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Around the Grounds

#EuroCup16 wraps up for another year

The 2016 Euro Cup in Lisbon was held over the weekend under clear blue skies and a scorching sun. With 374 players from 16 countries across 22 teams participating the day was an incredible success.

The main pitch was live streamed throughout the day with a record number of people tuning in from all over the globe. Blow-by-blow commentary for the majority of the day brought the games to life and make for great viewing on replay.

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Under a setting sun on the main pitch the crowd grew to watch the finals matches. Congratulations to the Netherlands (Plate), France (Bowl), Ireland (Women’s Champions) and Croatia (Men’s Champions) for claiming victory in their respective divisions.

A special thank you to our three pitch manager’s Fanny Maillett, Laura Pinckney and Hayley Canton for ensuring the day ran smoothly along with our umpiring squad led by Shane Hill.

Stay tuned for a full event report in the coming days.

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Sparky joins the big time after AFL Women’s Draft

Wimbledon Hawks stalwart, Lauren Spark, became the second Hawk to join the newly formed AFL Women’s League for 2017. She was taken at pick 76 by the Western Bulldogs.

Sparky’s selection sets up a mouthwatering clash with Hawks teammate, Kate Shierlaw, at some stage next year.

We wish both girls all the best in the inaugural AFL Women’s league.

Australian Masters kick off tour with a win

The Australian Masters side which is touring England and Ireland have kicked off their campaign with an 11-point victory over Oxford University at Merton Sports Ground.

oxford

The boys will have to rest up as they visit the Australian High Commission today before taking on an AFL England All-Stars side in Reading on Saturday. Further details on that match at the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1058075340928430/

CNFA season kicks off this weekend

The CNFA season is upon us with round 1 of the 2016/17 season kicking off this weekend. The Paris Cockatoos will be hoping to avoid second year blues after they claimed the premiership in their first season against the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes in the season decider earlier this year in June.

Its set to be a fantastic year of Aussie rules action in the CNFA. Check out the fixtures below:

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Hawks and Demons covering all bases

The Wimbledon Hawks and Wandsworth Demons supplied record numbers of participants to this year’s Euro Cup.

The Hawks had players in 5 of the 16 countries:

England: Jason Hill, Myles Hudson, David Hastie, Jennifer Bennett, Louise Darby, Lisa Wilson, Charlotte-Ellen Eales and Jess Milford

France: Chloe Romeo

Scotland: Rachel Kilmartin, Lauren Spark (Coach), Kate Shierlaw (Assistant)

Ireland: Stiofan Mac Finn

Wales: Jordan Wynne

The Demons had a total of 22 club members playing or coaching for 4 countries, umpiring or volunteering in an amazing show of community involvement.

Well done to both clubs for great achievements and for all their efforts ensuring the 2016 installment of the Euro Cup was a great success.

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Player of the Week

AFL Europe 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.

This week’s player profile comes from the South of England. Kieran Jewell plays for the mighty Southampton Titans and idolises Collingwood Magpies Skipper, Scott Pendlebury. He found out about the great game of Aussie Rules in a college lecture and has been playing for 3 years now. In Kieran’s first year playing he was unable to go out with the team due to his age and reliant on his parents to drive him to and from games.

Name:

Kieran Jewell

Club:

Southampton Titans

Nationality:

English

What position do you play?

Wherever needed

AFL team you support:

Collingwood

Favourite AFL player:

Scott Pendlebury

How did you find out about AFL?

In a college lecture

How long have you been playing for?

3 years

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

Getting put on the opposition team and missing every kick I got!

Best AFL moment?

Scoring my first 4 goals which was in the same game!

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

I wasn’t old enough to go out with the team for the first year I was a Titan, and had to have lifts from parents everywhere!

 

Around the Grounds

Farum Cats hold of Copenhagen Barracudas in DAFL Grand Final

Valby Park played host to the DAFL Grand Final at the weekend between the Farum Cats and Copenhagen Barracudas.

On what was a stunning Saturday afternoon it was the ‘Cudas who had the better of the early exchanges. Unfortunately, their inaccuracy in front of goal hurt them as the Cats kicked three majors to their five behinds. The 1st quarter ended with both sides locked at 31-points apiece.

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The Farum side turned it up a gear in the 2nd with a five goal to one term giving them a 22-point lead going into the main break. League Best and Fairest, William Andersen, was starting to get into the game and was really causing headaches for the home side.

The premiership quarter proved just that with the Cats piling on a further six goals. It was all but sewn up going into the last but the Barracudas had other ideas. They kept their opponents scoreless in the final term whilst they clawed back two goals. It should have been more for the boys from Copenhagen but their inaccuracy again hurt them.

The Farum Cats had done enough and claimed the coveted prize of DAFL Premiers. The final scorecard reading 16.10. 106 to 10.18. 78. Congratulations Cats, we’re looking forward to seeing you at the Champions League next year.

Goals

Farum Cats: W. Andersen 4, M. Norlander 4, M. Kjoge 4, M. Biron 2, C. Andersen, T. Ottesen

Copenhagen Barracudas: M. John 4, D. De Nardi 4, R. Sorensen, C. Kere

Best

Farum Cats: W. Andersen, J. Overgaard, M. Norlander, M. Kjoge, M. Biron, J. Secher, T. Lauritzen

Copenhagen Barracudas: M. John, D. De Nardi, J. Petersen, A. Hill

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Norrtalje Dockers knock off reigning champs the Sodermalm Blues in SAFF Grand Final

The Norrtalje Dockers have stormed home to claim the title of SAFF Premiers. They were up against it early with the Blues kicking a goal within the first 30 seconds of play.

They continued to have the better of it in the opening exchanges and it didn’t take long for them to extend their lead to 13-points.

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The Dockers couldn’t buy a goal early on kicking four straight points. Eventually Norrtalje broke through with the Swedish national ruckman, Buster Sund, putting through the Dockers first major.

Sodermalm went into their shells for a while and the Dockers capitalised piling on a number of goals. Dockers, Ryan Tucker and Steven Howard were proving a real handful for the Blues and their superior skills were on display.

The Dockers had given themselves a handy buffer and ultimately they couldn’t be caught. The final siren sounded and the Norrtalje Dockers were the new champions of SAFF – A great achievement by the club.

Final score card reading 12.12. 84 to 7.4. 46. Steven Howard of the Dockers was awarded the Ryan Kingsley Medal for best on ground in the final. Well done Steven.

Goals:

Norrtalje Dockers: M. Schulte 6, N. Innacone 3, B. Sund 2, S. Howard

Sodermalm Blues: M. Rappoccio 2, J. Briscoe, C. Tancredi, A. Cherry, L. Hagberg, J. Dahlberg

Best:

Norrtalje Dockers: S. Howard, B. Sund, R. Tucker, N. Innacone, M. Schulte, N. Jonsson, J. Sund, J. Darke

Sodermalm Blues: A. Cherry, M. Barton, J. Holm, M. Larsson

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Check out the full-match replay from BarTV Sports below:

 

The Flying Dutchmen make their 18-a-side International debut

On a makeshift football field in the middle of Battersea Park, London, The Dutch national side made the journey to compete against the reigning European Champions, the GB Bulldogs, in what their first full format International match.

The match started very evenly with a hot footy and big tackles being laid. Running with the breeze it was the Bulldogs who jumped out to an early three goals to one 1st quarter.

As the match wore on the superior fitness and team cohesion of GB proved too much for the Dutchmen who fought valiantly all day. The Bulldogs ran out convincing winners to continue their solid run on the international stage.

Regardless of the score line it was a monumental day for footy in Europe. Massive thanks must go to Neil Cooke of the Dutchmen and team GB manager, Jason Hill for arranging the hit-out.

Let’s hope more games like this continue to fill the AFL Europe calendar in the years to come.

gb-v-holland

Manchester Mozzies celebrate 10 of the best

The Manchester Mozzies named their ‘Team of the Decade’ (2006-2016) at their recent awards night. It’s a great achievement to be recognised for your contributions to a football club both on and off the field.

Congratulations to all those who were named in the team.

mozzies

AFL Grand Final time!

It’s the Sydney Swans vs the Western Bulldogs in this weekend’s AFL Grand Final. Where ever you are in the world be sure to tune in.

Tag us in your Grand Final party photos and if your struggling for places to watch the game, follow the link below to find your perfect Grand Final party.

http://www.afl.com.au/tv-radio/overseas-gf-party-finder

 

Match of the Round

Holland vs Great Britain – Battersea Park, 10:30am

This Saturday the 24th of September will see Holland make the journey to London where they’ll be making their 18-a-side debut against newly crowned AFL Europe Championship winners, the Great Britain Bulldogs.

The match provides both teams with invaluable experience with the Bulldogs preparing for the International Cup in 2017 and the Flying Dutchmen continuing their rapid development as an AFL playing nation.

Battersea Park with be transformed into a full AFL oval allowing both teams to gain further knowledge of players and tactics in the year leading up to IC17.

The Flying Dutchmen will be bolstered by a couple of Australian’s who reside in Amsterdam, along with a handful of players from Oxford and AFL London to fill out a full squad of 22. Getting a squad together is a great achievement by all involved in Dutch football. They’ve been incredible hosts of the AFL Europe Champions League over the past two years and the DAFA 9s was a great success in season 2016. The Dutchies will be a strong opponent for the Bulldogs and despite going into this game as underdogs the punters might fancy the boys in Orange.

The Bulldogs have selected a slightly changed side from the European Championships with coach Dean Thomas looking to gain further insight into other eligible players in the build up to Australia. Craig Degville, Ryan Cawley, Dominic Mitchell, Charlie Steel, Tomos Wyn-Jones, Ian Mitchell, Spike Kilheeney and Josh Keeney join the squad. The remaining EC winners are Chris Britton, Michael Sharp, George Dibble, Lewis Gedney, Alex Overton, Jack Coughlan, Owain Ryland, Andy Walkden, Luke Booth, Myles Hudson, Jack Wood, James ‘Ryan Crowley’ Talbot, Matt Warwick, David Jordan, David Hastie and Andrew Cochran.

Bulldog’s Team Manager, Jason Hill, had this to say:

“It’s great to be able to get another fixture on the back of a successful EC and Neil Cooke has been pivotal in putting together a Dutch side to make their debut at this level. Great Britain AFL and the DAFA share a very positive relationship and we will do what we can to help grow their game and compete at this level. This gives us more valuable time on the pitch in preparation for IC and gives coach, Dean Thomas, a great chance to view more players within his system. We’re looking to be the most prepared Bulldog’s team of all time and believe that games like this will help us achieve that. I look forward to welcoming the Dutch to London now and in the future”.

The match is a great initiative and is something AFL Europe is be aiming to help facilitate more of in the near future. With a 10:30am bounce and at beautiful Battersea Park be sure to stop in and watch some full format Aussie Rules.

 

 

 

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.

This week were are profiling the Paris Cockerels gun centre half-back, Huw Ryan. The Aussie-turned-Frenchman has been plying his trade in France for the past few years. Check out his profile below.

Name:

Huw Ryan

Club:

Paris Cockerels

Nationality:

French/Australian

What position do you play?

Full-Back

AFL team you support:

Essendon Bombers

Favourite AFL player:

Nic Naitanui

How did you find out about AFL?

I played football as a child and picked it back up again in Paris vis the annual ANZAC Match in Villers-Bretonneux

How long have you been playing for?

I’ve been playing for two years in France

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

Being put in the ruck against a man-child, and the frost being crispy under foot

Best AFL moment?

Winning the French Premiership in the 2014-2015 season

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

I stopped playing Aussie rules for 12-13 years then picked it back up when I arrived in France, first at the ANZAC match then with the Cockerels.

 

Match of the Round

Tyne Tees Cup

The North of England is set to light it up when they host the Tyne Tees Cup, 9-a-side tournament tomorrow. Organisers and current title holders, the Tyne Tee Tigers will be hoping to put in a big performance on their home deck of Gosforth Park. They be up against a strong Glasgow Sharks outfit fresh from their Scottish AFL Premiership as well as the always impressive Kingdom Kangaroos.

On the women’s side of the draw the England Vixens will be using this tournament as a warm up for the upcoming Euro Cup in Lisbon. They be locking horns with the Glasgow Sharks and AFL London side, the Wandsworth Demons.

Both men’s and women’s teams will compete in a round robin format of 2 x 20 minute halves which will see the top two from each team progress to play off for the much coveted Cup.

No doubt the Northerners will put on a show for the teams competing in this year’s tournament with a big night out on the Toon to be enjoyed by all competitor’s following the main event.

Best of luck to all teams involved and congratulations to the Tyne Tee Tigers for getting this tournament up and running.

If you’re in the vicinity make sure you stop in and check out the action. I know we’ll be following this one closely.

Check out the full details on the tournament Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1342103975815403/

Schedule

Pitch 1 – Men’s Pool and Finals                           Pitch 2 – Women’s Pool

11:20am Tyne Tee Tigers v Kingdom Kangaroos        England Vixens v Glasgow Sharks

12:20pm Glasgow Sharks v Tyne Tee Tigers             Wandsworth Demons v England Vixens

1:20pm Kingdom Kangaroos v Glasgow Sharks         Glasgow Sharks v Wandsworth Demons

2:20pm Women’s Final

3:20pm Men’s Final

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Match of the Round

CEAFL Finals – Prague, Czech Republic

The final round of the CEAFL season is upon us and taking place in Prague tomorrow. Following two successful round-robin tournaments in Croatia and Austria the culmination of the CEAFL season will take place at the Rugby Club Petrovice, Prague 10.

The CEAFL ladder after 2 of 3 rounds:

  1. Zaprude Giants 30 points
  2. Styrian DownUnderdogs 20 points
  3. Sesvete Double Blues 20 points
  4. Velika Gorica Bombers 14 points
  5. Zagreb Dockers 12 points
  6. Zagreb Hawks 10 points
  7. Prague Dragons 8 points
  8. Ploce Eagles 6 points

After winning the first two tournaments the Zaprude Giants are in the box seat to take out the CEAFL premiership on Saturday. The combination of their skill and experience has proved pivotal in securing top spot on the ladder.

The Styrian DownUnderdogs were left reeling after being undefeated going into the final of round 2 where they went down to the all-conquering Giants. They’ll be looking to make amends after having a breakout season.

In their second year of existence, the Sesvete Double Blues are sitting equal second on the table and are quickly closing the gap between the middle and top tier of the competition. Don’t write them off for a push for the title.

In their first year as a club the VG Bombers are rapidly improving and show courage that is second-to-none. The only just missed out on beating table toppers, the Giants, in the previous tournament.

The two Zagreb sides will have a full complement of players to field sides at this tournament along with the Ploce Eagles. The three teams were absent from the Graz tournament but did provide a handful of players for the Prague Dragons.

The home side will be looking to stamp their authority on the CEAFL in the final round. Despite being out of contention they be hoping to finish season 2016 on the right note and they’ll prove a very difficult opponent on the Petrovice pitch.

There will be 7 teams competing at tomorrow’s season finale with a group of four and a group of three locking horns. The two groups look as follows:

Group 1

  • Prague Dragons
  • Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers
  • Styrian DownunderDogs
  • Zagreb Hawks

Group 2

  • Zaprude Giants
  • Sesvete Blues
  • Velik Goric Bombers

Play is kicks off tomorrow at 9am with the final set for 3:30pm. The full schedule is as follows:

9am: Prague Dragons vs Zagreb Dockers

9:30am: Zaprude Giants vs Sesvete Blues

10am: Styrian DownunderDogs vs Zagreb Hawks

10:30am: VG Bombers vs Zaprude Giants

11am: Prague Dragons vs Styrian Downunderdogs

11:30am: Zagreb Dockers vs Zagreb Hawks

12pm: Sesvete Blues vs VG Bombers

12:30pm: Prague Dragons vs Zagreb Hawks

1pm: Zagreb Dockers vs Styrian DownunderDogs

2pm: First Semi-Final

2:30pm Second Semi-Final

3pm: Third Place Final

3:30pm: Grand Final

Anything could happen in tomorrow’s tournament. Best of luck to all teams and supporters.

 

 

AFL Europe Grand Final Lunch – Your chance to win!

The 2nd annual AFL Europe Grand Final Lunch will be taking place on Friday 30th September 2016. In conjunction with the South Australia Club and in association with the Adelaide Crows this fully ticketed corporate event provides a unique opportunity to connect the UK and Australian Business Communities.

If you’re a Crows fan here in the UK and want the chance the win 1 of 8 tickets to this event then click on the link below to find out more.

http://www.afc.com.au/news/2016-09-06/crows-form-new-uk-partnership

Good luck!

Around the Grounds

Bulldogs and Swans crowned Champions of Europe

The AFL Europe Championships came to a close last Saturday with the Grand Finals taking place at the home of the Championships, Motspur Park.

The German Eagles claimed third place in their playoff with the Swedish Elks as they held firm for a thrilling 1-point victory.

The GB Swans scored the one and only goal of the women’s final against the Irish Banshees. Tough conditions met the players and provided the large crowd with a real arm wrestle to watch.

In the men’s final the GB Bulldogs got their redemption for their last minute loss to Ireland in the 2013 Championships by convincingly outplaying the Warriors.

Congratulations to all teams who took part in the full-format tournament, especially their coaches and team managers who did an amazing job getting so many players over to London to represent their countries.

Football can’t be played without the umpires who we’d also like to thank for doing such a great job throughout the week. A special mention to Adam Pearce from the AFL who took notes and provided tips to our umpiring squad throughout the week.

Finally, to all volunteers and the great AFL Europe community, thank you for all your assistance. We look forward to our next major tournament, the annual Euro Cup, to be held in Lisbon.

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Amsterdam White Devils claim the DAFA 9s Premiership

The Amsterdam White Devils came out on top of what was a see-sawing Grand Final in the DAFA 9s in Amsterdam over the weekend.

A last quarter surge was enough for the White Devils to get over the line against Den Haag Ooievaars who eventually claimed the inaugural DAFA 9s Premiership by 10-points.

Final scores 87 to 77.

Well done to everyone involved at the DAFA for the continued growth and development of Aussie Rules in the Netherlands. We can’t wait to see how the Dutch side goes in the Euro Cup in October.

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Berlin League culminates in Grand Final rematch

For the second year in a row it was North vs South Berlin in the Berlin League. The minor Premiers, North Berlin Crows, were looking to enact revenge after going down to their cross-town rivals in last year’s decider.

It wasn’t to be for the Crows who again went down to the in-form Giants by 29-points.

The boys from Berlin won’t have long to indulge in celebrations as their focus now turns to Munich this coming weekend.

Congratulations to the Giants and good luck with the upcoming fixtures.

Berlin

Free access to WatchAFL

Jump onto WatchAFL on the Celebration of Football weekend starting on the 2nd of September with the EJ Whitten Legends game and run through to the 10th annual Hamson-Hardeman Women’s Exhibition Cup.

Click the link below and sign up below.

http://watchafl.afl.com.au/

 

 

 

2016 AFL Europe Championships

Our wrap up of our AFL Europe Championship final day is now live. Congratulations to GB Swans and Great Britain Australian Rules Football on taking out the top prizes.

Exceptionally well fought ARFLI(Australian Rules Football League of Ireland)! Your lads were absolute gentlemen and we could not thank you enough for the amount of assistance you gave AFL Europe throughout the entire week, especially when you valiantly carried the posts off after your tough loss (and every other game day!).

Well done to German Eagles AFL for taking out the third place final and coming down to support the ladies on the Friday, running water and umpiring!! Congratulations to the Swedish Elks on their performance all week, we can’t wait to see you guys go strength to strength for ‪#‎IC17‬

Finally, a massive thank you to our incredible volunteers and those clubs/individuals that helped make the week happen! The Wandsworth Demons, your marquee was exceptionally well used! Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, what an amazing night you gave us on Saturday to cap off a great week! The Generator Hostel for your hospitality for most of our group! And the Wimbledon Hawks for your home ground!

We’ll see you all at #IC17 or ‪#‎EC19‬! ‪#‎AFLinEurope‬

Third Place Playoff – Germany Eagles vs Swedish Elks

The final day of play at the 2016 AFL Europe Championships started with the third place final between the two hardest hitters of the men’s competition, the German Eagles and Swedish Elks.

After a week of near perfect weather London saved its worst day for last with a howling wind running across the field and providing one end with a four to five goal advantage.

After a very physical encounter earlier in the week everyone was expecting this one to be to the same tune and it certainly didn’t disappoint. With the Eagles running with the wind in the first term you thought they would have had the better of the play. This wasn’t the case with a silly 50-meter penalty gifting Jacob Lantz Sweden’s opening goal.

Ruben Streicher was throwing his weight around for the Eagles crunching players left, right and centre. He started up forward but was switch down back early in the piece too sure up a rattle Eagles defence.

Sweden had the better of the first quarter as they went into the break with a 1-goal advantage after holding Germany scoreless.

The physicality went up a notch in the second term as neither side took a backward step. Ill-discipline cost the Elks as Germany got their first two goals of the match from 50-meter penalties.

Playing with the breeze was proving more difficult than first expected as Germany went into halftime up 3 goals to 1 as they were able to keep their opponents scoreless.

The Germans gained the ascendancy in the third term and again kept the Swedes to their solitary first term goal. They were kept in the game through the sheer will power of Hampus Olsson who took a handful of intercept marks and bombed it long out of trouble countless times.

Andreas Svensson had another huge game in midfield for the Swedes and proved why he was later crowned ‘Player of the Tournament’ with another influential performance.

With a 3-goal lead going into the final quarter it appeared the Swedish side had run out of legs. They handled the wind better this time around and were peppering the goals early. 2 goals in quick succession to the Elks and it was game on. When Lantz bent one back from a tight angle they were well within reach and with only moments on the clock the crowd were on their feet.

The Elks were again bombing into their forward line and only needed a point to put the game into extra time. A long kick into the Swedes goal square saw the ball rush through for a behind. Unbeknown to the crowd a free-kick had been given for a push in the back with the Germans quickly kicking the ball well out of danger.

When the final siren sounded neither side knew of the result as the scoreboard displayed a draw. After a moment of discussion, the confusion was cleared and Germany were informed of their incredibly victory.

Full credit must go to coach’s Mark Woods and Ryan Tucker for their amazing efforts not only getting their sides to the tournament but for promoting a hard and tough style of football adopted by their respective sides.

In what turned out to be the match of the day the final scoreboard read Germany 4.6. 30 to Sweden’s 4.5 29.

Goals:

Germany: K. Haigh, J. Huesken, T. Menzel, J. Orlowski

Sweden: J. Lantz 2, K. Karlsson, C. Martensson

Best:

Germany: R. Streicher, F. Neumann, J. Jung, M. Schutoff, M. Thormann, T. Thormann

Sweden: A. Svensson, C. Martensson, H. Olsson, A. Olsson, B. Sund, T. Lindgran

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Women’s Final – GB Swans vs Irish Banshees

The much anticipated women’s final followed the third place playoff with only a draw and a 1-point victory to the Swans separating the two squads throughout their round matches.

The wind had picked up and was going to make a big difference in this game and whichever side was going to adapt quicker would come away with the much coveted title of ‘Champions of Europe’.

As expected it was an absolute dogfight to start the game. Stoppage after stoppage was created by both sides fierce attack on the football and their committed defensive pressure.

The crowd were in for a treat as the ruck dual between Clara Fitzpatrick of Ireland and Lea Cobham of GB was incredible to watch.

Onora Mulcahy was paid the utmost respect from the GB coaching panel as they opted to tag the ball magnet by employing her AFL London teammate, Rose Lewis, to do the job.

Despite it being a goalless first quarter the crowd were heavily invested in the game as the ferocity shown by both sides had passers by stopping in to see what all the fuss was about.

50-meter penalties seemed to be the flavour of the day as a GB centre-half forward, Rania Ramadan, was marched into the goal square to convert what turned out to be the match-winning and only goal of the game.

From here the game evolved into a scrap with nearly all 36 players on field descending on the Irish forward 50 to make sure nothing went through the Banshees goal.

The last quarter flew by as the Irish did everything they could to get within range to put through that much needed major. Full credit to the Swans defence who stood up when needed to repel anything and everything that came their way.

When the final siren sounded the home crowd erupted with jubilation and stormed the field to celebrate with the new champions of Europe, the GB Swans. The girls were out on their feet and should be proud of how they represented not only their countries but also the amazing development of women’s football in Europe.

The final scorecard reading 1.2. 8 to 0.2. 2.

Goals:

GB Swans: R. Ramadan

Irish Banshees:

Best:

GB Swans: L. Cobham, A. Saulter, D. Saulter, F. Blount, L. Smith, R. Ramadan

Irish Banshees: C. Fitzpatrick, O. Mulcahy, A. Payne, M. Walsh, M. Beaven, L. Connolly

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Men’s Final – Irish Warriors vs GB Bulldogs

The main event had finally arrived. The all-conquering Irish Warriors were against up-and-comers the GB Bulldogs in what was set to be one for the ages following their 1-point thriller only days beforehand.

Last time they had meet in the European Championships Final was in 2013 when a last second Irish snap gave the Warriors victory.

The Irish had been the form side all tournament, showing why they have been European and International Champions on numerous occasions.

The Bulldogs, in front of a home crowd, had other ideas and jumped out of the blocks early to register 5 first quarter goals to the Warriors 1 running with the wind. Andy Walkden contributed 2 of those majors and was looking dangerous whenever he went near the footy.

The GB side had come out with a plan and executed it to perfection in the opening exchanges. The big test for them was going to come in the second term when the Irish had the wind at their backs.

The second term didn’t go as expected for the Irish who were bombing away long whenever they got the football in their hands. This was exactly what the Bulldogs wanted as their spare man racked up a ton of the footy.

The Irish looked rattled and didn’t have an answer for what the Bulldogs were throwing at them. Their usual run and carry was non-existent and cracks were starting to show.

One of the best players all tournament, Kevin O’Brien from Ireland, was being tagged out of the game by GB’s, James Talbot. The little general from AFL London was quick to tell this reporter of his unsung efforts as a lock-down midfielder throughout the week at the tournament after-party on Saturday.

Likewise, the tournament’s equal leading goal scorer, Padraic O’Connell, was being well held by the dependable, Matty Goodman, whose added counterattack was immense for the home side.

The unthinkable had happened and the Irish had been kept goalless running with the breeze. The Bulldogs had their tails up going into halftime and with one hand on the trophy they weren’t going to let this slip.

A spirited halftime speech from the Irish coach had the boys in green raring to go after the main break. Two quick goals to Colin O’Lordian and Muiris Bartley gave the Warriors a sniff but to GB’s credit they absorbed the pressure and took control of the game.

A late goal to Andy Walkden calmed the nerves of the boisterous home crowd and gave the Bulldogs a 3 goal advantage going into the final term.

The Irish knew they could close the gap and with the wind coming over their shoulders the Bulldogs knew it was still anyone’s game.

The Warriors had the better of the final term but poor foot skills really hurt them going forward and they were unable to convert their chances. Time was getting away from them and when Walkden converted his fourth goal of the day it was all but over for the reigning champions.

A late goal to Kevin McDonnell left it too little, too late for the Irish and when the final siren sounded a new champion of Europe was crowned.

Andy Walkden was huge for the Bulldogs and became only the second player in the tournament to register a unanimous best on ground performance. A huge effort in a grand final by the GB half forward.

The final score read 7.9. 51 to 4.5. 29.

Both sides proved they be tough opponents when they play in next year’s International Cup in Melbourne and will do their Countries and AFL in Europe proud.

All sides should be proud of how they represented their countries and we can’t wait to see how everyone develops in the future.

A huge shout out to the umpiring squad for officiating an amazing week of football and to all volunteers who gave up their time to help in any way possible.

Hopefully we’ll see a few familiar faces at the upcoming Euro Cup in Lisbon.

Goals:

GB: A. Walkden 4, M. Cashman, D. Hastie, C. Britton

Ireland: M. Bartley, G. Murray, C. O’Lordian, K. Mccdonnell

Best:

GB: A. Walkden, L. Booth, J. Coughlan, M. Hudson, C. Britton, M. Goodman

Ireland: G. Walls, C. Fitzgerald, C. O’Halloran, D. Joyce, D. McElhone, K. O’Brien

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The Top 10s

WOMEN

Player of the TournamentVotesTeam
Clara Fitzpatrick41Irish Banshees
Rania Ramadan28GB Swans
Claire Messent25Crusaders
Onora Mulcahy25Irish Banshees
Danni Saulter25GB Swans
Alex Saulter24GB Swans
Aisling Gillespie23Irish Banshees
Rebecca Dickson21Crusaders
Marley Beaven19Irish Banshees
Chloe Hall16GB Swans

 

Leading Goal KickerGoalsTeam
Aisling Gillespie6Irish Banshees
Caroline Sellar3GB Swans
Danni Saulter3GB Swans
Rania Ramadan3GB Swans
Ashleigh Payne2Irish Banshees
Lea Cobham2GB Swans
Chloe Hall2GB Swans
Naomi Curtis2Irish Banshees
Ciara Moane1Irish Banshees
Louise Darby1GB Swans

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MEN

Player of the TournamentVotesTeam
Andreas Svensson27Swedish Elks
Kevin O’Brien26Irish Warriors
Muiris Bartley24Irish Warriors
Gavin Murray24Irish Warriors
Jakob Jung22German Eagles
Hampus Olsson21Swedish Elks
Andrew Walkden16GB Bulldogs
Tristan Thormann14German Eagles
Buster Sund14Swedish Elks
Ruben Streicher14German Eagles

 

 

Leading Goal KickerGoalsTeam
Paudric O’Connell9Irish Warriors
Marc Cashman9GB Bulldogs
David Hastie7GB Bulldogs
Andrew Walkden7GB Bulldogs
Jan Huesken6German Eagles
Dominic Joyce5Irish Warriors
Jack Coughlan5GB Bulldogs
Muiris Bartley5Irish Warriors
Gavin Murray5Irish Warriors
Eoin O’Murchu4Irish Warriors

 

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