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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 Port Malmo Lynx, CEAFL Champions, the Zaprudje Dockers, AFL Scotland’s, Glasgow Sharks, the Norrtalje Dockers and Welsh powerhouse, the Cardiff Panthers.

Port Malmo Lynx

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

The Port Malmö Lynx had a reasonably quiet 2016 match wise but trained hard and qualified for Champions League by winning the AFL Sweden 9 a side cup.

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

Training has been going well leading up to CL 2017. There’s always a lack of matches for us at this time of year but there will be a pre-season hit out this weekend against the Lund Giants. In general, I’m happy with our preparations so far.

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

Questions about expectations are always hard to answer but as a coach I expect to see big improvements in areas that we have been lacking in. The players are always keen to go one step better at each tournament so I expect them to lay everything on the line for this one.

Player to watch?

Hmm player to watch, always keep an eye on My Almkvist, she got player of the tournament at Euro cup 2016 but we have a few more that will be keen to impress so keep your eyes open.

Zaprudje Giants

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

KAN Zaprudje Giants qualified for Champion League by winning the Central European Australian Football League (CEAFL). The league had three tournaments in Zagreb, Graz and Prague, and we won all three.

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

The preparation for Champion League are going pretty well so far.

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

Team expectation is to end in Top 6.

Player to watch?

Players to watch are surely Zvonimir Murkovic, one of the best players in Croatia through last five years and three-time European Legion player, and Igor Galez, strong full-back who was selected for tournament squad in Euro Cup in Lisbon.

Glasgow Sharks

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

We qualified for the tournament by becoming the SARFL 2016 Premiers. We had a great season, winning the national league for the first time in the clubs history. We beat our close rivals and then current premiers the Edinburgh Bloods in a tough semi final which bolstered the club with the belief to go on and win in the Grand Final.

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

The playing group have been hitting training hard and even getting together out with normal training sessions for extra running and fitness work. The club as a whole have been very excited for this chance and no one is going to let this chance skip by them

What are your teams expectations for the 2017 Champions League?

Our aim is always to walk away from any competition as champions. We are relishing the chance to play against quality side from all over Europe and measure where we sit in the footy landscape.

Player to watch?

Club captain Adam Jack missed playing in the clubs first Grand Final win and is looking hit 2017 with few bags of goals.

Norrtalje Dockers

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

The Norrtälje Dockers won the Stockholm Australian Football Federation Premiership on the back of a club record year. Winning 7 of 8 games during the regular season and then qualifying to the finals series for the first time in the clubs short 5 year history. A solid 5 goal Semi Final win led the Dockers to the big dance where 2015 premiers Södermalm Blues were beaten by 6 goals. The Dockers capped a stellar year by taking out all 3 major awards at the league presentation night. Matthew Schulte winning best Australian whilst also taking out the goalkickers trophy with 31 goals and Buster Sund claiming the prize for best Swede.

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

Pre-season training kicked off indoors two weeks before christmas and has continued once a week through the start of 2017. The Dockers hailing from Sweden have to contend with blistering cold and snow in pre season outdoor training but we feel it is what makes us stronger!

What are your teams expectations for the 2017 Champions League?

We will be looking to notch up a few wins over the day and test our skills and structure against teams from around Europe. The biggest and most exciting part for us is getting away as a team and meeting other footy teams from the continent!

Player to watch?

Fredrik Lenard will be making his Australian football debut at Champions league so the team will be right behind him on game day. Keep also a close eye on Goldilocks running from the back!

Cardiff Panthers

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

We tussled through the WARFL league with some close results against Bristol Dockers, Chippenham Redbacks and Swansea Magpies however we came through the league champions giving us the advantage of home turf for the Grannie.  The Grannie was played in Cardiff and the conditions were great for a running game which suits our style.  We had the legs on the Redbacks in the last quarter and managed to come through victors.

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

Our coach, Joshua Davey, rounded up the boys in January to do some indoor late night training sessions.  So far the prep has gone just as planned with some skill work and the all dreaded fitness!  However we are all prepped for the the tournament.

What are your teams expectations for the 2017 Champions League?

We spoke with the Dutch team during the Euro’s in Lisbon and they persuaded us that the event had a great vibe and expressed what was great about AFL in Europe so no pressure!  It sounds like a fun and enjoyable tournament and we will go to compete but have a good time while doing it.  Other than that we’ll take each game as it comes.

Player to watch?

Mike Palmer: as he may kick the ball in your face…by accident…honest!

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.

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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.

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Jump onto the event page https://www.facebook.com/events/376328466058868/ and follow AFL Europe for more updates as the tournament gets closer.

 

Around the Grounds

 

6 of the best for Anderson sees Farum through to DAFL grand final

A 6-goal haul from DAFL League Best and Fairest, William Andersen, has helped the Farum Cats advance to the DAFL grand final. The Cats put the Port Malmo Maulers to the sword at the weekend with a convincing 146-point victory.

The win places Farum against Copenhagen and based on their previous hit-out in late August they’ll go into the final as favourites. The Cats will be weary of the boys from Copenhagen as they are seasoned veterans when it comes to big games.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on this game!

farum

 

CNFA Facebook ladder sees Perpignan Tigers top the table

The CNFA has released their first table for their 2016/17 season with the Perpignan Tigers sitting on top of the ladder when it comes to Facebook fans. They are early 600 fans ahead of their closest rivals in the Toulouse Hawks.

Check out the full table below:

cnfaDAFL Awards Night Honour Roll

Following the last round of the DAFL regular season two weekends ago the clubs and committees met for the annual Awards Night to celebrate the achievements of those who went above and beyond in season 2016. The Farum Cats picked up 2 awards in what was an even spread of trophies amongst the teams.

The full honour roll is below:

  • Best and Fairest
    • William Hedenskog Anderson (Farum Cats)
  • Leading Goal Kicker
    • Ben Polmear (Port Malmo)
  • Most Improved
    • Christopher Als Lindberg (Copenhagen FC)
  • Best First Year Player
    • Harrison Johnson (Farum Cats)
  • Best Umpire
    • Sebastian Walker Staalkjaer
  • President’s Award
    • Maria Falkesgaard Jorgensen (Odense Lionesses)

Vixens and Sharks walk away with the Tyne Tee Cup

It was a huge day of football in the North of England with the battle for the Tyne Tee Cup being hotly contested between 3 men’s and 3 women’s teams.

The Glasgow Sharks, Kingdom Kangaroos, Wandsworth Demons, England Vixens and home-side, the Tyne Tee Tigers locked horns over the two divisions in what was a great day for Aussie Rules at the new home of the Tigers, Gosforth Sports Park.

The battle for the silverware came down to the Glasgow Sharks and Tyne Tee Tigers in the men’s competition. In what was a tight affair, it was the Sharks who took the chocolates with a 24-point victory. The final score reading 75-51.

The England Vixens continued their impressive 2016 season when they easily accounted for the Wandsworth Demons. It was a far improved performance by the Demons in the final but unfortunately they were unable to register a goal going down 52-1.

The Sharks finished their 2016 campaign with a SARFL flag and tournament victory in what has been an incredibly successful year. For the Vixens it was another great tournament but for them the real test comes in just over 2 weeks’ time when they look to take out the 2016 Euro Cup in Lisbon.

Congratulations to all teams who participated at the weekend. Hopefully we see the Tyne Tees Cup grow as a regular fixture on the footy calendar. Well done to the Tigers committee for all their hard work in making sure the tournament was a huge success.

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sharks

Dockers through to SAFF grand final

In their fifth season in the SAFF competition the Norrtalje Dockers have won through to their first ever grand final. The Dockers had a hard-fought preliminary final win against the Arsta Swans with the winner advancing to take on reigning premiers, the Sodermalm Blues, in the ‘big dance’.

The match was an absolute thriller with the Dockers up by a single kick at three quarter time. The Dockers held onto the ascendancy and won through to the grand final where they face a monumental task of knocking off the powerhouse of Swedish football, the Sodermalm Blues.

Good luck to the Blues and Dockers in this Saturday’s decider.

dockers

 

 

Dragonslayers getting primed for Euro Cup

The England Dragonslayers got their 9-a-side campaign off to a winning start as they demolished AFL Central North England premiers, the Manchester Mozzies at Burnage Rugby Cub.

The Dragonslayers piled on the pressure all day and never took the foot off the gas. They amassed an astonishing 54 points in the final term despite already having a convincing lead. The final scorecard reading 174 to 28.

The boys in red and white will be looking to go one better at this year’s Euro Cup in Lisbon after they were runners-up in Umag.

dragons

 

 

AFL Europe Match of the Round

Edinburgh Bloods v Glasgow Sharks

Leith Academy Park plays host to the oldest and fiercest rivalry in the Scottish Australian Rules Football League (SARFL) when the Edinburgh Bloods and Glasgow Sharks lock horns on Saturday.

History favours the Bloods between these two foundation clubs but Season 2016 has these old foes even on 8 competition points with 2 wins and 1 loss. Both sides chalked up victories against the Falkirk Silverbacks and Kingdom Kangaroos although going down to current competition leaders, the Greater Glasgow Giants.

The well-drilled, rigid game plan of the Sharks will need to hold firm if they’re to get the win on Saturday. Having a settled squad with consistent key players holds the Sharks in a good position to execute this game plan and stick to their structures. On the other hand, the Bloods traditionally like to take the game on and play a freer flowing style. A regular at the top of the ladder of the SARFL, the Bloods are a popular destination for expat Australian talent and mixing that with their regular home-grown stalwarts means they are always going to be tough to beat, especially while playing at home.

Despite being even on points the Sharks will go into this match as favorites with some good recruiting in the off-season providing them with the upper hand. James Hancock and Paul McGavin are notable inclusions for Season 2016 but its Sharks Captain, Andy Butler, who is having a stellar year with his strong presence and run out of the back-line.

Players and fans alike pencil in the date for this game each year with the anticipation of the hard-fought game of footy that it always brings. Saturday will be no different and come 1:30pm you can bet both sides with be doing everything they can to come away with the 4 competition points.

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What the Coach says – Alan ‘Snow’ McSparron, Edinburgh Bloods

“It is always a tough game no matter how both teams are going. We will have to be on our game with the Sharks travelling well this season.”

What the Coach says – Stephen C, Glasgow Sharks

“Of course there is the rivalry aspect to this game but we need to be sure we don’t take our eyes off the ball! We are traveling to Edinburgh to continue our recent good form and come away with the 4 points. These games are always close and I am hoping that our overlap run will provide the catalyst for us to play a strong 4 quarters. “4

Match Details

Leith Academy,

Academy Park, Leith, EH6 8JQ

Ball up 1:30pm BST

Tigers beat Convicts in the wet

By Ian Baxter

On Saturday June 7th women from all over Great Britain and Ireland converged in Newcastle to play the Tyne Tees Tigers Women’s team at North Shields Rugby Club. The visiting team, the Convicts, were able to boast 2 Irish internationals, a French international, a couple of experienced Australians and no less than 4 of the always well drilled Glasgow Sharks side. It was clear that these girls would be no pushovers, especially for the Tigers side who were all playing in either their first or second game of Aussie Rules.

In a 9 –a-side game played over 4x 15 minute quarters, both teams showed skill, flair and commitment that at times belied the heavy rain and always slippery conditions. During the first quarter playing with the wind and some luck the Tigers took control of the game whilst the convicts got to grips with the conditions and their new team mates. Convicts ruck recruit Rachel ‘Killa’ Kilmartin used her height to dominate the ruck contest from the get go, but the hard running of Tigers midfielders Lucy Kavanagh, Polly Moane, and Michelle Healy coupled with the strong marking of forward Jordy Lane allowed the Tigers to take a 25 point lead into the first break.

1Q: Tyne Tees Tigers 4.2.26 Convicts 0.1.1

The second quarter saw the Convict Tia Bool work her way more into the game with her Australian experience and class on the ball evident to all, allied with the pacy running of Kirsty Gray saw Bool kick the convicts first goal of the game. But it wasn’t to be, as a stellar quarter by the Tigers midfielder Lynn Mitchell saw her kick 3 goals and attract the attention and chants of the growing crowd as the Tigers piled on 5 goals to take a 50 point lead into the half time break.

HT: Tyne Tees Tigers 9.3.57  Convicts 1.1.7

In the Third quarter again the convicts stepped it up with the run and carry of the Irish pair Carolann Cass and Fiona Roarty coming to the fore. Enabling French International Gaelle Hazimeh to double the vistors goal tally. But a comeback wasn’t to be as the Tigers defence of Grace Campbell and Tanya Scully marshalled by the majestic Lisa McHugh, were able to deal with the attack and rebound effectively allowing the hard working forwards of Jordy Lane, Karen Keane and Nicola McLaughlin to add another 5 goals to the Tiger tally.

3QT Tyne Tees Tigers 14.4.88 Convicts 2.1.13

The final quarter saw some tired legs continuing to compete over the rain sodden ground with Glasgow Sharks representatives Evelyn McGee, Kristi Jo Fawcett and Sarahmairead McLachlan standing their ground as they had all day, through the midfield and backline against a strong tigers attacking formation. The Tigers added another 2 goals to finish up the winners by 88 pts and not even the weather could dampen the spirits of the players and crowd who’d enjoyed themselves immensely that afternoon.

Final Tyne Tees Tigers 16.6.102 Convicts 2.2.14

The day was a great success and a positive step forward for the development of the game in Europe. The next planned ladies game in England will be held in London on the 21st of June as part of the Wimbledon Hawks Ladies Day. For more information contact Tia Bool tia.bool@afleurope.org

Goals

Tigers: Lane 5 Mitchell, Healy 3 Keane 2 Kavanagh, Moane, McHugh 1

Convicts:  Bool, Hazimeh 1

Teams

Tigers: Lucy Kavanagh (capt), Lisa McHugh, Jordy Lane, Lynn Mitchell, Nicola McLaughlin, Polly Moane, Michelle Healy, Tanya Scully, Karen Keane, Grace Campbell

Convicts: Tia Bool (Wimbledon Hawks), Gaelle Hazimeh (Wimbledon Hawks), Rachel Kilmartin (Wimbledon Hawks), Fiona Roarty (Belfast Kookaburras), Carolann Cass (Belfast Kookaburras), Kirsty Gray (Glasgow Sharks), Evelyn McGhee (Glasgow Sharks), Kristi Jo Fawcett (Glasgow Sharks), Sarah Mairead McLachlan (Glasgow Sharks)

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