European Crusaders at IC17

The International Cup is played every three years. No expatriate Australians are eligible to play. Teams are comprised solely of amateurs who must be nationals of the countries they represent. This year’s International Cup is taking place from the 5th-19th August in Melbourne.

In 2014, there were 25 teams (18 men’s and seven women’s) that represented 18 different nations. Papua New Guinea won the men’s final while Canada won the women’s final.

For the IC17 AFL Europe will be supporting 9 teams from Europe. Two of those teams will be a men’s and women’s European Crusaders.

The European Crusaders are team’s made up of players whose home nations are unable to send a team of their own. It provides players from Europe with the opportunity to experience the International Cup and compete against the best teams from around the world.

The women’s European Crusaders team is taking shape nicely with Thomas Urban and Berengere Portal of France heading up the organisation of the trip. They currently have 15 women confirmed to attend the tournament.

The men’s European Crusaders team has had a slow start with multiple nations initially trying to compete as individual teams. Brett Peterson of Sweden and Slava Belov of Russia has been herculean in his efforts to get the ball rolling and now it is time to formalise the process.

The next stage is formalising expressions of interest from players. I have copied links for expression of interest forms if you wish to play for the European Crusaders.

Players who experience the International Cup will return to their country as ‘champions’ of the sport and act as the driving force to get their national team to future European Championships and International Cups.

Players need to be self-funded for the trip with potential sponsorship and fundraising initiatives being organised by the respective management teams. For more information on the estimated cost breakdowns please email

Women’s Form Link:

Men’s Form Link:




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 to receive a question sheet.

This week we’re taking a look at one of the longest serving Croatian players to date. Tomislav Cvetko started out in 2007 and quickly made a name for himself. He’s a multiple Croatian League MVP, captain of the Knights for the past 6 years and a regular in Team of the Tournaments. Regarded by many as the best forward in Europe, have a read of what got the big man into our great game.


Tomislav Cvetko


Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers



What position do you play?

Forward mostly

AFL team you support:

Dockers, Swans, Hawks

Favourite AFL player:

Buddy Franklin

How did you find out about AFL?

Through a friend who lived in Australia in his younger age

How long have you been playing for?

10 years, since 2007.

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

3 Nations Cup 2007 in Wien. Brilliant weekend, immediately fell in love with the game and the people around it!

Best AFL moment?

I have so many, it’s hard to pick just one, but if I have to name a few: 2008 EU Cup in Prague – Silver medal (Croatian first EU Cup), 2010 EU Cup in Milan – Gold medal and EU Cup gold in Lisbon just now.

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

I don’t like clothes! 🙂