IC17 Team Announcement – European Crusaders

What’s been happening since European Championships in 2016?

The European Crusaders took part in the European Championship held in London last August. As the squad in composed of players from different countries, we haven’t done another competition all together. But most of the girls living in Europe have attended the Euro Cup in Lisbon and the Champions League in Amsterdam. For the players living in Australia, they are taking part in their local tournament.

When did you finalise your IC17 squad?

Actually, we have not finalised it yet. But we should finalise it by mid-June, as we have some girls who don’t answer all criteria and so we need to have an accord from AFL.

What’s scheduled/planned for the months leading up to IC17?

Isabella, one of our Australia based players, has an ASCA Level 1 accreditation. She has prepared for us a program in order to get fit and ready for the competition. Otherwise we are all assiduous at training to be as ready as possible. We will also all join earlier to get to know each other to build a strong team spirit!

Who’s impressed on the training track/trials?

One of the players to watch would be Isabella Rositano as she tried to be part of the inaugural Women’s AFL competition this year. But all the girls would be to watch as they are very proud to be able to represent Europe in the International Cup.

Coach’s thoughts?

I’m very much looking forward to coaching the first ever women’s team to compete in an International Cup. While we’ll be starting a bit behind some of the other teams, coming from many countries, I’m confident we will quickly overcome this with a few good training sessions. We’ll go out to win every game, with our first goal being to make the finals in our first outing. Go Crusaders!

The squad 

Naïma AIT EL MOUDENFrenchParis Cockerelles (France)
Marine ASSEMATFrenchALFA Lions (France)
Ana BARISICCroatianZKAN Zagreb Panthers (Croatia)
Mathilde COMBESFrenchParis Cockerelles (France)
Coline DUQUETFrenchParis Cockerelles (France)
Frances FINNIrishPerth Angels (Australia)
Rachel FOXIrishPerth Angels (Australia)
Linn GARDELLSwedishPort Malmö Lynx (Sweden)
Emilie GIANCARLIFrenchBordeaux Bombers (France)
Catherine GILESCanadianParis Cockerelles (France)
Denise HECKMANNGermanMelbourne (Australia)
Amanda KINGSwedishBoston Demons (USA)
Leila MORGENROTHIrishPerth Angels (Australia)
Joanne MOURADIANBritishParis Cockerelles (France)
Claire PEREZFrenchParis Cockerelles (France)
Anne PILLEFrenchParis Cockerelles (France)
Cassandra PITTARDGreekSydney (Australia)
Hélène PITTETFrançaiseToulouse Hawks (France)
Bérengère PORTALFrenchParis Cockerelles (France)
Camille PORTALFrenchBordeaux Bombers (France)
Anna QUAGLIERIItalianMelbourne Uni (Australia)
Dagmara RATINSKIPolishPerth Angels (Australia)
Isabella ROSITANOItalianAdélaïde (Australia)
Lucy THOMPSONBritishSydney (Australia)
Rachel URQUHARTBritishSouth Melbourne Urquhart (Australia)
Charline WOODGermanNewtown Breakaways (Australia)

 

IC17 Player Spotlight – Florian Naumann

Each week AFL Europe is profiling a European player who is participating in IC17 and finding out a little more about them, how they got into the great game of Aussie Rules and how they feel about the upcoming International Cup.

Name:

Florian Naumann                                                                                                

Club:

Hamburg Dockers

Nationality:

German

What position do you play?

Ruck/Centre Half Back

AFL team you support & who is your favourite AFL player:

Essendon Bombers – James Hird

How did you find out about AFL?

Student exchange programme in 2006 – I stayed in Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne with a host family who were big Bombers fans. They took me to my first game at the MCG, the Bombers won and I ended up going to 3 more games during my stay!

How long have you been playing for?

6 years, since July 2011.

What is the highlight of your playing career so far?

Winning the MVP award in the German Grand Final in 2016.

Who is the toughest player you have played on & why? 

Marc Cashman (GB), he’s a big bloke and so very hard to find ways to defend him

Have you played in the International Cup previously? 

No – this will be my first.

Who is the player to watch in your team & why?

Ruben Streicher – because he is a tree on the oval! Also, Martin Schuetthoff – he has developed loads over the last year and will play a big role in the centre.  

Have you visited Australia before & what are you most excited about seeing?

Yes – as above, I was on a student exchange in 2006. I can’t wait to go and watch another game at the MCG, the home of footy, the atmosphere is electric.

Any other interesting information, quirky stories or interesting things about yourself?

I’m looking forward to going back to Windy Hill, where my Footy career began. During my stay in Victoria I was lucky to meet James Hird at the Bombers’ home ground. Since starting football I have always worn Hird’s No.  5 on my jersey in memory of my biggest football idol. It would be fantastic if I could tell him personally that I left Australia as an excited teenager and have now returned as the captain of the German team, wearing his number.

PSS Around the Grounds

Bordeaux Bomber’s Aussie celebrations

This Saturday, the Bordeaux Bombers hosted a footy festival for their “Aussie Day” celebrations. Several of the French Coqs National Team were in Bordeaux to get some practice in before heading to the AFL International Cup in Melbourne this August.

 

WARFL recruits new AFL Women’s players

The Welsh Australian Rules Football League ran an AFL Women’s taster session in Bristol this weekend as they work up to forming a side for the AFL Europe Euro Cup in October this year. There was a great turnout for the taster session which will hopefully see some new recruits on the Welsh side later this year!

They will also be hosting another women’s taster session next weekend in Caridff at the WARFL men’s 9 a side tournament – check out the WARFL facebook page if you’re interested in going along.

 

Berlin Crocodiles take the AFLG top spot

It was Round 5 of the Australian Football League Germany (AFLG) this weekend, which saw 4 matches being played across Germany. Congratulations to the Berlin Crocodiles who have now moved into the top spot on the AFLG ladder as they battle to hold onto their position for the rest of the season.

Final scores are as follows:

Hamburg Dockers defeat Rheinland Lions 104-31.

Dresden Wolves defeated by the Berlin Crocodiles 41-177.

Freiberg Taipans (forfeit) defeated by Frankfurt Redbacks (80)

Munich Kangaroos (80) defeated Stuttgart Emus (forfeit)

Odense Lions take on the Copenhagen Giants in DAFL

In the Denmark Australian Football League (DAFL), this round saw the Odense Lions taking on the Copenhagen Giants. Both teams had a great turnout and managed to play a 16 a side match between their growing clubs. The final score was 78-49 in favour of the giants, who had 4 new players debuting in their first DAFL match.

Swans host the Dublin footy carnival

The South Dublin Swans hosted the Leeside Lions, Galway Magpies, and the Belfast Redbacks this weekend at the Dublin Footy Carnival. It was an eventful day with four exciting matches, including a spectacular effort by the Redbacks which managed to end the Lions’ 2016 and 2017 seasons undefeated streak.

The final scores were as follows:

Match 1: Leeside Lions defeat the South Dublin Swans 50-31

Match 2: South Dublin Swans defeat the Galway Magpies 58-54

Match 3:Belfast Redbacks defeat the Leeside Lions 34-20

Match 4: Belfast Redbacks defeat the Galway Magpies 57-25

PSS International Removals joins the AFL Europe team!

AFL Europe is pleased to announce PSS International Removals as an official partner for 2017.

The partnership will support AFL Europe’s community and aligns perfectly with the values of Structured, United & Respected. AFL Europe General Manager, Ryan Davey, confirmed the partnership with PSS saying, “it is with much excitement that we welcome another great organisation to the AFL Europe Community. John and his entire team at PSS International Removals are passionate about helping us grow the game of AFL throughout Europe, and we are thrilled to have them on board”.

PSS International Removals is a family run business that has been assisting individuals with their international removal of their excess baggage, household furniture and vehicles to Australia and many other destinations.

When planning to move overseas it is vitally important that you receive the right information and the right support. One of their highly skilled removal consultants will happily discuss your moving requirements to ensure you receive the best level of service.

PSS Sales and Development Manager, John Moynes, echoed Davey’s sentiments saying, “we’ve been on the search to find a like-minded organisation to promote our brand, although we also wanted to identify a great sporting organisation that we could assist. We firmly believe that AFL can grow into a recognised household name outside of Australia and we naturally wanted to be part of the dynamic team at AFL Europe. We are looking forward to working with them and hopefully build a long-term commitment”.

For all your International Removal needs look PSS up on their website at www.pssremovals.com and follow them on Facebook (@pssinternationalremovals) and Twitter (@PSSRemovals).

IC17 Umpire Spotlight – Josh Davey

While players from the 8 teams competing at this year’s International Cup are deep in preparation, so are three of our umpires who’ll be making the journey to Melbourne in August to officiate at the pinnacle tournament for International footy. Over the coming weeks we’ll be taking a look at how each got into umpiring and what they are hoping to achieve from their two weeks out in Australia.

First up is Welsh umpire and AFL London stalwart, Josh Davey.

Name:

Joshua Davey

Age:

26

Nationality:

Welsh

Playing Experience:

Started playing in 2010 for the Cardiff Panthers who I now coach. I have also represented Wales and played for the first European Legion team against the AIS/AFL Academy Under 17s which featured current AFL players such as Nick Vlastuin and Jaeger O’Meara.

How you became an umpire:

I didn’t make international selection for the European Championships 2013, so instead headed over offering to volunteer and help with the tournament. Unbeknown to me, a few others were doing the same thing and Shane Hill was running umpiring workshops and training throughout the week. I took part in these and ended up umpiring on all the games days, culminating in taking charge of the Grand Final which Ireland won by one point with the last kick of the game. I ended up receiving my Level 1 qualification and was asked to help umpire the Social Grade Grand Final of AFL London. I realised that I was probably a better umpire than a player and have continued ever since.

Accomplishments:

Umpiring has allowed me to be involved in some great games that I don’t think I would have been involved in otherwise, improve my fitness and travel all over Europe, and now the World as I make my way over to Melbourne for the International Cup.

Favourite Game:

AFL London Premiership Grand Final 2015. North London Lions beat West London Wildcats in a 1 point game that was toe to toe all the way through. A close 2nd was the European Legion vs AFL/AIS Academy game at Harrow School

Umpire Stories:

At the European Championships 2016 in London we got to come together a full group for an extended period. A few of us of rented a house together and we all attended training and games as a team. We also organised a team BBQ during the week, saw some of the sights of London and took an afternoon to get some cricket practise in the nets at Regents Park (the German and Irishman weren’t too impressed on this one). As part of the team we also introduced a penalty book, with each day’s loser having to carry the bag of shame with them.

Selection:

Selection for the 2017 International Cup has been a huge honour and I hope to do Europe proud. We are seeing a massive increase in the quality of European players and teams regularly playing and it is a mark of how far we have come as an Umpire group that we have had 3 members of our team, including 2 non-Australians chosen to represent AFL Europe.

Goals:

The goal out in Australia is to do my very best and to give a good account of myself as an Umpire, especially in front of local crowds and umpires. Like I’m sure many of the teams will be looking to do, I hope that we as umpires can showcase that footy is alive outside of Australia and that the abilities of all of who take part of a very good and ever increasing standard. Beyond that who knows…maybe the MCG?

Demons ‘Freeze MND on the C’

With the 3rd annual ‘Big Freeze at the G’ approaching in Melbourne this Monday, AFL London team, the Wandsworth Demons, will be putting on a ‘Freeze the C’ fundraiser this Saturday during their fixtures against rivals, the West London Wildcats.

The two sides round 1 encounter was a typically thrilling contest between the two foundation clubs and Saturday will be no different.

The match, which takes place at Clapham Common, will host a variety of fundraisers, such as, a bake sale and a silent auction, as well as having Cure for MND merchandise available to purchase. All proceeds from the Demon’s fundraiser will be donated to the Cure for MND Foundation, which aims to cure MND as well as raising awareness and supporting sufferers of Motor Neurone Disease. With close to £1000 already raised they’ll be hoping to exceed the funds raised in 2016.

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a disease which compromises the nerve cells within the body and impacts the use of muscles that control movement, speech, and functions including swallowing and breathing. The muscles waste away due to lack of use and the sufferer eventually passes away.

President of the Wandsworth Demons, Jimmy Perrett, was again quick to jump on board in support of this great fundraiser. Perrett, like too many others, has a personal connection to MND, with his nan sadly passing away when he was just five years old. “Motor Neurone Disease was as big a mystery then as what it is today. I never fully understood what had happened to my Nan while I was growing up and its only in the last few years I’ve learned more of the disease and what it’s capable of. A perfectly functioning mind trapped in a body that simply stops functioning is painful to watch, even to a five year old. If I can do my part to find that cure, then so many people will be able to have a lifetime of memories shared and grow old the way my Nan deserved to.”

With the disease affecting several friends and family members of people at the club and the greater AFL London Community, the Demons are keen to be involved and raise as much money as possible to support the Cure for MND Foundation in finding a cure for the terrible disease.

This year’s ‘Freeze the G’ takes place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the Queen’s Birthday Holiday and will see some of Australia’s biggest sports stars sliding into a freezing pool of ice prior to Melbourne Demons match against the Collingwood Magpies. Some of this year’s celebrities being ‘frozen’ include Lleyton Hewitt, Steve Hooker, Alisa Camplin, Sharelle McMahon and Andrew Gaze.

FightMND Patron, Neale Daniher, who initiated the ‘Big Freeze’ three years ago, will be leading a “Walk to the G” event in Federation Square. This invites all AFL followers and MND supporters to join Neale, and a variety of special guest speakers, in Federation Square as part of the fundraising efforts. Since being diagnosed with MND in 2013, Daniher has begun to show the physical signs of this terrible disease such as muscle deterioration and difficulty speaking but continues to help support and host the event and has contributed massively to the success of Fight MND – the charity supported by the Big Freeze each year.

Be sure to stop in on Saturday if you’re in the area to support the Cure for MND Foundation and enjoy the amazing atmosphere of AFL London footy while you’re at it.

Match of the Round

This weekend, four of Ireland’s premiership AFL teams will touch down in Dublin as the South Dublin Swans host ARFLI Rounds 5 and 6 on the 10th of June. This footy carnival marks the halfway point in the Aussie Rules Football League Ireland (ARFLI) 2017 season, and is a crucial day for teams the Leeside Lions, Belfast Redbacks, Galway Magpies, and the South Dublin Swans to secure their position on the ladder as they approach the season finals.

The Leeside Lions are heading to Dublin with confidence levels at an all-time high after winning last year’s premiership, and being undefeated so far in the current season. They also had an uncommon amount of pre season training this year as they had to prepare and compete in the AFL Europe Champion’s League earlier this year. The Lions earned their place in the Champion’s League semi finals before being knocked out by the Amsterdam Devils, who went on to claim runners-up of the tournament. Having had a taste of the Champions League and of the Premiership title, the Lions are determined to retain their undefeated status in order to give the tournament another shot next year. Several of the Lions players will be playing their hardest this weekend as they do their best to impress the Irish National team selectors as the 2017 Euro Cup approaches in Bordeaux.

Taking them on in the Dublin carnival this weekend is the Belfast Redbacks, who are chasing their third premiership this year, as well as the host team South Dublin Swans and the Galway Magpies. The Swans have one win under their belt this season with another two very narrow losses to their rivals, the Galway Magpies, and will be looking to get a victory over them this weekend. They’re also up against the reigning undefeated champions the Leeside Lions, who will be difficult to take down thanks to the strong influx of players from sister club the UCC Bombers in the last few years.

The Swans’ Coach, Marty Ryan, thinks his team has a strong chance at turning their season around at this Saturday’s games. “Numbers have been very good at training this season with a mixture of new and experienced players.  We’ve a bunch of blokes heading to the International Cup this year and this has helped lift the level at training.  We were disappointed to not have more points on the board after two narrow defeats to the Galway Magpies, but if the new guys can keep learning they’ll keep improving.  We’ve important games on Saturday that we want to win, it’s our home carnival round so we need to up the effort to build momentum for the rest of the season.”

Despite their confidence and successfully undefeated season, the Lions are not underestimating their opponents. The first game of the day has them up against the South Dublin Swans, who they described as ‘formidable opponents’. “The Swans play a fast moving, strong hitting game and are always extremely difficult to overturn – especially so on home soil.”

Their next match against the ‘dangerous and skillful’ Magpies will be a shootout between the current top two teams on the ladder. The Lions are already predicting a tight score “There will be nothing more than a kick of a ball in the game come the final horn”, they said, “we will need to be on top of our game to ensure the unbeaten record is still standing come the Belfast Carnival.”

The Magpies have been lucky enough to put together a well rounded team this season with a strong mix of debutantes bringing in some new talent, and plenty of returning core players to add some leadership and experience to the pitch. Magpies Coach, Shaun Murphy, consistently tells his players to “keep it simple”, and this round will be no different. The Galway Magpies will be facing up with the South Dublin Swans and the Belfast Redbacks this Saturday, and they’re are certainly not underestimating either of their opponents. They’re also wary of the short 20 minute halves in each game, which means that falling behind early in the match can be almost impossible to come back from.

Best of luck to all four teams playing in the ARFLI tournament this weekend – check out our Around the Grounds next week to catch the final scores!

 

 

IC17 Player Spotlight – Onora Mulcahy

Each week AFL Europe is profiling a European player who is participating in IC17 and finding out a little more about them, how they got into the great game of Aussie Rules and how they feel about the upcoming International Cup.  

Name:                 

Onora Mulcahy                                                                

Club:  

The Wandsworth Demons, London

Nationality:

Irish

What position do you play?

Ruck Rover. I love it as it’s such a busy position.

AFL team you support & who is your favourite AFL player?

I followed the AFLW for its inaugural season and kept a keen eye out for fellow Banshee Laura Corrigan Duryea.

How did you find out about AFL?

It was always a sport that I was aware of but never took much interest in until I came to London. I played gaelic here with an Aussie girl, she organised a compromise rules game and I thought I’d give the real deal a go after that.

How long have you been playing for?  

I started with the Wandsworth Demons in January 2016.

What is the highlight of your playing career so far?  

In broad terms wearing the green jersey is a big honour, at 26 I thought my ship had sailed in that regard. At a very personal level, getting my first Best on Ground in a club game. It was a goal of mine at the start of the season to play well enough to earn it. I remember thinking  when setting that goal it was ambitious.

Who is the toughest player you have played on & why? 

We played Canada in The London Footy Carnival in May. Even though Ireland won, it was a good wake up call to the level of physicality to expect in August from the non European teams. That game I was against Alex (no.14) She laid some tough tackles and made her presence known.

Have you played in the International Cup previously?

No, this will be my first International Cup.

Who is the player to watch in your team & why?

Besides the aforementioned Laura Corrigan Duryea, Marie Keating is an influential player. Time seems to slow down when she is in possession and is a joy to play alongside.

Have you visited Australia before & what are you most excited about seeing?

This is will be my first trip to Australia. I’m most excited about seeing former clubmates who have since moved back. The only negative of AFL in London is that teams are so transient.

Any other interesting information, quirky stories or interesting things about yourself?

Peppermint chewing gum makes me sneeze.

 

PSS Around the Grounds

Titans take the lead in the SEAFL

This weekend, the Southampton Titans travelled down to visit the Sussex Swans in Round 3 of the South England Australian Football League (SEAFL).

The Titans were lucky enough to take away third third win of the season with a final score of 86-21. Congratulations to the Titans for being undefeated so far in the SEAFL 2017 Season!

 

11 new AFL Coaches accredited in London

Congratulations to the eleven new AFL Level 1 Coaches who became accredited in this Sunday’s Coaching Course held by AFL Europe.

Special thanks to ANZUK Education for their continued support as we conduct Coaching Courses all across Europe, and to the Down Under Centre for hosting us in London.

 

 London Swans earn their first win

The London Swans Women’s team managed to grab their first win so far this season on Sunday against the Wandsworth Demons Women’s conference side. The Swans ran out winners and defeated the Demons 30-6. Meanwhile, the Swans Men’s and Men’s reserves teams were narrowly defeated by the Demons sides after two action packed games.

German Eagles prepare for IC17

As part of their preparation for the AFL International Cup taking place in Melbourne this August, Germany’s national team, the German Eagles, have unveiled their new team logo. Good luck to all the AFL Europe teams travelling to Melbourne in the lead up to IC17.

 

 

Stockholm Dynamite take the Swedish Cup

This weekend, the Swedish Cup took place in Ranneborg. The Cup kicked off with an exciting opening match, which saw the Eksjo Bulldogs take on the Oslo Crows.

Congratulations to Stockholm Dynamite, who managed to defeat the Oslo Crows in the finals to become the Swedish Champions of 2017.

 

Match of the Round

 

Last weekend, Milan became the host for the Central European Australian Football League (CEAFL) Tournament. The tournament saw 5 teams from the Central European league battle it out against each other to compete for the top place on the 2017 CEAFL Ladder. The Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers, Sesvete Double Blues, Zagreb Hawks, North West Footy Eagles, and the Styrian Downunderdogs played 12 hard matches throughout the day with the Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers eventually coming away with the victory after defeating the Sesvete Double Blues in an extremely close grand final. See what the top two teams had to say about their tournament experience and their hopes for taking out the CEAFL top spot at the end of the 2017 season.

 

 

Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers:

In the group stages, we first played the Downunderdogs who put up a great fight, but we managed to gain the upper hand and ran away with a 59-17 win. We were surprised by how well some of their younger players performed and they really helped with the Dog’s fast forward skills.

Our next game was up against the Sesvete Double Blues, who we saw as our biggest competition in the Tournament. Thankfully, we managed to take away another win and defeated the blues 52-34. Our third match of the day was against the Zagreb Hawks, who made some fantastic plays but it wasn’t enough for them as we took our third win of the day with a final score of 73-32.

The final match for us in the group stages had us up play the North West Eagles, which was a fairly close game thanks to a few star players on the Italian side, but we were on a roll from our earlier wins and managed to close out the group stages in first place with another victory of 62-25 over the Eagles.

The grand final had us going head to head with the Sesvete Double Blues for the winners of the CEAFL Tournament. It was an extremely tough match and at the end of the 15-minute halves we were tied up at 33-33. The match was forced to go into extra time, and with both teams giving it their all we managed to take them down and kick three more goals with a final score of 57-39. We were ecstatic to win the tournament as this brought us one step closer to being the 2017 winners of the Central European League – if we can win against the Downunderdogs in two week’s time, we will be CEAFL winners for the first time ever.

Sesvete Double Blues:

Our first match of the day was against the Zagreb Hawks, which we won 62-26 although you could tell that our players were struggling to get their momentum rolling in the early match. Our next match had us up against the Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers, and that was a real wake up call for our team. Our two teams are quite evenly matched and are slowly becoming rivals in the CEAFL, and that match eventually went in their favour with a final score of 34-52. We were surprised by their skills – they played faster, marked better, and simply seemed to want the win more.

In the afternoon we played the North West Eagles, a match which started out badly for us – at halftime we didn’t have a point on the board while the Eagles had managed to kick 3 goals and 2 behinds. During the second half, we turned it up a notch and managed to score 3 goals and 4 behinds within the first two minutes of the half. We shocked the Eagles by coming out of the match with a 12-point lead with a final score of 29-17.

We stormed past the Downunderdogs with a 70-12 victory and managed to be placed second in the group stages, meaning we were up to face the Dockers once again in the grand final. The Dockers opened with a quick goal and we spent the whole match chasing them, but we managed to keep up as the match ended with the score tied at 33-33. The Captains decided to play into overtime. We entered the overtime one player short as one of ours was injured and we had no substitutes, but we held our heads high nonetheless. The Dockers opened hard and fast with two quick goals and we were unable to make up the difference in the 5 minute overtime. In the end, the Dockers won 57-39 but our players gave 100% and should be proud of themselves.

 

Congratulations to all 5 teams on their fantastic efforts in the CEAFL tournament. The final standings are as below:

1st place – Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers

2nd place – Sesvete Double Blues

3rd place – North West Footy Eagles

4th place – Zagreb Hawks

5th place – Styrian Downunderdogs