Since their arrival in London on Sunday the 6th, both teams have been working hard, with training sessions for both the Legion and the squad of players from Australia every day. The group also managed to fit in a visit to Wembley Stadium and of course sightseeing in London.
For the first part of the week the AIS-AFL Academy and the European Legion trained and spent time together. This format allowed them to learn a lot from each other and for the European’s experience the highest level of coaching available in the game.
The 2014 European Legion team comprises of players aged 17 to 25 years from Croatia, Denmark, England, Germany, Ireland and Sweden. They will be coached by Gaelic footballer and Sydney Swans Premiership player, Tadhg Kennelly.
According to Tadhg Kennelly, “Spending the time together to train alongside the best young players from Australia is a new and exciting opportunity.
It’s going to accelerate their skills and show us who can handle the pressure best, not to mention the time the AFL Club recruiters will get to watch and speak with them.
The players will go back to their countries with a better idea of life as a professional athlete and they can share what they’ve learnt with their team mates. Long term it all helps to grow the game in Europe.” Kennelly said.
On Wednesday, the best players from Australia and Europe played together in a practice match at Harrow School. Both teams were mixed in this practice match and showed great skills, which is very encouraging for the players and their future in Australian Football.
The score was tight the whole game however of no great importance as this was more about applying the lessons learnt so far during the week. Our European’s didn’t look out of place at all and it was very difficult at times to tell who was who. Congratulations to both teams.
The Easter Series forms a valuable part of the players pathway, for both the European Legion and the AIS-AFL Academy, with the young men expected to be selected by the Australian AFL Clubs in the player Draft in November this year.
If wednesdays match is anything to go by the big game on saturday is sure to be a cracker.
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