AFL Europe Match of the Round

Match of the Round 30/7/16

DAFA 9s – Round Two | Sportpark De Eendracht, Amsterdam from 11:00

The DAFA 9s is the Dutch National 9-a-side footy competition, this year held solely in Amsterdam and is being contested by three teams, Amsterdam Devils (Black), Amsterdam Devils (White) and Den Haag Ooievaars.

Round One saw three very closely contested games with all matches finishing with seven points or less separating the teams at the final siren. Den Haag Ooievaars got the job done in Round One, walking away (or more accurately hobbling away) with two wins, with the White Devils beating the Black Devils to claim one win for the round. Both Amsterdam teams will be looking for revenge in Round Two, with the team top of the ladder after Round Two marching straight into the Grand Final on August 20.

This is the inaugural year of the DAFA 9s and each team is pushing hard to win their first flag and with the teams so evenly matched, we’re looking forward to another round of close and fiercely contested footy in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Devils (Black)

The Amsterdam Devils (Black) team is headed by their Captain Bill Johnstone and Coach Rick Hocking. Playing in the famous Amsterdam Devils kit the Black Devils have a strong outfit, however due to a few key players missing a week or two due to holidays this could hamper their campaign, one of these players being the key ruckman Reinier who is missing Round Two and the Prelim Final. Will the Black Devils make it through and have the chance to make use of Reinier in the Grand Final, only time will tell.

Amsterdam Devils (White)

The Amsterdam Devils (White) team is headed by their Captain (and DAFA President) Michel van Eijk and Coach Zach O’Neil. Touted as the bookies favourites prior to Round One, the White Devils have arguably the strongest team on paper however were hampered in Round One with two key players not taking the field and their Coach only making the second game as he rushed to the ground straight from the airport, after a well-deserved vacation in Greece. The White Devils will be looking to put out a stronger side in Round Two and try and force their way to top spot on the ladder.

Den Haag Ooievaars

The Den Haag Ooievaars team is headed by their Captain Maurice Verbakel and Coach Neil Cooke. The Ooievaars were not really fancied prior to Round One with their Captain and Vice-Captain both missing and a couple of key players carrying injuries. The Ooievaars got some luck however with Dan Lewis making one last appearance as he strengthened a weakened Ooievaars outfit. This was a vital plus to the Ooievaars as they took their chances and managed to hold off both Amsterdam teams to take out top spot after Round One. With both Captian and Vice-Captain back for Round Two, the Ooievaars will be looking to cement their place at the top of the ladder and book a place in the Grand Final at the same time.



Tuesday Around the Grounds


International Cup (IC17) dates and location announced

The AFL has announced the 2017 AFL International Cup (IC17) will be held in Melbourne, from August 5-19.

It will be the sixth International Cup and will include both men’s and women’s competitions.

The AFL’s head of community and international development Grant Williams said he expects the 2017 carnival to be the biggest yet.

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Finland AFL’s 2016 Season kicks off

Finland AFL (FAFL) started this weekend with both Round 1 & 2 being completed in a Round Robin format.

Despite being hosted by the 2015 Premiers the Helsinki Heatseekers, the Turku Dockers came out guns blazing to beat both the Heatseekers and the Vaasa Wombats.


Helsinki Heatseekers 1.1.7 def. by Turku Dockers 5.6.36
Turku Dockers 10.2.62 def Vaasa Wombats 3.1.19
Helsinki Heatseekers 6.8.44 def Vaasa Wombats 5.6.36


AFL Head of Community and International Development visits AFL Europe

AFL Europe was fortunate enough to have Grant Williams, Head of Community & International Development for The AFL, visit Headquarters in Australia House for a few days of planning and strategy discussions.

We are excited about the way forward in terms of developing fledgling nations, women’s footy, and youth development.


Ex-AFL London player, Jess Edwards, represents South Australia 

Ex-AFL London and Wandsworth Demons player Jess Edwards played in the South Australia v Northern Territory friendly, that took place on Saturday night at The Oval in Adelaide.

The South Australian’s wowed with a 27-point win over Northern Territory, managing to keep them to one point after quarter time.

Edwards was the leading goal kicker slotting 2 of the 6 majors.

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100 of the Best from Port Malmo veteran 

Aaran Higgins notched up his 100th game for the Port Malmo Maulers at weekend with a convincing 178-38 win against Helsingborg.

The fearless midfielder, who is the current President of the Maulers, has been at the club since 2008 and spent three at the helm as senior coach.

Congratulations Az, a great achievement.

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GB Bulldogs announce first 18 for AFL Europe Championships.

The Great Britain Bulldogs have announced their first 18 players after a training camp in Manchester this weekend.

The first 18 so far comprise of players from the Huddersfield Rams, London Swans, Manchester Mosquitoes, North London Lions, Wandsworth Demons, West London Wildcats, Wimbledon Hawks and Wolverhampton Wolverines. Head Coach has been named as Dean Thomas.


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Auskick programme is introduced in Malta

Head of Community & International Development for the AFL, Grant Williams met with Sport Malta and the Australian High Commission to introduce AFL into the winter sports programme.

The initiative aims to promote Aussie Rules amongst girls and boys from a young age, teaching them the skills of the game.

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Seeds sprouting across Europe

Image : Portuguese side Lisbon Dockers during the Algarve 9’s

Wesley Hull – WFN

A quick look at the list of clubs receiving start up grants from AFL Europe is a reasonable indicator of the slow but steady growth of Australian Rules football across the continent. Some might argue that the true growth is only seen in the number of players listed with clubs. Others might argue that not all of these clubs will see the distance. But one thing that is true is that the line-up of people seeking grants on behalf of fledgling clubs continues.

For some the journey is just beginning. Some are well into their journey, whilst others are little more than a name on an application. But a projection looking forward might see a landscape with more teams, more players and more opportunities than ever before if all goes well.

World Footy News first reported the possibility of a new club in Portugal in our article about the recent Algarve 9’s tournament played in Vilamoura, north of Lisbon (see: This group, in Averio, has received a grant from the AFL Europe Start-Up Club Program to kickstart a new club. In Hungary, another group in Budapest has applied for and received a grant. According to Ben MacCormack, the General Manager of AFL Europe, “We have supplied start-up grants to two groups in Budapest and Averio, Portugal however they aren’t at new club stage yet.” We will monitor the progress of these parties in the new year and report any further growth.

There has been much movement on this front in Denmark. The Copenhagen X-Men also received a grant and have recently finished their first full season in the DAFL. Whilst they only managed one victory, fittingly against the North Copenhagen Barracudas, their presence has expanded the playing options in Denmark and contributed to the future growth of the game there. Additionally, as we reported earlier this year, the Odense Lions returned as a determined force. Whilst they did not play in the DAFL Premier League this year, their goal is to be there in 2014 and beyond (see:

Another Nordic country, Finland, has seen an increased level of interest in Australian Rules football, resulting in grants being approved for both the Tampere Bobcats and the Lappeenranta Wildmen (see: Whilst both groups are making the transition to clubs by recruiting and developing localised programs for a future playing in the FAFL, the mere fact that multiple clubs are developing in Finland speaks a great deal about growth of the game in the country.

Similarly, a grant was approved for the development of another Icelandic team, with the Drekarnir Dragons listed as the name of the new team in the north of Iceland in the town of Akureyri (see: As stated by AFL Iceland General Manager Solvi Fannar Sigmarsson, “I contacted AFL Europe and applied for the [grant] because we’re starting the club up here in Akureyri. They sent us two leather balls and four plastic ones. It was a great help. Our main focus continues to be on recruitment and growing the sport here.”

In Scotland, the Kingdom Kangaroos have undergone a transformation from the Central Magpies to be a new force in years to come representing central Scotland and Fife. They are due to join the SARFL in 2014 (see:

Over in Ireland the UCC Bombers in Cork also received a grant which has seen them develop into a side capable of joining the ARFLI competition sooner rather than later. College or university based teams are also growing across Ireland with UCC, the NRC Eagles in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland and a team from the Dublin City University.

Even aside from the issuing of grants by AFL Europe, the growth can be seen across Europe. In Germany the Dresden Wolves will join the CAAFL (Czech league) based in Prague. There is also movement across Germany with teams forming or developing in Boblingen (Pirates), Ludwigsburg (Taipans) and Haslach (Hawks) (see: ).

Russian teams are in their infancy in Yaroslavl and Novokuznetsk, and France has already seen the addition to the CNFA of the ALFA Lions, with the possibility of future teams from Pau, St Nazaire and Toulon having been discussed in the past year. Even in Austria the Styrian DownUnderDogs have given birth to a litter of small nine per side clubs named the Murtal Mountain Goats, Gradec Earthmovers and Castle Rock Mammoths.

There are many unknowns here. Some teams will prosper, whilst others may fall away through lack of interest, funding or both. Some teams may progress to 18 a side and others may remain forever at nine per side. But whatever happens, many clubs are benefitting from the assistance of AFL Europe. At the same time other clubs are springing up with the assistance of local leagues and dedicated individuals.

This is the kind of epidemic I approve of.

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)