Player of the Week – Daniel O’Connell

AFL Europe Player of the Week

Each week AFL Europe is profiling a European player and finding out how they got into the great game of Aussie Rules and a bit about themselves. If you’d like a profile or know of someone who would, then email admin@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet.

 

Daniel O’Connell has been instrumental in his first year at the Leeside Lions. Currently 8 from 8 this season Daniel has been nominated as Player of the Week by Richard MacSweeney who wished to acknowledge his role in the club’s success.

An enthusiastic and skilled player for the Leeside Lions, we look forward to hearing how you and the Lions go for the remainder of the Season! Good luck!

 

Name:

Daniel O’Connell

Club:

Leeside Lions

Nationality:

Irish

What position do you play?

Anywhere in the forward line, I’d like to think I have a great eye for goal.

AFL team you support:

Carlton Blues

Favourite AFL player:

Ciaran Sheehan of the Carlton Blues, a fellow Muskerry & Cork man.

How did you find out about AFL?

Through my brother Padraic, who is actually my sporting idol, he started playing a couple of years ago.

How long have you been playing for?

This is my first year playing the game but I love it.

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

In my first game this season, still unsure of the rules, the ball came in over the fullbacks head, all I had to do was catch it and be left with a couple of metres to kick, it was a guaranteed major. Instead of this, as the ball floated in I leapt like a salmon and flung my arms in the air in the direction of the oncoming Sherrin.

I connected perfectly, and had just done a Maradonna “Hand of God” style goal, punching the footy over the line. Proud as anything I turned around, expected to be congratulated by my teammates but was only met with amusement and laughter from them and the opposition. All I could do was laugh, now I know for sure I can’t punch the ball over the goal line.

Best AFL moment?

Scoring my first “legitimate” goal for the Leeside Lions

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

The guys in the club have a song about me and my brother to the tune of the Toure brothers song (Kolo Toure , Yaya Toure).

It goes like, “Danny, Danny Connell, Danny Connell, Paudie Connell, Paudie, Paudie Connell” on repeat for about an hour straight.

After a game I also like to chill my baby wipes in the fridge before using them, it’s my little treat.

Tuesday Around the Grounds

Hawks make history and raise funds for St Barnabas House

The Wimbledon Hawks made history at the weekend at their annual Ladies Day. The Hawks took on the North London Lions across all three grades which saw their Premiership and Women’s sides getting the victory and their Social men’s drawing. These results confirmed all three sides making the finals for the first time ever at the same time.

Massive congratulations to the Hawks who also raised an astonishing £800 for St Barnabas House as part of the Ladies Day. A great achievement both on and off the field for the Wimbledon club.

Wimbledon Hawks

Berlin Crocs prove too strong for the traveling Lions

The first round of the AFLG Premiership saw the Berlin Crocs dominate the Rheinland Lions finishing 109 point victors in the Capital. A seven goal to zero opening term all but put the game on ice for the Crocs with forward Luke Edwards finishing up with 8 goals to his name. The final scorecard reading 18.12. 120 to 1.5. 11.

The AFLG Championships also kicked off at the weekend with a huge win by the Hamburg Dockers over the Dresden Wolves, as well as the Frankfurt Redbacks flexing their muscles against SpVgg Freiberg Taipans/Stuttgart Emus.

Crocs v Lions

New Scottish sports star on the horizon

She may have moved from Scotland at the age of 9 but we’ll claim her here at AFL Europe. Jemma Abbott is an up-and-coming AFL Queensland Youth Academy member who has her eyes firmly placed on a spot in one of the AFL Women’s league sides when the national league kicks off next year.

Having represented the Queensland Youth Girls Academy at the National titles in Melbourne earlier this year Jemma could light up the Gabba in the years to come.

Read her full article here:

http://www.aflq.com.au/from-scotland-to-the-gabba/

Jemma Abbott

Bloods share the top with Giants in SARFL

It’s heating up in the Scottish Australian Rules Football League (SARFL) with the Edinburgh Bloods knocking off top placed Greater Glasgow Giants by 80 points at the weekend. This result puts the Bloods level on 16 points with the Giants, with only percent separating the two.

It’s going to be an interesting last couple of weeks in the SARFL with the final makeup of the top four yet to be determined.

Check out the ladder below (as of 9/7/16):

SARFL Table

AFL Europe Umpires Course comes to Sweden

On the 23rd of July AFL Sweden in conjunction with AFL Europe are putting on an Umpiring Course to aid those aspiring to become accredited umpires. Shane Hill will be making the journey from London to run the day which comprises both theoretical and practical elements.

This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in developing their knowledge of the game and is not to be missed. For further details, jump over to the official Facebook event linked below.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1621615481500922/

 

 

Match of the Round

Berlin Crocodiles v Rheinland Lions  

It’s the first game of the German 16-a-side Premiership. Rheinland Lions are making the trip to Berlin to take on the Berlin Crocodiles in what is set to be an intriguing battle between two sides who didn’t meet in the 9-a-side tournament earlier in the year.

The Crocodiles finished that tournament by winning 11 out of a possible 12 games to finish second behind the Munich Kangaroos. The Lions had an indifferent tournament and lacked consistency winning 50% of their games to finish fourth with a 6-12 record.

This weekend’s fixture in Berlin earmarks the start of the 16-a-side Premiership which runs up until the 10th of September when the season culminates with the Grand Final. This year’s format will see 3 teams competing in the larger format which also includes the Munich Kangaroos. The Kangaroos will go into the season as early favourites due to their dominance in the earlier 9-a-side Championship were they didn’t drop a game.

The weekends clash has added importance as the winner will go through to play the Kangaroos in what is effectively a preliminary final with the winner going straight through to the grand final in September.

Berlin 2

The Crocs have improved rapidly in the past few seasons and account this to the development of their internal 9-a-side Berlin tournament which consists of four teams, as well as the commitment from their first home-grown German coach, Constantine Hoher. This will be their first 16-a-side game in over two years which could prove difficult and how quickly they adjust will be key to winning this game.

The key players for the Crocs are their four big recruits for the year in Rhys Ironmonger, Mitch New, Luke Edwards and James Sunderman. All four have played reasonable football back home in Australia and have added real depth and talent to the Berlin list.

Berlin 5

The Lions have had an indifferent season thus far coming into the 16s Premiership and attribute some major team changes since their Premiership season and Champions League appearance in 2014/15 as a major factor for their inconsistency. The positive for the Lions is the fact that their team is made up primarily of young Germans. Despite their inexperience they’re enthusiastic, fit, strong and pushing hard for an all-out assault on the 16s Premiership.

The key players for the Lions are the midfield generals Julian Wichmann and Tobias Menzel. The latter has arrived back from a year exchange in Australia where he further developed his skills and tactics. Richard Huggard is one to look out for as well. Despite living in Australia, Huggard, returns to Germany every 2 years and pulls the boots on. Huggard should provide extra motivation for the young squad by showing his commitment to the team with the great lengths he travels to pull on the mighty Lions jumper.

It’s set to be a blockbuster to open the Germany 16-a-side Premiership season with plenty on the line for both sides. The winner books themselves a place against the Munich Kangaroos and a chance for automatic entry in the Grand Final. If that doesn’t get the two teams excited for this weekend’s blockbuster, then I don’t know what will.

Best of luck to the Berlin Crocs and Rheinland Lions, we look forward to hearing the result of this one.

Coach’s thoughts – Constantine Hoher (Berlin Crocs)

“I’m looking forward to the final and excited to see how we will go in our first 16-a-side match since 2014 (due to the comp being restructured to a 9-a-side format last year). We have a lot of height in our team this year and we are planning to use this to our advantage. So despite the fact they have been a strong team in the last few years I think we can give them good competition at our home ground and hopefully come away with a win.”

 

Coach’s thoughts – Kristopher Marsh (Rheinland Lions)

“The season has been quite up and down for the team so far. Even though skills have improved tremendously since the previous season the team has not always lived up to their potential. However, the squad is in good shape and has been training hard over the past days to work on their consistency. Certainly, motivation won’t be an issue since the boys are looking forward to their favourite away game in the capital.”

Player of the Week – Mathilde Combes

AFL Europe Player of the Week

Each week AFL Europe is profiling a European player and finding out how they got into the great game of Aussie Rules and a bit about themselves. If you’d like a profile or know of someone who would, then email admin@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet.  

Mathilde Combes plays for the Paris Cockerelles in the French League, the CNFA. Jumping onto the Aussie Rules bandwagon due to her brother playing the sport, Mathilde has been a prominent player in the French national team due to the lack of female league in France for now.

Taking part in the first ever Women’s AFL Europe Champions League, AFL Europe looks forward to welcoming Mathilde at Euro Cup in October also!

 

Name:

Mathilde Combes

Club:

Paris Cockerels

Nationality:

French

What position do you play?

Forward

AFL team you support:

West Coast Eagles

Favourite AFL player:

Nic Naitanui

How did you find out about AFL?

My brother used to play, so I tried it at some point

How long have you been playing for?

2 years

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

It was a game against the Wandsworth Demons. We got our ass kicked! I had loads of fun though

Best AFL moment?

The Champions League in Amsterdam. There is no female cup in France at the moment so we got invited as a national team and it was amazing.

 

Tuesday Around the Grounds

The sun shines in Norrtalje for Dockers and Blues

A cracking day of football in the beautiful sunshine in Norrtalje has seen the Norrtalje Dockers and Sodermalm Blues claim victory.  The final scores for the AFL Sweden games saw Norrtalje Dockers 15.11. 101 beat Arsta Swans 5.9. 39 and the Sodermalm Blues 21.8. 134 beating the Bromma Vikings 7.8. 50.

Continuing with the AFL Sweden league and with just over a week into their membership drive sees the clubs doing well so far.

The list of how the clubs are going is as follows:

  1. Norrtalje Dockers – 28 members
  2. Arsta Swans – 24 members
  3. Port Malmo Football Club – 36 members
  4. Sodermalm AFC – 27 members
  5. Solna Axemen – 22 members
  6. Bromma Vikings – 11 members
  7. Helsinborg Saints – 5 members
  8. Gothenburg, Falun, Uppsala – 0 members

Keep up the good work AFL Sweden!

 

Clapham Cubs want you!

The Clapham Cubs are looking for a male to assist with the running of their Sunday Auskick sessions. If you have a passion for growing the game in London, have a clear DBS check and are available on Sunday’s from 11-12pm then contact claphamcubs@gmail.com for more information.

https://www.facebook.com/Clapham-Cubs-861426217276768/?fref=ts

Clapham Cubs

 

ACL rules out Irish talent, Ciaran Byrne for the remainder of the season

Carlton’s Irish import, Ciaran Byrne, has been ruled out for the remainder of season 2016 after rupturing his ACL during Saturday night’s close loss to arch-rivals Collingwood.

It’s terrible news for the 21-year-old halfback who was having a consistent year for the Blues under first-year coach, Brendon Bolton.

Ciaran will undergo surgery in the weeks to come before undertaking an extensive rehabilitation program. All the best Ciaran and we wish you a speedy recovery.

http://www.carltonfc.com.au/news/2016-07-03/scans-confirm-byrne-injury

 

The Flying Dutchmen are back!

The national Australian Rules team for the Netherlands, the Flying Dutchmen, are back on social media and ready to take the AFL Europe community by storm. Not only did they host a game with the Scottish national team in mid-June but rumour has it that they’re trying to rally the troops and make an appearance at the Euro Cup in Lisbon later this year. Fingers crossed!

Jump over to their Facebook and give them a like when you get a chance.

https://www.facebook.com/theflyingdutchmen/?fref=ts

 

Bloods reassert dominance over arch-rivals the Glasgow Sharks in SARFL blockbuster

The Edinburgh Bloods claimed a three goal victory to jump to an early advantage in the SARFL Premiership at the weekend.

It started out as a beautiful day at Leith Park and the scene was set for an absolute thriller. But it was the Bloods who jumped out the blocks early kicking 5.6. 36 to 1.3. 9 to take the heat out of the contest in the first term.

The Sharks weren’t going down without a fight and clawed their way back slowly before a very heavy shower in the third quarter allowed the Bloods to shut up shop and take a close but comfortable three goal victory.

The final scorecard read 13.16. 94 to 10.16. 76 in favour of the Bloods in what was another great instalment of this fierce rivalry.

Bloods v Sharks

AFL Europe Match of the Round

Edinburgh Bloods v Glasgow Sharks

Leith Academy Park plays host to the oldest and fiercest rivalry in the Scottish Australian Rules Football League (SARFL) when the Edinburgh Bloods and Glasgow Sharks lock horns on Saturday.

History favours the Bloods between these two foundation clubs but Season 2016 has these old foes even on 8 competition points with 2 wins and 1 loss. Both sides chalked up victories against the Falkirk Silverbacks and Kingdom Kangaroos although going down to current competition leaders, the Greater Glasgow Giants.

The well-drilled, rigid game plan of the Sharks will need to hold firm if they’re to get the win on Saturday. Having a settled squad with consistent key players holds the Sharks in a good position to execute this game plan and stick to their structures. On the other hand, the Bloods traditionally like to take the game on and play a freer flowing style. A regular at the top of the ladder of the SARFL, the Bloods are a popular destination for expat Australian talent and mixing that with their regular home-grown stalwarts means they are always going to be tough to beat, especially while playing at home.

Despite being even on points the Sharks will go into this match as favorites with some good recruiting in the off-season providing them with the upper hand. James Hancock and Paul McGavin are notable inclusions for Season 2016 but its Sharks Captain, Andy Butler, who is having a stellar year with his strong presence and run out of the back-line.

Players and fans alike pencil in the date for this game each year with the anticipation of the hard-fought game of footy that it always brings. Saturday will be no different and come 1:30pm you can bet both sides with be doing everything they can to come away with the 4 competition points.

3

What the Coach says – Alan ‘Snow’ McSparron, Edinburgh Bloods

“It is always a tough game no matter how both teams are going. We will have to be on our game with the Sharks travelling well this season.”

What the Coach says – Stephen C, Glasgow Sharks

“Of course there is the rivalry aspect to this game but we need to be sure we don’t take our eyes off the ball! We are traveling to Edinburgh to continue our recent good form and come away with the 4 points. These games are always close and I am hoping that our overlap run will provide the catalyst for us to play a strong 4 quarters. “4

Match Details

Leith Academy,

Academy Park, Leith, EH6 8JQ

Ball up 1:30pm BST

Player of the Week – Natascha May

AFL EUROPE PLAYER OF THE WEEK (UK/ROW)

Each week AFL Europe is profiling a European player and finding out how they got into the great game of Aussie Rules and a bit about themselves. If you’d like a profile or know of someone who would, then email admin@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet.

This week’s player profile is on Natascha May from the South East London Giants. Natascha has only been playing the game for a year and a half and found out about the game through a friend who wanted to spend more time together. The ruck with South African and German heritage is relishing her time at the Giants and will be hoping they go far in the AFL London Women’s finals coming up in a few weeks. Best of luck for the rest of the season Natascha.

 

Name:

Natascha May

Club:

South East London Giants

Nationality:

South African/German

What position do you play?

Ruck

How did you find out about AFL?

My Aussie friend Amelia recommended I attend training with the giants as a way for us to catch up and see each other more regularly.

How long have you been playing for?

1.5 years

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

Our first game was a preseason friendly with the Wandsworth Demons. It was a really cold, wet London morning and I had no idea what I was doing. The game was a lot of fun and I knew afterwards that I would love playing AFL.

Best AFL moment?

My best AFL moment so far was playing with the Giants at the London preseason cup that we hosted this year. Our team managed to win 3 of our 4 games and in doing so, we managed to beat all the London ladies teams. It was a really great experience for myself and my teammates and despite the bad weather and playing in swamp-like conditions, we had so much fun! We missed out on the grand final because our percentage was beaten by one of the other teams but we felt like winners at the end of the day.

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Around the Grounds

Around the Grounds

4th time lucky for Kingdom Kangaroos

The monkey is off the back for the Kingdom Kangaroos in Season 2016 after notching up their first victory against the Falkirk Silverbacks in the AFL Scotland Premiership.

After starting the season with three straight defeats the Kangaroos showed they can still have impact in the Scottish League with a commanding 174 to 29 victory. They’ll be hoping to continue this momentum into their next game when they take on the Greater Glasgow Giants.

 

AFL Sweden pushing for growth

AFL Sweden is conducting its very first nationwide membership drive over a three week period from Friday the 24th of June to Sunday the 7th of August.

They’re targeting to reach 600 members with each club in competition to see who can recruit the most members during the three-week campaign.

If you or anyone you know might be interested, then jump over to the AFL Sweden Facebook page or contact them via their website.

http://www.aflsweden.se/2/index.php

https://www.facebook.com/aflsweden/?fref=ts

 

AFL Scotland seeking Head Coach for the Scottish Sirens

AFL Scotland is taking expressions of interest for the role of Coach for the Scottish Ladies National Team to prepare for the upcoming Euro Cup in October and beyond.

For further information, please email secretary@aflscotland.org.

 

Paris Cockatoos claim CNFA Premiership

The Paris Cockatoos are the champions of France after clinching victory from minor premiers, the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes. In what proved a nail-biting affair the Cockatoos ran out the match harder in the final 10 minutes and this cemented the difference. The final scorecard read 110-90 in favour of the new Parisian outfit.

The ‘Toos take the title from big brothers, the Paris Cockerels, in what signifies a shift in power for the clubs in the CNFA.

The day was hosted by the Bordeaux Bombers and ran seamlessly in what was a beautiful day for Aussie Rules. Congratulations to both sides for their valiant efforts and we look forward to following the CNFA in what is fast becoming one of the premier competitions in Europe.

COCKS

 

Ex-AFL star makes ARFLI debut

The Galway Magpies of the ARFLI had a new member to shower in Gatorade at the weekend with former AFL and Collingwood FC star Marty Clarke making his debut at the Belfast carnival.

Clarke’s Magpies beat the home side, the Belfast Redbacks, by 17 points before overcoming the South Dublin Swans by a mere 4 points in an exciting second game.

With 73 games AFL experience with the Collingwood Magpies it would be great to see Marty strutting his stuff in the ARFLI week-in week-out. Who knows, we may even see him don the Irish jumper in upcoming tournaments.

Full article:

Marty Clarke

 

 

 

 

AFL Europe Match of the Round

CNFA Grand Final – Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes v Paris Cockatoos – Bordeaux 25/6/16

The Euros have taken centre stage in France over the past couple of weeks but this weekend all eyes will be on the CNFA Grand Final hosted by the Bordeaux Bombers. Stade Robert Monseau will play host to the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes and the Paris Cockatoos in a battle of the ages in which a new champion will be crowned as the much coveted, CNFA Premiers.

The Coyotes finished the regular season as Minor Premiers, claiming top spot by 3 points ahead of the Parisian pair, the Cockerels and the Cockatoos. They won through to the Grand Final with a 4-point win over the fourth-placed, Toulouse Hawks, in what proved a far tougher game then the minor premiers would’ve liked. The Cockatoos had a massive semi-final showdown in Paris against big brothers and 2014/15 Premiers, the Cockerels. Many expected the Cockatoos to fall short to their more established rivals but grit and determination shone through with a hard-fought 27-point victory.

Both teams will be experiencing a Grand Final for the first time, so the team that settles the nerves first will be a good shout to carry on with the victory. The Coyotes go in with the knowledge that they were the best team all season, however, the Cockatoos were the only team to knock off the Minor Premiers, giving them a slight psychological advantage.

The Coyotes boast a number of players from the French national team and have three of the best from the ANZAC Day showdown with Australia earlier this year in Max, Herve and Billy. Keep an eye on long kicking defender, Kevin, who can be a real game-changer with his run and carry off the halfback line.

The Cockatoos are strengthened by their midfield depth with four quality Frenchmen rotating through the engine room in Dagois, Bouchet, Daniel and Leyson. First use of the footy is crucial so this midfield depth could be a real focal point for the boys from Paris. The Cockatoos rugby connections, Jacob and Kevin, are normally away with work commitments on a Saturday by have shown real promise for recent converts and could prove the difference.

A full day of Aussie Rules action has been organised for the culmination of the CNFA 2015/16 season. A friendly, mixed gender curtain raiser is being played along with a soiree following the Grand Final.

Regardless of the result it’s going to be great seeing two new teams contesting for the top prize the CNFA have to offer. The Bordeaux Bombers and CNFA have organised an amazing day for all to enjoy. This one is expected to be a nail-biter, best of luck to all involved.

Coaches Thoughts – (Hervé Desjardin), Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes

“This game is the result of a long and interesting season. As the Coyotes’ coach, it was my objective to reach the Grand Final. We are going to play against the only team that has beat us during the 2015/2016 Season which will add a little spice to the match. We are clearly the outsider of this event as many of the Cockatoos were part of the 2015 Cockerels premiership team. We are going to give this game 100% and we hope to offer a great game to all our supporters. We are going to focus on our strengths and values: abnegation and determination ! Go Coyotes !”

Coaches Thoughts – Andrew Unsworth, Paris Cockatoos

“Creating a new team was always going to be a bit of a risk… but this group has put all that to bed by reaching the grand final! Hopefully we can go one better against an impressive Cergy outfit that travels well and is always up for a contest. Will be a great day for French footy with the girls also playing. Can’t wait!”