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Match of the Round

Berlin Crocodiles v Rheinland Lions  

It’s the first game of the German 16-a-side Premiership. Rheinland Lions are making the trip to Berlin to take on the Berlin Crocodiles in what is set to be an intriguing battle between two sides who didn’t meet in the 9-a-side tournament earlier in the year.

The Crocodiles finished that tournament by winning 11 out of a possible 12 games to finish second behind the Munich Kangaroos. The Lions had an indifferent tournament and lacked consistency winning 50% of their games to finish fourth with a 6-12 record.

This weekend’s fixture in Berlin earmarks the start of the 16-a-side Premiership which runs up until the 10th of September when the season culminates with the Grand Final. This year’s format will see 3 teams competing in the larger format which also includes the Munich Kangaroos. The Kangaroos will go into the season as early favourites due to their dominance in the earlier 9-a-side Championship were they didn’t drop a game.

The weekends clash has added importance as the winner will go through to play the Kangaroos in what is effectively a preliminary final with the winner going straight through to the grand final in September.

Berlin 2

The Crocs have improved rapidly in the past few seasons and account this to the development of their internal 9-a-side Berlin tournament which consists of four teams, as well as the commitment from their first home-grown German coach, Constantine Hoher. This will be their first 16-a-side game in over two years which could prove difficult and how quickly they adjust will be key to winning this game.

The key players for the Crocs are their four big recruits for the year in Rhys Ironmonger, Mitch New, Luke Edwards and James Sunderman. All four have played reasonable football back home in Australia and have added real depth and talent to the Berlin list.

Berlin 5

The Lions have had an indifferent season thus far coming into the 16s Premiership and attribute some major team changes since their Premiership season and Champions League appearance in 2014/15 as a major factor for their inconsistency. The positive for the Lions is the fact that their team is made up primarily of young Germans. Despite their inexperience they’re enthusiastic, fit, strong and pushing hard for an all-out assault on the 16s Premiership.

The key players for the Lions are the midfield generals Julian Wichmann and Tobias Menzel. The latter has arrived back from a year exchange in Australia where he further developed his skills and tactics. Richard Huggard is one to look out for as well. Despite living in Australia, Huggard, returns to Germany every 2 years and pulls the boots on. Huggard should provide extra motivation for the young squad by showing his commitment to the team with the great lengths he travels to pull on the mighty Lions jumper.

It’s set to be a blockbuster to open the Germany 16-a-side Premiership season with plenty on the line for both sides. The winner books themselves a place against the Munich Kangaroos and a chance for automatic entry in the Grand Final. If that doesn’t get the two teams excited for this weekend’s blockbuster, then I don’t know what will.

Best of luck to the Berlin Crocs and Rheinland Lions, we look forward to hearing the result of this one.

Coach’s thoughts – Constantine Hoher (Berlin Crocs)

“I’m looking forward to the final and excited to see how we will go in our first 16-a-side match since 2014 (due to the comp being restructured to a 9-a-side format last year). We have a lot of height in our team this year and we are planning to use this to our advantage. So despite the fact they have been a strong team in the last few years I think we can give them good competition at our home ground and hopefully come away with a win.”

 

Coach’s thoughts – Kristopher Marsh (Rheinland Lions)

“The season has been quite up and down for the team so far. Even though skills have improved tremendously since the previous season the team has not always lived up to their potential. However, the squad is in good shape and has been training hard over the past days to work on their consistency. Certainly, motivation won’t be an issue since the boys are looking forward to their favourite away game in the capital.”

Player of the Week – Mathilde Combes

AFL Europe Player of the Week

Each week AFL Europe is profiling a European player and finding out how they got into the great game of Aussie Rules and a bit about themselves. If you’d like a profile or know of someone who would, then email admin@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet.  

Mathilde Combes plays for the Paris Cockerelles in the French League, the CNFA. Jumping onto the Aussie Rules bandwagon due to her brother playing the sport, Mathilde has been a prominent player in the French national team due to the lack of female league in France for now.

Taking part in the first ever Women’s AFL Europe Champions League, AFL Europe looks forward to welcoming Mathilde at Euro Cup in October also!

 

Name:

Mathilde Combes

Club:

Paris Cockerels

Nationality:

French

What position do you play?

Forward

AFL team you support:

West Coast Eagles

Favourite AFL player:

Nic Naitanui

How did you find out about AFL?

My brother used to play, so I tried it at some point

How long have you been playing for?

2 years

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

It was a game against the Wandsworth Demons. We got our ass kicked! I had loads of fun though

Best AFL moment?

The Champions League in Amsterdam. There is no female cup in France at the moment so we got invited as a national team and it was amazing.

 

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

Player of the Week – Natascha May

AFL EUROPE PLAYER OF THE WEEK (UK/ROW)

Each week AFL Europe is profiling a European player and finding out how they got into the great game of Aussie Rules and a bit about themselves. If you’d like a profile or know of someone who would, then email admin@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet.

This week’s player profile is on Natascha May from the South East London Giants. Natascha has only been playing the game for a year and a half and found out about the game through a friend who wanted to spend more time together. The ruck with South African and German heritage is relishing her time at the Giants and will be hoping they go far in the AFL London Women’s finals coming up in a few weeks. Best of luck for the rest of the season Natascha.

 

Name:

Natascha May

Club:

South East London Giants

Nationality:

South African/German

What position do you play?

Ruck

How did you find out about AFL?

My Aussie friend Amelia recommended I attend training with the giants as a way for us to catch up and see each other more regularly.

How long have you been playing for?

1.5 years

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

Our first game was a preseason friendly with the Wandsworth Demons. It was a really cold, wet London morning and I had no idea what I was doing. The game was a lot of fun and I knew afterwards that I would love playing AFL.

Best AFL moment?

My best AFL moment so far was playing with the Giants at the London preseason cup that we hosted this year. Our team managed to win 3 of our 4 games and in doing so, we managed to beat all the London ladies teams. It was a really great experience for myself and my teammates and despite the bad weather and playing in swamp-like conditions, we had so much fun! We missed out on the grand final because our percentage was beaten by one of the other teams but we felt like winners at the end of the day.

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Around the Grounds

Around the Grounds

4th time lucky for Kingdom Kangaroos

The monkey is off the back for the Kingdom Kangaroos in Season 2016 after notching up their first victory against the Falkirk Silverbacks in the AFL Scotland Premiership.

After starting the season with three straight defeats the Kangaroos showed they can still have impact in the Scottish League with a commanding 174 to 29 victory. They’ll be hoping to continue this momentum into their next game when they take on the Greater Glasgow Giants.

 

AFL Sweden pushing for growth

AFL Sweden is conducting its very first nationwide membership drive over a three week period from Friday the 24th of June to Sunday the 7th of August.

They’re targeting to reach 600 members with each club in competition to see who can recruit the most members during the three-week campaign.

If you or anyone you know might be interested, then jump over to the AFL Sweden Facebook page or contact them via their website.

http://www.aflsweden.se/2/index.php

https://www.facebook.com/aflsweden/?fref=ts

 

AFL Scotland seeking Head Coach for the Scottish Sirens

AFL Scotland is taking expressions of interest for the role of Coach for the Scottish Ladies National Team to prepare for the upcoming Euro Cup in October and beyond.

For further information, please email secretary@aflscotland.org.

 

Paris Cockatoos claim CNFA Premiership

The Paris Cockatoos are the champions of France after clinching victory from minor premiers, the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes. In what proved a nail-biting affair the Cockatoos ran out the match harder in the final 10 minutes and this cemented the difference. The final scorecard read 110-90 in favour of the new Parisian outfit.

The ‘Toos take the title from big brothers, the Paris Cockerels, in what signifies a shift in power for the clubs in the CNFA.

The day was hosted by the Bordeaux Bombers and ran seamlessly in what was a beautiful day for Aussie Rules. Congratulations to both sides for their valiant efforts and we look forward to following the CNFA in what is fast becoming one of the premier competitions in Europe.

COCKS

 

Ex-AFL star makes ARFLI debut

The Galway Magpies of the ARFLI had a new member to shower in Gatorade at the weekend with former AFL and Collingwood FC star Marty Clarke making his debut at the Belfast carnival.

Clarke’s Magpies beat the home side, the Belfast Redbacks, by 17 points before overcoming the South Dublin Swans by a mere 4 points in an exciting second game.

With 73 games AFL experience with the Collingwood Magpies it would be great to see Marty strutting his stuff in the ARFLI week-in week-out. Who knows, we may even see him don the Irish jumper in upcoming tournaments.

Full article:

Marty Clarke

 

 

 

 

AFL Europe Match of the Round

CNFA Grand Final – Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes v Paris Cockatoos – Bordeaux 25/6/16

The Euros have taken centre stage in France over the past couple of weeks but this weekend all eyes will be on the CNFA Grand Final hosted by the Bordeaux Bombers. Stade Robert Monseau will play host to the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes and the Paris Cockatoos in a battle of the ages in which a new champion will be crowned as the much coveted, CNFA Premiers.

The Coyotes finished the regular season as Minor Premiers, claiming top spot by 3 points ahead of the Parisian pair, the Cockerels and the Cockatoos. They won through to the Grand Final with a 4-point win over the fourth-placed, Toulouse Hawks, in what proved a far tougher game then the minor premiers would’ve liked. The Cockatoos had a massive semi-final showdown in Paris against big brothers and 2014/15 Premiers, the Cockerels. Many expected the Cockatoos to fall short to their more established rivals but grit and determination shone through with a hard-fought 27-point victory.

Both teams will be experiencing a Grand Final for the first time, so the team that settles the nerves first will be a good shout to carry on with the victory. The Coyotes go in with the knowledge that they were the best team all season, however, the Cockatoos were the only team to knock off the Minor Premiers, giving them a slight psychological advantage.

The Coyotes boast a number of players from the French national team and have three of the best from the ANZAC Day showdown with Australia earlier this year in Max, Herve and Billy. Keep an eye on long kicking defender, Kevin, who can be a real game-changer with his run and carry off the halfback line.

The Cockatoos are strengthened by their midfield depth with four quality Frenchmen rotating through the engine room in Dagois, Bouchet, Daniel and Leyson. First use of the footy is crucial so this midfield depth could be a real focal point for the boys from Paris. The Cockatoos rugby connections, Jacob and Kevin, are normally away with work commitments on a Saturday by have shown real promise for recent converts and could prove the difference.

A full day of Aussie Rules action has been organised for the culmination of the CNFA 2015/16 season. A friendly, mixed gender curtain raiser is being played along with a soiree following the Grand Final.

Regardless of the result it’s going to be great seeing two new teams contesting for the top prize the CNFA have to offer. The Bordeaux Bombers and CNFA have organised an amazing day for all to enjoy. This one is expected to be a nail-biter, best of luck to all involved.

Coaches Thoughts – (Hervé Desjardin), Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes

“This game is the result of a long and interesting season. As the Coyotes’ coach, it was my objective to reach the Grand Final. We are going to play against the only team that has beat us during the 2015/2016 Season which will add a little spice to the match. We are clearly the outsider of this event as many of the Cockatoos were part of the 2015 Cockerels premiership team. We are going to give this game 100% and we hope to offer a great game to all our supporters. We are going to focus on our strengths and values: abnegation and determination ! Go Coyotes !”

Coaches Thoughts – Andrew Unsworth, Paris Cockatoos

“Creating a new team was always going to be a bit of a risk… but this group has put all that to bed by reaching the grand final! Hopefully we can go one better against an impressive Cergy outfit that travels well and is always up for a contest. Will be a great day for French footy with the girls also playing. Can’t wait!”

 

 

 

 

Member Offer Thursday

Member Offer Thursday – O’Neill’s Apparel

This week’s member offer is from our sports manufacturing partners, O’Neill’s. O’Neill’s is 100% Irish owned and is nearing 100 years of operation. This year AFL Europe and O’Neill’s have partnered and are able to offer our community the following offers:

  • Customised Guernsey, shorts, Socks, Half Zip Tracksuit top, Skinny/Berne Tracksuit Bottom – £98.50 includes VAT
  • (extra crest embroidery £2.50 per item)
  • Purchase your Boots, Customisable Footy & Travel Bags, Mouth Guards, & Training gear as well!

https://www.oneills.com/shop-by-team/afl-europe.html#/shop-by-team/afl-europe.html?&no_cache=1&p=1

 

Player of the Week – Coline Duquet

Each week AFL Europe is profiling a European player and finding out how they got into the great game of Aussie Rules and a bit about themselves. If you’d like a profile or know of someone who would, then email admin@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet.

This week’s player profile is on French ruck, Coline Duquet. Coline first fell in love with the game of AFL on a study exchange in Sydney, Australia, where she played for the University side. She has been a member of the French national side for the past few years and this year represented France in both the AFL Europe Champions League and ANZAC Day clash in Villers-Bretonneux.

Coline picked up the nickname ‘Emu’ during her time in Australia and loves singing the French national anthem before her games for her country.

Well done Coline, best of luck for the rest of the season.

 

Name:

Coline Duquet

Club:

Paris Cockerels

Nationality:

French

What position do you play?

Ruck

AFL team you support:

GWS Giants

Favourite AFL player:

Jeremy Cameron

How did you find out about AFL?

I studied in Sydney, Australia for a year and played a season with UTS

How long have you been playing for?

3 years

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

It was a preseason game in Sydney, really warm weather. They put me in the midfield and I didn’t know what I was doing but I felt really welcomed in the team and knew I would love it.

Best AFL moment?

Singing the French anthem with the French national team

Any other interesting information, quirky stories or interesting things about yourself?

At a training session in Sydney, the coach said “don’t bend over like emu” which made me laugh very hard because it sounded so Australian. My nickname there was emu.

 

AFL Europe Match of the Round

CEAFL Tournament 4/6/16

This week’s ‘Match of the Round’ is changing it up a little. Due to a fixture change for the CEAFL tournament which was initially meant to be held this weekend we’re going to do a review of their first tournament from the 4th of June that was held in Croatia.

The CEAFL or Central European AFL is a series of tournaments amongst countries in that region to supplement their domestic competitions.

The first tournament was held in Croatia on the 4th of June and included the teams: Zagreb Hawks, Zagreb Dockers, Zaprude Giants, Ploče Eagles, Sesvete Double Blues, Styrian Downunderdogs and the Velika Gorica Bombers.

The Zagreb Hawks won this league in both 2014 and 2015, however, this year sees a new set of favourites with the Zagreb Dockers and Zaprude Giants pushing for early favouritism.

This tournament saw teams were split into two groups.

Group 1:

  • Zagreb Hawks
  • Zaprude Giants
  • Ploče Eagles
  • Velika Gorica Bombers

Group 2:

  • Sesvete Double Blues
  • Styrian Downunderdogs
  • Zagreb Dockers

Games Review

Group 1 saw the Hawks topple the Bombers in a tight affair before giving the Ploče Eagles a tough game, winning that one by a bigger margin. The Giants won all their games and stamped their authority on the competition by letting everyone know who the favourites were in the group. Ploče edged out the Bombers for another year and locked in third place.

Final Standings:

  1. Zaprude Giant
  2. Zagreb Hawks
  3. Ploče Eagles
  4. Velika Gorica Bombers

Best on Ground:

Lenić (Giants), Galez (Giants), Mamić (Giants), Diklić (Hawks), Prtenjača (Hawks), Nedić (Bombers), Kežić (Eagles).

 

Group 2 saw the Dockers and Double Blues head to head in an absolute thriller. The Dockers kicked 2 goals in 2 minutes to edge past the Blues and claim victory. The Dockers cruised through their game with the DownUnderdogs, as did the Double Blues.

Final Standings:

  1. Zagreb Dockers
  2. Sesvete Double Blues
  3. Styrian Downunderdogs

Best on Ground:

Cvetko (Dockers), Ivoš (Dockers), Motik (Blues), Pavković (Blues), Jud (Downunderdogs), Schittegg (Downuderdogs)

Following the group stages the final series was played out. The Zaprude Giants dominated the Zagreb Dockers in the Final and proved they’ll be tough to beat in the remaining tournaments.

 

Best on Ground:

Ignacije Valečić

 

Team Reviews

Zagreb Hawks

After winning back-to-back Croatian leagues and CEAFL the Hawks lost some of their key players. Josip Habljak went to play in Sturt FC and that story is well known, Tomislav Cvetko, Croatian Knights Captain and one of the best players of the league went to play for Dockers. In this CEAFL they played without captain and best player, Jan Doležal.

Josip Kravar started to play at full forward and some rookies emerged to the team. The

Hawks were not focusing on winning the CEAFL or Croatian league, but to rebuild team with rookies in order to bring back the flag one day with young forces.
Maybe not the strongest team, but for sure most dedicated workers.

 

Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers

After the arrival of Tomislav Cvetko, the Dockers team won the Croatian league in 2015. Despite Cvetko, the Dockers have Croatian Knights in forward line that cause headaches for all team’s. Lovre Čudina, Ivan Ivoš and Tomislav Cvetko are making a difference and combined with strong midfielders (Ivan Molnar, Luka Čudina and Zvonimir Marinovic). Their strong and determined defence is what holds this team together.

Hot favourites for the CEAFL and Croatian league.

 

Zapruđe Giants

Maybe the only rivals to Dockers this year. The Giants have best midfield in this league (Murković, Lazanin, Mamić) and probably best defence led by Lenić and Galez.

They have lost Nedić as a skilful HF but compensate that with Benčić (last year’s rookie and Knights player).

Giants are strong team that can win against any other team if they play to their ability.

 

Sesvete Double Blues
After last year debut in Croatian league and CEAFL, the Blues grew into team that can play side by side with stronger teams. They lost to the Giants and Dockers in Croatian league this year due to inexperience and some rookie mistakes, but they have potential to hurt top teams.

They have a strong midfield group lead by Motik and Pavković and reliable defence with Djuran, Pecikoza and Karamatić junior. As well as this, Karamatić senior is forever dangerous in the forward line.

 

Velika Gorica Bombers

Founded by young Giant, Tomislav Nedić and Hawk, Filip Martincevic, who have given their best to start up a completely new team. Josip Josipović joined in their back line as an experienced player and gave them some confidence.

Bombers in their first year are still learning but showing a promising future with young players that work hard on and off the field.

 

Ploče Eagles

Ploče also started to play in the Croatian League and CEAFL in 2016. Found by Johnny Ante Rončević who has given his life to this club.  Youngest team in competition where midfield is led by 15-year-old players like Hrvoje Kežić, who in his first year is picked to play for Croatian Knights which proves his talent and potential.

Their strength is their unity and ability to play as a team and that is what matters. They proved to be better than Bombers in the last game and we are looking forward to watching their next game.

 

Styrian DownUnderdogs

Apart from some experienced players such as, Michi Jud and Lukas Holzegger, they’re predominantly rookies that are keen to introduce themselves into this league. They will continue to develop with the increased exposure and will hopefully stick together despite a few tough games ahead.

They haven’t won a game in Croatia for a long time and they are hoping to change this.

 

Looking Forward

The next CEAFL Cup is on the 9th of July in Graz followed by another tournament in Prague on the 10th of September.

A special thanks to Josip Kravar for provding AFL Europe with such a thorough breakdown of the first CEAFL tournament. We look forward to hearing all things footy in the future.