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ANZAC Cup Sponsor Announcement

AFL Europe is excited to announce this year’s sponsor for the 7th ANZAC Cup held in Villers-Bretonneux is Slater + Gordon.

The Slater + Gordon ANZAC Cup will be held on ANZAC Day this year, Saturday 25th April 2015 at Stadium Timmerman, Villers-Bretonneux France.

Coming into the 7th year running, the Slater + Gordon ANZAC Cup tally holds 3 wins to France and 3 wins to Australia, making this year an opportunity for a front runner. With the connection to the area and the history being just as, if not more, important than the quality of the football, the game is always played in high spirit and in reverence to fallen soldiers in mind.

The spirit of the day helps the town remember the history of nearly 100 years ago, with this year being the 97th anniversary of the battle that saw Australian troops help reclaim Villers-Bretonneux from the Germans. “This is a very special event on the AFL Europe calendar and should be an event that every Australian attends at some stage in their life,” states AFL Europe’s CEO Ben MacCormack.

This year will see the Australian team come from places such as Poland, Germany, Australia, England and Ireland. The men’s match kicks off at 12pm, followed by the women’s game and is free for anyone wishing to attend this special day.

 

 

Sarah Ongarello

The Axios Euro Cup will be held in…

 Umag!

It’s with great enthusiasm that AFL Europe, with the help of the Croatian Australian Football League (SANH), are thrilled to announce the location for 2015 Axios Euro Cup is the beautiful town of Umag!

The Axios Euro Cup is being held on the 10th October 2015 in Umag, which is located in Istra, the coastal region of Croatia. Taking place in the resort that also plays host to the annual ATP Croatia Tournament, the Cup promises a well organised, cheap and warm weekend. With special Euro Cup accommodation and being accessible from three airports under an hour and a half drive and the alternate option of hiring a car and driving from Italy or Slovenia, the 2015 Axios Euro Cup will be affordable for all.

Further information will be supplied in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

 

 

Sarah Ongarello

AFL Europe Champions League Review – Amsterdam

The weekend saw AFL Europe and DAFA play host to the Inaugural Champions League tournament which brought ten teams to Amsterdam to face off for the title. Teams qualified for the event after finishing as premiers in their local leagues allowing for 17 of the top teams in Europe to receive an invite and 10 to make their way to the Netherlands.

The round robin style tournament, with the ten teams split into two groups, kicked off at 9am with some players really feeling the cold donning thermal gear under their kits. The red group was tightly contested with many games able to go either way. The exception was the West London Wildcats, who went through the group stage undefeated. It came down to the percentage, the Amsterdam Devils scraped through to the finals over the Edinburgh Bloods and Solna Axemen after they ended on the same amount of wins with a straight kick deciding who went through. The black group had the Rheinland Lions storm through to finals undefeated, with Belfast Red Backs only nursing their Lions loss to play the Wildcats.

The semi-finals kicked off with the West London Wildcats barely holding off a valiant Belfast Red Backs by 2 points with a late goal to make it into the all important final, whilst the Manchester Mosquitoes managed to avoid the wooden spoon by defeating the Zagreb Hawks. Shortly after, the Rheinland Lions and Amsterdam Devils kept the crowd on their feet by drawing at the final siren. In a nail biter, the game went into overtime (first score wins) and saw the Lions steal a quick goal to seal their place in the finals. Malmo Redeyes had a comfortable win over the Solna Axemen to take out 7th place in the all Sweden contest whilst the Toulouse Hawks finished in 5th overall ahead of the Edinburgh Bloods who had tired from the long day at that point.

The Belfast Red Backs overpowered the Amsterdam Devils, on their home turf, to take 3rd place by a healthy 10 goal margin before the inaugural final took place. After both the West London Wildcats and Rheinland Lions dominated their collective groups, they faced off for the title of the AFL Europe Champions League. With the crowd at its highest capacity all day, rugged up, with Coopers in hand, the West London Wildcats took out the crown finishing 8.6.54 to the Lions 1.1.7.

 

1stWest London Wildcats
2ndRheinland Lions
3rdBelfast Red Backs
4thAmsterdam Devils
5thToulouse Hawks
6thEdinburgh Bloods
7thMalmo Redeyes
8thSolna Axemen
9thManchester Mosquitoes
10thZagreb Hawks

 

Post tournament festivities ran far into the night only pausing to allow AFL Europe CEO, Ben MacCormack, to announce the team of the tournament. The best player from each team, as voted by their own teams, was also revealed and presented with an AFL Europe Champions League guernsey making them part of the 10 man Champions League squad.

A big congratulations to the West London Wildcats for taking home the cup and well done to those players who made the team of the tournament:

 

Nicholas MoranAmsterdam Devils
Gerard WallsBelfast Red Backs
Ewen PicklesEdinburgh Bloods
Daniel ScotfordMalmo Redeyes
Jake NorrisManchester Mosquitoes
Kristopher MarshRheinland Lions
Adam CubbageSolna Axemen
Emilien MartinezToulouse Hawks
Todd PfeifferWest London Wildcats
Josip HabljakZagreb Hawks

Sarah Ongarello

What do the Axemen, Bloods, Devils, Hawks and Lions have in common?

 The Solna Axemen, Edinburgh Bloods, Toulouse Hawks and Rhienland Lions will land in Amsterdam this coming Saturday to join us, and co-hosts Amsterdam Devils, for the Inaugural AFL Europe Champions League. With the tournament looming and the need to take home the cup becoming stronger, AFL Europe headquarters caught up for a chat with five of the ten teams hitting the turf this Saturday.

 

Alan “Sparro” McSparron and the Bloods are making their way from Edinburgh to Amsterdam to test the standards of football around Europe. With great excitement and a constantly growing Scottish League, the Bloods are looking forward to measuring themselves against these top European Teams.

 

Along with the Bloods come the Rhienland Lions heading west from Germany to show Europe why they won AFLG Championship. Being named after the region of Rhienland due to rivalry between the cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf, the team boasts players from both these cities. With friendly game experience against teams from the UK, Netherlands, France and Denmark the Lions are raring to show they’re a force to reckon with.

 

It was an easy decision for the Solna Axemen to head to Amsterdam for the first ever AFL Europe Champions League. The excitement has been building since receiving the invitation. The Stockholm Australian Rules Football Federation (SAFF) began in 2007 and the Solna Axemen have cemented their invite after winning 6 from 8 premierships, including back to back in 2013 and 2014. Not only are the Axemen excited to play against new teams and test their skills, they’re ready to meet other players from around Europe and a few, hopefully celebratory, beers after the Tournament.

 

Being founded in 2008 by only 5 French players, the Toulouse Hawks quickly moved up the French Championship ladder and managed to snag a few key players from the French National Team. Winning the French Championship and being undefeated in the both the 2013 and 2014 seasons, the Toulouse Hawks are definitely one of the teams to watch in the Champions League. They are excited to participate in the Inaugural Champions League and looking forward to some international exposure all the while hoping to take home the cup!

 

The host of the first inaugural Champions League, the Amsterdam Devils were founded in 2010 and proudly took out the Dutch league in their first year and every year since! With a combination of Dutch and Australian at the heart and soul of the Devils, and strong British and South African legs the home team is ready to put up a good fight to keep the Cup on home soil. New star recruit, Nick Moran and the team and ready to compete with the best teams from Europe.

Follow the Tournament at @AFL_Europe, #AFL_Europe and #ChampionsLeague

 

Sarah Ongarello

Danish jet flies into Australia

AFL Europe are excited to announce the facilitation of Danish dasher, Mikkel Kjoeges move to Melbourne, Australia to pursue his AFL Career. With the assistance of the Victorian Amateur Football League (VAFA) a favourite son of AFL Europe has settled into the Old Xaverian’s Football Club. Mikkel has played many tournaments and excelled in many games over the past 4 years through AFL Europe and his local team the Farum Cats. It was his outstanding performance, at the 2014 AFL Europe Draft Combine, that was the final catalyst to the full realisation of his skill set and ability. Mikkel will write exclusively for us as we document his time in Australia and his dream of making it in the AFL.

Mikkel’s Australian Adventure – Part 1

I arrived in Melbourne on Wednesday night after an extremely long and exhausting 24 hour flight! I was met at the airport and taken to my accommodation where I was happy to see my bed – we had our first footy session the next night, so it was straight into it!

Training on the Thursday was at Xavier College where I was introduced to my new teammates – they are all very nice guys. Training was very different to what I’m used to! High intensity running drills and a lot of exercises I hadn’t done before, all in 35 degree heat! I think there might have been about 50 guys on the same oval, training together; it was amazing – I went home that night with a great experience and an Australian sunburn.

On the Friday I moved into Port Melbourne to stay with a family friend. Being so close to the beach is great and really beautiful. I was also able to go see the house I will be moving into in Caulfield with 2 other guys – the house is nearly 300m2!

I’m really enjoying living in Melbourne, exploring the city, the beaches and meeting the people is great. It’s all really beautiful. I competed with the World Team in Sydney at the 2012 AFL NAB U16 National Championships and have kept in contact with a few of my team mates. A couple of them are doing pretty well with their footy here in Australia which is great and we’re all getting together next week for a catch up.

Since arriving in Melbourne I’ve become even more determined to make it in the AFL, everyone around me is so supportive and positive. I have wonderful team mates and a great coaching staff here at the Old Xaverians. We had a Training Camp down in Portsea on the weekend of February 21-22. We did a few sessions on the beach in 30+ degree weather, it was massive!

Follow Mikkel’s journey on #MikkelDownUnder and @AFL_Europe

 

Click here for Part Two

 

Sarah Ongarello

Excitement brews a week out from Amsterdam

Here at AFL Europe headquarters we had a chat to three of the ten qualifying teams participating in the Champions League in Amsterdam next Saturday 21st March.

On behalf of the West London Wildcats, Nathan Costley, was able to shed some light on the excitement down at the club. The Wildcats are bringing probably the most diverse team of the bunch, with nationalities ranging from Welsh, Irish, Kiwi and Australian. This variety could mean some fierce competition en route to Amsterdam next week!

With similar excitement Zagreb Hawks President, Josip Kraver, enlightens us that the Hawks are coming off a turnover of players due to the unique and specialised draft/trade system in Croatia and is ready to showcase some fresh legs and talent. A special mention to young gun and Croatian National, Tomislav Cvetko, who has returned to his local club the Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers. The Champions League is giving this Croatian team a good opportunity to show their skills and head back to Croatia to continue their domination of the SANH.

Finally, William English and The Malmö Red Eyes are excited to be joining us in Amsterdam after having dominated The SAFL for the past 6 years. Forming in 2006, the Red Eyes won 5 straight SAFL premierships then their 6th in 2014. The Red Eyes will be the first team from Skåne to participate in the AFL Europe Champions League!

Count down is on! One week to go!

 

Sarah Ongarello