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AFL Player of the Week – Alex Watson

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 anyone who would, then email ben.durance@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet.

First up on the AFL Europe ‘Player of Week’ is Alex ‘Nic Nat’ Watson. The English Ruckman is a fresh face to the game only in his second season but has already represented England at last year’s AFL Europe ‘Euro Cup’ in Croatia.

An exciting prospect, Nic Nat is currently honing his ruck craft  in the AFL London competition for the Wandsworth Demons. Hoping to further his representative football career, Watson is also training to be selected for with the Great Britain Bulldogs at the AFL Europe Championships in August this year. The tournament will be a great precursor to the International Cup in Melbourne in 2017 and provide the plethora of European talent, like Nic Nat, a chance to impress in the homeland of AFL.

Nic Nat imposes a dominant figure on the AFL pitch and has impressed with his leadership on and off the field in his short career, this year being named rest of the world Vice-Captain for the Wandsworth Demons. All the best for the 2016 season.

Name:

Alex ‘Nic Nat’ Watson

Club:

Wandsworth Demons

Nationality:

English

AFL Team you support:

West Coast Eagles

Favourite AFL Player:

Nat Fyfe

How did you find out about AFL?  

I was talking to a friend about the game (that I’d previously never heard of). As I was on my way home I came across a poster that was advertising training sessions for the Wandsworth Demons the coming Saturday so thought I’d give it a go.

How long have you been playing for?

Since January 2015

What do you remember most of your first Aussie Rules game? 

Not fully understanding the full rules of rucking I barged the other ruck whilst he was in mid-air with no intention for the ball. I’d been on the pitch for 20 seconds and had already given away a free kick.

Favourite moment when playing Aussie Rules? 

Making a well-timed tackle.

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

In my day to day life I work as a graphic designer and along with sport, art has always been a big passion in my life.

 

Tuesday Around the Grounds

Coyotes claim Minor Premiership of CNFA champs

The Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes have wrapped up the minor premiership of the CNFA Championship sitting 3 points clear of perennial top of the table side, the Paris Cockerels.

The Coyotes claimed top spot after final round opponents, the Toulouse Hawks forfeited, and are now in the box seat to claim the major premiership when season 2015/16 of the CNFA Championships comes to a conclusion in a few weeks’ time.

Wildcats school Lions on home turf in AFL London Grand Final rematch

The much anticipated Grand Final rematch unfortunately ended in a blow out with the Wildcats running over the Lions by 87 points.

Wildcat’s, Jared Risol and Andy Challis receive notable mentions for the tireless hard work and their combined 9 goals.

The Lions sit in a similar position as they did in 2015, however, they’ll need to put in the hard yards from Round 5 onwards to ensure they have a chance at defending their title.

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Scoreboard leans in favour of Milan Eagles in Pisa friendly

The Milan Eagles took the chocolates against the Roma Football Club in a demo match between the two Italian clubs in Pisa at the weekend.

A couple of accidents within the first 5 minutes had Roma on the backfoot and were unable to get back in the game eventually going down 120 to 23.

A special shoutout for Josip Kravar for his help and insight along with all involved in getting this great exhibition up and running.

Roma v Milan

Port Malmo’s big day out

A massive day of Aussie Rules was had by all out at Port Malmo at the weekend.

3 huge games of football were played. First up were the Mini Maulers side who had a great hit out in the lead up to the big show down between the Port Malmo Maulers and Odense Lions. The Maulers ran out convincing winners 172-9.

The final game of the day was played between the Port Malmo women’s side, the Lynx, and some of the Mauler’s who backed up from their game previously.

Great day out for all showing the amazing growth and development in of AFL in Sweden.

Port Malmo

Oslo East sweeps West and Ås aside in Kenguru Cup opener

Oslo’s Eastside squad proved it will be the team to beat in Kenguru Cup 2016 after scoring strong wins in a high quality round one under sunny skies at Voldslokka.

Playing with a mixture of new and old faces, the East shrugged off an indifferent start against Oslo West in the first game to run out convincing winners 61 to 18.

Game two saw the Easties teach an inexperienced Ås side the finer points of contested, skilled football, and another comfortable win, 53 to 13.

In the evening’s final fixture, West took on and conquered the Ås side, which was ably helped out with some extra players from East. The closest contest of the night saw Ås start brilliantly and head into the half-time break up by eight points. West responded however, and hit back with a flurry of second half goals to put the result beyond doubt. Final scores were West 51, Ås 28.

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Copenhagen Barracudas go pink to fight cancer

The Barracudas host the Odense Lions in their 2016 Ladies Day Picnic.

Its what’s set to be a great day of Aussie Rules so make sure you get on down and support the fight against cancer whilst sipping ‘champagne in the sun, watching sweaty guys in tight shorts and tucking into a lovely BBQ’. Can’t beat that on a spring Saturday afternoon.

Jump on over to the event page if you’re in the area.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1190549217645690/

 

Ben Durance

AFL Europe Match of the Round

North London Lions vs West London Wildcats, Saturday 21st May, 3:00pm – Albert Road Recreation Ground, Bounds Green, London.

The West London Wildcats went into last year’s AFL London Grand Final as raring hot favourites only to have their hopes spoiled by underdogs, the North London Lions. The Wildcats were dominant throughout the 2015 season and were expected to easily account for the boys from North London. The Lions had other ideas and eventually came away with the Premiership, claiming victory by a solitary point.

This Saturday sees the two teams square off again for the first time since the showcase event last season. Both teams have had changes to personnel in the off-season and have started their respective 2016 campaigns in typical fashion.

The Lions have started off season 2016 with wins against the London Swans and Wimbledon Hawks before going down to the Wandsworth Demons in a fierce hit-out last weekend. Nik Schoenmakers has been pivotal in the ruck and provides the Lions midfield with first use at most stoppages. He’ll be looking to link up with the ever present Eamon Jenkins who has also been in a rich vein of form providing a great mix of inside grunt and outside leg speed for the Lions midfield.

The Lions will be hoping Captain Ben Quick will recover in time from a niggling knee injury he suffered in last week’s game as he could be the difference between the two sides come Saturday. His leadership and strong marking across the half-back line is vital to the Lions success.

It’s been a long, cold London winter for the West London boys pondering what could of been and this weekend’s Grand Final rematch provides them with the opportunity for a little bit of redemption. They started off their 2016 campaign with a point to prove and took out the AFL Europe Champions League and AFL London Pre-Season Cup with ease. Despite a tight loss to the Demons in round 1 of the regular season they easily accounted for the Putney Magpies and Wimbledon Hawks.

No doubt Lloyd Williams has racked up the fines at the Cattery for his constant mentions in AFL Europe media but it’s hard to go past the silky half-back and his game-changing ability. He’ll need to be stopped by the boys from the North and will be expecting some close attention from his opposition in an attempt to limit his impact on the game.

Evan Duryea will be hoping to continue his goal-scoring ways on the weekend after putting through 14 majors in the past two weeks for the Wildcats. A massive game from ruckmen, Jared Risol, will be needed to negate the influence of Schoenmakers. This match-up will be key to the result of the game.

Both teams are going to come out firing come 3pm Saturday. There’s going to be some real feeling in this one with physicality and contested footy set to determine the outcome between these two fierce rivals. If the Pre-Season Cup is anything to go by it could be on for young and old with emotions set to be running high.

If you’re looking for a game to watch in London this weekend, then make your way to Albert Road Recreation Ground, this one is set to be a thriller.