Kicking off British Footy in 2010
Friday, April 09 2010 @ 01:52 am ACST
Contributed by: Adam Bennett - AFL England President
Footy in Britain has seen steady growth for a number of years now, emerging from the traditional heartland of London, expanding now into leagues on the South coast, Wales, Scotland, Central and Northern England. With potentially another competition emerging in Cornwall as well, the foothold is well and truly there to establish the sport further and encourage a wider audience to give it a go.
The 2010 pre-season is a busy old time as well! Beginning this weekend with the Scottish ARFL's annual Haggis Cup and the Manchester Footy Carnival both on April 10, followed by the Welsh ARFL's Cardiff 'Clwb' Challenge on April 17th.
This year the Southampton-based Titanic Cup is replaced with the National Footy Carnival, courtesy of relative newcomers to the Southern League - the Portsmouth Pirates, to be held April 24th.
For fans of the 18-a-side game, the ANZAC Sports Challenge at the end of April offers footy amongst a variety of other sports in an annual event of huge proportions, bringing together the local and Antipodean populations along with sportsmen and women of every stripe.
Kicking off a busy international year, the GB Bulldogs travel to Denmark on the 17th April to try to repeat their victory over the Vikings in October 2009. Featuring a largely new side, with few of the veterans of the last few years currently in the mix, the new coaching team of Mark Pitura and Rob Fielder will look to build a firm base with which to target next year's International Cup. The Bulldogs are also looking to line up full internationals against other European rivals, in addition to attending the inaugural European Championships in Denmark/Sweden later this year.
The AFL London season kicks off on May 8th, with an exciting season ahead. Last year the finals were shared between the dominant West London Wildcats and Wandsworth Demons, but the other London clubs will be looking to take some memorable scalps and break the run these two have built up over the 3 London divisions and the annual Brit Cup, to be held at the start of July.
All that and the sun has just come out as well! It's going to be a great year for British footy.