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French Team Player Profiles

 Name: Jérome Canonici

Cano

Age: 31

Size: 1.80 m

Team: Firesharks Herault Montpellier club

Jersey number: I don’t have a specific one, sometimes 82

Position: Usually in defense

Why and when I started playing: I started in 2008. I wanted to discover another sport, but I also wanted to keep an oval ball.

Expectations for IC: Qualifying for the first group and going as far as possible in the competition

Best footy memory: This season, for the team spirit and the determination and will power of our group.

 

 

 Name: Thomas Depondt

Depondt

Age: 25

Size: 1.87 m

Team: Alfa Lions (Lyon)

Jersey Number: 3

Position: Ruckman

Why and when I started playing: I tried for the first time during my travel around Australia. We worked in a farm close to Port Lincoln (SA), and the farmer was an old footy player still following footy, his passion. So we played one game and we loved that, so we played the end of the season (6 games).

Best Footy Memory: Supporting the Bombers, we went to Patterson stadium in Perth to watch this big contest against the Dockers. That was an exciting game and my first time at a big stadium for an AFL game. In the end the Bombers won by 3 points.

 

 

 Name : Clément Coste

Coste

Age: 29

Size: 1.93 m

Team : Montréal Demons (Québec, Canada)

Jersey Number : Demons = 6 ; France = 26

Position : Ruck

Why and when I started playing: Like many Frenchmen, a trip in Australia in 2009, allowed me to discover footy through television.

I had the privilege of playing 3 matches with the Bordeaux bombers where I secured 3 victories against Paris, Strasbourg and Toulouse as a ruck man. In Quebec Canada, I played with the Montreal Demons right at the beginning of the 2013 season. Elected best on ground on the 4th round of the AFL Quebec; I made the 2013 all stars team.

This sport is extremely complete physically. It offers me the possibility of practicing a sport without any stoppage, be constantly in the air and on the ground and be ready to take a hit and tackle again in return. Australian Football allows me to constantly run every quarter and to give the maximum of my abilities

Expectations for IC: In 2014, and more precisely August, I will be having the honour of representing my country and the privilege of sharing a brotherly moment among 30 people. I want France to be represented by 18 players on the pitch that want to give their all with a heart on fire. My objective is to bring to France everything it can take out of me.

Best Footy Memory: My 3rd footy game: Against Toulouse, in December 2012 with the Bordeaux team, we delivered a complete game and we left with our head held high with a beautiful victory.

#IC14 #coqsweek #gofooty

Toulouse Hawks undefeated French Champions!

By Alban Schieber

The 2014 French Championship ended on June 14th with a wonderful Grand Final held in Toulouse at the Australian Summer Party organised by the Toulouse Hawks.

Before even knowing if they would play in the Grand Final, it was already determined that the Hawks would be the hosts. After a few weeks of brainstorming, they decided to play another card to attract people to the event.

The Australian Summer Party, DJ, BBQ, drinks, games, goodies and of course footy were on the program. “The idea was to have more than traditional fans for the game! And also more ladies!” said Emilien Martinez (Toulouse Hawks President).

After turning on the music and the beer tap, the afternoon started with a women’s footy game where the ladies of France came to play together in two sides called the Toulouse Hawks and the Toulouse Cockerelles (most of the girls coming from Toulouse and Paris). A great achievement to hold the first official 7-a-side French women’s game.

Most of the early crowd was really surprised to see the level of this game as the girls were putting so much intensity and passion in the game. “Handpasses, kicks, shepherds, goals, high marks, their skills set improved a lot since the Axios Euro Cup held in Bordeaux” said Pascal Ivorra the French Women’s Coach.

This was a great first step for women’s footy development. This game also helped him to see all the ladies before the 2014 Axios Euro Cup which will take place in London in October.

During the ladies curtain raiser game, the temperature kept on rising in the grandstand when the two men’s teams entered the change rooms to begin their pre game preparations.

The Hawks were the first ones to come out in front of a 500-600 people crowd followed by the Paris Cockerels for a remake of last year’s title.

Pat Douglas from Andorra came to umpire the game and was delighted to be part of the event.

The Cockerels were the first ones to put their hands on the ball scoring three behinds in a row within the two first minutes. Unfortunately, they were unable to score goals to make a small break. After a good play of handpasses, the Toulouse Hawks scored the first goal of the game after 5 minutes! Quickly followed by a second and third one. At quarter time the Hawks held the lead at 38 to 12.

In the second quarter  the Paris Cockerels seemed to have found their sight for the footy but not the precision. The Hawks on the other hand remained accurate and kept increasing their margin. At half time Toulouse lead 62-23.

The third quarter demonstrated the ability of Toulouse to play as a team while Paris got caught out kicking long bombs and hoping for individuals performance. 101-36.

In the last quarter Toulouse managed to capitalise on the situation and control the game. However the Cockerels began a late surge scoring consecutive goals but it was too late. The Hawks came away as champions on the day with the final score of 104-62.


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French Ladies

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Paris Cockerels vs Toulouse Hawks

Swedish Elks Player – Hampus Olsson

By Jeremy Darke

Five years ago, Australia Rules Football was unknown to Hampus Olsson, just like it still is for most Swedish people.  But after his first touch of that unusual oval-shaped ball, just after the 2009 season, he was then hooked for life.

Hampus has proven to be the biggest up-and-coming talent within Sweden, impressing so much when in the limelight that he was awarded a position in the European Legion in their recent contest with the Australian Institute of Sport AFL School Boys, in London in April.

At the age of just 21, Olsson has now become one of the key figures in the Swedish Elks team heading into the International Cup 2014, the young footy gun stepping up his game off the field to move into a leadership role with the team.

Olsson has come a long way since the first offseason between the 2009 and 2010 season, where he spent hours upon hours, watching Auskick videos on YouTube to learn correct technique in anticipation of taking the field for his debut.

After that nerve-wracking day he has never looked back, but it wasn’t just the hard-hitting physicality of AFL that he fell in-love with, it was the Aussie mateship and camaraderie that the sport embezzles within its roots.

“AFL is fast, hard and skilful, but what really made me continue was the sportsmanship between players, as well as the fans,” said Hampus Olsson. “It is the toughest sport on the field but everyone can shake hands, smile and have a chat afterwards.”

“In my first match, even though I was new, I was given chance after chance, my teammates really wanted me to have a crack while I was playing my first game, giving me a lot of easy goals.

“That particular day also scared me in a good way and made me fall in-love with the sport, making me want to do whatever it took to get better.

And got better he certainly did, working so hard in his early development years that he made the Swedish Elks squad that travelled to Australia for the International Cup in 2011, in just his second full season of AFL footy.

The International Cup 2011 experience only made the bond stronger between Olsson and the sport of Aussie Rules, the European Legion representative saying that it was his best footy experience yet.

“The two weeks we had in Sydney, living across the street from Manly beach in apartments with a view of the lot, and getting to play footy at the same time was the best ever.”

Three years on, the Swedish Elks and Hampus Olsson are now preparing for another International Cup, although this time the bustling midfielder will have more than just his own game on his mind as he takes the step up into the leadership group within the team.

Elks Coach Dan McClaer has recognised and developed the potential of Hampus Olsson whilst in the national team and now believes that the time is right to move him into a leadership role, an honour that doesn’t faze the mature, young gun.

“My on-field game will stay the same as always. It shouldn’t change for any given reason, because you should always play at your top level every game,” explained Olsson.

When asked how he will lead his team and guide his players, Olsson said he will just try to set the example for all of the younger players in the Elks.

“Talk, show and listen. Lead by example and have fun no matter what we are doing, it is easier to learn more if you have fun while you are learning.”

The Elks will be looking to improve on their 11th placing in IC11, when they head to Australia in August for IC14, but the important thing for the Swedish team will be to take in the whole experience and make sure that they all give it a good Aussie crack.

“My goals and expectations for the IC and the Elks are pretty high. We’re a good team coming down.”

“But the most important part for me and the team is that we all have a real crack at it.

“So when we all come home we can talk about our trip to Australia, and all the fun we had, for the next three years, as I still do about my last trip three years ago.”

#elksweek #IC14

AFL Europe Easter Series

Swedish Elks ready to take on the world’s best

by Michael McCormick

One of the premier sides in Europe, the Swedish Elks, are preparing to test out a new look team in the upcoming International Cup in August.

The Elks will blood several young players after having gone through a year of transition. More than half the team made their representative debut in a friendly match against Denmark in March this year.

“We will be looking to use the International Cup to build our group and give experience to the up and coming AFL players of Sweden,” stated Swedish Elks Team Manager, Jeremy Darke.

Darke, a 27 year old Australian expat who also coaches local team the Norrtälje Dockers, revealed that although playing non-European teams is a draw card for the tournament, old rivalries die young.

“To go up against teams that we have never faced before is the excitement of the International Cup,” said Darke. “Although we would love to beat Finland on the world stage.”

Having finished in eleventh place in 2011, the Elks are striving for a top ten placing in this year’s competition.

“With a spread of players from all over the country and domestic competitions it has been difficult to have stand-alone training sessions.

To prepare we have scheduled 2 friendly matches against Denmark and the Stockholm Dynamites.”

Although it will be the first trip down under for most of the younger players, Darke expects them to step up and catch the eye of AFL fans the world over.

“Hampus Ollson, Jacob Nilsson, Buster Sund are all young, solid players with a lot of passion for the game,” revealed Darke. “I’d expect them to be among our best performers for the tournament.”

The Elks have been fortunate in securing sponsorship to lessen the financial burden associated with making the trip to Melbourne.

“We have be able to acquire 6 bronze sponsors, but fundraising is still coming along slowly.”

The challenges faced to get there will be outweighed by the rewards, and not just in the form of competing.

“It would be a dream to go and watch the Gold Coast play in Melbourne and watch Ablett Jr. work his magic.”

#elksweek #IC14

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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

Algarve 9’s Update – Your Ultimate Footy Trip!

Is your footy club yet to plan its end-of-year footy trip? Is your local team looking for a challenge and fun in the same event?

2014 will again provide an end of season event to cater for clubs, teams and players who will not be participating in the Axios Euro Cup in London. Following the success of the 2013 edition of this packaged end of season Footy trip, we’ve again teamed up with one of Europe’s premier warm weather sports resorts in the beautiful Algarve region of Portugal for AFL Europe Algarve 9s.

Fully Packaged

  • Tournament Registration.
  • 2 Nights Accommodation.
  • Complimentary Breakfasts.
  • Tournament Draw & BBQ.
  • Post Carnival Presentation & BBQ.
  • Use of select on site sports facilities.
  • Use of Jacuzzi, Sauna and Turkish Bath.
  • Photo Library DVD of Event.

+ Extras available on request: additional nights, airport transfers, fun activities. More details on the resort can be found at www.browns-club.com.

All details available here: Aussie Rules 9 a side Tournament – Algarve 9’s.

The Tournament

The tournament will take place on Saturday October 18th in a blitz format (see Program AFL Europe Browns Algarve 9s 2014) and is open to a limited number of club or composite teams, with a maximum squad size of 15 and a minimum of 12. There will be no limit on the participation of Australian players.

Booking

To secure your team’s place in the 2014 AFL Europe Algarve 9s, teams need to contact Stefan Uusitalo at the resort (E-Mail: stefan@browns-club.com). Deposit of €100 due on team confirmation and full payment due 3 months before the event, July 18th. You must stay at the resort in order to participate.

Limited space available – Make sure you book asap to ensure your team will be there!

Getting There

Vilamoura is a short distance from Faro Airport, which is served by the following airlines and airports.

  • Aer Lingus – Belfast, Cork & Dublin
  • Air Berlin – Berlin-Tegel, Dusseldorf, Munich
  • ArkeFly – Amsterdam
  • British Airways – London Gatwick
  • Easyjet – Belfast International, Bristol, Glasgow International, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London-Luton, London-Southend, Newcastle Upon Tyne and Paris-Orly.
  • Jet2.com – East Midlands, Glasgow International, Leeds/Bradford, Newcastle Upon Tyne.
  • Lufthansa – Frankfurt, Munich.
  • Monarch Airlines – Birmingham, East Midlands, Leeds/Bradford, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, Manchester.
  • Norwegian Air Shuttle – Copenhagen, London-Gatwick, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda
  • Ryanair – Beauvais, Bristol, Cherleroi, Cologne/Bonn, Dortmund, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, London-Stansted, Manchester, Glasgow-Prestwick.
  • TAP Portugal – Lisbon
  • Transavia.com – Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Groningen

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Tyne Tees Tigers Ladies victorious at the Haggis Cup

Pictures ©Duncan Gray

Tigers Victorious in their 1st Women’s Australian Rules Football Match

Glasgow Sharks 14 pts. defeated by Tyne Tees Tigers 30 pts.

On Saturday the 12th of April, England’s first female Aussie Rules club-side travelled to Glasgow to take on the Glasgow Sharks Ladies in the 2014 Haggis Cup. This is the first time two British clubs have played a women’s game. The Tigers ladies who had only picked up an Aussie rules ball for the first time 12 weeks previously were excited with the anticipation of playing in this historic game.

The game was played as 8-a-side with 4 x 15 minute quarters on a full size rugby pitch. With the home side having a large interchange bench (in Aussie Rules players can sub on and off at anytime) and the Tigers having none over the course of the game the Tigers fitness would be tested.

The first quarter was a cagey affair as each side sussed each other out. The Tigers created plenty of opportunities but only managed to kick 2 behinds (worth 1 pt.) and a late Glasgow goal (worth 6 points) saw the home team go into the 1st break 4 points ahead. The second quarter saw the Tigers start to look more composed with Lynn Mitchell kicking the Tigers first competitive goal to take the lead. The high quality of the marking and kicking game of Tiger players Lisa McHugh and Polly Moane caught the eye of the spectators and coaches alike.

The Tigers worked hard for each other in the third quarter adding another goal seeing them take a 5 point lead into the final break. With one quarter remaining and less than a single goal between the sides, would the Tiger legs tire and allow the larger Glasgow squad to escape with the victory? Instead of fading the Tigers grew stronger moving the ball quickly with some long kicking, good marks and quick hands to kicking another two goals extending their lead and eventually running out the winners by 16 points.

Haggis Cup Ladies 2014 -3 ©Duncan Gray

Afterwards Tigers Captain Lucy Kavanagh talked of her pride in being involved in England’s first Aussie Rules team “I felt extremely proud to be representing the Tyne Tees Tigers in the Haggis cup. Not only did we make history by becoming the first ever women’s English AFL team we won the Haggis cup! What an amazing day!”

Tigers Coach Ian Baxter “I’m very proud of what the girls have achieved today. It’s not easy to take up an entirely new sport, but to be pioneers of the game is a fantastic achievement. To play as well as they have is a credit to them and the hard work they’ve put in.”

Given the success of the day both the Tigers and the Glasgow Sharks are looking to hold a return match in Newcastle with dates in the late spring/early summer currently being discussed.

Haggis Cup Ladies 2014 -2 ©Duncan Gray

Quotes from some of the girls after playing their first games

Lucy Kavanagh (Tyne Tees Tigers Captain)

“Being involved in setting up a ladies team has been very rewarding. Hopefully we can stick at it at training and continue to develop the team! I felt extremely proud to be representing the Tyne Tees Tigers in the Haggis cup. Not only did we make history by becoming the first ever women’s English AFL team we won the Haggis cup! What an amazing day! I hope to continue the good work at training and push forward in strengthening the ladies team as a whole!! “

Nicola Mclaughlin (Tyne Tees Tigers)

“I like Aussie rules for the skills and that the game is fast paced. The game on Saturday was a good introduction and hopefully over the next few months we can keep working on our skills and raise the profile of the women’s team. The more women we get on board the more chance we have of raising the profile of Aussie rules so we can get a few matches. The haggis cup weekend was brilliant great banter with all the teams!”

Lynn Mitchell (Tyne Tees Tigers)

“It was amazing to be a part of and win the Haggis, especially because we are such a small team. Hopefully this will help to get some more people interested in the sport. For a team/club that has not been together long there is a wonderful sense of camaraderie. It feels great to have our first game over and to get the win against a team that would have been the favourites. It is just brilliant and I can’t wait for the next one. “

Lisa McHugh (Tyne Tees Tigers)

“Great weekend! It was all very well organised and gave us a real taste for Aussie rules! Feel very proud to be the First Ladies team in England and to have brought the Haggis Cup home to Newcastle. Hopefully it will be the first of many!!”

Polly Moane (Tyne Tees Tigers)

“It was an amazing experience to play our first game of Aussie rules and come away with a trophy! Everyone worked really hard and all our training with the men’s team paid off! Hopefully this is the start of big things for the tigers women and men’s teams!

Stacey Hughes (Glasgow Sharks Captain)

“Today was a great day for women’s Aussie Rules in Britain. It’s the third year that the Haggis Cup has included a women’s match of some sort and to welcome Tyne Tees, a brand new team, to Glasgow and have so many of our players playing their first ever game of Aussie rules today was great for the development of the game. I’m proud of the effort from all my girls today but unfortunately Tyne Tees were too strong for us on the day. I feel the wind and luck played a big factor in the outcome of the game but it was a fiercely fought contest and there are lots of positives for us to take from the match. I look forward to coming up against Tyne Tees in the future and wish them the best of luck developing the women’s side of their club.”

Haggis Cup Ladies 2014 -1 ©Duncan Gray

In the next couple of months, 3 games are planned in Great Britain:
June 7th – Newcastle hosted by Tyne Tees Tigers
June 21st – London Wimbledon Hawks Ladies Day
July 26th/27th – Doncaster (provisional) as curtain raiser to AFLCNE Men’s Grand Final
Any British women interested in joining please drop an email to Ian Baxter ianjamesbaxter@gmail.com

The next European women’s competition will be the Axios Euro Cup in London on the 4th/5th of October. Please get in touch with your country’s coordinator for more information.

Haggis Cup Ladies 2014 -5 ©Duncan Gray

It’s Back: The Ultimate Footy Trip – Algarve 9’s

2014 will again provide an end of season event to cater for clubs, teams and players who will not be participating in the Axios Euro Cup in London. Following the success of the 2013 edition of this packaged end of season Footy trip, we’ve again teamed up with one of Europe’s premier warm weather sports resorts in the beautiful Algarve region of Portugal for AFL Europe Algarve 9s.

Fully Packaged

  • Tournament Registration.
  • 2 Nights Accommodation.
  • Complimentary Breakfasts.
  • Tournament Draw & BBQ.
  • Post Carnival Presentation & BBQ.
  • Use of select on site sports facilities.
  • Use of Jacuzzi, Sauna and Turkish Bath.
  • Photo Library DVD of Event.

All details available here Aussie Rules 9 a side Tournament – Algarve 9’s, and extras such as additional nights, Airport transfers and fun activities such as Paintball, Go Karting, Crazy Golf, Boat/Fishing Trips and Golf can be arranged on request. More details on the resort can be found at www.browns-club.com

The Tournament
The tournament which will take place on Saturday October 18th in a blitz format (draft details Program AFL Europe Browns Algarve 9s 2014) and is open to a limited number of club or composite teams, with a maximum squad size of 15 and a minimum of 12, there will be no limit on the participation of Australian players.

Getting There
Vilamoura is a short distance from Faro Airport, which is served by the following airlines and airports.

  • Aer Lingus – Belfast, Cork & Dublin
  • Air Berlin – Berlin-Tegel, Dusseldorf, Munich
  • ArkeFly – Amsterdam
  • British Airways – London Gatwick
  • Easyjet – Belfast International, Bristol, Glasgow International, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London-Luton, London-Southend, Newcastle Upon Tyne and Paris-Orly.
  • Jet2.com – East Midlands, Glasgow International, Leeds/Bradford, Newcastle Upon Tyne.
  • Lufthansa – Frankfurt, Munich.
  • Monarch Airlines – Birmingham, East Midlands, Leeds/Bradford, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, Manchester.
  • Norwegian Air Shuttle – Copenhagen, London-Gatwick, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda
  • Ryanair – Beauvais, Bristol, Cherleroi, Cologne/Bonn, Dortmund, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, London-Stansted, Manchester, Glasgow-Prestwick.
  • TAP Portugal – Lisbon
  • Transavia.com – Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Groningen

Booking
To secure your team’s place in the 2014 AFL Europe Algarve 9s, teams need to contact Stefan Uusitalo at the resort (E-Mail: stefan@browns-club.com). Deposit of €100 due on team confirmation and full payment due 3 months before the event, July 18th. You must stay at the resort in order to participate.

“Big Daddy” and the Vikings

AFL Europe’s new resident writer, Michael McCormick writes his first exclusive for afleruope.org.

The Danish Australian Football League (DAFL) is one of the oldest and most successful leagues in Europe and with team names like the Copenhagen X-Men playing in the local leagues, the national team, the Denmark Vikings, are sure to bring plenty of entertainment to the European Championships this year.

 

Australian football in Denmark originally began in 1989 with a newspaper advertisement placed by a couple of Australian guys who missed kicking the ball around. They asked for expressions of interest and had very few replies. Those who did reply however formed the basis for the initial competition which began in 1991. From there the competition grew and most years saw at least one new team join the competition. After a few structural changes over many years of recruiting, training and playing, the league today stands as one of the strongest in Europe and is arguably the largest in the non English speaking world.

 

One of the men at the forefront of the Vikings’ pursuit to become European Champions in 2013 is their Centre Half Back and DAFL board member, Jens Djernes aka Big Daddy.  Djernes first experienced Australian football as a high school student on exchange in Western Australia. During his exchange from July 2005 till July 2006, the Western Australian teams were quite successful in the AFL competition and in turn the atmosphere in the state was electric. Because of this Djernes discovered a liking for the game and began to play with his school mates. Soon after discovering the game, he came to support the Fremantle Dockers largely due to the influence of his initial host family who liked to support the “underdog”. When Djernes returned to Denmark he founded the Randers Dockers who are now a strong fixture in the Jutland local league.

 

As the game has developed somewhat of a following over the years in Denmark, recruitment for the league is not as difficult as it is for some other European nations. Schools and Universities are heavily targeted as recruiting grounds which is proving to be very successful for the league. The decelerator for the next level of development of the sport however is the lack of commercial television coverage. According to Djernes, American Football and Rugby gain exposure through sometimes peak hour free to air television whereas AFL games are only accessible through the pay TV channel, Euro Sport. This being the case, recruitment efforts are initially slow as the teams have to “start from scratch” when trying to explain the game to prospective players. Thanks to a strong leadership group however, the efforts don’t go unnoticed with the numbers playing the sport steadily increasing year to year.

 

The league’s strength hasn’t ever really transferred to sponsorship from or links to any AFL clubs however. In fact, the league hasn’t got any real connection to Australia despite its efforts. The DAFL had approached the Australian born and raised, Danish Crowned Princess Mary with a request of ambassadorship but to no avail. Strangely enough though the players get plenty of attention from AFL clubs.  Vikings midfielder, Aksel Bang is the perfect example of this. After being recognised as one of the best players in Europe, Bang was offered an international scholarship by AFL side Greater Western Sydney which allowed him to train with the team and play a game with their reserves side. This has set a precedent for AFL clubs to now look to Europe as a wealth of potential talent.

 

Denmark is on the cusp of earning the title of European Champions and with potential future AFL stars building the foundation of a very strong team, the Vikings are looking very likely to achieve their dream and take home the trophy.

 

Join an Australian football club in Denmark today.

Home of the Blues now has goal post pads

The president of Södermalm AFC from Sweden Lars Hagberg told us the clubs story on how the Blues found a permanent home and how the Goal Post Grant helped them.

JCG

‘For a long time the SAFF have been looking for a larger field with permanent goal posts to be used as our home ground. So far we have been limited to playing 9 a-side on rugby fields or setting up temporary posts on open access fields of low quality. In 2011 Daniel “Jordo” Jordan (Club stalwart and all round nice guy) was appointed development officer of the SAFF. Initially he was working on another field at Stockholm University (which is actually owned by the Swedish king). After we got a hold of around 100 truckloads of dirt for free, the owners leveled the field and planted new grass.

Although we have rights to use the field and put up permanent goal posts the problem is that we don’t have access to changing rooms so this field has been put on hold for now. In parallel Jordo was speaking to the people at the Stockholm Council that are responsible for the sporting facilities at Skarpnäck (a suburb close to Stockholm) and managed to get approval for us to develop our own field there as well. Apart from soccer this area is home to other smaller sports like grid iron, frisbee and baseball and they were happy to take on another ‘odd’ sport. They even mark out all the lines for us so now we’re playing with a boundary, center, goal squares and a 50m arc.

JCG2

Jordo made the design of where to set up the field and how to put up the goal posts. The field runs across two soccer fields with the goal posts placed just outside the side boundary lines. In addition to the goal posts we also had to put up a protective net behind one of the goals so that the balls won’t damage an allotment next to the field. All in all according to Jordo’s design we had to acquire 10 posts and a big net. Well, Jordo managed to find 10 second hand flag poles, the only problem was that the flag poles had to be transported 200 km to Stockholm.

JCG7

JCG5

Luckily one of our sponsors is a big chain selling construction material so Jordo got them to transport the flag poles to us for free. The net is a bird protection net purchased online. The caretaker of the field made measurements to align the posts properly and in the beginning of the 2012 season the club organized a couple working bees to dig the holes, concrete the foundations for the flag poles and then to erect the posts and put up the net. We can use the lines for the flag poles to take up and down the net.

The first game was played there on the 10th of August 2012, Södermalm Blues vs. Norrtälje Dockers, umpired by Jordo. After all of his hard work the oval will be called: The JCG (Jordo Cricket Ground).

JCGgame1

JCGgame

Needless to say Jordo’s work contacts in the building industry and access to building equipment have been invaluable.

The bulk of the money so far has been supplied by Södermalm AFC. In addition, sponsorship by the company Jordo started (Buyfooty), Södermalms Trä and of course AFL Europe for the Goal Post Padding.

JCGgame3

With the goal post pads the field has been finalized and at the moment we are working on building a club house next to the field where we also can store equipment and have BBQs. Hopefully this will be done before the end of the season’.

Look out for next years Goal Post Grant and tell us your story!

If you want to join Södermalm AFC, visit their web-page for further information http://www.sodermalmafc.se/about/