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Match of the Round

Rebel Shield – 1st Leg – Leeside Lions v UCC Bombers

Leeside Lions hoping students don’t rebel, for the second year in a row…

Article by Richard MacSweeney

You ask some in Cork, Ireland about “Football” and for the most part they will refer to Gaelic Football, a game that’s over 100 years old, rich in local tradition, passion and identity. It’s a game that see’s best friends becomes bitter rivals come championship season. Then there are others who refer to “Football” predominantly as supporters of the English premiership or the odd few that support the domestic league.

Nowadays “Football” or “Footy” has a new meaning in Cork. The growth of Australian Rules football in the city and county has steadily increased year on year.  This is primarily due to the growth of the University College Cork AFL team, the UCC Bombers. Founded from humble beginnings in 2013, backboned by Leeside Lions player Eoin O’Sullivan and UCC student Danny O’Brien, the club garnered some interest and the willing new faces could see and kick a Sherrin for the first time. Thankfully there was enough interest to build on and guys kept coming back week after week, with that the Bombers were formed.

picture1Picture: The very first Rebel Shield game in 2013, a very inexperienced bombers team suffered at the hands of the established Leeside Lions

Nowadays, the UCC Bombers club attire is a common site around the college campus, the session are well run, focusing on the cores skills and rules of Aussie Rules , tailoring the innate established Gaelic Football and Rugby skills, primarily where most new participants come from, those that try it tend to buy into the ethos of Aussie Rules. No politics, no tradition no pre disposition, just pure and raw exposure to an exciting new game. There can be as many as thirty new faces turning up to training sessions at the moment.

In 2013, it was unknown territory for teams beyond those already established in the Irish league, there was no Fitzpatrick Cup, like there is now for University teams. The Bombers had to make do with the pinnacle of their year being a one-off game against Cork based ARFLI team the Leeside Lions, both teams coming up with a perpetual competition that’s aptly named the “Rebel Shield”. Cork people and sports teams are affectionately known as “The Rebels”, there is something rebellious about thirty or forty guys, the majority of whom have never been to Australia, and playing their indigenous game thousands of miles away .

picture5Picture: Eoin O’Sullivan taking the combined Leeside Lions & UCC Bombers training session, this allows younger players to learn from experienced players and perhaps future teammates.

The first ever Rebel Shield game left a lot to be desired from a spectators’ perspective, but from humble beginnings, a team of 12 or so wearing colours inspired by the Essendon Bombers jumper included Rob & Phil, two American exchange students took on the might of the vastly established Leeside Lions, who were awesome on the day and showed the students how to play the game. An ever constant since day one, was Eoin O’Sullivan, the work he has put in and still does is nothing short of remarkable. A winner at the IC11 as well as many more 9’s & EC medals, Eoin still has the enthusiasm to grow the game and drives the club each cold and wet October, when new students could take the easy option and go to the college bar for a beer.

Fast forward three years since that first Rebel Shield, the UCC Bombers have grown from strength to strength winning the inaugural Fitzpatrick Cup in 2014 in Dublin and a testament to the club’s growth that two separate Bomber’s teams took part in last year’s competition in Birmingham. On the back of a successful year the Bombers came into the Rebel Shield and beat the Lions over two legs for the first time in their history, so this year the Lions will want payback as the students outplayed the teachers.

picture2Picture: UCC Bombers Aussie Rules Club – 2014 Fitzpatrick Cup Winners

Every year at the beginning of the academic season, the Bombers training’s and Lions training’s are mixed so all new guys get to know and learn from the experienced players who may even become their future Lions teammates, but for the next couple of weeks they’re the opposition. Experienced Irish Internationals like Eoin O’Sullivan and Padraic O’Connell take the drills and are joined in the coaching ranks by Lions stalwart and head coach, Chris O’Brien. The emphasis is on skills, skills, skills as these early year sessions move towards a platform to be used on, namely the Rebel Shield first leg and preparation for the Fitzpatrick cup, which is held in UCC in 2017.

November 18th next will see this year’s installment, which has been extended to two legs since 2015.   The first leg of the “Rebel Shield” will take place in Cork’s Mardyke Arena with ball up at 6.30pm. Reigning ARFLI premiers, the Leeside Lions, will return to the same venue which saw a demolition of the Belfast Redbacks in the grand final last August, the Lions will hope that history will repeat itself, pride and reputation are on the line.

On the night, the Bombers will be looking to experienced players like Oisin Collins, Peter Traynor, who have tasted international experience with the Irish Warriors with club players like Evan O’Connor, James Duffy, Kevin Sullivan and James O’Callaghan driving the team onward against their more experienced counterparts. The Lions will be looking towards Irish Warriors Luke Hickey, Padraic O’Connell, Colin Lordan, Paul Murphy, Dom Joyce, Conor O’Halloran as well as club stalwarts Mike Scanlan and Ian O’Sullivan to put one over on the students. The game bodes well as they prepare for their participation at the AFL Europe Champions League in April as Ireland’s representatives.

picture4Picture: Leeside Lions 2016 squad which included 17 past/current UCC Bomber’s players 

The UCC Bombers players who are interested in playing footy beyond the academic year actually transition to join the Leeside Lions in the summer months. It is no coincidence that the onslaught of Bombers into the Lions squad helped the Leeside Lions win the ARFLI Flag for the first time in 11 years this year, and even more impressive is they were the first team in history to go through an unbeaten season.

Current and former Bombers have gone on to receive great team and personal accolades, there have been more than 10 players play for the national team over the last couple of years with Bombers origins. Then there are the likes of Paul Murphy (Team of the tournament EC 16) Luke Hickey (Team of the tournament Euro Cup 16), Oisin Collins , Rory O’Donnell, Matt Bell gaining international experience this year on the back of their ARFLI winning campaign with the Lions.  A key member of last year’s Bombers set up who has transitioned to a fully-fledged Lion and Irish Warrior is Luke Hickey who in his first full year as a Lion, was in fact named Leeside Lions Best & Fairest.

The skill and passion of youth could compliment the experience of the Lions stalwarts, who needed that injection. IC winning captain, Cian Quigley, Ian O’Sullivan, Jason Hingston and Vincent Manning as well as many more who kept the club going through lean times are now enjoying the fruits of a large squad. The Lions win huge testament to the number of years invested in the bombers that eventually yielded the crossover of players the ranks last year

picture3Picture: Some of the 2016 UCC Bombers team that beat a Galway Magpies selection last week, as warm up for the Rebel Shield on Nov. 18th.

It’s a testament to the hard work by the Lions and UCC coaching staff to the hard work they have put in over the years that these games are not solely for exhibition purposes but they’re extremely competitive and a great brand of footy has been played in the past and hopefully it will do so again. There is that rivalry that needs to be present on the oval but there is that camaraderie off the field that is a testament to AFL ethos and culture.

So if you’re in the Cork area pop down to the Mardyke for what promises to be a great exhibition of footy, can the Lions avenge last year’s defeat? Will the Bombers make it two in a row?

If you can’t make it, it would be great as an AFL Europe community for other clubs and college teams to wish both teams all the best on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

 

Rebel Shield (First leg)

Leeside Lions vs UCC Bombers

Mardyke Arena

Friday 18th November, Ball up 6.30pm

All Welcome, Free Entry

AFL Europe Talent Combine

It’s that time of the year again!

This week is an important fixture on the AFL Europe event calendar. AFL Europe’s 2016 Talent combine will be held Friday and Saturday November 11th & 12th at University College Dublin. The talent combine brings 25 of the most talented football prospects from across Europe to profile them athletically, mentally and analyse their skills. From a fitness testing prospective we will be putting the athletes through the 20m sprint, AFL agility, vertical leap, running vertical leap and beep test. The boys will also put their problem solving skills to test their ability as they are scrutinized under pressure. Finally, we will be putting the athletes through full match simulation in order to evaluate their overall football capabilities. All of this testing and the entire event will be overseen by Irish ex-Sydney Swans  premiership player Tadhg Kennelly.

We are extremely excited for the event and are sure we will get some fantastic results!

Olivia Eason

Announcement – AFL Europe General Manager

The AFL Europe Commission is pleased to announce the appointment of Ryan Davey as the new AFL Europe General Manager.

Having recently relocated to London, Ryan joins the AFL Europe team from the Gold Coast Suns Football Club where he was heavily involved with the club’s game development and administration. He was recognised for his services to the club with the 2015 Gold Coast Suns ‘Employee of the Year’.

Ryan’s passion for footy is unquestionable – he has lived and breathed the game as a fan, a player and an administrator. His passion for the game coupled with his strengths in community engagement, event delivery and sponsorship development make him a stand out to lead the AFL Europe team.

The AFL Europe Commission believe that Ryan is the perfect fit to support our members and community to drive the growth of Aussie Rules within Europe.

Ryan is looking forward to be starting the role. “I am very excited to find myself in this position. Sport, and more specifically, AFL has always been a passion of mine. In Australia, I have lived and breathed the game,” he said.

“In recent years, I have worked closely with AFL Queensland and the Gold Coast Suns Football Club to grow the game in the emerging market of Queensland, and now I look forward to the challenge of growing the game throughout Europe.”

“It is exciting to discover the passion for Aussie Rules that exists in Europe and I look forward to working closely with each of the member nations to strengthen their competitions even further.”

Ryan joins the AFL Europe team on 21 November 2016. Once on board you’ll be able to contact him on ryan.davey@afleurope.org.

 

 

 

Match of the Round

ALFA Lions v Paris Cockerels

It’s the Lions vs the Cockerels in the first of the Saturday showdown matches in the CNFA this weekend. Both sides are sitting on 4-points each on the ladder and will be desperately hoping to come away with the victory. The match is to be played on the Lions home turf and could be a tough one for a 10-man Cockerels side making the journey.

This weekend is going to be another hard-fought match for the Cocks. They’ll be going up against a strong, revamped Lyon team. They’re sending a 10-man side with smart substitutions going to play a factor in the match.

The Lions had a strong win against Toulouse in their last hit-out. They’ll be looking for more consistent performances throughout the year so they can become a serious finals contender.

Thibault for the Lions will be a handful in the middle while Boscart and Pierre will need to be on song for the visiting Cockerels.

It’s a 3pm bounce for this match with the result of the game going to be very interesting in shaping the CNFA season.

Paris Cockatoos v Bordeaux Bombers

The other match up today sees the Paris Cockatoos hosting the Bordeaux Bombers in a scintillating encounter. The Bombers are sitting equal second on the ladder while the defending premiers are sitting in 7th after only having the one hit-out so far.

The Bombers started their 2016/17 season with a win against the Blagnac Aviators and wanted to continue this strong start against the second-round opponents, the Paris Cockerels. Unfortunately, they went down to Cockerels in a tight tussle. This weekend’s game provides the Bombers a great chance for redemption for their last loss.

The Cockatoos started their season against their grand final opponents from last season, the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes. That match ended in a Coyotes victory and today’s game gives them a great chance to get their 2016/17 season going.

AFL Europe talent prospect, Jacob Raiwalui, is a massive inclusion for the Cockatoos ruck stocks. The key for the Parisian side will be winning the contested ball and maintaining their well renowned high work rate.

This one is going to be an exciting game and, much like the Cocks v Lions, will go a long way in shaping the CNFA season. The Cockatoos will be doing everything they can to get their first win of the season while the Bombers will be hoping to maintain their spot in the top half of the ladder after an impressive 2016/17 campaign thus far.

Good luck to everyone involved in all games across the weekend.

 

Player of the Week

Each week AFL Europe is profiling a European player and finding out how they got into the great game of Aussie Rules and a bit about themselves. If you’d like a profile or know of someone who would, then email ben.durance@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet.

William Leysen is this week’s ‘Player of the Week’. William plays for the reigning Premiers of the CNFA, the Paris Cockatoos. He has been playing Aussie Rules for 2 years and rates his best AFL moment as the return of Ben Cousins.

Name:

William Leysen

Club:

Paris Cockatoos

Nationality:

French

What position do you play?

Midfielder

AFL team you support:

Fremantle

Favourite AFL player:

Nathan Fyfe

How did you find out about AFL?

I watched it on TV

How long have you been playing for?

2 years

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

Laying my first big tackle

Best AFL moment?

The comeback of Ben Cousins – inspirational!

Any other interesting information, quirky stories or interesting things about yourself?

Much like Ben Cousins my favourite time is the fifth quarter. This is the time after a game and what we often refer to in France as the fifth quarter.

 

Around the Grounds

Taylor Duryea in Prague

Hawthorn Hawks dual premiership player, Taylor Duryea, gave up his limited holiday time overseas to give back to the AFL Europe community. Last week, Duryea put the Prague Dragons through their paces at session out on their training track before heading indoors for the main session at a local watering hole.

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The assistance we’ve received from several ex and current AFL players this year has been amazing and something our community really appreciates. Thanks very much to the Prague Dragons for being amazing hosts and to Taylor for giving up his time to give back to the Aussie Rules community outside of Australia.

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Coyotes too strong for Tigers in CNFA round 2 fixture

The Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes have sent a message to the rest of the CNFA with a huge 152-point victory over the Perpignan Tigers. The Tigers fought valiantly but were no match for a fierce Coyotes outfit that has its sights firmly set on the 2016/17 title.

The Coyotes sit atop the CNFA championship table and will enjoy a week off while the ALFA Lions battle the Cockerels while the Cockatoos face the Bordeaux Bombers this weekend in the next round of championship games.

Movember Cup registrations

The Nathan Blakey Movember Cup is just around the corner. The 9-a-side tournament is hosted by the Manchester Mosquitoes and is open to teams from all over. The tournament is taking place on Sunday 27th of November and raises fund for men’s health charities.

If your team is interested, please jump over to the Facebook event copied in below to find out further information.

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https://www.facebook.com/events/1816303571988164/

 

Norrtalje’s dream season continues

The Norrtalje Dockers dream 2016 season continued at the weekend at the SAFF awards night. The premiers came away with their players Matt Schulte and Buster Sund being crowned the Best and Fairest Australian and Swedish players for the competition. Schulte also came away from the evening as the Golden Boot winner with an impressive 31 majors for the season.

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Congratulations Dockers on an impressive season, you’re well and truly on the radar of the other teams competing at next year’s Champions League


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Match of the Round

Irish Warriors v GB Bulldogs

It’s been just over 2 months since the Great Britain Bulldogs held aloft the European Championship trophy. It’s a day their opponents, the Irish Warriors, won’t forget too quickly as they were completely outclassed at a game they’ve dominated for years.

The Bulldogs used their home tournament as a platform to launch towards their ultimate prize of claiming the International Cup next year. Since their EC16 victory they’ve played Holland, in what was their opponents first ever 18-a-side international, and had players involved in the 9-a-side Euro Cup with England, Scotland and Wales.

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The Irish were hurt badly by their final performance at EC16, it stung a lot. If anything its provided them with the perfect wake up call for their International Cup preparations. They bounced back at the recent Euro Cup in Lisbon but ultimately fell short in extra time of the final against a strong Croatian outfit.

This weekend sees the two sides meet again for the first time since that EC16 final, this time on the Warriors home turf in Dublin. The National Sports Campus plays host to the next epic chapter of this fierce rivalry and with a traditional 2pm bounce scheduled its sure to attract a large crowd of vocal Irishmen and women.

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Both teams are coming in with numerous changes to when they last met.  Alex Watson, Charlie Steel, Anthony Brannigan, Jordan Wynne and Tomos Wyn-Jones enter the mix for the Bulldogs.

The Irish welcome Oisin Collins, Roch Hanmore and Peter Traynor into the side. They’ll sorely miss playmakers Kevin O’Brien and Muiris Bartley in this hit-out but it provides an opportunity for some others to take the next step up.

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Neither side will be taking a backward step in this encounter as it provides all 44 players an opportunity to stake their claim for a place on the plane next August. Good luck to everyone involved in this one, hopefully matches like this become a regular fixture throughout the season.

Player to watch….

GB Bulldogs

Andy Walkden was the difference between the two sides in the EC16 final in what was a man of the match performance. His form hasn’t dropped off as he earned team of the tournament honours at the recent Euro Cup in Lisbon. The Warriors will have to keep a close eye on the crafty half-forward if they are to be any chance.

Irish Warriors

Ryan McCloskey was unstoppable at EC16 before a shoulder injury interrupted his campaign. His absence in the forward line was sorely missed in the later stages of that competition. The small forward doesn’t need many possessions to hurt his opposition so whichever Bulldog marks up on him will have to be switched on at all times.

A word from….

GB Bulldogs – Team Manager Jason Hill:

“This gives GB more vital preparation going in to International Cup 2017. It was great winning against the Irish in London but this will be a totally different game in their home conditions and if we want to compete at IC17 we will need to be able to take the game to teams in uncomfortable places. A lot of thanks goes to Ciaran from Ireland for setting up the game and we are excited to bring a GB side across the Irish Sea in what we hope will be a more regular fixture.”

Team Lists

GB BulldogsIrish Warriors
Luke Booth (Captain) (Huddersfield Rams)Gareth Baird
Michael Sharp (VC) (North London Lions)Liam Burns
Chris Britton (VC) (Manchester Mosquitoes)Stephen Guing
Anthony Brannigan (Tyne-Tees Tigers)Sean Paul Henry
Lewis Gedney (Wolverhampton Wolverines)Brendan Kelly
David Hastie (Wimbledon Hawks)Colin Lordan
Myles Hudson (Wimbledon Hawks)Kevin McDonnell
Alex Overton (Huddersfield Rams)Sean McGlinchey
Ryan Spivey (Sussex Swans)Tom McKenna
James Talbot (North London Lions)Gavin Murray
Matthew Warwick (West London Wildcats)Conor O’Halloran
Jordan Wynne (Wimbledon Hawks)Peter Traynor
Andrew Cochran (Manchester Mosquitoes)Matt Bell
Marc Cashman (Wimbledon Hawks)Oisin Collins
Jack Coughlan (North London Lions)Roch Hanmore
George Dibble (Wolverhampton Wolverines)Luke Hickey
Tim Gower (Manchester Mosquitoes)David Lally
Jason Hill (Wimbledon Hawks)Ryan McCloskey
Michael “Spike” Kilheeney (Manchester Mosquitoes)David McElhone
Owain Ryland (London Swans)Stuart McKeating
Charlie Steel (Wandsworth Demons)Paul Murphy
Andy Walkden (Manchester Mosquitoes)Padraic O’Connell
Alex Watson (Wandsworth Demons)Seamus Owens
Tomos Wyn-Jones (University of Birmingham)Coach: Brian Currane
Coach: Dean Thomas
Support Staff: Hilary Wilson, Charley Dakin, Millie Morgan

 

 

 

 

Player of the Week

Each week AFL Europe is profiling a European player and finding out how they got into the great game of Aussie Rules and a bit about themselves. If you’d like a profile or know of someone who would, then email ben.durance@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet. 

Name: Cóilín Ó Lordáin (Lundy)

Club: Leeside Lions / Irish Warriors

Nationality: Irish

What position do you play?

Preferably anywhere around the mids, but unfortunately I’m a jack of all trades and a master of none so I’ve also been found from time to time in the ruck, backs and forwards!! I’m quite good, actually no I’m excellent so it’s no issue to me really.

AFL team you support: GWS Giants 

Favourite AFL player:

Shane Mumford or that Eddie Betts lad is handy enough too I guess (Although this is nothing on Leeside Lions club legend and Irish Warrior teammate Paudie Connell).

The Irish league is quite small compared to our counterparts in other leagues, so there are a lot of friendly & not so friendly faces. In ARFLI it would have to be the evergreen Peter Ross. Petey is a great servant of the game having been to two international cups and an inspiration to us all in the league.

How did you find out about AFL? 

Always had an interest from a young age due to the similarities and crossover with the GAA, as well as that the carnage that used be the compromise rules series; Mighty Stuff Indeed. TG4, a TV station here in lreland, used also show weekly highlights even though I hadn’t a clue what was going on.

My playing career itself didn’t kick start itself until I moved to Toronto in 2011. Out one Sunday to watch the Limerick hurlers in championship, a lorry load of pints and a few sneaky Jäger bombs later, some food was needed and I headed off for an auld dirty kebab. As I thought about how I was going to go about ringing in sick to work the following morning, I was stopped on the street by two Aussie blokes. Seeing me in my GAA gear they were fierce keen to get me involved in their footie club. So I handed them my number and said call me if they were ever stuck thinking nothing would come of it. The rest as they say is history.

How long have you been playing for?

6 years

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

Getting a phone call one Saturday morning 30 mins before the game asking would I be interested in playing a game that the team was a man short and badly stuck. Thrown into forward pocket out of the way, I was warned not do anything stupid that the team needed to win to make finals. I ended up kicking 5 goals and bouncing the footie on my first attempt. I remember thinking to myself afterwards, “This AFL craic is handy enough, I might actually keep this up”. I have never scored 5 goals in a game since nor bounced the ball in a match.

Best AFL moment?

Any time I have gotten to pull on the green guernsey and represent Ireland. Winning the ARFLI premiership this year undefeated was also quite special.

The trip away with the lads in Edinburgh and the bus trip to and from Belfast this year were quite epic as well and I’m sure they’ll live long in the memory of the lads too. Roll on Amsterdam next year 😉

Any other interesting information, quirky stories or interesting things about yourself?

I have a booming left leg. Unfortunately, it’s in dire need of a sat nav or something. It’s accuracy is questionable at times. However, it’s improving slowly and surely. It might work to perfection some day before I decide to hang up the boots.

I also have the finest and biggest arse in Ireland if not Europe, however my club mate Eoin Ó Súilleabháin gives me a right run for my money with his own derriere, although he is on the downward spiral now, age is catching up with him.

 

 

Around the Grounds

Fielder and Bennett awarded AFL England Lifetime Achievement Awards

Two legends of AFL England were presented Lifetime Achievements Awards at the conclusion of the Masters game in Reading at the weekend. Rob Fielder and Adam Bennett have been integral to the game here in the UK and Europe over the past decade. Rob finished up his tenure as England Dragonslayers coach at the Euro Cup in Lisbon after 10 years in charge while Adam recently stepped down as AFL England President after providing years of service.

Congratulations on your recognition Rob and Adam, the game here in the UK and Europe is certainly in a better place because of both your tireless efforts.

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CNFA round 1 kicks off

A beautiful weekend in France set the scene for round 1 of the CNFA season at the weekend. Reigning Premiers, the Paris Cockatoos went down at home to grand final opponents, the Cergy Pontoise Coyotes 104 to 87.

The Bordeaux Bombers proved too strong for CNFA newcomers the Blagnac Aviators in their first hit-out as they cruised to a 40-point victory.

The final match of the round turned out to be a thriller with Perpignan Tigers pipping the Toulouse Hawks by 4-points.

The Paris Cockerels and ALFA Lions didn’t play in the first round of matches but will be raring to go next weekend for the next instalment of the CNFA season.

Check out the full review below:

http://cms.football-australien.fr/index.php/80-1ere-journee-du-championnat-de-france-leo-lagrange-2016-2017

DAFA say goodbye (for now) to stalwart

Euro Cup in Lisbon was the last time DAFA stalwart, Nick Bennett, will pull on the orange and blue jumper for a while. Nick has been a core member of the DAFA over the past few years by sitting on the board, coaching and playing. He has been a huge part of getting the Champions League up and running in Amsterdam as well as the continued development of Aussie Rules in the Netherlands.

Thanks for all your efforts Nicko, taking out the Plate final in Lisbon was a great send-off.

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Max Rooke visits AFL London Women’s players

2 x Geelong Premiership Player and current Gold Coast Suns Development Coach, Max Rooke, stopped in to run an AFL London Women’s session on his recent visit to the English capital. Max took the girls through the basics of kicking and handballing before letting the girls in on his famous tackling technique.

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Special thanks to Mitch Skelly of the Wandsworth Demons for organising the session and Max for giving up his time to give back to the women’s game.

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Australian Wombats hold on against AFL England Masters

On Saturday the Australian Wombats took on our AFL England All-Stars in the first ever International Masters Test between the two nations. The game took place at the home of the Reading Roos, King’s Meadow, in picturesque conditions on Saturday afternoon.

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The Wombats are coached by former West Coast and Brisbane player, Brent Staker, who pulled the boots on for the occasion. Our All-Stars led at every change but were unable to hold onto their lead late in the final term when the Wombats stepped up a gear. The final scorecard reading 54-52 in favour of the Australians.

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The Wombats are now on their way to Ireland for a two-test series of International Rules against the Irish. We’re hopeful of accommodating the Australian Masters in the years to come and hopefully even getting to a point where we can send a touring side over of our own.

Good luck in Ireland boys!

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AFL Europe Umpires take the next step

Three of AFL Europe’s umpires have been selected to take part in next year’s International Cup in Melbourne. Geoff Pascoe, Josh Davey and Oscar Ayyadi earned selection to IC17 following stellar performances with the whistle at our recent AFL Europe Championships held in London during August.

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Check out the full article on their achievements below:

http://www.aflcommunityclub.com.au/index.php?id=47&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=3701&cHash=b82881277e72ccb938a9df86eaf33456

Match of the Round

CNFA Season Preview

For this week’s ‘Match of the Round’ we caught up with CNFA President, Alban Schieber, and got his thoughts about the upcoming season and the teams competing ahead of tomorrow with round 1 kick offs.

This season is quite special for us as it will be played between October and April when we usually play until mid-June. The reason is quite simple and quite exiting as well for all the players: we will have our Grand Final in the Stade Jean Bouin in Paris. Our 2017 Grand Final will be the curtain raiser of the last Top 14 game between Paris and Racing Metro 92. 

Another thing that will make this coming season so special is that for the first time ever, every single team competing in the 2016/2017 Leo Lagrange Championship has a real chance to run for the premiership or at least the semi-finals. In fact, all clubs have been doing a good job over the summer to get numbers, fitness and competitive players. 

ALFA Lions:

After a couple of “on and off” seasons, the team starts to have experience players surrounded by quite a lot of young athletes. The team has played for the first time internal games at training.

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Blagnac Aviator:

Even though they are brand new in the competition it would be a mistake to think that they are not a serious competitor in the race to the semi-final. They are based on a few skilful players who have won two premierships with the Toulouse Hawks. They have had interesting numbers at training with 30+ players coming for clinics and training. Blagnac is a good place to recruit rugby players. We wish them the same first season that the Cockatoos had last year.

championnat-blagnacBordeaux Bombers:

For the first time since their last premiership, the club has finally break the ice and recruited before the start of the season. They have also been playing a few internal games to give a chance to the 30 players to get a kick and have a chance to show their abilities. They should be back in the race after two seasons struggling.

championnat-bdxCoyotes de Cergy-Pontoise:

They are probably the team to follow as they climb the ladder step by step. Every year they get better! And what’s better than runner-up? The Coyotes have raised the bar from playing entire games with 9 blokes a few years back to a strong grand finalist squad of 20 players last year. You can be sure that they are all pumped to climb that last step that is keeping them away from the premiership.

championnat-cergy-pontoiseParis Cockatoos:

The 2016 premier is going to run after a second title this year. The Paris team based on strong squad numbers with experience players who are both French and Australian. They also have a few new players coming along. Training together the Cockerels is a chance that give them plenty of opportunities to play.

championnat-pariscockatoosParis Cockerels:

Disappointed after a semi-final lost against their brother’s, the Cockatoos. They are very motivated to win the premiership again. As the Cockatoos, they have both French and Australians players with a good knowledge of Australian Football.

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Perpignan Tigers:

After bringing the club back into the championship last year, the Tigers hope to conquer the only “missing title”. For that they have been recruiting and securing players in Perpignan but they will also get some help from the Montpellier Firesharks (reborn this summer) and a couple of Australians. This should give them the extra boost to join the final 4!

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Toulouse Hawks:

Like always they are capable of everything. Strong, skillful and athletic, they are always hard to play and full of resources. If the injuries leave them alone, they are for sure one of the most dangerous team in the tournament.

championnat-toulouse

Good luck to all team involved in the 2016/17 CNFA Championship. We’ll be following the results closely.

Special thanks to Alban Schieber for putting together such an amazing season preview.