European Championships 2019 Announcement

London to host the European Championships in 2019

AFL Europe is thrilled to now be able to confirm the details for 2019’s premier international 18-a-side tournament, to be held in London from the 9th-12th October.

The three-day event will bring together international sides from around Europe for the continents feature triennial football showpiece, to be hosted by Great Britain in conjunction with the Wimbledon Hawks Football Club and AFL Europe.

Team GB celebrate after claiming the 2016 title

Great Britain Head Coach, Dean Thomas, says that the 2019 Championships shape to be the most keenly contested and anticipated footy event in Europe to date.

“London is the hub of footy in Europe and a fantastic city to be entertained in, and the European Championships are a must do event for any nation that harbours ambitions of playing in and doing well at the International Cup in 2020,” Thomas said.

“It is the benchmark competition for European nations outside of the International Cup, and with this advanced notice, we would hope and look forward to engaging with all eligible nations so that the best attendance is achieved,”

Games will be hosted across two venues at Wimbledon Park, including the affectionately named home of the Hawks, ‘The Nest,’ with Thomas saying that all parties will be seeking to “provide a venue, setting and atmosphere that befits a competition such as the European Championships.”

“The playing surface at Wimbledon is the best footy surface in the UK, with the size of the grounds creating open spaces that allows fast moving, end to end footy that is enjoyable to watch,” he said.

“I think all attending can expect a raucous atmosphere off field with plenty of on-field entertainment to match.”

The Irish Banshees and GB Swans will renew hostilities after a string of close matches in recent major tournaments

 

This announcement comes after last week’s confirmation that 2019’s showcase International 9-a-side event, the annual Euro Cup tournament, will be held in Norrtalje in Sweden.

AFL Europe General Manager, Ryan Davey, said that it was “a great thrill to be able to confirm these dates and locations so early to give all of the national teams the best possible chance of attending both events in the one calendar year.”

“As most know, hosting these events takes considerable time and effort and I applaud those who put their hand up to take on this responsibility. AFL Europe is confident both organising committees will do an exceptional job hosting these events,” Davey said.

“I would like to thank AFL Sweden and Team GB for their commitment to the growth of the game in Europe and indeed the events that they will now host. We are very excited to work alongside them to make these events a great success.”

 

European Championships 2019

18-a-side International Tournament

London, England

9th-12th October

Hosted by Great Britain with Wimbledon Hawks and in conjunction with AFL Europe

Riley Brettell – AFL Europe

Big Freeze at The ‘C

The Big Freeze hits Clapham

All eyes will be on the MCG this Monday as Melbourne and Collingwood clash in the annual Queens Birthday ‘Big Freeze at the G’ blockbuster, but the chill is set to blow through London even earlier as the Wandsworth Demon’s host their 3rd annual ‘Big Freeze at the C’ event in support of the FightMND campaign this Saturday.

The fight against Motor Neuron Disease has gained significant momentum in recent years after AFL Legend, Neale Daniher, was diagnosed with the progressive illness in 2014.

With no cure currently known for the condition, Daniher has dedicated the rest of his life to raising awareness about what he calls “the beast”, rallying major support that has seen the FightMND foundation raise close to $20million (AUD) in under four years.

The Demons model the 2018 FightMND merchandise

His plight hit close to home for Wandsworth’s own Gaby Duncan, who came up with the idea for the Demon’s to support the foundation with an event similar to what was being run at the MCG by their Melbourne counterparts.

Demon’s President, Xavier Holland, said that the commitment from those within the club to supporting the cause along with some personal experiences ensured that the concept struck a chord with the whole community.

“One of the catalysts to the event back home was the diagnosis of Neale Daniher having MND, someone who Gaby was quite close with. From there it came to be known that many of our members have had friends or relatives suffer from the disease, so it quickly became something many of us became passionate about,” Holland said.

“Last year we had members address the club to give an insight as to what MND does and how important it is that more research is done to study it. This year we did the same as the cause and treatment of the disease is still somewhat of a mystery, it really helped for our members to understand the cause,”

“To stand in front of your peers and talk about something so personal was something that we all really valued.”

While Duncan leaving London recently has left a hole to fill with regards to putting the event together, Holland says that the Demons will still be pushing to eclipse last year’s donations tally of $12,000 AUD (£6,800)

“In the first year we raised about $3,000, the following year we raised over $12,000, which is a good indication of the effect this had on our club,” he said.

Three games of AFL London football between the Demons and London Swans will be the showpiece act on the day from 11:30 am, with action on the field supported by merchandise sales, raffles, a bake sale, the half-time exhibition match for the Clapham Cubs junior side, and the all-important ice dunking of all Wandsworth coaches.

Though perhaps more eagerly anticipated than any of that is the shaving of Demon, Alex ‘Tank’ McCormick’s two-year beard in support of the cause.

Holland said, “he resembles more birds nest than man, so that transformation should be fairly stunning.”

Riley Brettell – AFL Europe

Join the ‘Freeze Army’ and help the Demon’s crack the $12,000 figure in 2018 by donating HERE.

 

Belushi’s Presents: Player Spotlight – Clément Meyer

Belushi’s Presents: Player Spotlight

Clément Meyer

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

Will Taylor – AFL Europe

 

Described by his captain as the most dedicated player he has ever met, Clément Meyer is one of the great contributors to Australian Football in Europe.

After discovering the sport through his sister who was living in Toulouse, Clément decided to go to his first AFL training 5 years ago with his now beloved ALFA Lions.

“I arrived there with no idea about how this sport looks like.”

“I discovered the rules with our Australian coach, Pedr and I fell straight in love of footy!”

His love affair with the game can be seen through the multiple tournaments and competitions he has participated in.

While regularly playing for the Lions in the CNFA, Clément first made his appearance on an international scale during the 2015 Euro Cup in Croatia.

“I played with Crusaders and it was a really amazing experience so I decided to go again in 2016 for the EC in Lisbon.”

“When you are a teammate of someone in Europe, even just for one game, you are teammates forever and it is exactly why I love playing Aussie Rules everywhere through Europe.”

 

 

In 2017, Clément made the move to Albania but he couldn’t find an Albanian team. Instead he managed to find a game with the Zagreb Hawks from Croatia and competed with the boys in the Croatian Cup earlier this year.

His last international tournament however was the 2018 AFL Europe Champions League where he had the chance to meet up with his former team mates in Amsterdam.

“It was again a crazy tournament for me and it was really funny to have the opportunity to play against some old teammates with who I played with in my past international experiences!”

With many matches comes many memories and that is certainly the case for the French star.

As a moment he believes is a highlight of his career, Clément recalls the 2017 Grand Final in the French Championship as a day he will never forget.

“After 4 years of existence, the club ALFA Lions (Lyon) finished 3 times at the bottom of the ladder, but in 2017, we won all our games and the team were clearly the best in France at this time.

“We arrived in Paris for the Final and the game was organised after a professional rugby game of Top14 (Stade Francais – Racing 92), in a rugby professional field.”

“What is better in your sporting life than entering a field with still 20,000 people in the stadium?”

“We had a big win by more than 60 points against the second best team in France in 2017.”

 

 

 

Now committed to his new life in Albania, Clément is working to progress the game throughout a nation that is foreign to Australian Football.

It’s a task that is without a doubt difficult for someone who is still relatively new to the country, but Clément still has hope that he can grow the sport in the Balkan region.

“Indeed it is what I had in mind before I came here.”

“In Albania and the Balkan countries, it’s already hard to find rugby teams so it will be even harder to find motivated people to try Aussie Rules.”

“But I am still working on that while trying to find Australians in the region or just people who already heard about AFL and would like to try it.”

“So if anyone reading this have some connections with Albania or friends there, let me know and let’s try to develop this sport in the Balkans!”

Forever contributing to both his clubs and the national teams he has represented, Clément has certainly had a profound influence growing Australian Football across the continent.

Is there someone at your club with an outstanding football story that deserves to be recognised? Get in touch, riley.brettell@afleurope.org

 

 

 

 

PSS Presents: Around the Grounds

PSS Presents: Around the Grounds

Each week, AFL Europe will take a look at some of the football highlights around the continent in Around the Grounds presented by PSS International Removals. Here are the standout performances from the weekend’s action.

 

Will Taylor – AFL Europe

 

The Stockholm Dockers  women’s side put in a very good effort despite falling just short of the Port Malmö Lynx in the Swedish Cup

Dockers and Lynx reign supreme in Sweden

The Swedish Cup was a huge success for both the Norrtälje Dockers and Port Malmö Lynx.

In the stand alone fixture in the women’s competition, the hosts in Port Malmo were just too strong for a gritty Stockholm Dockers outfit. The game showcased some of the best players across Europe playing Australian Football and it was the Lynx who prevailed by seven points in a tight tussle.

 

 

The men’s competition featured the Dockers, Port Malmö Maulers and a combined Helsingborg Saints/Eksjö Bulldogs side.

While the mixed side was competitive, the Maulers and Dockers were the teams that faced off in the 2018 Grand Final.

In the group stage the Maulers got the better of the Dockers by just two points, but in the big dance the margin was reversed.

Leading by just three points at half time in the decider, the Dockers held their nerve and held their slender advantage to take the Swedish Cup in 2018.

Final Scores:

WOMEN’S GRAND FINAL: Port Malmö Lynx 5.5 (35) defeated Stockholm Dynamite 4.4 (28)

MEN’S: Port Malmö Maulers 6.3 (39) defeated Nörrtalje Dockers 6.1 (37)

Port Malmö Maulers 9.8 (62) defeated Helsingborg Saints/Eksjö Bulldogs 1.4 (10)

Nörrtalje Dockers 8.5 (53) defeated Helsingborg Saints/Eksjö Bulldogs 2.0 (12)

MEN’S GRAND FINAL: Nörrtalje Dockers 5.3 (33) defeated Port Malmö Maulers 5.1 (31)

 

 

Superb Southampton on top of the SEAFL

Two rounds down in the Southern England Australian Football League (SEAFL) and it’s looking like the Southampton Titans are the favourites to take out this year’s competition. Last weekend, the Portsmouth Pirates hosted Round 2 of the competition and put up a superb effort for a team returning to the SEAFL. They were able to secure their first win of the season over the Sussex Swans to climb off the bottom of the ladder. The standout performers however remained the Titans who managed 50-point and 23-point victories over the Pirates and Swans respectively.

 

 

 

 

Final Scores:

Southampton Titans 7.14 (56) defeated Sussex Swans 4.9 (33)

Southampton Titans 12.6 (78) defeated Portsmouth Pirates 3.10 (28)

Portsmouth Pirates 11.11 (77) defeated Sussex Swans 5.5 (35)

 

 

 

Croatia play host to Abu Dhabi in a cross-continental exhibition

After having a stellar season in the Middle East, the Abu Dhabi Falcons made their way over to Croatia to take on the local national team (Croatian Knights) in an international friendly last weekend. Leading into the Euro Cup for 2018, the game was perfect preparation for the Croatians as they vie to take the title in Cork later this year. The match was very entertaining with plenty of goals, tackles and high marks to celebrate. Battling through the harsh rain and lightning, the Croatian boys were able to handle a very impressive Falcons line-up to run away as 47-point victors in Zagreb.

 

Final Score:

Croatian Knights 15.14 (104) defeated Abu Dhabi Falcons 8.9 (57)

 

 

Devils down Delft in an inaugural Dutch derby

In Holland, The Delft Blues AFC played host to the Amsterdam Devils in the inaugural fixture between the two Dutch based Australian Football clubs. Amsterdam are always a tough fixture for any opposition, but the Blues didn’t let their reputation intimidate them. Despite coming up against the runners-up in the 2018 AFL Europe Champions League, the Blues put in a very respectable performance to fall short by 33-points against the highly skilled outfit.

Final Score:

Amsterdam Devils 17.8 (110) defeated Delft Blues AFC 12.5 (77)

 

 

 

Leaping Lionesses looking the goods in London

Back to back wins for the North London Lionesses have the talented women’s side making a move up the ladder in the AFL London Women’s Premiership competition.

Saturday’s commanding victory by 45-points against the South East London Giants has North London just behind the Wandsworth Demons in second position on the ladder. After the Demons and the Lions played a classic in Round 2 where Wandsworth prevailed by under a goal, it seems as if these sides are the two favourites to take their place in this season’s Grand Final.

Final Score:

North London Lionesses 7.5 (47) defeated South East London Giants 0.2 (2)

 

 

CATCH YOUR AFL EUROPE NEWS FIX HERE

Match Of The Round – Swedish Cup

National bragging rights on the line in battle for the Swedish Cup

In what has already been a huge week for Australian Football in Sweden following the announcement of Norrtålje as the host city for Euro Cup 2019, Saturday’s Swedish Cup is set to add the icing on the cake as seven teams descend on Malmo for the men’s round robin tournament and winner takes all women’s match.

The annual competition brings together sides from right across Sweden, as well as the Oslo Crows of Norway, with teams battling it out for the title of the nation’s best club side in the event hosted by the Port Malmo Football Club.

As the 2018 hosts, the Port Malmo Maulers will be out to maximise their home ground advantage and stamp their authority on the men’s competition in their quest to add another Swedish Cup to the trophy cabinet after winning the event in 2015 and 2016. 

Having begun their DAFL season with three strong wins from their four outings, including a big win over Odense last Saturday, the Maulers bring in enviable form and shape up as a major threat once again in 2018, but will have to overcome a dangerous Norrtålje Dockers line-up that is chocked full of Swedish national team talent and loom as a key contender.

The Dockers head into the tournament as one of the key contenders

The day will also see the clash of two sides at either end of the football spectrum in Sweden, as the nation’s oldest and newest football clubs go head to head when the Helsingborg Saints face the relative new boys of the Eksjo Bulldogs.

Rounding out the men’s tournament are the Oslo Crows, who have tasted Swedish Cup glory before when winning the competition in 2014, and after losing in last years final, the Crows will be out to give KB & The Doc something else to talk about by going one better in 2018.

The Oslo Crows, pictured at Champions Leauge 2018, have gained a cult following on Melbourne radio.

The women’s title will be decided by the full-length matchup between the Port Malmo Lynx, who impressed at the recent AFL Europe Champions League tournament in Amsterdam, and the newly formed Stockholm women’s side who enter their first Swedish Cup, with this game taking on extra interest with national team places up for grabs.

The women of the Port Malmo Lynx will be out to go back-to-back on Saturday.

Follow all the Swedish Cup action throughout the day via AFL Sweden on Facebook

 

Euro Cup 2019 Announcement

Norrtalje selected to host Euro Cup 2019

AFL Europe can today confirm the date and location for one of the feature events on the 2019 European football calendar, with the 9-a-side Euro Cup to be held in the picturesque city of Norrtalje in Sweden, hosted by AFL Sweden in conjunction with AFL Europe on Saturday, June 29th.

The harbour city lies one hour north of Stockholm and is known for its small-town feeling, cobblestoned streets and buildings which date back to the 1700’s and will set an idyllic scene for the annual tournament, that will see men’s and women’s national teams from around the continent competing for the crown of European Champions in the heart of the Swedish summer.

Norrtalje will provide a picturesque location for Euro Cup 2019

President of AFL Sweden, Ryan Tucker, said Sweden was “ecstatic” to have the opportunity to host Euro Cup 2019 and showcase all that Swedish hospitality entails, along with continuing the growth and development of Australian Football in the country.

“Our vision of this tournament is of a meeting place for all participants of AFL Europe. There will be some fantastic footy played as well as the opportunity to make some lifelong friendships and explore what Sweden, Stockholm and Norrtälje have to offer,” Tucker said.

“We want the players and officials that travel to the 2019 Euro Cup to be able to experience a lot more than a yearly footy tournament. A lot of time and effort will be placed into what happens in the days surrounding the tournament and the areas of the venue not taken up by footy pitches.”

Tucker says that players, support staff and supporters will be treated to a unique venue that is situated just 500m from the city centre, with games played across five grass pitches and plenty of room for recreation.

“A buzz has already been created among locals who look very much forward to being able to have an international sports tournament held in their very own city!” he said.

The five grounds of the Norrtålje Sportcentrum.

While this Euro Cup 2019 announcement comes earlier than usual with preparations for October’s Euro Cup 2018 to be held in Cork still underway, AFL Europe General Manager, Ryan Davey, said it was important to give the host nation ample time to prepare.

“We wanted to make sure the hosts received a minimum of 12 months’ notice of when the events would be held to ensure they can plan to capitalize on hosting this event and establish ways to keep costs as low as possible for the participants,” he said.

“As a result, waiting until this year’s GAM in Cork to determine the location of Euro Cup 2019 was not an option.”

“I would like to thank AFL Sweden for their commitment to the growth of the game in Europe and also to the development of the Euro Cup event itself. We are very excited to work alongside them to make it a great success.”

Euro Cup 2019

9-a-side International Tournament

Norrtålje, Sweden

Saturday 29th June

 

Riley Brettell – AFL Europe

Belushi’s Presents: Player Spotlight – Tom-Andre Anderson

Belushi’s Presents: Player Spotlight

Tom-Andre Anderson

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

Will Taylor – AFL Europe

Despite being born and bred in Bergen, Norway, Tom-Andre Anderson is a passionate AFL man.

Australian Football became an interest of Tom’s when he travelled to Australia and to the magnificent Adelaide Oval.

Here he saw AFL club Port Adelaide in full force and Tom was hooked from the moment he heard ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ loud and clear from the Power faithful.

It was a different game to Tom but it was the unique nature of the sport that captured his attention.

“I like how it feels a lot more free flowing than soccer, which was the sport I grew up with.”

“There is not as much staging and staling for time and I also love the unique aspects of the sport such as big pack marks.”

Despite his passion for the sport, It wasn’t until three years ago that Tom became involved with AFL in Europe.

“I started playing in 2015. I had seen a few clips on YouTube from games played in Australia and found out that there was a team in Oslo. I started training and I loved it.”

Finding his form in the forward pocket, the Norwegian was lucky enough to attend the 2018 AFL Europe Champions League as part of the Oslo Crows side.

“The Champions League in Amsterdam is always a fantastic tournament to take part in. The highlight on field was scoring the match winner in our one win during this year’s tournament.”

Tom in action for the Oslo Crows during the 2017 AFL Europe Champions League.

 

Optimistic about the future of Australian Rules in Norway’s capital, the warehouse manager is enjoying some innovative changes occurring at the Crows this season.

“Luckily we have a few new faces this year at training so 2018 should be a lot better!

“Off the field we have a new board and we have got some exciting things coming up to build the footy club.”

With some initiatives in place, the 32-year old is now preparing for some tough matches in the upcoming season.

Now in his fourth season at the club, a premiership remains the ultimate goal for the Crows veteran.

“The ultimate goal for the club this season is getting good numbers to every match and training.”

“We also want to grow the game in Oslo and of course, win a premiership!”

Is there someone at your club with an outstanding football story that deserves to be recognised? Get in touch, riley.brettell@afleurope.org

PSS Presents: Around the Grounds

PSS Presents: Around the Grounds

Each week, AFL Europe will take a look at some of the football highlights around the continent in Around the Grounds presented by PSS International Removals. Here are the standout performances from the weekend’s action.

 

FRANCE

Cockerels claim French flag with a commanding win in Toulouse

The Paris Cockerels have claimed the clubs first premiership since 2015 with a resounding 106-point victory over a brave Cergy-Pontoise side, fittingly finishing their terrific season unbeaten.

The Cock’s burst out of the blocks in the first term and were never be headed despite the noble efforts from the Coyotes, pilling on the goals under the Toulouse sun to show why they were the CNFA’s top side all season.

The damage was done in half a game by Paris, whose free-flowing and high scoring first and third terms broke the back of the steadfast Coyotes defence, though the boys from Cergy-Pontoise battled on gamely to win the final quarter.

Final Scores:

Paris Cockerels (159) defeat Cergy-Pointoise Coyotes (53)

#GoCocks #Champions

Posted by Paris Cocks Footy on Sunday, 27 May 2018

 

RUSSIA

Helsinki conquers Russia to clinch inaugural St. Petersburg Cup.

Damien Bruckard, Second Secretary of the Australian Embassy to the Russian Federation presents the St. Petersburg Cup to Helsinki.

On a huge day for Russian football in St. Petersburg, it was the visiting Helsinki Heatseekers of Finland who took home the spoils after defeating both local sides in hard-fought contests.

The Heatseekers overcame the Northern Tigers of St. Petersburg in their opening match with a convincing whole-team performance, before taking out the tournament with a fighting win against the hosting St. Petersburg Cats, with the game going right down to the wire and decided by just four points.

Development was ultimately on top of the agenda for the weekend in Russia and goals were certainly kicked in that regard, with 12 new coaches earning their AFL Level One Accreditation on Sunday thanks to anzuk Education.

Final Scores:

St. Petersburg Cats (19) defeat Northern Tigers (10)

Helsinki Heatseekers (52) defeat Northern Tigers (3)

St. Petersburg Cats (46) defeated by Helsinki Heatseekers (50)

 

 

Germany

Dockers stamp their authority in Frankfurt

Frankfurt defeated Wurttemberg in the match of the day

Round four of the AFLG action in Frankfurt saw three hard-fought clashes between the Frankfurt Redbacks, Wurttemberg Giants and the Hamburg Dockers take place, and it was the Dockers who stole the show to extend their lead on top of the table.

Whilst Hamburg were strong winners in each of their match-ups which now sees them sit four-points clear of Berlin and Munich on the AFLG ladder, the match of the day was between Frankfurt and Wurttemberg as they looked to push into the all-important fourth spot.

The home side trailed the AFLG new boys at half-time but responded with a blistering seven goal to one second half, to ensure the Redbacks remain within touching distance of the league leaders after four rounds.

 

Final Scores

Frankfurt Redbacks 2.1 (13) def by Hamburg Dockers 10.10 (70)

Frankfurt Redbacks 10.10 (70) def Wurttemberg Giants 6.6 (42)

Hamburg Dockers 20.8 (128) def Wurttemberg Giants 1.0 (6)

 

Ireland

Belfast stay unbeaten in Galway as South Dublin upset the Lions

Belfast Redbacks celebrate staying unbeaten

The Galway Magpies hosted Round 2 of the ARFLI action at the weekend and saw four incredibly even matches fought out between the hosts, Belfast Redbacks, South Dublin Swans and Leeside Lions, with the average margin on the day a miserly 7 points.

Having beaten South Dublin and Galway convincingly in their opening round matches in Cork, Belfast continued their hot streak of form with two more victories on the weekend against the Leeside Lions and the Galway Magpies in a 2-point thriller, to see them move two-games clear on top of the table.

The hosts can hold their head high after they scored the sides first win of the year against the previously unbeaten Leeside Lions, before cutting a 35-point round one margin against the Redbacks to just 2-points this time out. South Dublin also joined the winners list for the first time this season with a courageous win over the Lions.

Final Scores:

Galway Magpies 5.5 (35) def South Dublin Swans 5.4 (34)

Galway Magpies 5.7 (37) def by Belfast Redbacks 6.3 (39)

South Dublin Swans 7.6 (48) def Leeside Lions 5.6 (36)

Belfast Redbacks 7.7 (49) def Leeside Lions 5.4 (34)

 

 

CATCH YOUR AFL EUROPE NEWS FIX HERE

Match Of The Round – St. Petersburg Cup

St. Petersburg Cup in Russia

All is in readiness for what is expected to become one of the crowning jewels on the Russian Australian Football calendar this Saturday, with the inaugural St Petersburg Cup set to take place at the Kirovets Stadium in St Petersburg.

The event brings together two Russian sides in the St. Petersburg Cats and Moscow Lazy Koalas for a three-game round robin tournament with the visiting Helsinki Heatseekers from Finland, with the top two sides vying for the trophy in a Grand Final play-off.

President of AFL Russia, Slava Belov, anticipates that the event will draw great interest from local supporters and see hot competition on the field, for what he expects will be a “real footy celebration in St Petersburg.”

The St. Petersburg Cats will host the event

“When the St Petersburg Cats were founded 4 years ago, the club was meant to connect Moscow and Finland footy, becoming the international hub for Russian footy,” Belov said.

“Since then, the Cats have played a number of games against Moscow and travelled to Helsinki, but it is the first time a tournament unites St Petersburg, Helsinki and Moscow teams.” 

The visiting Helsinki Heatseekers of Finland

Along with the round robin tournament, it will be a historic day for women’s football in Russia with the first ever female exhibition game played as a curtain raiser prior to the Helsinki and Moscow clash, which AFL Europe Game Development Coordinator Lisa Wilson says will be an important showcase to the region.

“Women’s footy has not really reached Russia as yet so we hope that this exhibition game – which features some visiting players and also some new girls – will be the first step to grow in Russia,” she said.

Wilson was on the ground to help lay the foundations for the weekend by leading out an AusKick clinic at a local school in Pushkin Town, which was attended by close to thirty students on Thursday.

“A group of students from the school went on a trip to Australia recently which was organised by the St. Petersburg Australian Consulate, Sebastian Fitzlyon, so they are now excited to learn more about Australian culture – of which footy is, of course, a big part!” Wilson said.

The Lazy Koalas of Moscow

Building awareness and enhancing the development of Australian Football in Russia is the main item on the weekend’s agenda, which will begin with a free beginner’s skills session prior to the competitive action on Saturday and culminate with a fully accredited AFL Level One coaching course on Sunday morning.

AFL Europe General Manager, Ryan Davey, will travel to St. Petersburg to deliver the course and says that the development and growth of coaching ranks in Russia – and right throughout Europe – is of the highest importance.

“We have put a real emphasis on getting out and delivering as many of the level one coaching courses as possible across the continent, so we’re thrilled to finally be able to get to Russia and I’m hopeful that this will help boost the great work that is already being done here,” Davey said.

“In the last 14 months around 150 coaches have been accredited through these courses with the brilliant support of anzuk Education, and that passion that all these individuals bring to the game is hugely beneficial for developing the sport in Europe. This will be the 13th course we have delivered in Europe since we started the program last year and I am thrilled that by the end of the weekend we will have accredited coaches in both Russia and Finland.

“Like many of our tremendous volunteers, these coaches are the ones on the ground who are doing the bulk of the driving at a grassroots level, so for us to be able to help foster their engagement and provide them with some development opportunities is really important.”

Riley Brettell – AFL Europe

CNFA Grand Final Preview – Paris Cockerels v Coyotes de Cergy-Pointoise

CNFA Grand Final Preview

Riley Brettell – AFL Europe

From Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon & Perpignan, it’s all roads leading to Toulouse this Saturday for a mouth-watering match-up between the Paris Cockerels and Coyotes de Cergy-Pontoise on CNFA Grand Final Day.

Fans are set for a riveting culmination to the season if the regular season contest between the two sides is anything to go by, with the Cockerels prevailing in a nail-biter on that occasion but facing a passionate Coyotes side who will be out to turn the tables, with the stakes insurmountably higher with a Premiership and Champions League 2019 place on the line.

The minor premiers from Paris will feature on the final day for the first time in three seasons after overcoming their Parisian rivals, the Cockatoos, in a hard-fought semi-final, and while they have the enviable chance to cap off an unbeaten season with a win on Saturday the Cockerels coach Mike Cowan has been keen to stress that this weekend will be far from a cakewalk.

“At times throughout the season we’ve struggled to get a full 15-player squad on the field, but the leadership group of the team has really stepped up and lifted us over the line during those games,” Cowan said.

The Cockerels are set for their first Grand Final appearance in three years after beating the Cockatoos in a tight semi-final

 

“The previous match against the Coyotes was our hardest one for the season. They are a strong, skilled and determined team that has a real knack for getting the ball out of the pack and moving it fast into their forwards.”

“They [Coyotes] put their bodies on the line and attack the ball hard, so the key to beating them will be by using our skills to efficiently move the ball to our forwards and controlling the pace of the game.”

Cockerels and French National Team star spearhead Pierre Boscart looms as a potential match winner and is a player who continues to earn plaudits right around Europe as well as in Australia, having greatly impressed the crowd at the recent ANZAC Cup in Villers-Bretonneux.

The Coyotes line-up will be eager to claim the clubs first ever CNFA premiership

While the Coyotes are wary of the star power that Boscart brings to the table along with that of Steven Ryan and Ben Simpson, coach Herve Desjardin says his side will be focusing on their own backyard rather than focusing on their opponents

The Coyotes enter the match with plenty of momentum after toppling the Toulouse Hawks in trying conditions in their semi-final, overcoming some pre-game travel drama on the way to the ground that saw a burst tyre on the motorway limit team preparations to only half an hour.

After five consecutive finals appearances, they will be eager to go one step further than last year to upset the Cockerels and claim the clubs first CNFA flag.

You will be able to stay right across the CNFA Grand Final action this Saturday by following their Facebook page here. 

CNFA GRAND FINAL

Paris Cockerels v Coyotes de Cergy-Pontoise

Stade Sordelo, Toulouse