Around the Grounds in Europe (Part one) - 2005 Preview
Wednesday, February 09 2005 @ 11:29 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Aaron Richard
As clubs in the northern hemisphere are coming out of their winter hibernation, players are hitting the training track and plans are being made for the 2005. World Footy News has recently had stories on how Spain and Germany are shaping up, now we're giving a sneak preview of some of the new developments in other leagues across Europe this year - including some new clubs, new structures and possibly a whole new league in Italy.
Ireland will see a new-look league for 2005 with the inclusion of two new teams, the West Dublin Saints and the Galway Tribesmen. The Belfast Redbacks, however are unlikely to return in their 2004 form, either folding or moving to Mid-Ulster. The Irish national side is also training hard for the International Cup, and will be eager to maintain their reputation come August.
Their preseason Super 10s competition will be played on the 26th of February, with their regular season to follow.
Across the water in Great Britain the makeup of the new season is still unclear. The London Conference and Premier Division are likely to remain unchanged, but there has been talk circulating about the possibility of a team forming on the south-west coast in Bournemouth. There are also high hopes that the Doncaster Saints, who withdrew early in the 2004 season, will be back for 2005. The Scottish sides are also gearing up for their 2005 season, with the league to retain the three-team format from 2004.
Three British sides are planning on heading overseas though, with the Reading Roos bound for Atlanta to take on the Kookaburras, the North London Lions to spend a weekend in Madrid and play a tour match against the Bears and reigning BARFL premiers West London coming to Stockholm.
Stockholm and the other camps in Sweden are planning a combined club championship in Göteborg, where the three Scanian sides, the three Stockholm sides and the Göteborg Berserkers will play a seven-team tournment. There are also plans for Stockholm and Scania to play a home and away E4 Cup between the two camps.
Scandinavian neighbours Denmark are currently finalising plans for this year's competition, there has been talk about another restructure of their conference format, more information will follow once details have been confirmed.
A newcomer to the European scene is on the cards, with Alessandro Ciampa working very hard to establish a league in Naples, Italy. At the moment, there are three sides listed for the competition, but how the year will pan out remains to be seen.