Euro Cup 2017 – Tournament Preview

National Aussie Rules teams from all across Europe will come together this Saturday, October 7th for the AFL Europe Euro Cup. This year, the annual 9-a-side tournament will be held in Bordeaux, France and co-hosted by the Bordeaux Bombers and the CNFA.

In what’s sure to be an action-packed day of Aussie Rules footy, 14 men’s and 7 women’s teams will converge on Stadium Robert Monseau in Saint Médard en Jalles for 53 massive matches scheduled before two lucky teams will be crowned Euro Cup Champions.

This year’s 21 teams hail from 15 countries across Europe with the Croatian Knights and the Irish Banshees looking to defend their titles as 2016’s Euro Cup Champions.

The women’s competition consists of 7 teams split into two pools with the reigning Irish Banshees, Croatian Queens, and the Swedish Ravens rounding out the first pool. The Banshees are the obvious team to beat here but the Croatian Queen’s side will be featuring some fresh talent and the Swedish Ravens will definitely be giving them a run for their money.

The second women’s pool consists of the England Vixens, French Gauloises, Scottish Sirens, and a combined Welsh Wyverns/Danish Valkyries team. Many of the Vixens and Sirens are fresh off the back of a successful International Cup where they represented Great Britain and came away with 3rd place. This will certainly give those players an advantage of international footy experience but the likes of the Gauloises and the mixed Wyverns/Valkyries are well adapted to playing 9-a-side football with their smaller side numbers in their home countries.

This Euro Cup’s men’s draw consists of 14 teams split across four pools. Pool A includes the German Eagles, Austrian Avalanches, Jerusalem Peace Lions, and the Swiss Mountain Cocks. The Eagles should be the team to beat in this pool with their recent success at the AFL International Cup, where they placed 2nd in their division. The Austrian side brings plenty of experience to the table with two of their key players, Martin Schittegg and Richard Claassen both representing Austria in their 10th consecutive Euro Cup. The Peace Lions and the Mountain Cocks will both be looking to challenge their their pool and improve on their last Euro Cup placings. The Swiss will be competing in their first Euro Cup since 2010 which is a great achievement for the nation.

Pool B will feature the Irish Warriors and Scottish Clansmen, both of which had plenty of players representing Ireland and GB at the recent International Cup. The Netherlands’ Flying Dutchmen will be taking them on and bringing lots of fresh talent to their side to take on the rest of Europe.

The Men’s Pool C is lead by defending Euro Cup 2016 Champions, the Croatian Knights. They’ll be contested by a strong French Coqs team, and two teams very familiar with playing 9’s footy – the Russian Czars and the Czech Republic Dragons who return to the Euro Cup for the first time since 2012.

Finally, Pool D includes the mighty England Dragonslayers, full of talented players from AFL London and AFL CNE. They’ll be challenged by the Welsh Red Dragons, fresh off a huge season in the WARFL, and the Swedish Elks, who are looking to make a big comeback after missing out on the last few Euro Cups.

This year is sure to be one of the biggest Euro Cup’s in AFL Europe history and we can’t wait to see who takes home the Cup.

Check out the fixture here and follow along with all the match results on the day on our facebook. 

A special thanks in advance to the 11 Umpires and 12 Match Officials making the journey to Bordeaux to make this amazing event possible. Along with these their will be over 60 volunteers from around France helping out to serve the players food and drinks throughout the day and night and make sure the event goes off without a hitch.

Good luck to all involved!

Umpires Squad

Name Country/Club
Katrina Stopinski UK – AFL London
Mitch Skelly UK – Wandsworth Demons
Chris Goodman UK – AFL London
David O’Hanlon France – CNFA
Matt Hewitt Italy – AFL Italia
Sebastian Walker-Staalkjaer Denmark – DAFL
Yann Cornaton France – CNFA
Xavier Holland UK – Wandsworth Demons
Laurie Rupe USA – USAFL
Dom Nahon UK – Wandsworth Demons
John Enright Ireland – ARFLI

Match Officials

Name Club
Amy Hammond Wandsworth Demons
Hayley Canton Wandsworth Demons
Bianca Valenzisi Wandsworth Demons
Emma Dillon Wandsworth Demons
Emily Campbell Wandsworth Demons
Karl Robson Paris Cockatoos
Glenn Sandford Wandsworth Demons
Gaelle Hazimeh Bordeaux Bombers
Doris Brkic Wandsworth Demons
Nick Noblett Wandsworth Demons
Siobhan O’Dwyer Wandsworth Demons
Frank Caldow Wandsworth Demons