With the 2018 season fast approaching, we’ll be taking a look at each of the countries in our AFL Europe community to get a snapshot of how Aussie Rules kicked off in their country, some of their highlights, and their goals for 2018. First up is Denmark, who have a regular fixture with the Denmark Australian Football League (DAFL), and are tough competitors at AFL Europe tournaments. Check out what AFL Denmark President Thore Lauritzen had to say about the growth of AFL in Denmark. 

Give us a snapshot of AFL in Denmark:

AFL is still a rather small sport in Denmark, with around 300 players involved in the different leagues. Recently, new teams have emerged across the country, and also 2 Swedish teams from Skåne have joined the Denmark Australian Football League (DAFL). DAFL now consists of 8 clubs – the Aalborg Kangaroos, Copenhagen Barracudas, Copenhagen Giants, Farum Cats, Helsingborg Saints, Odense Lions and the Port Malmø Maulers.

Helsingborg Saints vs. Odense Lions, 2017

What’s the history of AFL in Denmark:

DAFL had its first season in 1991, with 3 Copenhagen based teams; the Amager Tigers, Copenhagen Crocs, and North Copenhagen Barracudas, with the Barracudas taking home the first flag. 25 footy seasons later in 2017, the Barracudas again raised the cup, although a fair few changes have happened throughout the years.

Denmark Vikings & Denmark Valkyries at the 2015 Euro Cup 

2017 Highlights of AFL in Denmark:

The Barracudas deservedly claimed the title as champions in 2017, in their Grand Final win against the Cats. The two sides are arguably to be the two flag favourites in 2018 as well, but recent years have shown that the other teams are more than ready and capable to join in the fight to claim the cup. As recently as the 2015 season, the Barracudas and the Cats lost their Semi Finals against the Kangaroos and the Giants which saw the Giants take home the premiership that season. 

Copenhagen Barracudas, DAFL Premiers 2017 

What are your goals for 2018?

Looking at season 2018, DAFL – as a whole community – has discussed shifting their focus from mainly being on elite footy, to also give more attention to recruiting new players. This is very much in line with the recent years happenings, with the still rather new teams (Lions and Giants), and the ambition to get WNAFL (Womens Nordic AFL) established as a genuine league. Within the WNAFL, the Odense Lionesses and Port Malmø Lynx can be argued to be the flag favourites of the 3 teams, whereas the Farum Wildcats will mainly focus on recruiting for now.

Lastly, there’s the ambition for the two national sides, Denmark Vikings (men) and Denmark Valkyries (women), to play in The Euro Cup in 2018. Both sides have had their success in the Euro Cup, where the Valkyries took home silver medal in Umag 2015, and the Vikings claimed Gold Medals in both London 2014 and Umag 2015.

2017 DAFL Grand Final 

If you’re interested in playing AFL in Denmark, send us an email at admin@afleurope.org for more information of how you can get involved.