This weekend the 2nd annual AFL Europe Champions League took place in Amsterdam, co-hosted with the Amsterdam Devils.
Sportspark de Eendraact accommodated 5 women’s and 13 men’s teams as they all battled it out to be named the Champion of Europe. With around 38 matches being played over 4 pitches the atmosphere was buzzing from 10am.
The women’s competition started with a round robin, having all teams play each other. Both the Swedish Ravens and GB Swans ended up on three wins a piece each with the Odense Lionesses following on two wins, Les Gauloises on a win and a draw and the Wandsworth Demons ended with one draw. The Grand Final was then made up of the top two teams, the Ravens and Swans. After both teams having strong performances all day the Grand Final was highly anticipated. Unfortunately for the Swedish Ravens the GB Swans were too good and ran it out with a 13 point buffer. The final score was GB Swans 26 def. Swedish Ravens 13.
In 5th place in the Women’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague tournament we had the Women’s AFL London Premiers, the Wandsworth Demons. Winning the inaugural WAFL London Grand Final last year over the Wimbledon Hawks by 4 goals, the Demons were strong contenders but were unfortunately plagued with the typical player loss due to visa expiries! Our Team of the Tournament Guernsey went to Alex Daley.
In 4th place in the Women’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague tournament we had French national team Les Gauloises. Our French women were coming off a 3rd place finish in our 2015 Euro Cup, and continually becoming stronger and more experienced. Our Team of the Tournament Guernsey went to Camille Portal.
In 3rd place in the Women’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague tournament we had the winners of the Women’s Nordic AFL League, the Odense Lionesses. With exceptional skill and a substantial amount of players being a part of the runners up, 2015 Euro Cup, Danish National team, the women gave it a strong effort. Our Team of the Tournament Guernsey went to Maria Falkesgaard.
In 2nd place in the Women’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague tournament we had the Sweden national team, the Swedish Ravens. Finishing on top of the ladder after the pool rounds the Ravens headed into the Grand Final with the newly formed GB Swans. Putting up a strong fight the Ravens went down 13-26 against GB. Our Team of the Tournament Guernsey and Captain (best player of the tournament) went to Ida Rasmark.
In 1st place in the Women’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague tournament we had the newly formed, Great Britain Swans. Made up of women from England and Scotland for this tournament, the ladies ended up second on the ladder in the pool round to secure them a place in the Grand Final against the Swedes. Giving it their all, the Swans ended up taking the gold by 13 points. Our Team of the Tournament Guernsey went to Lynsey Torrance.
With this year being the 2nd annual for the men’s competition the level of skill, play and overall dedication was immense compared to 2015. Growing from last years count of ten teams, 13 teams arrived into Amsterdam with the hope of heading home with the silverware. The 4 pools groups were made up of 3 and 4 teams respectively , with only the winners of each pool progressing into the semi finals. All other teams then went into place playoffs to finish with a definite rank.
In 13th place in the Men’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague we had AFL Russia’s Moscow Lazy Koalas. The Koalas unfortunately ended up 4th in their pool which took them into an exhibition match with the West London Wildcats reserve team. Our Team of the Tournament Guernsey went to Daniel Demaine.
In 12th place in the Men’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague we had the Edinburgh Bloods. The Bloods fought hard in the Red Group however, came third to the Hamburg Dockers and Zagreb Hawks in the pool round which took them into the 11th place match against the Odense Lions. Our Team of the Tournament Guernsey went to Dylan Brooke.
In 11th place in the Men’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague we had Odense Lions. The Lions gave the Wildcats a good cat fight in the pool round and came close to the Paris Cockerels but unfortunately finished third in the Orange Group taking them into the 11th place match for them to beat the Edinburgh Bloods by 19 points. Our Team of the Tournament Guernsey went to Mikkel Kjøge.
In 10th place in the Men’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague we had AFL London Premiers, the North London Lions. Beating the West London Wildcats by a solitary point in the 2015 Grand Final the Lions were expected to be big contenders, unfortunately, the Lions were unable to move from third position in what was dubbed the Black Group of Death. They headed into the 9th place match against the Dockers. Our Team of the Tournament Guernsey went to Jay Orion.
In 9th place in the Men’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague we had the Zagreb Dockers. Coming third in the White Group, the Zagreb Dockers headed into the 9th place match against the North London Lions where they were victorious by 7 points. Our Team of the Tournament Guernsey went to Tomislav Cvetko.
In 8th place in the Men’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague we had the Stockolm Australian Football Federation (SAFF) winners, Södermalm Double Blues. Södermalm came second in their pool to the South Dublin Swans but unfortunately went down to the Zagreb Hawks in the 7th place match. Our Team of the Tournament Guernsey went to Oscar Löfgren.
In 7th place in the Men’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague we had the Zagreb Hawks. The Hawks came second to the Hamburg Dockers in their pool to then go on and beat Sodermalm in the 7th place match by 23 points. Our Team of the Tournament Guernsey went to Jan Dolezal.
In 6th place in the Men’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague we had the Paris Cockerels. Finishing in second in their pool below the West London Wildcats the Cockerals narrowly missed out on 5th place against the Devils. Our Team of the Tournament Guernsey went to Pierre Bouchet.
In 5th place in the Men’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague we had the host team, the Amsterdam Devils. The Devils were unlucky in pooling in the “Black Group of Death” coming second to AFLCNE’s Manchester Mosquitoes. This took them into the 5th place match against the Paris Cockerels where the won by 18 points. Our Team of the Tournament Guernsey and Captain (best player of the tournament) went to Neil Cooke.
In 4th place in the Men’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague we had the South Dublin Swans. Finishing on the top of the White Group, the Swans went into the Semi Finals up against the West London Wildcats. Unfortunately they went down to the Wildcats by 69 points and went on to play the Hamburg Dockers in the 3rd place match where the lost by 15 points to take out 4th place. Team of the Tournament Guernsey went to Kevin Brennan.
In 3rd place in the Men’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague we had the Hamburg Dockers. The Dockers were victorious in the Red Group beating out the Zagreb Hawks and Edinburgh Bloods to finish first in the pool stages. Moving into the semi finals the Dockers played the Manchester Mosquitoes but unfortunately missed out on a place in the final by a mere 4 points. They went onto the 3rd place final where they beat the South Dublin Swans by 15 points. Team of the Tournament Guernsey went to Rick Hansome.
In 2nd place in the Men’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague we had the Manchester Mosquitoes. The Mozzies managed to get out of the “Black Group of Death” beating both the North London Lions and Amsterdam Devils to make it into the semi finals. Come Semis the Mozzies beat the Hamburg Dockers by 4 points to make it into the Grand Final where the went down fighting to the West London Wildcats by 30 points. Team of the Tournament Guernsey went to Tom Crameri.
2016’s AFL Europe #ChampionsLeague went to the reigning winners, the West London Wildcats. The Wildcats showed up with a strong squad ready to defend their title. Ending up in first place in the Orange group by beating the Paris Cockerels and the Odense Lions, the Wildcats went into the semis to face off with the South Dublin Swans. The Wildcats gave a strong performance and went into the Grand Final with a 69 point win under their belts. Coming up against their northern competition, the AFLCNE victors, the Wildcats showed no mercy and took out the title by a comfortable 30 points. Team of the Tournament Guernsey went to Lloyd Williams.
We want to thank the Amsterdam Devil immensely for all their hard work, energy and time, without you guys this event wouldn’t have gone off as perfectly as it did! A big thank you to all the teams that came out, gave it their best and played hard. The level of football seen on the weekend was incredible and we couldn’t pick the top 8 let alone top 4. We’d also like to thank our volunteers, the umpires and the supporters that made the day wonderful!
Until next year!