The weekend saw AFL Europe and DAFA play host to the Inaugural Champions League tournament which brought ten teams to Amsterdam to face off for the title. Teams qualified for the event after finishing as premiers in their local leagues allowing for 17 of the top teams in Europe to receive an invite and 10 to make their way to the Netherlands.
The round robin style tournament, with the ten teams split into two groups, kicked off at 9am with some players really feeling the cold donning thermal gear under their kits. The red group was tightly contested with many games able to go either way. The exception was the West London Wildcats, who went through the group stage undefeated. It came down to the percentage, the Amsterdam Devils scraped through to the finals over the Edinburgh Bloods and Solna Axemen after they ended on the same amount of wins with a straight kick deciding who went through. The black group had the Rheinland Lions storm through to finals undefeated, with Belfast Red Backs only nursing their Lions loss to play the Wildcats.
The semi-finals kicked off with the West London Wildcats barely holding off a valiant Belfast Red Backs by 2 points with a late goal to make it into the all important final, whilst the Manchester Mosquitoes managed to avoid the wooden spoon by defeating the Zagreb Hawks. Shortly after, the Rheinland Lions and Amsterdam Devils kept the crowd on their feet by drawing at the final siren. In a nail biter, the game went into overtime (first score wins) and saw the Lions steal a quick goal to seal their place in the finals. Malmo Redeyes had a comfortable win over the Solna Axemen to take out 7th place in the all Sweden contest whilst the Toulouse Hawks finished in 5th overall ahead of the Edinburgh Bloods who had tired from the long day at that point.
The Belfast Red Backs overpowered the Amsterdam Devils, on their home turf, to take 3rd place by a healthy 10 goal margin before the inaugural final took place. After both the West London Wildcats and Rheinland Lions dominated their collective groups, they faced off for the title of the AFL Europe Champions League. With the crowd at its highest capacity all day, rugged up, with Coopers in hand, the West London Wildcats took out the crown finishing 8.6.54 to the Lions 1.1.7.
|1st||West London Wildcats|
|3rd||Belfast Red Backs|
Post tournament festivities ran far into the night only pausing to allow AFL Europe CEO, Ben MacCormack, to announce the team of the tournament. The best player from each team, as voted by their own teams, was also revealed and presented with an AFL Europe Champions League guernsey making them part of the 10 man Champions League squad.
A big congratulations to the West London Wildcats for taking home the cup and well done to those players who made the team of the tournament:
|Nicholas Moran||Amsterdam Devils|
|Gerard Walls||Belfast Red Backs|
|Ewen Pickles||Edinburgh Bloods|
|Daniel Scotford||Malmo Redeyes|
|Jake Norris||Manchester Mosquitoes|
|Kristopher Marsh||Rheinland Lions|
|Adam Cubbage||Solna Axemen|
|Emilien Martinez||Toulouse Hawks|
|Todd Pfeiffer||West London Wildcats|
|Josip Habljak||Zagreb Hawks|
The Solna Axemen, Edinburgh Bloods, Toulouse Hawks and Rhienland Lions will land in Amsterdam this coming Saturday to join us, and co-hosts Amsterdam Devils, for the Inaugural AFL Europe Champions League. With the tournament looming and the need to take home the cup becoming stronger, AFL Europe headquarters caught up for a chat with five of the ten teams hitting the turf this Saturday.
Alan “Sparro” McSparron and the Bloods are making their way from Edinburgh to Amsterdam to test the standards of football around Europe. With great excitement and a constantly growing Scottish League, the Bloods are looking forward to measuring themselves against these top European Teams.
Along with the Bloods come the Rhienland Lions heading west from Germany to show Europe why they won AFLG Championship. Being named after the region of Rhienland due to rivalry between the cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf, the team boasts players from both these cities. With friendly game experience against teams from the UK, Netherlands, France and Denmark the Lions are raring to show they’re a force to reckon with.
It was an easy decision for the Solna Axemen to head to Amsterdam for the first ever AFL Europe Champions League. The excitement has been building since receiving the invitation. The Stockholm Australian Rules Football Federation (SAFF) began in 2007 and the Solna Axemen have cemented their invite after winning 6 from 8 premierships, including back to back in 2013 and 2014. Not only are the Axemen excited to play against new teams and test their skills, they’re ready to meet other players from around Europe and a few, hopefully celebratory, beers after the Tournament.
Being founded in 2008 by only 5 French players, the Toulouse Hawks quickly moved up the French Championship ladder and managed to snag a few key players from the French National Team. Winning the French Championship and being undefeated in the both the 2013 and 2014 seasons, the Toulouse Hawks are definitely one of the teams to watch in the Champions League. They are excited to participate in the Inaugural Champions League and looking forward to some international exposure all the while hoping to take home the cup!
The host of the first inaugural Champions League, the Amsterdam Devils were founded in 2010 and proudly took out the Dutch league in their first year and every year since! With a combination of Dutch and Australian at the heart and soul of the Devils, and strong British and South African legs the home team is ready to put up a good fight to keep the Cup on home soil. New star recruit, Nick Moran and the team and ready to compete with the best teams from Europe.
Follow the Tournament at @AFL_Europe, #AFL_Europe and #ChampionsLeague
It’s with great pleasure that we announce the details for the inaugural AFL Europe Champions League – 2015 – Amsterdam. Following a number of years with the majority of our major events being held in the UK and Ireland we are pleased the Amsterdam Devils have taken on the challenge to co-host the Champions League with AFL Europe. It’s a great chance for them to further develop the sport in a market with huge potential.
Date: 21st – 22nd March, 2015
Location: Amsterdam (venue TBC)
Accommodation: We will shortly announce our accommodation partner with special rates for teams
Transport: Make sure you book your flights/trains ASAP in order to keep costs low
Format: Club not country. Winning Club of each major league in our member nations invited (defer to runner-up if premier decline’s invite). If member country only has one club they automatically qualify if not part of another major league e.g. Madrid Bulls. Euro Cup format and rules. 9-a-side. One day competition with group stage and finals (team numbers dependant). Winner to be crowned Club Champions of Europe.
Player Eligibility: As this is a club based competition and there are a variety of different rules regarding Australian playing numbers across Europe we have decided on the following. Maximum of 4 Australian’s on the field at any one time. Players must have played at your club in the premiership year or be signed up to play in 2015. Maximum squad of 16 players (cannot be added to/swapped once the days play has begun).
Registration: Clubs need to confirm their attendance with email@example.com before January 9th, 2015. A registration fee will be charged per participant to help cover costs of the competition. This fee will be announced once all costs are confirmed and we have a clearer indication of the number of teams attending.
West London Wildcats
Llops Del Pla
Port Malmo Maulers
We are happy to also accommodate women’s teams if there is interest, e.g. Paris, Dublin, Toulouse, Newcastle, Wimbledon.
If you have any queries please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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