Posts

Match of the Round

Match of the Round 6/8/16

ARFLI Grand Final – Leeside Lions v Belfast Redbacks

Mardyke Arena, Cork plays host to two of the fiercest rivals in Irish Aussie rules. The Leeside Lions take on the Belfast Redbacks in tomorrow’s Grand Final blockbuster with the Lions playing in their first Grand Final since 2011. The Redbacks are ‘big dance’ specialists, having qualified for their fifth consecutive ARFLI Grand Final.

This past year has been a big one for the ARFLI as a focus on reformation of the structures of the league took to the forefront. The establishment of ‘carnival footy’ has been the major structural change to the league. This saw carnivals held in the home city of each of the four competing league teams with Galway, Cork, Belfast and Dublin hosting carnivals throughout the season.

The Leeside Lions were the first side to lock in their place for the Grand Final having done so on the back of a ‘clean sweep’ – winning 9 from 9 games, a first in Irish League history. The Lions squad has been boosted this year by the large number of players from the local university team, the UCC Bombers. Being the first to qualify gives the Lions a much deserved home advantage which could prove pivotal to the outcome of this game.

The boys from Belfast will be a formidable opponent and could shatter the Lions hopes of a perfect season. They’ve qualified for their fifth straight Grand Final and the experience of playing on that first Saturday in August gives them a massive advantage if the game goes down to the wire. They also have the largest proportion of players in the Irish Warriors squad contesting the AFL Europe Championships the following week so that’s not to be underestimated.

Will the ARFLI be crowning a new champion on Saturday in the form of the youthful Leeside Lions or will it be the experienced and battle-hardened Belfast Redbacks. This one is set to be a ‘corker’ and isn’t to be missed. With the ball up set for 3pm get down to Mardyke Arena for the culmination of the 2016 ARFLI season.

Coach’s thoughts – Leeside Lions, Chris O’Brien

“The game will be won by playing our fast, precise style of footy. Players to watch are our Aussie gun, Matty Moore, and experienced players like Eoin Sull, Ian Sull and Cian Quigley that have been here before with the Lions and the national team on many occasions.

A younger crop of guys who have experience players with the Irish Warriors in various tournaments over the last couple of years, most notably, Muiris Bartley and Conor O’Halloran in IC14. We also have a good crop of youth and experience heading to London representing the national team in a couple of weeks’ time for the AFL Europe Championships.

The feeder club, UCC Bombers, have given the Lions a boost this year not only with players but an exuberance for the game and a sense of freshness to the squad that will hopefully reap benefits in the Grand Final against a tough Redbacks team.

We wouldn’t be where we are without the help of Tadgh from our sponsor, Blockagebusters, his generous contribution has allowed us to book training fields, help with insurance and physio bills, especially in the lead up to the final”

 

Tuesday Around the Grounds

Around the Grounds – 2/8/16

West Lothian Eagles ARFC start up in Scotland

AFL Scotland’s welcomes a new club to its ranks with the West Lothian Eagles taking flight. The Eagles are looking for new recruits and pushing for a side in the coming seasons. This is great news for Aussie rules in Scotland.

The Eagles have their next training session on Monday the 8th of August. Jump over to their Facebook page to keep up-to-date with all things Eagles.

https://www.facebook.com/wleaglesarfc/?fref=ts

 

Jacob Raiwalui…remember the name!

Jacob Raiwalui picked up his first Sherrin 3 months ago. Last weekend he was being put through his paces by AFL royalty, Tadgh Kennelly.

Jacob stands at 6’6 and resides in France where his father, Simon Raiwalui, a former Fijian Rugby star, now co-manages French rugby side, Stade Francais.

The skies the limit for Jacob and hopefully his passion for the oval ball continues grow because he develops his skills and knowledge of Aussie rules.

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 18.42.12

 

ARFLI Grand Final set to be a ‘corker’

Mardyke Arena UCC, Cork plays host to the ARFLI Grand Final in 2016. The Leeside Lions will be playing in their first grand final since 2011 having not dropped a game in the regular season. The Lions come up against a formidable opponent in the Belfast Redbacks who are competing in their 5 straight grand final.

This match is set to be a thriller, with free entry for all patrons, a huge crowd is expected for the crowning of the new Irish champions. Jump onto their event page and spread the word.

Keep an eye out on the AFL Europe website and social media as we feature this match as our ‘Match of the Round’.

https://www.facebook.com/events/643829235769315/

 

Former Hawk does the rounds at AFL Europe clubs

Hawthorn Premiership player, Max Bailey, is doing the rounds throughout Europe by visiting a number of clubs following his 6-month stint in Tanzania as part of the Future Warriors Project.

Max’s first stop was a Thursday night training and fines session with an AFL London club before running a weekend training program in Graz, Austria. He’ll be in Munich and Amsterdam meeting the local clubs for the remainder of this week.

Follow the big man’s progress on his Instagram @maxintanzania2016 and #MaxyOnTour

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 18.43.37

 

AFL London Grand Finals takes centre stage at Motspur Park

The culmination of the AFL London season is here. This Saturday 8 teams across 4 divisions will fight for the title of AFL London Premiers. The Wimbledon Hawks will again play hosts for the day at the picturesque Motspur Park. It’s set to be a great day both on and off the field with the festivities kicking off at 10:30am with the Social division and culminating at with the Premiership match starting at 4pm.

Schedule:

10:30am – Social Division – South London Demons v Reading Kangaroos

12:00pm – Conference Division – Clapham Demons v Shepherds Bush Raiders

2:00pm – Women’s Division – Wimbledon Hawks v North London Lions

3:30pm – Premiership Division – West London Wildcats v Wandsworth Demons

Keep an eye out on the AFL London Facebook page for match previews of every game in the lead up to the weekend.

https://www.facebook.com/AFLLondon/?fref=ts

 

 

 

EC16 Team Preview – Irish Warriors

AFL Europe Championships Team Preview – Ireland Warriors

Every three years the AFL Europe Championships take place for teams to assert their dominance and claim bragging rights against their European counterparts as well as gain valuable 18-a-side match practice in the lead up to the International Cup the following year.

In the lead up to this year’s AFL Europe Championships in London we’ll be focusing on each team and previewing their chances of taking out the top prize.

Next up to be previewed is the Ireland Warriors. The boys from Ireland are always up around top of the placings and will be looking to further assert the dominance in London.

What’s happened since International Cup 2014?

Since the International Cup in 2014 the Irish Warriors have been consistent participants in the yearly Euro Cup. They finished third in the 2014 and were beaten by Croatia after the siren in Umag in the third-place playoff. There has been a high volume of player turnover in recent years for the Warriors.

The positive for the Irish is that their Draft Cup competition unearthed a lot of new talent and the squad will contain a number of players making their Warriors debuts.

The management for the Irish Warriors has undergone significant changes in recent years. The team at IC14 was managed by Paul Brogan and coached by Shaun McElhone, who led the team to wins at Euro Cup 2011 and 2012 as well as retaining the AFL Europe Championships in Dublin 2013. Shaun’s success was unable to travel Australia for IC14 but had the side coached under the watchful eyes of David Stynes and Lachlan Buzsard.

Since the success of the recent era a new coaching and management team has been put in place and it has evolved over the last few years. They’ll be looking to go one step better than previous tournaments and come away with the win at the Champs come August.

Who’s in for the AFL Europe Championships in 2016?

The joint coaching team of Brian Currane and Ciaran O’Hara, both of whom have worked with the team since 2014 and began the process whilst IC14 was underway.

Brian was one of the best forwards in Ireland for many years and was a member of the winning International Cup side from 2002. He was also involved in an administrative capacity for the AFL Europe Championships in 2010.

Ciaran has for many years been involved in the management of the National team, having travelled as an assistant to the International Cup in 2002. In the 2008 and 2011 instalments of the tournament he also managed the team. He coached Croatia at the last AFL Europe Championships in Dublin and has a wealth of experience coaching Irish club teams.

Supporting the coaches is a number of people, most notably, former captain Cian Quigley as team liaison.

The team itself is coming together well, blending a mix of youth and experience. With multiple International medal winners like David McElhone, Eoin O’Suilebhain and Gerard Walls mixing with some really exciting prospects like Stuart McKeating, Paul Murphy and Luke Hickey this Warriors side looks pretty formidable. Add to this some full format experience from the UK Leagues and the Irish could be hard to stop.

The side is made up of 9 players from both the Belfast Redbacks and Leeside Lions, 2 from the Galway Magpies, 2 from South Dublin Swans and a number of player representing UK Clubs such as the Manchester Mozzies, North London Lions, Wandsworth Demons and Wimbledon Hawks.

Pre-Tournament Focus

Due to very busy domestic league schedules it has been difficult for the Warriors to meet for training camps. Their players will be in form with regular carnivals and premiership games throughout the year keeping them fit and with good touch.

The Warriors will relish the opportunity to run out onto a full sized oval seeing as they don’t usually get the opportunity. They’ll look to add width and pace to their game which is something Irish players are traditionally very good at. With a high calibre of football player, the Irish will always a tough opponent and will be very difficult beat. Their Achilles heel is always their inability to train as a team before big tournaments which will put pressure on them early in the Champs to gel as quick as possible.

Who has the X-Factor?

The ruck duo of Gavin Murray and Dominic Joyce will be ones to look out for and can be really dominate. They could dictate first use for their midfielders which is key to winning big games.

The improvement shown by players like Sean Paul Henry is going to be vital for the Warriors. His natural athleticism has always had him at the forefront of opposition discussions but not his foot skills have become a focal point of his game which makes him a really exciting prospect for the Irish side.

Coaches thoughts – Brian Currane?

“We’d expect to have a fair crack at defending our title, but we know it will be difficult, GB were very good in 2013 and have improved since and the home advantage for them could be the percentages they need to take out their first European Championship.”

Team List (includes emergencies)

  1. Muiris Bartley (UCC & Leeside Lions)
  2. Sean Paul Henry (Belfast Redbacks)
  3. Luke Hickey (UCC & Leeside Lions)
  4. Brendan Kelly (Belfast Redbacks)
  5. Stiofan Mac Finn (Wimbledon Hawks)
  6. Tom McKenna (Belfast Redbacks)
  7. Paul Murphy (UCC & Leeside Lions)
  8. Conor O’Halloran (Leeside Lions)
  9. Eoin O’Suilleabhain (Leeside Lions)
  10. Tom Stack (Manchester Mozzies)
  11. Gerard Walls (Belfast Redbacks)
  12. Liam Burns (South Dublin Swans)
  13. Conor Fitzgerald (Wandsworth Demons)
  14. David McElhone (Belfast Redbacks)
  15. Sean McGlinchey (Belfast Redbacks)
  16. Stuart McKeating (Belfast Redbacks)
  17. David Miller (Belfast Redbacks)
  18. Gavin Murray (South Dublin Swans)
  19. Kevin O’Brien (Wandsworth Demons)
  20. Eoin O’Murchu (Wandsworth Demons)
  21. Conor Fitzgerald (North London Lions)
  22. Dominic Joyce (Leeside Lions)
  23. Ryan McCloskey (Belfast Redbacks)
  24. Kevin McDonnell (Galway Magpies)
  25. David McGinty (Galway Magpies)
  26. Kevin McSorley (Belfast Redbacks)
  27. Kevin O’Brien (Wandsworth Demons)
  28. Padraic O’Connell (Leeside Lions)
  29. Coilin O’Lordain (Leeside Lions)
  30. Rory O’Donnell (UCC & Leeside Lions)
  31. Alan Tobin (Wandsworth Demons)

Player of the Week – Onóra Mulcahy

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.

Onóra plays for the Wandsworth Demons in the AFL London Women’s League. Only starting Aussie Rules this year Onóra has already been chosen for the Irish National team, the Irish Banshees due to her natural take to the sport. Studying architecture, Onóra has stopped getting questions about all her bruises and injuries from her colleagues due to her passion for Footy and Gaelic! Good luck for the rest of the AFL London final series and the upcoming AFL Europe Championships Onóra!

Name:

Onóra Mulcahy

Club:

Wandsworth Demons

Nationality:

Irish

What position do you play?

Ruck Rover

AFL team you support:

Carlton ( Mainly because they have so many Irish with them)

Favourite AFL player:

Ciaran Sheehan, We are both from Cork

How did you find out about AFL?

I played Gaelic Football with a girl who played with the Demons ( Jess Edwards) and we played Compromise Rules game and my interest was piqued.

How long have you been playing for?

January 2016

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

These people are crazy! What are you doing? This is a very different game to Gaelic. Phew! Glad I’m wearing gumshields.

Best AFL moment?

I took a messy ball from a tussle on the on the ground, dodged a tackle and made a good clearance. First time I felt like I knew what I was doing.

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

Every Monday going to work I have a new injury or bruise from Footy or Gaelic, colleagues have stopped asking what has happened. Besides playing sports napping is my favourite pastime.

Tuesday Around the Grounds

The sun shines in Norrtalje for Dockers and Blues

A cracking day of football in the beautiful sunshine in Norrtalje has seen the Norrtalje Dockers and Sodermalm Blues claim victory.  The final scores for the AFL Sweden games saw Norrtalje Dockers 15.11. 101 beat Arsta Swans 5.9. 39 and the Sodermalm Blues 21.8. 134 beating the Bromma Vikings 7.8. 50.

Continuing with the AFL Sweden league and with just over a week into their membership drive sees the clubs doing well so far.

The list of how the clubs are going is as follows:

  1. Norrtalje Dockers – 28 members
  2. Arsta Swans – 24 members
  3. Port Malmo Football Club – 36 members
  4. Sodermalm AFC – 27 members
  5. Solna Axemen – 22 members
  6. Bromma Vikings – 11 members
  7. Helsinborg Saints – 5 members
  8. Gothenburg, Falun, Uppsala – 0 members

Keep up the good work AFL Sweden!

 

Clapham Cubs want you!

The Clapham Cubs are looking for a male to assist with the running of their Sunday Auskick sessions. If you have a passion for growing the game in London, have a clear DBS check and are available on Sunday’s from 11-12pm then contact claphamcubs@gmail.com for more information.

https://www.facebook.com/Clapham-Cubs-861426217276768/?fref=ts

Clapham Cubs

 

ACL rules out Irish talent, Ciaran Byrne for the remainder of the season

Carlton’s Irish import, Ciaran Byrne, has been ruled out for the remainder of season 2016 after rupturing his ACL during Saturday night’s close loss to arch-rivals Collingwood.

It’s terrible news for the 21-year-old halfback who was having a consistent year for the Blues under first-year coach, Brendon Bolton.

Ciaran will undergo surgery in the weeks to come before undertaking an extensive rehabilitation program. All the best Ciaran and we wish you a speedy recovery.

http://www.carltonfc.com.au/news/2016-07-03/scans-confirm-byrne-injury

 

The Flying Dutchmen are back!

The national Australian Rules team for the Netherlands, the Flying Dutchmen, are back on social media and ready to take the AFL Europe community by storm. Not only did they host a game with the Scottish national team in mid-June but rumour has it that they’re trying to rally the troops and make an appearance at the Euro Cup in Lisbon later this year. Fingers crossed!

Jump over to their Facebook and give them a like when you get a chance.

https://www.facebook.com/theflyingdutchmen/?fref=ts

 

Bloods reassert dominance over arch-rivals the Glasgow Sharks in SARFL blockbuster

The Edinburgh Bloods claimed a three goal victory to jump to an early advantage in the SARFL Premiership at the weekend.

It started out as a beautiful day at Leith Park and the scene was set for an absolute thriller. But it was the Bloods who jumped out the blocks early kicking 5.6. 36 to 1.3. 9 to take the heat out of the contest in the first term.

The Sharks weren’t going down without a fight and clawed their way back slowly before a very heavy shower in the third quarter allowed the Bloods to shut up shop and take a close but comfortable three goal victory.

The final scorecard read 13.16. 94 to 10.16. 76 in favour of the Bloods in what was another great instalment of this fierce rivalry.

Bloods v Sharks

Conor McKenna

AFL Europe are incredibly excited to watch one of our Irish recruits debut for Essendon FC this weekend! Congratulations goes out to Conor and all his hard work, it has been a long time coming.

[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nR4ZHId5QA”]

Essendon’s Irish recruit Conor McKenna will make his senior debut on Saturday night against Richmond.

The 19 year old travelled from Tyrone in Northern Ireland to Tullamarine at the end of last year for a shot at making it in the AFL.

“It’s great reward for the hard work he’s put in,” Essendon Development Coach Paul Corrigan said.

“He’s obviously crammed a lot in the time that he’s been here.

“He does more sessions than anyone else, he never misses a beat.”

While most Irish players are used off the half-back line, McKenna has shown some natural flair in front of goal.

In his 15 VFL games this season, he’s kicked 18 goals.

“The coach took me in yesterday about three o’clock after training,” McKenna said.

“Cora, who has been working with me all year, he just said ‘congratulations, you’re playing against Richmond this week’.

“It’s just good to get a role now.”

McKenna’s signature was highly sought after because of his elite speed, athleticism and endurance.

He grew up playing Gaelic football and has spent extra time with Essendon’s development coaches learning the finer points of the game.

“In defence, it was not too bad, but then I went forward and the structure of the game is just hard to get used to but hopefully I’ll get it right now and come Saturday it’ll come to plan,” he said.

McKenna’s parents are flying out from Tyrone to attend Saturday night’s match.

 

Written by Simon Conway for essendonfc.com.au

2014 Axios Euro Cup info hub

#axioseurocup #euroreps @AFL_Europe

The 2014 Axios Euro Cup is just around the corner!

In the lead up to the event make sure you visit the event page on our website for all the information.

Click here to find out all the information on current standings, player eligibility, venue details and how to register.

Make sure you join the 2014 Axios Euro Cup Facebook event.

 

You can watch the 2014 Axios Euro Cup draw here.

 

Event Details:

Games will kick off at 9am

London Irish Rugby Club

Hazelwood Centre, TW16 6QU

10 minutes walk from Sunbury Upon Thames train station

FREE ENTRY || NO DOGS

Volunteers 

We are still recruiting for volunteers to assist on the day across a range of roles. If you are interested in getting involved please email tia.bool@afleurope.org

Official 2014 Axios Euro Cup Event Merchandise 

To pre- purchase merchandise please do so through the Eventbrite link, this will ensure you get the correct size on the day.  There are two options for pre ordering merchandise, for players this can be done when registering on Eventbrite and for supporters you can do so through the supporters registration. Entry is free, however this registration is for those supporters who would like to pre purchase merchandise and meals.

We will also be selling merchandise on the day, however to avoid disappointment regarding sizes please ensure you pre-order.

 

2014 Axios Euro Cup official hoodie

2014 Axios Euro Cup Official hoodie

AEC Tshirt

2014 Axios Euro Cup Official t-shirt

 

Two weeks with the Irish Warriors – AFLIC14

By Lachlan Buszard

Sport has the ability to breakdown barriers, to unite people from different religions, colour and race and socio economic background.  Sport inspires people and people inspire sport.

Over the past 2 weeks I have been lucky enough to be involved with the AFL International Cup carnival that has been played in Melbourne and on Saturday I will again be helping out the Irish teams coach David Stynes (the younger brother of the late Jim) to go back to back on the hallowed turf of the MCG.

Whilst the players are here to win, the AFLIC14 carnival brings together 18 different nations of mens and womens teams all of different standards, all with different stories and all united under the AFL banner.  The carnival showcases the international passion for our game like no-other and credit must go to the hard working volunteers and/ or AFL development staff who have had the courage and desire to spread the AFL gospel far and wide.

2014 represents the second carnival that I have been involved with the Irish team for.  Pronouncing names is not my strong point, and understanding their questions through thick accents is not that easy either but this is why it’s so enjoyable.  30 players make up the squad with most of the players have been playing in Ireland or out here in Australia for the past couple of years.  None of these players have grown up playing AFL and have had to learn the nuisances of the game and the skills.  Gaelic footballer, hurling, soccer, basketball and rugby union are the staple sports in Ireland so getting players to play together can be challenging, especially for the overseas Irish lads who play 9 or 12 a side in the local AFL competition.   The players are all keen to learn, all keen to play and importantly excited by the opportunity to play on the MCG, which is reflected in their team song which states: we are on a long road……… multiple counties together as one on the long road to the MCG.

There is something special about being involved with a group of highly passionate amateur players who have funded their own trips to Australia despite the struggling Ireland economy and high unemployment, to represent their country in a game they have found and fallen in love with.  Their passion for the game is unquestionable and it is refreshing in the current climate of professional sport and world turmoil.  In 2011 I learnt that an orange t-shirt that was to be worn at training by the player that best epitomised the teams standards may not have been the best choice of colours politically, but sport always has a way of overcoming barriers and uniting people for a common cause and the joke was then on me.

Over the next couple of days there will be a flutter of activity around Port Melbourne and St Kilda beaches as AFLIC14 players emulate their heroes and spend most mornings in the water trying to aid recovery.  Structures, team rules, style of play, injury management and team selection will be discussed at length by team management as four tough games in 2 weeks takes its toll on the body, but for all of the teams, this is just a small price to pay for the chance to share a common passion, meet new people and celebrate the opportunities that sport can provide.

This Saturday will see the Irish squad take on PNG at the MCG in a grand final re-match from 2011.  PNG have played in the Grand Final in all 5 international Cups, however which ever country wins is largely irrelevant, as another generation of international AFL fans, players and supporters will head back to their home countries with some great memories, new friends and importantly they will continue to be great advocates for Australia and the game of Australian rules football.

@lachiebuzz

Lachlan Buszard is the former GWS Giants Academy Manager / Head Coach.

European mens results round 4 & semi final

photo credit afl.com.au

Congratulations to Irish Warriors who have successfully confirmed they will be taking on PNG in the Grand Final on Saturday the 23rd of August at the MCG.

Semi Final 2 Mens 

Ireland: 0.0 4.1 5.3 8.5 (53)

South Africa: 0.2 1.3 4.4 4.4 (28)

Goals

Ireland: Lucey 2, Stynes 2, Finn, Joyce, O’Halloran, Geraghty

South Africa: Mongia, Sokoyi, Moshoeshoe, Sobetwa

Best

Ireland: Lucey, Joyce, McKloskey, Fanning, McElhorne, Stynes

South Africa: Funda, Pani, Phakedi, Mkhize, T.J Moagi, Moshoeshoe

———————————————————————————

Division 1 (5v12)

Canada: 1.4 6.10 8.11 9.15 (69)

France: 1.0 1.1 2.3 2.3 (15)

Goals

Canada: Nash 5, Lund, Kozlowski, Duggan

France: Tiefenbach, Dandaleix

Best

Canada: Ortel, Conrad, Ryan, Nash, Lund, Casey

France: Patacq, L’Hotellier, Schieber, Picard, Denerf, Gil

———————————————————————————

Division 1 (7v10)

Nauru: 2.1 3.4 7.6 7.7 (49)

Great Britain: 2.2 4.2 4.2 5.3 (33)

Goals

Nauru: Donatello 2, German 2, Tipung, Snuka, Charles

Great Britain: Willatt, Worthington, Walton, Mitchell

Best

Nauru: Tiana, Donatello, Jonas, Mallinson, Dave, Lennox

Great Britain: Walton, Matias, Saunders, McGeever, Ryland, Aburto

———————————————————————————

Division 2

India: 0.1 0.1 0.1 1.2(8)

Finland: 0.1 0.2 2.4 3.7 (25)

Goals

India: Kailashnathan

Finland: Romar, Kalliojarvi, Nurmikosk

Best

India: Kailashnathan, Fernandes, Fariduddin, Himat, Ghosh, Parmar

Finland: Romar, Nurmikosk, Kaarlsson, Kalliojarvi, Saarinen, Aalto

———————————————————————————

Indonesia: 2.5 2.5 4.7 4.8 (32)

Sweden: 2.1 6.3 7.4 9.6 (60)

Goals

Indonesia: Prasojo 2, Wood, Abdillah

Sweden: Martensson 3, Magnusson 2, J.Olsson, Brenmo, Svensson, Lindgren

Best

Indonesia: Wood, Halim, Prasojo, Ibadurrohman, Abdillah, Latupeirissa

Sweden: Kvarnstrom, Magnusson, Martensson, Svensson, J.Olsson, Sund