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Euro Cup 16′ – Tournament Preview

Euro Cup 2016 Preview

1 more sleep!

Euro Cup 2016 is nearly upon us. With 15 men’s and 7 women’s teams on display tomorrow it’s sure to be a jam-packed day of Aussie rules action.

This year’s Euro Cup sees the biggest turn out of women’s teams to date. Players from Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Scotland and Sweden will be making their way to Lisbon this weekend with hopes of getting their hands on some silverware.

danish-valkyries
The reigning champions; the England Vixens, will be returning with a new three-man coaching team on board and with a few new faces in the line-up they will be looking to retain their title. Joining the Vixens in group A are the 2014 Champions, the Irish Banshees. After being absent at the 2015 Cup in Croatia and narrowly losing to the GB Swans in the European Championships this August, the Irish will be fired up and no doubt will be coming out in full force. The French Cockerelles face a tough competition in what is likely to be the tougher of the two groups, however; this season has seen the French being involved in a number of tournaments including the Champions League and ANZAC Cup so will be hoping their practice as a team will aid their chances. Finalising group A is another 2015 absentee in the Scottish Sirens. After struggling in the 2014 Euro Cup, the Sirens have been secretly strengthening and with the majority of the squad fresh from playing for the GB Swans this summer, they will be one to watch.

england-vixens1

Unfortunately, due to a late drop out, there will only be 3 teams making up Group B. 2015 runners up, the Danish Valkyries, will be looking for an easy run through to the semi-finals however their neighbours, the Swedish Ravens, will surely have something to say about this. The Ravens displayed a strong performance at the Champions League tournament earlier this year and they look to have recruited well this season with a huge social media campaign displaying their many new faces. The battle of the Scandinavians is sure to be a tight contest and one not to be missed. Finally, the youngest team, in both years established and in average player age, are the Croatian Queens. The Queens debuted in their home country last year with a team made up of school students. Little has been heard from the team in the last year but considering the strength of their brothers, the Croatian Knights, they cannot be ruled out.

The men’s side of the draw is being contested by 15 teams each divided into four groups. We’ve taken a look at each team’s prospects leading into tomorrow’s tournament.

England – 2015 placing Runners-Up – The English return looking to go one step further in 2016 after losing in the final to Denmark in Croatia. A lot of the squad returns for 2016 with some new faces from previous Dragonslayers squads. After the GB side won EC16 expect a strong challenge from the Dragonslayers who boast 14 of their side being 18-a-side European champions. Expect a quick and physical game from the Dragonslayers in coach, Rob Fielders, last tour in charge. Can they do the double in 2016 and send Rob out on a high note?

england-dragons1

Croatia – 2015 placing 3rd – The Croatians come into the tournament on the back of a strong Euro Cup 15 beating Ireland in the 3rd place playoff after losing to tournament winners Denmark in the semi-finals. Expect a bruising style of football from the Southern-Europeans looking to make the finals in 2016. Without Denmark, Ireland or England in their side of the draw they have to be considered strong contenders.

Ireland – 2015 placing 4th – The Irish have long been the powerhouse in European footy but 2015 and 2016 so far haven’t gone to script. Expect the Irish to come back hard at Euro Cup 16 and set the record straight. The Irish still consider themselves the best team outside of Australia and will be bringing their fast, running style to Portugal to right the wrongs of Euro Cup 15 and EC16. A mouth-watering potential semi-final between England and Ireland could make an interesting encounter.

irish-warriors

Germany – 2015 placing 5th – The Germans have been gathering steam since finishing 5th in Croatia. A strong performance at EC16, where they finished 3rd, will look to be built on when the Germans return to their usual 9-a-side format. Expect the Germans to bring a powerful team full of industry who will be well drilled and ready to go come Saturday.

France – 2015 placing 6th – The French come into Euro Cup ’16 after a disappointing Euro Cup ’15 where they expected better. The French will be looking to improve on that performance with their free-flowing game. In a tough draw with Ireland expect them to be challenging for the title in that group and a showdown with the winners of Pool D.

Austria – 2015 placing 7th – The Austrians had a tough Euro Cup ’15 being drawn with eventual champions Denmark before a tough game against France but recovered well to beat the Scottish to 7th place. The Austrians will continue to bring serious fight and endeavour to the tournament and should go well in a group with returning sides Italy and Wales.

austria1

Scotland – 2015 placing 8th –  The Scottish are coming they say. A belief from the north of the UK is that Scotland should be placing higher than 8th within Europe and they plan to use Euro Cup ’16 to prove this. With a number of GB hopefuls looking to push a claim towards the GB International Cup ’17 side expect them to come hard in a group they will look to win.

The Netherlands – 2015 placing 9th – The Dutch continue to improve and rise their standing within Europe. The boys from Holland have continued to improve their league and recently played their first full international against GB. The Dutch have plenty of skilled players and a return to the usual 9-a-side format should give them a good chance against England and the Crusaders.

The Crusaders – 2015 placing 10th – The Crusaders are something of an unknown entity. Made up of European players who don’t have a national team to play for, or weren’t selected, they could be anything. The biggest challenge for the Crusaders is always a mix of languages that have never played together before. Can they overcome this in 2016?

Norway – 2015 placing 11th – The Norwegians come into the tournament looking to replicate their neighbours in Sweden and Denmark and bring a stylish game to the field. A team looking to improve are in a tough group but don’t count them out now

Peace Team – 2015 placing 12th – The Jerusalem Peace Team Lions are back in for Euro Cup 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal. The Lions team manager, Avraham Benvenisty has provided us with an insight into their preparations leading up to this year’s tournament. The Jerusalem Peace Team Lions are taking part in their 2nd European Championship! The team was founded again a few months ago, with only 3 players that knew how to play the game (or that have even watched a game before), but recruitment brought us to the point of having 14 lads that know the rules, learned the game, and accomplished the goal of playing in the upcoming Euro Cup!

Wales – 2015 placing DNP – The Welsh return to the International fold to give us a full complement of the British Isles. An unknown entity with a lot of new faces, and some old, returning to the Euro Cup fold. The Welsh will be looking to create some upsets in their group and believe they have the team to be the story of the tournament.

Russia – 2015 placing DNP – The Russians are will relish the Portuguese sunshine although the heat could prove a factor for them. They play a tough and uncomprising style of football and could surprise a few early tomorrow.

Portugal – 2015 placing DNP – The host nation. They’ve managed to pull together side and will seriously consider themselves a chance to impress on their home turf. The recruitment of former Portugal Rugby champion, Antonio da Cunha, could prove a real coup. His 52 games of international rugby experience could see some sore bodies from the Roosters opponents.

Italy – 2015 placing DNP – the Italians are back and they’ll be putting everything they’ve got into jostling for a good finals place. With a total travelling party of 25 they’ll be sure to have the sidelines filled fans. Could really surprise a few tomorrow.

italy

 

Tournament previews by Lisa Wilson and Jason Hill.

For those who can’t make it to Lisbon be sure to tune into our live stream of all Pitch 1 match’s

http://afleurope.org/eurocup-2016-live/

Full schedule:

http://afleurope.org/eurocup-mens-draw-announced/

http://afleurope.org/womens-draw-for-eurocup-announced/

 

 

 

2016 AFL Europe Euro Cup

Welcome to the 2016 Euro Cup! This year’s tournament is being held in Lisbon, Portugal at the National Stadium Jamor.

Date: Saturday 8th October 2016

Venue: Lisbon, Portugal (National Stadium Jamor)

Map:

 Pitch Map

Registration:

Your registration fee of €110 + Eventbrite Fee, this year INCLUDES all of the following:

  • Playing registration fee
  • Event t-shirt
  • 2-night accommodation at either Hotel Amazonia or Praia Mar (price is for a triple room with two of your teammates)
  • Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday at your hotel
  • Wristband and free entry in the official after-party

Please note – if you wish to stay at the accommodation for longer (before or after the tournament), please contact us ASAP on admin@afleurope.org so we can organise this for you. Beds are limited so get in early. 

 

Eventbrite - 2016 AFL Europe Euro Cup

 

Volunteers:

Any volunteers who which to help during the event can register on Eventbrite AND contact AFL Europe at admin@afleurope.org. The price for Volunteers covers your accommodation and breakfast we will supply you with lunch, t-shirt and never ending gratitude.

Umpires:

All umpiring enquiries regarding Euro Cup can be made by contacting umpires@afleurope.org – registration is available on the Eventbrite link.

Information Pack:

2016 Pre-Tournament Booklet

Player Eligibility:

1) The Player was predominantly resident in the country of the league between 10 and 16 years of age subject to the qualification in sub clause A below.
2) The Player is a citizen of the country of the league at the time when the competition is conducted, subject to the qualification in sub clause A below.
3) The Player is not under suspension in that Player’s local competition during the period of the competition.
AFL Europe may on a case by case basis, waive the eligibility requirements if it is satisfied that a player is a bona fide resident in the country of the league and his participation would be in the best interests of the competition. Submissions in this regard must be made by lodging a Application for Eligibility Exemption – 2016. Any player who has previously obtained exemption must apply again in 2016 – please complete the form and email to admin@afleurope.org

Tournament Rules and Eligibility

Team Registration & Waiver:

The Eventbrite form makes it compulsory for all players, coaches and team officials to specify which team they are registration for/with however, all teams need to submit a Euro Cup 2016 – Team Entry Form before the cut-off date (Saturday 17th September) as well as a Euro Cup 2016 – Team List and a AFL Europe Euro Cup – Waiver and Release – all players must sign this form before registration on Friday 7th October 2016. This will ensure all information is received by us and we can then go ahead with the rankings and draw.

AFL Europe Umpires’ Profile

Pictures: Derek Clarke

By Michael McCormick

JOSH DAVEY

What does Dr Karl Kennedy and a street party in Geelong have in common? They both played a significant role in introducing the game of AFL to WARFL Umpiring Coordinator and AFL Europe Umpire, Josh Davey.

Davey, a former player turned umpire, admitted that his first memory of AFL was seeing Dr Karl Kennedy playing it on Australian soap opera, ‘Neighbours.’

It wasn’t until recently however that he explored his interest further by becoming involved with a local club.

“I saw a video online of what seemed like the whole of Geelong out on the street partying after their Grand Final win,” stated Davey. “I then watched a couple of videos on YouTube, discovered I had a local club and went and had a go.”

Davey’s umpiring career began when he volunteered with his local league during weeks in which he was injured. He then took the opportunity to be involved in the 2013 European Championships in Dublin.

“I offered my services to AFL Europe as a volunteer,” explained Davey. “There I discovered they were holding a Level 1 Umpires course and decided to get involved with that.”

Davey continued to grow as an umpire and went from strength to strength after the European Championships.

Being selected as a field umpire for the AIS-AFL Academy vs European Legion Easter Series game stands out as one of his finest moments.

“Having played for the first Legion I knew the skill level of the players would be extremely high and to be considered good enough to umpire them was a huge honour.”

The dream for many European AFL aficionados is to travel to Australia and play the great game at a professional level. Davey however has slightly different endeavours.

“Whilst some players stay after the International Cup to try and work their way up to the very top as players, I’d love the chance to do the same as a whistle man.”

Davey described Australian Football as an exhilarating game to spectate due to its fluidity and the athleticism of the players.

“It is such a beautiful game to watch, and the very best place to watch it is from the middle of the park.”

For those who want to have the same seat on the ground as him, Davey offered these words of wisdom;

“Be confident in your actions and abilities and don’t be afraid to blow your whistle. Think about mistakes after the game, but on the ground, show presence and the players will respond positively.”

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NILSS LODE

Nilss

Taking marks on other players’ shoulders is what makes Australian Football the greatest game in the world, at least according to AFL Germany Umpiring Coordinator, Nilss Lode.

Melbourne born Lode, who grew up playing Australian Football in his lunch breaks at primary school, began his umpiring career as a result of an AFL Europe initiative to develop local umpires.

“I initially didn’t even consider attending or umpiring,” he said. “One of my team mates enjoyed umpiring more than playing, and that kind of sparked enough interest to see what it is all about.”

During his Level 0 course he was thrown in the deep end, being made to umpire a practice match for the German national team.

“There were so many decisions to be made quickly and I really enjoyed the challenge and decided that I wanted to pursue umpiring further.”

Since that initial experience, Lode has improved his skill and expertise to the point in which he is now sought out for major events across Europe.

A high level of commitment and an eagerness to learn at the highest level has enabled his steady improvement.

“Umpiring at three Euro Cup tournaments enabled me to work alongside more experienced umpires than myself and learn from their advice.”

Lode is currently working towards Level 2 accreditation to further develop his own skills and those of the umpires he coordinates.

He encourages aspiring umpires to go to a local match as a spectator and make the umpiring decisions in their head to compare with what the umpire decides.

“Know the actual official rules, rather than what commentators explain on TV as they are, in my opinion, often wrong.”

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NIELS SCHONNEMANN-ROSBERG

Niels

Combining a passion for travel and a love of the great game makes umpiring Australian Football more than just a hobby for Danish umpire, Niels Schønnemann-Rosberg.

He came across Australian Football after a chance meeting with his cousin at the ripe age of seventeen.

“I bumped into one of my cousins during the summer of ’99 and he invited me down to the local footy club,” he said. “The rest is history.”

His history as a player is extensive however his umpiring career is still in its infancy.

“I started to umpire full time in 2010 as I needed a challenge other than playing football,” he stated.

“I wasnt quite ready to leave, so I thought that umpiring could be a way to stay in the game.”

As most local games in Denmark are umpired by players in their bye rounds, the professionalism of umpiring isn’t a major focus.

Because of this, Schønnemann-Rosberg had to make special efforts to progress his umpiring ambitions.

“Andrew Jones and Shane Hill helped me go through the AFL level 1 program via some travelling and a lot of skype sessions.”

After completing his Level 1 AFL Umpiring course, Schønnemann-Rosberg has been called upon for some of the biggest events in Europe and the world.

“My initial goal was to umpire at the 2011 International Cup, which I did,” he said. “I then got to umpire the Grand final of the 2013 Axios Euro Cup in Bordeaux.”

Despite being a rising star of the umpiring fraternity, Schønnemann-Rosberg remains humble about his ambitions.

“At the moment I like to umpire locally and then travel to the European tournaments where I receive feedback from other umpires on my performance.”

Despite having already accomplished a great amount, he doesn’t underestimate the importance of continuous learning and refining.

“Your performance will improve significantly if you learn and apply great positioning and communication to players and officials during a game,” he said.

“They will trust or at least respect your judgement, if you do this.”

#umpiresweek #betterumpiresmeansbettergames #thethirdteam