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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 ben.durance@afleurope.org.

Women’s Form Link:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScBXrrnxAb-UqVmsE81-Hc6T2e7aWzLYrfGLIl7d86-yaHMfA/viewform?usp=fb_send_fb

Men’s Form Link:

https://www.formget.com/app/form/share/WJLU-233181

 

 

 

Around the Grounds

Paris Cocks edge out Bordeaux Bombers to claim the 2016 French Cup

The Paris Cocks have claimed the 2016 French Cup in Perpignan at the weekend. The win came after a slow start to the championship season for the Parisians and should do them the world of good as they launch into the second half of their championship year.

They were met in the final by the ever-improving Bordeaux Bombers who went down by 24-points after only losing to the Cocks by 4-points in the group stages.

The Cocks were standout performers throughout the competition with big wins during the group stages.

Congratulations to all teams who competed at this year’s tournament

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French Coqs name their IC17 squad

Following the fixtures at the French Cup, French Coqs Head Coach Andrew Unsworth, announced his initial 40-man squad for the upcoming International Cup in 2017.

Massive congratulations to all players named in that squad. Such a great achievement for you all. Continue the hard work as final squads will be named early in the new year.

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Falkirk Silverbacks raise money for Ash Palmer

Great work by the Falkirk Silverbacks who played in a charity match at the weekend to raise money for Ashley Palmer who suffered serious injuries in a road traffic incident earlier in November.

Congratulations to the organisers of the match and to everyone involved in the fundraising efforts as close to 1300 pounds has been raised thus far highlighting the great community spirit.

Well done and best wishes to Ashley and his family.

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GB Swans wishing us all a merry Christmas

The GB Swans have been spreading the Christmas cheer with their 12 days of X-mas ‘Up and Go’ series but it’s their recently released ‘Merry Christmas Every Swan’ debut single that is gaining serious traction on Facebook with 1.8k views.

Check it out!

Merry Christmas EverySwan! 🎅🏽🎶 Roll on 2017…. #WeFlyASwan

Posted by GB Swans on Sunday, 11 December 2016

New king crowned at Sodermalm chess and beer championships

The Blues have been keeping their minds sharp and belly’s full over the off-season with their chess and beer championship over the weekend. 5 players took to the boards with Murf, Larry, JR, Rappa and Bobby Love headlining the event.

A delayed start due to calibrating chess clocks allowed the players more time to think strategy. JR jumped out of the blocks early.

A break in play allowed for the annual Sodermalm home-brewing champion to be crowned. In the end, it was O’Larry’s brewery with their ‘Ruby Tuesday’ that took the gong. Special mention to LCB’s ‘Heavy Metal Lager’ that gets a special mention for head retention. See below.

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Murf went on to claim the chess championship in a 1-min speed game against Larry.

Congratulations to all the winners on the night and for keeping the guys ‘active’ over the off-season.

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AFL Europe signing off for 2016!

This will be the last of our social media series for 2016 and we’d just like to thank everyone for contributing great stories, player profiles and match previews throughout the year. We hope you’ve enjoyed the new content introduced this year. We’ll be back bigger and better in 2017.

Have a happy and safe festive season from all of us here at AFL Europe.

Around the Grounds

Lions cruising in CNFA

They’ve knocked off the reigning premiers and now the ALFA Lions are sitting pretty at the top of the CNFA ladder after an impressive 3 from 3 start to season 2016/17. The Lions knocked off the champs in style on their home turf in the capital which further provides weight to their claim as potential finalists in the championship. They cruised to victory with a comfortable 86 to 40 score line.

Their remaining 4 matches are all very winnable as they take on the Blagnac Aviators, ASP Tigers, Bordeaux Bombers and a home match against the Cergy-Pointoise Coyotes. Could it be the year of the Lion?

In the other match at the weekend, it was the Tigers going head-to-head with the Paris Cockerels. The Tigers nearly came away with a huge victory away from home, but it was the Cockerels who held on for a much needed 7-point victory. The final scores reading 94 to 87.

Two matches remain before Christmas break and it’s the Toulouse Hawks in match-ups versus the Bordeaux Bombers and Blagnac Aviators.

Haggis Cup early bird entry fees open

Get on board the Haggis Cup early bird prices for AFL Scotland’s annual tournament in 2017. The Haggis Cup is locked in for the 8th of April and is being played at the West of Scotland Rugby Club, Glasgow. To enter your team, contact kirsty@aflscotland.org.

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Vixens recruiting Team Manager

The England Vixens are on the lookout for a new team manager. Have a look at the full list of responsibilities for the role below. If you’re interested in getting involved or you’d like to know a little more about the role, then get in contact with englandvixens@gmail.com

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Wildcats throwback

Have a look at this old print piece on the West London Wildcats. A few days back the Wildcats reminisced on 20 years since becoming the third Aussie Rules club to launch a website. They narrowly missed out on being pioneers on the world-wide-web by the Essendon Bombers and Collingwood Magpies.

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Odense hit 1000 fans!

The Odense Australian Football Club celebrated hitting 1000 likes Facebook last week. Great achievement by the Lions and Lionesses. See you at the 2000 mark soon.

odense

Irish Warriors name their Ireland-based IC17 extended squad

The Irish Warriors management team have announced their extended Ireland-based training squad for the 2017 AFL International Cup. More players will be added in the coming weeks depending on performances in the winter championships as well as arrangements being made for UK and Australian-based players to train and have trials in the coming weeks. The final squad of 30 will be announced in the spring.

The management team has been confirmed with Mick Finn joining Brian Currane and Ciaran O’Hara on the senior coaching staff. The team will be managed by Michael Currane and Paul Ryan will once again serve as tour manager.

Congratulations to those selected, check out the full squad from the ARFLI press release.

Around the Grounds

St. Petersburg Cats claim Unity Day Cup

On a freezing day of November 4th three Russian teams played the final tournament of 2016 – Unity Day Cup – on the Moscow State University pitch. It was a home ground for two capital city teams – “Slavyane” & “Lazy Koalas”, and the third one came from Saint-Petersburg – “St.Petersburg Cats”. It was a snowy day with -2°C on the thermometer, but the competitors were ready for such unpleasant weather.

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In the opening minutes of the first game (Slavyane vs Cats) the home team got a quick 7 points, scoring a goal and a behind. The Cats, however, found strength to fight back and dominated the rest of the match, scoring a goal every 3-4 minutes and playing a decent defensive game. After two periods of 15 minutes the final score was 66 to 9 in favour of St. Petersburg squad.

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The second game of the tournament was played between Koalas and Slavyane. Both teams were playing hard, but luck was against Slavyane this day, they conceded several goals, and Koalas calmly finished the match with the score of 72 to 13. The last game was a part of long-lasting rivalry between two cities; Moscow and St. Petersburg. There were three cups previously in 2016: Koalas celebrated the victory in April, Cats got their revenge in May, and Koalas were stronger in September tournament. But during this cold day the luck was on the side of guest team. The Cats started the game with four goals and a couple of behinds, then Koalas narrowed the gap to 10 points. But shortly after the team from St. Petersburg maintained the control on each part of the pitch, locking up everything in defence, dominating in the middle, delivering quick passes and converting them into points. The final score was 54 to 26 in favour of the Cats, and they were declared the winners of Unity Day Cup. The 2016 season of Australian football in Russia is over, but teams continue to conduct training’s on a regular basis, constantly improving their skills and preparing for a next season.

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Thanks to Alex Andryushin for the review of the Unity Day Cup

CNFA Wrap

The ALFA Lions will enter the rest of the CNFA season a real sense of confidence after convincingly beating CNFA powerhouses the Paris Cockerels. The conditions were tough with heavy rain pouring throughout the game. The Lions held their composure and ended up with a resounding victory with the final scores 85 to 11.

In the other match in the CNFA over the weekend, the Paris Cockatoos made amends for their big brothers after they snatched victory from the Bordeaux Bombers in the final minutes in the Capital. The final score in the match was 90 to 79.

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Great work to all sides who played over the weekend. The CNFA season is shaping up to be a nail-biter.

Clapham Cubs

The Clapham Cubs held their November training session on Sunday in the beautiful sunshine at Clapham Common. The session was attended by several juniors and was well run by the coaches in what is fast becoming a real presence on the Common.

The Cubs are on the lookout for any potential sponsors as they look to purchase their first ever playing kit. If you’d like more information on the Cubs, please email claphamcubs@gmail.com

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Port Malmo winter training

The Port Malmo Football Club have got their winter training up and running for another year. If you’re in the area and wish to join in for the session they run on Tuesday evenings from 6:20-8:30pm at the Latinskola Sports Hall.

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If you want any more information feel free to email coach@portmalmo.com for more details

GB Bulldogs name their Preliminary Squad

The Great Britain Bulldogs have named their preliminary squad for the International Cup in Melbourne next year. Head Coach, Dean Thomas, named the 52-man squad after a solid International season for the GB side who claimed the European Championships in August.

The boys will be doing all they can over the off-season to get their name onto the final squad list to take part in IC17 in Melbourne. Congratulations to those who have made it this far.

Check out the full press release on the AFL England page:

www.aflengland.org

Around the Grounds

Welcome to Aussie Rules, Eksjo Bulldogs!

AFL Sweden has a new member in its footy family. The Eksjo Bulldogs were officially welcomed to the AFL Sweden competition when they took part in their first intra-club game at the weekend. The Port Malmo Maulers travelled to Eksjo to help with numbers for the session.

Congratulations on playing your first intra-club match Bulldogs, we’ll follow your progress closely and wish you all the best going forward.

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CNFA Wrap up

The second day of the CNFA Championships took place at the weekend. The ALFA Lyon took on the Toulouse Hawks and dominated from start to finish. They ended up amassing a huge 175-points to the Hawks 40.

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In the other match the Bordeaux Bombers hosted the Paris Cockerels in picture perfect conditions. In what was a close game the Cockerels came away with the all-important four points with a 90 to 59 final score.

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The final game of round 2 takes places this weekend with the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes taking on the Perpignan Tigers. Stay tuned for more news on that game later in the week.

Euro Cup flashback – Rob Fielder assists Russia

It’s been a few weeks since the Euro Cup but we’ve come across this gem of a photo from the tournament:

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That’s England Dragonslayers coach, Rob Fielder, giving up his time following his teams game to help a coach-less Russian side during one of their hit-outs. What an absolute legend! No surprises that he was recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to AFL England.

Simple gestures like that are what footy in Europe is all about. Great stuff Rob.

Ireland hold on to beat a fast finishing Bulldogs

The highly-anticipated AFL Europe Championships final rematch took place at the weekend in Dublin. The GB Bulldogs, with a host of changes, were hoping to further develop their talent pool prior to the International Cup in 2017. For the Irish, along with a lot of changes themselves, were seeking some redemption following a terrible performance on the mainstage at EC16.

The Warriors jumped out of the blocks early to dominant possession. Coupled with their frantic pressure they registered the first three goals of the match. Going into the first change 15-points up was a great start for the Irish boys and they continued this in the second to go into the main break with an 8.5. 53 to 4.4. 28 scoreboard advantage.

It took a half of football for the Bulldogs to finally switch on and it was the ever-dependable Myles Hudson and Alex Overton that led the charge from the backline. For the Warriors, Roch Hanmore and David McElhone were influencing the play from midfield.

Despite the improved efforts of the Bulldogs the third term ended with the Warriors registering three goals to the Bulldogs two, leaving a 27-point margin going into the final quarter.

The five-goal margin didn’t deter the reigning European Champions and they started the last term with a bang. A yellow card to an Irish player further aided the GB charge as they closed the gap to within 7-points late in the quarter. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs that’s as close as they came as the final siren gave the Irish Warriors a little bit of redemption for their loss two months earlier. Final scores reading 12.6. 78 to 10.11. 71.

Goals:

Ireland: R. McCloskey 4, C. Lordan 3, P. O’Connell 2, L. Burns, S. Guing, M. Bell

GB: A. Walkden 4, J. Hill 3, J. Coughlan 2, C. Britton

2016 AFL Europe Championships

Our wrap up of our AFL Europe Championship final day is now live. Congratulations to GB Swans and Great Britain Australian Rules Football on taking out the top prizes.

Exceptionally well fought ARFLI(Australian Rules Football League of Ireland)! Your lads were absolute gentlemen and we could not thank you enough for the amount of assistance you gave AFL Europe throughout the entire week, especially when you valiantly carried the posts off after your tough loss (and every other game day!).

Well done to German Eagles AFL for taking out the third place final and coming down to support the ladies on the Friday, running water and umpiring!! Congratulations to the Swedish Elks on their performance all week, we can’t wait to see you guys go strength to strength for ‪#‎IC17‬

Finally, a massive thank you to our incredible volunteers and those clubs/individuals that helped make the week happen! The Wandsworth Demons, your marquee was exceptionally well used! Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, what an amazing night you gave us on Saturday to cap off a great week! The Generator Hostel for your hospitality for most of our group! And the Wimbledon Hawks for your home ground!

We’ll see you all at #IC17 or ‪#‎EC19‬! ‪#‎AFLinEurope‬

Third Place Playoff – Germany Eagles vs Swedish Elks

The final day of play at the 2016 AFL Europe Championships started with the third place final between the two hardest hitters of the men’s competition, the German Eagles and Swedish Elks.

After a week of near perfect weather London saved its worst day for last with a howling wind running across the field and providing one end with a four to five goal advantage.

After a very physical encounter earlier in the week everyone was expecting this one to be to the same tune and it certainly didn’t disappoint. With the Eagles running with the wind in the first term you thought they would have had the better of the play. This wasn’t the case with a silly 50-meter penalty gifting Jacob Lantz Sweden’s opening goal.

Ruben Streicher was throwing his weight around for the Eagles crunching players left, right and centre. He started up forward but was switch down back early in the piece too sure up a rattle Eagles defence.

Sweden had the better of the first quarter as they went into the break with a 1-goal advantage after holding Germany scoreless.

The physicality went up a notch in the second term as neither side took a backward step. Ill-discipline cost the Elks as Germany got their first two goals of the match from 50-meter penalties.

Playing with the breeze was proving more difficult than first expected as Germany went into halftime up 3 goals to 1 as they were able to keep their opponents scoreless.

The Germans gained the ascendancy in the third term and again kept the Swedes to their solitary first term goal. They were kept in the game through the sheer will power of Hampus Olsson who took a handful of intercept marks and bombed it long out of trouble countless times.

Andreas Svensson had another huge game in midfield for the Swedes and proved why he was later crowned ‘Player of the Tournament’ with another influential performance.

With a 3-goal lead going into the final quarter it appeared the Swedish side had run out of legs. They handled the wind better this time around and were peppering the goals early. 2 goals in quick succession to the Elks and it was game on. When Lantz bent one back from a tight angle they were well within reach and with only moments on the clock the crowd were on their feet.

The Elks were again bombing into their forward line and only needed a point to put the game into extra time. A long kick into the Swedes goal square saw the ball rush through for a behind. Unbeknown to the crowd a free-kick had been given for a push in the back with the Germans quickly kicking the ball well out of danger.

When the final siren sounded neither side knew of the result as the scoreboard displayed a draw. After a moment of discussion, the confusion was cleared and Germany were informed of their incredibly victory.

Full credit must go to coach’s Mark Woods and Ryan Tucker for their amazing efforts not only getting their sides to the tournament but for promoting a hard and tough style of football adopted by their respective sides.

In what turned out to be the match of the day the final scoreboard read Germany 4.6. 30 to Sweden’s 4.5 29.

Goals:

Germany: K. Haigh, J. Huesken, T. Menzel, J. Orlowski

Sweden: J. Lantz 2, K. Karlsson, C. Martensson

Best:

Germany: R. Streicher, F. Neumann, J. Jung, M. Schutoff, M. Thormann, T. Thormann

Sweden: A. Svensson, C. Martensson, H. Olsson, A. Olsson, B. Sund, T. Lindgran

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Women’s Final – GB Swans vs Irish Banshees

The much anticipated women’s final followed the third place playoff with only a draw and a 1-point victory to the Swans separating the two squads throughout their round matches.

The wind had picked up and was going to make a big difference in this game and whichever side was going to adapt quicker would come away with the much coveted title of ‘Champions of Europe’.

As expected it was an absolute dogfight to start the game. Stoppage after stoppage was created by both sides fierce attack on the football and their committed defensive pressure.

The crowd were in for a treat as the ruck dual between Clara Fitzpatrick of Ireland and Lea Cobham of GB was incredible to watch.

Onora Mulcahy was paid the utmost respect from the GB coaching panel as they opted to tag the ball magnet by employing her AFL London teammate, Rose Lewis, to do the job.

Despite it being a goalless first quarter the crowd were heavily invested in the game as the ferocity shown by both sides had passers by stopping in to see what all the fuss was about.

50-meter penalties seemed to be the flavour of the day as a GB centre-half forward, Rania Ramadan, was marched into the goal square to convert what turned out to be the match-winning and only goal of the game.

From here the game evolved into a scrap with nearly all 36 players on field descending on the Irish forward 50 to make sure nothing went through the Banshees goal.

The last quarter flew by as the Irish did everything they could to get within range to put through that much needed major. Full credit to the Swans defence who stood up when needed to repel anything and everything that came their way.

When the final siren sounded the home crowd erupted with jubilation and stormed the field to celebrate with the new champions of Europe, the GB Swans. The girls were out on their feet and should be proud of how they represented not only their countries but also the amazing development of women’s football in Europe.

The final scorecard reading 1.2. 8 to 0.2. 2.

Goals:

GB Swans: R. Ramadan

Irish Banshees:

Best:

GB Swans: L. Cobham, A. Saulter, D. Saulter, F. Blount, L. Smith, R. Ramadan

Irish Banshees: C. Fitzpatrick, O. Mulcahy, A. Payne, M. Walsh, M. Beaven, L. Connolly

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Men’s Final – Irish Warriors vs GB Bulldogs

The main event had finally arrived. The all-conquering Irish Warriors were against up-and-comers the GB Bulldogs in what was set to be one for the ages following their 1-point thriller only days beforehand.

Last time they had meet in the European Championships Final was in 2013 when a last second Irish snap gave the Warriors victory.

The Irish had been the form side all tournament, showing why they have been European and International Champions on numerous occasions.

The Bulldogs, in front of a home crowd, had other ideas and jumped out of the blocks early to register 5 first quarter goals to the Warriors 1 running with the wind. Andy Walkden contributed 2 of those majors and was looking dangerous whenever he went near the footy.

The GB side had come out with a plan and executed it to perfection in the opening exchanges. The big test for them was going to come in the second term when the Irish had the wind at their backs.

The second term didn’t go as expected for the Irish who were bombing away long whenever they got the football in their hands. This was exactly what the Bulldogs wanted as their spare man racked up a ton of the footy.

The Irish looked rattled and didn’t have an answer for what the Bulldogs were throwing at them. Their usual run and carry was non-existent and cracks were starting to show.

One of the best players all tournament, Kevin O’Brien from Ireland, was being tagged out of the game by GB’s, James Talbot. The little general from AFL London was quick to tell this reporter of his unsung efforts as a lock-down midfielder throughout the week at the tournament after-party on Saturday.

Likewise, the tournament’s equal leading goal scorer, Padraic O’Connell, was being well held by the dependable, Matty Goodman, whose added counterattack was immense for the home side.

The unthinkable had happened and the Irish had been kept goalless running with the breeze. The Bulldogs had their tails up going into halftime and with one hand on the trophy they weren’t going to let this slip.

A spirited halftime speech from the Irish coach had the boys in green raring to go after the main break. Two quick goals to Colin O’Lordian and Muiris Bartley gave the Warriors a sniff but to GB’s credit they absorbed the pressure and took control of the game.

A late goal to Andy Walkden calmed the nerves of the boisterous home crowd and gave the Bulldogs a 3 goal advantage going into the final term.

The Irish knew they could close the gap and with the wind coming over their shoulders the Bulldogs knew it was still anyone’s game.

The Warriors had the better of the final term but poor foot skills really hurt them going forward and they were unable to convert their chances. Time was getting away from them and when Walkden converted his fourth goal of the day it was all but over for the reigning champions.

A late goal to Kevin McDonnell left it too little, too late for the Irish and when the final siren sounded a new champion of Europe was crowned.

Andy Walkden was huge for the Bulldogs and became only the second player in the tournament to register a unanimous best on ground performance. A huge effort in a grand final by the GB half forward.

The final score read 7.9. 51 to 4.5. 29.

Both sides proved they be tough opponents when they play in next year’s International Cup in Melbourne and will do their Countries and AFL in Europe proud.

All sides should be proud of how they represented their countries and we can’t wait to see how everyone develops in the future.

A huge shout out to the umpiring squad for officiating an amazing week of football and to all volunteers who gave up their time to help in any way possible.

Hopefully we’ll see a few familiar faces at the upcoming Euro Cup in Lisbon.

Goals:

GB: A. Walkden 4, M. Cashman, D. Hastie, C. Britton

Ireland: M. Bartley, G. Murray, C. O’Lordian, K. Mccdonnell

Best:

GB: A. Walkden, L. Booth, J. Coughlan, M. Hudson, C. Britton, M. Goodman

Ireland: G. Walls, C. Fitzgerald, C. O’Halloran, D. Joyce, D. McElhone, K. O’Brien

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The Top 10s

WOMEN

Player of the TournamentVotesTeam
Clara Fitzpatrick41Irish Banshees
Rania Ramadan28GB Swans
Claire Messent25Crusaders
Onora Mulcahy25Irish Banshees
Danni Saulter25GB Swans
Alex Saulter24GB Swans
Aisling Gillespie23Irish Banshees
Rebecca Dickson21Crusaders
Marley Beaven19Irish Banshees
Chloe Hall16GB Swans

 

Leading Goal KickerGoalsTeam
Aisling Gillespie6Irish Banshees
Caroline Sellar3GB Swans
Danni Saulter3GB Swans
Rania Ramadan3GB Swans
Ashleigh Payne2Irish Banshees
Lea Cobham2GB Swans
Chloe Hall2GB Swans
Naomi Curtis2Irish Banshees
Ciara Moane1Irish Banshees
Louise Darby1GB Swans

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MEN

Player of the TournamentVotesTeam
Andreas Svensson27Swedish Elks
Kevin O’Brien26Irish Warriors
Muiris Bartley24Irish Warriors
Gavin Murray24Irish Warriors
Jakob Jung22German Eagles
Hampus Olsson21Swedish Elks
Andrew Walkden16GB Bulldogs
Tristan Thormann14German Eagles
Buster Sund14Swedish Elks
Ruben Streicher14German Eagles

 

 

Leading Goal KickerGoalsTeam
Paudric O’Connell9Irish Warriors
Marc Cashman9GB Bulldogs
David Hastie7GB Bulldogs
Andrew Walkden7GB Bulldogs
Jan Huesken6German Eagles
Dominic Joyce5Irish Warriors
Jack Coughlan5GB Bulldogs
Muiris Bartley5Irish Warriors
Gavin Murray5Irish Warriors
Eoin O’Murchu4Irish Warriors

 

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EC16 Team Preview – German Eagles

AFL Europe Championships Team Preview – German Eagles

Every three years the AFL Europe Championships take place for teams to assert their dominance and claim bragging rights against their European counterparts as well as gain valuable 18-a-side match practice in the lead up to the International Cup the following year.

In the lead up to this year’s AFL Europe Championships in London we’ll be focusing on each team and previewing their chances of taking out the top prize.

The next team preview is of the German Eagles. They’ll be raring to go in the 18-a-side tournament especially after claiming the Bowl at last year’s Euro Cup.

How have the German Eagles been going since Euro Cup 2015?

The Eagles have been slowly building a group of passionate, focused and tough footballers over the past 10 years, as the sport grows along with it in Germany.

The Eagles finished Euro Cup 2015 in Umag, Croatia as winners of the Bowl. This highlighted the growth and development in Germany.

At Euro Cup 2015 a new management team was introduced, they continued to work on the principle of national team growth, whilst adding in a new intensity to the group.

Who’s in for the AFL Europe Championships in 2016?

Mark Woods will continue coaching the Eagles into the Championships in 2016. Woods is an Australian who currently plays in the AFL Germany competition with the Munich Kangaroos. His in-depth knowledge of the local German players will be invaluable come August. He brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge but more importantly has a passion to develop the game outside of Australia.

A full squad will be on the plane to London for the August tournament. The list will be very new and have many fresh faces. With their usual captain and half a dozen first 18 players missing from the squad this could prove a difficult tournament. With experience lacking there is a chance to blood some new players which can only strengthen the Eagles in the long-term.

Pulling on the German jumper is always a great honour for the players and each player knows their roles to help the Eagles compete strongly.

The Eagles squad comprises players from all over Germany. Most AFL Germany clubs are represented with Hamburg, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart, Freiberg, Frankfurt and Munich all providing players to the national squad. This squad will also include some players from England and the Netherlands.

Pre-Tournament Focus

The Eagles have met for a 2-day training camp during the mid-season AFL Germany break and proved a key lead up camp prior to the AFL Europe Champs.

The team is a mix of youth and experience and have established six team pillars they want to be renowned for in the competition. If all players stick to these team pillars they’ll be successful come August.

One key area of focus for the Germans in the lead up has been their ability to work hard without the ball in hand. They believe that this will be a key feature and highlight of their game style.

The Eagles are well-known for their team balance and drive. They are driven to do their country proud. They aren’t here to make up the numbers by any means and want to be the best team in Europe. They are lucky because their players are able to play in any position across the ground and are willing to put themselves on the line for their country.

However, their limited time together will prove challenging and the quicker they gel as a team the more dangerous they’ll become to their opposition.

Who has the X-Factors?

The Germans are strong across the park and are blessed with the ability to play their players in any position. A few names to keep an eye out for are big bodied midfielder/defender, Florian Naumann, who can take a strong mark overhead and hits very hard. Ruben Streicher is a raw talent who plays as a tall forward or ruckmen. He was named in the Euro Cup team of the tournament last year in Croatia and is only going to improve. Jakob Jung is one to watch for the opposition. He has all the attribute of a top-quality midfielder with his speed and skills, he’s also tough as nails so will be hard to stop in the Champs.

Players who have shown significant improvement for the Eagles are Jan Husken and Simon Assmus. Both will be hoping to continue their rapid develop and shake up competition.

The coach’s thoughts – Mark Woods?

“In Euro Cup 2015, Germany played their first matches under a new coaching style and set of team rules. The team had only come together two days before the cup. Yet when we played to the rules and stuck to our style, we played very well. We lost only one game for the day, against Ireland, and that by only a small margin, having been thrashed by them in previous years.

With this in mind, we are looking to continue to grow as a country squad. I will be most proud when we stick to the game plan and the team rules. We will play hard (and of course fair).

This being said, all of the players want to win. I want to win.”

Team List

  1. Florian Naumann
  2. Jonas Nebel
  3. Simon Assmus
  4. Martin Schuttoff
  5. Jakob Jung
  6. Jan Ostrawsky
  7. Johannes Mast
  8. Constantin Pixa
  9. Martin Krichler
  10. Markus Preib
  11. Martin Bauer
  12. Sebastian Esche
  13. Rob Macher
  14. Ruben Streicher
  15. Jan Husken
  16. Johannes Orlowski
  17. Sven Bonus
  18. Henrik van de Stay
  19. Jonas Jakobeit
  20. Matthias Schmitz
  21. Tobias Menzel
  22. Moritz Herthum
  23. Jascha Jung
  24. Karl Haigh
  25. Tristan Thormann
  26. Rob White
  27. Uli Schmoll
  28. Johannes Binninger
  29. Waldemar Schlundt
  30. Richard Meisenheimer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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