Irish set to shock EU Cup in Spain or Italy?
Sunday, January 31 2010 @ 09:16 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Brett Northey
After the successful Frankfurt conference which saw the formation of the European Australian Football Association, the Australian Rules Football League Ireland (ARFLI) ran an article discussing the body's establishment. It also mentioned that Ireland will send a team to the next 9-a-side EU Cup, to be held in October 2010.
Of particular interest is that the locations were named as likely to be either Milan (Italy) or La Manga (on Spain's Mediterranean coast).
It will also be interesting to see if this means ARFLI will be sending something close to its best squad. An Irish Exiles side played in 2009 with ARFLI's blessing, making the semi-finals, but if ARFLI are thinking of sending their best, it would be the first time any of the big three of Aussie Rules in Europe (Ireland, Great Britain, Denmark) have attended the tournament, be it the EU Cup or its pre-cursor, the Central European Championships. If so, it could be a shock to the other competitors, with Ireland potentially fielding a very high standard team. And the Irish are no strangers to 9-a-side, with their annual pre-season competition in that format, and Gaelic football also played on smaller fields.
ARFLI also state in the article that they have committed to sending their national squad, the Warriors, to the inaugural European Championships which will take place in Copenhagen (Denmark) and Malmo (Sweden) in August. Interesting times ahead for European footy.