Oslo Crows win the 2014 Swedish Cup

By Jeremy Darke

It was the Oslo Crows who outlasted the competition, stealing the silverware and taking home the 2014 Swedish Cup on a picturesque day for Australian Rules football in Jonkoping, on Saturday.

Players and clubs from Sweden and Norway came together in a jam-packed day of footy, delighting all the families and fans with a display of strength, skill and endurance in this unfamiliar sport that has captured the hearts of so many Swedes.

“It is great to see that so many players made the effort to be a part of this fantastic spectacle of footy in Sweden,” said Swedish Elks manager, Ryan Tucker.

“The weather turned on for us and made it once again another unforgettable day for aussie rules in this beautiful country.”

After four round-robin matches against the Norrtalje Dockers, Helsingborg/Karlstad Eagles, Sodermalm Blues and Arsta Swans, the Oslo Crows powered through their semi-final against the Sodermalm Blues, to take on Arsta Swans in the final for the Swedish Cup.

In what was a brutal final match in the burning Swedish summer sun, the Crows dominating the proceedings, taking away what was rightfully theirs on the day, the Swedish Cup, beating the Swans, 5.3 (33) to 2.3 (15).

Oslo showed up all of their Swedish rivals with their pristine football skills and ability to dig deep for each other when the going got tough and their legs began to tire.

“On such a day like the Swedish Cup you have got to play four or five games, it is going to be the team that is willing to stick in there and break through the pain barrier and really go for it.”

“It feels good. We gave it everything we got, continues Oslo acting coach Adam O’Toole.

“We are pretty sore now but it is always easier to handle the pain when you go home with a win.”

Rob Young from the Arsta Swans was voted the tournaments player’s player, consistently being a handful for his opposition throughout the day, getting his hands on the ball as often as possible and dictating his sides offensive play.

The annual event was once again a big success, bringing together players from Skane, Stockholm and Oslo to celebrate the game that is loved by everyone involved, making all of the volunteers, families and friends inconceivably proud.

The match results were:

Swans 5.5 (35) vs. Eagles 1.6 (12)

Crows 6.6 (42) vs. Dockers 1.0 (6)

Blues 3.2 (20) vs. Swans 5.4 (34)

Eagles 0.6 (6) vs. Crows 5.4 (34)

Dockers 3.2 (20) vs. Blues 3.5 (23)

Swans 6.4 (40) vs. Crows 4.3 (27)

Eagles 6.3 (39) vs. Dockers 2.1 (13)

Blues 2.4 (16) vs. Eagles 1.4 (10)

Dockers 2.0 (12) vs. Swans 4.6 (30)

Crows 7.6 (48) vs. Blues 2.2 (14)

1st Semi-final

Swans 7.0 (42) vs. Eagles 5.3 (33)

2nd Semi-final

Crows 4.5 (29) vs. Blues 1.3 (9)

Final

Crows 5.3 (33) vs. Swans 2.3 (15)

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The 2014 Swedish Cup is upon us!

2014 SWEDISH CUP

By Michael McCormick

AFL Sweden is set for a big day of football that will separate the men from the boys and determine which team will be crowned the Swedish champion for season 2014.

In further preparation for their International Cup campaign, all of the Swedish Elks players will be taking the field tomorrow for their respective local clubs.

Coined the festival of footy in Sweden, the Swedish Cup brings together teams from all over the country to compete on one big stage

The lakeside city, Jönköping in the South of Sweden will play host to the seven teams who will be competing.

As well as six teams from Sweden including the Årsta Swans, Norrtälje Dockers, Helsingborg Saints/ Malmö Maulers, Göteborg Berserkers/ Karlstad Eagles, and the Bromma Vikings/Solna Axemen/Södermalm Blues, the Oslo Crows from Norway will be making a special appearance at the Cup.

“The Bersekers and the Eagles who don’t play regular competition are putting together a team and it is great to have Oslo along again this year, we love to have them here enjoying the fun,” said AFL Sweden President, Jörg Pareigis.

The round robin tournament will see each team face off against each other in a condensed game format. Teams will play two halves of eight minutes which has been shortened from the traditional four quarters of twenty minutes,

“It is a real tough day of footy with such a jam-packed schedule, but that is what makes it so unique to regular weekly footy,” stated Pareigis.

The Swedish Cup will kick off bright and early tomorrow morning and by the end of the day a new king of AFL in Sweden will be crowned.

 

#elksweek #IC14 #AFLSwedishCup2014 #WhoIsStrongest

Check out the Swedish Elks facebook page to keep up to date!!

Swedish Cup Draw source: Swedish Elks facebook page

Swedish Cup Draw                                                 source: Swedish Elks facebook page

 

Swedish Elks Player – Hampus Olsson

By Jeremy Darke

Five years ago, Australia Rules Football was unknown to Hampus Olsson, just like it still is for most Swedish people.  But after his first touch of that unusual oval-shaped ball, just after the 2009 season, he was then hooked for life.

Hampus has proven to be the biggest up-and-coming talent within Sweden, impressing so much when in the limelight that he was awarded a position in the European Legion in their recent contest with the Australian Institute of Sport AFL School Boys, in London in April.

At the age of just 21, Olsson has now become one of the key figures in the Swedish Elks team heading into the International Cup 2014, the young footy gun stepping up his game off the field to move into a leadership role with the team.

Olsson has come a long way since the first offseason between the 2009 and 2010 season, where he spent hours upon hours, watching Auskick videos on YouTube to learn correct technique in anticipation of taking the field for his debut.

After that nerve-wracking day he has never looked back, but it wasn’t just the hard-hitting physicality of AFL that he fell in-love with, it was the Aussie mateship and camaraderie that the sport embezzles within its roots.

“AFL is fast, hard and skilful, but what really made me continue was the sportsmanship between players, as well as the fans,” said Hampus Olsson. “It is the toughest sport on the field but everyone can shake hands, smile and have a chat afterwards.”

“In my first match, even though I was new, I was given chance after chance, my teammates really wanted me to have a crack while I was playing my first game, giving me a lot of easy goals.

“That particular day also scared me in a good way and made me fall in-love with the sport, making me want to do whatever it took to get better.

And got better he certainly did, working so hard in his early development years that he made the Swedish Elks squad that travelled to Australia for the International Cup in 2011, in just his second full season of AFL footy.

The International Cup 2011 experience only made the bond stronger between Olsson and the sport of Aussie Rules, the European Legion representative saying that it was his best footy experience yet.

“The two weeks we had in Sydney, living across the street from Manly beach in apartments with a view of the lot, and getting to play footy at the same time was the best ever.”

Three years on, the Swedish Elks and Hampus Olsson are now preparing for another International Cup, although this time the bustling midfielder will have more than just his own game on his mind as he takes the step up into the leadership group within the team.

Elks Coach Dan McClaer has recognised and developed the potential of Hampus Olsson whilst in the national team and now believes that the time is right to move him into a leadership role, an honour that doesn’t faze the mature, young gun.

“My on-field game will stay the same as always. It shouldn’t change for any given reason, because you should always play at your top level every game,” explained Olsson.

When asked how he will lead his team and guide his players, Olsson said he will just try to set the example for all of the younger players in the Elks.

“Talk, show and listen. Lead by example and have fun no matter what we are doing, it is easier to learn more if you have fun while you are learning.”

The Elks will be looking to improve on their 11th placing in IC11, when they head to Australia in August for IC14, but the important thing for the Swedish team will be to take in the whole experience and make sure that they all give it a good Aussie crack.

“My goals and expectations for the IC and the Elks are pretty high. We’re a good team coming down.”

“But the most important part for me and the team is that we all have a real crack at it.

“So when we all come home we can talk about our trip to Australia, and all the fun we had, for the next three years, as I still do about my last trip three years ago.”

#elksweek #IC14

AFL Europe Easter Series

Tigers beat Convicts in the wet

By Ian Baxter

On Saturday June 7th women from all over Great Britain and Ireland converged in Newcastle to play the Tyne Tees Tigers Women’s team at North Shields Rugby Club. The visiting team, the Convicts, were able to boast 2 Irish internationals, a French international, a couple of experienced Australians and no less than 4 of the always well drilled Glasgow Sharks side. It was clear that these girls would be no pushovers, especially for the Tigers side who were all playing in either their first or second game of Aussie Rules.

In a 9 –a-side game played over 4x 15 minute quarters, both teams showed skill, flair and commitment that at times belied the heavy rain and always slippery conditions. During the first quarter playing with the wind and some luck the Tigers took control of the game whilst the convicts got to grips with the conditions and their new team mates. Convicts ruck recruit Rachel ‘Killa’ Kilmartin used her height to dominate the ruck contest from the get go, but the hard running of Tigers midfielders Lucy Kavanagh, Polly Moane, and Michelle Healy coupled with the strong marking of forward Jordy Lane allowed the Tigers to take a 25 point lead into the first break.

1Q: Tyne Tees Tigers 4.2.26 Convicts 0.1.1

The second quarter saw the Convict Tia Bool work her way more into the game with her Australian experience and class on the ball evident to all, allied with the pacy running of Kirsty Gray saw Bool kick the convicts first goal of the game. But it wasn’t to be, as a stellar quarter by the Tigers midfielder Lynn Mitchell saw her kick 3 goals and attract the attention and chants of the growing crowd as the Tigers piled on 5 goals to take a 50 point lead into the half time break.

HT: Tyne Tees Tigers 9.3.57  Convicts 1.1.7

In the Third quarter again the convicts stepped it up with the run and carry of the Irish pair Carolann Cass and Fiona Roarty coming to the fore. Enabling French International Gaelle Hazimeh to double the vistors goal tally. But a comeback wasn’t to be as the Tigers defence of Grace Campbell and Tanya Scully marshalled by the majestic Lisa McHugh, were able to deal with the attack and rebound effectively allowing the hard working forwards of Jordy Lane, Karen Keane and Nicola McLaughlin to add another 5 goals to the Tiger tally.

3QT Tyne Tees Tigers 14.4.88 Convicts 2.1.13

The final quarter saw some tired legs continuing to compete over the rain sodden ground with Glasgow Sharks representatives Evelyn McGee, Kristi Jo Fawcett and Sarahmairead McLachlan standing their ground as they had all day, through the midfield and backline against a strong tigers attacking formation. The Tigers added another 2 goals to finish up the winners by 88 pts and not even the weather could dampen the spirits of the players and crowd who’d enjoyed themselves immensely that afternoon.

Final Tyne Tees Tigers 16.6.102 Convicts 2.2.14

The day was a great success and a positive step forward for the development of the game in Europe. The next planned ladies game in England will be held in London on the 21st of June as part of the Wimbledon Hawks Ladies Day. For more information contact Tia Bool tia.bool@afleurope.org

Goals

Tigers: Lane 5 Mitchell, Healy 3 Keane 2 Kavanagh, Moane, McHugh 1

Convicts:  Bool, Hazimeh 1

Teams

Tigers: Lucy Kavanagh (capt), Lisa McHugh, Jordy Lane, Lynn Mitchell, Nicola McLaughlin, Polly Moane, Michelle Healy, Tanya Scully, Karen Keane, Grace Campbell

Convicts: Tia Bool (Wimbledon Hawks), Gaelle Hazimeh (Wimbledon Hawks), Rachel Kilmartin (Wimbledon Hawks), Fiona Roarty (Belfast Kookaburras), Carolann Cass (Belfast Kookaburras), Kirsty Gray (Glasgow Sharks), Evelyn McGhee (Glasgow Sharks), Kristi Jo Fawcett (Glasgow Sharks), Sarah Mairead McLachlan (Glasgow Sharks)

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Swedish Elks ready to take on the world’s best

by Michael McCormick

One of the premier sides in Europe, the Swedish Elks, are preparing to test out a new look team in the upcoming International Cup in August.

The Elks will blood several young players after having gone through a year of transition. More than half the team made their representative debut in a friendly match against Denmark in March this year.

“We will be looking to use the International Cup to build our group and give experience to the up and coming AFL players of Sweden,” stated Swedish Elks Team Manager, Jeremy Darke.

Darke, a 27 year old Australian expat who also coaches local team the Norrtälje Dockers, revealed that although playing non-European teams is a draw card for the tournament, old rivalries die young.

“To go up against teams that we have never faced before is the excitement of the International Cup,” said Darke. “Although we would love to beat Finland on the world stage.”

Having finished in eleventh place in 2011, the Elks are striving for a top ten placing in this year’s competition.

“With a spread of players from all over the country and domestic competitions it has been difficult to have stand-alone training sessions.

To prepare we have scheduled 2 friendly matches against Denmark and the Stockholm Dynamites.”

Although it will be the first trip down under for most of the younger players, Darke expects them to step up and catch the eye of AFL fans the world over.

“Hampus Ollson, Jacob Nilsson, Buster Sund are all young, solid players with a lot of passion for the game,” revealed Darke. “I’d expect them to be among our best performers for the tournament.”

The Elks have been fortunate in securing sponsorship to lessen the financial burden associated with making the trip to Melbourne.

“We have be able to acquire 6 bronze sponsors, but fundraising is still coming along slowly.”

The challenges faced to get there will be outweighed by the rewards, and not just in the form of competing.

“It would be a dream to go and watch the Gold Coast play in Melbourne and watch Ablett Jr. work his magic.”

#elksweek #IC14

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Finland Icebreakers Player Profile- Antti Nurmikoski

Name: Antti Nurmikoski
Team: Vaasa Wombats/Finland Icebreakers
Jersey number: 9
Position: midfield/offence
Why and when i started playing:
Mika (Kupila) and Kaj (Karlsson) were starting a team in Vaasa, I was working at the same place as they were, so after some Youtube videos and details asked they talked me in to it.
Expectations for IC:
Life-long memories and experience to share back in Finland
Best footy memory:
Probably this whole trip as a player. I never would have guessed where this sport would take me when I started. France, Scotland, Sweden and now finally, Australia!
Presidents Comments (Mika Kupila):
Never gives up, great goal kicking and understanding of the game. Best of all, an awesome team player on and off the field. He’s been a crucial part of getting the team up and running in Vaasa.
#icebreakersweek #IC14
Antti Nurmikoski

Finland Icebreakers prepare for International Cup

INTERNATIONAL CUP 2014

TEAM: FINLAND

by Michael McCormick

Since their disappointing 2008 International Cup campaign, the Finland Icebreakers have gone back to the training track and established themselves as an up and coming threat in the AFL Europe competition. They will compete in the International Cup in 2014 with a renewed ferocity towards the game.

Captain of the Finnish national team and Chairman of the board, 28-year-old Mika Kupila, believes that his team has the ability to improve upon their previous International Cup results.

“I’d love to see a couple of good wins and tough fights with stronger teams,” Kupila stated. “Our team has a lot of potential and if we can play on our own level, I’m sure we can cause an upset here and there.”

The local competition was shortened to allow for a focus on the Icebreakers’ bid to claim some upset victories.

“We play 9v9 here in Finland so going full field will require some extra sessions,” Kupila explained. “We’ll have training in July to focus on key points with transitioning to the big field,”

The pool of talent runs deep in FInland, but Kupila remains confident that senior players such as Fredrik Romar, Ville Saarinen and Kaj Karlsson will prove their worth and be amongst the Cup’s best players.

As with the other European teams attending the Melbourne based competition, Finland has struggled with their fundraising efforts.

“The players themselves will mostly fund the trip,” Kupila revealed. “We will however be getting some assistance with accommodation in Melbourne and are, at the moment, in talks to hopefully get flights sorted out as well.”

Being a long time Carlton Blues supporter, the Icebreakers’ captain is looking forward to the opportunity to watch a game live and hopefully witness a win.

“Being in Melbourne, I hope to catch one of their games and I wouldn’t mind meeting the guys either,” Kupila remarked.

As far as his own team’s chances of winning, Kupila admits that it will be a tough march to the finals, but the focus remains on improving on 2008’s efforts.

“Competitiveness is key, if we can match them, we can beat them.”

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#icebreakersweek

 

Stay tuned during the week for more updates on their progress.

Copenhagen inaugurate their posts from the Goal Post Grant

The Copenhagen Australian Football club is the newest member to the Danish League. In 2013, they applied to the AFL Europe Start-Up Club Program and received balls to start training and launch the club. This year their application for a Goal Post Grant was also successful which enabled them to receive funding from AFL Europe to get new goal posts.

In April, their first game in the DAFL against the Farum Cats inaugurated their new posts and pitch. Scott O’Hara tells us about their experience.

“Copenhagen Australian Football played their first official DAFL against reining premiers Farum Cats. In a closely fought contest, they managed to take it up to the champs for the entire game, sadly falling just 5 points short at the final whistle. It was a great first game with new coach Stephen Stewart at the helm.

The match was played at our new ground at Festpladsen in Valby Park and marked the first outing of our brand new goal posts, which we were able to purchase thanks to the help of a Goal Post Grant from AFL Europe. We are very grateful for the posts and the benefits they will give to the club for many years to come. We look forward to kicking many more Goals through them.”

Also, Copenhagen Australian Football Club have recently launched a junior program to make the club grow at the youth level. This is very encouraging for their future.

If you think your club is eligible for the Goal Post Grant, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Algarve 9’s Update – Your Ultimate Footy Trip!

Is your footy club yet to plan its end-of-year footy trip? Is your local team looking for a challenge and fun in the same event?

2014 will again provide an end of season event to cater for clubs, teams and players who will not be participating in the Axios Euro Cup in London. Following the success of the 2013 edition of this packaged end of season Footy trip, we’ve again teamed up with one of Europe’s premier warm weather sports resorts in the beautiful Algarve region of Portugal for AFL Europe Algarve 9s.

Fully Packaged

  • Tournament Registration.
  • 2 Nights Accommodation.
  • Complimentary Breakfasts.
  • Tournament Draw & BBQ.
  • Post Carnival Presentation & BBQ.
  • Use of select on site sports facilities.
  • Use of Jacuzzi, Sauna and Turkish Bath.
  • Photo Library DVD of Event.

+ Extras available on request: additional nights, airport transfers, fun activities. More details on the resort can be found at www.browns-club.com.

All details available here: Aussie Rules 9 a side Tournament – Algarve 9’s.

The Tournament

The tournament will take place on Saturday October 18th in a blitz format (see Program AFL Europe Browns Algarve 9s 2014) and is open to a limited number of club or composite teams, with a maximum squad size of 15 and a minimum of 12. There will be no limit on the participation of Australian players.

Booking

To secure your team’s place in the 2014 AFL Europe Algarve 9s, teams need to contact Stefan Uusitalo at the resort (E-Mail: stefan@browns-club.com). Deposit of €100 due on team confirmation and full payment due 3 months before the event, July 18th. You must stay at the resort in order to participate.

Limited space available – Make sure you book asap to ensure your team will be there!

Getting There

Vilamoura is a short distance from Faro Airport, which is served by the following airlines and airports.

  • Aer Lingus – Belfast, Cork & Dublin
  • Air Berlin – Berlin-Tegel, Dusseldorf, Munich
  • ArkeFly – Amsterdam
  • British Airways – London Gatwick
  • Easyjet – Belfast International, Bristol, Glasgow International, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London-Luton, London-Southend, Newcastle Upon Tyne and Paris-Orly.
  • Jet2.com – East Midlands, Glasgow International, Leeds/Bradford, Newcastle Upon Tyne.
  • Lufthansa – Frankfurt, Munich.
  • Monarch Airlines – Birmingham, East Midlands, Leeds/Bradford, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, Manchester.
  • Norwegian Air Shuttle – Copenhagen, London-Gatwick, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda
  • Ryanair – Beauvais, Bristol, Cherleroi, Cologne/Bonn, Dortmund, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, London-Stansted, Manchester, Glasgow-Prestwick.
  • TAP Portugal – Lisbon
  • Transavia.com – Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Groningen

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SONY DSC

Free Footy online in Round 11

In a exciting new development the Watch AFL coverage moved to HD streaming last weekend and we can attest that the quality of viewing has increased for the better. This will ensure that members will get optimal streaming definition for your connection, as the stream adapts to the bandwidth available to you in order to deliver the best available picture. Users on high speed connections will now benefit from a maximum streaming bitrate of 3000 kbps.
DVR technology gives viewers the ultimate control through the ability to pause and rewind during live matches to view an amazing hanger or goal, or just pause the live action so you don’t miss a moment. To use this function just move the “scrubber” bar in the player controls to drag back and forth for instant replays of your favourite moments. Please note DVR functionality is supported only on desktops and laptops.

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY

For those who are not yet subscribers WatchAFL will be providing FREE ACCESS to Round 11 matches (Thursday May 29th – Sunday June 1st . Indigenous Round)

There should be some fantastic games in Round 11, kicking off with Sydney v Geelong . The showcase game – Dreamtime at the G between Essendon and Richmond will also be available.