Tuesday Around the Grounds

Coyotes claim Minor Premiership of CNFA champs

The Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes have wrapped up the minor premiership of the CNFA Championship sitting 3 points clear of perennial top of the table side, the Paris Cockerels.

The Coyotes claimed top spot after final round opponents, the Toulouse Hawks forfeited, and are now in the box seat to claim the major premiership when season 2015/16 of the CNFA Championships comes to a conclusion in a few weeks’ time.

Wildcats school Lions on home turf in AFL London Grand Final rematch

The much anticipated Grand Final rematch unfortunately ended in a blow out with the Wildcats running over the Lions by 87 points.

Wildcat’s, Jared Risol and Andy Challis receive notable mentions for the tireless hard work and their combined 9 goals.

The Lions sit in a similar position as they did in 2015, however, they’ll need to put in the hard yards from Round 5 onwards to ensure they have a chance at defending their title.


Scoreboard leans in favour of Milan Eagles in Pisa friendly

The Milan Eagles took the chocolates against the Roma Football Club in a demo match between the two Italian clubs in Pisa at the weekend.

A couple of accidents within the first 5 minutes had Roma on the backfoot and were unable to get back in the game eventually going down 120 to 23.

A special shoutout for Josip Kravar for his help and insight along with all involved in getting this great exhibition up and running.

Roma v Milan

Port Malmo’s big day out

A massive day of Aussie Rules was had by all out at Port Malmo at the weekend.

3 huge games of football were played. First up were the Mini Maulers side who had a great hit out in the lead up to the big show down between the Port Malmo Maulers and Odense Lions. The Maulers ran out convincing winners 172-9.

The final game of the day was played between the Port Malmo women’s side, the Lynx, and some of the Mauler’s who backed up from their game previously.

Great day out for all showing the amazing growth and development in of AFL in Sweden.

Port Malmo

Oslo East sweeps West and Ås aside in Kenguru Cup opener

Oslo’s Eastside squad proved it will be the team to beat in Kenguru Cup 2016 after scoring strong wins in a high quality round one under sunny skies at Voldslokka.

Playing with a mixture of new and old faces, the East shrugged off an indifferent start against Oslo West in the first game to run out convincing winners 61 to 18.

Game two saw the Easties teach an inexperienced Ås side the finer points of contested, skilled football, and another comfortable win, 53 to 13.

In the evening’s final fixture, West took on and conquered the Ås side, which was ably helped out with some extra players from East. The closest contest of the night saw Ås start brilliantly and head into the half-time break up by eight points. West responded however, and hit back with a flurry of second half goals to put the result beyond doubt. Final scores were West 51, Ås 28.

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Copenhagen Barracudas go pink to fight cancer

The Barracudas host the Odense Lions in their 2016 Ladies Day Picnic.

Its what’s set to be a great day of Aussie Rules so make sure you get on down and support the fight against cancer whilst sipping ‘champagne in the sun, watching sweaty guys in tight shorts and tucking into a lovely BBQ’. Can’t beat that on a spring Saturday afternoon.

Jump on over to the event page if you’re in the area.



Ben Durance

AFL Europe Match of the Round

North London Lions vs West London Wildcats, Saturday 21st May, 3:00pm – Albert Road Recreation Ground, Bounds Green, London.

The West London Wildcats went into last year’s AFL London Grand Final as raring hot favourites only to have their hopes spoiled by underdogs, the North London Lions. The Wildcats were dominant throughout the 2015 season and were expected to easily account for the boys from North London. The Lions had other ideas and eventually came away with the Premiership, claiming victory by a solitary point.

This Saturday sees the two teams square off again for the first time since the showcase event last season. Both teams have had changes to personnel in the off-season and have started their respective 2016 campaigns in typical fashion.

The Lions have started off season 2016 with wins against the London Swans and Wimbledon Hawks before going down to the Wandsworth Demons in a fierce hit-out last weekend. Nik Schoenmakers has been pivotal in the ruck and provides the Lions midfield with first use at most stoppages. He’ll be looking to link up with the ever present Eamon Jenkins who has also been in a rich vein of form providing a great mix of inside grunt and outside leg speed for the Lions midfield.

The Lions will be hoping Captain Ben Quick will recover in time from a niggling knee injury he suffered in last week’s game as he could be the difference between the two sides come Saturday. His leadership and strong marking across the half-back line is vital to the Lions success.

It’s been a long, cold London winter for the West London boys pondering what could of been and this weekend’s Grand Final rematch provides them with the opportunity for a little bit of redemption. They started off their 2016 campaign with a point to prove and took out the AFL Europe Champions League and AFL London Pre-Season Cup with ease. Despite a tight loss to the Demons in round 1 of the regular season they easily accounted for the Putney Magpies and Wimbledon Hawks.

No doubt Lloyd Williams has racked up the fines at the Cattery for his constant mentions in AFL Europe media but it’s hard to go past the silky half-back and his game-changing ability. He’ll need to be stopped by the boys from the North and will be expecting some close attention from his opposition in an attempt to limit his impact on the game.

Evan Duryea will be hoping to continue his goal-scoring ways on the weekend after putting through 14 majors in the past two weeks for the Wildcats. A massive game from ruckmen, Jared Risol, will be needed to negate the influence of Schoenmakers. This match-up will be key to the result of the game.

Both teams are going to come out firing come 3pm Saturday. There’s going to be some real feeling in this one with physicality and contested footy set to determine the outcome between these two fierce rivals. If the Pre-Season Cup is anything to go by it could be on for young and old with emotions set to be running high.

If you’re looking for a game to watch in London this weekend, then make your way to Albert Road Recreation Ground, this one is set to be a thriller.

Free Stuff!

AFL Europe has done a big clean out of the store room and has realised we have old kit and merchandise to give away. It’s a first come first serve* basis on Wednesday 25th May, 7pm at the AFL Europe office in Australia House (entrance via the corner of Melbourne Pl & The Strand).

Come, have a beer (we also found Coopers!) and a chat with the AFL Europe team and pick up some free stuff!

We apologise to those outside of London, as our office is located here its an open invitation to anyone in the community that is in London that evening.

** Please do not arrive before 7pm as it is an office building and we don’t wish to disrupt the other employees.



Koningsdag, or Kings Day in the Netherlands is a big deal. The country turns out in their thousands, wearing orange and ready to party. So what better excuse is there to host a match to celebrate this special day on the footy field! This year the Dutch Australian Football Association (DAFA) hosted the inaugural Koningsdag Cup, which saw the Netherlands National team, the Flying Dutchmen, take on the Aussies from the Amsterdam Devils. The lines were being marked an hour before the first bounce with hail crashing down from the skies and the Flying Dutchmen were licking their lips at the prospect of taking on the Aussies in truly unpredictable Dutch weather. Unfortunately for the Dutchies the sun split open the clouds like a free-flowing Hawthorn passage of play and the game was on with sunny skies and a slight chill in the air. 
The Aussies started the game strongly, turning early possessions into goals and the scoreboard was ticking over nicely. The Dutchies were struggling to get into the game until late in the first quarter when a number of turnovers and possessions turned into three quick goals. The first quarter finished up with the Aussies in front by 14 points, 3.1.19 to 5.3.33 and this was as close as the Dutchies got for the rest of the game. The Aussies let their experience and skills do the talking, kicking another 33 points in the second quarter, 34 points in the third and a whopping 49 points in the fourth quarter. The score at the final siren was 7.4.46 to 23.11.149 and the Aussies from the Amsterdam Devils lifted the inaugural Koningsdag Cup. 
With the sun still putting on a remarkable show, the lads pulled out the BBQ for the first time this season and finished the day off with a delightful selection of burgers, hot dogs and potato salad, washed down with a few chilled beers. 
The inaugural Koningsdag Cup was a success, and the Dutchies will be looking for revenge on May 21 when the sides meet again.
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Written by Neil Cooke for AFL Europe

AFL Europe Championship 2016

The AFL Europe Championship will take place in London from August 13th – 20th 2016 with the Men’s matches running from Sunday – Saturday and the Women’s running from Thursday – Saturday. More information to be released Monday 16th May.

Confirm your teams attendance and for more information on deals with accommodation and travel contact Sarah Ongarello at sarah.ongarello@afleurope.org

Australia take out the 8th annual Anzac Cup  

The 8th annual Anzac Cup took place on the weekend in the incredible town of Villers-Bretonneux, France. This commemorative event takes place every year, on the very grounds in which the Australian’s played an important part in reclaiming the town from the Germans 98 years ago. It may not be as long running as the annual Essendon v Collingwood Anzac clash but the bond forged year after year between the teams is immeasurable.

2016 saw the first full women’s match take place at Stadium Timmerman. Improving on Australian numbers from last year, the Australian Spirit took on the French National Women’s team in the 9-a-side match. Whilst the match was hard fought the Aussies came out on top. With the French donning a few last minute injuries, Aussie player Anna Pitt, who is currently playing for the ALFA Lions in Lyon, showed incredible sportsmanship by jumping over to the French team to the round the numbers.

All players went out and gave it all their all, playing with unbelievable spirit, however, the Best on Ground honours went to Belinda Jolly for Australia and Camille Portal for France.

Q1       AUS     3.6.24             FRA     0.1.1

Q2       AUS     7.9.51             FRA     0.3.3

Q3       AUS     11.10.76         FRA     0.5.5

Q4       AUS     16.11.107      FRA     0.5.5

AUS GOAL KICKERS: Emma-Jane Pinyon 7, Hayley ‘Noodle’ Canton 3, Belinda Jolly 2, Sarah Townsend 2, Gemma Kaslar 1, Jessie Hayes 1.


Click here for a full match report


The men’s match begun with the Australian’s holding four wins to the French’s three, over the course of the Anzac Cup. After the amount of spirit the women’s match was played in, the anticipation was high for the men’s match. With the Australian team being made up of those connected to the Anzacs, WWW and the Picardie region, the nature of the game was more about camaraderie than winning. The passionate match had the Aussie’s take home their 5th Anzac Cup win and a bond that will last a lifetime.

The teams fought hard and had a relatively even spread across the board, however, Australian, Ben Quick managed to come off the backline and kick 10 goals, earning himself Best on Ground. Frenchman, Herve Desjardin earned the same honours with his aggressive and skilled approach to the game.

Q1       AUS     5.3.33             FRA     1.1.7

Q2       AUS     9.7.61             FRA     4.4.28

Q3       AUS     18.9.117         FRA     6.6.42

Q4       AUS     22.11.143      FRA     8.10.58

AUS GOAL KICKERS: Ben Quick 10, Tom Rischbieth 4, Augustine Patti 3, Gerard Bourke 2, Josh Walker 1, Phil Zadona 1, Terry Unitt 1.

FRA GOAL KICKERS: Max Favero 2, Florian Vidal 2, Vincent Monnier 2, Baudouin Germond 1, Julien Dagois 1.

Click here for a full match report


A huge thank you to our Anzac umpires, Brent Kanowski and Nilss Lode, who did an excellent job on both matches. Also a special mention goes to our enthusiastic and vibrant goal umpires, Jay Treloar and Mitchell Thompson who also excelled in both the men’s and women’s matches.

umpires website

Anzac Cup – Men’s Match Report

Men’s Match

The 8th Annual ANZAC Cup, played in Villers-Bretonneux, France, was for the first time played following an official women’s match. If the women’s game was anything to go by this match was going to be a nail-biter.

The French side had a shaky lead up to this year’s game with a few late withdrawals causing some selection headaches for coach and Aussie expat, Andrew Unsworth. However, with the majority of their side having played together previously they were always going to ask some serious questions of the more fancied Australian outfit.

The first 10 minutes of the game were an arm wrestle. The Australian’s skills let them down and the French pressure added to those skill errors making their more experienced rivals look nervous with ball in hand.

Veteran, Adam Pearce, steadied the ship in the midfield with big ruckmen, Augustine Patti, opening the scoring for the Australians.

This didn’t deter the French side with their physicality and brutality around the contest keeping them well and truly in the game.

The match started to open up with both teams scoring at will. Fullback turned Full-Forward, Ben Quick, from Australia was too much for the French to handle, bagging a handful of goals in the first half.

Oliver Howard repelled the French attack and got the Aussies out of trouble on numerous occasions with his raking left foot.

The teams were only separated by a few goals going into the main break and on a small field the game could still go either way.

Only those within the inner sanctum know exactly what mercurial coach, Jason ‘Coach’ Cameron, said to the boys at the break but whatever it was it seemed to spark them into gear.

The game opened up for the Aussies. Kicks were hitting targets, tackles were sticking, and Big Ben Quick kept putting the ball through the big sticks

Dale Cox was a barometer for the Australians and despite leaving his passport back in London on the trip over, he certainly didn’t leave his kicking boots at home. Cox was lacing out kicks at will, not too unlike the lethal left of Stewy Dew circa 2008 Hawthorn Premiership year.

The Aussies ran away with it in the third piling on 9 unanswered goals. The premiership quarter proved just that with the French running out of steam and unable to close the gap.

Best on ground honours went to Ben Quick from Australia who finished the day with an incredible 10 goals. Not a bad return for a player who started the match at fullback. The French best on ground was awarded to Herve Desjardin who worked tirelessly all day and never gave up consistently putting on big hits and tackles making sure the Aussies had to work for every possession.

Final Scores

Australia: 22.11.143

France: 8.10.58

ben website herve website


Anzac Cup – Women’s Match Report

The first official ANZAC Cup between the Australian and French women took place on a cold Saturday afternoon in the small town of Villesr-Bretonneux. After a scratch match between the two countries last year on the same weekend this year’s instalment was set to be a scintillating encounter.

In a sign of respect both sides lined up to sing the national anthems and shortly after the first women’s match played between Australia and France was underway.

The two sides started at a frantic pace. Right from the first bounce the skills and intensity were incredible. Belinda Jolly, the Australian teams token Kiwi, was dominant in the middle of the park, everything she touched turned to gold.

Full-Forward, Emma-Jane Pinyon, was wreaking havoc in the fifty-meter arc bagging a handful of early goals.

The Australian’s gained the ascendancy from the first bounce and looked like a team that had played seasons together. They went into the main break with a good lead. The French still had a glimmer of hope and their ferocity around the ball provided them with a chance.

A third quarter, 3 goal blitz up forward from Australia’s, Hayley ‘Noodle’ Canton, put the game out of reach for the French side.

The scoreboard didn’t reflect the contest at hand, with the French being more than competitive through the midfield with Camille Portal & Claire Pérez toiling hard all day. They simply lacked polish and structure going forward.

The intensity around the football was immense all day and the French, with limited substitutions, never gave up. The more experienced Aussies capitalised and continually sling-shotted the ball from their half-back line in many an attacking foray.

Notable mentions must go to Aussie Rules newcomer Fliss Moffatt, from Australia, whose adept ruck work and marking proved pivotal in providing an advantage for the Aussies and Claire Pérez from the French, who never gave up in the midfield.

Best on ground honours went to Belinda Jolly for Australia and Camille Portal for France. Both girls were clear stand outs for their respective sides and were crucial to their teams getting first use of the ball from the midfield.

Final scores

Australia: 16.11.107

France: 0.5.5

bel website french website

2016 Anzac Cup

Australians and the residents of Villers-Bretonneux forged an inadvertent relationship following the many historical engagements of the First World War, that the Western Front of France reluctantly played theatre to.

This bond was made late in the First World War, where VB became heavily involved in 1918. The German advance on Amiens ended with the capture of the nearby village of VB, cutting the supply of a major north-south rail line. The successful capture occurred on a second attempt by the Germans and succeed on the 24th of April.

Within hours of the towns capture two Australian brigades were rushed onto the front lines to recapture VB. The battle played out overnight and by dawn of April 25th the Germans began evacuating. The threat to Amiens was over but Australian casualties amassed to more than 2400.

There are 10,738 Australian Serviceman officially commemorated by the Villers-Bretonneux War Memorial and named within the register.

The turmoil experienced during the First World War continued to strengthen companionship between the two nations. A lasting show of respect is displayed in the VB Victoria School where a sign reads ‘Do Not Forget Australia’.

The Victoria School was constructed in 1923-1927 as a gift from the children of Victoria, Australia as a sign of gratitude and respect to those whose served on the Western Front and the immense relationship between the town of VB and Australia forged during those tumultuous years.

On the 23rd of April 2016 a dedicated group of Australian and French, men and women will be gracing the hallowed turf of Villers-Bretonneux, They will take part in an Australian Rules Football match to commemorate the lifelong bond between the two nations. This year will be the 8th Annual ANZAC Spirit Game. It what has fast become a great show camaraderie and mateship between the two nations, further solidifying the long history we both share.

 2016 Anzac Cup Programme

Ben Durance





Anzacs to be remembered in special northern France match

This long weekend presents us with another ANZAC Day, when we mark the landing of the First Australian Imperial Force at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915. We also give thanks and remember all those who have served our nation during war and peace time operations.

Thanks to the annual Essendon-Collingwood ANZAC Day match, footy has been partially woven into the fabric of this special day, with many suburban and country leagues now having a feature match on the national day of commemoration.

Image: AFL Europe

Female footballers have also chosen to honour this special date in our calendar, and not just at home through the annual Australian Defence Force vs VWFL All-Stars match.

On the other side of the world, women representing Australia and France will meet in a match in northern France to not only mark the weekend of the Gallipoli landings, but also the important role Australians played on the western front that weekend 98 years ago.

The Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux saw the German 2nd Army attack with mustard gas and high explosive rounds on the evening of April 23, 1918. The village was taken by morning, making the railway junction of Amiens vulnerable to capture.

However, the Australian 13th and 15th Brigades created an envelope attack and surrounded the village just 24 hours later, isolating the Germans despite being outnumbered. With help from the British, the Australians recaptured Villers-Bretonneux on April 25, three years on from Gallipoli.

A special bond has been formed between that village comprised of approximately 4,000 people and Australia since that day. After the war, the local school was rebuilt from donations by school children from Victoria. Out of respect, the phrase N’oublions jamais l’Australie’ – ‘Let us never forget Australia’ – was marked on every school blackboard.

Villers-Bretonneux is also the site of the Australian War Memorial in France, the resting site of more than 770 Australian and other British Empire soldiers who fought in that campaign.
One of the women to take part in the ANZAC Cup match is London-based Australian and Wandsworth Demons premiership footballer, Kate Grabowski.

“I first heard about this game because a couple of our [Wandsworth] Demons girls played in it last year,” Grabowski told Girls Play Footy.

“The experience they had was quite incredible and they said they had such an amazing time.

“So I decided to do this because it is a very special weekend, as a lot of Australians can appreciate.”

Selection for the Australian side in the match was not just based on ability, but AFL Europe’s desire to know what ANZAC Day meant personally to each player.

“Although I’m second generation Australian, my grandparents came over from Poland; they escaped World War 2,” Grabowski explained.

“For me, ANZAC Day is quite special because every year they used to march in the ANZAC Day parade in Sydney. We used to watch them every year and it was quite an amazing experience for me.

“War has affected so many people in so many different ways, and I know that although they’re not with me at the moment, they would be so proud of me representing Australia on this special weekend.”

One of the players representing the French national team on this special weekend is Berengere Portal, who discovered the game when she visited Australia a few years ago.

“When I got back to France, I found a team in Paris and just fell in love with the game,” Portal told Girls Play Footy.

“We have three or four games a year and we try to play more and more because of the Championships next year.”

For Portal and her fellow teammates, the occasion of ANZAC Day and what it means to Australians is not lost on them.

“It’s a great honour to take part in this event because I think it’s very important to be grateful for the Australians and New Zealanders who sacrificed their lives for our country.

“It’s a big event for the year [for Villers-Brettoneux], so it’s very important to organise this.

“They have maybe a few hundred people in this town and they love this event.”

The weekend for both the Australian and French men’s and women’s sides is filled to the brim. The matches will be played on Saturday, while Sunday will be spent with local families and visiting the War Memorial. The trip will be concluded on the Monday with the dawn service.

With just two years until the centenary of the Second Battle of Villers-Brettoneux, no doubt more Australian female footballers will consider making the trip and pulling on the boots for a game in this special place in our nation’s history.



Originally posted on: http://www.girlsplayfooty.com/2016/04/anzacs-to-be-remembered-in-special.html