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Three Cities Tournament

The 8th of August saw an Inaugural 3 Cities Tournament hosted by the Czech Lions in Prague. Taking part were the Dresden Wolves, from Dresden, Germany and the Styrian DownUnder Dogs from Graz, Austria. The 3 game round robin tournament saw the Lions take out the top prize, the DownUnder Dogs come in second and the Wolves third.

3 cities tournament _ 0. 1.NP

1st game:
Lions 9.8 (62) vs. Dogs 7.14 (56)

2nd game:
Dogs 8.4 (52) vs. Wolves 5.6. (36)

3rd game:
Lions 9.8 (62) vs. Wolves 2.4 (16)

Congratulations goes out to the Czech Lions! We look forward to seeing whether it will be played in Dresden or Graz next year!

2015-08-08 18.47.57-3

What do the Axemen, Bloods, Devils, Hawks and Lions have in common?

 The Solna Axemen, Edinburgh Bloods, Toulouse Hawks and Rhienland Lions will land in Amsterdam this coming Saturday to join us, and co-hosts Amsterdam Devils, for the Inaugural AFL Europe Champions League. With the tournament looming and the need to take home the cup becoming stronger, AFL Europe headquarters caught up for a chat with five of the ten teams hitting the turf this Saturday.

 

Alan “Sparro” McSparron and the Bloods are making their way from Edinburgh to Amsterdam to test the standards of football around Europe. With great excitement and a constantly growing Scottish League, the Bloods are looking forward to measuring themselves against these top European Teams.

 

Along with the Bloods come the Rhienland Lions heading west from Germany to show Europe why they won AFLG Championship. Being named after the region of Rhienland due to rivalry between the cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf, the team boasts players from both these cities. With friendly game experience against teams from the UK, Netherlands, France and Denmark the Lions are raring to show they’re a force to reckon with.

 

It was an easy decision for the Solna Axemen to head to Amsterdam for the first ever AFL Europe Champions League. The excitement has been building since receiving the invitation. The Stockholm Australian Rules Football Federation (SAFF) began in 2007 and the Solna Axemen have cemented their invite after winning 6 from 8 premierships, including back to back in 2013 and 2014. Not only are the Axemen excited to play against new teams and test their skills, they’re ready to meet other players from around Europe and a few, hopefully celebratory, beers after the Tournament.

 

Being founded in 2008 by only 5 French players, the Toulouse Hawks quickly moved up the French Championship ladder and managed to snag a few key players from the French National Team. Winning the French Championship and being undefeated in the both the 2013 and 2014 seasons, the Toulouse Hawks are definitely one of the teams to watch in the Champions League. They are excited to participate in the Inaugural Champions League and looking forward to some international exposure all the while hoping to take home the cup!

 

The host of the first inaugural Champions League, the Amsterdam Devils were founded in 2010 and proudly took out the Dutch league in their first year and every year since! With a combination of Dutch and Australian at the heart and soul of the Devils, and strong British and South African legs the home team is ready to put up a good fight to keep the Cup on home soil. New star recruit, Nick Moran and the team and ready to compete with the best teams from Europe.

Follow the Tournament at @AFL_Europe, #AFL_Europe and #ChampionsLeague

 

Sarah Ongarello

German umpiring on the rise

By Nilss Lode

Australian Football in Germany often faces challenges as far as finding ideal playing venues in a central location as soccer is the dominant sport which requires significantly smaller playing areas. In the past, most games were played in open parks where locals, often taking their dog for a walk or going for a leisurely stroll, proceeded through the football field without noticing that an AFLG game was in process, which was an interesting situation for umpires. The times have changed now and 4 out of the 5 clubs in the AFLG this year have organized official sporting venues to host the games. The leading venue, in my opinion, is in Berlin which is located on the grounds outside the Olympic stadium. The stadium was renovated for the 2006 soccer world cup keeping the original structure, is a majestic monument as a backdrop to a game of Australian rules football. The playing surface is proper turf and large enough for a full size ground. I umpired at the venue in round one this year and thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Umpiring in the German league can be demanding when new players to the code first start playing in the first division (AFLG Bundesliga)  as the skill level and knowledge of the rules is significantly less than experienced payers . The AFLG addresses the issue of first game players by the annulment of a law breach once, for each law in the first game. The umpires also quickly explain what the law is and why it was violated.  The ball is thrown up by the field umpire instead of a free kick.

AFL Europe with the help of Shane Hill have helped me to improve my confidence and consistency in decision making  this year through monthly telephone conferences and the opportunity to ask questions about certain incidents which occur during games.

I have been assigned the inaugural role of umpire coordinator for the AFLG this year with the aim of improving the overall standard of umpiring in the AFLG via a development program. Key umpiring focus areas are communicated to all umpires in the AFLG before every round. The players are also informed of the focus areas before the game by the field umpires.

Individual development of the umpires is done when I travel to the clubs during the year and we umpire together on game day. This involves a lot of travel on the morning of the game as the clubs are based in Munich, Berlin. Hamburg, Köln and Stuttgart. The train ride from Munich to Berlin takes 6 and a half hours.

In order to improve the players knowledge of the rules, an umpiring colleague (Harit “Hazza” Khanna) and myself have prepared a footy quiz comprising of 25 multiple choice questions based on the laws of the game. The questions have been formulated to include basic general play questions for new players as well as more advanced (tricky) questions for senior experienced players. The questions were handed out to the Munich Kangarros players on Saturday and raised lots of discussion regarding the answers! Hazza and myself are currently marking the individual responses.

A prize will be given to the player with the highest score, as well as a random ballot from everyone that completed the quiz which was voluntary. The quiz will also be distributed to other clubs once the first trial with the Roos is completed. The players had a 4 hour limit to complete the quiz and should be aware that the umpires need to make these decisions in a split second!

I’m really looking forward to umpiring at the AFL Europe championships in London later this year.

#umpiresweek #betterumpiresmeansbettergames #thethirdteam

AFL Europe Umpires’ Profile

Pictures: Derek Clarke

By Michael McCormick

JOSH DAVEY

What does Dr Karl Kennedy and a street party in Geelong have in common? They both played a significant role in introducing the game of AFL to WARFL Umpiring Coordinator and AFL Europe Umpire, Josh Davey.

Davey, a former player turned umpire, admitted that his first memory of AFL was seeing Dr Karl Kennedy playing it on Australian soap opera, ‘Neighbours.’

It wasn’t until recently however that he explored his interest further by becoming involved with a local club.

“I saw a video online of what seemed like the whole of Geelong out on the street partying after their Grand Final win,” stated Davey. “I then watched a couple of videos on YouTube, discovered I had a local club and went and had a go.”

Davey’s umpiring career began when he volunteered with his local league during weeks in which he was injured. He then took the opportunity to be involved in the 2013 European Championships in Dublin.

“I offered my services to AFL Europe as a volunteer,” explained Davey. “There I discovered they were holding a Level 1 Umpires course and decided to get involved with that.”

Davey continued to grow as an umpire and went from strength to strength after the European Championships.

Being selected as a field umpire for the AIS-AFL Academy vs European Legion Easter Series game stands out as one of his finest moments.

“Having played for the first Legion I knew the skill level of the players would be extremely high and to be considered good enough to umpire them was a huge honour.”

The dream for many European AFL aficionados is to travel to Australia and play the great game at a professional level. Davey however has slightly different endeavours.

“Whilst some players stay after the International Cup to try and work their way up to the very top as players, I’d love the chance to do the same as a whistle man.”

Davey described Australian Football as an exhilarating game to spectate due to its fluidity and the athleticism of the players.

“It is such a beautiful game to watch, and the very best place to watch it is from the middle of the park.”

For those who want to have the same seat on the ground as him, Davey offered these words of wisdom;

“Be confident in your actions and abilities and don’t be afraid to blow your whistle. Think about mistakes after the game, but on the ground, show presence and the players will respond positively.”

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NILSS LODE

Nilss

Taking marks on other players’ shoulders is what makes Australian Football the greatest game in the world, at least according to AFL Germany Umpiring Coordinator, Nilss Lode.

Melbourne born Lode, who grew up playing Australian Football in his lunch breaks at primary school, began his umpiring career as a result of an AFL Europe initiative to develop local umpires.

“I initially didn’t even consider attending or umpiring,” he said. “One of my team mates enjoyed umpiring more than playing, and that kind of sparked enough interest to see what it is all about.”

During his Level 0 course he was thrown in the deep end, being made to umpire a practice match for the German national team.

“There were so many decisions to be made quickly and I really enjoyed the challenge and decided that I wanted to pursue umpiring further.”

Since that initial experience, Lode has improved his skill and expertise to the point in which he is now sought out for major events across Europe.

A high level of commitment and an eagerness to learn at the highest level has enabled his steady improvement.

“Umpiring at three Euro Cup tournaments enabled me to work alongside more experienced umpires than myself and learn from their advice.”

Lode is currently working towards Level 2 accreditation to further develop his own skills and those of the umpires he coordinates.

He encourages aspiring umpires to go to a local match as a spectator and make the umpiring decisions in their head to compare with what the umpire decides.

“Know the actual official rules, rather than what commentators explain on TV as they are, in my opinion, often wrong.”

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NIELS SCHONNEMANN-ROSBERG

Niels

Combining a passion for travel and a love of the great game makes umpiring Australian Football more than just a hobby for Danish umpire, Niels Schønnemann-Rosberg.

He came across Australian Football after a chance meeting with his cousin at the ripe age of seventeen.

“I bumped into one of my cousins during the summer of ’99 and he invited me down to the local footy club,” he said. “The rest is history.”

His history as a player is extensive however his umpiring career is still in its infancy.

“I started to umpire full time in 2010 as I needed a challenge other than playing football,” he stated.

“I wasnt quite ready to leave, so I thought that umpiring could be a way to stay in the game.”

As most local games in Denmark are umpired by players in their bye rounds, the professionalism of umpiring isn’t a major focus.

Because of this, Schønnemann-Rosberg had to make special efforts to progress his umpiring ambitions.

“Andrew Jones and Shane Hill helped me go through the AFL level 1 program via some travelling and a lot of skype sessions.”

After completing his Level 1 AFL Umpiring course, Schønnemann-Rosberg has been called upon for some of the biggest events in Europe and the world.

“My initial goal was to umpire at the 2011 International Cup, which I did,” he said. “I then got to umpire the Grand final of the 2013 Axios Euro Cup in Bordeaux.”

Despite being a rising star of the umpiring fraternity, Schønnemann-Rosberg remains humble about his ambitions.

“At the moment I like to umpire locally and then travel to the European tournaments where I receive feedback from other umpires on my performance.”

Despite having already accomplished a great amount, he doesn’t underestimate the importance of continuous learning and refining.

“Your performance will improve significantly if you learn and apply great positioning and communication to players and officials during a game,” he said.

“They will trust or at least respect your judgement, if you do this.”

#umpiresweek #betterumpiresmeansbettergames #thethirdteam

2013 Calendar

The dates you need to know for 2013

26th Jan – Australia Day

9th Feb – Under 21 trial day – Wolverhampton, England

12th – 13th Feb – AFL Europe Combine – Dublin, Ireland

16th Feb – South Cup – Marseille, France

9th Mar – Cambridge v Oxford – Cambridge, England

31st Mar – 6th April – Easter Series – London, England

6th April – European Legion v AIS-AFL Academy – Guildford, London

6th April – International Friendly (GB Bulldogs v Irish Warriors) – Guildford, London

7th Apr – Level 1 AFL Coaching Course – Peter Schwab – London, England

10th Apr – Easter Series – Copenhagen, Denmark

13th Apr – Haggis Cup – Edinburgh, Scotland

14th Apr – Oxford Uni v Zagreb Uni – Zagreb, Croatia

20th Apr – ANZAC Cup – Villers Bretonneux, France

20th Apr – Pre-season Tour (Nth London Lions v Croatia) – Zagreb, Croatia

20th Apr – International Friendly (Irish Warriors v GB Bulldogs) – Dublin, Ireland

11th May – AFLG 9’s Cup – Frankfurt, Germany

18th May – International Friendly (Germany v Denmark) – TBC

1st Jun – CNFA Grand Final – Montpellier, France

Jun – International Friendly (Croatia v Austria) – TBC

22nd Jun – French Cup – Cergy, France

29th Jun – International Friendly (France v Germany) – Berlin, Germany

Jul – International Friendly (Croatia v Italy) – TBC

3rd Aug – 10th Aug – AFL European Championships (16-a-side) – Dublin, Ireland

14th Sept – AFLG Grand Final – Munich/Hamburg, Germany

21st Sept – Axios Euro Cup (9-a-side) – Bordeaux, France

22nd Sept – 23rd Sept – AFL Europe AGM – Bordeaux, France

28th Sept – AFL Grand Final – Melbourne, Australia

19th Oct – International Rules Series (Match 1) – Ulster, Ireland

19th Oct – Croatian Cup – Zagreb, Croatia

26th Oct – International Rules Series (Match 2) – Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland

Nov – AFL European Challenge – TBC

 

If your league has dates to add please get in touch at info@afleurope.org