The 7th edition of the annual Movember Cup is set to take place this weekend in Manchester, as the Mozzies look to back up their AFLCNE triumph with another victory in England’s premier cup tournament.
The last competitive fixture for AFL England in 2018 sees six men’s teams and four women’s team competing at the Burnage Rugby Club.
President of the Manchester Mosquitoes Glenn Murphy told afleurope.org that it was great to see such a variety of teams taking part in this year’s tournament.
“It is great to have Newcastle Tyne Tiger involved this year as well as London Swans who are both making long trip to participate which speak volumes for the tournament and the reason we do it,” Glenn said.
“We are fortunate to have last year’s men’s champions (Birmingham Uni) and runner up (Wandsworth Demons) playing in the tournament again this year.”
“On the women’s side it’s is great to have four teams in the tournament this year with London Swans, Nottingham Scorpions and Birmingham Uni bringing two teams it is more than we expected when we started which is great and shows the development of Women’s AFL in the UK.”
The Movember Cup is played every year in honour of former Manchester Mosquitoes player Nathan Blakely, who played in the club’s inaugural AFLCNE premiership in 2010.
As a tournament very close in the minds and hearts of everyone at the club, Glenn described the event as a major highlight on the football calendar.
“As a club this is a major highlight of our year and something we are really proud of,” Glenn said.
“We aim to make it bigger and better each year and last year we raised around £750 so this year we are hoping to get to £1000 which would be a great effort.”
“Ideally it would be a good perfect day to host an Auskick clinic sometime down the line.”
With the competition strong in both the men’s and women’s competitions, the titles are well and truly up for grabs in both divisions.
But with a good track record in recent years, Glenn expects Birmingham to be hard to beat in 2018.
“Over the years Birmingham Uni have been quite successful in this tournament winning I think 3 times,” Glenn said.
“In the men’s draw I would expect Birmingham Uni and the Demons to be up there again this year.”
“On the women’s side London Swans likely to bring a strong squad up, Nottingham Scorpions having just qualified for Champion League will be confident and it’s really hard to know what Birmingham Uni will bring.”
As far as the Mozzies are concerned, Glenn is hopeful the club can take the cup home for the first time in their history.
Although the president also admitted that while a victory would be great, the day really is about something much bigger and more important than football.
“Our Mozzies have never won it so we will be giving our best this year but that’s not really the point of the day,” Glenn said.
“We want to raise as much money and awareness for men’s health, both mental and physical, that’s our goal.”
The Movember Cup kicks off at 10:00am local time this Sunday 25th November at Burnage Rugby Club SK4 3EA.
Will Taylor – AFL Europe