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VAFA V London Allstars

The Big V representative side wrapped up their 2015 Ireland/England tour with a comprehensive 74-point victory against the London All Stars at Battersea Park this morning.

After a stellar 2-2 performance from their four tour matches in the Emerald Isle, the Big V attained their goal of finishing on a high, with Spirit of the Big V recipient, Jeremy Mugavin, and six-goal star, Matt Handley, leading the way.

Tom Sullivan, Marshall Rippon and Josh Cowan lit London alight in the first term as they collected disposals at will, with Sam Barnett controlling the ruck and giving his midfielders first use of the ball.

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After a two-week stint with the round ball, the entire playing squad looked far more comfortable with the oval-shaped sherrin in hand and used their sublime skill set to open up a comfortable buffer at the first break.

Sam Williams, Tom O’Donnell and Mugavin continued to drive from half back in the second and allowed power forwards, Jamie Mugavin and Handley, to do the damage on the scoreboard and open up a 47-point margin at the half.

The second half played out similarly to the first, with Michael Barnes, Ash Viney and Stu Grigg causing multiple skill errors from their opponents through consistent pressure and tackling.

Jack Hunt repelled numerous London forward thrusts, while Tom and Simon Caven stood tall in defence in the same vein as they have done all tour.

While the 20 goal target set by coach Roberts was not quite met, the Big V can be proud of the four quarter effort they produced in their final match as they ran out out 74-point winners, 100-26.

The win in London gives the Big V a respectable 3-2 winning record from their 2015 tour.

The VAFA would like to thank AFL Europe and AFL London for their hospitality and look forward to going Round 2 in 2017.

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Originally posted on: http://www.vafa.com.au/latest-news/big-v-finish-2015-tour-with-comprehensive-win-in-london/

London Allstars v VAFA

On Sunday 25th October, kicking off at 11am in Battersea Park, AFL Europe and AFL London are hosting the VAFA boys at the end of their Irish tour. We have put together a team from our AFL London league to make up the “London Allstars” where they will show the VAFA boys that we’re not all over here travelling and drinking! A women’s exhibition game will kick off at 11am followed by the Allstars v VAFA match at 12.30pm

 

Donning our European Legion guernseys the team will be:

team setup

 

Come down and enjoy some footy, food and (hopefully) sun! After the game we’re heading to Clapham Grand where you can purchase a discounted £5 ticket using the code word AFL from here – be quick as the discount code expires at 18:00 Saturday 24th October! It includes a hotdog or pie, 2 drinks and a guaranteed seat!

 

See you there!!

MAP

The Great Dane

Mikkel Kjoege was 8 years old, when he first heard of Australian Rules football. It was from a family friend, Preben Mandal, who supports and is a big influence on the Farum Cats Football Club. Mikkel ended up going to his first practice and making some really good friends which really helped to keep him playing and developing. It was Mikkel’s namesake, his mum’s cousin, Mikkel Norlander, who kept him training and improving. His nickname is “The Danish Lance Franklin” – he was one of the junior coaches at the Farum Cats at the time.

At the age of 12 Mikkel says he had already tried pretty much every other sport, “but nothing compared to Australian Rules.”

In 2011, Mikkel heard about the European Legion squad, which was to play the touring AIS AFL Academy team in April 2012. The try outs were in London where he was put through a week long training camp and skill testing Combine, in conjunction with video of him playing being sent through to AFL Europe. A few months later Mikkel was informed that he had been selected to participate in the Easter Series with European Legion – “this was the first moment where playing Aussie Rules internationally felt possible,” says Mikkel.

During the try out combine they tested players with agility drills, jumping, running and so on. AFL Europe were happy with Mikkel’s results and decided to also send them through to the World 18 Team that were to play in Sydney, Australia in August 2012. Not only did Mikkel end up being chosen but he was the only European player to join the world team.

This was a huge step for Mikkel, as he was able to start seeing an opportunity for possibly playing Australian Rules at professional level someday. It was with this that Mikkel decided to really go for it, “I was always told that I could do anything I want to, and I really wanted this.”

Coming from the Farum Cats in Denmark, Mikkel barracks for the Geelong Cats in the AFL. Professional AFL players are such a huge inspiration for him, in particular Joel Selwood. Mikkel says he admires his “fearlessness, courage and he is just so incredibly talented – he makes me want to push even harder to make it in the AFL.”

With some amazing coaches along the way that inspired Mikkel to strive to make it in the AFL; “my first junior coach, Morten Merhøj, he taught me all the basic skills and has become a really good friend of mine.” Mikkel’s most recent European coaches, Morten Engsbye and Troels Ottesen, have had huge influence upon him through the last couple of years – getting the Farum Cats to 4 premierships in a row. Morten Engsbye also coached the Danish Vikings in the European Championships and took home an award for best European coach in 2014 when he coached Denmark to victory in European 9-a-side Championships.

Throughout the years of playing in European Legion and The World Team, Mikkel has been lucky enough coached by big names such as Tadhg Kennelly and Brad Ottens, watching them and learning from them was an incredible opportunity and experience for him.

Mikkel was chosen to participate in the 2014 AFL Europe Draft Combine and with good results was noticed by a few AFL Clubs who were keen to see him play more. AFL Europe was able to facilitate the move to Melbourne, Australia where Mikkel is now playing for the Old Xaverians, in the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA), for a season with the hope of partaking in the 2015 AFL Draft in October.

 

Mikkel’s Australian Adventure – Part 2

 

Training is great! I’m starting to feel more confident; it does take a while to get in to a new club, with new players and coaches. I played my first practice match with the reserves, and another with the firsts. I can feel myself getting better by challenging myself with such a good team.

I played round one with the Thirds – Under 23’s, and I feel pretty good about the way I played. I was happy with the match review:

’’The Under 23s are defending their premiership in the Premier B Thirds and started the year in impressive fashion with a big win over Old Trinity at Stradbroke Park. The coach released debutant Mikkel Kjoege from defence and onto the ball after half time and the Great Dane had a real impact with his hard running and long, accurate kicking.’’

I kicked my first goal, and I got mentioned in the top 3 best players of my first match. It was such a great feeling!

In Round 2 I had some trouble with a bruised heel, so didn’t play last week but I was ready to get back into it for Round 3. I was playing with the U23’s until coach, Murray Browne, felt I was ready to move up, I felt ready straight away – but I trusted his judgement!

I’ve been talking quite a bit with my family, friends and my old team mates in the last couple of weeks and they’re all very supportive which motivates me to keep pushing, I’m really grateful for them and their support!

My family is coming to visit me in a few months which I can’t wait for, and I’m keeping in contact with a few friends who play AFL and VFL whom I met in my time at Geelong College and through playing for the World and European teams.

Round 3 I got to debut for the Reserves being “unleashed” by Coach Browne at quarter time. I was pretty happy with the match review for round 3 also:

“Reserves debutant Mikkel “The Great Dane” Kjoege was held back until quarter time before being unleashed by Coach Browne. He proved lively up forward.”

Round 4 I felt I started to feel great! I kicked 3 goals and was named in the best and I was able to following up in both Rounds 5 and 6 with 2 goals in each!

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Follow Mikkel’s journey on #MikkelDownUnder and @AFL_Europe

For more go to our previous article on Mikkel

 

Sarah Ongarello