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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 ben.durance@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet.

William Leysen is this week’s ‘Player of the Week’. William plays for the reigning Premiers of the CNFA, the Paris Cockatoos. He has been playing Aussie Rules for 2 years and rates his best AFL moment as the return of Ben Cousins.

Name:

William Leysen

Club:

Paris Cockatoos

Nationality:

French

What position do you play?

Midfielder

AFL team you support:

Fremantle

Favourite AFL player:

Nathan Fyfe

How did you find out about AFL?

I watched it on TV

How long have you been playing for?

2 years

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

Laying my first big tackle

Best AFL moment?

The comeback of Ben Cousins – inspirational!

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

Much like Ben Cousins my favourite time is the fifth quarter. This is the time after a game and what we often refer to in France as the fifth quarter.

 

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.

eksjo

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.

cocks

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.

cocks-2

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

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 ben.durance@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet.

This week were are profiling the Paris Cockerels gun centre half-back, Huw Ryan. The Aussie-turned-Frenchman has been plying his trade in France for the past few years. Check out his profile below.

Name:

Huw Ryan

Club:

Paris Cockerels

Nationality:

French/Australian

What position do you play?

Full-Back

AFL team you support:

Essendon Bombers

Favourite AFL player:

Nic Naitanui

How did you find out about AFL?

I played football as a child and picked it back up again in Paris vis the annual ANZAC Match in Villers-Bretonneux

How long have you been playing for?

I’ve been playing for two years in France

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

Being put in the ruck against a man-child, and the frost being crispy under foot

Best AFL moment?

Winning the French Premiership in the 2014-2015 season

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

I stopped playing Aussie rules for 12-13 years then picked it back up when I arrived in France, first at the ANZAC match then with the Cockerels.

 

Tuesday Around the Grounds

Around the Grounds

Swedish Elks and Irish Warriors release their AFL Europe Champs Squads

The Swedish Elks and Irish Warriors have released strong squads for the upcoming AFL Europe Championships taking place in London during the third week of August. Congratulations to everyone selected. We look forward to seeing these boys in action.

Team lists as follows:

Irish Warriors

Defenders

Muiris Bartley (UCC & Leeside Lions)

Sean Paul Henry (Belfast Redbacks)

Luke Hickey (UCC & Leeside Lions)

Brendan Kelly (Belfast Redbacks)

Stiofán Mac Finn (Wimbledon Hawks)

Tom McKenna (Belfast Redbacks)

Paul Murphy (UCC & Leeside Lions)

Conor O’ Halloran (Leeside Lions)

Eoin Ó Súilleabháin (Leeside Lions)

Tom Stack (Manchester Mosquitoes)

Gerard Walls (Belfast Redbacks)

 

Midfielders

Liam Burns (South Dublin Swans)

Conor Fitzgerald (Wandsworth Demons)

David McElhone (Belfast Redbacks)

Sean McGlinchey (Belfast Redbacks)

Stuart McKeating (Belfast Redbacks)

David Miller (Belfast Redbacks)

Gavin Murray (South Dublin Swans)

Kevin Young Kev O’ Brien (Wandsworth Demons)

Eoin Ó Murchú (Wandsworth Demons)

 

Forwards

Conor Fitzgerald (North London Lions)

Dominic Joyce (Leeside Lions)

Ryan McCloskey (Belfast Redbacks)

Kevin McDonnell (Galway Magpies)

David McGinty (Galway Magpies)

Kevin McSorley (Belfast Redbacks)

Kevin Old Kev O’ Brien (Wandsworth Demons)

Padraic O’ Connell (Leeside Lions)

Cóilín Ó Lordáin (Leeside Lions)

 

Standby/Emergencies

Rory O’ Donnell (UCC & Leeside Lions)

Alan Tobin (Wandsworth Demons)

 

 

Swedish Elks

Andreas Svensson – Helsingborg

Anton Tellström – Helsingborg

Jacob Lantz – Helsingborg

Hampus Olsson – Helsingborg

Jacob Nilsson – Helsingborg

Philip Nilsson – Helsingborg

Robin Nilsson – Helsingborg

Niklas Jonsson – Norrtälje

Martynas Alijosius – Norrtälje

Erik Lindqvist – Norrtälje

Gustav Svensson – Norrtälje

Buster Sund – Norrtälje

Tim Lindgren – Port Malmö

Tobias Gogu – Port Malmö

Tony Persson – Port Malmö

Jonas Lovén – Port Malmö

Christopher Mårtensson – Port Malmö

Jonas Birgén – Årsta

Mattis Kvarnström – Årsta

Oscar Magnusson – Solna

Pekka Tångström – Göteborg

Kaj Karlsson – Södermalm

 

AFL announces 8-team women’s competition for Season 2017

Last week the AFL announced a new 8-team national women’s competition for 2017. With the growth of the women’s game over the past few years this will further develop the amazing participation and exposure for women’s football.

We’re hopeful one of our talented AFL Europe women’s players will be running around on the MCG in the near future.

http://www.afl.com.au/news/2016-06-15/eight-teams-named-for-inaugural-womens-league

 

CNFA Grand Final takes centre stage

Forget about the Euros a brand new CNFA premier will be crowned this weekend in Bordeaux when the Paris Cockatoos and Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes go head-to-head. Both teams head through to the big dance with wins two weeks ago. The Coyotes downed the Toulouse Hawks and the Cockatoos took down reigning premiers and big brother, the Paris Cockerels.

This one is set to be an absolute thriller. Keep an eye out for the match preview this Friday as AFL Europe’s ‘Match of the Round’.

 

Get your nominations in!

Nominations for the AFL Europe Championships in August and the Euro Cup in October are still open. We’d love to have as many teams as possible join in the fun at two of the biggest AFL Europe events of the year.

For further information regarding either tournament please email admin@afleurope.org

 

Another female umpire joins the ranks

Massive congratulations to Odense Lioness, Maria Falkesgarrd Jorgensen, for becoming the first Danish female field umpire during a game between the Odense Lions and Farum Cats in late May.

This is a huge achievement and a testament to Maria, the Odense Lions and the Danish Australian Football League. Keep up the good work.

Maria

Mixed results for Titans in AFL England South

The Southampton Titans had mixed results over the weekend in what was a hard fought day of footy in Brighton.

In their first game they got the W against the Surrey Stags 16.5. 101 to 1.6. 12. The tables turned when they came up against the Sussex Swans who downed the Titans 14.15. 99 to 4.5. 29.

Best on Ground for the day for the Titans was Martyn Hinchey.

Keep up the good work down in AFL England South.

Southampton Titans

Surrey Stags

Sussex Swans

Updates on French Footy and French Cup now announced

By Alban Schieber

The 2013/2014 season is now officially over in France. Here is a quick overview of the season:

It all started back in September when the Bordeaux Bombers organised with AFL Europe and the CNFA the 2013 Axios Euro Cup. During this tournament the French Coqs made history by reaching the Grand Final and beating Ireland for the first time (34-33). Unfortunately the players were a little short during the final against England Dragonslayers with the end result being 92-15.

The Axios Euro Cup was also a big event for French Women’s footy with the first ever French national team competing for the European Crown against girls coming from all over Europe in the Crusaders team.

Once AFL Europe and all the other teams had left Bordeaux and its wineries, the CNFA went back to work and the clubs as well. When the championship started, the Aix Marseille Dockers were unable to join anymore and were replaced by the ALFA Lions (Lyon).

Here is a summary of the whole championship won by the Toulouse Hawks (see story about the CNFA Grand Final here).

Resultats_CNFA

(Click on picture to enlarge)

In February the Hawks organised another competition, the annual South Cup. Running on the same format as most European Cups, all the teams competed in a seeding round in the morning before playing the finals in the afternoon. This year 6 teams competed including the Toulouse Hawks 1 & 2, Bordeaux Bombers, Montpellier Firesharks, ALFA Lions and the returning Perpignan Tigers. The Bordeaux Bombers won the 2014 South Cup defeating the Montpellier Firesharks in the Grand Final.

In April, France also had the chance to host the annual Topdeck ANZAC Cup held in Villers-Bretonneux where AFL Europe were involved. This year the Aussies came back with the strongest team so far and defeated the French Coqs. We can for sure say that all the boys who played had an unforgettable experience.

Unfortunately, this season didn’t see any French Cup as the CNFA decided that the French Cup will be played in september. “We want the French Cup to become the big start of all our coming seasons. It will be a good opportunity to meet the new clubs and new players and give everyone a chance to show that they can compete in the Championship. This will also allow the national coach to see all the players before every Axios Euro Cup and help him to make his final decision on the team!” said Thomas Urban, CNFA President.

CNFA is also proud to announce that the 2014 French Cup will be held in Bordeaux on September 21st.

1. The possible inclusion of  the Nancy Bobcats and the Pau Bears (new clubs in the process of formation)

2. The Perpignan Tigers will return before joining the 2014/2015 season

3. The ALFA Lions, Paris Cockerels, Strasbourg Kangaroos, Montpellier Firesharks, Toulouse Hawks, Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes and Bordeaux Bombers will once again be there to ensure one of the biggest French Cups.

French clubs

Last but not least, CNFA worked with a communication agency called Bleue Com Une Orange which was in charge of developing our sponsors programs and our social media. This also helped us to reorganise new processes and give a better picture of our sport in France.

Now we are focusing on the IC14 where we hope to offer a good image of our footy and show the world our improvement.

#coqsweek #IC14 #gofooty

Toulouse Hawks undefeated French Champions!

By Alban Schieber

The 2014 French Championship ended on June 14th with a wonderful Grand Final held in Toulouse at the Australian Summer Party organised by the Toulouse Hawks.

Before even knowing if they would play in the Grand Final, it was already determined that the Hawks would be the hosts. After a few weeks of brainstorming, they decided to play another card to attract people to the event.

The Australian Summer Party, DJ, BBQ, drinks, games, goodies and of course footy were on the program. “The idea was to have more than traditional fans for the game! And also more ladies!” said Emilien Martinez (Toulouse Hawks President).

After turning on the music and the beer tap, the afternoon started with a women’s footy game where the ladies of France came to play together in two sides called the Toulouse Hawks and the Toulouse Cockerelles (most of the girls coming from Toulouse and Paris). A great achievement to hold the first official 7-a-side French women’s game.

Most of the early crowd was really surprised to see the level of this game as the girls were putting so much intensity and passion in the game. “Handpasses, kicks, shepherds, goals, high marks, their skills set improved a lot since the Axios Euro Cup held in Bordeaux” said Pascal Ivorra the French Women’s Coach.

This was a great first step for women’s footy development. This game also helped him to see all the ladies before the 2014 Axios Euro Cup which will take place in London in October.

During the ladies curtain raiser game, the temperature kept on rising in the grandstand when the two men’s teams entered the change rooms to begin their pre game preparations.

The Hawks were the first ones to come out in front of a 500-600 people crowd followed by the Paris Cockerels for a remake of last year’s title.

Pat Douglas from Andorra came to umpire the game and was delighted to be part of the event.

The Cockerels were the first ones to put their hands on the ball scoring three behinds in a row within the two first minutes. Unfortunately, they were unable to score goals to make a small break. After a good play of handpasses, the Toulouse Hawks scored the first goal of the game after 5 minutes! Quickly followed by a second and third one. At quarter time the Hawks held the lead at 38 to 12.

In the second quarter  the Paris Cockerels seemed to have found their sight for the footy but not the precision. The Hawks on the other hand remained accurate and kept increasing their margin. At half time Toulouse lead 62-23.

The third quarter demonstrated the ability of Toulouse to play as a team while Paris got caught out kicking long bombs and hoping for individuals performance. 101-36.

In the last quarter Toulouse managed to capitalise on the situation and control the game. However the Cockerels began a late surge scoring consecutive goals but it was too late. The Hawks came away as champions on the day with the final score of 104-62.


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French Ladies

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Paris Cockerels vs Toulouse Hawks

Paris Cockerels won Bordeaux Bombers in the French competition

In France, the national competition is ongoing. On Saturday 23rd, two of the best historical teams in France were facing each other in Saint Médard en Jalles (venue were was hosted the last Axios Euro Cup).

The ground wasn’t as nice as the Euro Cup ones as the Rugby and rain seasons restarted but it was a nice day to play footy.

The game was really nice to watch and both teams were evenly match. Each team had a lot of opportunities to win the game and the experience of the Paris Cockerels helped them to secure the win a couple of minutes before the final whistle. The final kick of the Bombers was touched by one of the Cockerels giving the Bombers a behind and a 5 points win to the visiting side.

Final Score: Bordeaux Bombers 12.10.82 – 13.9.87 Paris Cockerels

 

Will Maley, coach of the Bordeaux Bombers and Angus Makintosh, follower of the Paris Cockerels (one of the best on the ground that day) shared their feelings about the game :

 

Will Maley :

1/ How was the game?

The game was played in great spirit and intensity from both sides. Obviously for us it was disappointing to come away without the win, but to Paris’ credit they held their composure and were particularly strong defensively.

2/ What were for you the main moments of the game? Why did Bordeaux lose the game?

We had a great start to all the quarters which is a credit to the team. It shows they were switched on from the first minute which as a coach is fantastic to see as you know they are there to play. As the quarters played out we tended to have a few minutes where our intensity dropped or we couldn’t find a way to goal. When you are playing against a side like Paris that has a lot more experience in the sport this comes back to hurt you. I thought when we switched Clement (ruck) to defense and brought Alex in to ruck we started to control the game as we were able to dry up their forward movement, sadly Alex got injured which impacted us. Paris had a great match from their full back who marked anything that came in to the forward zone meaning that we had to attempt goals from too far out or scrap for opportunist goals from the ground. A few indiscipline acts and situations where our new players were uncertain on rules impacted us in terms of giving away free kicks which gives us more to work on. Against the best teams, these have dramatic impacts on the scoreboard. Overall, we gave ourselves every opportunity and it wasn’t through a lack of effort or desire that we weren’t able to win.

3/ What is your favorite memory of this game ?

I would have to say the tackle that Pascal put on in front of the Paris bench was fantastic! Beyond that, I thought when our play clicked we played some incredible footy and now our challenge is to do it more often.

4/ What does this loss mean for the Bombers ?

From an overall perspective it shows us where we are at. For me and the team we are getting more of an understanding on what we need to do to improve. For a team of French playing against a team with many Australians you learn a lot tactically and technically. To win the league, we now have a match against Toulouse which is a must win for us to stay in the hunt and we will work hard over the next 3 weeks to give ourselves every chance.

5/ What are your personal/team objectives for this new season ?

For me it is my first season coaching so there is many challenges in this. When you growing up watching the game from a young age you have different ideas and perceptions, so for me it is about understanding where the guys are at and how we can build their skills and understanding of a sport that has many subtleties. I also want to help the club build awareness in the community so that we get good crowds at home games, build our player numbers and hopefully one day a second Bordeaux side. For the viability of the competition, I am a big believer that 2 clubs in the bigger centres such as Bordeaux, Toulouse, Paris, etc would greatly strengthen the competition. For the team, we are probably in a year of transition, we have had a number of long term players move on for travel & family reasons and we have some great guys who have joined the team and offer an incredible future for the club. We don’t want to have a dip in our performance and competitiveness so expect to see the Bombers there fighting for the league and the various cups on offer.

 

Angus Makintosh :

1/ How was the game?

The game was one of the most competitive I’ve played in. It was a real pleasure to have a physical match that was played in good spirits where both teams were very evenly matched too.

2/ What were for you the main moments of the game? What helped the Paris Cockerels to win the game?

I think some of the last ditch defending at the end from the likes of Mathieu and Gaz was probably what helped us. Nico managed to get a miraculous touch on a shot that would’ve been the goal that won Bordeaux the game so that had to be the key moment.

3/ What is your favorite memory of this game ?

Kicking a run-around banana goal with the left foot at the end felt pretty good! That or the final whistle.

4/ What does this win mean for the Cockerels ?

I’ve only been with the Cockerels for a couple of months but you could tell it meant a huge amount. It was such a tough match against good opposition that we were delighted to win.

5/ What do you do to involve new local players ?

We’ve held ‘bring a friend’ training sessions where every member of the team has to bring someone. We’re also holding a training session for a Parisian school next week to try to involve more youngsters.

6/ What are your personnal objectives for this new season ?

I’m not here for very long! But probably to try and help the Cocks as much in the league until I leave. And maybe come back if they reach the final!