Champions League Team Previews

In the lead-up to the 3rd annual AFL Europe Champions League, hosted by AFL Netherlands in Amsterdam on Saturday 1st April, we’ll be taking a quick look at the teams who’ve qualified for the premier club tournament held in Europe.

Next up we have the Oslo Crows, Port Malmo Maulers, French Cup Champions, the Bordeaux Bombers, AFL Italia’s, North West Eagles, and the Women’s Mixed Team.

Oslo Crows

How did you qualify for the 2017 Champions League? Quick recap of your 2016 season…

The league is Norway is very small. The Oslo Crows club is split into two teams, Oslo West and Oslo East. Ås University field the final third team in the league. In previous years, Oslo West and Ås have dominated the league. For the 2016 season, thanks to a strong recruiting push, Oslo East pulled ahead early in the season and stayed there before winning the Grand Final against Oslo West.

How has the preparation for the 2017 Champions League been going?

During the winter the Oslo Crows train indoors as our home pitch is covered in snow and ice. This year we were only able to get access to a school sports hall approximately the size of a basketball court. In other words, our short game has become fantastic! Watch out for short, sharp kicks and hand passes and plenty of sprinting!

What are your teams expectations for the 2017 Champions League?

We are highly ambitious and now with the team to back those ambitions, anything is possible! We’re going to play hard, fast footy and make Norway proud. Particularly against teams representing the countries our national team lost to in the Euro Cup!

Player to watch?

Watch out for our two flying Vs, new recruits Victor Scherman, who previously played for the Paris Cockatoos, and Vemund Solberg Rustad, who played for PINTS football club in Darwin. Both are strong in the ruck and hard to pin down.  The form a strong part of the core team strategy of keeping the ball constantly in motion.

Port Malmo Maulers

How did you qualify for the 2017 Champions League? Quick recap of your 2016 season…

We won the Swedish Cup in Norrtälje and knocked off a hard fought Södermalm in the finals.

How has the preparation for the 2017 Champions League been going?

We have been training indoors during winter mainly focusing on skills and fitness.

What are your teams expectations for the 2017 Champions League?

We enter the Champions league as a dark horse. If we are playing good and have a bit of luck go our way we could defiantly be contenders, though in saying that making the finals will be a good goal for us.

Player to watch?

Two time best and fairest winner and captain Chris Mårtensson. He is a versatile player that can have a big impact anywhere on the field. He is big, strong and fast with great leadership qualities and he will lead the Maulers to victory.

Another one too look out for is DAFL’s leading goal scorer Ben Polmear. The goal scoring veteran will be will be a handful for defenders and he will be looking to kick a bag at this year’s tournament.

Bordeaux Bombers

How did you qualify for the 2017 Champions League? Quick recap of your 2016 season…

We qualified for the Champions League by winning the French Cup. The beginning of our 2016 season was difficult because many of our players were new and they lacked experience. By early September, our team was playing well – we are always in a race for the final half of the championship.

How has the preparation for the 2017 Champions League been going?

Our organisation for the trip to Amsterdam hasn’t seemed too difficult, and our players are motivated and excited to participate in the Champions League.

What are your team’s expectations for the 2017 Champions League?

Our goal is to enjoy being on the field and win as many of our matches as possible.

North West Eagles

How did you qualify for the 2017 Champions League? Quick recap of your 2016 season…

We won the only official game in Italy last year, in Pisa we defeated The ROMA Blues, and it was a sort of challenge round.

How has the preparation for the 2017 Champions League been going?

We’ve been training since late January on regular basis, so everything is going well at the moment.

What are your team’s expectations for the 2017 Champions League?

We are newcomers so we only hope to add to our experience some important matches and give all we’ve got to give and have fun.

Player to watch?

Niccolò De Giorgi and Filippo Alloisio have both played games in European Selections taking on the Australian Academy Side in London and Copenhagen, but Filippo had a bad injury that forced him on the sidelines for the whole 2016 season.

Women’s Mixed Team

How did you qualify for the 2017 Champions League? Quick recap of your 2016 season…

Due to the invited SARFL Representative team being unable to field a full squad, the team spot has been transitioned to a Rogue Women’s team with an open invitation to players across the continent. The team has therefore been formed with girls of 5 different nationalities with many hoping to get in as much game time as they can in their run up to the International Cup in August.

What are your team’s expectations for the 2017 Champions League?

Due to the team’s inability to qualify for the final, our aim will be to provide some strong competition for the other teams in the tournament through leadership from GB Swans Caroline Sellar.

Player to watch?

A player to watch will be newcomer to the sport, Alex Peill, who has was selected for the GB Swans after only playing 2 games so she will be keen to put her training in to practice. Though we are a team built from a variety of players with a mix of experience, we will still be looking to put out a strong contest, displaying some good footy!


Champions League 2017

The 3rd annual Champions League is set down for Saturday 1st April in Amsterdam, Netherlands. AFL Europe in conjunction with the DAFA and the Amsterdam Devils present the premier club tournament in Europe which sees the champion team from each domestic league descend on the picturesque fields of De Eendracht to do battle and claim ultimate bragging rights as Champions of Europe.

2017 will see the largest contingent of men’s teams making the journey with two-time Champions League winners, the West London Wildcats, looking to make it three in a row.



They’ll be up against a tough group of teams who’ve been training hard to take the crown off the champions of Europe.

For the first time in the tournaments brief history the women’s draw will include club sides. Headlined by the Wimbledon Hawks, it’ll be up to the Paris Cockerelles, Odense Lionesses, Glasgow Sharks and Port Malmo Lynx to show them the strength of women’s footy right across Europe.


Jump onto the event page and follow AFL Europe for more updates as the tournament gets closer.


Around the Grounds

Paris Cocks edge out Bordeaux Bombers to claim the 2016 French Cup

The Paris Cocks have claimed the 2016 French Cup in Perpignan at the weekend. The win came after a slow start to the championship season for the Parisians and should do them the world of good as they launch into the second half of their championship year.

They were met in the final by the ever-improving Bordeaux Bombers who went down by 24-points after only losing to the Cocks by 4-points in the group stages.

The Cocks were standout performers throughout the competition with big wins during the group stages.

Congratulations to all teams who competed at this year’s tournament


French Coqs name their IC17 squad

Following the fixtures at the French Cup, French Coqs Head Coach Andrew Unsworth, announced his initial 40-man squad for the upcoming International Cup in 2017.

Massive congratulations to all players named in that squad. Such a great achievement for you all. Continue the hard work as final squads will be named early in the new year.


Falkirk Silverbacks raise money for Ash Palmer

Great work by the Falkirk Silverbacks who played in a charity match at the weekend to raise money for Ashley Palmer who suffered serious injuries in a road traffic incident earlier in November.

Congratulations to the organisers of the match and to everyone involved in the fundraising efforts as close to 1300 pounds has been raised thus far highlighting the great community spirit.

Well done and best wishes to Ashley and his family.


GB Swans wishing us all a merry Christmas

The GB Swans have been spreading the Christmas cheer with their 12 days of X-mas ‘Up and Go’ series but it’s their recently released ‘Merry Christmas Every Swan’ debut single that is gaining serious traction on Facebook with 1.8k views.

Check it out!

Merry Christmas EverySwan! 🎅🏽🎶 Roll on 2017…. #WeFlyASwan

Posted by GB Swans on Sunday, 11 December 2016

New king crowned at Sodermalm chess and beer championships

The Blues have been keeping their minds sharp and belly’s full over the off-season with their chess and beer championship over the weekend. 5 players took to the boards with Murf, Larry, JR, Rappa and Bobby Love headlining the event.

A delayed start due to calibrating chess clocks allowed the players more time to think strategy. JR jumped out of the blocks early.

A break in play allowed for the annual Sodermalm home-brewing champion to be crowned. In the end, it was O’Larry’s brewery with their ‘Ruby Tuesday’ that took the gong. Special mention to LCB’s ‘Heavy Metal Lager’ that gets a special mention for head retention. See below.


Murf went on to claim the chess championship in a 1-min speed game against Larry.

Congratulations to all the winners on the night and for keeping the guys ‘active’ over the off-season.


AFL Europe signing off for 2016!

This will be the last of our social media series for 2016 and we’d just like to thank everyone for contributing great stories, player profiles and match previews throughout the year. We hope you’ve enjoyed the new content introduced this year. We’ll be back bigger and better in 2017.

Have a happy and safe festive season from all of us here at AFL Europe.

Around the Grounds

Fast-finishing Roos hold off first-timers, the West Lothian Eagles

Match report by Mikey Allan of the West Lothian Eagles:

Saturday 3rd December saw the West Lothian Eagles play their first match versus the Kingdom Kangaroos at South Queensferry Sports and Community Hub. The weather was good but a wet pitch made the ball very slippery. Coach Allan called for a hard at the ball game and both team certainly delivered.

The Eagles started the game well scoring three goals in a row with Vice-Captain, Nathan Stewart, scoring his first superb goal which was an overhead kick! By half time the score was 61 to 51 in favour of the Eagles but the Roos came back and scored a whopping six goals in the third quarter and the Eagles trailed by 15-points going into last term. The Roos scored another whopping six goals in the last quarter with Roos dinosaur, Sandy Bell, scoring two with the left peg proving to any doubters why he was recently the AFL Europe ‘Player of the Week’. A great day was had by all with the final score being 107 Eagles to 144 Roos.


Mark Flanagan was presented with the man of the match award (bottle of whiskey). Nathan Stewart was voted as best Eagle and was awarded the Eagles plate.


After the match, free catering was provided to all involved by Queensferry Sports and Community Hub where we raised £125 for Ashley Palmer who is currently recovering from a serious car accident. Special thanks to the Greater Glasgow Giants and Edinburgh Bloods for their support.

I personally would like to thank the West Coast Eagles – for their kind donation of the strips.
Allan Carson – the manager at Queensferry Sports and Community Hub for accommodating us and for providing free catering. The Kingdom Kangaroos – for giving us a contest. Julie Cruickshank photography – for the match and team photos. Jamie Gorman – who unfortunately couldn’t play due to injury for keeping the scores.

Many thanks to everyone at AFL Europe for the coverage of our first game.


AFL London women’s club join forces for winter session

London All-Stars coach, Mitch Skelly, put players from the South-East London Giants, Wimbledon Hawks and Wandsworth Demons through their paces at Clapham Common on Sunday afternoon in a pre-Christmas training session and scratch match.

It was great to see AFL London rivals work together in their off-season to keep their skills and fitness in check during the cold winter months. Hopefully we’ll see more sessions like this going into 2017 and beyond.


Bombers prove too strong for Hawks in CNFA

The Bordeaux Bombers were clinical in their weekend fixture against the Toulouse Hawks at their home ground. The Bombers lead from start to finish and didn’t give the Hawks a chance to work into the game. The outcome of this match was pivotal for both sides with the winner staying in touch with the finals contenders.


The Bombers refused to take their foot off the pedal and ran out 130 to 49 point winners in front of a vocal home crowd. Luckily for the Hawks they’ll have the chance to redeem themselves before going into the new year with a Toulouse derby match against the Blagnac Aviators.


Scottish Clansmen announce new team manager

Mikey Allan features twice in this weeks Around the Grounds. The West Lothian founder has been busy on the national team scene as well in 2016 and will be doing even more in years to come as AFL Scotland announce Mikey as the Clansmen’s Team Manager.

Mikey was part of the Scottish team which travelled to Lisbon earlier this year and he’ll no doubt be pivotal in rise of Scottish football in the years to come. Congratulations on the appointment Mikey.

Aussie Rules lights up Zagreb Christmas fair

Great work by the Croatian Knights and Queens who presented Aussie Rules as a part of the Christmas Fair in Zagreb, Croatia. The recent Euro Cup Champions and 3rd Place winners presented our great game as part of a presentation on the different traditions from around the world.


Amazing work getting the Sherrin up on the main stage and showing everyone the greatest game on earth.


Match of the Round

ALFA Lions v Paris Cockerels

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

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

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

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

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

Paris Cockatoos v Bordeaux Bombers

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

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

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

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

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

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