AFL Europe 2021 Internship Program

AFL Europe are now accepting applications to join our team as part of our Internship Program for 2021.

We are looking for talented and passionate individuals to help continue to grow and develop the game of Australian Football throughout Europe.

Two positions have become available as part of our program for next year.

We are seeking a talented and creative Digital Content producer to create compelling image, video and written content for AFL Europe’s social media platforms and website.

We are seeking a passionate Events & Commercial star to assist in the delivery of our multi-national AFL and corporate events, such as the Champions League and AFL Grand Final Lunch.

To apply for the position/s, please send your CV and cover letter to admin@afleurope.org by Wednesday, December 2nd 2020 to be considered.

If you have any questions about the position/s or getting involved with AFL Europe in 2021, please contact us on the above email.

POSITIONS


AFL Europe Intern (Digital Content) – Job Description

AFL Europe Intern (Events & Commercial) – Job Description

ANZAC Cup applications now open for 2021

AFL Europe are now accepting applications to play in next year’s ANZAC Cup.

The ANZAC Cup is played on ANZAC Day between the Australian Spirit team and French national sides for both men and women and is part of the annual ‘Australia Week’ celebrations held in Villers-Bretonneux in the lead up to April 25th.

The small town of Villers-Bretonneux in Northern France has a strong connection with the Australian Armed Forces. On 24th April 1918, the town was captured by German forces.

Overnight, the Australian troops retaliated and by dawn on the 25th April 1918, the town had been retaken.

Applications to play in the men’s and women’s Australian Spirit teams are welcome from any Australian or New Zealander with selection for the event emphasised on a player’s personal connection to WW1 and the Armed Forces, not just purely football ability.

Those who were selected last year and missed out on the opportunity to play have already been contacted and were given priority into the 2021 teams.

We can announce that there are still three spots available in the men’s team and four in the women’s.

Players interested in applying for the 12th ANZAC Cup should express interest to admin@afleurope.org to receive an information sheet and application form.

Players will be expected to arrive in Villers-Bretonneux on Saturday, 24th of April to attend the Dawn Service on ANZAC Day. Matches will be played on Sunday, April 25th with teams departing VB the following day.

The ANZAC Cup fee is £100 per player and includes a full playing kit, some meals and billeted accommodation for the duration of their stay.

Application forms must be returned by Sunday, 29th of November to be considered.

For more of a look into AFL Europe’s ANZAC Cup, watch this highlights video from 2018.

View the photo album from 2019 here.

The ANZAC Cup in April 2021 will only go ahead if it safe to do so. Appropriate government guidelines will continue to be monitored by AFL Europe over the coming months.

Tigers second half goes unmatched in comeback thriller

RICHMOND’S success rolls on with the club winning its third premiership in just four years.

The Tigers came from behind at half-time to beat Geelong by 31-points, claiming back-to-back AFL premierships and winning the first-ever AFL Grand Final at The Gabba in Brisbane last Saturday.

A complete second half by the yellow and black saw them kick nine goals to Geelong’s two, led by best on ground and Norm Smith medallist, Dustin Martin (21 disposals and four goals).

It was disappointment for Ireland’s Mark O’Connor and Zach Tuohy after becoming the first Irishmen to reach the AFL Grand Final since 2006.

The pair were off to a great start, linking up across Geelong’s backline to push the ball forward and into the hands of Tom Hawkins who registered the first score of the match.

O’Connor finished the match collecting nine disposals and had five intercepts across the backline.

Tuohy had 14 touches and one behind, as well as leading the Cats in contested possessions with ten.

Photo: Getty Images.

It was the match that had it all and within ten minutes of the first quarter, both sides had been dealt with huge blows.

A contest in Geelong’s forward line saw Tigers defender Nick Vlastuin struck in the head whilst coming back with the flight, ruling him out for the rest of the match with concussion.

For Geelong, superstar Gary Ablett Jr. landed awkwardly on his shoulder in a tackle, sending him straight down to the rooms. Ablett would return near the end of the first term to battle out the rest of the game on a suspected broken shoulder.

The first half ended in favour of the Cats as Geelong’s pressure dominated the Tigers, before a late goal from Dustin Martin cut the lead to 15-points.

It was the first time since 1921 where Richmond had trailed at half-time in a Grand Final, but it didn’t take long for this Tigers outfit to recoup and play like the team we had all seen in recent years.

Two quick goals through Jack Riewoldt and Jason Castagna seemed to have given the Tigers enough momentum to command the second half and limit Geelong to just two more goals for the rest of the match.

The fairytale finish for Geelong’s little master, Ablett, looked more and more uncertain while Martin cemented himself as one of the AFL’s best big-game performers.

A five-goal final term from Richmond saw them secure their 13th premiership and beat the Cats by 31-points.

RICHMOND     2.1     3.2     7.4     12.9     (81)
GEELONG        2.2     5.5     6.8     7.8      (50)

As per AFL.com.au:

GOALS
Richmond:
Martin 4, Prestia 2, Riewoldt 2, Castagna, Lambert, Lynch, McIntosh
Geelong: Menegola 2, Dangerfield, Duncan, Guthrie, Hawkins, Miers

BEST
Richmond:
Martin, Short, Edwards, Prestia, Cotchin, Bolton
Geelong: Duncan, Stewart, Selwood, Menegola, Dahlhaus

INJURIES
Richmond:
Vlastuin (concussion), Houli (calf)
Geelong: Ablett (shoulder), Simpson (concussion)

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

Geelong’s Irishmen get set for AFL Grand Final

TWO of Ireland’s most exciting Australian Footballers are preparing to set foot on the AFL’s biggest stage.

Final 22 selections announced this morning has Cats Mark O’Connor and Zach Tuohy ready to become the first Irishmen to play in an AFL Grand Final since Sydney’s Tadhg Kennelly in 2006.

Whilst the feat has been more recently accomplished by an Irishwoman in the AFLW, O’Connor and Tuohy could potentially join Kennelly in becoming just the second and third Irishmen to win an AFL premiership.

Kennelly celebrating his '05 premiership with Sydney.

Kennelly celebrating his ’05 premiership with Sydney.

Geelong’s commanding display against the Lions last week has put the club through to the grand final for the first time since 2011.

A tightly contested first half soon turned to be all Geelong, dominating the third and fourth term kicking 7.8. to Brisbane’s 2.3 and winning by 40-points.

Playing much of a high half forward role, Tuohy was able to collect 16 touches and add a goal in the final term that stretched Geelong’s lead to 23-points.

Off the backline, O’Connor managed 13 disposals at an outstanding 85% disposal efficiency.

Post-match, Tuohy joked with commentator Luke Darcy on his pronunciation of Portlaoise as well as his family back home being able to watch the game in ‘real time’.

The Irish pair have led fantastic seasons and head into the match against the Tigers in good stead.

O’Connor’s 2020 campaign has been his best yet, including a 20 disposal game in round 4 (one short of equalling his career high) and a lockdown defensive effort against gun forward Charlie Cameron in round 6.

Tuohy, playing both up and down the ground, has managed to kick five goals across 15 games and surpassed fellow Irishman, Tadgh Kennelly, to move up into third for total career AFL games played by an Irishman.

Young O’Connor has also accomplished a milestone of his own, reaching the 50-game mark just last weekend.

The last time the Cats and Tigers met fell on Tuohy’s 200th on September 11th, round 17.

Despite a late surge from Geelong, the Cats fell short by four goals.

The Cats may look to pay closer attention to Tigers forward Jack Riewoldt, who kicked four goals in their last meeting.

Despite this, O’Connor and Tuohy held their own and combined for 33-disposals and eleven intercepts.

Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

The 2020 AFL season has been like no-other.

Heavily impacted by COVID-19, all Victorian teams were moved into ‘hubs’ in Queensland in early-July.

In these hubs, the AFL featured their own festival of footy, where for the first-time the league held matches played over 20 straight days.

Teams would also travel to the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia for a period of usually two weeks, where they would face teams they hadn’t yet come up against.

By reaching the preliminary finals, Geelong (O’Connor pictured middle, below) celebrated 100 days in the hub last week.

The AFL Grand Final kicks off at 9:30AM (GMT +1) and is set up to be a thriller.

Should Geelong win, it will be their first since 2011 and fourth in 14 years.

The Tigers however are in the hunt to go back-to-back and win their third premiership in just four years.

Good luck to both teams tomorrow and to Mark O’Connor and Zach Tuohy for your outstanding achievement.

If you’re looking for a way to watch the game at home, visit Watch AFL and purchase a ‘Grand Final Pass’.

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

 

How to watch the AFL Grand Final in Europe

With the AFL Grand Final fast approaching we thought we’d showcase one of our partners, Belushi’s Bars as they’re going to be showing the game live across several European cities.

We’ve experienced the atmosphere first-hand and can attest it gets lively!

Here’s a guide to the where you can watch all the action kicking off at 9:30AM BST on the 24th of October, with Belushi’s Bars. Click on the images below for more information on each venue.

Please note that whilst all the information in this article is correct at the time of writing, viewings are subject to local COVID-19 regulations.

Watching in London

Belushi’s will be showing the game in their refurbed Hammersmith (West London) bar and famous Dugout bar at London Bridge (Central London).

Get your household organised and bookings sorted by emailing your group size and the time you will arrive to party@belushis.com.

HAMMERSMITH

LONDON BRIDGE

Watching in Paris

Get along to Belushi’s Gare du Nord for the action, they’ll be showing the game on dozens of TV’s in their sports bar.

They sponsor Paris Cocks Footy so you might even see a few of the team down!

To book, email GDN@belushis.com with your party size and the time you will arrive.

Watching in Berlin

Belushi’s Berlin was the original Belushi’s to start showing the AFL Grand Final and over the years has built a dedicated following.

The atmosphere will be second to none and its central location makes it easy to get to.

Email berlin@belushis.com if you’d like to book a table or click on the image below for more info.

Watching in Barcelona

They’ll be showing the game on two massive projector screens as well as having the commentary blasting out.

Just off the Ramblas, this bar is in a great location.

Get your booking in by emailing barcelona@belushis.com.

Watching in Amsterdam

The recently refurbed Amsterdam bar is the perfect place to watch the game.

Located in the Red Light District, the famous bar will be serving Aussie beers and hot breakfasts

Send an email to amsterdam@belushis.com to organise a table for you and your friends.

PSS Presents: Around the Grounds – Socials Edition #26

Featuring the best online posts from the AFL Europe community, PSS International Removals Presents: Around the Grounds – Socials Edition.

As we near the winter months, certain teams around Europe have been changing up training days, times and venues to adapt to the cooler conditions.

One of those teams is the Frankfurt Redbacks & Redcats, who have moved training onto artificial turf under some bright lights.

“Lights on and the stage is set for our new winter training ground!”

The Copenhagen Barracudas have finished off the 2020 DAFL season in style.

Beating the Aarhus Bombers for their sixth win saw the Barracudas finish the season undefeated and on top of the ladder.

Heading into the finals as favourites, they will now prepare for their matchup against Odense this weekend.

Another team making it through to the post-season in the DAFL was the Farum Cats.

Over the weekend, the Cats defeated the Aalborg Kangaroos by 58-points.

The second-placed Cats will take on the Copenhagen Giants in the the DAFL’s second semi final.

Over to France, and footy for the year is only just beginning.

The season launched just last weekend and is set to last until April 2021, with teams scheduled to have at least a two-week break between games.

It’s been a long wait for the French teams so we’re excited to see some of the results that come through!

Check out this highlights video from the Bordeaux Bombers’ first game against Perpignan Tigers last weekend.

We’re excited to share and congratulate the 17th Irishwoman to sign for the 2021 AFL Women’s season, Brid Stack.

The announcement came early in the week with the NAB AFL Women’s draft occurring last Tuesday.

Stack has had quite an amazing Gaelic career and the accolades have most definitely followed! (Click below).

We’re looking forward to seeing you with the GWS Giants and wishing you all the best in Australia.

And 16 has officially become 17 ☘️ Extra special news as Cork Ladies Football Ladies Gaelic Football legend Brid…

Posted by AFL Ireland Women's on Wednesday, 7 October 2020

How’s this for dedication to your team!?

West Lothian Eagles have shared a snap of one of their own players with the club logo tattoo’d on his leg.

The Eagles are always keeping active on social media so make sure to give them a follow to check out more of their content.

The Polish Devils have taken to Instagram comparing the two Warsaw teams and their first eight games.

It’s quite equal thus far with both teams registering four wins each!

The rivalry between the Boars & Saints is definitely going to be one to watch in 2021 and over the next few years.

View this post on Instagram

AFL jest jedną z najbardziej bogatych w statystyki gier na świecie, a z naszymi 2 nowymi zespołami w Warszawie mamy bardzo interesującą sytuację. Poniżej możesz zobaczyć statystyki i fakty z 8 meczów, które rozegrali Warsaw Boars i Warsaw Saints w ostatnim miesiącu. Grafika jest w języku angielskim, ponieważ niektórych słów nie można przetłumaczyć 🤷‍♂️Komu kibicujesz?⠀ ⠀ Our game is one of the most statistic-rich games in the world. And with our 2 new teams in Warsaw, we have a very interesting situation. Below you can see the statistics and facts from the 8 games that the Warsaw Boars and Warsaw Saints have played in the last month. The picture is in English because some of the words can't be translated 🙈⠀ ⠀ #AFL #AussieRules #FutbolAustralijski #Sport #Australii #Futbol #poland #polska

A post shared by Polish Devils (@polishdevilsafl) on

Would you like to know which AFL players were born or have parents born from your home country?

The AFL Players Association have released their 2020 Multicultural Map, that features more than 200 players and 40 different countries.

Have a look below, plenty of European countries feature!

PSS International Removals are a family run, international removals company equipped with staff that are experts in the field whom are dedicated to providing a friendly and professional moving service to every customer. To check out what PSS have been up to online, visit their Facebook @pssinternationalremovals or Twitter @PSSRemovals. For info on their deals or offers, click here.

PSS International Removals

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

Europe unites for a spectacular day of footy

AFTER several months of competitive footy being put on hold, countries finally saw a return to action last Saturday, 26th of September.

Partnering with National Australia Bank, AFL Europe’s Festival of Football invited the governing bodies of AFL in Europe to host matches with their local teams in a city of their choice.

The format and organisation for each differed; some playing single matches, others hosting tournaments with up to four teams.

But for the ten countries and almost 40 teams participating in the Festival of Football, one thing remained the same, all were back playing the game they love.

AUSTRIA


Austria were graced with plenty of sunshine on Saturday after a cold and wet day prior. Participants travelled to Graz to compete in a mixed match that was made up of players from the Styrian DownUnderDogs, Vienna Galahs and plenty of first-timers including three women; forming Team Edelweiß and Team Enzian.

The match went for the full four quarters as Team Edelweiß ended the day victorious.

“We had a great day and had a lot of luck with the weather… it was great to be able to enjoy the day outside and celebrate a little all together,” said Martin Schittegg.

At just 15 years of age young gun Bennie was voted best afield, competing against players almost triple his age and earning himself a Player of the Tournament guernsey provided by AFL Europe apparel partner, O’Neills.

BULGARIA


Sofia Magpies have taken their first win in the inaugural Australian Football match between two Bulgarian sides.

The Varna Demons fell just short in what would have been their dream debut, losing to the Magpies by three goals.

The first half saw both sides taking turns kicking with the wind, resulting in level scores at halftime.

“It was a great day overall… Magpies used their greater experience to keep ahead in the second half and took home a three goal win; 13.10. 88 to 10.10. 70,” said Atanas Kirachin.

Best on ground in Aksakovo was awarded to Petar Petrov, who kicked five goals despite playing on the wing for most of the game.

Both player-coaches for the Magpies and Demons (Kirachin and Jon Zophoníasson) were the two umpires for the game, each alternating quarters.

CROATIA


In Croatia, the Sesvete Double Blues, Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers and Zagreb Hawks played each other once to make a mini three-team tournament.

Game number one was a close match for most but saw the Double Blues eventually break-free and lead by four goals with just minutes to go. Despite a late surge, the Hawks could not recover a win.

The Hawks stayed out on the field for game two to face the Zagreb Dockers. The Dockers were ready to go right from the first bounce and became too much for the Hawks, kicking three goals in the first four minutes of the match.

This momentum for the Dockers would continue into the final match of the day against the Double Blues.

Leading by five goals at halftime, the Dockers went on to finish the tournament undefeated and become champions in Croatia.

Following the men’s tournament, the Sesvete Redlegs and Zagreb Panthers went head-to-head for Croatia’s women’s match.

It seemed to be all smooth sailing for the Redlegs, who led by three goals at halftime. However, the second half was a completely different story with the Panthers edging back into it and the final result being decided in the dying seconds.

“The final 2-minutes were played in front of the Panthers goals and they turned out to be the most exciting of our whole Festival of Football tournament,” said Dinko Irsag.

“With the Panthers leading by 2-points, a free kick was awarded to the Redlegs 30-seconds before the end.

“The crowd was going wild… but unfortunately for the Redlegs, the kick was missed.”

Congratulations to Josip Karadza in the men’s and Matea Sedlacek in the women’s for being awarded Player of the Tournament, as well as Dinko Irsag for winning Umpire of the Tournament.

FINLAND


The Helsinki Heatseekers, Turku Dockers, Uusimaa Kangaroos and Waasa Wombats ventured to the town of Paimio for Finland’s participation in the Festival of Football.

Finland’s tournament ultimately decided the champions of Finland AFL 2020, as they were unable to go ahead with their season earlier in the year.

Along with Poland and Russia, Finland held a total of eight games in which all teams were able to secure a win.

Helsinki took the first victory of the day against the Roos and did not slow down, lasting the day undefeated including a 38-point win in the grand final over the Dockers.

To make the grand final, Turku had to beat Uusimaa in the final round of the day in which they did so very narrowly, by just 3-points.

Before the grand final, Uusimma and the winless Waasa Wombats played off for third place.

Unfortunately for the Roos, inaccuracy in front of goal proved costly and they lost by less than six points for the second game in a row.

Finland enjoyed a very successful day in Paimio with the four teams and a fantastic group of umpires officiating the games.

GERMANY


In Berlin, the North Berlin Crows, South Berlin Giants and West Berlin Eagles each played two games and recorded one win each.

Further south, Germany’s women’s held a tournament in Leipzig that invited the Berlin Crocodiles, Hamburg Dockers, Rheinland Lions and Allied Giants into town to face off in a four-way tournament.

Unfortunately, heavy rain became too much in Berlin and Leipzig, forcing the tournaments to stop halfway through.

Less than six points decided the outcome in each of the games in Berlin, as the Eagles were crowned champions due to maintaining the highest percentage.

Congratulations to Luke Quinn from the Crows for being awarded Player of the Tournament.

Experience played a big part in the matches in Leipzig as the teams fought through the wet conditions, but without finishing the tournament, the day was judged as a four-way tie.

A best and fairest player was announced from each team as recognition was given to all coaches, umpires and helpers of the tournament.

“We had many first-time players in the combined Allied Giants and it was great to see some strong tackles and muddy smiles,” said Emily Flanagan.

“Planning an event during a global pandemic proved quite challenging; however, everyone pulled together to create a successful day. Hats off to our three rookie umpires who were confident and spent the day in the rain.

“It was great to have the Germany women’s community together again. Bring on the 2021 season!”

IRELAND


Ireland’s involvement in the Festival of Football was two games in two different cities.

Game one saw Leeside Lions take on the UCC Bombers in Cork. The Bombers were off to the perfect start with two quick goals, but it didn’t take long for the Lions to retaliate as they went on to kick the next six goals in the first half and lead by 21 at half-time.

The Bombers came out of the main break ready to go, pressuring Leeside all quarter and keeping them scoreless for the entire third term. With that, the Bombers managed to kick two of their own, ending the third down by just 7-points, 38 to 45.

The final quarter had it all and for the first time since the opening minutes of the game, UCC had hit the front! Speckies, run-down tackles and nifty goals kept it even throughout the fourth quarter until Leeside broke away in the final minutes.

Congratulations to both teams on a great match and to the Lions for winning 10.14. 74 to 8.11. 59. Conor Nagle was awarded best on ground.

The second game in Ireland was in Belfast as an intra-club match with the Redbacks.

In sunny conditions, it didn’t look like any ordinary practice match between the Redbacks and White Tails as both teams displayed great skills and gut-running.

In a close fought battle, the White Tails ended the intra-club victorious.

Best on ground was voted as Dean Skinner for the White Tails, and David McElhone for the Redbacks.

NETHERLANDS


Just a week after their 2020 grand final, AFL Netherlands were back out onto the park for the Festival of Football.

Last Saturday looked a little different to their grand final, as they played non-contact footy and mixed the men and women players in the Netherlands into three teams of the Blues, Devils and Llamas.

Whilst line-ups may have differed, the results didn’t, with the Devils able to make it through to the grand final in consecutive weeks and become victorious yet again.

Well done to all for organising a successful tournament just a week after the Netherlands grand final.

POLAND


A total of eight matches were played in Wrocław which started with the intra-city rivalry between the Warsaw Boars and Warsaw Saints.

In wet weather, the Saints recorded the first win of the day which later on proved to be vital points to qualify for the grand final.

The rain cleared for the second game where the two teams on debut went head-to-head. The Lions made a big statement and comfortably defeated Fort Nysa.

Fort Nysa showed great improvement throughout the tournament, from not kicking a goal in their first game to kicking three in their final match.

“A historic day for the growth of footy in Poland, not even a torrential downpour would stop four Polish teams competing in the Festival of Football,” said Geoff Puzzi.

The sun parted the clouds for the grand final and the crowd roared as the Saints hoped their experience would get them over the line against the Lions.

Undefeated heading into the final, the Lions kept their momentum rolling through the first all-Poland Australian Football tournament and defeated the Saints 5.4. 34 to 1.1. 7.

Congratulations to Paweł Łysy from Fort Nysa, voted Player of the Tournament. An exceptional accomplishment for a player that had only been training for five weeks.

Another congratulations goes to the Umpire of the Tournament, Roger Scott, who did a fantastic job umpiring all games bar one.

RUSSIA


Baltic Hawks, Northern Tigers and Moscow Bears were up early to kick off the first tournament in the entire Festival of Football.

Enjoying the St. Petersburg sunshine, each team would go on to play four games to determine who should make finals.

The Bears started with the first win of the day but unfortunately it was to be their last. This meant that they would miss finals as the Hawks recorded their second victory against the unbeaten Tigers, putting them just ahead of the Bears and into the grand final.

The final brought out the very best of both teams, becoming the highest scoring match of the day as the 2020 SPAFL premiers proved they were the best team all year, defeating the Hawks by 11-points.

Umpire of the Tournament was awarded to Viacheslav Belov, while Evgeny Trofimov took the Player of the Tournament honours.

SWEDEN


The tenth country who participated in the Festival of Football were Sweden with five teams.

Norrtälje Dockers made their way to Limhamn Australian Football Ground in Malmö as favourites in both the men’s and women’s competitions, lasting undefeated all year.

The Dockers would go on to play the Port Malmö Maulers in an 18-a-side game to start things off for the day.

In an epic match, the home-side were pleased to end their drought and overpower the Dockers by more than ten goals.

In the women’s and along with the visiting Dockers were the South Stockholm Giants. The Giants were the least experienced side of the three with majority of their players making their Australian Football debut at the tournament.

The round robin between the Port Malmö Lynx, Giants and Dockers had some terrific talent on display as the Lynx and Dockers made it through to the grand final.

Undefeated all day, the Dockers looked ready to take their fourth victory and win Sweden’s tournament before a huge three goal second half by Lynx player, Alannah Ni Fhinn put the girls well ahead, beating the Dockers by 23-points and for the first time in 2020.

Congratulations to Lynx player Sammy Vallgren and Maulers player Daniel Peters who each won Player of the Tournament in the two competitions.

AFL Europe would like to thank and congratulate each country’s event organisers, committees, players, umpires, supporters and all volunteers who helped get each tournament up and running in a safe and successful manner.

It was great to see the AFL Europe community all out playing and enjoying some fantastic games of footy.

Our thoughts are with those that could not participate on the day. We hope to follow the progress of you all through the winter and to see you back playing games in 2021.

A final thanks goes to Festival of Football major parter and official ball partner of AFL Europe, National Australia Bank, for your ongoing support of Australian footy both in and outside of Australia. The day could not have gone ahead without you.

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

Festival of Football – Germany

AFL Germany look forward to hosting two tournaments in two different cities in the Festival of Football on September 26th.

The men’s tournament will take place in the country’s capital, Berlin, and the women’s where the newly formed Quokkas are based, Leipzig.

Both tournaments will feature four teams in a 9-a-side format.

The women’s tournament in Leipzig will include the Berlin Crocodiles, Hamburg Dockers, Rheinland Lions and a mixed team made up of players from Dresden, Heidelberg, Leipzig, Frankfurt and Zuffenhausen.

For some, playing at AFL Europe’s Festival of Football will mark their Australian Football debut.

Players from Germany's national team will be ready to compete at the Festival of Football.

Players from Germany’s national team will be ready to compete at the Festival of Football.

Emily Flanagan from the Leipzig Quokkas and Maren Deden from the Heidelberg Knights both founded their teams this year and will be using the Festival of Football as a chance for most of their players to (finally) play a game of Australian Football.

“Exposure in our city (Leipzig) and getting supporters to see us and the sport will be really important, and also exposure for our players so they know what it’s like to actually play a game,” said Flanagan.

“I think it’s one of the reasons why we chose Leipzig as the location… it’s a new team, and it’s always really helpful to show the new players what the sport is when it’s actually being played,” added Deden.

The tournament will be the first of its kind in Leipzig and played at a local field near the city centre.

As the first AFL team ever in Leipzig, Flanagan hopes the tournament will be a great way to introduce the sport to the city.

Early days for the Quokkas back in July.

Early days for the Quokkas back in July.

“It’s in a public space, so hopefully people will be wandering past and we can drum up a bit of a spectator sport.

“Maybe even get some recruiting going too!”

With the cancellation of Germany’s women’s 2020 season announced earlier this year, Deden said all players became extremely excited at the opportunity of playing in the Festival of Football.

“The season was definitely something everyone was looking forward to. The travel, the community and just enjoying doing something that everyone around you is really passionate about.

“We’ve since been trying to find a way to get some footy played safely… we were thinking of doing a few short ‘gameday’s’, but then the Festival of Football came up.

Maren Quote.

As premiers of AFL Germany women’s last year, Hamburg Dockers will no doubt be a tough match-up at the tournament this weekend.

But there are a few teams who have since recruited new players.

“There are some really strong women’s teams in Germany, especially Cologne, Hamburg and Berlin,” said Flanagan.

“It’ll be a fierce competition but also much of a try-out for many of the players.

“The Berlin Crocs hosted a Bushfire Fundraising game in March and they won that… it was them and Hamburg into the finals.

“That was really massive for the Berlin Crocs, so they might step-up again on the day.”

The men’s tournament in Berlin will be hosted by the Berlin Crocodiles and its four teams in the Berlin League.

With the number of men’s teams that could’ve attended, it became a safer option to make it a Berlin tournament with players around the country given the option to participate (should they wish to travel).

How the four teams for the Berlin League are originally decided is based on an annual draft. If more players are to arrive for the Festival of Football, another draft for the new players will then be organised before the tournament.

“This year we had our biggest-ever draft, around 30 people were drafted to new teams for the 2020 Berlin League, said Josh Bollmeyer, captain of the South Berlin Giants.

“Any new players that haven’t played a game or anyone that isn’t in a team that would like to participate in the Festival of Football will get drafted to one of the four teams on the day.

Josh Quote

The four teams in the tournament will therefore be the North Berlin Crows, East Berlin Mariners, South Berlin Giants and West Berlin Eagles, all competing at Sportplatz Forckenbeckstraße.

“AFL Europe’s Festival of Football is a great chance to play some footy and will be great for the sport here to raise more awareness,” said Daniel Thomas, president of Berlin Crocodiles.

“Usually we try to get Maifeld as the venue (next to Olympic Stadium), it’s the biggest ground maybe in all of Germany to play footy but it’s always hard to get.

“This year we’ve got two new grounds, so we’ll be playing the tournament on the same ground as we played our Bushfire Fundraiser tournament in March.”

In March, Berlin hosted a 'Footy against Bushfires' fundraiser for the towns and families impacted in Australia.

In March, Berlin hosted a ‘Footy against Bushfires’ fundraiser for the towns and families impacted in Australia.

Both Thomas and Bollmeyer are very much looking forward to the upcoming tournament and are excited to see the growth of their new players.

“Somehow we’ve had the more people come down this year more than ever before,” said Bollmeyer.

“Getting some footy into the new players will be good for them. They’ve been training but they don’t necessarily understand what’s actually involved in playing a game.

“The park does work well for the Berlin League… when we play in the city, we actually end up with a lot of bystanders watching which is really cool.”

With the Berlin League forced into a shorter schedule this year, the season has been split into two days. The first just over two weeks ago, the second on October 17th.

On the first day, rounds one & two were played in which both the Giants and Mariners came out undefeated, putting them arguably as favourites coming into the tournament.

Several players impressed in rounds one & two in the Berlin League that Bollmeyer mentioned are a big chance to shine again at AFL Europe’s Festival of Football.

“There’s a new guy that came down, Mark. S, he really turned it on in the Berlin League the other week. There are a few international boys too, especially a guy from America named Chris. H.

“He’s still learning all the skills but he’s just fitter than everyone on the field and he runs around like crazy.”

With plenty of new players on show in both the men’s and women’s tournaments this Saturday, 2021 for Germany is shaping up to potentially eight teams in the women’s competition and ten in the men’s.

Follow @AFLGermany and @AFLGermanyW for more news on Australian Football in Germany including the Festival of Football this weekend.

On the 26th of September AFL Europe’s Festival of Football, in partnership with National Australia Bank, will see a number of countries around Europe host an Australian Football tournament with local teams in a city of their choice.

The format and rules of each one-day tournament may differ from country to country, and matches will only be played if they comply with the appropriate government guidelines.

AFL Europe and the event committees around Europe participating in this event will continue to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 right up until matchday.

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

PSS Presents: Around the Grounds – Socials Edition #25

Featuring the best online posts from the AFL Europe community, PSS International Removals Presents: Around the Grounds – Socials Edition.

The Reading Kangaroos are getting ready to run ‘around the grounds’ to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

On the weekend of October 3rd, the Kangaroos will run & walk a total of 290km; the distance from Reading’s home venue to all of the other AFL London home grounds.

There are just a couple weeks left to donate! Click here to donate and support the Roos.

Only a couple of weeks to go until we go ‘around the grounds’ to raise money for MND. A big thank you to everyone who has donated so far! All the details in the post below, and on our Just Giving page.

Posted by Reading Kangaroos on Friday, 18 September 2020

Stade Toulousain have put together an epic video that went on their socials last week!

The video features the team at training, perfecting the skills of Australian Football.

For more information on the team or to get involved, message them via their Instagram.

Get to know the Copenhagen Barracudas players in the lead up to their finals!

The Barracudas have taken to Instagram to introduce their playing list.

Can you match the player photos with their nickname?

View this post on Instagram

Over the next couple of weeks we are going to introduce our playing list as we lead up to the finals. Thus far the boys are undefeated with 2 home and away games to go. Courageously and skillfully led by player/ coach Atiba Jackson. A little challenge for you all is wether you can match the player with the Nickname… Perhaps you even can tell the story of how they got it 😉? David McCurdie.. Fremantle Dockers, a goal sneak. @tomboydery .. Sydney Swans, Ruckman @timbuccc2 .. Collingwood Magpies, Wingman. @njamess , The Saints, Backman @brettday , Sydney Swans, Half Forward @jackdsiebert , Brisbane Lions, Wingman A. Sea biscuit/ Grasshopper B. Smokebomb C. Dayze. D. 🆘 E. Macca / Bob F. Manny / grounders

A post shared by Copenhagen Australian Football (@cphaustralianfootball) on

The ABC’s of AFL Women’s.

AFLW are reviewing all of their best moments through each letter of the alphabet.

Last week, Ailish Considine featured for the letter ‘I’. Check it out below.

The Kiel Koalas have officially played their first game of Australian Football!

Last weekend the Koalas went up against the Hamburg Dockers’ ‘rookie team’ in a hard fought match, narrowly losing by 5-points.

Well done to the Kiel Koalas for establishing the team so quickly as well as all involved in getting their first game organised!

View this post on Instagram

Gestern war es soweit, die Koalas haben ihr erstes Spiel bestritten – und es war des Anlasses absolut würdig! Die Partie gegen das Rookie-Team der Hamburg Dockers war zu jeder Zeit hart umkämpft und spannend. Die Koalas konnten mit einer knappen Führung in die Halbzeitpause gehen, das Spiel endete mit 51 zu 46 für die Dockers. Gratulation beide Teams, großartiger Einsatz von allen und beachtliche Leistungen dafür, dass es für die meisten Spieler auf dem Feld das erste Footy-Spiel überhaupt war. Weiter ging es mit zwei Partien, die jeweils Hamburg Dockers gegen Rheinland Lions hießen. Bei den Frauen konnten die Rheinländerinnen das Spiel für sich entscheiden, bei den Männern siegten die Hamburger. Beide Spiele haben beim Zuschauen großen Spaß gemacht, wir konnten viel lernen. Wir hoffen, es hat allen Beteiligten ebenso viel Freude bereitet wie uns. Wir sagen danke: Danke an alle Teams, die gestern mit uns auf dem Nordmarksportfeld Australian Football gespielt haben und den Tag zu einem großartigen Event gemacht haben. Danke an alle, die zum Zuschauen vorbeigekommen sind und die Teams so großartig unterstützt haben! Danke an alle freiwilligen Helfer, die an Organisation und Logistik mitgewirkt haben. Danke an die Pressevertreter, die von den Spielen berichten und uns damit helfen, unseren Sport weiter bekannt zu machen. Und schließlich auch danke an die Stadt Kiel und den Platzwart des Nordmarksportfelds für die Möglichkeit, unsere Spiele dort auszutragen. Wir freuen uns auf viele weitere Footy-Events in Kiel in den nächsten Jahren!

A post shared by Kiel Koalas (@kiel_koalas) on

AFL Netherlands played their final game of the season last weekend.

Congratulations to the Amsterdam Devils for winning the 2020 grand final!

It was a huge day for the Devils, winning in Purmerend by a big margin. Check out the team song below.

View this post on Instagram

PREMIERS 2020 #devils #aflnetherlands2020🏆😈

A post shared by Amsterdam Devils (@amsterdamdevils) on

Celebrating more grand final wins, this time in Switzerland!

The Geneva Jets had a terrific season, premiers of both the seniors and reserves.

Congratulations to all Jets players on a great grand final win and for your fantastic accomplishments in 2020 (listed below).

After today’s finals in Blonay, it’s a clean sweep for the Jets in Season 2020.✅ Seniors Premiers 🏆 ✅ Best on Ground…

Posted by Geneva Jets AFC on Saturday, 19 September 2020

Germany’s Heidelberg Knights continue to grow by the day.

The Knights held their first training session last Tuesday with 17 players, and just made their debut against Zuffenhausen yesterday!

Knights players will now look to back up their performance against the Knights at AFL Europe’s Festival of Football on September 26th.

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Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

Festival of Football – Austria

KICKING things off in Austria in the afternoon of the 26th will be the Vienna Galahs and Styrian DownUnderDogs.

Vienna will journey down to the south of Graz as part of AFL Europe’s Festival of Football, which will see the first match followed by an all-in mixed tournament with at least three teams.

Whilst the Austrian rivalry was put on hold for majority of the year, they were able to play one match against each other in late-August.

“We have a solid rivalry… we are good mates but we love our matches against each other,” said Styrian DownUnderDogs captain Michael Jud.

DownUnderDogs vs. Galahs in 2019.

DownUnderDogs vs. Galahs in 2019.

The game, which was played in Vienna was equal at 3/4 time and went right down to the wire.

Local GAA club and friends of the Galahs, Vienna Gaels, had invited the Galahs and DownUnderDogs to include their Australian Football match as part of the Gaels’ ‘Gaelic Sports Day’.

Whilst the GAA players at the Gaels are quite familiar with Australian Football, many of their supporters and spectators weren’t. A few even found their way down to a Galahs training the next week.

“It was a really good day of footy… the spectators loved it, it was close right until the end,” said Jud.

“For the Galahs, it was really good for our club… the following week we had three new faces down at training,” said Vienna Galahs captain Sebastian Boehm.

“We sometimes have scratch matches with the Gaelic players… sometimes play Gaelic rules sometimes AFL rules.”

Whilst Gaelic and Australian Football have their similarities, it’s the comparison with American Football that Jud and Boehm say many Austrians can get confused.

“When you say you play football, everyone thinks you play American Football,” said Jud.

“Australian Football is by far more interesting… I always try to bring as many different people from different communities to the games, and all of them tell me after the game how exciting it was to watch, even though they don’t know the rules.

“People are always super interested afterwards too, it’s an amazing sport. People are tough, but they’re friendly on- and off-field.”

The original plan around a month ago for Austria’s Festival of Football was for the two teams to meet up with newly formed Hungarian side, Budapest Bats, in the country town of Gutenstein for a three-team tournament.

What would have been the debut of the Bats has had to be postponed due to government restrictions formed in early September.

“It would’ve been amazing to have the Bats over,” said Jud.

“For us in Graz, from 2011 to 2015/16, we played in the Croatian league, so we were super glad when the guys in Vienna re-formed.

“The Vienna guys have been doing an awesome job. People are always getting super excited to play against the capital of the country… and try to beat them as often as possible.”

That same excitement will follow into the Festival of Football, as the two teams hope to continue to spread the word of Australian Football around the country.

“We hope to keep growing Austria’s knowledge of Australian Football… unfortunately there is no chance to watch it on TV,” said Boehm.

“At the Festival of Football, we want to promote the game and have fun.”

Austria, who were involved in the announcement of National Australia Bank as AFL Europe’s new Ball Partner earlier this year, also enjoyed participating in AFL Europe’s Race to the MCG.

Jud (pictured) involved in the announcement of National Australia Bank as official Ball Partner of AFL Europe earlier this year.

Jud involved in the announcement of National Australia Bank as official Ball Partner of AFL Europe.

“The Race to the MCG was just an awesome event,” said Jud.

“People from our club hadn’t gone for a run in like 15 years… it was just a perfect opportunity to get people involved in the team and make progress together as a team too.

“Seeing the competition within the team and also the other nations… it was awesome.”

Austria’s runners showed great determination and consistency, finishing as just one of four men’s teams to outlast their ‘week one benchmark’ throughout the entire race.

All attention will now turn to next Saturday, when Austria and nearly ten other countries play in their own tournaments for AFL Europe’s Festival of Football.

Follow Austria on Facebook for all updates around footy in the country, as well as their Facebook event for the Festival of Football.

On the 26th of September AFL Europe’s Festival of Football, in partnership with National Australia Bank, will see a number of countries around Europe host an Australian Football tournament with local teams in a city of their choice.

The format and rules of each one-day tournament may differ from country to country, and matches will only be played if they comply with the appropriate government guidelines.

AFL Europe and the event committees around Europe participating in this event will continue to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 right up until matchday.

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe