Irish Watch – AFLW Round 2 Review

Round two of the 2019 AFLW was full of big hits, exciting goals, incredible grabs and even lightning bolts, as all ten teams showed off their talents in an intriguing weekend of action.

Round two saw a record five Irish players take the field, as Western Bulldogs rookie Aisling McCarthy made her AFLW debut, joining Yvonne Bonner, Cora Staunton, Ailish Considine and Sarah Rowe in representing not only her nation but Europe as a whole.

Playing in a Saturday night feature clash with Geelong at the Whitten Oval, McCarthy would fit in seamlessly to the reigning premier Western Bulldogs outfit as they ran away convincing 28-point victors.

McCarthy’s toughness around the contest and ferocious tackling was on display from the first bounce as she helped set up an early goal for the Dogs with some excellent forward pressure.

McCarthy played a key role throughout the night, with a crucial goal in the third term showing her sense for the game as she played on for advantage and finished beautifully.

In what was a memorable debut, Aisling ended up eight disposals, four tackles and a goal with a big win to top it all off as the Bulldogs continued the undefeated start to their premiership defence.

Wild weather greeted the girls at Drummoyne Oval, as Cora Staunton, Yvonne Bonner and Greater Western Sydney geared up for a blockbuster Friday night clash with a star-studded North Melbourne.

With the threat of lightning a serious danger, proceedings would be delayed 43 minutes before the sides could do battle on a ground soaked by rain.

In what was well and truly a tough affair, veteran Staunton again proved to be a standout for the Giants as she put both her AFL and Gaelic football skills to good use picking up a hard fought 15 disposals.

Her leadership and strength around the contest were trademarks of a gritty game by Staunton as she well and truly led from the front on a tough night for the Giants.

Proving to be a livewire up forward on her debut, Bonner showed continued improvement in her second AFLW outing.

Picking up 11 disposals in a horror night for forwards, Bonner showed her immense potential in perhaps the highlight of the night for Giants as she out bodied her defender to take an impressive mark in the wet before playing on and finishing her work to put through her second AFLW goal.

In a night filled with drama, including a power outage late in the second term, North Melbourne proved too good for the young Giants, running out 25 points to leave GWS reeling at 0-2.

In Melbourne, it was a traditional Saturday afternoon’s football as two of Victoria’s biggest clubs in Collingwood and Melbourne did battle at the original home of the Magpies in Victoria Park.

Flying the Irish flag in this clash would be Magpies forward Sarah Rowe, who looked to continue her development as an AFLW forward.

On a rough day for forwards, Rowe would show her intense forward pressure and athleticism as she racked up an astounding eight tackles to go along with her three disposals.

In a tight affair, Collingwood could never really get their offence going effectively as one goal for the afternoon told a grim tale as they fell by 15 points, seeing them slump to a winless start to 2019.

On Sunday, Ailish Consaldine’s Adelaide Crows would claim their first victory of the 2019 AFLW season with a comeback victory over Carlton.

In a see-sawing affair at IKON Park, it looked a lost cause for the Crows early in the third as Carlton skipped away to a comfortable 17-point lead.

However, 11 minutes of perfection would see Adelaide reel off six straight goals as they stormed home to a memorable 13-point victory.

In her second AFLW match, Consaldine proved a solid performer as she exhibited good skills and a ferocious attack on the ball to claim eight disposals (at 77% efficiency) and three tackles.

An excellent athlete with a good sense of the game, Consaldine looks to be a key part of the Crows future as she quickly adapts to the intricacies of Australian Rules Football.

Overall, it was a memorable week for our Irish five in the AFLW, with a memorable debut to McCarthy one of many highlights dished up by these code-swapping athletes.

Next week, we will hopefully see all five players in action again with McCarthy’s Bulldogs kicking off the round three action with a massive encounter against North Melbourne.

 

By Zac Standish

2020 Event Hosting Applications Now Open

Applications to host two of the major events on the AFL Europe 2020 Calendar, Champions League and Euro Cup, are now open.

After successfully delivering the Champions League tournament for the past five years, AFL Netherlands have decided to step aside from hosting this event after delivering the 5th edition in Amsterdam this April. AFL Europe would like to congratulate AFL Netherlands on their incredible contribution to the growth and development of AFL in Europe through producing such a high quality event since it’s inception in 2015. This tournament has flourished year on year and will be handed to a new host following the 2019 edition with a record number of teams competing for the title of Champions of Europe.

The proposed event date for Champions League 2020 is Saturday, April 4th. Potential Champions League venues should be able to host up to 30 teams in attendance with at least 6 fields and ample changeroom facilities.

Applications are also open to host the 2020 edition of our annual Euro Cup tournament. This 9-a-side competition sees men’s and women’s national teams come together from all across Europe to battle it out for national glory. After a successful tournament in Cork in 2018, the 2019 Euro Cup will see our teams descend on Norrtalje, Sweden in the height of the Swedish Summer.

The proposed event dates for Euro Cup in 2020 are Saturday, 10th October or 17th October. Euro Cup venues should be able to support 25+ teams with at least 5 fields and ample changerooms.

If you have any questions regarding the application process to host either of these events, please do not hesitate to get in contact with admin@afleurope.org. Applications close on March 1st. We look forward to working with our 2020 hosts in the near future.

 

 

AFL Europe Footy Tipping Competition

After a thrilling 2018 season and one of the best Grand Finals of all time, the excitement is building for the 2019 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.

There is no better way to follow the AFL season than by getting involved in Footy Tipping. However, joining AFL Europe’s Footy Tipping Competition will also give you an opportunity to help those who are less fortunate.

The entry fee is £20, with 60% of the total cash pool going to the top three tipsters at the end of the home and away season (finals not included):

  • First Prize: Will receive 30% of the total cash pool
  • Second Prize: Will receive 20% of the total cash pool
  • Third Prize: Will receive 10% of the total cash pool
  • Last Place: Will receive £21 (Entry fee + £1)

This year, the remaining 40% of the total cash pool will be donated to the charity organisation, Shelter. Every year Shelter helps millions of people in the UK struggling with bad housing or homelessness with advice, support, and legal services. Shelter campaigns to make sure that one day, no one will have to turn to them for help. Shelter exists to defend the right to a safe home. To learn more, please visit: https://england.shelter.org.uk/

 

Why Shelter?

On the 28th of April, AFL Europe General Manager Ryan Davey, will be attempting the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon. In preparation for the Marathon, Ryan has created a fundraising campaign and selected Shelter as his charity partner. If you would like to learn more or donate to his campaign separately, please visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RyanDavey1

A reminder that one of the most important elements of a Footy Tipping Competition is the “Bragging Rights” that come with the competition. Therefore, please make sure you forward this information on to your family, friends and colleagues to get them involved in the fun and this great cause. Don’t forget, the more people that enter the larger the prize pool. The winners will also receive a shout out on the AFL Europe website and social platforms.

If you would like to enter this competition, please click on the following link: https://www.footytips.com.au/comps/AFL_EU_Footy_Tips

Once you have entered, please pay your entry fee (£20) via the PayPal link below. Payment is due prior to the opening game of the Premiership Season.
www.paypal.me/afleurope

Any questions, concerns or for alternate payment methods, please contact admin@afleurope.org. Thanks again for your support and we look forward to a great year of Footy Tipping. Good Luck!

AFLW – Round 1 Review

Another AFLW season is underway, and for AFL fans in Europe, there is plenty of reasons to be excited with four women playing in the opening round.

This season will see a record number of Irish women playing in the AFLW. New recruits Ailish Considine, Sarah Rowe and Yvonne Bonner all made their debuts this weekend.

Aisling McCarthy is on the list of reigning premiers Western Bulldogs but was selected as an emergency so hopefully, she will make her debut over the coming weeks.

Star international Cora Staunton is back again and got her season off to a great start kicking two goals but couldn’t prevent her GWS Giants side losing 4.3 (27) to the Brisbane Lions 4.5 (29). Cora kicked a total of five goals in last years AFLW season, and if she continues her impressive start to the season, she should kick more this season.

After an impressive opening game, Cora was awarded two votes in the AFLCA AFLW Champion Player of the Year, as she finished with 14 touches, two marks and two tackles.

Joining Cora at the Giants this year is Yvonne Bonner. Yvonne is still new to the sport of Australian Rules Football, having grown up playing Gaelic football from a young age at school then for her local club Glenfin.

Yvonne joined the Giants after a trial as part of the Cross Coders initiative back in September. She had played her first game only a couple of weeks ago in a pre-season game but quickly looked right at home, kicking the opening goal of the game from about 30 metres out after winning a free kick.

She also provided an important passage of play leading up to a goal in the third quarter as she kicked the ball into the Giants forward line looking for a one-on-one, and her Giants teammate snapped the goal.

Despite a loss in her opening AFLW match, Yvonne showed what she is capable of with a goal, seven disposals and some key passages of play.

Down in Victoria, Sarah Rowe also lined up for her first AFLW match, as her side Collingwood played away to the competitions newest team, Geelong. Sarah is a talented athlete but is still relatively new to the game of Aussie Rules.

Sarah grew up playing Gaelic football (GA) and soccer, spending much of her time juggling both from the age of eight. She received five caps at a senior level for the Irish soccer team but then committed her time to GA.

Then midway through 2018, she had interest from each of the Melbourne clubs and Collingwood secured her services for this season. Despite only having a few weeks of experience playing Australia Football, she started in the forward line for Collingwood on the weekend as she had six kicks, two marks and a tackle. Unfortunately for her side, they lost by a solitary point against the competition’s newest team 3.5 (23) to 3.6 (24).

Another close game saw Ailish Considine’s Adelaide Crows lose 1.11 (17) to the Western Bulldogs 2.6 (18) in a close thriller.

Alilish is another Gaelic football star recruited to the AFLW through Cross Coders, having played GA for 20 years since she was just six years old.

Starting on the interchange, Ailish had a positive impact for her team, setting up their only goal of the game. After winning the contested ball on the wing, she delivered a perfectly weighted kick to a teammate running back with the flight in the forward-50.

She finished the game with a total of nine disposals, which consisted of seven kicks, on top of three marks showing her ability to contest in the air, learnt through GA and Camogie.

Despite no players involved with a winning side in the opening round, they have all shown why the clubs have looked towards Ireland to improve their lists. Cora started off well and looks like she will be one of the competitions key players this year. Teammate Yvonne had an outstanding debut match and will certainly be looking forward to a GWS home game on Friday.

For Sarah and Ailish, they will use this round as a stepping board going forward. It was a chance to get valuable game time with teammates and continue learning about the game, but they both performed key roles for their side and will look to improve as the weeks go by.

Fitzpatrick Cup 2019 – Tournament Preview

Another instalment of the Fitzpatrick Cup is upon us this weekend as the sixth edition of the AFL Europe universities tournament is set to take place in Oxford.

UCC is the reigning premiers in both the women’s and men’s divisions, but with the standard getting better each year, the other university teams will give themselves every chance to compete for the ‘Fitz Cup’.

When talking to UCC Club President James O’Callagahan, he said he believes this Fitzpatrick Cup will be the most competitive one yet.

It will also be the first time since 2016 that the tournament will be held in England, after the last two were held in Cork, Ireland.

Having the tournament in Cork over the last two years certainly helped participation grow with the Cork-based teams, but playing away won’t put off any of the travelling teams off. “Credit to the boys, they’ve been working hard and travelled to Cork for training since early January, such is their commitment. I think the idea of playing in such a great venue has its own draw too,” CIT coach Eoin O Sullivan said.

Birmingham President Matt Darowski is another who is excited by the venue for the tournament, and it also benefits the Birmingham teams. “Even though we’re not playing at home, it will definitely help us as we can take our strongest team,” he said.

This time, Oxford will do the honours as hosts, which will also see them return to the Cup after their absence from last years competition. Joining the hosts and reigning premiers are fellow university teams CIT, Cambridge and Birmingham.

Oxford isn’t just hosting the tournament, they want to win it. “Once the AFL Europe team bring both cups to Oxford, they won’t be leaving,” said Romy Minkio, the club’s president.

This season has also seen the introduction of the National Universities League, allowing teams to give players more valuable game time.

When talking about the NUL, Mike Baker, the Cambridge Vice President, said it has allowed the clubs’ teams to play more matches and get some results on the board heading into the ‘Fitz Cup’.

Once again there will be eight men’s team, while there a four team in the women’s draw. UCC, CIT and Oxford all have two men’s team’s, showing the growth of the sport in universities across the clubs from Ireland and England that will battle it out for this years Fitzpatrick Cup.

 

Previous winners:

Men’s:

2015 – Birmingham

2016 – Birmingham

2017 – UCC1

2018 – UCC1

2019 –

 

Women’s:

2017 – UCC

2018 – UCC

2019 –

 

Tournament details:

Saturday, 2nd February 2019

Horspath Athletics and Sports Ground, Horspath Road

Oxford OX4 2RR.

Midfield pressure crucial for Cambridge

Cambridge is back again for the 2019 Fitzpatrick Cup, with the women’s side aiming to go far in the finals after they finished as runners-up last year. For the men’s squad, they are hoping to put a disappointing Fitzpatrick Cup from last year behind them as they target a finals appearance.

Last season was the first time Cambridge had a women’s team in the Fitzpatrick Cup, and despite many of their team playing for the first time, they reached the final.

Mitch Barker, the Vice-President of Cambridge University Australian Rules Football Club, said, “their skills and experience have come a long way. They’ve been playing more matches leading up in the newly formed National University League, with some strong results.”

For the men, they have retained a large part of their core team from last year but have added some new players, getting various results in the National University League.

The women’s side has a number of new players, but one standout is Maighread Ireland. The Cambridge side does already have a large Irish contingent and that has helped her adapt efficiently into the side.

Their male counterparts have seen good numbers at their Thursday training session, with British ruckman Andy Everall being a real standout. “He’s mobile with a really strong set of hands and a rapidly improving kick. For being so new to AFL he’s really picked it up quickly and made an impact in the middle for our team,” Mitch said.

Both teams have had good preparation recently and are confident they have improved from last year. As a result, Cambridge feels that they are capable of taking their game up a level in this tournament.

Taking charge as the coach for Cambridge is David Sykes, who will also have input from various senior members.

“He’s been coaching the teams for a couple of years and has really helped the Women’s and Men’s teams improve in this time,” said Mitch.

Leading into this tournament, the two sides have been working on their pressure and looking to make the most of the strength through the midfield. “The women’s team strength is their ability to apply pressure and tackles and win the ball back and I think you’ll see this play out in the tournament,” Mitch said.

With the men’s team, they will be looking to make the most of their strong midfield, their key part of the team. “We rely on the middle to deliver a lot for the team and so far it’s worked,” Mitch said.

With the kind of football that 9-a-side promotes, winning the ball first will be key and that’s where Cambridge’s midfield strength will be crucial, while their pressure when they don’t have the ball will be important in creating key turnovers.

Cambridge has had a good build-up to this weekends Fitzpatrick Cup, with both teams having plenty of time to develop tactics and team structure. For the women’s squad, they will be confident of going far in the tournament once again, while the men will be hoping their midfielders and tackling pressure will lead them to a place in the finals.

Angus Boyle – AFL Europe.

Hosts Oxford University determined on Fitzpatrick Cup return

After a one-year absence from the Fitzpatrick Cup, the hosts for this year, Oxford University, are determined to make sure that once the Cup arrives in the historic English city, they won’t be leaving.

With their last appearance in the tournament back in 2017, Oxford will be looking to make the most of their home ground advantage and with two sides in the men’s draw as well as a team in the women’s they will give themselves every chance.

Back in 2017, the two men’s sides’ could only record one win between them from a total of six games. The women, unfortunately, couldn’t record a win either, but they are a different team this time around. “We aren’t here for the show – we want to go the whole hog!” said Romy Minko, the president of the Oxford University Australian Rules Football Club.

The club missed playing in last years edition of the cup, and are keen to make themselves noticed this year. “Absence certainly has made this heart grow fonder. We really missed playing last year, and it’s good to play more games,” said Romy.

With hosting the competition comes the opportunity for numbers to grow, as it’s easier for players, coaches and staff to work around other commitments. This has certainly been the case for Oxford, as they have plenty of numbers to pick from for their squads and they will be able to show how strong they are.

Tim Lefroy will be leading the way for the three Oxford teams as the coach, while Natasha Jacobs is captain for the Women’s team and Jasper Fried the captain for the Men’s.

“All our teams are in red hot form – we’ve bought the newer players up to speed and have been working hard on skills and fitness,” Romy said, showing that the Oxford team is developing well heading into the tournament.

The form of any team will be key, as that can create momentum, which is important in carrying teams through a busy schedule of football in the Fitzpatrick Cup.

Focus on speed in training appears to be paying off, as Oxford’s “ball movement is looking really good,” according to their President, particularly when transitioning with the ball “out of defence”.

The Oxford squad are confident of making sure the Cup stays in the city at the conclusion of the tournament, but most teams are confident of taking out the titles, so there will be plenty of quality competition.

They may not have played in last years competition but that will have developed their desire and competitiveness to show what they are capable of. Home ground advantage helps, but Romy believes they are capable regardless, “We think we’re excellent everywhere. In the words of Ross Lyon, Fremantle Senior Coach (2013): “anywhere, anytime”.

Oxford is certainly determined and has the right attitude heading into the tournament. “We want to go the whole hog!” is certainly a fitting quote for the hosts to live by on this upcoming Saturday.

Angus Boyle – AFL Europe

UCC aiming to win Fitzpatrick Cup again

Looking to win the Fitzpatrick Cup again, UCC knows they will be facing tough competition with this years edition of the tournament being played on English soil.

Both the UCC men’s squad and the women’s squad, the UCC Crusaders, are aiming for the three-peat of Fitzpatrick Cup’s.

In recent times, the UCC men’s squad have been strong enough to field two teams, and this year will be no different with a UCC1 and UCC2 showing their strength in depth at the tournament.

“The preparation for this tournament has been coming along nicely with new coach Dean Johnson proving to be a breath of fresh air… With high numbers at each training, the standard hasn’t slipped since we got back to the grind this year,” James O’Callaghan said, the Club President of the UCC Australian Rules Football Club.

For the women’s side, they remain well balanced according to coach Marie Keating, a former Sydney University and New South Wales AFL player from Ireland.

Her knowledge and experience in the game will be a massive asset to the UCC Crusaders team.

“UCC Crusaders have had some very good players graduate and move away from Cork over the last 2 years so they will be a big loss but we are lucky that the vast majority of players we have this year have managed to stay relatively injury free and available to travel to the Fitzpatrick Cup,” Marie said.

The women’s team have dominated in their competition since the inaugural women’s tournament in 2016, and they will look to continue that form this year. However, they know that playing in Oxford offers a different challenge, with Marie saying they are expecting the English universities, in particular, to be stronger this year with home advantage.

Build up for the women’s team has been going well for many players, thanks to the first edition of the AFL Ireland Women’s Premiership. Cork reached the final, which meant giving some valuable game time and match day exposure to a few of the newer faces within the squad.

As a whole, the women’s side is a balanced line-up. “There is great strength down the spine of the team, with established players like co-captains Siobhan O’Donnell and Claire Stephenson, as well as Mary Hurley, having played fantastically in the AFL Ireland Women’s Premiership”, Marie said.

The men also have a strong team that will consider themselves as favourites to win the Cup again but will face stiff opposition in English conditions.

When asked about their chances this weekend, James said, “Having won the last two tournaments on our own grounds, both teams are eyeing up Oxford as an opportunity to show that we can perform regardless of where we are in the world.”

As is the case with reigning premiers though, there is normally a target on their backs. “I feel this year’s tournament could be our most competitive one yet for both teams, as the standard always seems to be rising,” James said.

Everyone wants to beat the best so both men’s and women’s squads will have to be at their best once again against impressive competition, but both teams will back themselves in defending their titles in what is sure to be an exciting Fitzpatrick Cup.

Angus Boyle – AFL Europe

Challenge of Fitzpatrick Cup excites CIT

Last year was CIT’s first endeavour in the Fitzpatrick Cup but they took the competition by storm as CIT finished runners-up after an entertaining final against rivals UCC. The university have strength in numbers, with another team, CIT 2, taking part this year.

This strength in numbers, shown by the squads high number of players attending training sessions, shows how important recruitment is for the University teams.

“With the Euro Cup being held in CIT last year, it helped promote the game here and our recruitment was boosted because of that,” said CIT coach Eoin O Sullivan.

Having the local AFL Ireland Premiership side The Leeside Lions has also helped the university, as plenty of new players have gained experience through another competitive pathway, which can only be positive for CIT.

Managing to get Eoin on board as coach is a big statement from CIT, as Eoin had been with rivals UCC for five years, which included three Fitzpatrick Cup victories as coach. It will be interesting to see UCC’s response if both sides play each other, but Eoin’s knowledge and understanding of football at both University and international level will be invaluable.

He has already outlined high expectations for the two CIT sides, saying, “it’s simple really, we want to win… We want to go all the way.”

The team is excited for the tournament, and CIT are keen to show their opposition that last seasons performance wasn’t a one-off.

“It’s upbeat, full of excitement and promise. Our boys are itching to test themselves against the best Europe has to offer – and a footy trip has it’s own benefits too! But, first and foremost, the footy is the main draw”, said Eoin. It certainly sounds like CIT are up for the challenge.

Last years Fitzpatrick Cup was hosted in Cork, at UCC, which helped CIT in terms of planning and less travel. However, with this years tournament being hosted in Oxford, it has a different kind of impact on the squad.

“We thought it might hamper us a bit with the competition being so early in February, CIT don’t return until the week,” said Eoin.

“But, credit to the boys, they’ve been working hard and travelled to Cork for training since early January, such is their commitment. I think the idea of playing in such a great venue has it’s own draw too.”

Having the two squads allows for CIT to chop and change with potential line-ups, as well as testing various tactics. Regardless, there will be plenty of competition if the two face off against each other.

For CIT 1, Conor White and Olan Murphy will be key transitioning out of defence with the ball, while Oisin Fitzpatrick and James O Shea offer plenty through the middle. Up front, talls Ian O Callaghan and Paul Geary will be the main targets.

On the CIT 2 side, Jack O Grady will be important off the half back line, Chris McEnry will be important playing in the midfield and Connor Tobin up forward.

Another big tournament is in-store for CIT, with both teams aiming to go far and they will certainly fancy their chances under coach Eoin O Sullivan.

Angus Boyle – AFL Europe

Form and togetherness key for Birmingham at Fitzpatrick Cup

The first major AFL Europe tournament for 2019 will see five universities from Ireland and England battle it out on Saturday 2nd of February for the Fitzpatrick Cup. Premiers in the mens divison back in 2015 and 2016, Birmingham University are looking to take both the men’s and women’s Cup back to the Midlands.

Both sides have been in impressive form recently, with the men still unbeaten and both teams on top of their respective National Universities League competions.

The men’s side currently have a big percentage, showing their attacking prowess and they are confident of maintaining that 100% win record.

For the women, they have recorded impressive victory’s over Cambridge and the London Swans in recent times, while also giving the Nottingham Scorpions a good contest back in November as Birmingham were defeated at the Movember Cup.

This year the Fitzpatrick Cup is taking place in Oxford, England after it was previously held in Cork, Ireland for the last two years.

University of Birmingham Aussie Rules President Matt Darowski said having the Cup closer to home will help. “Even though we’re not playing at home, it will definitely help us as we can take our strongest team,” Darowski said.

With some of the distances teams have to travel, not all the players are available, but this year, Birmingham are looking particularly strong.

“In previous years some of our key players were unable to travel due to various reasons, but this year we’ve had to leave out some very good players!” Darowski said.

With four Great Britain players in their ranks, this Birmingham men’s side is full of experience and will be expecting Toby Webster, Sam Walon, James Williams and Ciaran Jeanes to guide their team through the cup.

Also having numerous players still in the men’s squad from their Cup winning teams in 2015 and 2016 will help this Birmingham team battle it out for the trophy.

This is the first time that Birmingham have had a women’s team in the competition, but there are still valuable players with experience in the form of GB players Meg Davies, Lila Wielemans and Ciara Duffy.

Up front, they will have key targets in Margot Roberson and Joely Crichard, and also have some young stars in Kate Franklin and Neave Dent.

There has been more focus this season on the tactical side of the game, with plenty of practise based on specific game situations, but Darowski said, “undoubtedly the togetherness and chemistry of this group is vital to our success.”

“Both the guys and girls really get behind each other and there’s a great atmosphere at the club because of it,” said Darowski.

All of this offers a chance for Birmingham to battle for both the men’s and women’s titles this year. Combine that with the form of both sides, and the close-knit nature of the group, Birmingham have high expectations this tournament.

With experienced third-year and GB international James Williams taking charge, there is no reason why Birmingham can’t be a factor at the pointy end of this years Fitzpatrick Cup.

Angus Boyle – AFL Europe