PSS Presents: Around the Grounds

Each week AFL Europe will take a look around the continent at the Australian Football highlights and thrilling matches. This Around the Grounds article delves into the standout performances from the weekend’s action and is presented by PSS International Removals.

TIGERS ROAR PAST EAGLES

The West Lothian Eagles hosted the Tyne Tees Tigers in Scotland on Saturday as the Eagles looked for their first win of the season, while the Tigers were looking to maintain their position in the top two of the AFL Scotland competition. In their inaugural AFL Scotland season, the Eagles were hoping to surprise their opponents with their leg speed and agility around the contests. However, it was the efficiency and strength of the Tigers up forward that shone through on the day, as the Tigers kicked 28 goals, with Connor Robinson kicking a club-record 13 goals. Overall, the Tigers had eight different goalkickers as they secured a big 146 point win to put them on top of the ladder. Despite the score, the Eagles continue to improve in their first season and although they kicked 13 behinds in this match, they have shown they create plenty of opportunities in front of goal and will continue to battle hard for the clubs first win.

Final Scores (AFL Scotland)

Men’s: West Lothian Eagles (4.13. 37) defeated by Tyne Tees Tigers (28.15. 183).

 

DEMONS AND HAWKS PLAY OUT THRILLER IN AFL LONDON

On a perfect summer’s day in London, the Wandsworth Demon’s hosted the Wimbledon Hawks in the Men’s Premiership division of AFL London on Saturday. Right from the start, the game ebbed and flowed with neither team really able to gain total control over their opponents. The game started off tight, as both defences cancelled each other out in the opening stages, with the Hawks taking it right up to the Demons. In the warm weather, the third and fourth quarters were more open and free-flowing as the fitness of both teams began to influence the game. The Demon’s managed to get a couple of goals ahead, but the Hawks challenged late to bring the margin down to just five points with only moments left on the clock. As the Hawks midfield tried to get the ball out of the centre, the siren blew and the Demon’s held on in front of their home crowd by five points in a thrilling game of footy.

Final Scores (AFL London)

Men’s: Wandsworth Demons (10.10. 70) defeated Wimbledon Hawks (10.5. 65).

 

COACHING COURSE & NATIONAL TRAINING DAY HELD IN WALES

On Saturday, the Welsh Australian Rules Football League hosted a coaching session and training day. AFL Europe General Manager Ryan Davey travelled to Wales for the day, with over 25 coaches attending the event in the glorious Welsh weather. The day saw a variety of discussions focusing on team management, tactics, rules and communication. A special thank you to our Official Education Partner, anzuk Education, for supporting this event and helping with the promotion of Australian Football across Europe through coaching and umpiring courses.

Welsh Australian Rules Football League (WARFL)

 

LONDON AND SUSSEX SWANS CONTINUE RELATIONSHIP 

The Sussex Swans and London Swans travelled to Crawley to play in a friendly match during their bye-rounds. With only one Women’s game taking place in AFL London on the weekend, and with the hosts, Sussex, also having a bye, the two Swans teams decided to play a friendly game, with both teams trying some new tactics and players changing positions. Both teams have developed a closeness over the years, which was also reflected on the field on Saturday as Sussex won a goal. As the game was listed as a friendly, it was a fantastic opportunity for both teams to highlight the continued growth of football, particularly the women’s game, and expect to see more events between the Swans over the next few years.

Women’s: Sussex Swans defeated London Swans.

 

 

PSS International Removals have helped people move from the UK to Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere in the world for over 37 years. They offer friendly advice, no matter whether you’re sending a few boxes or a whole house removal including car. For more information call 020 8686 7733 or visit the PSS Removals website.

Angus Boyle – AFL Europe

2019 Euro Cup Team Previews: Part Seven

It’s now less than a week until the 2019 AFL Europe Euro Cup, with the tournament being held in Norrtalje, Sweden for what is set to be a thrilling day of football as national teams from 16 different European countries field their nations best players and over 350 players battle it out for the Cup.

This year’s edition of the Euro Cup will see all the games take place on Saturday the 29th of June. As part of the buildup, AFL Europe will be previewing all the teams competing. In our seventh edition of the team previews, we will be taking a closer look at the host nation, the Swedish Elks, and the Welsh Red Dragons in the men’s side of the competition and in the women’s, the French Gauloises.

 

Men’s Competition:

Welsh Red Dragons

Coach: Tom Case

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

We have had steady preparation with a few dedicated Welsh training sessions alongside our club level training, all the boys have been playing for their respective clubs so fitness and match sharpness are in good swing.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

Four teams are represented, two WARFL and two AFL London clubs.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

Three debutantes, the exciting Alex Clarke, Rhodri James is looking sharp and Conor Neeson is in good form so all very positive additions.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

You can expect to see a lot of speed and sharpness in tight spaces, freeing up our little guys to get some good space.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team?

It means we get to show that our small country has a big amount of fight. We get to show our skills on a larger scale and compete against the best in Europe.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

After being seeded in the second tier spot we are looking to get through to the Cup QF and then plan from there, big early displays will set the tone for us before facing the Irish in our last group game. We are expecting big things from this select group of Red Dragons.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

Owain Ryland is always dangerous when on form, being a top GB player. Scott Jones who won BIG in Cork 2018 and Alex Clarke the debut player has had a big start to our domestic season.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

Rory Dewhurst likes a good sleep talk and whispered to imaginary cats last year. With Aaron Gale splitting his head open on the main pitch within minutes then staying out until 4 am for the after party, he was the main hero from last years tourney.

The Welsh Red Dragons will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Tenacity, we’ve come to compete and we shall do, so we aren’t here to just make up the numbers!

 

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Swedish Elks

Coach: Leighton “Padsy” Rowsell

Captain: Buster Sund

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

The Elks have unfortunately had a bit of a limited build-up to this year’s Euro Cup. Training is always difficult with multiple competitions several hundred kilometres away from one another. Although, from what we have seen, the young blood is showing a lot of promise and the more experienced blokes have kept the cobwebs away by still running around in their local leagues.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

Most of the mainstay teams are being represented (Port Malmö Maulers, Helsingborg Saints, Norrtälje Dockers, Solna Axemen, Södermalm Blues) with the hosting Dockers providing roughly half the team. Not sure what’s in the water in Norrtälje but the young blokes love their footy up there. Particularly excited to see Fredrik “Fish Fingers” Lenard have his first run in the Elks kit. He’s quickly proved himself to be a formidable back man and only missed last year’s Euro Cup due to injury.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

Some of the (longer in the tooth) fellas that will be exciting to see will be the returning Mick Larsson, Hampus’ Olsson and Chris Mårtensson after a few years away from international competition. I’m sure a couple of the returning, experienced boys might have lost a bit of pace so you can expect them to make up for it by using their size and strength to be first to the ball.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

A top-five place would be nice and it’s more than possible with the squad we have, but I think our priority on this day is to put on a good show for the AFL Europe community. Also, as always, to continue building for the future of AFL Sweden by continually developing the younger blokes, who will be able to take a lot out of this opportunity.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

Everybody at AFL Sweden are really excited and proud to be hosting this year’s Euro Cup. Ryan Tucker and the legends from the Norrtälje Dockers deserve massive praise and appreciation for putting everything together to make this the biggest and best Euro Cup yet.  It wouldn’t be happening without all of their hard work so make sure you buy a Docker a beer on the day if you see them getting around.

 

Women’s Competition:

French Gauloises

Coach: Thibaut Picard

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

The preparation wasn’t as good as we wanted because we couldn’t have a proper full team meeting. However, each girl has done an incredible job to get fit and ready.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

The girls come from six clubs (Bayonne, Bordeaux, Lyon, Paris, the new club of Anthony, and Wimbledon).

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

Four players are going to discover the competition, but everyone has played at the last ANZAC Cup or Champions League. For sure, representing a country could be emotional, but they are all strong enough to play great footy. One important thing is that there is a new coach for the competition as well, so we have a lot of parameters to manage for a day-competition. But everyone is pretty excited to see something special.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

The last two competitions in Cork and Amsterdam were very frustrating and everyone in France thinks that we can do a better job that we did. The impact of new players and the experience of others can be the perfect mix for this kind of day. Be sure that you’ll see an aggressive French team! But we all want to play good footy as well, which means that we have to do the right things all around the ground, take our time and play for our teammates! If you have to bet on a surprise, you might have a look at this bunch of girls!

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team?

We haven’t missed the Euro Cup for a while! That shows how important is it for the French girls. As we don’t have a proper women’s competition here in France, the Euro Cup is one of the highlights of the year with the Champions League and the ANZAC Cup. This is a huge effort to go to Sweden, and everyone has trained a lot for that!

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

I suppose everyone in the team wants to have fun on and off the field. We really have to progress as a team, which is not easy when you don’t train a lot all together. Moreover, the training game that we had to play had been cancelled because of the weather so we are not sure how far we can go. However, we want to make something special and being out of the semi-final would be a failure. We have shown at the ANZAC Cup that we can play strong footy.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

Well, she is quite new in the team but be sure to keep an eye on Aralia. Her impact in the midfield and her capacity to break tackles can provide us time and put us on the right direction. She can be the link between our back and forward line. The intelligence, the experience and the science of the game of Camille is a must see as well. 

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

In the last Euro Cup, the coach wasn’t able to get to Cork because of a cancelled flight. I really hope everything will go right for me this year!

The French Gauloises will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

You know, the most important thing is to remember that this is a sport and only sport. So whatever happens on the field, you’ll always see a smile on our faces, you’ll always hear us sing and say fair-play!

Angus Boyle – AFL Europe

Irish Watch – AFL Round 14 Review

Round 14 would be the last of the AFL’s bye rounds, with Adelaide, North Melbourne, Gold Coast, GWS, Richmond and Carlton all enjoying a week off.

This wouldn’t impact our Irish contingent, however, with five players suiting up for their respective clubs in what was an action-packed weekend of AFL action.

In what has been one of the great modern-day rivalries, Sydney and Hawthorn would add another chapter to the encounter at the SCG on Friday night, as the class of the young Swans ended up being too much for the out of form Hawks.

Although they didn’t feature in the epic matches of the early to mid-2010’s, Irishman Conor Glass and Colin O’Riordan would be quickly engulfed into the rivalry in what was a fierce Friday night clash.

Having earned a place in the Hawthorn side about a month ago, utility Conor Glass would enjoy a breakout game at the SCG as Clarkson would shift him back to the half-back line despite his success as a pressure forward last week.

Featuring in what was a very inexperienced defence, Glass was superb all night exhibiting a cool head well beyond his years as he constantly repelled the Swans attack and made excellent decisions with the ball in hand.

His hardness in the contest was another feature of this performance as he won a number of key balls in the Hawks back half that could have easily resulted in Sydney goals had he not put his body in the line.

The man from County Derry would end up with a career-high 20 disposals, three marks and a tackle in a display that will almost certainly lock his spot down in the side heading into the back half of the season.

He would also use the ball at an effective 70%, showing his poise coming out of defence and ability to hit teammates in dangerous positions.

After suffering a concussion two weeks ago against the Eagles, O’Riordan would return fresh from the bye with another solid performance across half back and the wing for the Swans.

In what was a crucial game for the club as they look to remain within touching distance of the top eight, O’Riordan would play his role to perfection, providing plenty of run and using his height to be a marking target.

Ending up with 14 disposals and a career-high nine marks, the Irishman had some big moments in the Swans win with his toughness around the contest and precise skills proving pivotal all night.

It was also great to see him really take the game on, as he often took the ball and ran, placing greater pressure on an undersized Hawthorn backline.

Thursday night would see the Bombers look to continue their good form by claiming a major scalp in the Eagles on the road at Optus Stadium.

However, after a bright start, Essendon simply could not match the class and strength of the reigning premiers who, despite a very wayward night in front of the sticks, ran out comfortable 35 point victors.

After one of the best games of his career last week, Conor McKenna battled hard all night but struggled to have that same impact as the Eagles ramped up the pressure on Essendon’s prime ball movers.

In what was a very physical game, McKenna was excellent in being able to break the lines and give Essendon a bit of punch coming off half back.

Easily the best of the Bomber running defenders on the night, McKenna would end up with 17 disposals, four marks and a tackle as he never stopped taking the game on.

His ball use was a particular highlight to his game, as he continues to prove himself as one of the competitions best kicks with an excellent efficiency of 88%.

Going through the first half of the season with just one loss, the post-bye curse would again rear its ugly head for the ladder leading Cats who would drop their second game of the year to Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

Completely dominated around the ball all night, it was a rough night for Geelong who simply looked flat after a well deserved week off.

The post-bye blues wouldn’t be a problem for Irishman Zach Tuohy however, who enjoyed his best game for the year in a well-rounded performance across half-back against the Power.

With Port constantly pumping the ball inside 50, it seemed as if Tuohy was always there to intercept and get the Cats out of trouble.

His poise under pressure was a particular standout, as he was consistently faced with a barrage of Port Adelaide smalls and midfielders looking to force mistakes deep in Geelong’s back half.

Playing a true general’s role, Tuohy would end up with an impressive 28 disposals and eight marks, whilst using the ball at a moderate 68%.

With injury dominating the start of his season, it seems as if Tuohy is back to his best as the Cats press on towards the finals.

Standing alongside Tuohy in an under fire Cats defence, Mark O’Connor stood up admirably as his stock as an outstanding small defender continues to rise.

With Port running rampant in the midfield, the Cats defenders were superb as the Power only managed 67 points from an incredibly high 56 inside 50’s.

O’Connor would constantly find himself in tough one on one situations against the Port Adelaide smalls and was brilliant in either taking the mark or killing the ball out of bounds or into the hands of a teammate.

He was also very solid under pressure with ball in hand, with his 11 disposals coming deep in defence at an impressive 82% efficiency.

This was certainly a new challenge for the young defender and one he passed with flying colours.

Zac Standish – AFL Europe

Match of the Round

AFL Scotland

West Lothian Eagles v Tyne Tees Tigers

20/06/19  Linlithgow Rugby Club  2:00pm

The West Lothian Eagles and Tyne Tees Tigers will continue the exciting footy that AFL Scotland has shown this year, as they battle it out this weekend in a season defining match for both clubs.

Having contrasting seasons thus far, the Eagles and Tigers both have a lot to play for.

The Eagles in their inaugural AFL Scotland season are looking for their first win to jump start a finals run, while the Tigers are looking to leap to the top of the ladder, following three consecutive wins.

This match has the potential to be a shootout, with both sides showing on their day, that they can kick scores of over 100.

The overall importance of this game is huge for both sides and is described by Tigers Coach Chris Rodger.

“This weekend’s game is pivotal to our season, it will strengthen our spot on the top half of the ladder and continue our push for finals.”

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Reiterated from Eagles club founder Michael Allan, there is a sense of optimism surrounding their side this week.

“Officially only 18 months old as a club, we have now been training well with increased numbers and this is our week where we could get some points on the board and then build on our season from there.”

Efficient in front of goal and using their size through aerial contests, the Tyne Tees Tigers have some exciting qualities and can be damaging in many areas of the ground.

Their resilience and overall fitness to will themselves back into games is also an exciting strength of this Tigers outfit.

In contrast to this their opponent of the West Lothian Eagles use their leg speed and agility well to break the lines and are known for their hard hitting tackles, showing they will not back down in this game and can lift their intensity when needed.

The new changes in staff for the Eagles are seen as a real positive, as people within the club are starting to notice an effective game plan, which is needed in important matches like the one this weekend.

“A change in coach and playing style has seen a marked improvement as of late, being competitive with some of the top teams and hoping the strategies in place will get us some wins in the games ahead.” said Michael Allan.

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These sides have helped the progression of AFL in Europe and by sharing the Australian sport culture to locals, these clubs will continue to grow and be successful for years to come.

“Again this year with a few new faces and good numbers around the club it all looks pretty good for our future on and off the track,” said Tigers Coach Rodger.

With the Tigers amazing efforts to enhance Australian football in Scotland and the emergence of the new club West Lothian Eagles, the standard of AFL Scotland is rapidly increasing and is exciting to see some new players in this match-up.

Michael Allan from the Eagles shares how his side has an element of mystery going into this match-up and how great it is to see this rise of Australian football in Scotland, through their new club.

“This year so far we have introduced around 17 men and women to AFL and will continue to build on this, we can add a surprise element against the opposition and giving a game to many new players is great for the growth of the sport.”

With the West Lothian Eagles improving each week and the Tyne Tees Tigers wanting to capatalise on a successful season so far, both teams have a lot to play far.

This match will be a close encounter and with the players wanting to represent their club with pride, increased attack on the contest will be shown.

Liam McAllion – AFL Europe

Special thanks to Fine Wine Partners for their support of the growth of the game throughout Europe.

2019 Euro Cup Team Previews: Part Six

With just over a week now until the 2019 AFL Europe Euro Cup, this year the tournament will be held in Norrtalje, Sweden for what is set to be a thrilling day of football as national teams from 16 different European countries field their nations best players and over 350 players battle it out for the Cup.

This year’s edition of the Euro Cup will see all the games take place on Saturday the 29th of June. As part of the buildup, AFL Europe will be previewing all the teams competing. In our sixth edition of the team previews, we will be taking a closer look at the Irish Warriors and the Swiss Wolves in the men’s side of the competition and in the women’s, the Welsh Wyverns.

Men’s Competition:

Irish Warriors

Coach: Brian Currane

Captain:  David McElhone

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

We have had a very hectic schedule of footy since early January which included the AFL Ireland Universities having its busiest season so far which included the Fitzpatrick Cup, the Irish Universities Cup, Cork Colleges Cup which all led to the successful first ever International Universities Cup in April,

The domestic clubs also had a busy preseason with tournaments like the Leprechaun Cup and Rebel shield. And then we had the Belfast Redbacks attending the Champions League. We also held a number trial games with the Irish Warriors Development Squad.

There is real excitement around the Irish Warriors and this is to show with now over 60 players on the Development Squad which include a number of exciting new players that have been coming through our Talent Pathway Program, who are involved with the Universities teams, and also with the upcoming Winter 7s Provincial teams and the two newly formed Clubs in Munster and Ulster.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

We have six clubs and two Universities represented on our squad including, Belfast Redbacks, Leeside Lions, Galway Magpies, South Dublin Swans, UCC Bombers, CIT Saints, Manchester Mosquitoes and West London Wildcats.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

We have selected five debutants who have a great opportunity to establish themselves in the Warriors set up. Along with four players from last years tournament returning for only the second Euro Cup wearing the green Guernsey.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

Again like all our previous Euro Cups we will be the team that leaves everything on the field right up to the final siren playing through to our team core values.

We have a mix of quick and exciting players that will move the ball across the ground, along with some key position guys that are not short of height.  Throw in a few guys that are serious tacklers and all this should lead to a new and exciting style of play for the Warriors.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team?

It means a lot to the Warriors to be competing in this amazing European tournament which grows in standard every year.  For a player in any sport,  it means the world to them to be able to represent their country in an international tournament and it goes without saying that every one of these players and coaches are honoured to represent their country under the Irish flag.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

Every one of the 16 men’s sides competing in this years Euro Cup will have high expectations and will want to do the best they can, and the Irish Warriors know there will be many challenges through the day. Having been so close and getting to the Grand Final for the last three Euro Cups and having come away as runners up to three different Champions in, Denmark 2018, England 2017 and Croatia 2016, the Warriors will give everything that they can to go that one step further this year in what will be another very closely contested tournament.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

Each player that’s selected for any Irish Warriors squad should be watched out for and this years squad is no different. Each player that will wear the Ireland Guernsey in Norrtalje has been selected for a specific role and reason and they all bring something that should be watched.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

Interesting characters have always been a part of our Warriors teams, which always leads to interesting stories but that would be telling, during and after the event.

The Irish Warriors will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Being a team that everybody feared and nobody wanted to stand beside, while off the field everyone wants to be around us.

Swiss Wolves

Coach: Tommy Ross

Captain: Stefan Burgener

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

All of our national team players have been training regularly for their respective clubs and playing in the newly started Swiss League. We have also held a few separate national team training sessions. The last one before the Euro Cup will involve a barbecue afterwards so everyone can get to know each other even better, especially our new players.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

All three Swiss clubs are represented (Winterthur Lions, Basel Dragons, Geneva Jets).

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

We’ll have five players making their Euro Cup debut in the men’s. As footy has been growing in Switzerland, we’ve also been able to recruit some exciting new local talent.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

A team that wants to work hard from start to finish throughout each game of the tournament.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team?

We don’t take it for granted and are very humbled to have the opportunity to represent our country. Also, these large tournaments are always a lot of fun and great to meet people with similar interests across the globe.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

We expect to compete hard in every game, and win at least one game.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

Everyone is probably going to say this, but I wouldn’t single out one player, working hard for each other, communication and working together as a team is what will make the difference on the pitch.

The Swiss Wolves will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Having many surprises.

Women’s Competition:

Welsh Wyverns

Coach: Jess Sallers

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

We were fortunate enough to take part in the National University League which has upped our game time and has given us a chance to trial new positions and combinations. We’ve been training together as a team and even having a BBQ before we fly out. Bring on the burgers!

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

Being the only AFL club in Wales, the Welsh Wyverns all come from the mighty Cardiff Panthers.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

Due to the pool of Welsh players almost doubling this year, we are excited to have eight debutants!

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

On the field we will have players working hard for each other and linking up for great passages of play. Paired with great tenacity and a never give up attitude. Off the field we will have an awesome social atmosphere with great banter and questionable dance moves.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team?

Representing your country in a European tournament is a great honour and should be done with pride. For Wales, it’s a chance to up our game and test ourselves against the best in Europe and leave our mark as high quality football players. In the future we’d like to establish a second team in Wales so the Euro Cup is an opportunity to raise the profile of the women’s game and bring our momentum home.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

A great competitive and social atmosphere! A chance to get to know our fellow footy players and strengthen the bonds in the AFL Europe community.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

As a group, we have such a diverse range of skills and everyone offers something. To name a few, Martha Williams is a great ball winner and has an excellent work rate. Jenny Green’s experience and cool head make her an asset under pressure and Sophie Williams is a newbie with a lot of potential.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

Lots of our players have crossed over from different sports such as hockey, rugby and netball. Two of our players even play American football for Great Britain.

The Welsh Wyverns will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Good banter, great football and an awesome team spirit.

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Liam McAllion – AFL Europe

anzuk Education sign on for a third consecutive year

AFL Europe and anzuk Education are pleased to announce they will continue their partnership for another year.

After another successful year in 2018, anzuk Education will continue as the Official Education Partner of AFL Europe ensuring the ongoing development of coaches and umpires across Europe in 2019. anzuk Education’s support will help provide clubs and leagues around Europe with access to coaching & umpiring courses to further develop the game on the continent.

Across London and the UK, anzuk Education help offer roles for teachers, teaching assistants and support staff to people from all over the world who live and work in the UK. anzuk Education invest in teachers looking for temporary or permanent work, provide search and selection for executive level managers, recruit support staff and supply permanent and casual educators and support staff for early childhood.

anzuk Education UK Director, Ben Goldsmith stated that, “anzuk Education are proud to be the premier education partner with AFL Europe and their affiliates. Within the partnership we assist in providing the resources to help AFL Europe train and develop 100’s of coaches and umpires in both the UK and greater Europe. We are now into the 3rd year of our partnership and, as an organisation, value the game of Aussie Rules and are delighted to help support its growth of the game internationally.”

AFL Europe General Manager Ryan Davey shared the same excitement to be extending the partnership, “It’s a fantastic result to have anzuk Education on board to support AFL Europe once again. We have built a strong relationship in recent years and thanks to the support of Ben and his entire team, we will continue to educate and develop our coaches and umpires in 2019. This year alone we are expecting to accredit over 100 coaches in Europe, without the support of anzuk Education this feat would not be possible.”

If you are currently in the UK and looking for either short-term or permanent teaching work, anzuk Education are able to find the role for you. Please send your CV through to Joy Bayliss at joy.b@anzuk.education/uk and follow them on Facebook (@anzuk.uk), Twitter (@anzuk_uk) and Instagram (@anzuk.education.uk)

AFL Europe Umpire Spotlight – Milo Lombardi

Milo Lombardi has umpired in a staggering six countries, more than many people can say they have even travelled to. That list is made up of countries from all over the world which play Australian Football. From Australia, England, Canada, Ireland, Netherlands and the US, Milo is certainly a well-travelled umpire, having first started in 1991.

His love for the game is clearly evident, and even though he hasn’t played since his early 20’s, he has found a way to stay involved with the game through umpiring.

“I loved playing Aussie Rules as a junior, but my enthusiasm waned in my early 20’s. Then I copped a shoulder dislocation and I decided my playing days were over. My brother had just begun umpiring so I joined him, and I found an awesome way to keep in contact with the game I love,” Milo said.

When it comes to one of Milo’s favourite moments on the field, being out there running with his brother ranks highly.

“There have been plenty of laughs throughout my umpiring journey, but umpiring is all about being appointed to a grand final. I’ve only done a handful of GF’s, but in 2009 I was fortunate enough to run a GF with my brother. That was pretty cool,” he said.

While many people say being part of a football team is about family, so is umpiring, and Milo’s experience shows just that.

That experience includes umpiring in six different countries. Milo began in the South Australian National Football League, before moving to the Western Region Football League in Victoria. After leaving Australia in 2014, he umpired in Alberta, Canada.

“Canada is a beautiful country and some of the backdrops to the ovals are post-card spectacular,” he said.

In 2017, Milo lived in Houston, Texas where he umpired a range of metro games, as well as the Texas Cup and the Western Regional Tournament. While he lived in North America, he was fortunate enough to umpire three US National Tournaments.

Milo Lombardi and Matty Hayward umpiring Cambridge University v Birmingham University in November 2018

Now Milo lives in England where he regularly umpires in the AFL London league and has also been to various AFL Europe tournaments such as the Champions League and Euro Cup.

This month, Milo will add country number seven to his list when he flies to Norttalje in Sweden for the Euro Cup.

Looking forward, like many umpires, Milo would like to be involved in the 2020 International Cup but understands the importance of bringing the next generation of umpires through.

“As for IC20 in Australia next year, I’d much rather see an up-and-coming umpire get the opportunity to officiate in the most prestigious Australian Rules tournament in the world,” he said.

Umpiring is difficult, and Milo knows that but there are still plenty of positives. “I guarantee once you wrap your lips around that whistle you’ll never look back. Running with great folk, and maybe even earning a little beer money only makes it more enticing,” he said.

With that outlook, Milo understands the position the umpiring community is currently in, with so much pressure placed on them. However, he still loves it because he loves the game, and will continue to be a pivotal part of the AFL Europe umpiring community.

Angus Boyle – AFL Europe.

2019 Euro Cup Team Previews: Part Five

Not long now until the 2019 AFL Europe Euro Cup, this year the tournament will be held in Norrtalje, Sweden for what is set to be a thrilling day of football as national teams from 16 different European countries field their nations best players and over 350 players battle it out for the Cup.

This year’s edition of the Euro Cup will see all the games take place on Saturday the 29th of June. As part of the buildup, AFL Europe will be previewing all the teams competing. In our fifth edition of the team previews, we will be taking a closer look at the Israeli Beasts and the German Eagles in the men’s side of the competition and in the women’s, the reigning Champions, the Irish Banshees.

 

Men’s Competition:

Israeli Beasts

Coach: Shir Shalev / Yonatan Wengrowicz
Captain: Shir Shalev and Matan Polke

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup? 

We haven’t stopped training for the winter – thankfully Israeli climate allows this, and we were just too pumped after last Euro Cup in October, working on getting better for this one. In the last two months leading up to Sweden, we started training twice a week and were able to have some training games because we managed to recruit a lot new players in the past months.

How many clubs are represented in your national team? 

We have two clubs represented in the national team.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts? 

Around 5 to 8 players.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup? 

First of all we plan to play our hearts out and leave everything on the field, fighting each game till the end. We hope to improve our position and to finish in top 8 teams.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team? 

We don’t have a domestic league and regular tournaments in Israel yet, the Euro Cup is our main opportunity to play with other teams. It also means a lot to all of us have this chance to represent our country on an international event, and this year is the official debut for the Beasts (last year we came as Tel Aviv Cheetahs).

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

As always we’re expecting to have a fun and competitive tournament, and hopefully to have more wins than last time. It is also just great fun to hang out with footy players from other countries, to exchange experience and forge new friendships.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

Hadar Moran and Eli Lipshitz.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

We actually have a funny story from last year’s Euro Cup. Matan Polke who joined our team just a month before the Euro cup, was looking to buy cleats for the Euro cup. But his father who is an Australian and often umpiring our tournaments, told him to not sweat it and take his his own old football cleats which as it turned out much later were about Matan’s age. The cleats looked perfectly fine. But then in the morning of the Euro cup, during our warm up, when Matan ran in the wet grass, the sole separated off the boot and the boot pretty much fell apart. Because it was less than an hour before the games started, we didn’t really know what to do, and at the end, we just wrapped the cleat with all sorts of tape, keep adding more after each game, and in the end it lasted for Matan to play 4 games. Since then we have a saying “to pull a Polke” which means to destroy your boots to the point that the sole falls off. By the way Matan’s dad still hasn’t thrown the fallen apart old cleats away, it seems to have become Polke family’s heirloom.

One more fun fact about Team Israel is that half of the Israeli Beasts have degrees in math and physics!

The Israeli Beasts will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Fighting hard on the field, and having fun during the day.

 

German Eagles

Coach: Mark Woods

Captain: Florian Naumann/Jakob Jung

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

We had a two-day-training camp in May in Dresden with team building activities and a lot of tactical sessions between the breaks. With the camp we gathered more german players around the Eagles than ever! Our coach Mark Woods had some hard decisions to make when nominating the final squad. Some well-earned Eagles and very experienced players didn’t make it into the final squad, because of the big resume of the camp.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

With the Hamburg Dockers, Berlin Crocodiles, Rheinland Lions, Frankfurt Redbacks, Zuffenhausen Giants and the Munich Kangaroos nearly every club has one or more players in the final team. Only the Dresden Wolves are missing on the list for the Euro Cup. But a few of them are not far away to make the next team for the next tournament.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

Four players are making their debuts for the German Eagles. This is quite a lot, regarding the shorted team list for the Euro Cup-Team. But we are already looking forward to next year’s International Cup and therefore it is important that a lot of players know what it feels like to wear the Eagles Jumper in a real tournament.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

We are improving year by year. We know that we can beat every team in Europe on a good day. We want the gold medal.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team?

For the German Eagles competing in the Euro Cup is a highlight every year. We have a really good and hard crack on the field during the day and leave everything on the ground but then we’re not enemies anymore for the other teams but friends. I think the rest of Europe hates to play against us during the day but loves to party with us after the tournament.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

I think this goes along with the answer to two questions earlier. We aim high and want to see what we can achieve with that.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

We have a really good mix with good and experienced players all over the field. In the backline, our captain Flo Naumann is a wall. His strength is just superb. With Fabian Probst, we have one of the best ruck men in Europe. Tobi Menzel and I will be around him (former European Legion, Team of the Tournament IC 2017, …). Our forward line is probably the strongest. Phil Evermann is one of the most talented players Germany has ever had.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

Mate, one night with the team and you can write a book full of interesting or funny stories! For example, Thilo Mayer and Timo Ebert (both on the team this year) didn’t make the squad for the Euro Cup last year in Cork. They didn’t care and just flew to Ireland to support the team. And that will be the same with other people this year. That’s the team spirit we’re talking about. Our Coach shortened a business trip to Canada, just to be with us in Stockholm. He skips the last couple of days and flies directly from Canada to Sweden.

The German Eagles will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

For winning the Euro Cup for the very first time.

 

 

Women’s Competition:

Irish Banshees

Coach: Mike Currane
Captain: Mella Morey

What has your preparation been heading into the 2019 Euro Cup?

Here in Ireland we are in the middle of our Australian Tax Solutions Super 7’s League which is our taster and development comp. We were very excited to pass the 200 player mark in Round One of the League. Unreal progress from a standing start  under 18 months ago. We also have new teams coming on stream all the time. This means there has never been as many players vying for Banshees Selection. Competition for spots is massive. We have also had a very successful inaugural Universities Cup in March and the first ever Universities International Cup in April. And of course we  had West Clare Waves make it 2 AFL Europe Champions League wins in a row in Amsterdam. So lots of action in the first half of this year, and lots of opportunities for players to impress in the run up to Euro Cup and some massive International Comps including European Championships 2019  in London in October and AFL International Cup in Australia next year.

How many clubs are represented in your national team?

We have a lot of club and university teams represented on our squad and that includes some of our established teams and some of our relatively new club teams and new uni teams. The squad of 16 includes players from West Clare Waves, Dublin Angels, Cork Vikings, West Dublin Garrisons, South Dublin Swans and University Teams represented include UCD, AIT, Trinity and our Irish Universities Team.

How many of your players are going to be making their Euro Cup debuts?

We have 9 players making their first appearances for Ireland. It’s very exciting to see so many players getting to wear the Banshees Guernsey for the first time. Of the 9 players we have 3 elevated from our Irish Universities Team which performed incredibly well in winning the first ever Universities International Cup against Great Britain Unis in April.  So it’s fantastic to see players coming through our talent pathway and cementing representing Ireland at Universities Level as a stepping stone to full International Representation.

What can we expect to see from your team this Euro Cup?

With so many new players it’s a bit of an unknown, and our aim is to develop these new players, but one thing for sure is these Banshees will give everything on the oval, so you can expect a huge amount of energy and effort all day and a fast & furious style of play. Every one of these players will be proud to wear a Banshees Guernsey and will no doubt do it justice! And the most important thing is they will enjoy every second of it.

What does competing in the Euro Cup mean to your team?

It’s always an honour to step on to any playing ground in any sport representing your country. And especially so in terms of Euro Cup and this amazing sport of Australian Rules Football. It’s one of the largest and best run Aussie Rules Competitions internationally, and is a huge credit to AFL Europe and all involved. Competition for places has never been greater and every Guernsey is hard earned and I think the players all realise that and will relish the opportunity and the occasion.

What are your expectations for the Euro Cup?

Our expectations are that we will see huge energy and effort all day from every member of the squad. We are looking for performance across the board and the players  to gain vital experience at this level. If all of the above boxes are ticked then it will have been a successful day. If we are bringing the Euro Cup back to Ireland for another year at the end of it then that will be a huge bonus.

Who are the players in your team that we should be watching out for?

This is easy. Mella Morey, Sarah Bohannon ,Mairead Coyne, Sinead Comerford, Laura Flannery, Ellie O’Gorman, Edel McMahon, Aisling Gillespie ,Lauren Manning, Heather Cullen, Dervla Higgins ,Lauren Boles, Ali Coleman, Michelle Farrell, Aine Staunton , Marie Keating.
Every single one of these players are stars in their own right and we cannot wait to see them playing together and for each other.

Do you have any extra bits of information about the team, like past years funny/interesting stories?

A number of our Euro Cup Winning Irish Banshees Team from 2018 have gone on to play professionally in Australia. Ailish Considine and Aisling McCarthy both played AFLW with Adelaide Crows and Western Bulldogs respectively, with Ailish making history by becoming the first ever Irish player to win an AFLW Premieship in her first season, something we are immensely proud of. And something everybody that played with these players and against these players in Euro Cup, and everybody involved in women’s footy across the continent should be very proud of.

Banshee Aisling Curley is currently playing very well for Collingwood in this seasons VFLW.  Numerous players from our teams/ comps have been signed professionally for AFLW 2020 and watch out for these stars in the Banshees Guernsey over the next few months. We cannot wait to see them all play on the big stage down under and look forward to a few more Irish Jigs!

The Irish Banshees will be remembered in the 2019 Euro Cup for…

Hopefully the Banshees will be remembered for taking out an unprecedented 7th Euro Cup title. But regardless we will be remembered for being a high energy high tempo team who love their footy, play relentlessly all day and have a whole lot of craic along the way!

Angus Boyle – AFL Europe

Belushi’s Presents: Player Spotlight – Amanda Teglhus

Each week, AFL Europe in combination with Belushi’s will take a look at one of our star players competing in fixtures across the continent in Player Spotlight. 

Playing Australian football for the past five years, Amanda Teglhus is now known as an experienced campaigner of the Australian game in Europe.

Since taking up footy, Amanda has proved to be a fantastic ambassador of the sport in Europe, not only improving her skills year on year but also assisting the growth of Australian football in Denmark and surrounding areas.

Upon hearing about AFL in 2014 with help from a University friend, Amanda is now immersed in the game and cherishes every moment she gets to play Australia’s game.

Moving to Odense, Denmark, Amanda planned on playing volleyball, but found her true passion through the uniqueness of AFL.

“My roommate made me participate in a footy training session, and I never looked back. Volleyball is fun, but tackling is more fun… I liked the social part, the unpredictable oval ball and not being sent out for a bump with some physicality really enticed me.”

Amanda’s move came at a perfect time for her to find this passion, as in 2014 the Odense Lions were founded and she has been a part of the club ever since.

Being a major contributor to the success of the Lionesses and continued progress of the club, Amanda has built her playing experience and has even represented her country playing for the Danish Valkyries in several edition’s of the Euro Cup.

Taking every opportunity that arises to play against other European teams, Amanda has many strengths that make her the player she is today.

“I like to run with or without the ball and that seems to be a major strength of mine and it is pretty convenient to be tall when I am in the ruck. I have also learnt through experience to do injury prevention training, I see myself as durable and am almost never injured from this training.”

Amanda describes the 2018 Champions League as one of her favourite memories, even making it into the Team of the Tournament for her amazing efforts on the day.

“I will never forget Champions League 2018… it was so special to travel with the Copenhagen boys team, we had great support from them and as we worked together as a team, not only did we have a successful tournament but the feeling of team spirit and support was priceless.”

Amanda was back in Amsterdam for the most recent Champions League tournament, but with a different role, helping out AFL Europe in an umpiring role.

Amanda has another great year of footy ahead of her and explains many of the reasons to why she plays Australian football, and why others should consider playing.

“The sportsmanship in this particular sport is amazing, it is a great community to be a part of,  it feels like a second family spread across Europe. It makes me happy to know that wherever in Europe you go, there is always friendly and welcoming people ready to take care of another footy enthusiast.”

Liam McAllion – AFL Europe

Special thanks to Belushi’s for helping grow the game in Europe

 

 

 

 

Irish Watch – AFL Round 13 Review

Round 13 would be the second of the AFL’s bye rounds with Geelong, Melbourne, Collingwood, West Coast, Brisbane and Sydney all enjoying a well deserved week off.

This would mean only two Irish players would feature at AFL level, with Conor Glass and Conor McKenna facing off against each other in a blockbuster Friday night clash between Essendon and Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium.

Sitting in 10th and 11th on the ladder, it was always going to be a tight contest with the finals hopes for both teams well and truly on the line.  

After an enthralling first half, the Bombers would eventually kick into gear late in the third term to bust the game open and pull away to a commanding five goal lead.

Although pushed in the dying stages by a rejuvenated Hawthorn, it would be too little to late for Clarkson’s men as Essendon claimed a crucial 19 point win to boost their claims for a finals spot.  

Without a doubt one of the star’s of the night for the red and black, it was perhaps a career best performance for Conor McKenna as everything seemed to click perfectly into gear.

After an incredibly consistent beginning to the year, this was the game McKenna needed to really prove himself as one of the competition’s most improved players for season 2019.

 Playing his usual role as a creator and distributor across halfback, McKenna tore up the Hawks all night picking up 25 disposals, four marks and a tackle while using the ball at a super impressive 80%.

Combining brilliantly with fellow running defender Adam Saad, the duo were lethal off half back for Essendon all night and really set up the victory in the way they took the game on and get the Bombers ball movement going.

It was also great to see the skills of the Irishman, as he wasn’t afraid to take the risky options and was superb in hitting his targets for the entire night.

McKenna certainly delivered on the Friday night stage.

On the other side, Conor Glass was given a new role by coaching mastermind Alastair Clarkson as a forward.

Having played the majority of his career in the backline, it was a surprising yet effective switch for the 21 year old Irishman as he enjoyed his best game of the season at AFL level.

Standing at 189cm and 84kg, Glass would be a welcome presence in the forward 50 for the Hawks who have struggled to find real potency in their attack in recent weeks.  

Playing as a pressure forward, Glass was excellent in pressuring the Bombers defenders as well as making a contest in the air to assist the likes of Luke Breust and Paul Puopolo on ground level.

In a performance that would have without a doubt pleased the coaches, Glass ended up with a solid 14 disposals and four marks at an impressive 86% efficiency.

He would also manage to kick his first AFL goal, as he picked up a loose ball on the 50 metre arc and slammed it home to change the momentum of the game and give the Hawks a lift before half time. 

In the state leagues, Hawthorn’s Conor Nash pushed his case for a recall into the senior side with an excellent performance for Box Hill in their narrow loss to ladder leaders Essendon.

Capped off with a memorable goal which featured a fend off and classy finish from 45, Nash showed his athleticism and potential to be a genuine difference maker in attack at AFL level for years to come.