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 (

Next up in our previews from the women’s side we have the Croatian Queens and the Irish Banshees, and in the men’s side the Irish Warriors. 


Irish Banshees

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

After the International Cup the Alfa Irish Banshees took a week or two off before getting back into training.  With the geographical spread of players around the country the players have been training in small groups in four different locations before coming together to train collectively every two weeks.

In the year leading up to the IC a number of Personal Trainers very kindly sponsored free weekly PT sessions to individual and these sessions have continued in preparation for the Euro Cup.

The squad travelling to Bordeaux will be comprised of 14 players who took to the paddock in Melbourne while we have two additional players, Monica Whelan who missed out on the IC following an injury at the London Footy Festival and Claire Cunningham who holds an IC11 medal and a Euro Cup 14 medal from her previous outings in an Irish Guernsey. The tournament will be the first outing at 9 a side for Amanda Maginn and Megan Creegan and it will be interesting to see how they bring their big oval game to the small pitch.

Who is your team’s player to watch?

Following a very impressive International Cup campaign, the player to watch will be Colleen Quinn. Her performances in Oz were rewarded with a place on the IC Team of the Tournament and also had the honour of kicking the winning goal in the Grand Final.  Colleen demonstrated one of the best moments of brilliance on the live stream at EC16 in Lisbon with a full length diving mark and kicking through for a goal and the Banshees will be hoping to see more of the same in Bordeaux.

It takes a massive team effort throughout the day for any team to win the EC and the team will be backboned by the likes of Marie Keating who has returned to the form she demonstrated in IC 11 and the Gweedore Four of Carolann Ní Chasaide, Aisling Nic Giolla Easbuic, Rachael NicAoidh and Fiona Ní Rabhartaigh.

What is your team’s best Euro Cup moment?

Having first competed at the inaugural Ladies competition in Milan 2010 there have been many highs for the Alfa Irish Banshees but undoubtedly the two final victories against the English Vixens ranks up there for the great display of footy by both teams on the day and the drama of a frantic few minutes in each final. EC17 will be a big tournament for stalwart Banshee Emma Kelly who will be looking to win an impressive sixth EC medal and it was her leadership which was the difference in the final last year.

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

Euro Cup 2017 promises to be a great spectacle of Womens Footy. Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the International Cup was the performances of all three European ladies teams.  The GB Swans showed great spirit in their come from behind third place play-off victory over the USA and were unlucky not to get a result in the semi final versus the Banshees so the English Vixens and Scottish Sirens will be hungry to build on that success.

The European Crusaders were the true stars of the IC – The team displayed everything that was great about the game of AFL and with each player soaking up everything aussie rules in Melbourne it will have a huge impact on the growth of the ladies game here, particularly in France but also in Croatia, Sweden and Denmark.

Every EC throws up a few surprises with unlikely match winners in every team – with the smaller pitches and shorter game time it will lead to an exciting day of football.

We will also be hoping that the form displayed by Wandsworth Demons duo of Linda Connolly and Joint Captain Onóra Mulcahy at the IC and in the London league all year will help the Banshees out of any tight corner in Bordeaux while we are also excited to see how Claire Donnelly, Laura Ni Fhlannúra and Olivia McCann fare out at this years comp – 2016 was their first representative year with the Banshees and in the lead up to IC17 have totally transformed their game to become key assets in Melbourne.

Our hope for the tournament is for every team to play positive attacking football and two teams to serve up an exciting keenly contested final – hopefully the Alfa Irish Banshees will be a part of that final and round of a great 2017 with another piece of silverware.


Croatian Queens

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

For us naming the players was’t the easiest thing to do, as we are now down to one women’s club within Croatia due to a lack of players. A few new girls will be joining us at the Euro Cup who are very new to Aussie Rules, but are showing plenty of potential. Euro Cup is a highlight of the year for the Queens as it’s difficult to organise regular matches within Croatia, but we are working hard to change that and to get more matches in during the year. We are a young team and are working hard on building up women’s footy, but with the help of our well experienced Knights we should do well!

Who is your team’s player to watch?

Our player to watch is Dora Jakupović. This will be Dora’s second Euro Cup and she mostly plays in the midfield as rover. Dora is in excellent shape as an athlete, is a great kicker and is one of the most prepared players in the Queen’s side.


What is your team’s best Euro Cup moment?

Our best Euro Cup moment was winning the medal in Lisbon last year after only a few training sessions and games we had back in Croatia.

I think what we remember the most was the transition from losing to winning against the same team for the medal. It definitely was earned and no one here expected to do such a big thing in only our second year, so we were very happy and pleased to surprise everyone – even ourselves!

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

We are going to give everything we have to win the medal again, but the thing we are looking forward to the most is giving new girls a chance to play with great teams such as Ireland and Sweden in early stage of the competition. It will be such a big thing for them, to be face to face with such great teams.


Irish Warriors

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

The Warriors Squad has been finalised last week, and the Coaches have selected a mix of experienced and new players for this tournament. Five of the squad took part in AFL IC17 in Melbourne . With the ARFLI domestic league in Ireland only finishing a couple of weeks ago the Coaches left the last few spots open until as late as possible  to give a few players a chance to impress and make the cut. Coach, Brian Currane has said “With the mix of a few new guys and the experienced players along with the few guys we have selected that are playing in the AFL London league, this could be an exciting Warriors squad to watch. One disadvantage will be that the squad will not have trained together prior to arriving in Bordeaux so it will be critically important that the guys gel together and hit the ground running on Saturday morning”

Who is your team’s player to watch?

Gavin Murray is proving to be a key player for the Warriors, he can play in a few different roles whether that be in Ruck, Defence or a Key Forward Position. He will always work hard for the team and his attitude is always right. This will be Gavin’s third Euro Cup with the Warriors and is definitely one to keep an eye out for.

Alan Tobin is playing in his first Euro Cup and will be another Warrior that is one to watch,  Alan is fresh off a strong season with the Wandsworth Demons in London and will be interesting to see how he takes to the 9s game.

Declan Morgan is another exciting player that caught the Coaches eyes over the last year and has deservedly got his first call up to the Warriors Squad. Declan’s speed and tackling ability is sure to annoy a lot of opponents.

What is your team’s best Euro Cup moment?

In last years EC in Lisbon, the Warriors lost out narrowly to a very strong Croatian team in the Grand Final. That Grand Final was probably the best game of footy in Euro Cup 9s history, taking extra time to be played to separate the two teams, with the Knights taking the honours leaving the Warriors with the silver medal.

The Warriors have won the Euro Cup on a couple of occasions and would love to be involved at the business end of Euro 17  again.

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

The Warriors are delighted again to be in a position to compete in another Euro Cup, and Coach, Brian Currane feels that this year again will be a very high standard tournament and is expecting Croatia, England, Germany and France to be very strong again. If we meet any of these teams throughout the day then we will have to be at our best if we are to progress to the finals and win the tournament.

We are looking forward to another exciting day of footy with the AFL Europe Community where no doubt, more friends, stories and memories will be made.