Posts

Tuesday Around the Grounds

 

International Cup (IC17) dates and location announced

The AFL has announced the 2017 AFL International Cup (IC17) will be held in Melbourne, from August 5-19.

It will be the sixth International Cup and will include both men’s and women’s competitions.

The AFL’s head of community and international development Grant Williams said he expects the 2017 carnival to be the biggest yet.

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 17.27.32

Finland AFL’s 2016 Season kicks off

Finland AFL (FAFL) started this weekend with both Round 1 & 2 being completed in a Round Robin format.

Despite being hosted by the 2015 Premiers the Helsinki Heatseekers, the Turku Dockers came out guns blazing to beat both the Heatseekers and the Vaasa Wombats.

Results:

Helsinki Heatseekers 1.1.7 def. by Turku Dockers 5.6.36
Turku Dockers 10.2.62 def Vaasa Wombats 3.1.19
Helsinki Heatseekers 6.8.44 def Vaasa Wombats 5.6.36

 

AFL Head of Community and International Development visits AFL Europe

AFL Europe was fortunate enough to have Grant Williams, Head of Community & International Development for The AFL, visit Headquarters in Australia House for a few days of planning and strategy discussions.

We are excited about the way forward in terms of developing fledgling nations, women’s footy, and youth development.

 

Ex-AFL London player, Jess Edwards, represents South Australia 

Ex-AFL London and Wandsworth Demons player Jess Edwards played in the South Australia v Northern Territory friendly, that took place on Saturday night at The Oval in Adelaide.

The South Australian’s wowed with a 27-point win over Northern Territory, managing to keep them to one point after quarter time.

Edwards was the leading goal kicker slotting 2 of the 6 majors.

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 16.13.37

100 of the Best from Port Malmo veteran 

Aaran Higgins notched up his 100th game for the Port Malmo Maulers at weekend with a convincing 178-38 win against Helsingborg.

The fearless midfielder, who is the current President of the Maulers, has been at the club since 2008 and spent three at the helm as senior coach.

Congratulations Az, a great achievement.

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 17.16.36

GB Bulldogs announce first 18 for AFL Europe Championships.

The Great Britain Bulldogs have announced their first 18 players after a training camp in Manchester this weekend.

The first 18 so far comprise of players from the Huddersfield Rams, London Swans, Manchester Mosquitoes, North London Lions, Wandsworth Demons, West London Wildcats, Wimbledon Hawks and Wolverhampton Wolverines. Head Coach has been named as Dean Thomas.

#BackTheBulldogs

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 17.14.30

Auskick programme is introduced in Malta

Head of Community & International Development for the AFL, Grant Williams met with Sport Malta and the Australian High Commission to introduce AFL into the winter sports programme.

The initiative aims to promote Aussie Rules amongst girls and boys from a young age, teaching them the skills of the game.

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 17.11.56

AFL Europe Match of the Round

Finland AFL Premiership Round 1 – Helsinki

This weekend sees the first premiership round of the Finland AFL (FAFL) being held in the country’s capital, Helsinki. With a sunny day and a high of 20 degrees this is set to be an absolutely fantastic day of Aussie Rules.

This year’s competition has reverted to a FAFL Cup style format with 3 rounds and a Grand Final at the end of the season. The teams competing are the Helsinki Heatseekers, the Turku Dockers, and the Waasa Wombats, all of whom are hoping to stamp their authority and lay claim to taking out the premiership.

We got the inside scoop from the three coaches regarding their chances this weekend and for the remainder of the season.

Helsinki Heatseekers player/coach, Jason Wallace:

“The Helsinki Heatseekers have come off a great year in 2015 winning all the events they were in, including a magnificent win in the Grand Final.

We have good numbers within the club and a bunch of great guys here that love the game, for its toughness as well as mateship. We always look forward to a game of AFL and this year with the help of three Waasa Wombats players, we had a preseason hit-out with a combined Swedish team. We narrowly went down, unfortunately by only 4 points in the dying seconds of the game!

This year we’re looking forward to the challenge from both Waasa and Turku and watching the opposing teams get better and develop the more they play. It’s a very tight knit family in Finland AFL, so we help each other out as much as possible and enjoy a cold beer after the games.

If you’re ever in Helsinki or the other towns come down for a look or even a run, you’ll be hard pressed to find better blokes in the game.”

Turku Dockers player/coach, Steve Philips:

“After winning back-to-back premierships in 2013-14, the Turku Dockers struggled in 2015, and are looking to bounce back this year with a strong first showing in Helsinki on Saturday.

The Dockers will welcome some fresh faces in 2016, with recruits Olli Merilahti and Alex-Mikael Barkoff showing good form on the training track. Second year player, Elmo Primmer, who debuted for the Dockers in 2015 as a 16-year old, is continuing his development. The further addition of some experienced players, who missed most of 2015 due to injury and work commitments should see the Dockers field a far more competitive side than the one that took the field in 2015.

If the Dockers are to succeed in 2016 it will be on the back of their locally developed talent, with all but three Dockers players having learnt the game in Turku.”

Waasa Wombats player/coach, Joni Kinnari:

“The situation for the Waasa Wombats hasn’t got any better in the past few years. Lots of regular players have quit or gone inactive due to many reason and we’ve not been able to find enough new recruits to fill the boots. I’m sure we’re able to send a good base of a team with aid from other teams to have good matches.

Because of the situation of our team, the main event of the day will be the match between Turku and Helsinki. Both teams have loads of experienced players and have year after year been able to find some skilful rookies so I will definitely keep my eyes on the new guys during the first match. Turku has many good players but one should keep an eye on father-son duo Craig and Elmo Primmer. Helsinki has some of the best players in Finland. I look forward to seeing past Turku player Adam Vasey and ‘Rookie of the Year’ from a few years ago, Antti Annala, play. From Waasa, I’m glad to play beside probably the best ruckman in Finland, Aleksi Virtanen and last year’s ‘Player of the Tournament’, Antti Nurmikoski.

I can’t wait to play some rough but fair matches on Saturday. It’s been a long winter and the hunger to play has grown big. It’s going to be a blast.”

 

Schedule of Play

1pm Helsinki vs. Turku

2pm Turku vs. Waasa

3pm Helsinki vs. Waasa

5pm Presentations at Woolshed Helsinki

https://www.facebook.com/events/1584800395164407/

[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwcRBU3100c”]

 

Finland Icebreakers Player Profile- Antti Nurmikoski

Name: Antti Nurmikoski
Team: Vaasa Wombats/Finland Icebreakers
Jersey number: 9
Position: midfield/offence
Why and when i started playing:
Mika (Kupila) and Kaj (Karlsson) were starting a team in Vaasa, I was working at the same place as they were, so after some Youtube videos and details asked they talked me in to it.
Expectations for IC:
Life-long memories and experience to share back in Finland
Best footy memory:
Probably this whole trip as a player. I never would have guessed where this sport would take me when I started. France, Scotland, Sweden and now finally, Australia!
Presidents Comments (Mika Kupila):
Never gives up, great goal kicking and understanding of the game. Best of all, an awesome team player on and off the field. He’s been a crucial part of getting the team up and running in Vaasa.
#icebreakersweek #IC14
Antti Nurmikoski

Finland Icebreakers prepare for International Cup

INTERNATIONAL CUP 2014

TEAM: FINLAND

by Michael McCormick

Since their disappointing 2008 International Cup campaign, the Finland Icebreakers have gone back to the training track and established themselves as an up and coming threat in the AFL Europe competition. They will compete in the International Cup in 2014 with a renewed ferocity towards the game.

Captain of the Finnish national team and Chairman of the board, 28-year-old Mika Kupila, believes that his team has the ability to improve upon their previous International Cup results.

“I’d love to see a couple of good wins and tough fights with stronger teams,” Kupila stated. “Our team has a lot of potential and if we can play on our own level, I’m sure we can cause an upset here and there.”

The local competition was shortened to allow for a focus on the Icebreakers’ bid to claim some upset victories.

“We play 9v9 here in Finland so going full field will require some extra sessions,” Kupila explained. “We’ll have training in July to focus on key points with transitioning to the big field,”

The pool of talent runs deep in FInland, but Kupila remains confident that senior players such as Fredrik Romar, Ville Saarinen and Kaj Karlsson will prove their worth and be amongst the Cup’s best players.

As with the other European teams attending the Melbourne based competition, Finland has struggled with their fundraising efforts.

“The players themselves will mostly fund the trip,” Kupila revealed. “We will however be getting some assistance with accommodation in Melbourne and are, at the moment, in talks to hopefully get flights sorted out as well.”

Being a long time Carlton Blues supporter, the Icebreakers’ captain is looking forward to the opportunity to watch a game live and hopefully witness a win.

“Being in Melbourne, I hope to catch one of their games and I wouldn’t mind meeting the guys either,” Kupila remarked.

As far as his own team’s chances of winning, Kupila admits that it will be a tough march to the finals, but the focus remains on improving on 2008’s efforts.

“Competitiveness is key, if we can match them, we can beat them.”

IMG_2574

 

#icebreakersweek

 

Stay tuned during the week for more updates on their progress.

Turku Dockers winners of the Finland Grand Final

Following a hard-earnt semi final victory over Salo, where the much improved Juggernauts got within 14 points of the undefeated Dockers, the Turku boys spent the week leading up to the grand final getting themselves ready for a tough game against 2012 premiers the Helsinki Heatseekers. Helsinki went into the grand final on the back of some good form, having won their semi final against Vaasa by 58 points.

The third place playoff was taken out by Vaasa, who ran hard all day and were too strong for the Salo side. Both sides played with great spirit and will improve next year following the extra experience that some of their emerging players have gained in 2013.

With third place decided it was time for the grand final. The premiers of 2012 up against the minor premiers of 2013 promised to be a contest worthy of the 5th FAFL grand final, and both sides delivered from the outset.

There was nothing in the match early, with the two sides trading goals as they tested each other out. Eventually it was the Dockers who were able to get out to a small lead with a series of goals through the middle part of the second quarter which took them to a 14 point lead in the shadows of half time, then just seconds before half time some clever work from Turku captain Tomi Virtanen found Anti Vasemägi alone deep in the forward pocket. Anti marked right on the siren and was allowed to take his kick, which he calmly guided home from a tight angle, giving Turku a 20 point lead and valuable momentum heading into half time.

The second half started with two quick goals to the Dockers that took the lead out to 32 points, but Helsinki were quick to answer with two goals of their own and restored the 20 point margin. The quarter continued to ebb and flow, but a couple of late goals to Turku got the margin back out to 32 points in Turku’s favour by the final break.

The pressure that both sides had applied all day didn’t drop off, and in a tight final quarter Turku were able to kick three goals to Helsinki’s one to finish up 43 point winners and 2013 FAFL premiers.

The win made it three premierships in five years for Turku (2009, 2010 and 2013), which sit alongside runners up finishes in 2011 and 2012.

Well done to Adam Vasey from Turku who was awarded the Grant Siermans medal for the best player on the ground (Grant coached the Dockers in 2009-2010 and has a perfect coaching and playing record in FAFL grand finals).

Turku Dockers 3.6   7.6   11.10   14.12   (96)

Helsinki Heatseekers 4.4   4.4   6.8   7.11   (53)

Goals:

Turku: Lee Grabski 6, Adam Vasey 3, Josh Walker 2, Craig Primmer 2, Anti Vasemägi

Helsinki: Terry Ludeman 4, Brendan Cliffe, Damian Roberston, Aku Immonen

FAFL GF Tomi tackle (4)