In the 2nd leg of the 2013 Easter Series there were some very unique challenges that a very long European winter decided to throw at us. With 48 hours until game-time there was the real prospect of the game being called off due the a recent 25cm snow fall and the frozen soil that was taking it’s time to thaw.
After the council ticked off the ground as safe for use only two days before the game, and AFL representatives Kevin Sheehan and Tony Woods checked the surface on Tuesday and announced the game would go ahead as planned in icy cold conditions on the outskirts of Copenhagen.
The Academy and European players were split into two teams coached by Sydney Swans premiership teammates Michael O’Loughlin and Tadhg Kennelly. Kennelly’s side held O’Loughlin’s goalless for the first half, before running out 22-point winners.
Of the Australians, Matt Crouch followed his strong performance against the European Legion last Saturday in Surrey with another excellent showing, along with South Australian Luke Dunstan and energetic midfielder Lewis Taylor.
Leading forward Darcy Hourigan chipped in with three goals and made things happen in his forward half and Kade Kolodjashnij was clever and calm with the ball tucked under his arm.
Midfielders Dom Sheed and Lloyd Perris tried hard for Kennelly’s side, while the versatility of Northern Territory’s Errin Wasley-Black were also there to see off half-back and the wing.
Excitingly the Europeans didn’t look out of place playing amongst these future stars with some of the best passages of play being through the hands of the local boys. Mikkel Kjoege (Den) showed his continued improvement regularly putting his head over the ball and emerging to handball out to a teammate.
Martyn Hinchey (Eng) was great with his tap work while opposition ruckman and mobile utility Niccolo Di Giorgi (Ita) thrilled the big crowd and club recruiters with some soaring leaps and an on9 the run, left foot banana from 45m out directly in front. Other Europeans with impressive games were Kilheeny (Eng) and the Lauritzen (Den) brothers.
Niccolo Di Giorgi and Martyn Hinchey were respectively named the best players for the European contingent.
Tadhg Kennelly’s side 2.6 5.7 8.10 9.12 (66)
Michael O’Loughlin’s side 0.0 0.2 2.4 6.8 (44)
Kennelly: Hourigan 3, Campion 2 (Denmark), Tsitas 2, Cutler, Kolodjashnij
O’Loughlin: Boyd, J. Secher (Denmark), Sheed, Spina, Di Giorgi (Italy), Smith (Scotland)
Kennelly: Crouch, Taylor, Hourigan, Dunstan, Kolodjashnij, Bontempelli, Robertson, Hinchey
O’Loughlin: Sheed, Perris, Dumont, Wasley-Black, Di Giorgi