AFL England Women’s League
Bristol Dockers, Nottingham Scorpions and Cardiff Panthers
13/07/2019 Aldridge RUFC 12pm
This Saturday will be the second round for the 2019 AFL England Women’s season, with the Bristol Dockers, Nottingham Scorpions and Cardiff Panthers all play each other in a round-robin format while the Sussex Swans have the bye.
Each team will play two games, with a total of three matches taking place, beginning at 12pm at the Aldridge RUFC ground in Wolverhampton.
Right from the start, these games are going to be important for all the teams in the battle for top spot. Whoever finishes in first place in the league will therefore qualify for next years Champions League, a massive incentive for all the teams competing on top of winning the premiership.
For many players across the three teams competing on Saturday, they are still learning the ropes of Australian Rules football. Nottingham Scorpions player Laura Turner has plenty of experience on the field, having pulled on the England Vixens kit in numerous tournaments, but she is excited about her sides gamestyle and new recruits.
“We have some incredibly skilled players but also some big hitting tacklers, and most importantly we play attacking football which is key in the nine-a-side game,” Turner said.
“Sophie Todd is one of our most promising new recruits, she has worked hard at training and on her own to enhance her skills which was evident at the recent Euro Cup where she made her England debut. Another Vixen debutant was Joanna Lumb who will give us more run and carry in the midfield.”
Along with other some other new and returning players, the Scorpions are certainly determined to get off to a winning start to continue their reign and cement their spot for another Champions League appearance.
Regardless of the Scorpions experience, the Panthers and Dockers are also expected to challenge hard for that top spot, and with the round-robin format, any games dropped can really change things up in the standings.
New kids on the block, the Bristol Dockers women’s team, are excited to be competing in their debut tournament with a full squad of dockers.
“The Bristol Dockers women’s team has steadily grown from three members late last year to a full team of committed ladies who look stronger and more confident every week”, said Docker Sarah Turrell.
Bristol will be looking to capitalise on their new talent and their enthusiasm, coupled with plenty of guidance from their experienced Captain.
“Celina has played for teams all across Europe and always bring the excitement to the game!” said Turrell.
Rounding out the competition are the Cardiff Panthers, who will be looking to finish top of the league and qualify for their Champions League debut after losing out to the Nottingham Scorpions last season.
The Panthers are sure to provide some stiff competition for the Scorpions and the Dockers, particularly with their national team, the Welsh Wyverns, fresh off the back of a strong performance at the recent Euro Cup.
With the bulk of the Wyverns squad made up of Cardiff recruits, the Panthers are sure to bring their international experience to the field as they look to carry on their momentum from their performance in Sweden.
Stay tuned to next week’s edition of Around the Grounds to see who came out on top!
Special thanks to Fine Wine Partners for their support of the growth of the game throughout Europe.