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Fitzpatrick Cup – Tournament Preview

The Fitzpatrick Cup is upon us. Tomorrow is the day a new universities champion will be crowned for both the men’s and women’s divisions.

Heavy rainfall wreaked havoc on the UCC grounds earlier in the week but with sunshine and a balmy 6 degrees forecast for tomorrow we’ll be expecting fast-paced action from the get go.

The day kicks off at 11am with three pitches in action throughout the day. The men’s division will be played off amongst 8 teams in 2 Groups.  The top two teams in each Group will progress to the semi-finals while the bottom two in each will battle it out for the minor placings. The Groups are as follows:

Group A:

  1. UCC 1
  2. Oxford 2
  3. Irish Uni’s
  4. Cambridge

Group B:

  1. Oxford 1
  2. Maynooth
  3. UCC 2
  4. Mixed ARFLI

The women’s division will consist of 3 teams, UCC, Maynooth and Oxford, with the top two progressing straight into the Grand Final at 3:30pm.

The full tournament fixture along with the live streaming link can be found on the AFL Europe website (afleurope.org).

On the eve of the Fitzpatrick Cup we caught up with tournament organiser, UCC Head Coach and all-round good bloke, Eoin O’Sullivan, for a quick chat.

How’s the tournament preparation coming together?

“Everything is looking good at this stage, a few hiccups here and there along the way, but it’s coming together well. Pitches are ready, players and umpires en route, it’s shaping up to be a great day’s footy. Just hope we get the weather to match!”

How are the teams shaping up?

“Well, I suppose we have home advantage so we’d hope to be strong around the ground. Our difficulty has been picking 16, our second squad is as strong as the first! But looking through the lists, the Mixed Uni team are very strong in every line, and Oxford have recently beaten Birmingham too, and are travelling strong, so they’ll be a serious outfit. I know the Maynooth lads have put in serious prep, and have a few tidy players in their list. Also, I’ve played against one or 2 of the Cambridge boys, they don’t miss, and in short games like this, accuracy is vital. So, it’s wide open really.”

Any players to keep an eye on?

“Singling out players is always difficult, giving them a tag is added pressure. I never had it when I played, and sure was class, but nobody knew! I’m sure these boys will love the limelight though, so I’ll drop a few names. UCC have 3 Jacks, 2 Oisin’s, 2 James’, and 2 Kev’s, they’ll surely produce something between them. Maynooth have Darragh O Morain, he’s bound to play well someday. Mixed Uni’s have Hally. That’s all that needs to be said on that. Cambridge have Mossy Harrington up top, the closest thing there is to a Buddy Franklin in Europe. And Oxford have Geoff Pascoe, a man that knows all the rules, and will surely push them to the limit for their cause.”

Who’s going to come away from Fitzpatrick Cup in 2017?

“Ah c’mon, you can’t ask me that! Having 2 dogs in the fight, I’d like to think that UCC can make it an all Cork Grand Final. No doubt the other boys will be out to stop that, but our boys are boasting a mix of youth, experience, National Team players and hardy b*****ds in both squads!”

Mixed Universities Team Preview – Fitzpatrick Cup 2017

In the lead up to the 2017 Fitzpatrick Cup to be held in Cork, Ireland on the 4th February we’ll be taking a look at each side attending the annual universities tournament. Next up in the previews is the mixed universities side.

Mixed Uni’s have been involved in each year of the Fitz and gives players without a full university squad the chance to strap on the boots at the tournament.

Fitzpatrick Cup history

The Mixed Uni’s team itself, have always been present since the competition started. Sometimes bolstered by extra players from competing universities, sometimes even their management!

However, this year with several of the UCC Bombers alumni completing further education across the countries universities as well as several of the players in the league itself in colleges without a team, a proper effort has been taken to enter a well organised strong team.

Players to watch?

Quite hard to single out one individual player as a key player to watch as there are numerous players on their day are well able to stand up and be counted. With numerous premiership winners and players with international experience in the squad we can’t pick just one standout.

So, who’s in charge?

The legendary IC winning captain, Cian Quigley, has offered his services for the day to assist and offer his wealth of knowledge.

Aims for the Tournament

There’s no point entering something if you’re not aiming on winning and I’m pretty sure all other teams will be coming to Cork with the same attitude. As well as that we want to give any new lads and lads with no football in college a chance to play.

Who has the X-factor?

Our sexy Buckfast sponsored jerseys are definitely going to go down a treat. John O’Heney himself will look the bomb in it (word has it he’s been flat in the gym all winter and has ordered a size small player fit jersey to impress the young women in Cork). Other than that, Dapper Dan (Former Player of the week), is known to possess the X-factor with his dance moves on the floors of Reardon’s on a Saturday night. Ladies beware!!!!

How is the preparation going?

Collectively we’ve nothing done, it’s hard due to us being a combination team but a lot of lads have been playing away in the ARFLI winter leagues as well as those training away with the Warriors squad. Other lads have been playing GAA/Rugby etc. over the winter.

What are the main attributes of your team?

Our sexy Jerseys, Dapper Dan’s Hand of God and Colin Lordan’s Booming Left Leg.
Mixed Unis photo

 

 

Around the Grounds

Lions cruising in CNFA

They’ve knocked off the reigning premiers and now the ALFA Lions are sitting pretty at the top of the CNFA ladder after an impressive 3 from 3 start to season 2016/17. The Lions knocked off the champs in style on their home turf in the capital which further provides weight to their claim as potential finalists in the championship. They cruised to victory with a comfortable 86 to 40 score line.

Their remaining 4 matches are all very winnable as they take on the Blagnac Aviators, ASP Tigers, Bordeaux Bombers and a home match against the Cergy-Pointoise Coyotes. Could it be the year of the Lion?

In the other match at the weekend, it was the Tigers going head-to-head with the Paris Cockerels. The Tigers nearly came away with a huge victory away from home, but it was the Cockerels who held on for a much needed 7-point victory. The final scores reading 94 to 87.

Two matches remain before Christmas break and it’s the Toulouse Hawks in match-ups versus the Bordeaux Bombers and Blagnac Aviators.

Haggis Cup early bird entry fees open

Get on board the Haggis Cup early bird prices for AFL Scotland’s annual tournament in 2017. The Haggis Cup is locked in for the 8th of April and is being played at the West of Scotland Rugby Club, Glasgow. To enter your team, contact kirsty@aflscotland.org.

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Vixens recruiting Team Manager

The England Vixens are on the lookout for a new team manager. Have a look at the full list of responsibilities for the role below. If you’re interested in getting involved or you’d like to know a little more about the role, then get in contact with englandvixens@gmail.com

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Wildcats throwback

Have a look at this old print piece on the West London Wildcats. A few days back the Wildcats reminisced on 20 years since becoming the third Aussie Rules club to launch a website. They narrowly missed out on being pioneers on the world-wide-web by the Essendon Bombers and Collingwood Magpies.

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Odense hit 1000 fans!

The Odense Australian Football Club celebrated hitting 1000 likes Facebook last week. Great achievement by the Lions and Lionesses. See you at the 2000 mark soon.

odense

Irish Warriors name their Ireland-based IC17 extended squad

The Irish Warriors management team have announced their extended Ireland-based training squad for the 2017 AFL International Cup. More players will be added in the coming weeks depending on performances in the winter championships as well as arrangements being made for UK and Australian-based players to train and have trials in the coming weeks. The final squad of 30 will be announced in the spring.

The management team has been confirmed with Mick Finn joining Brian Currane and Ciaran O’Hara on the senior coaching staff. The team will be managed by Michael Currane and Paul Ryan will once again serve as tour manager.

Congratulations to those selected, check out the full squad from the ARFLI press release.

Around the Grounds

AFL Canada making the trip over the Atlantic in 2017!

AFL Europe and AFL Canada announced plans for the men’s and women’s Canadian Development teams to travel to London in May 2017. Both tournaments will be taking place from the 19th to 21st of May with a round robin fixture set in place.

To read more about the tournament click through the link below.

Coyotes sit atop the CNFA ladder

The CNFA ladder is starting to take shape. Following the weekends fixtures, the Cergy-Pointoise Coyotes are sitting on top for the 2016/17 season. The ASP Tigers have jumped into second position in front of the ALFA Lions who are in third with a game in hand. The Bordeaux Bombers have played 4 games and round out the top-four places. The two Parisian sides are yet to hit their straps but are in 5th and 6th  as the Toulouse Hawks and new-comers, the Blagnac Aviators, are battling it out for the wooden spoon.

The next few rounds before Christmas are incredibly important for setting up sides 2nd half of the year and will go a long way to determining the make-up of the top 4.

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AFL Europe Footy Show kicks off! AFL Europe Footy Show kicks off! AFL Europe Footy Show kicks off!

Monday night was the first instalment of the AFL Europe Footy Show after a 2-year hiatus. Despite a few technical issues and an annoying echo, we were able to put together a 45-minute show full of entertainment. Special guest, Oliver Howard, discussed his aims and objectives as the new Chairman along with general discussions on all things footy.

Improvements to the quality of the stream (and the general presenting) will occur over the course of the first few shows. Massive thanks to everyone who tuned in. We’ll announce when the next show is scheduled well in advance.

If you’d like to listen to the recording from the first show, click through the link below.

 

Old vs New: Alumni take the win over the Students at UoB

It was a battle between old and new at the weekend for the University of Birmingham Aussie Rules Football Club. And it was the old boys who had the last laugh against the current students in their annual hit-out. A great initiative by the team at UoB keeping their alumni in the mix with all things Aussie Rules at the Uni. The final score in the match was 137 to 95 in favour of the Alumni.

uob

New President in the DAFL

The Danish Australian Football League (DAFL) will be under the guidance of a new president in 2017. Thore Lauritzen was elected to take over the job from Simon Malone after his 2 years of great service. Thore has been an integral member in the DAFL community over a number of years. He is the captain of the national side, coach of the Farum Cats as well as being crowned best afield in this year’s DAFL Grand Final.

Congratulations on the appointment Thore and all the best in your new role.

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1st Round of the Rebel Shield goes to the Bombers

The first leg of the Rebel Shield took place on Friday evening at Mardyke Arena in Cork. It was the students, the UCC Bombers, who claimed the spoils over their cousins, the Leeside Lions. The hit-out was great prep for the Bombers who are gearing up for the upcoming Fitzpatrick Cup in early 2017.

The Lions will also take valuable match practice from the game as they look for a serious assault on the 2017 Champions League in April next year.

The return fixture should be hotly contested between these two clubs with the difference not too great to overcome for the Lions.

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International Rules set for two-test hit out in 2017

After a year off, the International Rules series between the AFL and GAA has been set for November 2017. Following the two one-off tests in 2014 and 2015, the 2017 instalment will feature a two-test series at yet to be determined venues.

Australia will play host to the series and will present a side made up entirely of All-Australian players, as has been the case in the previous two series.

Check out the full press release from the Official AFL website.

http://www.afl.com.au/news/2016-11-22/international-rules-series-returns-with-australia-to-host-two-tests

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

Around the Grounds

AFL Umpires stop in for a chat

Last night a handful of the AFL Umpiring squad gave up their time whilst on tour to sit down and have a chat about all things umpiring with several our current AFL Europe Umpiring team.

The boys shared stories of how they got into officiating the game and provided a great insight into some of the challenges they face in the recruitment and retention of high quality umpires. A massive thank you must go out to Shane Hill, Head of Umpiring, for arranging the get-together.

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L-R: Hayden Charles, Gary Gila, Matt Stevic, Chris Goodman, Shane Hill, Ian Kafka, Jordan Bannister, Steve McInerney, Shaun Ryan, Josh Davey

Stay tuned on the www.afleurope.org for information on umpiring courses being held here in England in the new year.

 

Can you top the TruChallenge?

I’m sure that by now you’ve noticed the GB Swans and their TruChallenge taking over social media. If you think you and your club can top the ‘flick and kick’ challenge, then follow the link and post your video on Facebook. Be sure to tag AFL Europe!

https://www.truchallenge.co.uk/v/bGPMLb

 

ARFLI 7s kicks off

The first ARFLI 7s session was held over the weekend with 3 teams contesting the reduced format game. The County Lions, City Lions and UCC Bombers took part in the inaugural tournament in what was a great success.

ARFLI will be running several sessions around the country throughout the winter months. The full results from the first session are as follows:

County Lions 6.6.6. 102 to UCC Bombers 3.10.7. 97

City Lions 6.8.5. 113 to UCC Bombers 2.6.6. 62

City Lions 5.12.7. 129 to County Lions 7.5.11. 111

 

UoB and Oxford battle it out in a thriller

The boys from the University of Birmingham clinched a thrilling 3-point victory over rivals, Oxford University, in an incredible display of Aussie Rules.

Testing conditions didn’t stop the intensity of the match with a supremely competitive contest experienced throughout. A strong Oxford side were unrelenting in their pressure and they’ve set the scene for a big year of university football.

In the women’s match, the Oxford girls proved too strong for their opponents. Both matches were played in great spirit with massive congratulations to all players involved. We’re looking forward to the return fixture between these two university football powerhouses.

uob

 

Talent Combine uncovers stars of the future

The 6th AFL Europe Talent Combine was held at the weekend under the watchful eye of the AFL’s International Talent Manager, Tadhg Kennelly. 23 boys from Ireland and France were selected to attend the combine and were put through a range of fitness and skills tests over the course of the weekend.

Massive congratulations to all the boys who tested as well as their parents for attending the information session on the Saturday afternoon. Tadhg and his team ran another smooth combine and will have a very tough decision to make when selecting the boys to take part in the AFL AIS Tour of Florida next year.

Read our full Combine review below:

http://afleurope.org/afl-europe-talent-combine-review/

 

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

#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.

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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 admin@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet.

This week we are profiling the silver-fox from the Irish Warriors, Eoin O’Murchu. If you’re in Lisbon for this weekend’s Euro Cup then keep an eye out on this veteran winger.

Name:

Eoin O Murchu

Club:

Wandsworth Demons

Nationality:

Ireland

What position do you play?

Wing and Midfield

AFL team you support:

Sydney Swans

Favourite AFL player:

Pearce Hanley from the Brisbane Lions. Honourable mention for “Buddy” Franklin from the Swans too.

How did you find out about AFL?

I played Gaelic Football up until I move to London 7 years ago so I always had an interest growing up. Jim Stynes was from my neighbouring club in Dublin and I followed Tadhg Kennelly’s career when he played too. When I found out there was a league in London I really wanted to get involved.

How long have you been playing for?

6 years

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

Chest marks, getting smashed in my first tackle and beating the West London Wildcats in the lashing rain in Putney.

Best AFL moment?

Being named the Rest of the World Club Captain for the Wandsworth Demons last year but winning EU Best and Fairest in my first season at the Demons is a close second.

Notable mention goes to the hard earned froths at the Alex with the Demons after every game. Nothing better than dropping a few Fozzies with the Dees and Shedees 😉 post game.

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

While I love footy, nothing beats Hurling which was my main sport until I moved to London. Also, my surname is Irish for Murphy which people find very confusing in the UK!

People don’t often associate me with being a big drinker as I usually shy away from the traditional AFL London post-game boat race but a close few know of my ability to down a pint in under 2 seconds.