As a nation creating a strong reputation for themselves in major European competitions, Sweden may just be the dark horse of the Euro Cup 2018 field in both the men’s and women’s divisions.
Having arguably the best preparation for the event given their leagues are still playing football, the Swedes are looking forward to bringing both their men’s (Swedish Elks) and women’s team (Swedish Ravens) to the prestigious international competition.
Historically their women’s side has been made up of players from the Port Malmö Lynx – a quality domestic footy side currently in with a chance of winning the Women’s Nordic Australian Football League.
This factor has previously resulted in the Ravens achieving a highly commendable results in the AFL Europe tournament.
After finishing fourth in 2016, the Ravens went one better in 2017 to finish third behind the Irish Banshees and the English Vixens in Bordeaux.
Now in 2018 with the women’s game growing rapidly in Sweden, the Ravens have announced a 2018 squad that features players from Linköping, Norrköping, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Norrtälje, Helsingborg and Malmö.
Mixing youth with experience, women’s coach Ryan Davidsson is looking forward to the challenge of improving upon last year’s outstanding Euro Cup run.
“The 2018 Ravens squad has a few new faces,” Davidsson said.
“We recently got together for a training weekend and everyone is super keen to get over to Ireland and try and improve on last years effort in Bordeaux.”
After finishing 12th in last year’s tournament, the Swedish Elks are confident they can turn their fortunes around when push comes to shove next month in Ireland.
With new guernseys and new sponsors, Elks skipper Nicklas Andersson is confident his team can play some good football this October despite missing some key personnel.
“We have some great players who wasn’t able to join the squad, but we still got a pretty strong team,” Andersson said.
“We are aiming to get a better position than last year, so I am realistically thinking we can make the top 8.”
Named in the Men’s Team of the Tournament in 2017, Nicklas is confident his side’s ‘good talk, good kicks and great team spirit’ will help the boys develop their skills and football IQ as they make their way to Cork.
Will Taylor – AFL Europe
Sweden Euro Cup Recent History
Ravens: 3rd place (2017), 4th place (2016)
Elks: 12th Place (2017)
Euro Cup 2018
CIT Cork, Ireland
Saturday, October 13th