Lille sets sights on 2021

‘Newest Team in Town’ introduces some of the upcoming Australian Football clubs who have recently joined their respective league’s around Europe.

Reporter for AFL Europe, James Brosnan, hears from Eagles president Arnaud Deleurme on the club’s journey as it makes its way to compete in France’s national competition.

The Lille Eagles will continue to build their playing numbers following a season devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the newest team in France, Lille were hoping to compete in the national competition this season but with insufficient numbers, are now turning their attention to 2021.

Located in the north of France close to the Belgian border, the Eagles are looking to grow the game in a city with a population close to 250,000.

The Lille Eagles were founded in 2017 by president Arnaud Deleurme, but really started to gain momentum in 2019.

Lille intraclub.

“For two years it was a team without players, just me and I was searching for players. I work in the metropole of Lille, I had the idea to make a team for the employees to discover the sport,” Arnaud said.

“After six months it was a team with 10 players, so we have a real club, with a real team and we are trying to develop this team outside of the metropole.”

The Eagles were hoping to join the French competition this season, but with just 14 players at this stage, they are hoping a boost in numbers will see them competing next year.

Coming from a martial arts background, Arnaud rediscovered the sport while playing rugby and living in Greece.

President's quote.

“I had a friend in Paris who worked for Eurosport 20 years ago.

“There were some matches on at 2 o’clock in the morning and I asked my friend back then, ‘what is this sport?’

“I realised this was the sport I recognised with my friend. From there I tried to learn the sport, skills and the rules.”

Arnaud is no stranger to the challenges of starting an AFL club from scratch.

Before making the move to Lille, he created the Brittany Griffins on the west coast of France who competed in a number of friendly matches.

The Eagles played their first game against Paris in 2018, before taking on the Coyotes de Cergy-Pontoise in a full-scale match 2019.

Lille take on the Coyotes de Cergy-Pontoise.

Lille take on the Coyotes de Cergy-Pontoise.

This year in March we had planned to play the Strasbourg Kangaroos and the Waterland Eagles (Netherlands), but with the COVID crisis it wasn’t possible,” Arnaud said.

“I hope to have matches next season with many teams, not just French teams. I think it is a sport that is so open-minded that we can play footy across borders.

“We can play with teams in the Netherlands, Germany… all over Europe. With footy, it is a big community but there isn’t usually many teams in your country, you have to think outside.”

Arnaud and the Eagles have some clear goals in mind when they look to 2021 and beyond.

“The aims for me, firstly to be better and play better footy.

“We are coming from level zero so we are trying to be better with technique and physical conditioning,” he said.

“My aim is to be better every match. It is very important for our older players who can’t imagine to play against Paris and to win.

“It’s not possible because just now we have no experience. It is our aim to build on that.

“The second aim is to enter with a big team, not just 12 players. With 20 players, we will be able to enter into the French Championship next season and to develop footy in the Lille area.

“I think the Lille Eagles with a big city has the potential to have 20 or more players. Lille Eagles have big potential to develop and be a good community.”

To learn more about the Lille Eagles, or to find your Newest Team in Town, check out our Find Your Club page.

James Brosnan – AFL Europe

Race to the MCG – Week Two Review

AS we close week two of Race to the MCG, teams have picked up the pace as they edge their way closer to glory; a brand new playing kit supplied by O’Neills.

A competition total of 14,276km in week one was triumphed this past week, reaching a new high of 16,185km.

That’s almost the distance from London to the Melbourne Cricket Ground in one week!

Four teams from either side of the competition surpassed the 1000km mark, with 26 participants (17 men, 9 women) running over 100km.

The women’s competition saw all seven teams exceed their week one benchmark, as Paula. K from Croatia led the way with 122.8km, significantly adding to her country’s big improvement (over 340km’s) from week one.

German’s Theresia. M (118.4km) and Leila. M (111.1km) backed up their efforts from last week as Germany retain top position on the women’s leaderboard.

Head Coach of the Germany women’s national team, Tim McLachlan, is overjoyed with how the team has trekked so far, who have been driven by some off-field motivations.

“The effect of missing the Euro Cup and the loss of teammate Janine Benecke… it has been really tough,” McLachlan said.

“The Eagles team are battlers, who once they start, forge forward and work really well as a team.

“Their support for one another and the level of encouragement has been amazing.”

Even as head coach, McLachlan was forced to leave Germany’s Strava group as he was taking up a spot of a potential runner.

“Personally, when I heard the length of the race, it seemed like a monumental challenge. I had to actually leave the running team as the 31st person due to the level of interest from the group.

“I had planned some motivational ideas to get the girls going and to raise spirits and support.

“I believe the team is committed to pushing through the entire race. It isn’t going to be easy, but this group of players are ready to show the world how far AFL has come in Germany and they shouldn’t be underestimated.”

In the men’s, it’s Scotland who have managed to remain on top, outlasting a surging Wales side.

Tom. W from Scotland put on an enormous display, reaching a competition-high 215km in week two.

Whilst Wales had eight runners who managed to excel 100km last week, it just wasn’t enough to chase down the top side.

Paul. C (201km) and James. G (179.1km) were the top runners from Wales and rounded out the top three for the men’s.

Eight out of the thirteen teams managed to reach their week one benchmark’s, which has seen both Switzerland and Poland move up on the overall ladder.

Whilst it is a long race, participants are certainly giving it their all early on to put their team in the best position possible.

Who can finish week three in front position? Make sure to follow AFL Europe on Facebook and Instagram to keep up-to-date with all things #RACETOTHEMCG.

Remember to share your journey with us on socials by tagging @AFLEurope in your posts and using the above hashtag.

O’Neills was founded in 1918 as a manufacturer of Gaelic Footballs and is now the largest and leading sportswear manufacturing company in Ireland. O’Neills are an 100% Irish owned organisation, specialising in the design, manufacture, personalisation and supply of performance multi-sportswear, leisurewear and sports equipment globally.

2020 marks O’Neills fifth consecutive year as the official Apparel Partner of AFL Europe. Over the five years, the entire team at O’Neills have been extremely supportive of AFL Europe and contributed to promoting the game by ensuring teams are provided with quality playing gear and equipment.

 

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

PSS Presents: Around the Grounds – Socials Edition #13

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

The Berlin Crocs go pink, Finland AFL prepare to host a footy-filled round robin mid-July and more countries make a push to new, localised leagues.

In memory of German Eagles foundation member and extraordinary young footballer, Janine Benecke, AFL Germany had planned this upcoming weekend to hold a Janine Benecke Memorial Round.

Janine’s life was tragically taken from us in January this year, after being hit by a drunk driver.

With the AFL Germany season cancelled, the Berlin Crocodiles would still like to make an effort to remember Janine, and will do so by dressing in pink (Janine’s favourite colour) and heading along to Schillerpark on the 4th July for a short training session followed by a BBQ/picnic.

For more info on the event, or how you can get involved, read below. For info on how you can help and to donate to the Go Pink For Life campaign, click here.

View this post on Instagram

CROCS GO PINK ⠀  The 4th July was scheduled to be the Janine Benecke Memorial Round. This round was designed to remember a extraordinary young footballer, German Eagles foundation member and good friend of the Crocs, who was tragically taken from us in January this year after being hit by a drunk driver. ⠀  As the AFLG season has now been cancelled, we as a club would still like to make an effort to honour Janine’s memory. ⠀  Janine‘s favourite colour was pink, so we would like to invite all Crocs to get dressed up in their finest items of pink clothing and meet us at Schillerpark at 5pm on 4th July for a short training session followed by a BBQ/picnic. ⠀  For those who are interested, there will also be a ‘pink walk’ from Brandenburg Gate to Schillerpark commencing from 3:30pm (contact @resikre for further details). ⠀  Janine’s family have also founded the @go_pink_for_life campaign. It will be possible to make cash donations to this cause on the day. ⠀  Let’s get together (and get pink) to remember a true legend of the German AFL community! ⠀  The club will organise a simple BBQ and have some beverages at the park for a little chill out afterwards. ⠀  We advise all participants to adhere to the common social practices of limiting body contact, washing hands regularly, keeping the 1,5m distance and sneezing in the elbow. ⠀  The coaches would like to map out attendances for training. If you’re coming to the training for the first time please send your full address and phone number to mail@berlinafc.de to register. If you joined one of our trainings before, put your name down in the doodle poll for the event.

A post shared by Berlin Crocodiles (@berlincrocs) on

Finland AFL would like to invite you along to their “Hammerglass Game Day”.

On the 18th of July, Finland AFL are hosting a three-hour event where they look to create a two to three team Australian Football round robin.

Experienced in the sport or not, this will be a great opportunity to get some in-game experience and guaranteed playing time.

If you’d like to give Australian Football a go or are simply interested in attending this event, message Finland AFL via their Facebook.

19 days to go…and you can experience moments like this.Come and play Footy with us, the event is free.#FAFL #AustralianRules #Finland #Nokia #Urheilu #Sports

Posted by Finland AFL on Sunday, June 28, 2020

With the recent cancellation of the 2020 AFL Germany season, a new, localised league has been developed in Germany.

The Rheinland Lions through Instagram have announced the launch of the first-ever Cologne League.

Three teams will be put together including players from the the Lionesses and Lions, who will compete in three rounds over the next seven weeks.

The three teams consist of the Sülz Sharks, Deutz Dingos and Ehrenfeld Platypuses, as they look forward to announcing their squads soon.

The newly made South Sweden Australian Football League is officially underway!

Round 1 saw the Celtic Convicts, Red Eyes and GSS Giants all play each other across three games.

The Red Eyes finished the day on top, remaining undefeated with an 8-point win over the Giants, and a 6-point against the Convicts.

Round 2 is set to go ahead on the 10th of July. Read the Round 1 Match Reports here, thanks to the Port Malmo Maulers.

The Delft Blues of AFL Netherlands decided to mix things up at their past training.

The Blues players all met by the ocean for a bit of beach footy and bonding.

An impressive effort by all involved!

Change of scenery. Pretty darn good! #footyineurope #aussierules #delft #denhaag #rotterdam #sports

Posted by Delft Blues AFC on Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Players from the West London Wildcats laced up their runners over the weekend to run 13.1 miles in their inaugural half marathon.

Over 15 players attended the event, braving London’s cold and windy conditions on Saturday.

It’s great to see teams in the UK beginning to resume training and exercise where allowed. Remember to stay safe and keep your social distance from each other!

An outstanding effort by the Hamburg Dockers last week!

The Dockers reached a record high attendance of over 50 people at their training, including past premiership heroes and people new to the sport.

Hamburg train on Monday’s and Wednesday’s, so make sure to message them via their Instagram (below) if you’d like to get involved.

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

AFL Europe Trivia with Belushi’s – #11

Think you’re the smartest Australian Football fan in Europe?

Take on our weekly AFL Europe Trivia, presented by Belushi’s, for your chance to win a Beer and Burger Voucher to redeem at any Belushi’s Bar.

Winner’s from each week’s Trivia will also go into the draw to win 2-night’s Accommodation For Two People at any St. Christopher’s Inns across Europe.

You’ve only got one shot and just three minutes to complete it!

Submissions must be in by Wednesday 1st of July 11:59PM (BST) to be eligible to win.

The winner will have the highest score in the quickest time.

Make sure to provide your details at the end of the quiz to submit your answers and go in the running to win.

For all terms and conditions, click here.

Good luck!

Time Left: 3:00

Time's up!


QUIZ #11

1 / 10

Who are the current champions of the men’s division 1 International Cup?

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2 / 10

AFLW 2021 was recently confirmed, with how many rounds scheduled for the home and away season?

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3 / 10

2X AFLW All-Australian and current Tiger, Sabrina Frederick, was born in which European country?

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4 / 10

Who were champions of the AFL Ireland Women’s 2019 premiership?

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5 / 10

Which men’s and women’s national teams are leading AFL Europe’s Race to the MCG after week one?

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6 / 10

Which player won the AFL Mark of the Year in 2019?

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7 / 10

What are the primary colours of the Gold Coast Suns home guernsey?

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8 / 10

Which of the following teams is not nicknamed the ‘Giants’?

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9 / 10

The below guernsey belongs to which AFL Europe national team?

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10 / 10

What is the easiest way to stream live AFL matches in Europe?

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Please fill in your full name and email to submit your answers to go in the running to win AFL Europe Trivia.

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By submitting, you agree to allow AFL Europe share your first name, last name (first initial) and country of residence on a dedicated post to our social media channels (should you win).

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You are not subscribing to anything by submitting your email. It is purely for AFL Europe to be able to contact you.

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Spread all over London and across Europe, Belushi’s Bars and St Christopher’s Inns are Europe’s leading entertainment and accommodation venues that host a variety of Australian and international events.

To find your closest Belushi’s Bar, click here.

To find your closest St. Christophers Inn hostel, click here.

Aarhus Bombers revived and ready

‘Newest Team in Town’ introduces some of the upcoming Australian Football clubs who have recently joined their respective league’s around Europe.

Reporter for AFL Europe, James Brosnan, spoke to Aarhus Bombers president, Kaspar Bruus, on the clubs revival as they get ready to make their mark in the Danish Australian Football League.

AUSTRALIAN footy in Denmark has been around for almost 30 years, making it one of the longest and largest Australian Football league’s in Europe.

Boasting a talented national side, Danish footy has been seen by the rest of Europe to have taken some big strides in recent years.

One of those strides is the rapid rise of the Aarhus Bombers, who were once a team in the 90’s, now ready to be revived.

“The club hasn’t been founded so much as it has been revived. It used to be a thing back in the 90’s and the early 2000’s… It was the Bombers back then which is why we chose the moniker,” said club president, Kaspar Bruus.

From handing out flyers at Aarhus University to other recruiting events and trainings, the Bombers’ past year and a half has been focussed on building a club that lives by  ‘foreningsliv’.

“Denmark has quite a tradition of amateur clubs, in footy, soccer, handball and what have you, there is this volunteer created spirit called foreningsliv, meaning community live which is a term the Danes identify with and find pride in.

“To create a proper community we need to root ourselves within the community.”

Team training photo.

After making the move to Aarhus at the end of 2019, it didn’t take long for Bruus to get involved with the club which had already been training for a few weeks.

The former captain of the Odense Lions, who has been playing footy for six years now, was pivotal in the beginnings of the Bombers revival.

“It started back a year and a half ago from a man named Morten Merhøj.

“I had minor plans back then of maybe moving to Aarhus… we started taking the first steps back then because it felt like we should have a team in Aarhus.

“It’s too large a city to not have a team considering the Danish league is pretty well functioning.

“Given the good experiences we have had in Odense, growing the club from nothing, we figured it would be worth a shot. None of us could live without footy anyway, we thought we may as well create a club and it looks like there is a market for it.”

14 til træning og ny bestyrelse 🚀I går var der for anden gang i træk 14 personer til træning på Ellevangsskolen, og…

Posted by Aarhus Australsk Fodbold on Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Six of the Bombers players have previously played for Odense, including Bruus, current Bombers head coach, Scott Walsh and former Odense club president, Maria Falkesgaard.

The three can be seen pictured above (Falkesgaard – second left, Bruus – middle, Walsh – right), elected into the board of the Aarhus Bombers earlier this year.

“We elected our board back in February… we have a five person group on the board, and quite a few people who are willing to help out.

“It’s quite a mix of Australians, Danes and people who have some experience in footy and running a club and others who have no experience at all.

“I think that’s the story of the club in general, that it will be a mix.

Training indoors.

“Being the size it is, we have an expat community of sorts which we need to tap into it but we think it’s so important to also root ourselves in the Danish culture and get non-Australians because it just adds to the whole community feel.”

The team behind the Aarhus Bombers spent 2019 working hard to get a playing list together in preparation for the possible 2020 DAFL season.

“We started putting in the leg work from around a year back… in November through to February we trained indoors.

“Whilst that’s not the most attractive setting for footy, we had around 14 guys and girls coming down every week.

“Since we started training outside, we have had somewhere between ten and 15 people, it’s been a promising start at least.”

Team training outdoors.

“This would have been our first season and it might still be… the plan in the Danish league is not set at the moment, so we’ll see.”

The rise of the Aarhus Bombers clearly excites Bruus, as he looks forward to what the future may hold for the club.

“I’m really impressed with the guys so far… we have quite a bit to build on, but we will get there for sure.

“People usually come with some sort of sporting background, it’s very rarely footy but we have had a few Gaelic football players down and quite a few converting from soccer which is a great start for learning footy.

“Our hope this year and maybe even the next few years is just to have a functioning team and start building the competitiveness.

Kaspar quote.

Whilst he has his sights set on the future, Bruus has high hopes of building a women’s team for the Bombers too.

“We are very hopeful of getting a women’s team going.

“One of the key people to have joined us from Odense is is Maria Falkesgaard, who used to be Odense’s club president and has just been re-elected vice president of the DAFL.

“It’s a smaller market for women’s footy but I think it’s quite important we get a women’s team going because it adds to the diverse community we are aiming for.

“Also in recent years, we have seen the growth of women’s footy in Denmark… there is potential there for sure.”

In the meantime, Bruus and the team await the commencement of the 2020 DAFL season, and very much look forward to soon organising their own ‘Bombers’ playing kits.

To learn more about the Aarhus Bombers, or to find your Newest Team in Town, check out our Find Your Club page.

James Brosnan & Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

Race to the MCG – Week One Review

THE RACE to the MCG is officially underway, with 20 teams around Europe beginning their virtual journey last Monday from London to the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Teams race in hope of achieving the grand prize; a brand new playing kit for their 2021 Euro Cup squad courtesy of AFL Europe’s official Apparel Partner & Race to the MCG major sponsor, O’Neills.

To round out week one, Race to the MCG saw a total of 424 participants from the AFL Europe community competing for their local country.

Of these 424 runners, 18 managed to reach the 100km mark, with Dan. S from Germany’s men’s team leading the competition with an outstanding 200km.

The combined efforts of all runners in the competition accumulated a total of 14,276km! An incredible effort in just one week.

In the women’s competition, it was Germany who came out firing to lead all at the end of week one.

The team of 30 notched over 1,500km for the week, giving them some early distance in front of Scotland, Wales and Croatia.

Women's leaderboard week one.

Jana. E and Leila. M (both from Germany) lead the women’s competition with 108.9km and 108.2km respectively.

Another impressive effort was by Katren. R from Sweden, joining the two in reaching the 100km mark with a total of 101.3km.

In the men’s competition, only 50km separates the two team’s sitting in first and second.

With 28 runners apiece, Scotland and Wales have set the tone early, accumulating 1,694km and 1,642km respectively.

The Scottish have shown a consistent effort across the board and currently have three of the top four runners in the competition.

Following Dan. S from Germany is Ross. T (191.2km) and Tom. W (187.1km).

The Welsh team had the most runners in the week (six) that managed to reach a distance of triple figures.

Men's leaderboard week one.

AFL Scotland president, David Baldie, said both the men’s and women’s teams were determined to give it their all, right from the get-go.

“Both teams are in it to win it, we knew we had to put together two strong teams, but we also knew there would be strong competition,” said Baldie.

Making up the two teams are a range of players, coaches, umpires, goal umpires and club members.

“We wanted as wide of a range of people as possible so that the whole community felt part of the race.”

Despite it being early on, Baldie believes that both of the team’s from Scotland have what it takes to finish the competiton’s victorious.

AFL Scotland President quote.

“It was a fantastic effort from both teams, and everyone involved should feel proud of how far we’ve gotten so far.”

AFL Europe can now confirm that the teams who finish in second place (in each competition) will each receive two Precision footballs and the teams who finish in third place will each receive a Coaching Board.

As an added incentive, we have a bonus prize that we would like to announce. Each team now has a benchmark (week one distance total) to beat. If your team can better your benchmark each week, you will go into the draw to win free entry into the 2021 Euro Cup in Scotland.

We’re looking forward to seeing who leads the way in week two as well as more of the outstanding individual performances. Who will be the first to #RACETOTHEMCG?

Make sure to share your journey with us on socials by tagging @AFLEurope in your posts and using the above hashtag.

O’Neills was founded in 1918 as a manufacturer of Gaelic Footballs and is now the largest and leading sportswear manufacturing company in Ireland. O’Neills are an 100% Irish owned organisation, specialising in the design, manufacture, personalisation and supply of performance multi-sportswear, leisurewear and sports equipment globally.

2020 marks O’Neills fifth consecutive year as the official Apparel Partner of AFL Europe. Over the five years, the entire team at O’Neills have been extremely supportive of AFL Europe and contributed to promoting the game by ensuring teams are provided with quality playing gear and equipment.

 

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

Irish Watch: AFL Round 3 Review

It was an exciting second round back in the AFL as a number of sides responded to poor performances last week with fantastic wins against the odds.

However, despite the quality football on display throughout the weekend, round three would be highlighted by the (initial) positive COVID test of Essendon defender and Irish Watch’s own Conor McKenna.

This development would send fear through the football world with fans, officials and players alike unsure as to whether the season could continue.

A press conference by AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan would ease these fears, with the Bombers game against Melbourne postponed and the remainder of fixtures given the all clear. McKenna has since had a follow-up test, which has now returned negative.

Saturday afternoon would see the Swans travel to Marvel Stadium to take on the undefeated Kangaroos.

O'Riordan gathers along the backline. Photo: AFL Photos.

O’Riordan gathers along the backline. Photo: AFL Photos.

Coming in as the underdogs, Sydney’s attack on the ball and ability to pressure North would see them bounce back from a slow start and really dominate proceedings from the second quarter onwards.

Playing an inspired brand of football, Sydney showed themselves to be real finals contenders with many of their young guys stepping up to play key roles in a fantastic all-round team performance.

Further adapting to his role in the Swans defence, Colin O’Riordan continued his development with a solid performance.

Despite only having four disposals for the day, he showed great improvement with his defensive work and seemed to gel really well with the other members of Sydney’s back six.

O'Riordan (second from left) celebrating with teammates. Photo: Sydney Swans.

O’Riordan (second from left) celebrating with teammates. Photo: Sydney Swans.

Geelong hoped to continue their momentum from last weeks dismantling of Hawthorn with another big win against the battling Blues at their GMHBA Stadium fortress.

However, in one of the upsets of the year, Carlton came out all guns blazing to lead from start to finish and narrowly escape a desperate comeback effort by the Cats to win by two points.

Although his side suffered a harsh defeat, dashing Irish defender Zach Tuohy continued his good form with a dominant performance against his former side.

Playing with great freedom, Tuohy again served as the perfect release valve for the Cats on the outside all night with his ability to run and make good decisions with the ball making him tough for the Blues to curtail.

Finishing with 19 possessions, three marks and a tackle, Tuohy showed himself to be one of Geelong’s most damaging players, with his influence crucial to the overall performance of the team.

Tuohy evades a tackle. Photo: AFL Photos.

Tuohy evades a tackle. Photo: AFL Photos.

Mark O’Connor continued his steady rise into one of the game’s best small defenders with another solid performance.

O’Connor is as courageous as you’ll find, and his team first attitude was on display through all four quarters as he went about locking down his opponent and playing his role in Geelong’s team defence.

His elite running can’t be mistaken by opposition forwards, as he finished the game equal-third for distance covered with 12.6km.

Despite only picking up eight disposals and three marks, he maintained composure with ball in hand and made the right decisions going at an exceptional 75% by foot.

It was another learning experience for O’Connor who continues to grow as an AFL footballer.

The Gold Coast Suns proved last week was no flash in the pan as they put the woeful Crows to the sword in a super impressive 53 point win at Metricon Stadium.

Quickly becoming the competitions most exciting side to watch, the young Suns were on from the first bounce, making the Crows look second-rate for the majority of proceedings.

One of Hanley's 17 disposals. Photo: AFL Photos.

One of Hanley’s 17 disposals. Photo: AFL Photos.

Highlighted by play of young guns like Matthew Rowell, Ben King, Ben Ainsworth and Connor Budarick, the work of Irishman Pearce Hanley can easily be overlooked.

However, in a team full of youth Hanley has been critical since the AFL’s resumption with his cool head at half back driving the Sun’s attacking ball movement.

Picking up 17 disposals, five marks and two tackles, Hanley made life extremely difficult for the Crows forwards who were often found chasing the veteran through the centre of Metricon Stadium.

Often on the end of fast and exciting chains of play, Hanley used the ball at a magnificent 88% with a kick inside 50 to the towering Ben King in the third term highlighting just how the Suns want to play their football.

Looking rejuvenated as ever, the sky is the limit for Hanley and the Suns this season who put simply, just look like they are really enjoying their football.

Zac Standish – AFL Europe

PSS Presents: Around the Grounds – Socials Edition #12

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

The South Dublin Swans in Ireland are back on the park, the Leipzig Quokkas in Germany reach a training attendance record and a new footy league is underway in southern Sweden.

But first, a reminder to all teams to keep training safe and to make use of our Return to Training documents: Recommended Protocols, Return to Training Posters and Club Training Attendance Register.

To download, simply click on each of the above links or visit our ‘About Us‘ page.

The new head and assistant coach of the Stade Toulousain footy club are leading the way for our summer fitness.

The pair will be sharing a range of fun, fitness challenges via Stade Toulousain’s Instagram to keep everyone exercising at home.

First up is the Commando Challenge! Get involved and upload your efforts so Stade Toulousain can share it via their socials.

Australian footy in Ireland has made a long-awaited return as the South Dublin Swans are back on the park!

This marked the first mixed training session for South Dublin as the team trains under new social distancing guidelines.

If you live nearby and would like to get involved, message their Facebook below.

Great feeling to get out on the pitch again for some socially distance training.This Mark's the first of many mixed…

Posted by South Dublin Swans on Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Galway Magpies are next to follow, resuming training this Wednesday.

The team is requesting all players to bring their own water bottle and hand sanitiser to abide Ireland’s government guidelines.

Train hard and safely Magpies!

In Wales, the Cardiff Panthers are kicking off their own AFL tipping competition.

The competition starts in Round 5 of the AFL (July 2nd) and the Panthers are hoping for a minimum of 20 participants!

Are you a tipping expert? Message Cardiff’s Facebook page below if you’d like to get involved.

Coronavirus shouldn't stop you from enjoying footy this season. We may not be able to get out on the pitch but we can play along with the pros from Round 5 onwards through the Cardiff Panthers AFL Tipping Game!Watch the video below to learn more and how to get involved! 😎#cardiffpanthers #southproud #tippinggame #afl #happytipping 🔵⚪️

Posted by Cardiff Panthers – AFL Tipping Game on Thursday, June 18, 2020

Weeks of hard training for the Leipzig Quokkas has recently reached a new attendance record.

Last Wednesday, the team had the most attendees they’ve ever had to a training session!

An impressive effort having only just recently joined AFL Germany. Well done team!

Footy in Sweden took a big step forward last week!

AFL Sweden launched the new Southern Sweden Australian Football League featuring three teams; the Malmö Celtic Convicts, the Malmö Red Eyes and the Greater Southern Sweden Giants.

The new league has been introduced in an effort to get games played whilst following Sweden’s government guidelines.

Each team was selected via a draft between the three team managers with Round 1 beginning last Thursday.

AFL Europe sponsor Belushi’s has officially re-opened in Berlin.

With the Amsterdam bar opening earlier this month, Berlin marks the second Belushi’s bar to open since having to close due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Make sure you head down for a beer and a burger if you’re nearby!

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PSS International Removals

 

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe

AFL Europe Trivia with Belushi’s – #10

Think you’re the smartest Australian Football fan in Europe?

Take on our weekly AFL Europe Trivia, presented by Belushi’s, for your chance to win a Beer and Burger Voucher to redeem at any Belushi’s Bar.

Winner’s from each week’s Trivia will also go into the draw to win 2-night’s Accommodation For Two People at any St. Christopher’s Inns across Europe.

You’ve only got one shot and just three minutes to complete it!

Submissions must be in by Wednesday 24th of June 11:59PM (BST) to be eligible to win.

The winner will have the highest score in the quickest time.

Make sure to provide your details at the end of the quiz to submit your answers and go in the running to win.

For all terms and conditions, click here.

Good luck!

Time Left: 3:00

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QUIZ #10

1 / 10

Tadgh Kennelly had a career high of how many disposals?

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2 / 10

Who won the women’s European Championships in 2016?

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3 / 10

Which player led the league in tackles in the 2019 AFL season (finals included)?

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4 / 10

Which venue held the first AFLW grand final?

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5 / 10

Which AFL team in Europe wears this guernsey?

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6 / 10

What is the total number of umpires on the field (excluding emergencies) in an AFL game?

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7 / 10

The AFL Europe Talent Combine is held in which city?

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8 / 10

Who is the current captain of the Melbourne Demons?

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9 / 10

Fraser Gehrig, who played 260 games for West Coast & St Kilda, was well-known as the...?

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10 / 10

Steele Sidebottom has heritage from which European country?

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Spread all over London and across Europe, Belushi’s Bars and St Christopher’s Inns are Europe’s leading entertainment and accommodation venues that host a variety of Australian and international events.

To find your closest Belushi’s Bar, click here.

To find your closest St. Christophers Inn hostel, click here.

Irish Watch: AFL Round 2

After 13 weeks of isolation boredom, fans around Australia and the world rejoiced last Thursday as they could finally hear the words they’ve been longing to hear… Footy is back!

With limited to no fans in the stands, we still weren’t completely back to normal, but that didn’t stop the players going out and putting on a fantastic display over the weekend.

Whether it was the enthralling draw between Collingwood and Richmond on Thursday night, or Melbourne and Carlton’s one point thriller at Marvel Stadium on Saturday, it was fantastic to see the competitive juices flowing once again.

The return of footy would also see our Irish players back on the park, who after a very tumultuous shutdown period showed some excellent signs for the unusual season ahead.

O'Connor pictured as both sides kneel pre-game for equality. Photo: Geelong Cats.

O’Connor pictured as both sides kneel pre-game for equality. Photo: Geelong Cats.

Hawthorn would make the trip down the highway to GMHBA stadium for the first time in over a decade to face a Geelong side eager to get their first win of the 2020 season.

After a rusty Thursday night match between the Magpies and Tigers, the eyes and expectations of the footy world were on the Cattery as fans hoped to see a much more polished product.

And boy did Geelong deliver.

Coming up against a talented side the Cats put the Hawks to the sword in the second half, piling on ten goals to one to put up a mammoth total of 108 and walk away with a convincing 61-point win.

Critical to Geelong’s success last year, defensive duo Mark O’Connor and Zach Tuohy picked up where they left off, both putting on solid performances in a dominant Cats back six.

Tuohy applying the pressure. Photo: AFL Photos.

Tuohy applying the pressure. Photo: AFL Photos.

Tuohy’s run off half back was particularly impressive, as the Hawks forwards simply could not quell the Irish veterans influence as he set up a number of Geelong’s attacking movements.

His ability to work hard into space saw him pick up 17 disposals, three marks and a tackle as he consistently provided an option for Geelong’s midfielders on the outside of the contest.

O’Connor continued to prove himself as one the competitions most underrated defenders with a superb defensive performance.

Coming up against the class and experience of Chad Wingard, Luke Breust and Paul Puopolo, the Irishman gave his opponents nothing with the Hawks small forward trio combining for just one goal.

Along with his excellent shutdown work it was fantastic to see O’Connor further develop his offensive game as he looked to get more involved in the Cats ball movement and was much more confident with his skills.

O’Connor picked up 12 disposals, three marks, two tackles, and covered a total distance of 11.4km in the game (fifth highest in the match).

O'Connor gets the handball off. Photo: AFL Photos.

O’Connor gets the handball off. Photo: AFL Photos.

The Gold Coast Suns restarted their season with a huge upset win against 2018 premiers West Coast at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.

In the most unexpected result of the round, the young Suns ran rampant with the top two selections in last year’s national draft, Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson, leading the charge with big impact in the midfield.

With so much youth and exuberance surrounding the Suns, Irishman Pearce Hanley played a key role across half back, acting as one of very few experienced heads in the Gold Coast side.

His leadership was critical to the young Suns players gaining confidence and setting up their fast-paced game style as he often popped up in key moments to keep the Eagles forwards at bay.

Hanley attacking the footy. Photo: Getty Images.

Hanley attacking the footy. Photo: Getty Images.

Hanley would finish the game with 12 disposals, with four across half back as he acted as an on-field coach of sorts leading the Gold Coast defence.

It was clear to see that Hanley will play a key role in the development of this side through the 2020 season and beyond.

The final Irishman to take the field this weekend was up-and-coming Sydney utility Colin O’Riordan, whose Swans experienced a narrow defeat to Essendon in an enthralling Sunday afternoon contest at the SCG.

After becoming a regular in the Swans side last year, O’Riordan will be looking to take his game to another level in 2020 and grow with his youthful and exciting Sydney team.

O'Riordan in the lead up to Round 2. Photo: Getty Images.

O’Riordan in the lead up to Round 2. Photo: Getty Images.

His performance on Sunday afternoon certainly proved he is well up to AFL standard as he floated across half back and impacted a number of key contests.

Complementing the likes of Dane Rampe, Jake Lloyd, Allir Allir and Callum Mills in the back six, O’Riordan’s pace and athleticism gave Sydney’s defence an extra dimension which really made life hard for Essendon’s forwards.

He would also use the ball beautifully going at 85% efficiency across his nine disposals for the day.

O’Riordan has worked hard on his defensive intent over the off-season and it was fantastic to see it rewarded on the weekend.

Zac Standish – AFL Europe