Saturday March 11th will see a contingent of Cambridge women take to the pitch for the first time at midday at Newnham College Sports Ground, and (in a twist on Varsity) combine forces with Oxford women’s team to play against the London based, Wandsworth Demons women’s team.
Last year’s exhibition game between Oxford and the University of Birmingham
The 97th Aussie Rules men’s Varsity match, first played in 1911, will take place at 2pm at St John’s playing fields, the traditional Varsity home ground for Cambridge. A heavier than expected player turnover has caused a few headaches for Cambridge men’s team but they remain upbeat about wrestling the Varsity Cup back after Oxford’s narrow victory last year at their home ground. As always, the match will be a hard fought contest and with some exciting new additions to both teams thrown into the mix, it will be a great game to watch.
Come down and support the Aussie Rules inaugural Women’s game in Cambridge, then stay on for the Men’s game as Cambridge and Oxford battle it out to become the 2017 Varsity champions!
Last year’s varsity game came down to the final kick of the game.
By David Sykes
afleuropehttp://afleurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/afl-logo.pngafleurope2017-03-10 14:19:492017-03-10 14:19:4996th Varsity Match - Cambridge v Oxford
The 2016 Euro Cup in Lisbon was held over the weekend under clear blue skies and a scorching sun. With 374 players from 16 countries across 22 teams participating the day was an incredible success.
The main pitch was live streamed throughout the day with a record number of people tuning in from all over the globe. Blow-by-blow commentary for the majority of the day brought the games to life and make for great viewing on replay.
Under a setting sun on the main pitch the crowd grew to watch the finals matches. Congratulations to the Netherlands (Plate), France (Bowl), Ireland (Women’s Champions) and Croatia (Men’s Champions) for claiming victory in their respective divisions.
A special thank you to our three pitch manager’s Fanny Maillett, Laura Pinckney and Hayley Canton for ensuring the day ran smoothly along with our umpiring squad led by Shane Hill.
Stay tuned for a full event report in the coming days.
Sparky joins the big time after AFL Women’s Draft
Wimbledon Hawks stalwart, Lauren Spark, became the second Hawk to join the newly formed AFL Women’s League for 2017. She was taken at pick 76 by the Western Bulldogs.
Sparky’s selection sets up a mouthwatering clash with Hawks teammate, Kate Shierlaw, at some stage next year.
We wish both girls all the best in the inaugural AFL Women’s league.
Australian Masters kick off tour with a win
The Australian Masters side which is touring England and Ireland have kicked off their campaign with an 11-point victory over Oxford University at Merton Sports Ground.
The boys will have to rest up as they visit the Australian High Commission today before taking on an AFL England All-Stars side in Reading on Saturday. Further details on that match at the link below:
The CNFA season is upon us with round 1 of the 2016/17 season kicking off this weekend. The Paris Cockatoos will be hoping to avoid second year blues after they claimed the premiership in their first season against the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes in the season decider earlier this year in June.
Its set to be a fantastic year of Aussie rules action in the CNFA. Check out the fixtures below:
Hawks and Demons covering all bases
The Wimbledon Hawks and Wandsworth Demons supplied record numbers of participants to this year’s Euro Cup.
The Hawks had players in 5 of the 16 countries:
England: Jason Hill, Myles Hudson, David Hastie, Jennifer Bennett, Louise Darby, Lisa Wilson, Charlotte-Ellen Eales and Jess Milford
France: Chloe Romeo
Scotland: Rachel Kilmartin, Lauren Spark (Coach), Kate Shierlaw (Assistant)
Ireland: Stiofan Mac Finn
Wales: Jordan Wynne
The Demons had a total of 22 club members playing or coaching for 4 countries, umpiring or volunteering in an amazing show of community involvement.
Well done to both clubs for great achievements and for all their efforts ensuring the 2016 installment of the Euro Cup was a great success.
afleuropehttp://afleurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/afl-logo.pngafleurope2016-10-13 15:01:192016-10-13 15:01:19Around the Grounds
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 email@example.com to receive a question sheet.
This week we are profiling the silver-fox from the Irish Warriors, Eoin O’Murchu. If you’re in Lisbon for this weekend’s Euro Cup then keep an eye out on this veteran winger.
Eoin O Murchu
What position do you play?
Wing and Midfield
AFL team you support:
Favourite AFL player:
Pearce Hanley from the Brisbane Lions. Honourable mention for “Buddy” Franklin from the Swans too.
How did you find out about AFL?
I played Gaelic Football up until I move to London 7 years ago so I always had an interest growing up. Jim Stynes was from my neighbouring club in Dublin and I followed Tadhg Kennelly’s career when he played too. When I found out there was a league in London I really wanted to get involved.
How long have you been playing for?
What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?
Chest marks, getting smashed in my first tackle and beating the West London Wildcats in the lashing rain in Putney.
Best AFL moment?
Being named the Rest of the World Club Captain for the Wandsworth Demons last year but winning EU Best and Fairest in my first season at the Demons is a close second.
Notable mention goes to the hard earned froths at the Alex with the Demons after every game. Nothing better than dropping a few Fozzies with the Dees and Shedees 😉 post game.
Any other interesting information, quirky stories or interesting things about yourself?
While I love footy, nothing beats Hurling which was my main sport until I moved to London. Also, my surname is Irish for Murphy which people find very confusing in the UK!
People don’t often associate me with being a big drinker as I usually shy away from the traditional AFL London post-game boat race but a close few know of my ability to down a pint in under 2 seconds.
afleuropehttp://afleurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/afl-logo.pngafleurope2016-10-06 12:10:552016-10-06 12:10:55Player of the Week
6 of the best for Anderson sees Farum through to DAFL grand final
A 6-goal haul from DAFL League Best and Fairest, William Andersen, has helped the Farum Cats advance to the DAFL grand final. The Cats put the Port Malmo Maulers to the sword at the weekend with a convincing 146-point victory.
The win places Farum against Copenhagen and based on their previous hit-out in late August they’ll go into the final as favourites. The Cats will be weary of the boys from Copenhagen as they are seasoned veterans when it comes to big games.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on this game!
CNFA Facebook ladder sees Perpignan Tigers top the table
The CNFA has released their first table for their 2016/17 season with the Perpignan Tigers sitting on top of the ladder when it comes to Facebook fans. They are early 600 fans ahead of their closest rivals in the Toulouse Hawks.
Check out the full table below:
DAFL Awards Night Honour Roll
Following the last round of the DAFL regular season two weekends ago the clubs and committees met for the annual Awards Night to celebrate the achievements of those who went above and beyond in season 2016. The Farum Cats picked up 2 awards in what was an even spread of trophies amongst the teams.
The full honour roll is below:
Best and Fairest
William Hedenskog Anderson (Farum Cats)
Leading Goal Kicker
Ben Polmear (Port Malmo)
Christopher Als Lindberg (Copenhagen FC)
Best First Year Player
Harrison Johnson (Farum Cats)
Sebastian Walker Staalkjaer
Maria Falkesgaard Jorgensen (Odense Lionesses)
Vixens and Sharks walk away with the Tyne Tee Cup
It was a huge day of football in the North of England with the battle for the Tyne Tee Cup being hotly contested between 3 men’s and 3 women’s teams.
The Glasgow Sharks, Kingdom Kangaroos, Wandsworth Demons, England Vixens and home-side, the Tyne Tee Tigers locked horns over the two divisions in what was a great day for Aussie Rules at the new home of the Tigers, Gosforth Sports Park.
The battle for the silverware came down to the Glasgow Sharks and Tyne Tee Tigers in the men’s competition. In what was a tight affair, it was the Sharks who took the chocolates with a 24-point victory. The final score reading 75-51.
The England Vixens continued their impressive 2016 season when they easily accounted for the Wandsworth Demons. It was a far improved performance by the Demons in the final but unfortunately they were unable to register a goal going down 52-1.
The Sharks finished their 2016 campaign with a SARFL flag and tournament victory in what has been an incredibly successful year. For the Vixens it was another great tournament but for them the real test comes in just over 2 weeks’ time when they look to take out the 2016 Euro Cup in Lisbon.
Congratulations to all teams who participated at the weekend. Hopefully we see the Tyne Tees Cup grow as a regular fixture on the footy calendar. Well done to the Tigers committee for all their hard work in making sure the tournament was a huge success.
Dockers through to SAFF grand final
In their fifth season in the SAFF competition the Norrtalje Dockers have won through to their first ever grand final. The Dockers had a hard-fought preliminary final win against the Arsta Swans with the winner advancing to take on reigning premiers, the Sodermalm Blues, in the ‘big dance’.
The match was an absolute thriller with the Dockers up by a single kick at three quarter time. The Dockers held onto the ascendancy and won through to the grand final where they face a monumental task of knocking off the powerhouse of Swedish football, the Sodermalm Blues.
Good luck to the Blues and Dockers in this Saturday’s decider.
Dragonslayers getting primed for Euro Cup
The England Dragonslayers got their 9-a-side campaign off to a winning start as they demolished AFL Central North England premiers, the Manchester Mozzies at Burnage Rugby Cub.
The Dragonslayers piled on the pressure all day and never took the foot off the gas. They amassed an astonishing 54 points in the final term despite already having a convincing lead. The final scorecard reading 174 to 28.
The boys in red and white will be looking to go one better at this year’s Euro Cup in Lisbon after they were runners-up in Umag.
afleuropehttp://afleurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/afl-logo.pngafleurope2016-09-20 12:48:262016-09-20 12:48:26Around the Grounds
It may be summer here in London but that’s not stopping the Wandsworth Demons doing their part in fundraising for the now annual, ‘Big Freeze at the G’ happening over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in Australia.
The ‘Big Freeze’ is the initiative of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) sufferer and former AFL legend, Neale Daniher. The event takes at the Queen’s Birthday clash between the Melbourne Demons and Collingwood Magpies. It sees well-known footy celebs and personalities rally together and take the plunge in a freezing cold pool of ice to raise funds and awareness for the currently incurable MND.
Notable footy celebrities to get frozen this year include, Geelong Premiership Captain Cameron Ling, Essendon and GWS legend Coach Kevin Sheedy, and Brisbane Lions superstar, Jonathon Brown just to name a few. Let’s not forget the headline act, Neale Daniher, will be taking the plunge this year. Daniher, the ex-Essendon and Melbourne player and coach, was diagnosed with MND three years ago and is slowly showing the debilitating effects the disease, such as speech impediment and movement loss, can have on the sufferer.
This Saturday AFL London’s version of the Demons, The Wandsworth Demons, will not only be hosting the West London Wildcats in a top of the table clash at Clapham Common, but they’ll also be putting in their best efforts off the field aiming to raise funds and awareness for the incredibly debilitating disease that is MND.
MND is close to the heart of event organiser, Gaby Duncan, who grew up with the Daniher family and is thrilled to be able to mirror the fundraising efforts of the ‘Big Freeze at the G’ whilst over the other side of the world, here in London. Ms Duncan said “It means a lot that I can continue to help raise some much needed funds for research into finding a cure of MND, as well as support my close friends Loz, Bec and the Daniher family. I’m very thankful of the Demons and Club President Jimmy Perrett, who was fantastic and jumped on board as soon as we suggested the idea. Hopefully we can start something this year that will get bigger and better next year to help ‘Cure for MND’ achieve its aim to increase awareness, improve care for sufferers and increase funding to find a cure”.
Wandsworth Demons Club President, Jimmy Perrett furthered Ms Duncan’s sentiments saying “this cause is one that is quite personal to many Demons, including myself. We’re getting together on Saturday to do our part for the ‘Cure for MND’ Foundation, not only to raise funds for such a great cause but also raise awareness throughout the London AFL league. This may start small, but it has the scope to grow into something big in the years to come”.
With hats, beanies, a cake sale and raffles, including a signed GWS Jumper, the day is set to be an absolute blast. With the event running in conjunction with the first game at Clapham Common for Season 2016 expect this to be a special day. If you’re in the area and want to be a part of not only a great, action-packed day of Aussie Rules, but also aid the efforts of Neale Daniher, and the ‘Big Freeze at the G’, then make your way down to Clapham Common this Saturday the 11th of June from 11am.
Any help or donations are greatly appreciated and supports in raising the profile of MND as well as assisting in finding a cure.
For further information, please click the link below, or if you’d like to help out on the day please contact Jimmy Perrett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wimbledon Hawks vs Wandsworth Demons – Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Recreation Ground 5/6/16 2pm
There were two standout teams in last year’s inaugural AFL London women’s competition, the Wimbledon Hawks and the Wandsworth Demons. In last year’s four encounters the Demons won 3 out of 4 games including the all-important Grand Final. The final score in that game was 5.3. 33 to 1.2. 8 in favour of the Ladies from Wandsworth.
This Sunday sees the two rivals lock horns for the first time this year for competition points. The Hawks have cruised through the opening rounds of season 2016 winning both games convincingly and accumulating an astonishing percentage of 1625. The Demons, on the back of a large exodus of last year’s premiership side, have had an indifferent start. They lost a close game against the North London Lions in Round 1 and held on to beat a fast-finishing South East London Giants the following week.
Both clubs are doing great work for the growth of the women’s game and have had a huge number of players on the training track each week. On form, the Hawks will go into this game as favourites but with the Demons gelling well together of late it could be anyone’s game. Let’s not forget the added factor of the Epsom Derby taking place the day before and it’s hard not to get excited by the prospect of this game.
Here are the coaches’ thoughts on the big Grand Final Rematch.
Wimbledon Hawks Coach, Tara Lowther:
“I believe the game will be won by the team who can execute the basic skills the best and the team with the best fitness. Unfortunately, we have an extensive injury list but the remaining players are hardworking and hungry for revenge. We are looking forward to a great game.”
Wandsworth Demons Coach, Mitch Skelly:
“I’m really looking forward to the match and an opportunity to take on the Hawks, who are currently the benchmark for women’s footy in London. Their results have been very impressive throughout 2016, so it’s a chance for us Demons to see where we stand in the pecking order early in the season.
Whilst our form has been a little up and down, the excitement generated by some new players such as English Rose, Kiwi Katie, Tessa and Bianca have been the high points. Those four, along with the bulk of our team, are new to Australian Rules football and I can’t wait to see how well we perform as a team once they’ve had a season to catch up with some of our more experienced players like Kate Grabowski, Sarah Townsend and Lauren Coote – stalwarts and legends of AFL London!”
afleuropehttp://afleurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/afl-logo.pngafleurope2016-06-03 13:39:452016-06-03 13:39:45AFL Europe Match of the Round
In previous years, only exhibition games had been held for females on AFL London Grand Final day or training sessions for those interested. The development of a women’s league in London only confirms the continual development and interest in the game away from Australia. Even more so with the recent implementation of Women’s AFL matches being played since 2013 between the Western Bulldogs and the Melbourne Demons.
Lauren Sparks, a current player for the Wimbledon Hawks, had previous experience playing Aussie Rules football back in Melbourne – 3 years for Melbourne University, representative football for Victoria at the National Championships and Vic Metro. Lauren was also a member of the first two Women’s AFL sanctioned exhibition matches, playing for the Western Bulldogs against the Melbourne Demons. When asked about her knowledge of the league (men or women’s); “before coming over here I didn’t know much at all about the league…I found out they were introducing the first women’s league and that 4 teams would be involved”. As most antipodeans tend to do when moving abroad, a sporting club or organisation is a safe house as a social network. Lauren attributes the Wimbledon Hawks as an accessible way to meet new people, especially with the correlation between the men’s and women’s teams at the club.
Coming from a different Australian Rules football background, Jessie Hayes was part of the Junior Development Program at the Fremantle Dockers and had grown up around the sport. Having minimal knowledge of the Women’s AFL London league before arriving in London, Jessie knew that she would eventually be drawn to a club in one way or another. “Before I came over I had an inkling I would get involved in a club in some way”. She thanks peer pressure from her friend, a North London Lions player, to ‘[encourage] me to get on the other side of the boundary line for once”.
Both players strongly condone the sport as a great way to socialise with other people, and not only at their specific club, but over all the clubs. Many clubs hold joint social occasions to encourage camaraderie between each other – North London Lions and the West London Wildcats jointly host a Thames River Cruise as part of the Wildcat’s Ladies’ Day celebrations. Ladies’ Day is quickly becoming more and more important for the AFL London clubs’ to ascertain their stance as a genuine supporter of further developing and creating awareness of women’s involvement in Australian Rules football.
Without a doubt, the social aspect of the league is a part that everyone enjoys – “It is brilliant to have found such a great family like the Lions. London life wouldn’t be anywhere near as good without the club” Jessie states. As most expats in London can agree, playing Aussie Rules football assists in avoiding a dosage of the ‘Heathrow Injection’ (the sudden weight gain from lack of physical activity when arriving into London).
But where to next for the Women’s AFL London league? The current teams participating in the league are looking to grow their participation numbers and clubs that have yet to field a team would ideally be looking at staking their presences in the league.
“It’s definitely got room to grow, the amount of foreigners that are exposed to it, never seen it before, and then are hooked the minute they try the game, it intrigues people” says Lauren in regards to further expansion of the women’s league. Women’s team are both represented at the Axios Euro Cup as well as the International Cup (World Cup for Aussie Rules football), however there is always the desire to continually expand the participation level for both genders in Europe.
For more information regarding the Women’s AFL London league or any local competitions please head to the Women’s AFL London website.