From London to Sydney

Born and bred Englishman, Dan Evenhuis first discovered Australian Rules when a work friend brought him down to a Wimbledon Hawks training session, in London, a few years back. Instantly falling in love with the incredible sport that is AFL, Dan played a few season with the Hawks before migrating to Australia and joining the Manly Giants. Here Dan found fellow Europeans; Ian Bairds, also from London and previously playing with the West London Wildcats, Jimmy Falstrom from Stockholm, Sweden, previously playing for the Solna Axemen and Dermot Flanagan from Dublin, Ireland. All meeting at the Manly Giants, where they have been accepted with open arms, the boys are kicking goals and improving their skills ten fold. Dan gave AFL Europe an exclusive insight into his experience.

 

I moved to Australia in November 2014. Playing sport abroad has always been a goal of mine, the plan a few years back was to play a few seasons of cricket somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere; that was until I found footy.

Growing up in London I didn’t have much exposure to Aussie Rules as a kid, except the odd time you’d see it on Trans World Sport and take the mick out of them for playing hot potato. When I went down to my first training at The Wimbledon Hawks and the boys took me under their wings straight away and I knew I’d found a new love. After my 5 years at that great club, and picking up a few serious injuries along the way, I felt confident enough to get involved in Australia. I’d heard about The Manly Giants through an old teammate in Wimbledon who had done the old switcheroo with me; a native from the northern beaches now living in London.

When I touched down in Sydney I made contact with the Giants, and was told about training times and locations. With a promise they take on all playing levels, I thought why not! I was really lucky that my arrival coincided with the start of pre-season training in December. Rocking up on my own was a bit of a daunting experience; similarly to your first day at a new school.

After introducing myself to the group, and the few expected smart arse comments about a Pom playing footy were made, we got on with it. My skills weren’t too bad, fitness not great, but the boys got around us and made us feel really welcome. Names were the hardest thing to keep hold of, behind several pre season torps of course, but my first session was bloody good fun and I knew I’d made the right decision getting involved with the Giants.

It was an a really different experience coming from training sessions with around 20 blokes in South West London, to pre season in Sydney with 70 odd on the track, all looking like absolute guns. I was really impressed with the club’s Head Coach, Leigh Brain, and director of football, Chris O’Sullivan. Despite the huge playing group, they both made sure they knew everyone’s names, including mine, and were always approachable and welcoming. We eventually split into our playing groups, and I began training with the men’s 3rd grade team, who play in division 4 in AFL Sydney.

There were quite a few new faces around, including another European, Jimmy Falstrom from Stockholm, and an old hand in the team, Dermot Flanagan from Ireland who sorted me out a lot when I first got down. Some of the new lads had never played footy before, but all of us were made to feel welcome and before you knew it, a team was starting to take shape. Pre season training was hard but fun, my skills came along leaps and bounds, or “heaps” as they’d say out here, and I took part in drills I’d never seen before and didn’t have a clue about. I realised my fitness was nowhere near good enough to play competitively in Sydney, but with the northern beaches on our door step we took advantage of our surrounding environment and had a lot of hardcore beach sessions – soft sand running is a killer! We’ve also got some great lads in the club who run Code 5, a gym where all club members can train together and get the extra sessions in where needed off the footy field.

As the Manly Giants have links with the GWS Giants of the AFL, we were also lucky enough to be able to use their training facilities from time to time. Pre season testing there included speed, strength, agility and endurance, and getting to use a professional footy clubs state of the art facilities was a real treat, though I didn’t much like their recovery ice baths after! When the season rolled around we had a real sense of unity in our team and all of us were raring to get going. I was quite proud to be named in the starting line up in our first game. We got beaten that day, but showed some promising signs for the season ahead. My first game experience was something I wouldn’t forget in a hurry! I took a few big knocks, but took also a few marks and a few good disposals; it wasn’t a complete disaster.

And so the season rolled on and we started to get a bit of a winning streak under our belts. We were playing our own brand of footy that we worked hard in training to master, and things seemed to click in to place for everyone. We had a couple of big tests against some strong teams, we played on all sizes of pitches, most of them out west, and came up against some interesting looking blokes in the opposition. At the time of writing we’re sitting pretty in the top half of the ladder and in with a shot of finals. Now that would be something…watch this space!

So my experience of Australian Rules in my first season in Sydney has been fantastic. I’ve met a group of blokes I’m happy to now call my mates, knowing full well they’ll go hard at the footy out on the oval, and give it a good crack in the pub after the game as well. The Manly Giants culture is inclusive of everyone, no matter where you’re from, or what level you play at, and I’ve found a great new home away from home. I’d definitely recommend for any young budding footballers in Europe wanting to improve their skills to get out here and get involved with competitive footy in Australia, it opens your eyes to the full beauty of this mental game we’ve all fallen in love with!

 

The conception of AFL in Poland

The expansion of Australian Rules Football continues to grow at an astonishing rate in Europe, with 2015 seeing the inaugural AFL Europe Champions League taking place in Amsterdam. Ten countries were represented by a team demonstrating that Australian Rules Football has certainly staked its claim as sport capable of growing in such a soccer orientated continent.

This year’s AFL Europe Axios Euro Cup is hoping to involve the unveiling of the newest AFL Europe franchises – AFL Polska. The driving force behind the inclusion of Poland into the AFL scene is Australian expat, Gareth Smith whose claim to fame is keeping Brett Voss to a handful of possessions back when Gareth was 17. Since taking the reins of AFL Polska and establishing a team in Bydgoszcz, the sports awareness and interests has greatly increase and participation has reached even the “grass roots” level.

Gareth Smith is originally from Toowoomba, Queensland, a town dominated by its Rugby League presence. Gareth’s family moved north from Geelong, which was where he inherited his love for Australian Rules Football and the Geelong Cats Football Club. Coolaroo Football Club was where Gareth played his junior football, but being such a undeveloped sport in the area, Gareth often played in the under 13s, under 15s and Reserve grade side during Saturday’s competitions. Local football became part of Gareth’s life, playing each season until moving to Poland with his wife and now three children. “We had some friends in Poland and after finishing ten years working in Australia, we decided to move to Poland for an indefinite period” Gareth explains. It was in December 2014 when Gareth began his involvement with bringing this sport he loved to Poland and to get really get Futbol Australijski w Polsce developed.

In a forest clearing, on a four-degree day, Bydgoszcz hosted its first Australian Rules Football training session; the turnout of participants hailed from Australia, Denmark, Turkey and Poland. As all newcomers to the sport could relate, the players found taking to the oval ball strange and unorthodox but the passion was evident and the sport became engrained within them. Within a few days, word of this foreign sport had reached the local tabloids and a local newspaper dispatched a reporter to a training session to report. Following an interview with the players and the coach, Gareth Smith, the Futbol Australijski w Polsce FaceBook page had doubled its “likes”.

 

Being a massive Geelong Cats fan since he was a child, Gareth only thought it fitting to name the new team, the Bydgoszcz Wildcats. He was also lucky enough to meet a South African with connections to current a Geelong player and is hoping to use such a connection to create a partnership with the club back in Australia, as many clubs throughout Europe do maintain.

 

Since taking control of the establishment of the Bydgoszcz team, Gareth has taken a step back from taking trainings and has handed duties over to English/Dane, Soren Mackenzie. Gareth still takes part in the Wildcats’ coaching role, but has decided to concentrate on further development in other cities. One village not far from Bydgoszcz is Osielsko, Gareth explains “they are very forward thinking and have a good baseball team…American Football team and they are keen to have an AFL team too”. As with the development any new sport, captivating the audience and participants is the great challenge, but Gareth believes that the locals in Osielsko would be interested in trying the game he is so passionate about.

 

So what next for Australian Rules Football in Poland and the Bydgoszcz Wildcats? The aim is to put together a side to compete against either the Berlin Crocs or the Prague Cats. Further on from that, putting together a Polska team to compete in the 2015 AFL Europe Axios Euro Cup, which will be held in Umag, Croatia. For now Gareth just wants to keep the interest in Poland growing. Since we last checked in with him, “likes” on the Futbol Australijski w Polsce Facebook page have exceeded 300 and Gareth has also been contacted by another Australian Rules Football enthusiast with the desire to start a team in the south of Poland. Even a clinic for school children was organised to give the students a taste of the game.

 

As the average wage in Poland is approximately €700 per month, funding for team uniforms, goal post and footballs is very hard to come by. Gareth hopes to get in touch with teams in other countries to assist with such funding, as a way of developing a partnership between the clubs – particularly the Geelong Cats and the West London Wildcats.

 

For anyone interested in getting involved with Futbol Australijski w Polsce for participation, funding, general information or even a Pole residing in another country that wishes to participate as part of the AFL Polska team at the 2015 AFL Europe Axios Euro Cup, please contact AFL Europe via Sarah Ongarello.

 

James Gottschalk.

AFL Europe Appoint New CEO

AFL Europe is pleased to announce Megan Hession has been appointed CEO.

An experienced sports administrator, Megan will be based in London and will oversee the 21-member nation’s individual competitions while continuing to promote the game and oversee its development in Europe.

Originally from the United States, Megan arrives in London with a wealth of experience. After working for more than a decade in financial trading technology in New York and London, Megan started a sports management company in Europe that expanded to Dubai and New York. Her work focused on EPL player welfare and the organisation of high-performance training camps and sports event management in the Middle East.

Megan is no stranger to the AFL after organising Port Adelaide’s last two pre-season training camps in Dubai.

Megan said she was thrilled to be starting the role.

“I am absolutely delighted to be here. Very rarely does a sporting role become available where you can make an impact at so many levels.  The key element of my position is to ensure that AFL Europe supports the development of our member nations.  I also intend on pursuing commercial outcomes so that the organisation has the ability to grow,” she said.

“Building on existing programs and identifying new opportunities will also be a focus. We will look to expand junior development programs, continue to develop the professionalism of tournaments and events and create more advocates for AFL Europe.

“We have an unbelievably passionate group of over 6000 people who volunteer their time to play, coach, umpire and organise a broad range of football programs and we aim to support them.”

Megan takes the reigns from Ben MacCormack who has returned to Australia with his young family.

Megan operates with an open door policy, feel free to contact her at any time on megan.hession@afleurope.org

 

Originally posted on AFL Community

Women’s Nordic AFL

Following on from the AFL London Women’s league, another Women’s league that are making tracks is coming out of Scandinavia. The Women’s Nordic AFL (WNAFL) comprises of the Odense Lions from Denmark, the Port Malmö Lynx and the Helsingborg Wolverines, who are both from southern Sweden.

The first team created were the Helsingborg Wolverines a couple of years ago, followed shortly after by Odense Lions and then the Port Malmö Lynx. Currently playing 9 a side but with keen interest to move to 12 a side Women’s football in Scandinavia, particularly in Sweden, is steadily growing.

With the 2015 Axios Euro Cup in the near future, the Swedish players have established the national team, The Swedish Ravens, led by coach Ryan Davidsson. With recruiting been the main challenge the WNAFL are facing, word of mouth has become crucial for the steadily growing numbers. However, the motivation is high with the possibility of playing for the national team and to represent their country in AFL Europe’s event!

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As far as the future is concerned, the hope is that Stockholm, Copenhagen and Gothenburg will create teams and join the other teams in the WNAFL as it continues to get bigger and better. The growth of AFL outside of Australia is happening due to the dedication of some amazing people. Morten Merhoj assisted in the Odense Lions, Hanna Falkenström with the Port Melmö Lynx abd Isabelle Karlsson with the Helsingborg Wolverines have been crucial in the growth of women’s football in Scandinavia. Without volunteers involved, AFL throughout Europe wouldn’t be possible!

If you want to get involved in Women’s footy in Sweden or anywhere else in Europe contact us at info@afleurope.org

Good luck to the Swedish Ravens – we’ll see you in Croatia in October!

Axios Euro Cup 2015

The registrations for the 2015 Axios Euro Cup are now live!

Click here for more information.

Women Want Footy

In 2014, Australian Rules football celebrated 25 years of a sporting competition in the country of England. In 2015, Women’s Australian Rules football officially took off with an AFL London Women’s league comprising of four already established men’s clubs each becoming host to a Women’s team. Those founding clubs being: Wimbledon Hawks, Wandsworth Demons, North London Lions and the South East London Giants.

In previous years, only exhibition games had been held for females on AFL London Grand Final day or training sessions for those interested. The development of a women’s league in London only confirms the continual development and interest in the game away from Australia. Even more so with the recent implementation of Women’s AFL matches being played since 2013 between the Western Bulldogs and the Melbourne Demons.

Lauren Sparks, a current player for the Wimbledon Hawks, had previous experience playing Aussie Rules football back in Melbourne – 3 years for Melbourne University, representative football for Victoria at the National Championships and Vic Metro. Lauren was also a member of the first two Women’s AFL sanctioned exhibition matches, playing for the Western Bulldogs against the Melbourne Demons. When asked about her knowledge of the league (men or women’s); “before coming over here I didn’t know much at all about the league…I found out they were introducing the first women’s league and that 4 teams would be involved”. As most antipodeans tend to do when moving abroad, a sporting club or organisation is a safe house as a social network. Lauren attributes the Wimbledon Hawks as an accessible way to meet new people, especially with the correlation between the men’s and women’s teams at the club.

Coming from a different Australian Rules football background, Jessie Hayes was part of the Junior Development Program at the Fremantle Dockers and had grown up around the sport. Having minimal knowledge of the Women’s AFL London league before arriving in London, Jessie knew that she would eventually be drawn to a club in one way or another. “Before I came over I had an inkling I would get involved in a club in some way”. She thanks peer pressure from her friend, a North London Lions player, to ‘[encourage] me to get on the other side of the boundary line for once”.

Both players strongly condone the sport as a great way to socialise with other people, and not only at their specific club, but over all the clubs. Many clubs hold joint social occasions to encourage camaraderie between each other – North London Lions and the West London Wildcats jointly host a Thames River Cruise as part of the Wildcat’s Ladies’ Day celebrations. Ladies’ Day is quickly becoming more and more important for the AFL London clubs’ to ascertain their stance as a genuine supporter of further developing and creating awareness of women’s involvement in Australian Rules football.

Without a doubt, the social aspect of the league is a part that everyone enjoys – “It is brilliant to have found such a great family like the Lions. London life wouldn’t be anywhere near as good without the club” Jessie states. As most expats in London can agree, playing Aussie Rules football assists in avoiding a dosage of the ‘Heathrow Injection’ (the sudden weight gain from lack of physical activity when arriving into London).

But where to next for the Women’s AFL London league? The current teams participating in the league are looking to grow their participation numbers and clubs that have yet to field a team would ideally be looking at staking their presences in the league.

“It’s definitely got room to grow, the amount of foreigners that are exposed to it, never seen it before, and then are hooked the minute they try the game, it intrigues people” says Lauren in regards to further expansion of the women’s league. Women’s team are both represented at the Axios Euro Cup as well as the International Cup (World Cup for Aussie Rules football), however there is always the desire to continually expand the participation level for both genders in Europe.

For more information regarding the Women’s AFL London league or any local competitions please head to the Women’s AFL London website.

 

 

James Gottschalk

The Great Dane

Mikkel Kjoege was 8 years old, when he first heard of Australian Rules football. It was from a family friend, Preben Mandal, who supports and is a big influence on the Farum Cats Football Club. Mikkel ended up going to his first practice and making some really good friends which really helped to keep him playing and developing. It was Mikkel’s namesake, his mum’s cousin, Mikkel Norlander, who kept him training and improving. His nickname is “The Danish Lance Franklin” – he was one of the junior coaches at the Farum Cats at the time.

At the age of 12 Mikkel says he had already tried pretty much every other sport, “but nothing compared to Australian Rules.”

In 2011, Mikkel heard about the European Legion squad, which was to play the touring AIS AFL Academy team in April 2012. The try outs were in London where he was put through a week long training camp and skill testing Combine, in conjunction with video of him playing being sent through to AFL Europe. A few months later Mikkel was informed that he had been selected to participate in the Easter Series with European Legion – “this was the first moment where playing Aussie Rules internationally felt possible,” says Mikkel.

During the try out combine they tested players with agility drills, jumping, running and so on. AFL Europe were happy with Mikkel’s results and decided to also send them through to the World 18 Team that were to play in Sydney, Australia in August 2012. Not only did Mikkel end up being chosen but he was the only European player to join the world team.

This was a huge step for Mikkel, as he was able to start seeing an opportunity for possibly playing Australian Rules at professional level someday. It was with this that Mikkel decided to really go for it, “I was always told that I could do anything I want to, and I really wanted this.”

Coming from the Farum Cats in Denmark, Mikkel barracks for the Geelong Cats in the AFL. Professional AFL players are such a huge inspiration for him, in particular Joel Selwood. Mikkel says he admires his “fearlessness, courage and he is just so incredibly talented – he makes me want to push even harder to make it in the AFL.”

With some amazing coaches along the way that inspired Mikkel to strive to make it in the AFL; “my first junior coach, Morten Merhøj, he taught me all the basic skills and has become a really good friend of mine.” Mikkel’s most recent European coaches, Morten Engsbye and Troels Ottesen, have had huge influence upon him through the last couple of years – getting the Farum Cats to 4 premierships in a row. Morten Engsbye also coached the Danish Vikings in the European Championships and took home an award for best European coach in 2014 when he coached Denmark to victory in European 9-a-side Championships.

Throughout the years of playing in European Legion and The World Team, Mikkel has been lucky enough coached by big names such as Tadhg Kennelly and Brad Ottens, watching them and learning from them was an incredible opportunity and experience for him.

Mikkel was chosen to participate in the 2014 AFL Europe Draft Combine and with good results was noticed by a few AFL Clubs who were keen to see him play more. AFL Europe was able to facilitate the move to Melbourne, Australia where Mikkel is now playing for the Old Xaverians, in the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA), for a season with the hope of partaking in the 2015 AFL Draft in October.

 

Mikkel’s Australian Adventure – Part 2

 

Training is great! I’m starting to feel more confident; it does take a while to get in to a new club, with new players and coaches. I played my first practice match with the reserves, and another with the firsts. I can feel myself getting better by challenging myself with such a good team.

I played round one with the Thirds – Under 23’s, and I feel pretty good about the way I played. I was happy with the match review:

’’The Under 23s are defending their premiership in the Premier B Thirds and started the year in impressive fashion with a big win over Old Trinity at Stradbroke Park. The coach released debutant Mikkel Kjoege from defence and onto the ball after half time and the Great Dane had a real impact with his hard running and long, accurate kicking.’’

I kicked my first goal, and I got mentioned in the top 3 best players of my first match. It was such a great feeling!

In Round 2 I had some trouble with a bruised heel, so didn’t play last week but I was ready to get back into it for Round 3. I was playing with the U23’s until coach, Murray Browne, felt I was ready to move up, I felt ready straight away – but I trusted his judgement!

I’ve been talking quite a bit with my family, friends and my old team mates in the last couple of weeks and they’re all very supportive which motivates me to keep pushing, I’m really grateful for them and their support!

My family is coming to visit me in a few months which I can’t wait for, and I’m keeping in contact with a few friends who play AFL and VFL whom I met in my time at Geelong College and through playing for the World and European teams.

Round 3 I got to debut for the Reserves being “unleashed” by Coach Browne at quarter time. I was pretty happy with the match review for round 3 also:

“Reserves debutant Mikkel “The Great Dane” Kjoege was held back until quarter time before being unleashed by Coach Browne. He proved lively up forward.”

Round 4 I felt I started to feel great! I kicked 3 goals and was named in the best and I was able to following up in both Rounds 5 and 6 with 2 goals in each!

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Follow Mikkel’s journey on #MikkelDownUnder and @AFL_Europe

For more go to our previous article on Mikkel

 

Sarah Ongarello

AFL England is on the hunt for the next coach and management team for the Bulldogs.

AFL England is looking to fill a few positions within the coaching and management team!

After a great 5 years Mark Pitura is moving on as head coach, so the search is now on for the coaching and management team to lead the Bulldogs through to the 2017 International Cup.

If you’re interested in applying follow this link:  http://www.aflengland.org/?p=745 

Applications close Friday 15th May 2015.

Australia take home the 7th Annual ANZAC Cup

There’s another traditional ANZAC Day football match that takes place just slightly north of the MCG, in the small but incredibly beautiful town of Villers-Bretonneux, France.

This year’s Slater + Gordon ANZAC Cup saw Australia take out the win 112-63 making the tally 4 victories to Australia and 3 to France. What the tally doesn’t show you is the incredible relationships that are formed over the short few days between all involved. With both the Australian and French players and their guests being hosted by local families throughout the Picardie region, it has truly cemented this unique bond.

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ANZAC Day in Villers-Bretonneux began with all the French and Australian players attending the Dawn Service, held at the Australian War Memorial, in the early hours of the morning in the cold and heavy rains. Not one complaint was made, all involved shared this special experience, hearing only the rain and the bugle.

The players reunited for a march through the streets of Villers-Bretonneux, following three bagpipers and the French and Australian flags, right up to Stadium Timmerman. Standing arm in arm the National anthems played, and a minute of silence for our ancestors, who had fell on that very ground.

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A spirited start for the Australian team saw them dominate in the first quarter but the second quarter onwards showed a feisty French team not go down without a fight. With great quality of football being seen, two stand outs were chosen by the opposing teams. Best on ground for the Australian team, James Gottschalk, said he, “Just gave it my all for my country, it’s not every day you get to wear your country’s jersey. I wore it with pride and represented my country to the best of my ability to pay my respects to the ANZACs who also gave it their all for their countries”. With the players being chosen on their connection to the land and the history of Villers-Bretonneux and the ANZACs the quality of football was outstanding. The French best on ground went to Thibaut Picard who read the movement of the play outstandingly and worked exceptionally well with his team mates, always being on hand to keep the ball moving forward. Inside and outside player, tough and explosive, and really embodied the ANZAC spirit.

At the conclusion of the men’s match we saw the first ever Women’s match played at the AFL Europe ANZAC Cup. A lack of Australian numbers wasn’t an issue for the ladies, a seven a side match was played with the French lending a helping hand to their opponents. All the women mingled and played alongside and against each other adding another level to the relationships already formed. Australian, Jess Edwards, was awarded best on ground for the women’s team after dominating and coming away with 6 goals. Edwards also made an incredibly moving speech about mateship and the French-Australian relationship. The French women’s best on ground went to Camille Portal, twin sister to fellow French player, Berengere, for her aggressive and skilful approach to the game!

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Captain-coach, for the Australian men’s team, Tom Rischbeith, was fortunate enough to play his second year for the Australian Spirit. In reflecting on the game, Rischbeith said “I have found that one of the nicest thing about being involved in this game is that is has been a platform for myself and others to reconnect with our ancestors and with an era which is fast becoming old history rather than recent. I think it’s becoming rarer and rarer these days for people our age and younger to put much thought to the incredible sacrifices made by those who have fought for Australia at war, but with an event like this it gives a unique twist on ANZAC Day which us youngies (loosely applied term!) can attach to.”

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AFL Europe would like to thank all those who volunteered and supported the ANZAC Cup. It was an extremely special and touching event that we hope will get bigger and better in the years to come.

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Sarah Ongarello

The Slater + Gordon ANZAC Cup 2015

This weekend will see the 7th annual ANZAC Cup take place in Villers-Bretonneux in France, this Saturday 25th April at 12pm at Stade Timmerman.

The Australian team, coming from all around Europe as well as Australia, will take on the French team led by Andrew Unsworth and Stevo Ryan. Both teams will attend the Dawn Service at the Australian National Memorial, followed by a march, undertaken by both teams, through Villers-Bretonneux to Stade Timmerman, making the event even more special.

AFL Europe CEO, Ben MacCormack has, “personally found extra significance in the event this year, listening to the boys stories over the past two years it has prompted me to research my own family history. This has led to discoveries that my great uncle and also my wife’s great grandfather are buried, in a similar vicinity, only 30km north of VB. We will visit their graves on this trip, which has added an emotion for us personally, and all of our extended families. This to me is the meaning of the event.”

With players for the Australian team being chosen by their personal connection and interest in the history that surrounds the ANZACs the two teams promise to deliver a memorable match for both the players and the spectators.

Assistant Coach of the French team, Stevo Ryan, on behalf of the French Team says, “We are all really excited about the match on Saturday.  To be in Villers Bretonneaux 100 years to the day, from when our ANZACS put our country onto the world stage in WW1 with the landings at Gallipoli, making this an emotionally charged event.  It’s fitting that in the spirit of the ANZACS, a game of AFL unites our two nations.”

Not only will an event like this unify our two nations but Stevo Ryan also believes, “that a lot of exciting things can and will happen here in France.  We’ve seen the interest for this game grow exponentially at our domestic club this year back in Paris. Saturday’s game represents an opportunity for many of our French players to gauge where they are in this game and hopefully to where they want to go in the future.”

Most French clubs will be represented in the French team:

ALFA Lions (Lyon): Thomas DEPONDT, Thibault PICARD

Bordeaux Bombers: Cyril DEBET

Bristol Dockers: Pierre-etienne DANDALEIX

Coyotes de Cergy-Pontoise: Herve DESJARDIN

Montpellier Firesharks: Jerome CANONICI

Paris Cokerels: Yvan BARBARIA, Pierre BOSCART, Julien DAGOIS, Baudoin GERMOND, Francois DANIEL, Thomas HEDLEY

Toulouse Hawks: Julien GIL, Simon MONDIN, Fabien FLOCH

As for the Australian team, they will come from England, Germany, Poland, Sweden and Australia, all sharing a connection to Villers-Bretonneux and/or the ANZACs:

Craig, BANKES, Trent GEORGIOUS, James GOTTSCHALK, Dale HOUSDEN, Ruory KIRKBY, Matthias KLUSEMANN, Paul MCKECHNIE, Stuart NEWMAN, Troy NEWMAN, Tom PETERS, Tom RISCHBIETH, Gareth SMITH and Rob YOUNG.

The match will commence at 12pm at Stade Timmerman and will be followed by a women’s match at 2.30pm. Entry is free and food and drink are available at the ground.

Map of Stadium Timmerman

 

Sarah Ongarello