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CAFL Pre-Season Launched

The Caledonian Australian Football League (CAFL) has been running for a few years now in Scotland and this month they have launched their website and media outlets.

The three team league based in the west of Scotland has grown from humble beginnings from six players in each team with male players from the Glasgow Sharks and flourished into teams with 10 plus players male and female.

The CAFL accommodates females with their own women’s only league with two teams the Copper Sharks and the Diesel Sharks.

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The CAFL teams, the Card Sharks, the Mako Sharks and the Tiger Sharks, made up of both male and female players, obtain their players through the CAFL draft, where new players to the league are entered and systematically chosen by each team. Each team having won a premiership in 3 years shows the draft seems to help the league to develop fair teams.

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The CAFL has a high percentage of locals playing the sport of Australian Rules Football in the League and this has been increasing year on year with figures showing that 83% of CAFL 2013 participants were Scottish.

The CAFL keeps its number of playing Australians to a minimum, preferring to have our Australians Coach and develop local players skills and understanding of the sport as opposed to playing it.

With its media outlets the CAFL hope to increase in numbers even more and continue its growth.

The website www.CAFL.org.uk will be updated continually with new content to keep visitors coming back, filled with team information, match reports and videos of games.

The CAFL use Facebook and Twitter to get more exposure and give its members up to date news and reminders of games and new content on the website.

Via Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/CaledonianAustralianFootballLeague they hope to keep Followers up to date with news.

Via Twitter, https://twitter.com/CAFL__ they hope to keep followers up to date with game day scores and info.

Using Youtube to platform their games fans can watch their games all around the world. One such game from their recent CAFL Cup, a preseason tournament for the teams can be watched here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwPw03QgXKA

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Hopefully all these developments will help grow the numbers enough to ensure all future European and International competitions have a Scottish presence.

Edinburgh Bloods winners of the SARFL Grand Final

In the tenth anniversary year of the Scottish Australian Rules Football League (SARFL) the Grand Final saw reigning champions Edinburgh Bloods take on minor premiers Glasgow Sharks on the afternoon of 31st August. Each side had won on the other’s home ground during the regular season so this game at Linlithgow Rugby Club promised to provide a fitting climax.

Edinburgh began the game in impressive style, their experienced midfield dominating the first quarter as they quickly moved into a strong lead, kicking eight goals to lead 53-1 at the opening break. Glasgow came out much more strongly after the break, tightening up in the back line and midfield to take the second quarter by four goals to three and promise that a comeback could be on its way. Half time score: Edinburgh 11.7.73 Glasgow 4.3.27.

Glasgow’s momentum continued with two further goals in the third quarter but Edinburgh continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over in what had become an absorbing contest for the vocal crowd – hundreds enjoying the unusual Scottish summer sunshine.  Edinburgh maintained their leading margin as both teams continued to play quality football into the final quarter, kicking five goals to three in that term to secure the match.

Final score: Edinburgh 17.19.123 Glasgow 9.6.60

Goals:

Edinburgh: Thomas (3), Beaton (2), Coller (2), Hildebrandt (2), Goodall, McGarry, McGookin, McNicholas, McSparron, Stevens, Townsend, Vahey.

Glasgow: Jack (3), Thompson (3), Douglas (2), Ross Thomson.

This highly entertaining encounter delivered a fitting end to the SARFL season.  Scottish footy is by no means over for the year though.  The Clansmen host England and Wales in the Tri Nations on the 7th September and the Caledonian Australian Football League (CAFL) finals take place next month, with the Grand Final in Glasgow on 19th October.

Pictures of the game available at http://duncolm.smugmug.com/AustralianRulesFootball/SARFL-2013

Easter Series comes to exciting conclusion in Copenhagen

In the 2nd leg of the 2013 Easter Series there were some very unique challenges that a very long European winter decided to throw at us. With 48 hours until game-time there was the real prospect of the game being called off due the a recent 25cm snow fall and the frozen soil that was taking it’s time to thaw.

After the council ticked off the ground as safe for use only two days before the game, and AFL representatives Kevin Sheehan and Tony Woods checked the surface on Tuesday and announced the game would go ahead as planned in icy cold conditions on the outskirts of Copenhagen.

The Academy and European players were split into two teams coached by Sydney Swans premiership teammates Michael O’Loughlin and Tadhg Kennelly. Kennelly’s side held O’Loughlin’s goalless for the first half, before running out 22-point winners.

Of the Australians, Matt Crouch followed his strong performance against the European Legion last Saturday in Surrey with another excellent showing, along with South Australian Luke Dunstan and energetic midfielder Lewis Taylor.

Leading forward Darcy Hourigan chipped in with three goals and made things happen in his forward half and Kade Kolodjashnij was clever and calm with the ball tucked under his arm.

Midfielders Dom Sheed and Lloyd Perris tried hard for Kennelly’s side, while the versatility of Northern Territory’s Errin Wasley-Black were also there to see off half-back and the wing.

Excitingly the Europeans didn’t look out of place playing amongst these future stars with some of the best passages of play being through the hands of the local boys. Mikkel Kjoege (Den) showed his continued improvement regularly putting his head over the ball and emerging to handball out to a teammate.

Martyn Hinchey (Eng) was great with his tap work while opposition ruckman and mobile utility Niccolo Di Giorgi (Ita) thrilled the big crowd and club recruiters with some soaring leaps and an on9 the run, left foot banana from 45m out directly in front. Other Europeans with impressive games were Kilheeny (Eng) and the Lauritzen (Den) brothers.

Niccolo Di Giorgi and Martyn Hinchey were respectively named the best players for the European contingent.

Tadhg Kennelly’s side 2.6 5.7 8.10 9.12  (66)
Michael O’Loughlin’s side 0.0 0.2 2.4 6.8 (44)

Goals
Kennelly: 
Hourigan 3, Campion 2 (Denmark), Tsitas 2, Cutler, Kolodjashnij
O’Loughlin: Boyd, J. Secher (Denmark), Sheed, Spina, Di Giorgi (Italy), Smith (Scotland)

Best
Kennelly:
 Crouch, Taylor, Hourigan, Dunstan, Kolodjashnij, Bontempelli, Robertson, Hinchey
O’Loughlin: Sheed, Perris, Dumont, Wasley-Black, Di Giorgi

Talent Transfer – 5 Who Made It

With the upcoming Easter Series set to showcase the talents of not just the elite talent of our own leagues, but also eight prominent Gaelic Footballers, we look at five athletes who successfully made the transition to the AFL with European Connections.

Jim Stynes. Gaelic Football. Dublin, Ireland. No player overcame more obstacles to succeed in VFL/AFL football than the late Jim Stynes. The Dubliner, was among the first to accept an invitation to try out with the Melbourne Football club in 1983 and was to endure serial heartbreak on his route to Australian Football’s highest individual honour. He was dropped back to play with Prahran for a while in the VFA, suffered the indignity of costing the Demons a Grand Final place in 1989 when he ran across the mark of Gary Buckenara and was almost dropped at the start of his dominant Brownlow winning season in 1991. He would go on to demolish the record for consecutive games in the AFL, sometimes playing through extremely painful injuries and in his post football career would establish a groundbreaking youth outreach programme and become President of the Melbourne FC. He died tragically young last year after a four-year battle with cancer. His brother Brian also played for Melbourne, and their youngest brother David was a member of Ireland’s International Cup winning teams in 2002 and 2011.

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Tadhg Kennelly. Gaelic Football. Kerry, Ireland. Now a very familiar figure in Europe in his role as an International talent manager with the AFL, but also in his coaching capacity with the European Legion and European Titans. Tadhg Kennelly joined the Sydney Swans and went on to play more than 200 games for the club in two spells divided by a return to Gaelic Football with his native Kerry. In winning an All Ireland with Kerry on his return, Tadhg joined his brother and legendary father in winning a celtic cross medal in the green and gold. More spectacularly he was also an essential member of the Sydney Swans Premiership winning team in 2005.

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Mike Pyke. Rugby Union. British Columbia, Canada.  Okay we’re not trying to pinch glory from our Canadian brethren. Mike Pyke’s introduction to professional sport was in Europe. He joined the Edinburgh Rugby team in 2004 and made his debut for the Canadian national team the same year. He spent two years at the scottish club before moving to France to play for Montauban, it was during this time he scored a wonder try for Canada against the All Blacks. Having incurred some serious injuries at Montauban Pyke began looking at a career change and a friend suggested Aussie Rules, he put together a DVD of his highlights and an agent began to shop it around the AFL. Having had success with Tadhg Kennelly, Sydney were prepared to take a risk and it certainly paid off last September when a huge performance by Pyke helped the Swans to another Premiership.

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Ivan Maric. Basketball. Melbourne, Australia. The mighty mullet and current Croatian Footy ambassador may have been raised in Australia, but he did not take up footy until he was 16, having been a basketball player prior to this. Maric honed his skills at the Calder Canons, but nearly quit football in his second year having become frustrated with the technical aspects of the sport. He persisted thankfully and has now played more than a hundred games for Adelaide and Richmond. Maric’s generosity has been obvious in recent months as he has provided support to the Croatian Knights national team.

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Pearce Hanley. Gaelic Football. Mayo, Ireland. In at 5, but a man who is certainly carving a great career for himself in the AFL. Last season was a breakthrough one for the Irishman who hails from Mayo on the country’s western seaboard. Hanley, was a prodigious talent in Gaelic Football playing for his county’s senior team at 17. The following year he joined the Brisbane Lions and he made his debut for the club late in the 2008 season. In the last two seasons he has been an ever present for the Lions and last year finished third in the club’s best and fairest, a massive achievement at a club with superstars such as Simon Black, Jonathan Brown, Joel Patfull and Tom Rockliff.

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Through The Chair: Chris Dow’s Blog 1

After only 6 weeks in the job I have had the pleasure of watching more football played with true passion than ever before in my life. What a baptism to the role was the Euro Cup in Edinburgh! This was surely one of my most enjoyable days of sport ever and a personal highlight for me was the sheer passion amongst the playing group and also the volunteers. Forever etched in my mind was the Denmark and Croatia game that reminded me of what passion was all about, a couple of points saw the Croats eliminated and the pain was evident. They will surely be a powerhouse of the future under the stewardship of their new coach Ciaran O’Hara.

To say I am looking forward to working with all of you is an understatement. I believe we have both the people and the resources to build on that outstanding foundation laid down by the outgoing Chairman Gerard Murphy and Commissioner Sally Capp. Can I pay special tribute to Gerard who we all agree is a remarkable individual and has worked tirelessly to ensure we are “United, Structured and Respectful”, what an amazing legacy he has left and I hope to repay his confidence by giving my energy and effort to carrying on and building on this legacy.

I look forward this weekend to reacquainting myself with many of you at the European Challenge match at the Kia Oval, we expect a really strong crowd to see these two elite level teams fight it out for the bragging rights to Europe. I expect this to be the beginning of an annual game which will assist us in raising the profile of the game in Europe and supporting our plan to increase player participation throughout Europe.

 

Chris Dow

Chairman, AFL Europe

AFL Europe On Air For JLT Group All Stars Game

Following the success of our live audio transmissions at the EuroCup in Edinburgh, AFL Europe’s very own internet radio station will be back up on air again this saturday from the Kia Oval. Coverage of our game between Europe’s Islands and the Continental team will begin at 13.05 GMT(14.05 CET). Check back to afleurope.org or our facebook page for details.

Teams For JLT Group All Star Game Finalised

The teams for next saturday’s curtain raiser at the Kia Oval have been finalised. As anticipated a number of players have had to withdraw due to study, work or injury, but that has hardly diminished the quality of the teams with well established players who were unlucky to miss out called up in their place. The team’s contesting the JLT Group All Star Game are as follows.

JLT Group has come on board to sponsor the All-Stars curtain raiser match prior to the AFL European Challenge. We are proud to announce the following players have been selected to represent either the Islands team or Continent team.

European Islands:

Head Coach – Shaun McElhone – Ireland

Asst Coach – Pall Finsson – Iceland

1. Luke Booth – England

2. Ryan McCloskey – Ireland

3. Gerard Walls – Ireland

4. James Flavin – Ireland

5. Matt Kilheeny – England

6. Liam Corbett – Wales

7. Alasdair Lindop – Scotland

8. Kevin O’ Brien – Ireland

9. Eoin O Suileabhain – Ireland

10. Levi Fernandez – England

11. Andy Smith – Scotland

12. Ian Mitchell – England

13. Leifur Bjarnason – Iceland

14. Pall Finnsson – Iceland

15. David Lally – Ireland

16. David Saunders – Wales

17. Tom Exton – Scotland

18. Kevin McSorley – Ireland

19. John O’ Regan – Ireland

21. Sean Walton – England

23. Martyn Hinchey – England

35. Sam Brunton – England

 

Continental Europe:

Head Coach – Daniel McClaer – Sweden

Asst Coach – Nicola Giampaolo

1. Zvonimir Murkovic – Croatia

2. Wilfried Houvion – France

3. Joost Van Der Hulst – The Netherlands

4. Johan Lantz – Sweden

5. Jakob Jung – Germany

6. Tom Browne – Finland

7. Joe Durling – The Netherlands

8. Rene Damborg – Norway

9. Jonas Nielsen – Denmark

10. Giovanni Alloisio – Italy

11. Niccolo Di Giorgi – Italy

12. Fillippo Alloisio – Italy

13. Josip Kravar – Croatia

14. Chris Martensson – Sweden

17. Troels Ottesen – Denmark

18. Aksel Bang – Denmark

19. Matthias Klusermann – Germany

20. Alban Schieber – France

21. Natis Johansson – Sweden

23. Gregoire Patacq – France

24. Tommaso Arnulfo – Italy

55. Tomislav Cvetko – Croatia

 

All Tournament Team – Euro Cup 2012

1. Nathias Johanson – Sweden

2. Aksel Bang – Denmark (Player of Tournament and Leading Goal Kicker)

3. Max Kolleck – Germany

4. Luke Mathias – England

5. Alban Schiber – France

6. Alistair Lindop – Scotland

7. Leifur Bjarnason- Iceland

9. Kevin O’Brien – Ireland

10. Tom Browne – Finland

11. Tomislav Cvetko – Croatia

13. Giovanni Alloisio – Italy

14. Niccolo’ De Giorgi – Italy

15. Pablo Mas – Spain

16. Luke Booth – England

17. Gerald Walls – Ireland

18. Jens Djernes – Denmark

Team Manager – David Stone – Norway

Coach – Pall Finnson – Denmark

 

Goal Kicking:

Aksel Bang – 9 goals

Muiris Bartley – 8 goals (Ireland)

Nathan Campion – 8 goals (Denmark)

 

AFL Europe on Air: Euro Cup 2012 Going Live

At AFL Europe we appreciate how hard it can be for everyone to get to our competitions, and we know that many supporters can’t make the trip. For that reason, we’re constantly working on our methods of communication. This year you can follow the progress of your favourite Euro Cup Teams here on www.afleurope.org, via our twitter and facebook accounts and now via our online radio channel. We’ll be broadcasting hourly updates on the channel, with results, interviews and opinion, and we’ll also be bringing you the Grand Final live. To tune in on saturday simply log click on the player below.

AFL Europe On Air

MacBACKPACKERS confirmed as sponsor of Euro Cup 2012

MacBackpackers have  come on board as a partner in supplying the option of discounted accommodation for all of our teams travelling from all across Europe. We thank them for their support and are sure our teams will enjoy the comfortable and affordable accommodation. They also are specialists in tours around Scotland. If you are checking out Scotland make sure MacBackpackers are in your plans. www.macbackpackers.com