“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

Four Europeans make World XVIII team

In a first for AFL Europe and the region, 4 players have been selected to represent the World XVIII in the 2013 NAB U/16 National Championships in Australia this July. In a show of the progression being made in Europe and the work of the talent staff, coaches and benefits of the Easter Series the record 4 players will arrive in Sydney in early July for a short training camp before taking on the best kids in Australia and the Pacific.

Meet the representatives:

Cameron Cope

AFL Europe Headshots

DOB: 8/10/1994

Height: 180cm

Weight: 75kg

An explosive athlete that has learnt the game in the English equivalent of a football factory under coach Ian Mitchell in Wolverhampton. Cameron has represented England at the Euro Cup and is sure to be a star of the national team for many years to come. His performances at the 2013 AFL Europe Combine in Ireland and then the Easter Series have shown that he has all the tools to impress on the trip to Australia and is sure turn some heads with his blistering pace and athletic jump.

Victor Petersen

AFL Europe Headshots

Our youngest ever representative on the European Legion team in 2013 Victor made a big first impression. His work throughout the week and willingness to learn puts him on a path to follow in the footsteps of Danish trailblazers like Aksel Bang and Mikkel Kjoege that have made the trip to Australia before him. His big frame and strength over the ball will be a feature and with good pedigree (Dad still plays in the DAFL) he is one to watch as a future leader of the Danish Vikings.

Club: Farum Cats

DOB: 23/8/1996

Height: 186cm

Weight: 81kg

Colin Kenny

Colin

Colin came to the attention of our talent identification team in Ireland during his school, Gallen CS’ run to All Ireland victory. An outstanding athlete he has won county U14 and U16 Gaelic Football titles with his club, but he has also impressed on the Rugby field. This year he has been a part of Connacht Rugby’s U-16 Development squad, something which should aid him tremendously in adapting to the oval ball and mean the tackle will not present him with any fears.

Club: Ferbane/Belmont GAA(Offaly)

DOB: 18/1/1997

Height: 185cm

Weight: 89kg

 

David McGivney

mcgivney

It’s been quite a start to 2013 for David McGivney, in February he was part of the Longford Vocational Schools team which won the Leinster Championship, a month later he captained his school Cnoc Mhuire, Granard to a one point win in the All Ireland U18 Final in Croke Park, and he has been dominating in his second year on the Longford Minor team. All of that success has followed on from a League and Championship double with his U16 Club team, Northern Gaels in 2012. David has shown tremendous leadership for such a young player and will bring height, determination and tremendous stamina to the World XVIII this year. His neighbour from Longford, Michael Quinn holds the distinction of having the fastest debut in the AFL for Essendon, who knows maybe this young man is set to follow in his footsteps.

Club: Northern Gaels GAA(Longford)

DOB: 9/2/1996

Height: 189cm

Weight: 90kg

 

 

 

2014 International Cup dates confirmed

2014 International Cup dates announced

IC2014

The AFL today announced the 2014 International Cup will be held in Melbourne from Saturday August 9 to Saturday August 23 2014.

The fifth International Cup carnival will include two AFL curtain-raiser matches, matches played at AFL and VFL venues, a men’s and women’s competition, a standalone AFL 9s fixture and matches linked with community football leagues.

AFL International Development Manager Tony Woods said the aim was to make IC14 the biggest International Cup to date.

“We are committed to building on the success of IC11 and we believe we can once again deliver a great experience for all participating nations by hosting this event in the AFL’s heartland.

“By basing the carnival in Melbourne we are able to engage with the broader football community including the AFL, VFL and suburban leagues.

“We look forward to welcoming countries from Oceania, North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. While the countries have various playing standards and local development programs, the common denominator is all the participants share our love of playing our great game,” he said.

“It’s quite magical to witness firsthand the cultural and language interpretation and expression of AFL as it is developed and nurtured in the arms of communities all over the world.”

The International Cup is a feature in the AFL International calendar and plays a role in supporting the growth of AFL internationally. The concept grew from the passion of committed individuals from both Australia and abroad following successful smaller carnivals with international participation.

The International Cup is played every three years. No expatriate Australians are eligible to play. Teams comprise solely of amateurs who must be nationals of the country they represent.

The International Cup has significantly grown from the first carnival in 2002 where 11 countries competed. In 2011 there were 23 teams – 18 men’s teams across two divisions and five women’s teams that traveled to Sydney and Melbourne.

2011 Men’s teams: Canada, China, Denmark, Fiji, France, Great Britain, India, Ireland, Japan, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peace Team, South Africa, Sweden, Timor-Leste, Tonga and USA. 2011 Women’s teams: Canada, Ireland, Indigenous/Multicultural, Papua New Guinea and USA.

The 2014 edition will include an AFL 9’s (similar to our Euro Cup) component for the first time. This is an exciting and new evolution to the AFL International Cup with an objective of providing an entry level opportunity for a greater number of countries and teams to be involved without diluting the strength of main tournament. Given the modified nature of the matches the AFL 9’s event will run from Friday 15th of August through to Saturday 23rd August. 

In its inaugural year AFL 9’s will cater for new developing countries, therefore in order to be eligible you must have either competed in Division 2 Men’s of IC11 or not have participated in IC11 at all.

Further details about the 2014 International Cup can be found here: www.aflic14.com.au

Please return completed nomination form to Peter Romaniw peter.romaniw@afl.com.au by Friday August 30, 20132014 AFL International Cup – Country Nomination Form

Social Mixed AFL 9’s in London

Want to experience the thrill of Australian footy with all your mates in a friendly, fun and non-contact version right in the heart of London?

Sign up now to be part of the newest version of Australia’s number 1 sport that is taking the world by storm.

This game is for everyone: males, females and children over 14 with or without any footy experience.

AFL 9’s Challenge the Fun!

To register, please send an e-mail to slava.belov@afleurope.org
Register your team today!

AFL9sPoster

Pitch location: Clapham Common, Windmill Drive, London SW4 9DE

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Don’t Miss The Ultimate Footy Trip

2013 is proving to be a very busy year for European Footy, and we’re proud to announce yet another end of season event to cater for clubs, teams and players who will not be participating in the Axios EuroCup in Bordeaux. Conscious of the desire for a packaged end of season Footy trip, we’ve teamed up with one of Europe’s premier warm weather sports resorts in the beautiful Algarve region of Portugal to launch the 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.

The package cost is €140 per person, and extras such as additional nights, Airport transfers and fun activities such as Paintball, Go Karting, Crazy Golf, Boat/Fishing Trips and Golf can be arranged on request. There are resort images below and more details can be found at www.browns-club.com

The Tournament
The tournament which will take place on Saturday September 14th in a blitz format, 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.
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

Booking
To secure your team’s place in the inaugural AFL Europe Algarve 9s, teams need to contact Stefan Uusitalo at the resort (E-Mail: stefan@browns-club.com). Payment is made by the team in stages with 30%(€42pp) due on June 16th, once your team’s participation is confirmed, 30%(€42pp) due on July 16th and the remaining 40%(€54) payable on August 24th. You must stay at the resort in order to participate.

Home of the Blues now has goal post pads

The president of Södermalm AFC from Sweden Lars Hagberg told us the clubs story on how the Blues found a permanent home and how the Goal Post Grant helped them.

JCG

‘For a long time the SAFF have been looking for a larger field with permanent goal posts to be used as our home ground. So far we have been limited to playing 9 a-side on rugby fields or setting up temporary posts on open access fields of low quality. In 2011 Daniel “Jordo” Jordan (Club stalwart and all round nice guy) was appointed development officer of the SAFF. Initially he was working on another field at Stockholm University (which is actually owned by the Swedish king). After we got a hold of around 100 truckloads of dirt for free, the owners leveled the field and planted new grass.

Although we have rights to use the field and put up permanent goal posts the problem is that we don’t have access to changing rooms so this field has been put on hold for now. In parallel Jordo was speaking to the people at the Stockholm Council that are responsible for the sporting facilities at Skarpnäck (a suburb close to Stockholm) and managed to get approval for us to develop our own field there as well. Apart from soccer this area is home to other smaller sports like grid iron, frisbee and baseball and they were happy to take on another ‘odd’ sport. They even mark out all the lines for us so now we’re playing with a boundary, center, goal squares and a 50m arc.

JCG2

Jordo made the design of where to set up the field and how to put up the goal posts. The field runs across two soccer fields with the goal posts placed just outside the side boundary lines. In addition to the goal posts we also had to put up a protective net behind one of the goals so that the balls won’t damage an allotment next to the field. All in all according to Jordo’s design we had to acquire 10 posts and a big net. Well, Jordo managed to find 10 second hand flag poles, the only problem was that the flag poles had to be transported 200 km to Stockholm.

JCG7

JCG5

Luckily one of our sponsors is a big chain selling construction material so Jordo got them to transport the flag poles to us for free. The net is a bird protection net purchased online. The caretaker of the field made measurements to align the posts properly and in the beginning of the 2012 season the club organized a couple working bees to dig the holes, concrete the foundations for the flag poles and then to erect the posts and put up the net. We can use the lines for the flag poles to take up and down the net.

The first game was played there on the 10th of August 2012, Södermalm Blues vs. Norrtälje Dockers, umpired by Jordo. After all of his hard work the oval will be called: The JCG (Jordo Cricket Ground).

JCGgame1

JCGgame

Needless to say Jordo’s work contacts in the building industry and access to building equipment have been invaluable.

The bulk of the money so far has been supplied by Södermalm AFC. In addition, sponsorship by the company Jordo started (Buyfooty), Södermalms Trä and of course AFL Europe for the Goal Post Padding.

JCGgame3

With the goal post pads the field has been finalized and at the moment we are working on building a club house next to the field where we also can store equipment and have BBQs. Hopefully this will be done before the end of the season’.

Look out for next years Goal Post Grant and tell us your story!

If you want to join Södermalm AFC, visit their web-page for further information http://www.sodermalmafc.se/about/