banshees will give everything on the oval, so you can expect a huge amount of energy and effort all day and a fast & furious style of play. Every one of these players will be proud to wear a Banshees Guernsey and will no doubt do it justice! And the most important thing is they will enjoy every second of it.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team?

It’s always an honour to step on to any playing ground in any sport representing your country. And especially so in terms of Euro Cup and this amazing sport of Australian Rules Football. It’s one of the largest and best run Aussie Rules Competitions internationally, and is a huge credit to AFL Europe and all involved. Competition for places has never been greater and every Guernsey is hard earned and I think the players all realise that and will relish the opportunity and the occasion.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

Our expectations are that we will see huge energy and effort all day from every member of the squad. We are looking for performance across the board and the players  to gain vital experience at this level. If all of the above boxes are ticked then it will have been a successful day. If we are bringing the Euro Cup back to Ireland for another year at the end of it then that will be a huge bonus.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

This is easy. Mella Morey, Sarah Bohannon ,Mairead Coyne, Sinead Comerford, Laura Flannery, Ellie O’Gorman, Edel McMahon, Aisling Gillespie ,Lauren Manning, Heather Cullen, Dervla Higgins ,Lauren Boles, Ali Coleman, Michelle Farrell, Aine Staunton , Marie Keating.
Every single one of these players are stars in their own right and we cannot wait to see them playing together and for each other.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

A number of our Euro Cup Winning Irish Banshees Team from 2018 have gone on to play professionally in Australia. Ailish Considine and Aisling McCarthy both played AFLW with Adelaide Crows and Western Bulldogs respectively, with Ailish making history by becoming the first ever Irish player to win an AFLW Premieship in her first season, something we are immensely proud of. And something everybody that played with these players and against these players in Euro Cup, and everybody involved in women’s footy across the continent should be very proud of.

Banshee Aisling Curley is currently playing very well for Collingwood in this seasons VFLW.  Numerous players from our teams/ comps have been signed professionally for AFLW 2020 and watch out for these stars in the Banshees Guernsey over the next few months. We cannot wait to see them all play on the big stage down under and look forward to a few more Irish Jigs!

The Irish Banshees will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Hopefully the Banshees will be remembered for taking out an unprecedented 7th Euro Cup title. But regardless we will be remembered for being a high energy high tempo team who love their footy, play relentlessly all day and have a whole lot of craic along the way!

Angus Boyle – AFL Europe

Belushi’s Presents: Player Spotlight – Amanda Teglhus

Each week, AFL Europe in combination with Belushi’s will take a look at one of our star players competing in fixtures across the continent in Player Spotlight. 

Playing Australian football for the past five years, Amanda Teglhus is now known as an experienced campaigner of the Australian game in Europe.

Since taking up footy, Amanda has proved to be a fantastic ambassador of the sport in Europe, not only improving her skills year on year but also assisting the growth of Australian football in Denmark and surrounding areas.

Upon hearing about AFL in 2014 with help from a University friend, Amanda is now immersed in the game and cherishes every moment she gets to play Australia’s game.

Moving to Odense, Denmark, Amanda planned on playing volleyball, but found her true passion through the uniqueness of AFL.

“My roommate made me participate in a footy training session, and I never looked back. Volleyball is fun, but tackling is more fun… I liked the social part, the unpredictable oval ball and not being sent out for a bump with some physicality really enticed me.”

Amanda’s move came at a perfect time for her to find this passion, as in 2014 the Odense Lions were founded and she has been a part of the club ever since.

Being a major contributor to the success of the Lionesses and continued progress of the club, Amanda has built her playing experience and has even represented her country playing for the Danish Valkyries in several edition’s of the Euro Cup.

Taking every opportunity that arises to play against other European teams, Amanda has many strengths that make her the player she is today.

“I like to run with or without the ball and that seems to be a major strength of mine and it is pretty convenient to be tall when I am in the ruck. I have also learnt through experience to do injury prevention training, I see myself as durable and am almost never injured from this training.”

Amanda describes the 2018 Champions League as one of her favourite memories, even making it into the Team of the Tournament for her amazing efforts on the day.

“I will never forget Champions League 2018… it was so special to travel with the Copenhagen boys team, we had great support from them and as we worked together as a team, not only did we have a successful tournament but the feeling of team spirit and support was priceless.”

Amanda was back in Amsterdam for the most recent Champions League tournament, but with a different role, helping out AFL Europe in an umpiring role.

Amanda has another great year of footy ahead of her and explains many of the reasons to why she plays Australian football, and why others should consider playing.

“The sportsmanship in this particular sport is amazing, it is a great community to be a part of,  it feels like a second family spread across Europe. It makes me happy to know that wherever in Europe you go, there is always friendly and welcoming people ready to take care of another footy enthusiast.”

Liam McAllion – AFL Europe

Special thanks to Belushi’s for helping grow the game in Europe

 

 

 

 

Irish Watch – AFL Round 13 Review

Round 13 would be the second of the AFL’s bye rounds with Geelong, Melbourne, Collingwood, West Coast, Brisbane and Sydney all enjoying a well deserved week off.

This would mean only two Irish players would feature at AFL level, with Conor Glass and Conor McKenna facing off against each other in a blockbuster Friday night clash between Essendon and Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium.

Sitting in 10th and 11th on the ladder, it was always going to be a tight contest with the finals hopes for both teams well and truly on the line.  

After an enthralling first half, the Bombers would eventually kick into gear late in the third term to bust the game open and pull away to a commanding five goal lead.

Although pushed in the dying stages by a rejuvenated Hawthorn, it would be too little to late for Clarkson’s men as Essendon claimed a crucial 19 point win to boost their claims for a finals spot.  

Without a doubt one of the star’s of the night for the red and black, it was perhaps a career best performance for Conor McKenna as everything seemed to click perfectly into gear.

After an incredibly consistent beginning to the year, this was the game McKenna needed to really prove himself as one of the competition’s most improved players for season 2019.

 Playing his usual role as a creator and distributor across halfback, McKenna tore up the Hawks all night picking up 25 disposals, four marks and a tackle while using the ball at a super impressive 80%.

Combining brilliantly with fellow running defender Adam Saad, the duo were lethal off half back for Essendon all night and really set up the victory in the way they took the game on and get the Bombers ball movement going.

It was also great to see the skills of the Irishman, as he wasn’t afraid to take the risky options and was superb in hitting his targets for the entire night.

McKenna certainly delivered on the Friday night stage.

On the other side, Conor Glass was given a new role by coaching mastermind Alastair Clarkson as a forward.

Having played the majority of his career in the backline, it was a surprising yet effective switch for the 21 year old Irishman as he enjoyed his best game of the season at AFL level.

Standing at 189cm and 84kg, Glass would be a welcome presence in the forward 50 for the Hawks who have struggled to find real potency in their attack in recent weeks.  

Playing as a pressure forward, Glass was excellent in pressuring the Bombers defenders as well as making a contest in the air to assist the likes of Luke Breust and Paul Puopolo on ground level.

In a performance that would have without a doubt pleased the coaches, Glass ended up with a solid 14 disposals and four marks at an impressive 86% efficiency.

He would also manage to kick his first AFL goal, as he picked up a loose ball on the 50 metre arc and slammed it home to change the momentum of the game and give the Hawks a lift before half time. 

In the state leagues, Hawthorn’s Conor Nash pushed his case for a recall into the senior side with an excellent performance for Box Hill in their narrow loss to ladder leaders Essendon.

Capped off with a memorable goal which featured a fend off and classy finish from 45, Nash showed his athleticism and potential to be a genuine difference maker in attack at AFL level for years to come.

Euro Cup 2019 – Draw and Fixture Release

European footy fans can officially start putting their Euro Cup 2019 viewing plans in place today, with AFL Europe thrilled to confirm the official fixture for Europe’s premier international nine-a-side tournament next Saturday.

With 68 matches across a jam-packed game of footy, it will be hard to know where to look at times, but you can see the full schedule and an explanation of how the ranked draw was conducted below.

Matches on Pitch 1 will be streamed live on the AFL Europe Facebook page so fans at home can keep up to date with all the Euro Cup action.

Keep up to date as we continue to preview the teams travelling across to Sweden in the leadup to the Euro Cup, and keep an eye out for the full tournament preview.

See the full Euro Cup 2019 Fixture here

Women’s Draw:

There are 8 women’s teams competing at the 2019 Euro Cup. These teams are; the Irish Banshees, England Vixens, Swedish Ravens, Croatian Queens, French Gauloises, German Eagles, Welsh Wyverns, and the Swiss Heidis.

The women’s division at the 2019 Euro Cup tournament consists of 2 pools of 4 teams. All matches will be played with 12-minute halves with a 2-minute break. Each team will play each team in their pool once with the top 2 sides in each pool progressing to the Cup semi-finals. A1 will play B2 and A2 will play B1 in the semi-finals. The winner of each semi-final will progress to the women’s final.

The losers of the women’s semi-finals will play off in a 3rd place ranking match. Teams finishing 3rd and 4th in their pools will progress to the Bowl semi-finals. A3 will play B4 and A4 will play B3 in the semi-finals. The winners of the bowl semi-finals will play off in the bowl final for 5th place. The losers of these matches will play off in a 7th place ranking match.

AFL Europe ranked the top two sides based off rankings from the previous three tournaments. These teams are the Irish Banshees and the England Vixens. These teams are randomly drawn out and allocated to Pool A and then Pool B. This process is repeated for teams ranked 3rd and 4th; the Swedish Ravens and the Croatian Queens.

This process is repeated for teams ranked 5th and 6th, French Gauloises and the German Eagles. This process is repeated for teams ranked 7th and 8th, the Welsh Wyverns and the Swiss Heidis.

Pool A in the women’s competition will consist of: The Irish Banshees, Croatian Queens, German Eagles, and Welsh Wyverns

Pool B in the women’s competition will consist of: The England Vixens, Swedish Ravens, French Gauloises, and Swiss Heidis.

 

Men’s Draw:

There are 16 men’s teams competing at the 2019 Euro Cup. These teams are; The Irish Warriors, England Dragonslayers, Croatian Knights, French Coqs, German Eagles, Welsh Red Dragons, Nederland Flying Dutchmen, Scottish Clansmen, Austrian Avalanche, Israeli Beasts, Czech Republic Dragons, Swedish Elks, Russian Bears, Swiss Wolves, Finland Icebreakers, and the Polish Devils.

The men’s division at the 2019 Euro Cup consists of 4 Pools of 4 teams. All matches will be played with 10-minute halves with a 2-minute break with the exception of the men’s Cup final which will play 12-minute halves with a 2-minute break.

In each group, teams will play each other once. The top two teams in each group at the end of the pool stages will move into quarter finals. A1 will play D2 IN QF1, D1 will play A2 IN QF2, B1 will play C2 IN QF 3, and C1 will play B2 in QF4 of the quarter finals. The winners of these quarter finals will move into semi-finals with the winners of QF1 and QF4 forming SF1 and the winners of QF2 and QF3 forming SF2. The winners of these semi-finals will move into the men’s cup final. The losers of these semi-finals will play a 3rd place ranking match.

Teams that lose in the quarter finals will drop into the bowl division and play a semi-final for the chance to play off in the bowl final. The losers of QF1 and QF4 will form the Bowl SF1, and the losers of QF2 and QF3 will form Bowl SF2. The winners of the Bowl semi-finals will play off in the Bowl final for 5th place. The losers of the Bowl semi-finals will play off in a 7th place ranking match.

Teams that finish 3rd or 4th in their pool will move into the plate division quarter finals. A3 will play D4 in the Plate QF1, A4 will play D3 in QF2, B3 will play C4 in QF3, and B4 will play C3 in QF4. The winners of the Plate quarter finals will enter the Plate semi-finals. The winners of QF1 and QF4 will form SF1, and the winners of QF2 and QF3 will form SF2. The winners of these semi-finals will play off in the Plate final for 9th place. The losers of these semi-finals will play off in an 11th place ranking match. Teams that lose in the Plate quarter finals will play off in semi-finals for a chance to play for 13th place. The losers of QF1 and QF4 will form SF1, and the losers of QF2 and QF3 will form SF2. The winners of these semi-finals will play off in a 13th place ranking match. The losers of these semi-finals will play off in a 15th place ranking match.

AFL Europe ranked the top 4 sides based on rankings from the previous three tournaments. The top 4 teams include the Irish Warriors, England Dragonslayers, Croatian Knights, and the French Coqs. These teams are drawn out into the 4 groups starting with group A. AFL Europe ranked 4 more teams 5th-8th. These teams include the German Eagles, Welsh Red Dragons, Nederland Flying Dutchmen, and the Scottish Clansmen. These teams are randomly drawn out into the 4 groups starting with group A.

AFL Europe ranked 4 more teams 9th-12th. These teams include the Austrian Avalanche, Israeli Beasts, Czech Republic Dragons, and the Swedish Elks. These teams are randomly drawn out into the 4 groups starting with group A. AFL Europe ranked 4 more teams 13th-16th. These teams include the Russian Bears, Swiss Wolves, Finland Icebreakers, and the Polish Devils. These teams are drawn out into a random group starting with group A.

Pool A in the men’s competition will consist of: The Croatian Knights, German Eagles, Austrian Avalanche, and Finland Icebreakers

Pool B in the men’s competition will consist of: The French Coqs, Scottish Clansmen, Swedish Elks, and Russian Bears

Pool C in the men’s competition will consist of: The England Dragonslayers, Nederland Flying Dutchmen, Israeli Beasts, and Polish Devils

Pool D in the men’s competition will consist of: The Irish Warriors, Welsh Red Dragons, Czech Republic Dragons, and Swiss Wolves.

PSS Presents: Around the Grounds

Each week AFL Europe will take a look around the continent at the Australian Football highlights and thrilling matches. This Around the Grounds article delves into the standout performances from the weekend’s action and is presented by PSS International Removals.

REDBACKS CONTINUE FORM TO REMAIN UNDEFEATED

On Saturday, the South Dublin Swans travelled north to take on the Belfast Redbacks in the Australian Rules Football League of Ireland. In challenging conditions for both teams with the rain falling down and a strong wind blowing across the ground, the game was a physical contest between the two sides. In slippery weather, both teams attacked the ball hard as locking the ball in the forward half was key to creating chances. The Redbacks managed to gain the ascendancy first and controlled much of the game as they slowly increased their lead throughout. The Swans created some good chances but the weather made kicking at goal difficult and the accuracy of the Redbacks helped them record an important 55-point victory.

Final Scores (ARFLI)

Men’s: Belfast Redbacks (14.10. 94) defeated South Dublin Swans (5.9. 39).

 

PORT MALMO LYNX IMPRESS IN TOUGH CONDITIONS

Over in Copenhagen, three women’s teams from three countries came together on Saturday as part of a round-robin tournament. The Odense Lionesses, Hamburg Dockers and Port Malmo Lynx took to the field despite heavy rain and thunderstorms in the area. On the day, it was Port Malmo Lynx who impressed in the tough weather, as they illustrated a formidable defence against Odense, not conceding a single score and scoring three goals as they won by 20 points. Despite not getting on the scoreboard, the Odense Lionesses battled hard in the rain against one of the benchmark teams in Scandinavia. In Port Malmo’s final match of the day, they continued their strong form beating a gallant Hamburg Dockers. Despite the weather, the day was a success for all involved, showcasing the impressive growth and development of the game in the region.

Final Scores

Women’s game one: Port Malmo Lynx (3.2. 20) defeated Odense Lionesses (0.0. 0).
Game two: Port Malmo Lynx (2.2. 14) defeated Hamburg Dockers (0.0. 0).

 

CLOSE BATTLE SEES HAMBURG COME OUT ON TOP

Round Five of the AFLG season saw the Frankfurt Redbacks host the Hamburg Dockers in a key clash for both teams at the half-way stage of the season. With a couple of weeks break ahead for both teams, to allow players to travel for the Euro Cup, the two sides gave it everything in a match that was even throughout. The home side, Frankfurt, created plenty of chances, but struggled to convert, kicking 15 behinds, while Hamburg was more polished when going forward as they kicked 10 goals for the game. When the final siren sounded, the accuracy of both teams in their forward-50 was the difference, as the Dockers got over the line by three goals in a close contest.

Final Scores (AFLG)

Men’s: Frankfurt Redbacks (6.15. 51) defeated by Hamburg Dockers (10.9. 69).

 

SUSSEX SWANS CLEAN SWEEP SEAFL ROUND 3  

In Round Three of the SEAFL/WARFL, the Bristol Dockers, Southampton Titans and Sussex Swans battled it out at Hove on a sunny day in the south of England. In the opening game, Sussex was dominant against their south-coast rivals Southampton as the home side won by 109 points. Despite the scoreline, the Titans created a number of opportunities in front of goal which would have pleased them heading into their game against Bristol. The Titans and Dockers game were the tightest of the day, with the Titans providing plenty of attack going forward, but it was the Dockers who were just too strong in the end, as their experience helped them to win by 14-points in an entertaining contest. The final match saw Sussex play Bristol, and the home team continued their good form from the opening match as the Dockers just couldn’t match them, with Sussex winning by 58-points.

Final Scores (SEAFL/WARFL)

Men’s: Sussex Swans (120) defeated Southampton Titans (11)
Southampton Titans (54) defeated by Bristol Dockers (68)
Sussex Swans (84) defeated Bristol Dockers (26)

 

 

PSS International Removals have helped people move from the UK to Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere in the world for over 37 years. They offer friendly advice, no matter whether you’re sending a few boxes or a whole house removal including car. For more information call 020 8686 7733 or visit the PSS Removals website.

Angus Boyle – AFL Europe

2019 Euro Cup Team Previews: Part Four

Not long now until the 2019 AFL Europe Euro Cup, this year the tournament will be held in Norrtalje, Sweden for what is set to be a thrilling day of football as national teams from 16 different European countries field their nations best players and over 350 players battle it out for the Cup.

This year’s edition of the Euro Cup will see all the games take place on Saturday the 29th of June. As part of the buildup, AFL Europe will be previewing all the teams competing. In our fourth edition of the team previews, we will be taking a closer look at the Czech Republic Dragons and the French Coqs in the men’s side of the competition and in the women’s, the German Eagles.

 

Men’s Competition:

Czech Republic Dragons

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup? 

Getting the basics right and ensuring everyone knows their job on the field. With a wide variety of experience and skills, we need to get as much structure as possible to how we play, and getting players to take ownership of their role in the team.

How many clubs are represented in your national team? 

Only one, the Czech Republic only has one team – the mighty Prague Dragons!

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts? 

Four new players will be making their Euro Cup debut who all bring different strengths.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup? 

Players giving it their all and of course heaps of Jesaulenko like marks being taken!

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team? 

With no other teams nationally to compete against, this is, of course, the main tournament for our team each year and thus an opportunity to show how much we have developed and grown.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

I’m not sure we will win the cup this year, so to be competitive against the lower-ranked teams is what we expect from ourselves.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

The biggest man on the park, our ruckman Vit Krcmar. Also Jan Nowak, our outside midfielder who has plenty of run and carry.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

During a friendly match this year, one of our players, Chris Marais, was caught in a tackle around the waist. As the tackler’s arms then slid further down his legs, Chris’s shorts and undies were subsequently pulled down to reveal his true colours. As the ball went loose (not penalised for holding the ball…), he continued to scramble for the ball with his ankles fastened together by the shorts & undies combo and managed to knock the ball onto a teammate who then scored a long-range goal. Chris was unable to join in on the high-five celebration but he did try…

The Czech Republic Dragons will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Having a decent crack, having the best team jackets and showing everyone how to drink beer.

 

Image may contain: 15 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

 

French Coqs

Coach: Andrew Unsworth
Captain: Sylvain Maylie

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

As we are one of the few winter leagues in Europe, we are fresh from a closely fought championship in France. It will be interesting to see the difference as the Euro Cup is usually pre-season for us, not post-season.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

All CNFA clubs are represented. We have four players from the ALFA Lions in Lyon, which would have been five if it wasn’t for a late change due to injury. It has been great to see the rapid development of the team there.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

We have four players making their Euro Cup debuts. Of those, two are exciting youngsters and two that have previously represented France in international fixtures.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

We are coming off a strong performance on ANZAC Day against the Australians, so expect to see cohesion from the group and a more attacking brand of footy.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team?

Euro Cup is always a great chance to mix with our comrades from throughout Europe. On the field, it is also an important benchmark of where we are with the development of our skills and game style.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

Over the last few years, we have played some great footy but have not been able to sustain it for the full tournament. If we can apply ourselves for long enough, the sky is the limit!

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

One of our most experienced players Anthony Girard has been in career best form of late. Also, youngsters Clement Decaux, Thibaut Sorin and Julien Lefebvre all impressed in their first ever ANZAC cup earlier this year.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

It has been a dramatic few weeks in the CNFA with the final ladder positions decided by percentage and then both semi-finals were won in the dying moments by Paris Cockerels against Paris Cockatoos and Stade Toulouse against Lyon. Then the Grand Final was washed out over the weekend when a storm that caused widespread chaos and flash flooding in France forced the final to be rescheduled in September. 

The French Coqs will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Kicking a goal after the siren to win the final. That’s every footballer’s dream, right? And of course the celebratory Pacquito!

 

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Women’s Competition:

German Eagles

Coach: Emily McKie
Captain: Theresa Kresse

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

After the national team players were chosen by our coach at the selection day, the squad for the Euro Cup and an additional development squad went to a training camp together. The program involved activities to get to know your teammates, team bonding and tactics for the games in Sweden.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

Four out of six German women’s clubs are represented in the National Team. Those clubs are the Berlin Crocs, Frankfurt Redcats, Hamburg Dockers and Rheinland Lions.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

Seven players will make their Euro Cup debuts this year.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

Throughout the last year, when the Australian Football League in Germany for the women really took off we have seen a massive increase in the quantity of ladies willing to play this sport, but more importantly the quality too. This increased quality obviously translates into the selection of national players. Therefore it is safe to say the overall skills and technique is at a much higher level than it was last year.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team?

Having the chance again to play in the Euro Cup presents itself as another opportunity to proliferate us as a relatively “young” team in Europe. This means that it is equally a tournament for us to give everything we’ve got but also to learn.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

The expectations of the girls are very diverse. But as a team, we have the expectations to deliver a good quality of the game and be able to demonstrate on what we have worked on the previous months. Moreover, having the chance to play against “more experienced” teams like England, Ireland and Sweden with the possibility to grow as a team and challenge ourselves physically and mentally.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

I think everyone on this team deserves to be mentioned here. We have a terrific mix of girls with a fantastic set of skills and ambition. However, I think it is pretty clear that the other teams and coaches should look out for Theresia Meißner (Tinna) who went to Dublin just a few weeks ago for the Cross Coders. Jennifer Englisch, who is new to the sport, but convinced everyone with her abilities that partially come from her time in the Judo National team and then there are some of our more “experienced” players like Elisabeth Maxeiner, our Vice Captain and Elisabeth Zengerling, who are not just sharing the same name, but also the same eagerness for the ball.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

In our team, we have quite a few girls with the same or similar names. We´ve got two Annika´s, two Elisabeth´s, who happen to have the same nickname too (Elli), and one Theresia and Theresa. This was a conscious decision by our coach in order to confuse the other team when calling out instruction during the game and to simplify the process of giving orders while being at Starbucks as a team!

Germany will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Bringing home a medal.

 

Liam McAllion – AFL Europe

Match of the Round

Paris Cockerels v Stade Toulousain (CNFA)

15/06/2019  Parc De Parilly  16:00

As we near the end of a thrilling season, the 2019 CNFA Grand Final is finally upon us.

Reigning CNFA champions, the Paris Cockerels will face Stade Toulousain who are in their debut season following a merger at the beginning of the season. These two hard working teams are a certain to make for a thrilling match-up.

The Cockerels will go into this match-up quietly confident after being in this exact position last year before going on to win the Premiership and then gain further experience at the 2019 Champions League.

Their time spent under pressure and in big games will definitely help them in what is certain to be a pressure filled occasion on the weekend.

The success of this Paris Cocks club has been prevalent in recent years, having made the Grand Final in each of the last 10 seasons and winning the competition five times. A clear demonstration that they a powerhouse of the CNFA.

Team captain Pierre Boscart talks to their strengths, the reasons behind their success and what they will bring to this Grand Final.

“We are a consistent team that’s always rising and always want to be first on the ball, giving a lot of pressure to our opponent…having a tall player in each part of the ground is also an asset of ours.”

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Stade Toulousain have gelled extremely well in their first season and seem to get over the line in the close games.

Winning the semi final over the season leaders of the ALFA Lions by two points, Stade Toulousain have been itching to get back to the big dance for the first time since Toulouse made the Grand Final in 2014.

Stade Toulousain coach, Emilien Martinez, was not concerned by the fact that his players will be the less experienced side on the day, instead seeing this as a real positive and opportunity for his team.

“For most of our players this will be their first Grand Final, I would say this can be our best strength, we simply have no legacy to handle,” said Coach Martinez.

Pride in the club and the city you play for is a big part of any sport, Cockerels captain Pierre Boscart explains this is a major factor for their team in relation to Australian Football in Paris.

“We owe it to our friends, the Paris Cockatoos. They gave us a really hard time in the semi final. We will be very proud to represent not only our team but the whole Paris footy community.”

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The CNFA is forever growing and while teams like Stade Toulousain put in a lot of effort to make it to the Grand Final, they are also going to great lengths to introduce new people to the game and are great ambassadors for AFL Europe.

“We are doing our best to raise the amount of players by doing game initation in schools, open days and being present to any event we are invited to,” said Coach Martinez.

Stade Toulousain have shown this season that they can kick some big scores, through winning the contested ball in the midfield, quick inside 50’s and accuracy in front of goal. They will aim to create another shootout this weekend and will force the Cockerels to kick a big score in order to beat them.

In contrast, the Cockerels have a vast range of size and skill which will allow them to be dominant in the air, whilst also using their pace to burst out of contests. The Cockerels side display different strengths to Stade Toulousain, meaning both teams with have the momentum at different stages throughout the match and will be desperate to capitalise on their opportunities.

With these strengths on show and the recent finals matches involving close scorelines, we will see this encounter come right down to the wire as both sides look to claim the title of CNFA Champion.

 

Liam McAllion – AFL Europe

 

Special thanks to Fine Wine Partners for their support of the growth of the game throughout Europe.

2019 Euro Cup Team Previews: Part Three

With just under three weeks now until the 2019 AFL Europe Euro Cup, this year the tournament will be held in Norrtalje, Sweden for what is set to be a thrilling day of football as national teams from 16 different European countries field their nations best players and over 350 players battle it out for the Cup.

This year’s edition of the Euro Cup will see all the games take place on Saturday the 29th of June. As part of the buildup, AFL Europe will be previewing all the teams competing. In our third edition of the team previews, we will be taking a closer look at the Finland Icebreakers and England Dragonslayers in the men’s side of the competition and in the women’s, the Swedish Ravens.

Men’s Competition:

Finland Icebreakers

Coaches: Steve Phillips and Wyatt Turner

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

The extremely long distances between our cities mean that a lot of the training has to be done in local groups to minimise travel, so there are weekly training sessions in each city with the players’ respective clubs, then once a month (since March) we’ve been getting together for a combined session, rotating the city each time.

Weather can be a challenge, temperatures are typically well below zero as late as April, so a lot of the training is done indoors in smaller sports halls. As long at the temperature isn’t lower than about minus 15 outdoor training is also possible on artificial grass that’s heated from underneath to stop snow and ice from gathering.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

All three Finnish clubs, the Vaasa Wombats, Helsinki Heatseekers, and Turku Dockers have players in the Finnish team this year.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

None of our squad have ever played for Finland in a Euro Cup, our last appearance at this tournament was in 2013 in Bordeaux. Two of our current players played the last time Finland was at an international tournament, the International Cup in Melbourne in 2014 (IC2014).

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

A team that leaves everything on the field. Finland is a relatively new country to Australian football, but has a proud sporting culture. Our players will give everything they have until the final siren, and will work hard for each other.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team?

This year at the Euro Cup means the end of some long years away from international competition, there is a real excitement among the group that this is the start of a positive period of development for the sport in Finland.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

It’s been six years since we were last at this tournament, so we expect quite a steep learning curve. The squad is excited to see what the challenges of the day offer up, and to have a chance to test ourselves against the best in Europe.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

Joni Kinnari from Vaasa Wombats has been around Finnish footy for many years, and on the field he sets the example for all to follow. Expect to see him putting his body on the line to create opportunities for the players around him.

Alix Kalliojärvi from Turku is one of only two squad members to have played in IC2014, so he brings valuable experience to a very fresh squad. He gives a good physical presence around the ground, and is a strong marking target when he goes forward.

Aku Immonen, from Helsinki, also brings International Cup experience to the squad. Aku is a no nonsense defender who never gives up ground in a contest, and acts as a linchpin in the Finnish backline.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

The whole squad will travel together by ferry to Sweden the night before the tournament. The trip takes 12 hours and the onboard activities are limited, so we’re expecting to arrive in Sweden well acquainted with one another – hopefully not too well acquainted.

The Finland Icebreakers will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Giving their absolute best on and off the field, and for their Finnish ‘sisu’ – an untranslatable Finnish word that means courage, guts, determination and resilience all rolled into one.

 

England Dragonslayers

Coach: Dean Thomas

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

With the domestic and GB calendar packed this year, this group have not trained together as an isolated group. At GB level many of them have trained together several times this year, as well as at club level. This combined with club fixtures has the boys physically prepared for the event.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

Seven clubs are represented (Manchester 4, Wolverhampton 5, Nottingham 2, Birmingham University 1, North London 2, Wimbledon 1, West London 1)

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

Six players will be making their Euro Cup debuts. Jack Coughlan, Luke Carrigan, Paddy Lawson, Adam Reed, Adam Kelly and Sam Walon.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

Look for some quick and adventurous ball movement. We are not a big side in stature, however this group is rapid across the ground, so expect to see them taking the game on with some eye catching passages of play.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team?

For these players it means a lot. They get to test themselves against some of the best players in Europe. There is an existing camaraderie for these players via their Great Britain team connection. A trip like this gives them an opportunity to further develop that bond for England.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

We expect a closely contested tournament. Others might go in as warm favourites, but the nine a side format allows for unpredictable results. Every team has a chance if they get off to quick starts. Our boys will enjoy coming in as underdogs.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

All of them. Everyone of them brings a unique trait to the group. The beauty of this group is that if an opposition focus on one or two of our well known players there are 14 or 15 others who will get under their guard.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

Spend an hour engaging with the two Andy’s (Cochran and Walkden) also known as B1 and B2 and walk away without scratching your head. I’ll buy a drink for anyone who can converse with these two for an hour. Conversely attempt to go beer for beer with Myles Hudson if we can pull off the win, he gives it a nudge and you won’t keep up.

The England Dragonslayers will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

The goal and mark of the tournament. Great camaraderie.
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Swedish Ravens

Coach: Ryan Davidson

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

We have managed to string a few matches together either with Odense or internally within Sweden. Looking forward to a small round robin with Hamburg and Odense this weekend as a final hit out before the Cup.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

In some way you could say three teams, Port Malmö Lynx being the only full team but Stockholm is now biting at the heels. Eksjö Bulldogs though not having a full team are also contributing significantly this year with three players.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

Four players will be making their debut.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

You can expect to see the unexpected, with a new team developing in Stockholm and therefore the influence of another coach in the system is exciting to see what that brings to the team. National pride is also on the line being at home.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team? 

It’s the biggest event on our calendar especially being at home this year. Being later than the Champions League we have also had time to get a few matches under our belts and get organised. I’m sure this one will mean a lot to all the Swedes and especially the new players that have been given the opportunity to play for their country.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

My expectations of the tournament are that it will be huge. The Norrtälje club is well organised and has a great vibe. Awesome to have it in summer as well. Result wise we don’t have expectations anymore, cliché as it sounds it’s one match at a time and a lot can change during the course of the day. Our expectations is a lot of effort.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

All of them have their own unique traits that will help our team.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

We had a team building weekend in Eksjö a while back, tiny little town out in the forest that has the coolest footy field and the friendliest people. We had a nine a side match then ended up taking joyrides in an old fluorescent green V8 jeep in the countryside, then we visited a dairy farm just for kicks, Swedish Ravens together are family.

The Swedish Ravens will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Giving it everything we’ve got and not giving up.

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Liam McAllion – AFL Europe

Down Under Centre Partnership continues into third year

For the third consecutive year, the Down Under Centre will continue their partnership with AFL Europe. The Down Under Centre is the one-stop place for all migration advice for those relocating to Australia or New Zealand.

The centre provides information and help with Visas, searching for jobs, banking, removals and other information to help make migration as smooth as possible.

Down Under Centre Founder, Wes Zandt is proud to continue supporting AFL Europe.

“Australian Football is a big part of Australian life; from the age you can hold a footy you want to play Australian Football. Migrating people to Australia is what the Down Under Centre do, explaining to the new arrivals how our great game works helps their transition to the Australian lifestyle and culture,” Zandt said.

Even though Wes has been in London for many years, he still follows his Collingwood team with great passion week in, week out and knows all too well what Australian Football means to many people in Australia.

Having the Down Under Centre continue their partnership will allow for more AFL game development programs take place, which will help to increase the consumption of AFL throughout Europe.

“This is now the third year of our partnership with the Down Under Centre, and we are excited to continue our relationship,” AFL Europe General Manager Ryan Davey said.

“Wes and his team are passionate about Australian culture and understand how important Australian Football is to many people. For them to show that passion and continue supporting us in growing the Australian game here in Europe is fantastic.”

For anyone looking for further information about migrating to Australia or New Zealand, head to www.downundercentre.com or are available to walk into their London office as well as their Sydney and Auckland offices.

Community Spotlight – Fanny Maillet

From missing the Australia way of life to becoming the president of the Paris Cocks and volunteering in AFL Europe for 10 years, Fanny Maillet has been heavily involved with football across Europe.

Her journey with Australia Rules Football in Europe began back in 2008 after she had just returned from a year over in Australia and was missing the Australian lifestyle.

To try and reconnect with that lifestyle of “meeting new people all the time, drinking beers, chilling out outside and most of all, speaking English”, Fanny was told about the Paris Cocks, her local football side.

Along she went, and she was involved at a voluntary capacity with the club for the next 10 years.

“I never wanted to play (as I’m a swimmer), but I asked the president at the time what I could do to help and he told me they needed some money,” she said.

“So, I started a “buvette” (drinks and food) during each home game and I started looking for sponsors. I then joined the office, started the feminine section of the club, worked with our federation, volunteered with AFL Europe and became president of the Cocks.”

She retired last year, after 10 years of volunteering with the club, but she still has her membership and has offered to volunteer as a pitch manager for AFL Europe in 2019.

Joining the Paris Cocks was more about the social side to Fanny, as she has loved being involved with the team.

“I love watching AFL but definitely the social side attracted me to the Paris Cocks. The possibility of meeting people from all over the world and travelling with the team,” she said.

Being involved with the Cocks has also benefitted Fanny in her working career, as she has managed to get a job for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

On top of the “buvette” and being head of the feminine section, some of the other tasks she was involved with at the Cocks included organising away trips, organising logistics at home games, responsible for social parties, and was one of the main women responsible for putting together the European Crusaders for the International Cup in 2017.

“We worked on this for over a year but being able to put a team together and to find sponsors who entirely paid for accommodation, food and equipment was probably one of my biggest achievements,” she said.

Being involved with the game for so long means Fanny has seen football evolve in Europe.

“I’m really confident they [AFL Europe] will continue to grow and more lights on AFL in Europe. Who knows, maybe the next big AFLW or AFL star will come from a European club!” Fanny said.

With her role in French football and also as an organiser of female football around Europe, Fanny helped organise the Gallia Cup, an all-female football tournament in Paris that was played on the 9thof March this year. It was a historic day for football, as it was the first female-only competition to be played in Europe.

Having stepped down from her volunteering roles at the Paris Cocks, Fanny will be missed along with her experience and passion for the game. However, she will still be around and involved with the game, which can only be a good game for the sport in France and also for her too as she does it for the love of being a part of the club.

Angus Boyle – AFL Europe