Euro Cup 2017 – Team Previews

The Euro Cup, co-hosted by the CNFA and Bordeaux Bombers, is fast-approaching. In the lead up we’ll be taking a quick look at the teams who’ll be competing for the title of Euro Cup championsThe one-day tournament is being held at Stadium Robert Monseau, 5 rue Charles Capsec, 33 160 Saint Médard en Jalles with full event details able to be found at on the official event Facebook page (http://bit.ly/2xqKAhd).

Next up in our previews from the men’s side of the draw we have the Welsh Dragons, Jerusalem Peace Lions, French Coqs, and the Austrian Avalanches and from the women’s competition we have the French Gaulouises. 

 

French Gaulouises

How have preparations for the Euro Cup in Bordeaux been tracking?

The squad was named in mid-July by our Coach Thomas Urban. It has been based on the players who took part in the 2017 AFL International Cup with the European Crusaders as they have had a great experience over in Melbourne, so about half of the French Gaulouises side is made up of the IC Crusaders.

The Coupe de France took place on the 23rd of September in Paris. During this competition, a training was organised for the French women’s team during the lunch break. Then we played an opening of the final a 4×15 game, with a few guys jumping in to help complete the team. We have been playing mixed games for a year now after men’s games during the championship. It helped the team to improve a lot and allowed them to have more game time. Playing with men is also very good for the team as it’s making us construct the game play with more intensity.

We have improved a lot since last year, with a very good result at the Champions League. This result and the experience we had in Australia gives us plenty of ambition for the Euro Cup. We’ll be there with a thirst for victories.

Who is your team’s player to watch?

Being named as part of the World Team in the 2017 AFL International Cup, Coline Duquet is obviously our player to watch. She has been playing Ruck lately but she will be playing full back at the Euro Cup, the position she had at the IC where she showed lots of potential. Since 2013 when the Euro Cup took place in Bordeaux, she has participated in all the Euro Cups. Coline has played a season with the Shamrocks in Sydney before joining the Paris Cocks in 2013.

Camille Portal will also be one of our players to watch as she has won most of the Best Player jumpers for the last European competition. She will be playing midfielder. Like Coline, she has played in all the Euro Cups since 2013. Camille played with the Paris Cocks until last year when she moved to Bordeaux and joined the Bordeaux Bombers.

What is your team’s best Euro Cup moment?

I think one of our best moment was the Euro Cup in Umag, Croatia in 2015 when we placed 3rd. It was the first time we won a game in this competition, we even won 2 games, and finishing at the 3rd place was a great moment!! Umag’s after-party was also one of the best we’ve done, with everybody having fun together all night long.

Coach’s/Team Managers thoughts on Euro Cup 2017?

The Euro Cup 2013 in Bordeaux was the beginning of the Women’s Footy history in France. In that time I was the Coach of the boys and we finished 2nd. Today we have girls in 5 clubs and it was the first time I had to make a choice between so many talented and enthusiastic women. Our objective this year is to use this event as a launching pad to make the 2nd step after the 2013 epic Euro Cup.

 

Jerusalem Peace Lions

How have preparations for the Euro Cup in Bordeaux been tracking?

The squad was named at the end of August, after the team excitedly managed to raise sufficient funds for the tournament. We have been training once a week for 8 months. 6 of the 8 months were practices without a proper training stadium, at parks or basketball courts – anything for footy! The Peace Lions also recently played a tournament in Israel to practice for the Euro Cup.

Who is your team’s player to watch?

We have 4 players that played in the previous EuroCup, and one player (Sa’ed Barhoum) that has played in 3 previous EuroCups and 1 World Cup! The rest of the team will be experiencing their first EuroCup.

What is your team’s best Euro Cup moment?

Last year was the teams’ first Euro win, winning a clash against a great Russian Team! That win gave us the confidence we needed as a team to understand that we can play at top level.

Another moment was the quarter final defeat to the great Italian team, losing by a mere 2 goals. That defeat was the hardest loss for the team, but it gave us the confidence that we can win this year after coming so close to the semi-final of our level.

Coach’s/Team Managers thoughts on Euro Cup 2017?

Our expectation is first of all to show that differences can be put aside when footy is involved, with us representing the Jewish and the Arabic side! We expect to do better then what we did last year, reaching the final of our level.

 

French Coqs

How have preparations for the Euro Cup in Bordeaux been tracking?

The team is really excited following the intense footy experience at IC17. They’re really looking forward to getting back out on the field together. The team was announced last week including a few emergencies. Our local teams met in the French Cup last weekend, so it was a great chance for everyone to prepare for the carnival format, both in terms of their fitness and playing their roles for their respective teams. The vast majority of players were in Melbourne with just 2 of our players coming off a pre-season with limited footy.

Who is your team’s player to watch?

The player to watch this year is Vincent Monnier playing in his third Euro Cup. He was injured in his first, played largely in the ruck in his second and will now spend more time up forward and in the midfield. Vince will be playing on his home ground in Bordeaux and is coming off a really strong IC performance.

What is your team’s best Euro Cup moment?

Last year our boys had a solid win against Wales to secure 5th place but perhaps a more notable performance was our second half against Austria in 2015. There was a very strong wind causing havoc and favouring one end of the ground. Kicking into the wind, our guys managed to kick 8 unanswered goals by running with the ball, executing some great low kicks and kicking some memorable goals.

Coach’s/Team Managers thoughts on Euro Cup 2017?

The last two Euro Cups have seen us climb up the rankings and we certainly hope we can continue the trend in 2017. We have a team that has been developing the last few years and the core group has remained constant. With a strong backline and a potent forward line, winning the ball in the midfield could have us pushing the best teams all the way.

 

Welsh Dragons

How have preparations for the Euro Cup in Bordeaux been tracking?

Euro cup 2017 is already an historic one for Wales, with both Men’s and women’s teams travelling to the tournament for the first time.

With the Euros falling in October, many of the Welsh squad have a full season in their legs, as well as pre-season Champions League tournament too. The men’s squad warm up game against a travelling Canadian team was also invaluable. This has however led to some regular players being sidelined through injury (notably Rhos “Waterboy” Evans and his back proving even more unreliable than his catching).

Training has been led by Coach Josh, who also travelled to the International Cup in Melbourne to Umpire this year. With a women’s team to develop from scratch the focus has been on core skills and allowing more experienced players to demonstrate to newcomers how little they actually know about anything.

Many of the Men’s squad are still smarting from a close Grand Final defeat in the league as Cardiff Panthers were narrowly beaten by Bristol Dockers. This has stoked the desire for many to continue to train hard beyond the season end.

Who is your team’s player to watch?

It wasn’t just the coach who travelled to IC this year, with Wales’ Owain Ryland playing a vital role in GB Bulldogs most successful campaign to date. He must therefore go down as a player to keep an eye on. Owain will be looking to break Captain David Saunders’ unbroken streak securing Wales’ spot in the team of the tournament.

What is your team’s best Euro Cup moment?

There are many proud Euro Cup memories for the men’s Wales squad, with wins over their ‘local’ rivals Scotland and England being some. A resounding defeat of Scotland in Lisbon last year is still fresh in the mind. A closer fought victory over England in London 2014 now a distant memory and before many of the current squad’s international careers began.

Coach’s/Team Managers thoughts on Euro Cup 2017?

Fielding two teams will certainly be the highlight of this years tournament, but we are also keen to improve on previous tournament placings in Bordeaux.

 

Austrian Avalanches

How have preparations for the Euro Cup in Bordeaux been tracking?

The squad has already been named and it was once again an easy task as we were only able to find 16 players that were able to make the trip to Bordeaux.

Who is your team’s player to watch?

For two of our players, Richard Claassen and Martin Schitteg, this years tournament is very special because they are playing their 10th Euro Cup.

Richard is very versatile and has played in every position (except in the ruck) and was elected to the Team Europe in Milano (2010).

What is your team’s best Euro Cup moment?

Our best EuroCup moment happend in Bordeaux 2013 – after a couple of years where we nearly lost every game and where we always ended at the dark side of the ladder, we finally managed  to win two games in a row (both of them were open until the last seconds). We managed to reach 9th position and celebrated with the Plate in our hands!

Coach’s/Team Managers thoughts on Euro Cup 2017?

Our goal for the tournament is to finish at a Top 10 position again, and to even go a step up the ladder and improve on our last performance.