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IC14 Update- The Official Launch is here!

The European representatives France, Great Britain, Finland, Sweden and Ireland (men’s and women’s) have now arrived in Australia.

The IC14 starts with a bang on Saturday the 9th of August with the Official IC14 Launch, Parade of Nations and AFL Match. All teams will begin the march at Federation Square in Melbourne and make their way to the MCG to complete a lap of honour before the first bounce.

On Sunday all 6 European teams kick start their International Cup campaign.

GB, Ire timeFra, Swe timeFin time
Women’sIreland v Fiji9:30amMcAlister Oval, Royal Park, Parkville0:30am1:30am2:30am
Men’sUSA v Finland9:30amWestern Oval, Royal Park, Parkville0:30am1:30am2:30am
Men’sIreland v Fiji11:30amMcAlister Oval, Royal Park, Parkville2:30am3:30am4:30am
Men’sNZ v Sweden11:30amWestern Oval, Royal Park, Parkville2:30am3:30am4:30am
Men’sGB v France3:30pmMcAlister Oval, Royal Park, Parkville6:30am7:30am8:30am

Make sure you tune into afl.com.au/global/aflic14/streaming to catch all the action.

#AFLIC14 #IC14 #infohub #euroreps

AFL Announces Live Streaming

In a first for the AFL International Cup we are pleased to advise that we will be streaming matches LIVE!  The following matches will be streamed live and will also be available on demand to watch at later date (details on how to view to follow).

  • All matches on McAlister, Ransford and Western ovals on Sunday August 10 (Round 1 matches)
  • All matches on McAlister, Ransford and Western ovals on Friday August 22 (Finals Round)
  • Women’s Grand Final at Punt Road Oval on Saturday August 22nd
  • Men’s Grand Final at MCG onSaturday August 22nd
  • USA Liberty v Canada Midnight Suns on Wednesday 20th August (Liberty have a BYE in round 1, this will ensure that they get at least    1 match filmed and streamed)

Sunday August 10th Streamed Matches (all times in Australian Eastern Standard Time):

McAlister Oval
9:30am – Ireland v Fiji [womens]
11:30am – Ireland v Fiji [mens]

1:30pm – Nauru v Indo [mens]

3:30pm – GB v France [mens]

 

Ransford Oval

9:30am – Tonga v India [mens]

11:30am – Tonga v Canda M suns [womens]

1:30pm – SA v Pakistan [mens]

3:30pm – PNG v Japan [mens]

 

Western Oval

9:30pm – USA v Finland [mens]

11:30am – NZ v Sweden [mens]

1:30pm – Canada N lights v USA Freedom [womens]

3:30pm – Canada v China [mens]

 

Wednesday August 20th Streamed Matches: 

12:00pm – USA Liberty v Canada Midnight Suns [womens]

 

Friday August 22nd Streamed Matches:

Ransford Oval

9:00am – 13 v 14 (div 2 playoff) [mens]

11:00am – 3 v 4 [womens]

1:00pm – 3 v 4 (3rd place Playoff) [ mens]

 

McAlister Oval

9:00am – 5 v 6 [womens]

11:00am – 7 v 8 [mens]

1:00pm – 5 v 6 (Div 1 Playoff) [mens]

 

Western Oval [mens]

9:00am – 15 v 16

11:00am – 9 v 10

1:00pm – 11 v 12

3:00pm – 17 v 18

 

Ireland ready to retain their IC titles

By Michael McCormick

The Australian Rules Football League of Ireland (ARFLI) is arguably the most successful league outside Australia, having produced players such as the late, great Jim Stynes, Tadhg Kennelly and more recently Pearce Hanley.

Heading the charge to retain their 2011 International Cup championship is ARFLI President, Paul Brogan.

Brogan, who initially became involved in coaching prior to the 2013 European Championships, was anointed President earlier this year and will be responsible for the Irish team in the International Cup.

“I will represent our league in Australia, and aid the rest of the management team in training and preparing the squad during the tournament,” stated Brogan.

As reigning premiers, the Irish will attempting a feat that has not previously been achieved in International Cup history.

“Our goals for the IC, are to retain both the mens and womens titles,” continued Brogan.

“We face an uphill task as no one has ever retained the trophy, but it is my belief that we have the quality in this squad to go all the way.”

Travelling with Brogan to Melbourne will be 14 players, including playing head coach, David Stynes. Stynes will replace Shaun McElhone who will not be attending the International Cup due to family reasons.

Once in Melbourne, the full twenty-eight man squad will resume training and preparations for the tournament.

“There are a lot of new faces notably among the Irish based contingent, none of whom have ever played in the IC before,” stated Brogan. “They can all draw from the experience of winning last years european championships however.”

Brogan is a big supporter of the International cup and the opportunities it provides for players all around the world.

“The IC is showcasing the worldwide talent, that exists in the sport, giving the opportunity for lads to aspire to play on the greatest stage of all, the MCG.”

The Irish squad was chosen via trials and on the back of scouting feedback in both Ireland and Australia.

The Australian based players play for clubs in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and will all be making the trip down for the two week tournament.

“Its tough for players as they are making a huge commitment,” stated Brogan.

“We have secured sponsorship for both the mens and ladies teams, but that will only cover a small portion of the costs involved. The players will be contributing the remainder themselves.”

The men’s and women’s squads will be landing in Melbourne on the 6th of August and will have regular training and recovery sessions in the St Kilda area where they will be staying throughout the tournament.

They will need to be on top of their game however if they are to defeat the might of Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.

“They have a grassroots structure in place, so can develop players from a young age whereas we have to develop our lads from the skills they bring from sports like Gaelic Football and Rugby,” stated Brogan.

“History would dictate that PNG will be the main challengers for the title, considering that have been to every grand final since the inception of the tournament, however NZ had a very strong showing in nearly defeating the AIS Academy team in January.”

“We will certainly have to be at our best to beat these two sides.”

#warriorsweek #bansheesweek #IC14

warriorsb

Paul Brogan, ARFLI President

Irish Banshees players’ profiles

The Banshees have listed four IC’11 world team players who will return to play in their second tournament, these are: Emma Kelly, Gillian Behan, Louise Loughlin and Laura Corrigan.

Name: Cáitlín Ní Chíanáin

Caitlin

From: Cavan, Ireland

Team: Dublin Angels

Jersey number: 33

Position: Centre

Why and when I started playing: In 2010/2011 I came back from a year in Australia and fancied a go at the game having not tried it there.

Expectations for IC: To grow as a player and ideally bring home some silver wear.

Best footy memory: Beating Switzerland in Euro Cup in Belfast, 2011.

 

 

Name: Laura Corrigan

Laura Corrigan

From: Cavan Ireland/Greensborough Vic

Team: Diamond Creek

Jersey number: 1

Position: Ruck/ wing

Why and when I started playing: 2008 as I had always been told I was to rough in Gaelic so I thought Aussie Rules was the game for me.

Expectations for IC: To go back to back.

Best footy memory: Winning the last IC and being named in the top 3 players of the tournament.

 

 

Name: Regina Curtin

Regina

From: Cork and currently in Koroit, Victoria

Team: Milford Senior Camoige Club and Donoughmore Senior Ladies Football Club

Jersey number: 10

Position: Midfield, forward

Why and when I started playing: Love sport, love playing ball, love the team spirit and friendships you make

Expectations for IC: Be competitive, train hard, win matches

Best sporting memory: Winning the All Ireland club camogie Championship with Milford (Cork).

Regina is a multiple ‘All Ireland Senior Football championship’ holder 2005 – 2007 and also achieved an ‘All Ireland Camogie League title’ in 2012.

Irish Warriors players’ profiles

Name: Brendan Kelly

Brendan Kelly

 

Team: Belfast Redbacks

Jersey number: 3

Position: Defensive corner pocket

Why and when I started playing: Province of origin 2012. I started playing just as a form of training and quickly got interested with the competitiveness and chances to progress to a higher level within the sport.

Expectations for IC: My personal expectations are to achieve the best performance I can as this is my first International Cup. Expectations as a team would be to qualify for the finals and take it step at a time after that.

Best footy memory: Mark Leavy scoring the winning goal in the 2013 European championship final in the dying seconds.

Favourite footy team/player: Tom Hawkins, Geelong Cats

 

 

Name: Mark Leavy

Mark Leavy

Team: North Leinster Giants

Jersey Number: 4

Position: back pocket/wing back

Why and when I started playing: I started playing about ten years ago. I went to watch a match that my friend was playing in and ended up joining in and loving the game.

Expectations for IC: To play to the very best of my ability and enjoy the whole experience , while hopefully winning the IC.

Best footy memory: kicking the winning goal in the 2013 European championship final in Dublin.

Favourite team/player: Hawks/Buddy Franklin

 

 

Name: David McElhone

David McElhone

Team: Melville Rams

Jersey number: 6

Position: On Ball

Why and when I started playing: My brother got me into it about 6 years ago, he played for the Belfast Redbacks and was in the Ireland team at IC2005, it started out a second sport for me but  I loved the game and after only a few games I was hooked. I think the tackling, body contact and general skill of the game drew me in.

Expectations for IC: I expect the Irish Warriors to be taking centre stage again at the MCG again in the final, there are alot of good teams in the competition and we are by no means complacent, we will have to work twice as hard this year to retain the International Cup. However, I believe we have the players, management and structures in place to push on again and repeat the feats of IC2011.

Best footy memory: Best footy memory has to be winning the International Cup at the MCG in 2011. This is something we had been building towards since the European Championship in 2010 so to win it was a very special feeling. 

Favourite footy team/player: Favourite team is Collingwood and favourite player is Dane Swan.

Title defence’s no walk in the park – IC14

By Michael McCormick

Luck plays an insignificant role when it comes to the Irish and AFL talent. There are already several Irish nationals showing their class in the AFL and VFL ranks and the International Cup in 2014 is another chance for this skilful team to show the world that Ireland are an Australian Football powerhouse.

Having hosted and triumphed at the European Championships in August, 2013, the Irish will be taking plenty of confidence in their ability to win on the big stage to Melbourne.

Needless to say the Irish are not strangers to International Cup glory either, holding the title of reigning premiers for both the men’s and women’s competitions, further proving themselves as the best in the world.

Despite their success, they remain humble and grateful for their opportunities.

Past President and current treasurer of the Australian Rules Football League Of Ireland, Ciaran O’hara, contends that this is because of the fierce competition coming from the rest of the world and in particular those teams close to home.

“[Great Britain] have been getting closer and closer to us and with the strength they’ve now got in the squad they’ve announced, I expect them to be major contenders.”

O’Hara, who provides logistical support to the coaches and management of both the men’s and women’s national teams revealed that the Irish teams really fire up once they hit Australian soil.

“Our Australian based players play for clubs in Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, so they don’t get opportunities for collective training so the hard training for us usually begins once we arrive in Australia”

While the trip to Melbourne is being mostly self funded, both the men’s and women’s teams have been fortunate in securing sponsorship to assist with expenses.

Blu Marine Ltd, an internationally renowned ship fitting company, are supporting the Irish Warriors and the Irish Banshees are sponsored by major aircraft leasing company, Avolon. In addition several players have their own individual sponsors.

Financial support aside, the Irish team’s success has stemmed from the great leadership from different coaches and captains throughout their history.

The recent retirement of Head Coach Shaun McElhone has seen David Stynes named as Playing Head Coach of the Irish Warriors for the 2014 International Cup. His assistant, Lachlan Buszard is returning from the same post at the International Cup in 2011.

With several Irish players already living and playing football in Australia, around half the team will consist of players who won’t need to make the long trip from Ireland.

There are also a lot of new faces, with the 14 players selected to make the trip from Ireland having never played in an International Cup competition.

Of those players who are embarking on the quest to retain the International Cup for Ireland, O’Hara believes that a couple could catch the eye of the AFL world.

“Muiris Bartley who has played for both the European Legion and the World XVIII could impress or perhaps Ronan Geraghty who is on an Aussie Rules Scholarship at Sydney University and plays in the NEAFL,” stated O’Hara.

Although both the Irish Warrior and the Irish Banshees would love to retain their titles as the world’s best AFL nations outside Australia, they know that there’s a long road ahead.

“It would be nice to retain the title, but we know that the IC will be hard won if we are to do that.”

#warriorsweek #bansheesweek #IC14

IC11-Womens-Canada-v-Ireland-2-640x360

Fitzpatrick Cup

Having played host for the European Championships in August where they successfully defended their title, the Irish were flying high.

This was of course followed by a clean sweep in the two match International Rules series where Ireland demolished Australia by the biggest recorded margin in the competition’s history.

Accommodating the inaugural Fitzpatrick Cup in the last weekend of October was the icing on the cake for what has been a year of celebration for AFL in Ireland.

The cold weather in Dublin didn’t dampen the spirits of the competing university teams at this exciting tournament, which will no doubt add to the growth of the game throughout Europe.

The four competing clubs were Northern Regional College, (NRC) University College Cork (UCC), the newly formed Dublin City University (DCU) and the oldest AFL team outside Australia, Oxford University.

AFL Commission Chairman, Mike Fitzpatrick, whom the tournament is named after, kicked off proceedings at the Opening Ceremony, recalling stories from his time spent at St Johns College and his association with the Oxford University football club.

“I am very humbled that this great tournament is being held in my honour”, stated Fitzpatrick. “I look forward to seeing some potential AFL stars take the field today.”

AFL Europe Chairman, Chris Dow then addressed the special guests ahead of the knockout tournament.

“This is an historic day for AFL in Europe and each participating club”, he said.

The matches got underway just before midday, Saturday, with a fiery encounter between UCC and DCU. The newest team in the competition, DCU, didn’t want to give anything away and appeared dominant early.

UCC’s defence were able to hold off the early onslaught however, through the strength of full back and half back, who provided great run and counter attack into the forward line.

The half time scores reflected a hard fought first half of football by both clubs with UCC holding a slight advantage.

The 40-man squad of UCC had the fitness in the second half but DCU had plenty of spirit. Led by speedster, Caolite O’Baoill, the Dublin based university gave the tournament favourites a scare as they closed to within two goals just before the siren.

A stabilising goal by UCC full forward sealed his side the victory and a spot in the final.

Next up on the Islandbridge ground was the match between NRC and Oxford University.

Big man, Buckets Wolgomot dominated the ruck from the start of the match and Oxford were able to move the ball forward with purpose early on.

Fitzpatrick’s al mater capitalised on their quick movement into the forward line via a strong midfield outfit consisting of ball magnet, Tim Cole and former captain, Trav McLeod.

The game was won with a run of goals in the last quarter.

The siren to signal that the Grand Final was underway, sounded just after 2pm. University College Cork kicked away to an early lead in the opening term, winning most positions on the ground.

Oxford slowed UCC’s momentum in the second quarter through the defensive efforts of Matt McGilvray at Centre Half Back and Genie Duff who saved numerous goals on the last line of defence.

With the rain pouring down in typical Irish style UCC’s superior fitness shone as they piled on several unanswered goals in the third quarter to claim what proved to be a match-winning margin.

Oxford attempted a comeback in the last quarter but to no prevail. As the final siren sounded, the exhausted UCC players threw their hands in the air with elation, in the knowledge that they had etched their names into the history book, and claimed the title of Fitzpatrick Cup champions.

The final scorecard read, University College Cork; 7.11 (53) defeated Oxford University; 3.4 (22)

At the awards ceremony following the match, DCU Chairman and Captain, and Ireland national team midfielder, Caolite O’Baoill, took out the tournament’s Best and Fairest Award.

“It was a great tournament and I’m looking forward to playing in many more,” he stated. “[DCU] will train hard and come back next year ready to go.”

AFL Europe Chairman, Chris Dow was on hand to present the cup to UCC captain PJ O’Brien and coach, Eoin O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan, who was an instrumental player in Ireland’s 2011 International Cup and 2013 European Championships victories, was elated with his players efforts.

“This is a well deserved victory,” he stated. “The guys worked so hard on and off the field to prepare for this day and to come out and play the way they did is a testament to that endeavour.”

 

Competition photographs from Derek Clarke can be accessed via his Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/people/47545877@N06/

 

Scores on the day:

Semi Final 1: UCC 8.6 (54) vs DCU 4.7 (31)

Semi Final 2: Oxford 8.4 (52) vs Magherafelt 4.7 (31)

3rd Place Play-off: Magherafelt 7.5 (47) vs DCU 5.3 (33)

Final: UCC 7.11 (53) vs Oxford 3.4 (22)

AFL Europe - Fitzpatrick Cup - NRC Eagles v Oxford (26-10-2013) (21)

Dublin To Host Fitzpatrick Cup

The last weekend of October will see Dublin become the centre of the Australian Football World as the Irish capital hosts the second test of the 2013 International Rules series, but there is more activity besides. The AFL Europe annual general meeting and conference will take place in Kilmainham and just a stones throw away, the inaugural AFL Europe College and University Championship will take place in Islandbridge. The tournament to be known as the Fitzpatrick Cup in honour of AFL Commission Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick will feature his alma mater Oxford University, Northern Regional College, University College Cork and the newly formed Dublin City University. The competition will be played on a knockout basis, with two semi finals, the 3rd/4th Place play off and a Grand Final with all matches 40 minutes in duration.

Schedule.

11.30 Semi Final 1

12.20 Semi Final 2

13.10 3rd/4th Place Play Off

14.00 Grand Final

Daniel Flynn – Signed, sealed and ready to deliver

On the 3rd of October 2013, the 20-year-old Irish player Daniel Flynn signed his first 2-year contract with Port Adelaide Football Club as the club’s first international rookie.

From his county Kildare in Ireland, this elite underage player was destined to a great career as a Gaelic footballer but has recently made the decision to cross the world to play in the AFL.

Flynn showed outstanding performances at the annual NAB AFL Draft Combine recently, running the 20-metre sprint in 2,83 seconds, the repeat sprint in 24,25 seconds and the agility test in 8,08 seconds. These were all top 4 results of the 110 elite juniors from Australia.

AFL Europe is extremely proud of Daniel having come through the Talent ID program run in Europe including the combine run in Dublin in February this year. He showed outstanding athletic ability and a natural movement with a Sherrin tucked under the arm. Earlier this year, he played for the European Legion against the AIS-AFL Academy. His display in that match further raised interest and now he finds himself on the PAFC list.

We wish him all the best for the next season!

Early December will see the next AFL Europe Combine to be held in Dublin. Who will be the next to make the step into AFL?

EUROPEAN LEGION v AIS AFL ACADEMY

AFL Europe Championship Grand Final – Ireland vs Great Britain

Ireland has won the 2013 AFL Europe Championship by kicking a goal with the last kick of the game to beat Great Britain by a point.  In a tight contest throughout the last quarter, Great Britain seemed to have it won before Mark Leavy kicked a snap goal to put Ireland in front, seconds before the final siren sounded.

Heroes for the Irish included late goal kicker Bobby Byrne and Kevin McSorley in defence who was pivotal in keeping Ireland within striking distance throughout the last quarter.   It was a heart breaking finale for the Great British team who went so close to winning their first major international trophy.

Man of the match was GB captain Ian Mitchell who was tireless on the ball and across half back for the Bulldogs, yet unable to drag his team across the line.  Sam Boyd, David Saunders and Ollie Dilieto were also strong contributors to a team that had glory snatched from them at the very end.

In a hard and bruising match, John O’Regan was subdued after a heavy collision with Britain’s Chris James in the second quarter.  The Irish captain had been dominating the match up to that point and it looked like that moment might have swung the match in favour of the Bulldogs.  However it inspired a greater effort from the Irish team and players James Flavin, Ger Walls and Tom Browne started winning more of the ball.

The last quarter saw the lead change a number of times and when GB’s Luke Booth kicked a goal to put his team up by 5 points close to the end, it looked like it would be a fairy tale win for the visitors.  With only seconds on the clock the ball swept down to the Irish forward line where it bounced off the hands of the pack and into the arms of the unlikely Irish defender Mark Leavy who snapped the goal and sent the Irish crowd into a frenzy as the final siren sounded.

Final Score:

Ireland: 7.3.45

Great Britain: 6.8.44

Goals:
Ireland: Byrne 2, Bartley, Flavin, Manning, O’Connell, Leavy
Great Britain: Saunders 2, Kilheeny, Booth, Ryland, James

Best Players:
Ireland: McSorley, O’Regan, Roche
Great Britain: Mitchell, Boyd, Dilieto, Saunders