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Saturday, February 29 2020 @ 07:41 am ACDT

Footy rebooting in Belgium


After an absence of a few years, there are signs that Australian rules football will again be played on an organised basis in Belgium. Long-time followers of footy in Europe will remember the Brussels Saints, who put some strong sides on the field around 2005-06 and had some success in tournament play (see Brussels Saints March into 2005 for some history). However, the Saints went into recess after only a few seasons, and since that time there hasn't been an active club in the country.

Local Bjorn de Bruyn and Aussie expat Brendan Stead are currently holding training sessions and hoping to create a club in the city of Antwerp, while another new group are kicking the footy in the capital city Brussels.

Belgian Bjorn de Bruyn learnt about Aussie rules 2 years ago when planning a honeymoon to Australia, and started following the AFL via Eurosport and internet. In 2011 he returned to Australia and we visited the South West, and had a change to see some local footy in Fremantle.

Upon his return to Belgium, de Bruyn was out running at a local athletics track when he chanced upon expat Aussie Brendan Stead kicking the footy. "I was really amazed and suprised to find a person playing footy in my little home town. Brendan and I immediately arranged regular meetings in the park, and that became my first actual footy experience. For the past 7 months we have been meeting almost weekly for training, to work on my skills and just have fun kicking the footy."

"We talked regularly about getting more people involved, training in Holland, but never saw many opportunities, until we found about footy being played by few guys in Brussels (no connection to the Brussels Saints). We contacted them in October and got together for a training. The person who organises in Brussels deserves a lot of credit! Ever since I have made more plans to get footy of the ground in Belgium."

"We are now in contact with AFL Europe to get ourselves organised. Our plans for the coming months are get the news out there, and to attract more people to the code. As soon as more people join, we will start up regular training sessions and who knows, even start a club that eventually can play friendlies against Dutch teams or even join, although this will take us more then a year."

Anyone who wants to get involved with footy in Belgium can email Bjorn via aussierulesbelgium@yahoo.com or by visiting their Facebook page.

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Footy rebooting in Belgium | 4 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Footy rebooting in Belgium
Authored by: Cam Homes on Saturday, November 19 2011 @ 04:41 pm ACDT

Looks like a little more good news from Europe if these guys in Antwerp and Brussels can get a new team or teams up and running in Belgium.

I have noted that next year in June(I think) will be the 20th anniversary of the first match played in the Denmark AFL. Wondering if anybody has heard if the Denmark AFL are planning any special celebrations (could invite a Under 20's (or such like) team from Australia to play a match in Denmark :-) ) to mark the occassion.


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Danish AFL - 20th anniversary
Authored by: Niels Sch√łnnemann on Monday, November 21 2011 @ 06:18 am ACDT

Thanks for the thought, Cam - But the 20th anniversary was actually this year in june and the only celebration made, that I am aware of, was a big celebration day of the North Copenhagen Barracudas, who had a Legends vs Young Guns match and then an outdoors lunch BBQ, then a buffet meal and a reverse draw for 10.000DKK - social netball and cricket was also played. Around 100 people attended the event, incl. 6-7 players from the original Barracudas squad from the first game in june 1991.

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Danish AFL - 20th anniversary
Authored by: Cam Homes on Monday, November 21 2011 @ 11:31 pm ACDT


Looks like I have forgotten how to count to 20, I know I have slowed down somewhat with age but a year out. WOO!!!

Could try for the aussie tourists in 2012 tho,  21 years is still a significant age milestone in Aussie :-) 

Would test the AFL's resolve in promoting International Footy!!!! 


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Footy rebooting in Belgium
Authored by: Ian Hill on Monday, November 21 2011 @ 06:19 am ACDT

The first match in Denmark played for prempership points was held on June 8, 1991, so the 20th anniversary is done and dusted.


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