The Manchester Mosquitoes were set to host the annual Nathan Blakely Memorial Cup on Sunday 15th November 2015. Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas! Storm Barney brought too much rain for the pitches to handle, most teams were advised to save their energy for the 2016 tournament and to not make the trip to Manchester.
Teams already in the area were hosts, theManchester Mosquitos, locals Huddersfield Rams and making the trek up two nights earlier, the Wandsworth Demons decided to tried their luck on the morning of the tournament and found the pitches were in a condition that would be able to handle a couple of games. With only a quarter of the amount of teams originally anticipated, these three clubs faced off in a round robin resulting in the Manchester Mosquitoes and Wandsworth Demons to head back to the knee deep mud and nut it out in the Final for the Movember Cup.
Hosted by the Manchester Mosquitoes since 2011, the Nathan Blakey Memorial Cup has been played in memory of ex-Mosquito Nathan Blakey, who tragically passed away during a complex surgery a week before the first event. He was 28. Holding this dear to their hearts the Mozzies gave it a good crack, unfortunately for them “AFL London’s most successful club of 2015” managed to show the host team what they were made of and came away victorious.
The post-event festivities did see the Mozzies take a clean sweep of the raffle, bagging a few AFL Europe’s donated prizes; ranging from a Sherrin to a full 2015 signed Gold Coast Guernsey, as well as some locally supplied Tim Tams, Rugby memorabilia and sneaky bottles of booze. Deservingly, player of the day went to Adam Jeffrey from the Wandsworth Demons, but with too many to pick from Mo’ of the day remained undecided with uncanny lookalikes ranging from Chopper Read to Mario, the decision couldn’t be made!
AFL Europe is excited to support an even bigger and better even next year (weather permitting!).
afleuropehttp://afleurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/afl-logo.pngafleurope2015-11-25 16:51:512015-11-25 16:51:51Movember Cup 2015
On the 15th of November the Manchester Mosquitoes host a charity Aussie Rules tournament at Trafford MV Rugby Club. The Nathan Blakey Movember Cup is held annually in support of the Movember Foundation raising funds for men’s illnesses, in particular prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health issues. The first tournament was held in 2011 and has been growing year on year raising around £10,000 for charity so far.
The week before the first event, Nathan Blakey, a member of the Manchester Mosquitoes ARFC, passed away during complex surgery at the age of 28. Nathan had been part of the Mozzies since the clubs first season and was part of their 2010 premiership team. He was known for his down to earth, friendly nature and his love of the footy. He played, umpired, helped coach and loved a beer. He was a paramedic so would often be sorting himself out after matches whenever he took a hit. He is greatly missed. With his passing the week before the first Movember Cup it was decided to play the tournament in honour of Nathan. It seemed a fitting gesture to remember him in this way considering his love of football and his commitment to developing the game.
The Nathan Blakey Movember Cup is about to be held for the 5th year and we are looking forward to raising funds in support of men’s health and raising a glass in honour of our mate.
Nathan. 14/02/1983 – 19/11/2011
Always well attended by AFLCNE Clubs, we hope as many players, spectators and supporters can come along and be involved to raise money to make it as big a success as possible. If you can’t make it but still want to contribute you can donate at the following link:
In the build-up to this years Movember cup here at the Central and Northern England Australian Football League we’ll be taking a look at some of the Men’s health issues you’ll be raising money for and how our clubs are helping to raise awareness.
ANZAC day holds a special place in the heart of every Australian – that we already know. What the 2014 Topdeck ANZAC Cup taught all of the players lucky enough to pull on the Australian Spirit jumper against the French national team – spending several days in majestical Villers-Bretonneux in the process – is that its locals hold it just as dear.
The locals had hosted the Australian players, family and friends in their homes for three nights to further strengthen the ties between the two countries. Reflecting on the experience, many of the players considered it one of the most memorable experiences of their young lives. Tom Rischbieth, a player who has experienced AFL at the highest level, described it as “truly one of the best experiences of my life“. Matt Hook, the elder statesman of the team and a veteran of two ANZAC Cup showdowns, made his feelings on the experience clear: “I feel incredibly privileged to have taken part in such a special few days,” he said.
Images: Jacob McFadden & David Higgs
The local ABA (the association responsible for the on-ground organisation) again put in a tremendous amount of work, and its volunteers were recognised by both national teams via a town parade that took all involved in the occasion past the local school and through many of the streets to thank the town for the event. Now in its sixth year, the event is reliant on this group and the local council to ensure its longevity for generations to come.
The game got underway following the anthems of both teams and a minute’s silence. To say that the Australians were excited and focused is an understatement; it was easy to see in the players’ eyes that they were ready to represent Australia with all they had. The French had come with a slightly weakened team due to a couple of injuries and travel commitments, but once each player pulled on the national jumper they were more than ready.
The first quarter set the tone for the whole match and, with the ball coming into Australia’s forward line so efficiently, bustling Jack Lawson banged through goal after goal, kicking seven in the opening term alone. He proved just as difficult to stop in the second quarter, adding another four majors before a shuffle to defence cooled him off. France lost captain and onballer Alban Schieber with a knee injury in the first two minutes of play, not helping their cause. With a solid Australian backline and Sam Higgs (one of the three Higgs brothers) and Rischbieth everywhere in the middle, the French found it very difficult to get the ball forward with any consistency.
A head clash between Australians Hook and Ben Rogers in the third quarter highlighted the physicality of the match and left blood dripping from both. As it turns out, Hook’s companion and secret weapon was also a plastic surgeon, and both were stitched up post-game. France slammed on two goals in their best period of the match and started to grow in confidence with some great passages of play. Their ruckman Thomas Depondt battled hard all day long.
The last quarter saw Australia pile on more goals courtesy of some slick ball movement. Rangy ruckman-turned-forward Phil Clegget started to hold his marks and did not look like missing from any distance, while the Higgs brothers shared the ball between them.
While the Australians proved too strong on the day, the match was played in high spirits, with the crowd getting a great exhibition of high-class football skills.
“The national team will learn a lot from today and can take those lessons into the remainder of our preparations for IC14 in Australia this August,” France coach,Thomas Urban said.
Of his side Ben MacCormack, CEO of AFL Europe said: “The team is picked on their individual connection to the area and the ANZAC spirit. The level can be varied throughout the team. However, this year, it was an exceptional group.
“More pleasing was the respect, understanding and enthusiasm the whole group showed towards the event, commemoration and the people of Villers Bretonneux.”
“This is a very special event on the AFL Europe calendar and should be an event that every Australian attends at some stage in their life,” MacCormack concluded.
Whilst it is the spirit of the event that is most important the Australian’s where thrilled to even the series at 3-3 with this years victory.
Australia 10.5 (65) 22.7 (139) 30.11 (191) 39.14 (248)
France 0.0 (0) 0.2 (2) 2.3 (15) 2.7 (19)
Australia: Lawson 11, S. Higgs 7, Clegget 5, MacCormack 3, Price 3, P. Higgs 3, McGrath 2, Rischbieth 2, D. Higgs, Hook, Howard
France: Debet, Cassavetti
Australian Embassy – France, Best on ground:
Australia: Sam Higgs
France: Thomas Depondt
See you next year in VB for the 7th edition
Coding creedhttp://afleurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/afl-logo.pngCoding creed2014-04-29 16:58:582014-04-29 16:58:58Australia Spirit take home the Topdeck ANZAC Cup
AFL Europe now turns its attention to the 6th edition of the Topdeck ANZAC Cup to be held at the historic location of Villers Bretonneux in France on the 26th of April. In World War 1 this location was the site of the worlds first battle between tank forces and cost the Australian army 1200 lives. To pay tribute to the role the ANZACs played the Australian team will play the French team in what promises to be a memorable match for both players and spectators. Those chosen to represent Australia were not chosen solely on their football ability but also their personal connection and interest in the history that surrounds the ANZACs.
The weekend will commence on Friday with the Dawn Service to be held from 3am- 6am at the Australian War Memorial of Villers Bretonneux. On Saturday the teams will attend the commemoration at the Australian War Memorial followed by the team march which will leave from Place Robinvalle.
The game will kick off at 3:30pm at Stade Timmerman in Villers Bretonneux on Saturday the 26th.
Coding creedhttp://afleurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/afl-logo.pngCoding creed2014-04-17 15:32:262014-04-17 15:32:262014 Topdeck ANZAC Cup Fast Approaching
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