AFL Europe Championship – Day 2

For this second day of the AFL Europe Championship, all the teams had something to prove. Day 1 produced very tight results, the successful teams wanting to keep their positions at the top of the tables.

AFL Europe Media – Kieran Harte

Swedish Elks vs Croatia Knights

Sweden has kept their tournament hopes alive after overcoming Croatia in round 2 of the 2013 AFL Europe Championship at Dublin’s DCU Sportsground today.

The win leaves Sweden with one win and one loss to date, after succumbing to Ireland on Saturday.  This win was set up by Sweden’s skilful midfield, with Natis Johansson, Emil Aberg and Johan Lantz all putting in strong performances and winning much of the ball.

Sweden’s backline also held up well against a tall and physically strong Croatian forward line with Irish born Tony McLoughlin superbly marshalling the troops.  The sheer force of Croatian big men Tomislav Cvetko, Tomislav Marsic and Ivan Ivos threatened to tear the game open at stages, but Sweden were able to maintain their composure when Croatia came within a goal late in the last quarter.

There were chances for both teams at the end to win the match before Swedish ruckman David Wahlberg received a free kick for a push in the back inside his own 50 metre zone.  He coolly slotted through the goal from 45 metres out to give Sweden a nine point lead before the final siren sounded.

Final Score:

Sweden: 5.11.41

Croatia: 5.2.32

Goals:

Sweden: Verngren 2, Blondeau, Johansson, Wahlberg

Croatia: Cvetko 2, Molnar, Jospivic, Kravar

Best Players:

Sweden: Aberg, Johansson, Lantz

Croatia: Habljak, Lenic, Cvetko

 

GB Bulldogs vs Germany Black Eagles

Great Britain has announced itself as a team to be reckoned with in the 2013 AFL Europe Championships after a scintillating 51 point win over Germany.  The performance featured match winners all over the ground for the GB Bulldogs, with none better than Anthony Trigg and Sean Walton who worked together to win clearance after clearance.

Helping the dominant midfield convert the opportunities was Chris James who managed to kick a tournament high four goals in the match.  He was assisted by the other forwards in Sam Willatt, David Saunders and Mark Todd who made the most of their opportunities.

Great Britain’s defence was also dominant, with strong efforts by Inti Arburo, Mark Ireland and Ollie Dilieto rebounding the ball time after time.  The strong defensive efforts of GB’s midfield were also noticeable, led by Mark Ireland, Owain Ryland and Mark Todd.

Germany now find themselves with two losses from two games and are no chance of reaching the Grand Final.  They had courageous performances from players Florian Naumann, Johannes Sartory and Matthias Klusemann, but were soundly beaten by Great Britain’s better use of the football and efficiency when going forward.

Final Score:

Great Britain: 9.12.66

Germany: 2.3.15

Goals:

Great Britain: James 4, Saunders 2, McNicholas, Todd, Harris

Germany:  Jung, Klusemann

Best Players:

Great Britain: Walton, Trigg, Ryland, Dilieto, James

Germany: Naumann, Sartory, Cordts

 

Irish Warriors vs Denmark Vikings

Ireland has secured a remarkable come from behind victory against Denmark in the second round of the 2013 AFL Europe Championship to have them one win away from the grand final.  Two freakish snap goals from Brian Roche and some heroics from James Flavin and John O’Regan in the last quarter saw Ireland overcome a four goal deficit.

Denmark had been the better team for much of the match and had managed to open up and maintain a handy lead against the Irish until late in the game.  Matthias Biron was everywhere for the losing side and couldn’t have done much more to drag his countrymen across the line.  He was well supported by Christopher Campion, Mikkel Kjoge and William Andersen who were all finding space and showing superior kicking skills to Ireland’s on ball brigade.

Up by 15 points at the last change, it looked like Denmark would be too poised to allow Ireland back into the game.  Campion had an opportunity to stretch the lead even further but missed and then suddenly Brian Roche had kicked two remarkable snap goals to have Ireland back in the game.

It was James Flavin who had been one of Ireland’s best players throughout the match who kicked the goal to put Ireland in front with less than a minute to go.  A goal on the siren to Paul O’Halloran flattered the final margin for Ireland who ran out eventual 10 point winners in the most entertaining match of the championship to date.

Thursday will now see Ireland play Croatia in the final round at 7pm, in a match that will send them directly through to the grand final if they win.

In the other games for the day, Sweden put their round one loss to Ireland behind them by defeating Croatia.  Great Britain overcame Germany to put them through to their first major international tournament final after other results from their group went their way.

If Ireland can overcome the Croatians this Thursday it will lead to a mouth-watering grand final with Great Britain.

Round 3 – 2013 AFL Europe Championship   –  Thursday August 8th

3pm:  Germany v Denmark

5pm: Sweden v Great Britain

7pm: Ireland v Croatia

 

Final Score:

Ireland: 7.7.49

Denmark: 6.3.39

Goals:

Ireland: Flavin 3, Roche 2, McCloskey, O’Halloran

Denmark:  Soerensen, Ottesen, Starbaek Nielsen, Andersen, C Campion, Mau Rose

 

AFL Europe Championship – Day 1

Saturday the 3rd of August witnessed the start of the AFL Europe Championship in Dublin. Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Croatia and Germany started their fight for the title on a day with early sunshine which quickly turned into heavy rain. Congratulations to all the teams that competed as the day was played in great sportsmanship and dedication to Australian Rules Football.

Denmark Vikings vs GB Bulldogs

Even though the Vikings started the game into the wind they were more precise in their game than the Bulldogs. The contest was willing with strong tackling in a physical games from both sides which lasted the whole match.
Denmark dominated the two first quarters. They showed great skill with a structured game plan especially in the midfields and were dominant in the ruck. They controlled the game well, so much so that the Bulldogs didn’t score during the second quarter.
From the third quarter, the game radically changed and on the back of a left foot snapshot from Chris James the tide began to turn. From then, Great Britain Bulldogs kept the advantage and deserved their hard fought win.

Denmark Vikings  1.2 (8)   2.7 (19)   2.8 (20)   4.9 (33)
GB Bulldogs         1.1 (7)   1.1 (7)     3.1 (19)   7.1 (43)
 
Goals
Denmark Vikings: Mau Rose (2), Starbaek Nielsen (2)
GB Bulldogs: James (2), Kilheeney, Saunders, Ireland, Willatt, Booth
 
Best
Denmark Vikings: C. Campion, Mau Rose
GB Bulldogs: Walton, James
 
 

Irish Warriors vs Swedish Elks

During the first quarter the Swedish Elks had the majority of possession but the Irish Warriors were making their job difficult thanks to their great defense. The Elks were less precise by hand and foot due to the defensive pressure causing rushed decision and turnover football.
Then at the second quarter brought heavy rain which in turn caused the ball to get heavy and slippery. The team that desires the ball more usually wins these types of contests.
The third 1/4 saw both teams go scoreless it what was becoming a dour affair. They showed a lot of willingness for the contest however couldn’t convert this into scoring opportunities.
The last stanza continued in its willing nature and witnessed some huge contests in front of a crowd heavily supporting the locals. In the end there was only one kick in the match and it could have gone either way. A true show of how close this competition will be.

Irish Warriors   1.0 (6)   3.2 (20)   3.2 (20)   3.4 (22)
Swedish Elks   0.4 (4)   1.4 (10)   1.4 (10)   2.4 (16)
 
Goals
Irish Warriors: Paul Henry, O’connell, Manning
Swedish Elks: Johansson, Karlsson
 
Best
Irish Warriors: Lenihan, O’Halloran
Swedish Elks: Olsson, Lantz, Mc Loughlin

 

Croatia Knights vs Germany Black Eagles

Croatia came out firing on all cylinders registering 3 goals in the first four minutes. The Knights dominated the hard ball and showed great speed and precision early. They were very aggressive in attack and didn’t enable the Black Eagles to play their game.

From the second quarter the German’s made continual efforts to get back into the game. They had good possession of the ball and capitalised with goals at every opportunity. From 1/4 time the Croatians only registered 1 goal showing a remarkable turn around from the Black Eagles. If not for the early domination this result could have been very different.
The match was played in great spirit and again was a brilliant example of the sports growth in Europe.

Croatia Knights               6.2 (38)   6.2 (38)   7.4 (46)   7.5 (47)
Germany Black Eagles  0.0 (0)     3.1 (19)    4.3 (27)   5.3 (33)
 
Goals
Croatia Knights: Ivos (3), Cvetko (2), Kravar, Murkovic
Germany Black Eagles: Naumen (3), Cordts, Klusemann
 
Best
Croatia Knights: Cvetko, Ivos, Murkovic
Germany Black Eagles: Naumen

See you all on Tuesday and stay tuned for the recorded videos from todays matches.

Titans maintain winning run with Grand Final victory

Match Report: Grand Final
Saturday 27th July 2013

Southampton Titans     6.1 (37) | 10.2 (62) | 15.4 (94) | 18.9 (117) 
Bournemouth Demons 2.0 (12) | 6.3 (39) | 7.7 (49) | 8.8 (56)

Southampton Titans capped off their undefeated run last weekend by winning the AFL England South Grand Final by 61 points over the Bournemouth Demons on Saturday.

The Titans began the match in devastating form, kicking a total of 6 goals for the first quarter to the Demons 2. The second term was a more even contest with the Demons starting the quarter with 3 successive goals. At the major break the Titans had a 23 point lead and the unfortunate Demons had 2 of their key players off the pitch with injuries.

In the second half the Titans picked up the pace and added 8 goals to the Demons 2. The central trio of Martyn Hinchey, Matt Warwick and Farai Goredema-Braid were unstoppable, and the ever reliable Dom Delegate and Adam Street were solid in defence. The Titans forwards, Thomas Fitzpatrick and Kieran Doyle were ruthless in front of goal, kicking 11 goals between them for the match.

At the final siren the Titans had defeated the Demons by 61 points to win their first premiership since 2008.

Matt Hook

Australian Football on The Emerald Island

Some call it the luck of the Irish, others say they were born to play but whatever your opinion, Irish footballers are becoming a solid fixture within the AFL for good reason. As well as being naturally adept to the game, the Irish have proven to be fierce competitors. The likes of the late and great Jim Stynes, Tadhg Kennely and current players such as Collingwood Magpies’ Marty Clarke and Brisbane Lions’ Pearce Hanley have all played big roles in their respective AFL teams as well as in building the game’s popularity in Ireland.

Back in their homeland, the Irish AFL league, the ARFLI, has attracted players from all over the country who are inspired by the success of their countrymen in Australia. Surprisingly the official history of AFL in Ireland only stretches back to 1999 when the league began, however the success of the local leagues and the national team in such a short time span speaks volumes for the advantage the Irish have growing up with sports such as gaelic football.

Over the years the game has developed however and according to national team half back flanker, Kevin McSorley, the Irish guys are now “playing footy the way footy should be played.” McSorley himself began playing gaelic and rugby before Australian football and admits that the success of the Irish teams has come from most of the players having a grounding in these traditional sports.

McSorley, who is part of an elite back line explained that the Irish national team, the Warriors, have a hard time with selection as there are so many players that could get picked. Managers from each region in Ireland select a core team of around forty players including older stalwarts and new talent. Players are picked and mixed from this initial group based on injuries, form and commitment to the team. McSorley went on to state that the team is blessed with a “good blend of youth and experience” and when asked if there were any players in particular to keep an eye on, he named over half the team as potential AFL prospects.

The Irish are known for their speed, agility, strength and skills. They are also renowned for their fearlessness when attacking the ball. These attributes all make for the complete AFL footballer, however loyalty to sports in their homeland such as gaelic keep a lot of potential AFL superstars at bay. This hasn’t stopped the game growing in popularity over the past ten years however and it is now at a point where it has begun to be introduced in colleges and even some primary schools. McSorley, a College Lecturer in his off time from the game, has developed a college team called the NRC Eagles which he believes to have great potential to produce the next wave of world class Irish Australian footballers.

Regardless of the hype surrounding the home team, not to mention the strong competition, the Irish still uphold the title as the team to beat. And being the number one team in Europe with a history of competitiveness at both European and International competitions, the Warriors rightly carry high hopes and plenty of confidence heading into the 2013 AFL Europe Championships.

Michael McCormick

AFL Austria launches new league

Martin Schittegg

The kickoff for the Austrian Footy League (AFL Austria as working title) is done and we had a great evening/night of footy on 16th of July.

There are three teams: (all with some DownUnderDogs players and some rookies)

Castle Rock Mammoths

Castle Rock Mammoths

Gradec Earthmovers

Gradec Earthmovers

Murtal Mountain Goats

Murtal Mountain Goats

Although some players where not available we still had 10 players on each team and so we could play all matches 9 a side (with 2 umpires, 2 goal umpire, and 2 guys for scoreboard and statistics)

We had three matches (each 2 x 15 minutes (Euro Cup format)
Mammoths – Earthmovers: 39 (6.3) : 25 (3.7)
Earthmovers – Mountain Goats: 23 (2.5) : 22 (3.4)
Mountain Goats – Mammoths: 49 (7.7) : 18 (2.6)

and the ladder after the first day is:
1. Mountain Goats: 4 Points 71:41 (173%)
2. Earthmovers: 4 Points 48:61 (78%)
3. Mammoths: 4 Points 57:74 (77%)

So every team has had a victory and the spirit of all teams was great. We had the perfect mixture between fun and ambition to win and all players are very motivated and are already looking forward to the next game day.

The next game day will be 10th August dependant on player availability.

It was a great day for the DownUnderDogs and a great day for footy in our region.

 

Want to run a club? Visit our page or contact the Australian football federation in your country.

“Big Daddy” and the Vikings

AFL Europe’s new resident writer, Michael McCormick writes his first exclusive for afleruope.org.

The Danish Australian Football League (DAFL) is one of the oldest and most successful leagues in Europe and with team names like the Copenhagen X-Men playing in the local leagues, the national team, the Denmark Vikings, are sure to bring plenty of entertainment to the European Championships this year.

 

Australian football in Denmark originally began in 1989 with a newspaper advertisement placed by a couple of Australian guys who missed kicking the ball around. They asked for expressions of interest and had very few replies. Those who did reply however formed the basis for the initial competition which began in 1991. From there the competition grew and most years saw at least one new team join the competition. After a few structural changes over many years of recruiting, training and playing, the league today stands as one of the strongest in Europe and is arguably the largest in the non English speaking world.

 

One of the men at the forefront of the Vikings’ pursuit to become European Champions in 2013 is their Centre Half Back and DAFL board member, Jens Djernes aka Big Daddy.  Djernes first experienced Australian football as a high school student on exchange in Western Australia. During his exchange from July 2005 till July 2006, the Western Australian teams were quite successful in the AFL competition and in turn the atmosphere in the state was electric. Because of this Djernes discovered a liking for the game and began to play with his school mates. Soon after discovering the game, he came to support the Fremantle Dockers largely due to the influence of his initial host family who liked to support the “underdog”. When Djernes returned to Denmark he founded the Randers Dockers who are now a strong fixture in the Jutland local league.

 

As the game has developed somewhat of a following over the years in Denmark, recruitment for the league is not as difficult as it is for some other European nations. Schools and Universities are heavily targeted as recruiting grounds which is proving to be very successful for the league. The decelerator for the next level of development of the sport however is the lack of commercial television coverage. According to Djernes, American Football and Rugby gain exposure through sometimes peak hour free to air television whereas AFL games are only accessible through the pay TV channel, Euro Sport. This being the case, recruitment efforts are initially slow as the teams have to “start from scratch” when trying to explain the game to prospective players. Thanks to a strong leadership group however, the efforts don’t go unnoticed with the numbers playing the sport steadily increasing year to year.

 

The league’s strength hasn’t ever really transferred to sponsorship from or links to any AFL clubs however. In fact, the league hasn’t got any real connection to Australia despite its efforts. The DAFL had approached the Australian born and raised, Danish Crowned Princess Mary with a request of ambassadorship but to no avail. Strangely enough though the players get plenty of attention from AFL clubs.  Vikings midfielder, Aksel Bang is the perfect example of this. After being recognised as one of the best players in Europe, Bang was offered an international scholarship by AFL side Greater Western Sydney which allowed him to train with the team and play a game with their reserves side. This has set a precedent for AFL clubs to now look to Europe as a wealth of potential talent.

 

Denmark is on the cusp of earning the title of European Champions and with potential future AFL stars building the foundation of a very strong team, the Vikings are looking very likely to achieve their dream and take home the trophy.

 

Join an Australian football club in Denmark today.

World XVIII’s triumphant trip to Australia shows Cope what it takes

The last Round of the NAB Under 16 National Championship were held on Saturday and we have the latest from GB Bulldogs player Cameron Cope and the World XVIII Team, in their quest to win the Division 3 title.

 

The day before our final game against the Boomerangs:

As a team we did an early training session in fresh conditions with the fog just above the pitch, meaning visibility was low and it was slippery underfoot. This was perfect preparation for an early game the next day. In the afternoon we attended the GWS training ground for a few photos and to meet the players so we could chat about our time and experiences playing AFL. I managed to get an interview with the head coach of the Giants and shared my experience of playing AFL back in England. I shared how I started playing AFL; it is thanks to Ian Mitchell, a PE teacher along with being a player and GB captain. He has shown me the skills I needed to make it in this sport. After an eventful day talking to the media we went to the cinema to watch Superman as a team before an early night’s rest for the final game.


It is game day and I have got my eyes set on the prize of being Division 3 winners. The early morning game suited my game a lot more as I am used to playing in wet conditions. After the first quarter we were ahead by a small margin meaning our efforts needed to be increased in the next quarter. At the end of the second quarter we were creating an impressive lead but we knew the game wasn’t over until the final siren sounded. At the end of the third quarter the gap between the World team and Boomerangs was finally too big for a comeback. We kept pushing and playing our footy until we knew the final goal would be kicked.  During the final quarter of my carnival there were hard tackles going in from both teams. Further goals were kicked to make the final score 163 -33 meaning World team won the division without having lost a single game. Celebrations at the end of the game were in high spirits belting out our team song with all staff for the final time.


The day after the carnival I was sitting on Coogee beach looking at the sunrise after a run along the beach. Diligence and commitment was a key for recovery after a long 10 days footy. A quick dip into the sea is what I needed to shock the system before heading off to the Sydney derby in the afternoon. Watching the AFL match showed me how committed you need to be to make it in this sport. Seeing all the hard tackles, awesome marks and amazing athletic skills this made me realise this is what I want for my future.

 

World XVIII 25.13 (163)

Boomerangs 5.3 (33)

 

Goal Kickers included 3 from David McGivney and 2 from Colin Kenny both out of Ireland. More to come on them in the next couple of days.

 

Congratulations to the World XVIII team, undefeated. They won the Division 3 of the NAB Under 16 National Championship 2013! AFL Europe are proud of you all.

 

This Englishman is Cope-ing well in Australia

Cameron Cope tells us about his experience after winning his first game with the Word XVIII team in the 2013 NAB U/16 National Championship:

The day after the game, we trained and we did a recovery session in the coldest pool in Australia at the Crowne Plaza. At night, we went bowling as a team for a fun night out.

Tuesday, we did a recovery session with the fitness coach and went to training to work onto set ups in certain circumstances along with a session in the pool for our muscles to recover. We did a gym session to show us how to warm up the muscles before a big session; the session was aimed at technique. We trained how an AFL player would. We also went sightseeing as a team in Sydney.

On game day, we had a late start as we went for a media opportunity with the GWS Giants and I managed to get interviewed by the head coach. In preparation for the game we went for a warm up before the team meeting to see where we can improve in the game. We viewed footage of our last game with a one to one feedback from the coach.

Wednesday the 10th July, for their second game, the World XVIII team defeated the South Pacific 142-30. The last game is this Saturday and if the teams wins they will take out the Division 3 title! Leave your words of support on our facebook page.

World XVIII 22.10 (142)
South Pacific 4.6 (30)

GOALS
World XVIII: Mostert 6, Sokoyi 5, Jok 3, Moussalli 2, Paligorov 2, Kerbatieh, Moshoeshoe, Sekori, Mamur
South Pacific: Siwee 2, Havea, Morehari

BEST
World XVIII: Mostert, Volker, Kerbatieh, Sokoyi, Aujla, Jok
South Pacific: Ngata, Misioli, Clark, Havea, Tirang

GB Bulldogs future star Cameron Cope’s diary from Australia

Cameron Cope is one of three European players who have been selected to represent the World XVIII in the 2013 NAB U/16 National Championships in Australia, running from July 6 to 13. He describes what his first days in Sydney and the training camp that took place before the starting of the tournament have been like.

Cameron Cope’s diary

On the first day in Sydney I met up with the other players at the first hotel to settle in as a team and we went for a training session on a park oval. Then we went in the sea for recovery, it was more like survive or die moment as the Australian waves were crazy.

Day 2: We did the same routine but the training session focused on team bonding with groups of boys from different backgrounds. Then we went to a rock pool for recovery, it was freezing but good for sore muscles and fatigue.

Day 3: We moved to another hotel and went training on the oval. We focused on game plans and on how we can benefit from each type of player. I have a feeling I will be in the back line to start on their fast leader. We watched the first half of the division one teams and saw how they move and work as a team.

When we train, we have push-ups if we are not listening and not working as a team.

Last weekend, for the first round of the NAB AFL Under-16 National Championship, the World XVIII team won their first game 75-66 against the WA North-West. A great start to the campaign as WA NW won division three in 2012.

World XVIII 10.15 (75)
WA North-West 10.6 (66)

Goals
World XVIII: Moshoeshoe 2, Paligorov 2, Mostert 2, Kerbatieh, Choi, Kennedy, Greyling
WA North-West: Gore, Birch, Seton, Evans, Shaw, Simons, Cox, Oakley, Ahchee, Djiagween

Best
World XVIII: El Mousalli, Mostert, Aujla, Kerbatieh, Santillo, Moshoeshoe
WA North-West: Seton, Petera, Gore, Daley, Birch