match-of-the-round

Match of the Round

West Lothian Eagles vs Kingdom Kangaroos

The newly formed West Lothian Eagles will be taking to the field in their first ever competitive hit-out at the weekend against the Kingdom Kangaroos at South Queensferry Rugby Club.

The Eagles were founded in mid-2016 by Mikey Allan who’s worked tirelessly to grow the club from the ground up. With hard work and dedication, Allan and the rest of the Eagles flock will don their newly acquired kits which were kindly donated by AFL club, the West Coast Eagles, in a momentous day for the club.

As well as being the founder, Allan, will also have the added responsibility of being the head coach. He’ll be hoping the past 5 months of hard training will have his chargers doing the fundamentals well.

When asked about their inaugural fixture Allan said, “we’ll be hoping for a hard at the ball contest, the Eagles have trained very hard over the past 5 months and their skills have certainly come on well. Our team spirit is high.”

Allan went on to say, “we will be watching Roos sharp shooter, Jamie Gorman in the forward line and Mark Flanagan in the midfield. We can’t discount the influence of Roos dinosaur and Scottish international full-back, Sandy Bell.”

It’ll be a tough first match-up for the Eagles who come up against AFL Scotland regulars the Kingdom Kangaroos. The Roos had a tough year in the AFL Scotland league only winning 1 out of 6 matches to finish the season in 4th place. They’ll be looking to stamp their authority on newcomers, the Eagles, as they won’t want to be shown up by a team in their first game.

The match will bounce at 2pm with all involved hoping good weather greets the two sides in this historic day for the Eagles. Special mention must go to the Queensferry Community and Sports Hub for hosting the day and putting on some post-match food for the players.

Best of luck to both teams in this December match-up and congratulations in advance to Mikey Allan and the rest of the Eagles for coming so far in such a short period. Well done.

The inaugural West Lothian Eagles side:

Mikey Allan

Nathan Stewart

David Smith

Scott Brown

Dan Fairhurst

Jordan Stewart

Campbell Lewis

Kier Wotherspoon

Owen Lyster

Dario Smith

Jake Pointer

Ewan Witherspoon

around-the-grounds

Around the Grounds

Lions cruising in CNFA

They’ve knocked off the reigning premiers and now the ALFA Lions are sitting pretty at the top of the CNFA ladder after an impressive 3 from 3 start to season 2016/17. The Lions knocked off the champs in style on their home turf in the capital which further provides weight to their claim as potential finalists in the championship. They cruised to victory with a comfortable 86 to 40 score line.

Their remaining 4 matches are all very winnable as they take on the Blagnac Aviators, ASP Tigers, Bordeaux Bombers and a home match against the Cergy-Pointoise Coyotes. Could it be the year of the Lion?

In the other match at the weekend, it was the Tigers going head-to-head with the Paris Cockerels. The Tigers nearly came away with a huge victory away from home, but it was the Cockerels who held on for a much needed 7-point victory. The final scores reading 94 to 87.

Two matches remain before Christmas break and it’s the Toulouse Hawks in match-ups versus the Bordeaux Bombers and Blagnac Aviators.

Haggis Cup early bird entry fees open

Get on board the Haggis Cup early bird prices for AFL Scotland’s annual tournament in 2017. The Haggis Cup is locked in for the 8th of April and is being played at the West of Scotland Rugby Club, Glasgow. To enter your team, contact kirsty@aflscotland.org.

haggis

Vixens recruiting Team Manager

The England Vixens are on the lookout for a new team manager. Have a look at the full list of responsibilities for the role below. If you’re interested in getting involved or you’d like to know a little more about the role, then get in contact with englandvixens@gmail.com

vixens

Wildcats throwback

Have a look at this old print piece on the West London Wildcats. A few days back the Wildcats reminisced on 20 years since becoming the third Aussie Rules club to launch a website. They narrowly missed out on being pioneers on the world-wide-web by the Essendon Bombers and Collingwood Magpies.

wildcats

Odense hit 1000 fans!

The Odense Australian Football Club celebrated hitting 1000 likes Facebook last week. Great achievement by the Lions and Lionesses. See you at the 2000 mark soon.

odense

Irish Warriors name their Ireland-based IC17 extended squad

The Irish Warriors management team have announced their extended Ireland-based training squad for the 2017 AFL International Cup. More players will be added in the coming weeks depending on performances in the winter championships as well as arrangements being made for UK and Australian-based players to train and have trials in the coming weeks. The final squad of 30 will be announced in the spring.

The management team has been confirmed with Mick Finn joining Brian Currane and Ciaran O’Hara on the senior coaching staff. The team will be managed by Michael Currane and Paul Ryan will once again serve as tour manager.

Congratulations to those selected, check out the full squad from the ARFLI press release.

IC17 Training Squad Announced

match-of-the-round

Match of the Round

The Nathan Blakey Memorial Movember Cup 2016

The 2016 edition of the Movember Cup is set for this weekend at the Burnage Rugby Club. The annual event is organised by the mighty Manchester Mosquitoes with the latest instalment of the tournament involving six men’s and two women’s teams.

The men’s competition will involve a single league table with each team playing two other teams, making it six games in total during the group stage. Games will consist two 15-minute halves with a five-minute half-time.

Following the group stages, teams will be competing for their Movember Cup ranking. First will play second, third vs. fourth, then fifth vs. sixth. Alongside the main tournament and the women’s game a variety of awards will be given. The ‘Best Mo’ and ‘Be Better Mo’ titles will be awarded along with the ‘Best on Ground’ for both the men’s and women’s tournaments.

Throughout the day there will be a bar and BBQ open to all, as well as a raffle, with profits going towards the Movember charity.

Full tournament schedule:

1100 – Mozzies 1s v Rams & Wolves v UoB 2s

1150 – Rams v UoB 1s & UoB 2s v Mozzies 2s

1240 – Mozzies 1s v UoB 1s & Mozzies 2s v Wolves

1330 – 3rd v 4th & 5th v 6th

1415 – 1st v 2nd

1500 – Women’s Exhibition

https://www.facebook.com/events/1816303571988164/

 

Additional information on the Movember charity:

Movember is “the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale” (uk.movember.com). The charity focuses mainly on prostate and testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.

“Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under the age of 35. Every hour 35 men lose their lives due to prostate cancer. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men under 40”.

Movember helps fund over 1200 project across the globe to help give men the facts about their health, change their health behaviour for the better (with regular checking of their testicles, prostate and mental health) and develop accessible health services for men.

If you would like to find out more information on Movember, please visit uk.movember.com.

If you’re are available to assist with volunteering please contact president@manchesteraussierules.com to submit an your interest.

Special thanks to Ben Sweetman for providing a great overview into the Movember Cup.

 

player_of_week_sandybell

Player of the Week

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 ben.durance@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet.

This week’s Player of the Week is the evergreen, Sandy Bell, from the Kingdom Kangaroos and Scottish Clansmen. The British Champion in kayaking took to the game of Aussie Rules 3 years ago and has made a name for himself as a tough and uncompromising defender. Have a look at the rest of Sandy’s profile below:

Name:

Sandy Bell

Club:

Kingdom Kangaroos

Nationality:

Scottish

What position do you play?

Fullback

AFL team you support:

North Melbourne

Favourite AFL player:

Dustin Fletcher

How did you find out about AFL?

I first discovered AFL in the early 80s on TV but didn’t realise the sport existed in Scotland until 4 years ago. A fellow kayaker dragged me along to Roo’s training and I loved every minute of it. I have now been playing for 3 great years

How long have you been playing for?

3 years

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

The coach played me up front in my first outing but that wasn’t for me. Luckily we lost a few backs during the game and I was shifted to defence…. absolutely loved it.

Best AFL moment?

The highlight of my Aussie Rules experience has to be playing in the Euro Cup finals in Lisbon for the Scottish Clansmen. Playing the Netherlands in Amsterdam was a great warm-up. Unfortunately, I may not be able to continue playing much longer. But I’ll try.

Any other interesting information, quirky stories or interesting things about yourself?

It may be time for me to concentrate on kayaking again as it’s a lot kinder on the body. It is 2 years since I became British Champion in the 6.5km event in Worcester. I hope to see you all in Toulouse next year for the Euro Cup.sb1

 

12th-jul-2016

Around the Grounds

AFL Canada making the trip over the Atlantic in 2017!

AFL Europe and AFL Canada announced plans for the men’s and women’s Canadian Development teams to travel to London in May 2017. Both tournaments will be taking place from the 19th to 21st of May with a round robin fixture set in place.

To read more about the tournament click through the link below.

AFL Canada comes to London!

Coyotes sit atop the CNFA ladder

The CNFA ladder is starting to take shape. Following the weekends fixtures, the Cergy-Pointoise Coyotes are sitting on top for the 2016/17 season. The ASP Tigers have jumped into second position in front of the ALFA Lions who are in third with a game in hand. The Bordeaux Bombers have played 4 games and round out the top-four places. The two Parisian sides are yet to hit their straps but are in 5th and 6th  as the Toulouse Hawks and new-comers, the Blagnac Aviators, are battling it out for the wooden spoon.

The next few rounds before Christmas are incredibly important for setting up sides 2nd half of the year and will go a long way to determining the make-up of the top 4.

cnfa

AFL Europe Footy Show kicks off! AFL Europe Footy Show kicks off! AFL Europe Footy Show kicks off!

Monday night was the first instalment of the AFL Europe Footy Show after a 2-year hiatus. Despite a few technical issues and an annoying echo, we were able to put together a 45-minute show full of entertainment. Special guest, Oliver Howard, discussed his aims and objectives as the new Chairman along with general discussions on all things footy.

Improvements to the quality of the stream (and the general presenting) will occur over the course of the first few shows. Massive thanks to everyone who tuned in. We’ll announce when the next show is scheduled well in advance.

If you’d like to listen to the recording from the first show, click through the link below.

AFL Europe Footy Show – Listen Here

 

Old vs New: Alumni take the win over the Students at UoB

It was a battle between old and new at the weekend for the University of Birmingham Aussie Rules Football Club. And it was the old boys who had the last laugh against the current students in their annual hit-out. A great initiative by the team at UoB keeping their alumni in the mix with all things Aussie Rules at the Uni. The final score in the match was 137 to 95 in favour of the Alumni.

uob

New President in the DAFL

The Danish Australian Football League (DAFL) will be under the guidance of a new president in 2017. Thore Lauritzen was elected to take over the job from Simon Malone after his 2 years of great service. Thore has been an integral member in the DAFL community over a number of years. He is the captain of the national side, coach of the Farum Cats as well as being crowned best afield in this year’s DAFL Grand Final.

Congratulations on the appointment Thore and all the best in your new role.

dafl

1st Round of the Rebel Shield goes to the Bombers

The first leg of the Rebel Shield took place on Friday evening at Mardyke Arena in Cork. It was the students, the UCC Bombers, who claimed the spoils over their cousins, the Leeside Lions. The hit-out was great prep for the Bombers who are gearing up for the upcoming Fitzpatrick Cup in early 2017.

The Lions will also take valuable match practice from the game as they look for a serious assault on the 2017 Champions League in April next year.

The return fixture should be hotly contested between these two clubs with the difference not too great to overcome for the Lions.

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International Rules set for two-test hit out in 2017

After a year off, the International Rules series between the AFL and GAA has been set for November 2017. Following the two one-off tests in 2014 and 2015, the 2017 instalment will feature a two-test series at yet to be determined venues.

Australia will play host to the series and will present a side made up entirely of All-Australian players, as has been the case in the previous two series.

Check out the full press release from the Official AFL website.

http://www.afl.com.au/news/2016-11-22/international-rules-series-returns-with-australia-to-host-two-tests

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AFL Canada comes to London!

May 2017 brings a whole new exciting event to the already bursting AFL Europe Women’s Calendar. We are excited to announce that the Midnight Suns, the Canadian National AFL Women’s development squad will be flying over the Atlantic to play against the Great Britain Swans, the Irish Banshees and an AFL London All-Stars team.

AFL Canada decided that in 2017 they will only be sending one representative side, the Northern Lights, to the International Cup in Melbourne, unlike 2014 where they, and the USA, sent two teams each. This decision therefore meant that AFL Canada wanted to present an opportunity of progression to their development team, the Midnight Suns. With the Great Britain Swans heading to the International Cup for their debut along with veterans of the competition, the Irish Banshees, having Canada’s development squad as a warm up game will be extremely beneficial for the two teams, and vital 18-a-side practice. The London All Stars team will be made up of the best players from the four women’s teams in the capital, to bring strong and experienced players together to present a tough challenge to the three national teams.

On the back of this decision the male representative sides of AFL Canada, Great Britain and Ireland have come to a similar arrangement with Great Britain hosting a 4-way tournament between the three sides, and a yet to be named 4th side. With the male game also bursting in Canada, and the European nations looking for more competition in the months leading up to IC17, the Canadians, like their female counterparts, were looking for a place to send their development squad. The decision was made for their male team to follow their Women’s lead and the European nations followed suit.

AFL Canada’s President Lachlan Griffiths had this to say, “We are very grateful to AFL Europe, AFL England and the Great British and Irish National Teams for coming together for this tournament next year. We have been looking to provide our players with more high quality games, and are excited by the opportunity to play against two very strong football nations. It is going to provide our development squad players with a first-hand look at the level of football required to compete at the International level, with the hope that these players will go on to represent Canada in future international games and press for selection at IC20”.

The Canadian teams will touch down in London on Wednesday 17th May for 5 days; with games being played on the Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. The Women’s games will simulate International Cup formats as close as possible, and each team will play one other only once with the winner being the one coming out with the most points, with percentage taking account if required. The Men’s tournament will follow the same format with each team playing each other once.

On the back of early conversations between the team managers of Great Britain and AFL Canada there is talk of a desire to reinvigorate a yearly competition (going forward outside of International Cup years), like that of the old Atlantic Alliance Cup. While AFL England Head of Performance and GB Team Manager, Jason Hill, didn’t confirm exactly how the competition would take place or when, he did confirm that there had been talks and that GB did plan to travel to Canada in 2018.

Further details of game locations & times will be released in due course.

If you would like to assist the event in any capacity, please get in contact on GB.Swans@gmail.com and for more information please visit www.aflengland.orgwww.aflcanada.com and www.arfli.com

match-of-the-round

Match of the Round

Rebel Shield – 1st Leg – Leeside Lions v UCC Bombers

Leeside Lions hoping students don’t rebel, for the second year in a row…

Article by Richard MacSweeney

You ask some in Cork, Ireland about “Football” and for the most part they will refer to Gaelic Football, a game that’s over 100 years old, rich in local tradition, passion and identity. It’s a game that see’s best friends becomes bitter rivals come championship season. Then there are others who refer to “Football” predominantly as supporters of the English premiership or the odd few that support the domestic league.

Nowadays “Football” or “Footy” has a new meaning in Cork. The growth of Australian Rules football in the city and county has steadily increased year on year.  This is primarily due to the growth of the University College Cork AFL team, the UCC Bombers. Founded from humble beginnings in 2013, backboned by Leeside Lions player Eoin O’Sullivan and UCC student Danny O’Brien, the club garnered some interest and the willing new faces could see and kick a Sherrin for the first time. Thankfully there was enough interest to build on and guys kept coming back week after week, with that the Bombers were formed.

picture1Picture: The very first Rebel Shield game in 2013, a very inexperienced bombers team suffered at the hands of the established Leeside Lions

Nowadays, the UCC Bombers club attire is a common site around the college campus, the session are well run, focusing on the cores skills and rules of Aussie Rules , tailoring the innate established Gaelic Football and Rugby skills, primarily where most new participants come from, those that try it tend to buy into the ethos of Aussie Rules. No politics, no tradition no pre disposition, just pure and raw exposure to an exciting new game. There can be as many as thirty new faces turning up to training sessions at the moment.

In 2013, it was unknown territory for teams beyond those already established in the Irish league, there was no Fitzpatrick Cup, like there is now for University teams. The Bombers had to make do with the pinnacle of their year being a one-off game against Cork based ARFLI team the Leeside Lions, both teams coming up with a perpetual competition that’s aptly named the “Rebel Shield”. Cork people and sports teams are affectionately known as “The Rebels”, there is something rebellious about thirty or forty guys, the majority of whom have never been to Australia, and playing their indigenous game thousands of miles away .

picture5Picture: Eoin O’Sullivan taking the combined Leeside Lions & UCC Bombers training session, this allows younger players to learn from experienced players and perhaps future teammates.

The first ever Rebel Shield game left a lot to be desired from a spectators’ perspective, but from humble beginnings, a team of 12 or so wearing colours inspired by the Essendon Bombers jumper included Rob & Phil, two American exchange students took on the might of the vastly established Leeside Lions, who were awesome on the day and showed the students how to play the game. An ever constant since day one, was Eoin O’Sullivan, the work he has put in and still does is nothing short of remarkable. A winner at the IC11 as well as many more 9’s & EC medals, Eoin still has the enthusiasm to grow the game and drives the club each cold and wet October, when new students could take the easy option and go to the college bar for a beer.

Fast forward three years since that first Rebel Shield, the UCC Bombers have grown from strength to strength winning the inaugural Fitzpatrick Cup in 2014 in Dublin and a testament to the club’s growth that two separate Bomber’s teams took part in last year’s competition in Birmingham. On the back of a successful year the Bombers came into the Rebel Shield and beat the Lions over two legs for the first time in their history, so this year the Lions will want payback as the students outplayed the teachers.

picture2Picture: UCC Bombers Aussie Rules Club – 2014 Fitzpatrick Cup Winners

Every year at the beginning of the academic season, the Bombers training’s and Lions training’s are mixed so all new guys get to know and learn from the experienced players who may even become their future Lions teammates, but for the next couple of weeks they’re the opposition. Experienced Irish Internationals like Eoin O’Sullivan and Padraic O’Connell take the drills and are joined in the coaching ranks by Lions stalwart and head coach, Chris O’Brien. The emphasis is on skills, skills, skills as these early year sessions move towards a platform to be used on, namely the Rebel Shield first leg and preparation for the Fitzpatrick cup, which is held in UCC in 2017.

November 18th next will see this year’s installment, which has been extended to two legs since 2015.   The first leg of the “Rebel Shield” will take place in Cork’s Mardyke Arena with ball up at 6.30pm. Reigning ARFLI premiers, the Leeside Lions, will return to the same venue which saw a demolition of the Belfast Redbacks in the grand final last August, the Lions will hope that history will repeat itself, pride and reputation are on the line.

On the night, the Bombers will be looking to experienced players like Oisin Collins, Peter Traynor, who have tasted international experience with the Irish Warriors with club players like Evan O’Connor, James Duffy, Kevin Sullivan and James O’Callaghan driving the team onward against their more experienced counterparts. The Lions will be looking towards Irish Warriors Luke Hickey, Padraic O’Connell, Colin Lordan, Paul Murphy, Dom Joyce, Conor O’Halloran as well as club stalwarts Mike Scanlan and Ian O’Sullivan to put one over on the students. The game bodes well as they prepare for their participation at the AFL Europe Champions League in April as Ireland’s representatives.

picture4Picture: Leeside Lions 2016 squad which included 17 past/current UCC Bomber’s players 

The UCC Bombers players who are interested in playing footy beyond the academic year actually transition to join the Leeside Lions in the summer months. It is no coincidence that the onslaught of Bombers into the Lions squad helped the Leeside Lions win the ARFLI Flag for the first time in 11 years this year, and even more impressive is they were the first team in history to go through an unbeaten season.

Current and former Bombers have gone on to receive great team and personal accolades, there have been more than 10 players play for the national team over the last couple of years with Bombers origins. Then there are the likes of Paul Murphy (Team of the tournament EC 16) Luke Hickey (Team of the tournament Euro Cup 16), Oisin Collins , Rory O’Donnell, Matt Bell gaining international experience this year on the back of their ARFLI winning campaign with the Lions.  A key member of last year’s Bombers set up who has transitioned to a fully-fledged Lion and Irish Warrior is Luke Hickey who in his first full year as a Lion, was in fact named Leeside Lions Best & Fairest.

The skill and passion of youth could compliment the experience of the Lions stalwarts, who needed that injection. IC winning captain, Cian Quigley, Ian O’Sullivan, Jason Hingston and Vincent Manning as well as many more who kept the club going through lean times are now enjoying the fruits of a large squad. The Lions win huge testament to the number of years invested in the bombers that eventually yielded the crossover of players the ranks last year

picture3Picture: Some of the 2016 UCC Bombers team that beat a Galway Magpies selection last week, as warm up for the Rebel Shield on Nov. 18th.

It’s a testament to the hard work by the Lions and UCC coaching staff to the hard work they have put in over the years that these games are not solely for exhibition purposes but they’re extremely competitive and a great brand of footy has been played in the past and hopefully it will do so again. There is that rivalry that needs to be present on the oval but there is that camaraderie off the field that is a testament to AFL ethos and culture.

So if you’re in the Cork area pop down to the Mardyke for what promises to be a great exhibition of footy, can the Lions avenge last year’s defeat? Will the Bombers make it two in a row?

If you can’t make it, it would be great as an AFL Europe community for other clubs and college teams to wish both teams all the best on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

 

Rebel Shield (First leg)

Leeside Lions vs UCC Bombers

Mardyke Arena

Friday 18th November, Ball up 6.30pm

All Welcome, Free Entry

player_of_week_141116

Player of the Week

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 admin@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet.

This week we’re taking a look at one of the longest serving Croatian players to date. Tomislav Cvetko started out in 2007 and quickly made a name for himself. He’s a multiple Croatian League MVP, captain of the Knights for the past 6 years and a regular in Team of the Tournaments. Regarded by many as the best forward in Europe, have a read of what got the big man into our great game.

Name:  

Tomislav Cvetko

Club:

Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers

Nationality:

Croatian

What position do you play?

Forward mostly

AFL team you support:

Dockers, Swans, Hawks

Favourite AFL player:

Buddy Franklin

How did you find out about AFL?

Through a friend who lived in Australia in his younger age

How long have you been playing for?

10 years, since 2007.

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

3 Nations Cup 2007 in Wien. Brilliant weekend, immediately fell in love with the game and the people around it!

Best AFL moment?

I have so many, it’s hard to pick just one, but if I have to name a few: 2008 EU Cup in Prague – Silver medal (Croatian first EU Cup), 2010 EU Cup in Milan – Gold medal and EU Cup gold in Lisbon just now.

Any other interesting information, quirky stories or interesting things about yourself?

I don’t like clothes! 🙂

 

9th-aug-2016

Around the Grounds

AFL Umpires stop in for a chat

Last night a handful of the AFL Umpiring squad gave up their time whilst on tour to sit down and have a chat about all things umpiring with several our current AFL Europe Umpiring team.

The boys shared stories of how they got into officiating the game and provided a great insight into some of the challenges they face in the recruitment and retention of high quality umpires. A massive thank you must go out to Shane Hill, Head of Umpiring, for arranging the get-together.

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L-R: Hayden Charles, Gary Gila, Matt Stevic, Chris Goodman, Shane Hill, Ian Kafka, Jordan Bannister, Steve McInerney, Shaun Ryan, Josh Davey

Stay tuned on the www.afleurope.org for information on umpiring courses being held here in England in the new year.

 

Can you top the TruChallenge?

I’m sure that by now you’ve noticed the GB Swans and their TruChallenge taking over social media. If you think you and your club can top the ‘flick and kick’ challenge, then follow the link and post your video on Facebook. Be sure to tag AFL Europe!

https://www.truchallenge.co.uk/v/bGPMLb

 

ARFLI 7s kicks off

The first ARFLI 7s session was held over the weekend with 3 teams contesting the reduced format game. The County Lions, City Lions and UCC Bombers took part in the inaugural tournament in what was a great success.

ARFLI will be running several sessions around the country throughout the winter months. The full results from the first session are as follows:

County Lions 6.6.6. 102 to UCC Bombers 3.10.7. 97

City Lions 6.8.5. 113 to UCC Bombers 2.6.6. 62

City Lions 5.12.7. 129 to County Lions 7.5.11. 111

 

UoB and Oxford battle it out in a thriller

The boys from the University of Birmingham clinched a thrilling 3-point victory over rivals, Oxford University, in an incredible display of Aussie Rules.

Testing conditions didn’t stop the intensity of the match with a supremely competitive contest experienced throughout. A strong Oxford side were unrelenting in their pressure and they’ve set the scene for a big year of university football.

In the women’s match, the Oxford girls proved too strong for their opponents. Both matches were played in great spirit with massive congratulations to all players involved. We’re looking forward to the return fixture between these two university football powerhouses.

uob

 

Talent Combine uncovers stars of the future

The 6th AFL Europe Talent Combine was held at the weekend under the watchful eye of the AFL’s International Talent Manager, Tadhg Kennelly. 23 boys from Ireland and France were selected to attend the combine and were put through a range of fitness and skills tests over the course of the weekend.

Massive congratulations to all the boys who tested as well as their parents for attending the information session on the Saturday afternoon. Tadhg and his team ran another smooth combine and will have a very tough decision to make when selecting the boys to take part in the AFL AIS Tour of Florida next year.

Read our full Combine review below:

http://www.afleurope.org/afl-europe-talent-combine-review/

 

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AFL Europe Talent Combine Review

The 2016 AFL Europe Talent Combine was held in Dublin on the 11th and 12th of November. 21 athletes from Europe were selected to attend the event to further showcase their athleticism and skills to a panel of recruiters from the AFL community. From this, 5 players will be nominated to attend the US Combine held in Florida where there will be a scout from every AFL club overlooking the talent.

Players arrived the evening of Thursday 10th November to the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Dublin, where they attended a ‘Welcome Dinner’ followed by an informal presentation hosted by former Sydney Swans player and current International Talent Manager, Tadhg Kennelly, who welcomed all players and presented them with their combine apparel.

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Friday morning players completed a ‘Personality Profiling Assessment’, which will be used to gain a better understanding and insight into their mindsets.  After the testing, all athletes were taken to the University College Dublin (UCD), who hosted this year’s Combine.

All players’ height, weight, skinfolds, arm length and hand span was recorded to help form their sporting profile. The first fitness assessment was completed in three sections, the first section was a Speed Test comprising of a 20m Sprint which was tested in blocks of 5, 10, 20 meters. The second section was an AFL Agility Run and the third was a Running and Standing Vertical Jump.  All results were electronically recorded and generated for their sporting profile as well as for prospective clubs.

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The second fitness assessment was the Beep Test, which tested their aerobic capabilities.  All athletes pushed themselves remarkably, resulting in some fantastic outcomes.

Later that afternoon all players were taken through an introductory skills session indoors. It was the first time for some athletes to pick up an AFL football, however; after a matter of minutes they managed to become extremely familiar with the skill set required. Tadhg and his team hosted multiple skills activities and decision making drills.

After a huge day of testing, all players looked forward to jumping into the pool for a quick recovery session to enable them to pull up ready for the next day of testing.

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Later that night, players attended AFL Europe and AFL Club interviews. They were asked several questions based on their background, their inspirations and their aspirations for life. This permitted the testers to generate more contextual information for each of the player’s profile.

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An early start on day Three of the AFL Europe Combine saw all players transported to the UCD Sports Fields where they performed multiple skills activities and then finally competing in a game of AFL and Gaelic Football. From this, recruiters and staff members were able to see all athletes’ capabilities in game form and were extremely happy to witness some incredible performances.

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On Saturday afternoon all players, parents and AFL Representatives were invited to attend a casual lunch followed by a presentation from the AFL.  The presentation consisted of a short recap of Tadhg Kennelly’s journey to the Sydney Swans, a snapshot of how AFL recruitment works including the rules/the players welfare and lastly, an overview of living in Australia from the Australian Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Richard Andrews.

Overall, the 2016 AFL Europe Talent Combine was a major success; there were great results achieved and some amazing talent seen. We wish the best of luck to all 21 players and look forward to hearing about their future endeavors.

Article by Olivia Eason

 

 

AFL Europe Talent Combine Trials, DCU, Dublin 4/12/2015
A view of the AFL Europe Talent Combine Trials
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

AFL Europe Talent Combine

It’s that time of the year again!

This week is an important fixture on the AFL Europe event calendar. AFL Europe’s 2016 Talent combine will be held Friday and Saturday November 11th & 12th at University College Dublin. The talent combine brings 25 of the most talented football prospects from across Europe to profile them athletically, mentally and analyse their skills. From a fitness testing prospective we will be putting the athletes through the 20m sprint, AFL agility, vertical leap, running vertical leap and beep test. The boys will also put their problem solving skills to test their ability as they are scrutinized under pressure. Finally, we will be putting the athletes through full match simulation in order to evaluate their overall football capabilities. All of this testing and the entire event will be overseen by Irish ex-Sydney Swans  premiership player Tadhg Kennelly.

We are extremely excited for the event and are sure we will get some fantastic results!

Olivia Eason