Euro Cup 2019 – Draw and Fixture Release

European footy fans can officially start putting their Euro Cup 2019 viewing plans in place today, with AFL Europe thrilled to confirm the official fixture for Europe’s premier international nine-a-side tournament next Saturday.

With 68 matches across a jam-packed game of footy, it will be hard to know where to look at times, but you can see the full schedule and an explanation of how the ranked draw was conducted below.

Matches on Pitch 1 will be streamed live on the AFL Europe Facebook page so fans at home can keep up to date with all the Euro Cup action.

Keep up to date as we continue to preview the teams travelling across to Sweden in the leadup to the Euro Cup, and keep an eye out for the full tournament preview.

See the full Euro Cup 2019 Fixture here

Women’s Draw:

There are 8 women’s teams competing at the 2019 Euro Cup. These teams are; the Irish Banshees, England Vixens, Swedish Ravens, Croatian Queens, French Gauloises, German Eagles, Welsh Wyverns, and the Swiss Heidis.

The women’s division at the 2019 Euro Cup tournament consists of 2 pools of 4 teams. All matches will be played with 12-minute halves with a 2-minute break. Each team will play each team in their pool once with the top 2 sides in each pool progressing to the Cup semi-finals. A1 will play B2 and A2 will play B1 in the semi-finals. The winner of each semi-final will progress to the women’s final.

The losers of the women’s semi-finals will play off in a 3rd place ranking match. Teams finishing 3rd and 4th in their pools will progress to the Bowl semi-finals. A3 will play B4 and A4 will play B3 in the semi-finals. The winners of the bowl semi-finals will play off in the bowl final for 5th place. The losers of these matches will play off in a 7th place ranking match.

AFL Europe ranked the top two sides based off rankings from the previous three tournaments. These teams are the Irish Banshees and the England Vixens. These teams are randomly drawn out and allocated to Pool A and then Pool B. This process is repeated for teams ranked 3rd and 4th; the Swedish Ravens and the Croatian Queens.

This process is repeated for teams ranked 5th and 6th, French Gauloises and the German Eagles. This process is repeated for teams ranked 7th and 8th, the Welsh Wyverns and the Swiss Heidis.

Pool A in the women’s competition will consist of: The Irish Banshees, Croatian Queens, German Eagles, and Welsh Wyverns

Pool B in the women’s competition will consist of: The England Vixens, Swedish Ravens, French Gauloises, and Swiss Heidis.

 

Men’s Draw:

There are 16 men’s teams competing at the 2019 Euro Cup. These teams are; The Irish Warriors, England Dragonslayers, Croatian Knights, French Coqs, German Eagles, Welsh Red Dragons, Nederland Flying Dutchmen, Scottish Clansmen, Austrian Avalanche, Israeli Beasts, Czech Republic Dragons, Swedish Elks, Russian Bears, Swiss Wolves, Finland Icebreakers, and the Polish Devils.

The men’s division at the 2019 Euro Cup consists of 4 Pools of 4 teams. All matches will be played with 10-minute halves with a 2-minute break with the exception of the men’s Cup final which will play 12-minute halves with a 2-minute break.

In each group, teams will play each other once. The top two teams in each group at the end of the pool stages will move into quarter finals. A1 will play D2 IN QF1, D1 will play A2 IN QF2, B1 will play C2 IN QF 3, and C1 will play B2 in QF4 of the quarter finals. The winners of these quarter finals will move into semi-finals with the winners of QF1 and QF4 forming SF1 and the winners of QF2 and QF3 forming SF2. The winners of these semi-finals will move into the men’s cup final. The losers of these semi-finals will play a 3rd place ranking match.

Teams that lose in the quarter finals will drop into the bowl division and play a semi-final for the chance to play off in the bowl final. The losers of QF1 and QF4 will form the Bowl SF1, and the losers of QF2 and QF3 will form Bowl SF2. The winners of the Bowl semi-finals will play off in the Bowl final for 5th place. The losers of the Bowl semi-finals will play off in a 7th place ranking match.

Teams that finish 3rd or 4th in their pool will move into the plate division quarter finals. A3 will play D4 in the Plate QF1, A4 will play D3 in QF2, B3 will play C4 in QF3, and B4 will play C3 in QF4. The winners of the Plate quarter finals will enter the Plate semi-finals. The winners of QF1 and QF4 will form SF1, and the winners of QF2 and QF3 will form SF2. The winners of these semi-finals will play off in the Plate final for 9th place. The losers of these semi-finals will play off in an 11th place ranking match. Teams that lose in the Plate quarter finals will play off in semi-finals for a chance to play for 13th place. The losers of QF1 and QF4 will form SF1, and the losers of QF2 and QF3 will form SF2. The winners of these semi-finals will play off in a 13th place ranking match. The losers of these semi-finals will play off in a 15th place ranking match.

AFL Europe ranked the top 4 sides based on rankings from the previous three tournaments. The top 4 teams include the Irish Warriors, England Dragonslayers, Croatian Knights, and the French Coqs. These teams are drawn out into the 4 groups starting with group A. AFL Europe ranked 4 more teams 5th-8th. These teams include the German Eagles, Welsh Red Dragons, Nederland Flying Dutchmen, and the Scottish Clansmen. These teams are randomly drawn out into the 4 groups starting with group A.

AFL Europe ranked 4 more teams 9th-12th. These teams include the Austrian Avalanche, Israeli Beasts, Czech Republic Dragons, and the Swedish Elks. These teams are randomly drawn out into the 4 groups starting with group A. AFL Europe ranked 4 more teams 13th-16th. These teams include the Russian Bears, Swiss Wolves, Finland Icebreakers, and the Polish Devils. These teams are drawn out into a random group starting with group A.

Pool A in the men’s competition will consist of: The Croatian Knights, German Eagles, Austrian Avalanche, and Finland Icebreakers

Pool B in the men’s competition will consist of: The French Coqs, Scottish Clansmen, Swedish Elks, and Russian Bears

Pool C in the men’s competition will consist of: The England Dragonslayers, Nederland Flying Dutchmen, Israeli Beasts, and Polish Devils

Pool D in the men’s competition will consist of: The Irish Warriors, Welsh Red Dragons, Czech Republic Dragons, and Swiss Wolves.

PSS Presents: Around the Grounds

Each week AFL Europe will take a look around the continent at the Australian Football highlights and thrilling matches. This Around the Grounds article delves into the standout performances from the weekend’s action and is presented by PSS International Removals.

REDBACKS CONTINUE FORM TO REMAIN UNDEFEATED

On Saturday, the South Dublin Swans travelled north to take on the Belfast Redbacks in the Australian Rules Football League of Ireland. In challenging conditions for both teams with the rain falling down and a strong wind blowing across the ground, the game was a physical contest between the two sides. In slippery weather, both teams attacked the ball hard as locking the ball in the forward half was key to creating chances. The Redbacks managed to gain the ascendancy first and controlled much of the game as they slowly increased their lead throughout. The Swans created some good chances but the weather made kicking at goal difficult and the accuracy of the Redbacks helped them record an important 55-point victory.

Final Scores (ARFLI)

Men’s: Belfast Redbacks (14.10. 94) defeated South Dublin Swans (5.9. 39).

 

PORT MALMO LYNX IMPRESS IN TOUGH CONDITIONS

Over in Copenhagen, three women’s teams from three countries came together on Saturday as part of a round-robin tournament. The Odense Lionesses, Hamburg Dockers and Port Malmo Lynx took to the field despite heavy rain and thunderstorms in the area. On the day, it was Port Malmo Lynx who impressed in the tough weather, as they illustrated a formidable defence against Odense, not conceding a single score and scoring three goals as they won by 20 points. Despite not getting on the scoreboard, the Odense Lionesses battled hard in the rain against one of the benchmark teams in Scandinavia. In Port Malmo’s final match of the day, they continued their strong form beating a gallant Hamburg Dockers. Despite the weather, the day was a success for all involved, showcasing the impressive growth and development of the game in the region.

Final Scores

Women’s game one: Port Malmo Lynx (3.2. 20) defeated Odense Lionesses (0.0. 0).
Game two: Port Malmo Lynx (2.2. 14) defeated Hamburg Dockers (0.0. 0).

 

CLOSE BATTLE SEES HAMBURG COME OUT ON TOP

Round Five of the AFLG season saw the Frankfurt Redbacks host the Hamburg Dockers in a key clash for both teams at the half-way stage of the season. With a couple of weeks break ahead for both teams, to allow players to travel for the Euro Cup, the two sides gave it everything in a match that was even throughout. The home side, Frankfurt, created plenty of chances, but struggled to convert, kicking 15 behinds, while Hamburg was more polished when going forward as they kicked 10 goals for the game. When the final siren sounded, the accuracy of both teams in their forward-50 was the difference, as the Dockers got over the line by three goals in a close contest.

Final Scores (AFLG)

Men’s: Frankfurt Redbacks (6.15. 51) defeated by Hamburg Dockers (10.9. 69).

 

SUSSEX SWANS CLEAN SWEEP SEAFL ROUND 3  

In Round Three of the SEAFL/WARFL, the Bristol Dockers, Southampton Titans and Sussex Swans battled it out at Hove on a sunny day in the south of England. In the opening game, Sussex was dominant against their south-coast rivals Southampton as the home side won by 109 points. Despite the scoreline, the Titans created a number of opportunities in front of goal which would have pleased them heading into their game against Bristol. The Titans and Dockers game were the tightest of the day, with the Titans providing plenty of attack going forward, but it was the Dockers who were just too strong in the end, as their experience helped them to win by 14-points in an entertaining contest. The final match saw Sussex play Bristol, and the home team continued their good form from the opening match as the Dockers just couldn’t match them, with Sussex winning by 58-points.

Final Scores (SEAFL/WARFL)

Men’s: Sussex Swans (120) defeated Southampton Titans (11)
Southampton Titans (54) defeated by Bristol Dockers (68)
Sussex Swans (84) defeated Bristol Dockers (26)

 

 

PSS International Removals have helped people move from the UK to Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere in the world for over 37 years. They offer friendly advice, no matter whether you’re sending a few boxes or a whole house removal including car. For more information call 020 8686 7733 or visit the PSS Removals website.

Angus Boyle – AFL Europe

AFL Europe Wine Club – House of Arras

With the Euro Cup taking place in Norrtälje this weekend, it’s an exciting time for the AFL Europe community. Sixteen men’s teams and eight women’s teams will be taking to the fields in a full day tournament that will crown Europe’s best National Australian Football teams. Last year we saw the Danish Vikings win the men’s division, whilst the Irish Banshees took home the silverware in the women’s division. Who will take the honours in 2019 – only time will tell.

A proud supporter of AFL Europe, Fine Wine Partners, are also excited for this annual event and as a result, have some fantastic wine offers available exclusively for the AFL community in Europe. This month’s AFL Europe Wine Club offer centres around the world famous House of Arras range made by Tasmanian Winemaker, Ed Carr.

As they did at AFL Europe’s Champions League, the “Players of the Tournament” in both the men’s and women’s divisions will be presented with a bottle of wine from House of Arras, courtesy of Fine Wine Partners. Although for those wishing to get their hands on some House of Arras wine, the AFL Europe Wine Club has some fantastic offers which include EJ. Carr Late Disgorged, Grand Vintage, Vintage Rosé and Brut Elite. These wines are available at a special rate when purchased as a case offer or individually.

House of Arras Chief Sparkling Winemaker, Ed Carr, is Australia’s most awarded sparkling winemaker. He has long held the belief that Tasmania can, and should, produce exceptional sparkling wines equal to the world’s best.

Over the past 20 years, Ed Carr has amassed over 60 trophies in Australian wine shows for the House of Arras. However, a world-class sparkling wine can only be crafted with the finest fruit and the House of Arras viticultural team carefully nurtures the House of Arras vineyards through the vagaries of each and every growing season.

In 2011, Ed was awarded the impressive title of ‘Winemaker of the Year’ at the prestigious Australian Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine awards. Judging for this concentrates on individuals whose hard work, commitment, individuality and inspiration has recently resulted in creating exceptional, world-class wines. 2016 was an exceptional year for House of Arras, being awarded 8 Trophies and 16 Gold Medals. Notably, the 2007 Grand Vintage was awarded Wine of the Show at both the Royal Queensland Wine Show & The Royal Sydney Wine Show, the first time a sparkling wine has taken out the accolade at either show.

Offers of the Month

Offer One – Mixed Bottle Case

A fantastic mixed case offer showcasing a selection of the House of Arras wines available. The House of Arras trilogy case presents:

– Grand Vintage 2007 x 2
– Vintage Rosé 2005 x 2
– Brut Elite NV x 2

Case of six:
RRP £207.94
AFL Europe price £155.94

 

Offer Two – House of Arras Grand Vintage 2007

The House of Arras is Australia’s most awarded sparkling wine producer, beloved and enjoyed all over the world. The 2007 Arras Grand Vintage was rated by Decanter magazine as one of the most exciting wines of 2018, as well as being the only sparkling wine ever to win Best Wine in show at the Royal Sydney Wine Show.

To follow that first up, the 2007 was also the Champion Wine of Show at the Royal Queensland Wine Show. The 2007 Arras Grand Vintage is of outstanding quality, enriched by the great complexity of character that follows seven years of tirage. The Arras Grand Vintage retains brilliant freshness and longevity that has exceptional balance and a rich full-bodied taste.

Case of six:
RRP £209.94
AFL Europe price £157.45

Per bottle:
RRP £34.99
AFL Europe price
 £26.24

 

Offer Three – Arras EJ. Carr Late Disgorged 2004

Arras EJ. Carr Late Disgorged Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir pays tribute to the dedication and inspiration of its maker, EJ. Carr. As the pinnacle of House of Arras, EJ. Carr Late Disgorged is a wine of great intensity and character, with excellent structural elegance and flavour persistence.

After 10 years on lees, the wine has amazing complexity and yet retains the remarkable freshness of the character typical of a world-class prestige cuvée. A true expression of Tasmanian terroir and impeccable winemaking.

Per bottle:
RRP £99.99
AFL Europe price £74.99

 

Offer Four – Vintage Rosé 2005

Enticing aromas of lifted fresh red berry fruits complemented by oyster, sautéed mushroom and lanolin. On the palate, an initial rush of fresh strawberries and cream dominate followed by complex secondary characters of toast and a natural acid backbone which is seamless and persistent.

A sophisticated Rosé of alluring complexity and vibrant character, the third vintage release of this label from a vintage proving to be one of the strongest of the decade.

Per bottle:
RRP £39.99
AFL Europe price £29.99

 

Offer Four – Brut Elite NV

Brut Elite is rewardingly rich, it’s complex style exhibits a plush palate driven by the predominant red fruit components of the blend. The majority (70%) of this blend is from the 2013 vintage which had an above average fruit yield due to solid winter/spring rains and generally mild conditions until late January.

Rich and flavoursome expressing characters of lychee and truffle. The palate exhibits an exquisite balance of dosage, tannin and acidity with great flavour persistence.

Per bottle:
RRP £28.99
AFL Europe price £21.74

 

 

To place your House of Arras order, or to learn more about wines available through the AFL Europe Wine Club, please contact the team at Fine Wine Partners.

Next day delivery from £9.99

Email: info@finewinepartners.co.uk
Call: +44 7810856290

Offer ends June 30th.

 

2019 Euro Cup Team Previews: Part Four

Not long now until the 2019 AFL Europe Euro Cup, this year the tournament will be held in Norrtalje, Sweden for what is set to be a thrilling day of football as national teams from 16 different European countries field their nations best players and over 350 players battle it out for the Cup.

This year’s edition of the Euro Cup will see all the games take place on Saturday the 29th of June. As part of the buildup, AFL Europe will be previewing all the teams competing. In our fourth edition of the team previews, we will be taking a closer look at the Czech Republic Dragons and the French Coqs in the men’s side of the competition and in the women’s, the German Eagles.

 

Men’s Competition:

Czech Republic Dragons

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup? 

Getting the basics right and ensuring everyone knows their job on the field. With a wide variety of experience and skills, we need to get as much structure as possible to how we play, and getting players to take ownership of their role in the team.

How many clubs are represented in your national team? 

Only one, the Czech Republic only has one team – the mighty Prague Dragons!

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts? 

Four new players will be making their Euro Cup debut who all bring different strengths.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup? 

Players giving it their all and of course heaps of Jesaulenko like marks being taken!

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team? 

With no other teams nationally to compete against, this is, of course, the main tournament for our team each year and thus an opportunity to show how much we have developed and grown.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

I’m not sure we will win the cup this year, so to be competitive against the lower-ranked teams is what we expect from ourselves.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

The biggest man on the park, our ruckman Vit Krcmar. Also Jan Nowak, our outside midfielder who has plenty of run and carry.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

During a friendly match this year, one of our players, Chris Marais, was caught in a tackle around the waist. As the tackler’s arms then slid further down his legs, Chris’s shorts and undies were subsequently pulled down to reveal his true colours. As the ball went loose (not penalised for holding the ball…), he continued to scramble for the ball with his ankles fastened together by the shorts & undies combo and managed to knock the ball onto a teammate who then scored a long-range goal. Chris was unable to join in on the high-five celebration but he did try…

The Czech Republic Dragons will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Having a decent crack, having the best team jackets and showing everyone how to drink beer.

 

Image may contain: 15 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

 

French Coqs

Coach: Andrew Unsworth
Captain: Sylvain Maylie

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

As we are one of the few winter leagues in Europe, we are fresh from a closely fought championship in France. It will be interesting to see the difference as the Euro Cup is usually pre-season for us, not post-season.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

All CNFA clubs are represented. We have four players from the ALFA Lions in Lyon, which would have been five if it wasn’t for a late change due to injury. It has been great to see the rapid development of the team there.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

We have four players making their Euro Cup debuts. Of those, two are exciting youngsters and two that have previously represented France in international fixtures.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

We are coming off a strong performance on ANZAC Day against the Australians, so expect to see cohesion from the group and a more attacking brand of footy.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team?

Euro Cup is always a great chance to mix with our comrades from throughout Europe. On the field, it is also an important benchmark of where we are with the development of our skills and game style.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

Over the last few years, we have played some great footy but have not been able to sustain it for the full tournament. If we can apply ourselves for long enough, the sky is the limit!

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

One of our most experienced players Anthony Girard has been in career best form of late. Also, youngsters Clement Decaux, Thibaut Sorin and Julien Lefebvre all impressed in their first ever ANZAC cup earlier this year.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

It has been a dramatic few weeks in the CNFA with the final ladder positions decided by percentage and then both semi-finals were won in the dying moments by Paris Cockerels against Paris Cockatoos and Stade Toulouse against Lyon. Then the Grand Final was washed out over the weekend when a storm that caused widespread chaos and flash flooding in France forced the final to be rescheduled in September. 

The French Coqs will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Kicking a goal after the siren to win the final. That’s every footballer’s dream, right? And of course the celebratory Pacquito!

 

Image may contain: 12 people, people smiling, people standing, grass, stripes, outdoor and nature

 

Women’s Competition:

German Eagles

Coach: Emily McKie
Captain: Theresa Kresse

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

After the national team players were chosen by our coach at the selection day, the squad for the Euro Cup and an additional development squad went to a training camp together. The program involved activities to get to know your teammates, team bonding and tactics for the games in Sweden.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

Four out of six German women’s clubs are represented in the National Team. Those clubs are the Berlin Crocs, Frankfurt Redcats, Hamburg Dockers and Rheinland Lions.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

Seven players will make their Euro Cup debuts this year.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

Throughout the last year, when the Australian Football League in Germany for the women really took off we have seen a massive increase in the quantity of ladies willing to play this sport, but more importantly the quality too. This increased quality obviously translates into the selection of national players. Therefore it is safe to say the overall skills and technique is at a much higher level than it was last year.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team?

Having the chance again to play in the Euro Cup presents itself as another opportunity to proliferate us as a relatively “young” team in Europe. This means that it is equally a tournament for us to give everything we’ve got but also to learn.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

The expectations of the girls are very diverse. But as a team, we have the expectations to deliver a good quality of the game and be able to demonstrate on what we have worked on the previous months. Moreover, having the chance to play against “more experienced” teams like England, Ireland and Sweden with the possibility to grow as a team and challenge ourselves physically and mentally.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

I think everyone on this team deserves to be mentioned here. We have a terrific mix of girls with a fantastic set of skills and ambition. However, I think it is pretty clear that the other teams and coaches should look out for Theresia Meißner (Tinna) who went to Dublin just a few weeks ago for the Cross Coders. Jennifer Englisch, who is new to the sport, but convinced everyone with her abilities that partially come from her time in the Judo National team and then there are some of our more “experienced” players like Elisabeth Maxeiner, our Vice Captain and Elisabeth Zengerling, who are not just sharing the same name, but also the same eagerness for the ball.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

In our team, we have quite a few girls with the same or similar names. We´ve got two Annika´s, two Elisabeth´s, who happen to have the same nickname too (Elli), and one Theresia and Theresa. This was a conscious decision by our coach in order to confuse the other team when calling out instruction during the game and to simplify the process of giving orders while being at Starbucks as a team!

Germany will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Bringing home a medal.

 

Liam McAllion – AFL Europe

Match of the Round

Paris Cockerels v Stade Toulousain (CNFA)

15/06/2019  Parc De Parilly  16:00

As we near the end of a thrilling season, the 2019 CNFA Grand Final is finally upon us.

Reigning CNFA champions, the Paris Cockerels will face Stade Toulousain who are in their debut season following a merger at the beginning of the season. These two hard working teams are a certain to make for a thrilling match-up.

The Cockerels will go into this match-up quietly confident after being in this exact position last year before going on to win the Premiership and then gain further experience at the 2019 Champions League.

Their time spent under pressure and in big games will definitely help them in what is certain to be a pressure filled occasion on the weekend.

The success of this Paris Cocks club has been prevalent in recent years, having made the Grand Final in each of the last 10 seasons and winning the competition five times. A clear demonstration that they a powerhouse of the CNFA.

Team captain Pierre Boscart talks to their strengths, the reasons behind their success and what they will bring to this Grand Final.

“We are a consistent team that’s always rising and always want to be first on the ball, giving a lot of pressure to our opponent…having a tall player in each part of the ground is also an asset of ours.”

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, sky, grass, tree, outdoor and nature

Stade Toulousain have gelled extremely well in their first season and seem to get over the line in the close games.

Winning the semi final over the season leaders of the ALFA Lions by two points, Stade Toulousain have been itching to get back to the big dance for the first time since Toulouse made the Grand Final in 2014.

Stade Toulousain coach, Emilien Martinez, was not concerned by the fact that his players will be the less experienced side on the day, instead seeing this as a real positive and opportunity for his team.

“For most of our players this will be their first Grand Final, I would say this can be our best strength, we simply have no legacy to handle,” said Coach Martinez.

Pride in the club and the city you play for is a big part of any sport, Cockerels captain Pierre Boscart explains this is a major factor for their team in relation to Australian Football in Paris.

“We owe it to our friends, the Paris Cockatoos. They gave us a really hard time in the semi final. We will be very proud to represent not only our team but the whole Paris footy community.”

Image may contain: 15 people, people smiling, people standing, grass, tree, sky, outdoor and nature

The CNFA is forever growing and while teams like Stade Toulousain put in a lot of effort to make it to the Grand Final, they are also going to great lengths to introduce new people to the game and are great ambassadors for AFL Europe.

“We are doing our best to raise the amount of players by doing game initation in schools, open days and being present to any event we are invited to,” said Coach Martinez.

Stade Toulousain have shown this season that they can kick some big scores, through winning the contested ball in the midfield, quick inside 50’s and accuracy in front of goal. They will aim to create another shootout this weekend and will force the Cockerels to kick a big score in order to beat them.

In contrast, the Cockerels have a vast range of size and skill which will allow them to be dominant in the air, whilst also using their pace to burst out of contests. The Cockerels side display different strengths to Stade Toulousain, meaning both teams with have the momentum at different stages throughout the match and will be desperate to capitalise on their opportunities.

With these strengths on show and the recent finals matches involving close scorelines, we will see this encounter come right down to the wire as both sides look to claim the title of CNFA Champion.

 

Liam McAllion – AFL Europe

 

Special thanks to Fine Wine Partners for their support of the growth of the game throughout Europe.

2019 Euro Cup Team Previews: Part Three

With just under three weeks now until the 2019 AFL Europe Euro Cup, this year the tournament will be held in Norrtalje, Sweden for what is set to be a thrilling day of football as national teams from 16 different European countries field their nations best players and over 350 players battle it out for the Cup.

This year’s edition of the Euro Cup will see all the games take place on Saturday the 29th of June. As part of the buildup, AFL Europe will be previewing all the teams competing. In our third edition of the team previews, we will be taking a closer look at the Finland Icebreakers and England Dragonslayers in the men’s side of the competition and in the women’s, the Swedish Ravens.

Men’s Competition:

Finland Icebreakers

Coaches: Steve Phillips and Wyatt Turner

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

The extremely long distances between our cities mean that a lot of the training has to be done in local groups to minimise travel, so there are weekly training sessions in each city with the players’ respective clubs, then once a month (since March) we’ve been getting together for a combined session, rotating the city each time.

Weather can be a challenge, temperatures are typically well below zero as late as April, so a lot of the training is done indoors in smaller sports halls. As long at the temperature isn’t lower than about minus 15 outdoor training is also possible on artificial grass that’s heated from underneath to stop snow and ice from gathering.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

All three Finnish clubs, the Vaasa Wombats, Helsinki Heatseekers, and Turku Dockers have players in the Finnish team this year.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

None of our squad have ever played for Finland in a Euro Cup, our last appearance at this tournament was in 2013 in Bordeaux. Two of our current players played the last time Finland was at an international tournament, the International Cup in Melbourne in 2014 (IC2014).

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

A team that leaves everything on the field. Finland is a relatively new country to Australian football, but has a proud sporting culture. Our players will give everything they have until the final siren, and will work hard for each other.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team?

This year at the Euro Cup means the end of some long years away from international competition, there is a real excitement among the group that this is the start of a positive period of development for the sport in Finland.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

It’s been six years since we were last at this tournament, so we expect quite a steep learning curve. The squad is excited to see what the challenges of the day offer up, and to have a chance to test ourselves against the best in Europe.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

Joni Kinnari from Vaasa Wombats has been around Finnish footy for many years, and on the field he sets the example for all to follow. Expect to see him putting his body on the line to create opportunities for the players around him.

Alix Kalliojärvi from Turku is one of only two squad members to have played in IC2014, so he brings valuable experience to a very fresh squad. He gives a good physical presence around the ground, and is a strong marking target when he goes forward.

Aku Immonen, from Helsinki, also brings International Cup experience to the squad. Aku is a no nonsense defender who never gives up ground in a contest, and acts as a linchpin in the Finnish backline.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

The whole squad will travel together by ferry to Sweden the night before the tournament. The trip takes 12 hours and the onboard activities are limited, so we’re expecting to arrive in Sweden well acquainted with one another – hopefully not too well acquainted.

The Finland Icebreakers will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Giving their absolute best on and off the field, and for their Finnish ‘sisu’ – an untranslatable Finnish word that means courage, guts, determination and resilience all rolled into one.

 

England Dragonslayers

Coach: Dean Thomas

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

With the domestic and GB calendar packed this year, this group have not trained together as an isolated group. At GB level many of them have trained together several times this year, as well as at club level. This combined with club fixtures has the boys physically prepared for the event.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

Seven clubs are represented (Manchester 4, Wolverhampton 5, Nottingham 2, Birmingham University 1, North London 2, Wimbledon 1, West London 1)

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

Six players will be making their Euro Cup debuts. Jack Coughlan, Luke Carrigan, Paddy Lawson, Adam Reed, Adam Kelly and Sam Walon.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

Look for some quick and adventurous ball movement. We are not a big side in stature, however this group is rapid across the ground, so expect to see them taking the game on with some eye catching passages of play.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team?

For these players it means a lot. They get to test themselves against some of the best players in Europe. There is an existing camaraderie for these players via their Great Britain team connection. A trip like this gives them an opportunity to further develop that bond for England.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

We expect a closely contested tournament. Others might go in as warm favourites, but the nine a side format allows for unpredictable results. Every team has a chance if they get off to quick starts. Our boys will enjoy coming in as underdogs.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

All of them. Everyone of them brings a unique trait to the group. The beauty of this group is that if an opposition focus on one or two of our well known players there are 14 or 15 others who will get under their guard.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

Spend an hour engaging with the two Andy’s (Cochran and Walkden) also known as B1 and B2 and walk away without scratching your head. I’ll buy a drink for anyone who can converse with these two for an hour. Conversely attempt to go beer for beer with Myles Hudson if we can pull off the win, he gives it a nudge and you won’t keep up.

The England Dragonslayers will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

The goal and mark of the tournament. Great camaraderie.
Image may contain: 12 people, people smiling, sky, tree, outdoor and nature

Swedish Ravens

Coach: Ryan Davidson

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

We have managed to string a few matches together either with Odense or internally within Sweden. Looking forward to a small round robin with Hamburg and Odense this weekend as a final hit out before the Cup.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

In some way you could say three teams, Port Malmö Lynx being the only full team but Stockholm is now biting at the heels. Eksjö Bulldogs though not having a full team are also contributing significantly this year with three players.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

Four players will be making their debut.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

You can expect to see the unexpected, with a new team developing in Stockholm and therefore the influence of another coach in the system is exciting to see what that brings to the team. National pride is also on the line being at home.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team? 

It’s the biggest event on our calendar especially being at home this year. Being later than the Champions League we have also had time to get a few matches under our belts and get organised. I’m sure this one will mean a lot to all the Swedes and especially the new players that have been given the opportunity to play for their country.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

My expectations of the tournament are that it will be huge. The Norrtälje club is well organised and has a great vibe. Awesome to have it in summer as well. Result wise we don’t have expectations anymore, cliché as it sounds it’s one match at a time and a lot can change during the course of the day. Our expectations is a lot of effort.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

All of them have their own unique traits that will help our team.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

We had a team building weekend in Eksjö a while back, tiny little town out in the forest that has the coolest footy field and the friendliest people. We had a nine a side match then ended up taking joyrides in an old fluorescent green V8 jeep in the countryside, then we visited a dairy farm just for kicks, Swedish Ravens together are family.

The Swedish Ravens will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Giving it everything we’ve got and not giving up.

Image may contain: 15 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

Liam McAllion – AFL Europe

Down Under Centre Partnership continues into third year

For the third consecutive year, the Down Under Centre will continue their partnership with AFL Europe. The Down Under Centre is the one-stop place for all migration advice for those relocating to Australia or New Zealand.

The centre provides information and help with Visas, searching for jobs, banking, removals and other information to help make migration as smooth as possible.

Down Under Centre Founder, Wes Zandt is proud to continue supporting AFL Europe.

“Australian Football is a big part of Australian life; from the age you can hold a footy you want to play Australian Football. Migrating people to Australia is what the Down Under Centre do, explaining to the new arrivals how our great game works helps their transition to the Australian lifestyle and culture,” Zandt said.

Even though Wes has been in London for many years, he still follows his Collingwood team with great passion week in, week out and knows all too well what Australian Football means to many people in Australia.

Having the Down Under Centre continue their partnership will allow for more AFL game development programs take place, which will help to increase the consumption of AFL throughout Europe.

“This is now the third year of our partnership with the Down Under Centre, and we are excited to continue our relationship,” AFL Europe General Manager Ryan Davey said.

“Wes and his team are passionate about Australian culture and understand how important Australian Football is to many people. For them to show that passion and continue supporting us in growing the Australian game here in Europe is fantastic.”

For anyone looking for further information about migrating to Australia or New Zealand, head to www.downundercentre.com or are available to walk into their London office as well as their Sydney and Auckland offices.

Community Spotlight – Fanny Maillet

From missing the Australia way of life to becoming the president of the Paris Cocks and volunteering in AFL Europe for 10 years, Fanny Maillet has been heavily involved with football across Europe.

Her journey with Australia Rules Football in Europe began back in 2008 after she had just returned from a year over in Australia and was missing the Australian lifestyle.

To try and reconnect with that lifestyle of “meeting new people all the time, drinking beers, chilling out outside and most of all, speaking English”, Fanny was told about the Paris Cocks, her local football side.

Along she went, and she was involved at a voluntary capacity with the club for the next 10 years.

“I never wanted to play (as I’m a swimmer), but I asked the president at the time what I could do to help and he told me they needed some money,” she said.

“So, I started a “buvette” (drinks and food) during each home game and I started looking for sponsors. I then joined the office, started the feminine section of the club, worked with our federation, volunteered with AFL Europe and became president of the Cocks.”

She retired last year, after 10 years of volunteering with the club, but she still has her membership and has offered to volunteer as a pitch manager for AFL Europe in 2019.

Joining the Paris Cocks was more about the social side to Fanny, as she has loved being involved with the team.

“I love watching AFL but definitely the social side attracted me to the Paris Cocks. The possibility of meeting people from all over the world and travelling with the team,” she said.

Being involved with the Cocks has also benefitted Fanny in her working career, as she has managed to get a job for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

On top of the “buvette” and being head of the feminine section, some of the other tasks she was involved with at the Cocks included organising away trips, organising logistics at home games, responsible for social parties, and was one of the main women responsible for putting together the European Crusaders for the International Cup in 2017.

“We worked on this for over a year but being able to put a team together and to find sponsors who entirely paid for accommodation, food and equipment was probably one of my biggest achievements,” she said.

Being involved with the game for so long means Fanny has seen football evolve in Europe.

“I’m really confident they [AFL Europe] will continue to grow and more lights on AFL in Europe. Who knows, maybe the next big AFLW or AFL star will come from a European club!” Fanny said.

With her role in French football and also as an organiser of female football around Europe, Fanny helped organise the Gallia Cup, an all-female football tournament in Paris that was played on the 9thof March this year. It was a historic day for football, as it was the first female-only competition to be played in Europe.

Having stepped down from her volunteering roles at the Paris Cocks, Fanny will be missed along with her experience and passion for the game. However, she will still be around and involved with the game, which can only be a good game for the sport in France and also for her too as she does it for the love of being a part of the club.

Angus Boyle – AFL Europe

Belushi’s Presents: Player Spotlight – Stefan Burgener

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. 

Not many people who grew up in Australia can say that their first proper Australian football game was in Europe, but with an interesting story to tell, this was the case for Stefan Burgener.

The Auskick program is a rite of passage for many Australians and Stefan was involved in this when younger, sporting his Essendon Bombers gear.

Stefan is a real advocate for AFL in Europe and is a major key to the game’s growth across a record number of European countries in 2019.

Moving to Switzerland over 10 years ago with his family, Stefan was initially involved with soccer and rugby in Winterthur.

“In 2016, after failing to find any active footy clubs in Switzerland, I decided to try to start a team in Winterthur, with the goal of sending a Swiss national team to a Euro Cup.”

While starting a club from scratch on the other side of the world may seem daunting to some, Stefan and a few good mates quickly managed to successfully launch the Winterthur Lions in 2017. Since then, the club have gone on to play in two consecutive Champions League tournaments and join the inaugural AFL Switzerland league this season.

Stefan was also the driving force behind the Swiss national team, fielding a side in the 2017 and 2018 Euro Cup events and providing many of their Swiss-born players with their first ever games of Australian football.

“After we’d started training and attended our first Euro Cup, I never really considered stopping. This is what I had wanted for years and it probably makes it even more exciting for me that I started it myself with a few mates.”

With the new Swiss league now up and running, Stefan continues to be a driving force behind the scenes but relishes the opportunity to be on the field more often. Stefan particularly enjoys representing his country on a national level and being a leader on the field at the annual Euro Cup.

“Kicking and tackling are some of my strengths and I also like to think that my leadership has improved over the last couple of years.”

Stefan and the Swiss Wolves will take on the rest of Europe in Norrtalje at the 2019 Euro Cup later this month.

Liam McAllion – AFL Europe

Special thanks to Belushi’s for helping grow the game in Europe

 

2019 Euro Cup Team Previews: Part Two

Women’s Competition:

Croatian Queens

Coach: Matea Sedlaček
Captain: Ana Vuković

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

This year the players had a lot of training with their clubs, and with Euro Cup coming closer the national team is starting to train together more and more. In the month of June, we are completely dedicated to preparations for Sweden.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

We have two women clubs in Croatia this year, we could say finally. Since that is the case, the quality of women’s footy in Croatia has risen immensely, girls have played many matches and the intensity to win a game is great in the national championship. We hope that it will just translate to all the matches in Sweden and that girls will be able to show what their capacities are.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

Five of the girls are gonna make their debuts.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

You can expect to see more aggressiveness and skills than before since that is what experience of this year’s matches so far has shown to us.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team? 

It is by far the most important competition for us. Every girl is especially proud to wear the national jersey. In Croatia generally, national sports are highly popular, and every sportsman dream is to be in selected national team sometime in life.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

My expectations, or at least – hopes, is to reach semifinals, as the team already has two times before, and from then on, anything is possible.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

Ana Vuković has definitely grown up as a player, and although she is one of the youngest, already has a lot of experience and is proudly being the captain of the team this year. We should also mention our defence players Dina Bednar and Marija Kos, and some debutantes like Antonia Kablar and Dea Dam which surely have a lot to offer.

The Croatian Queens will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for..

Great games of course!