Australian Young Guns too classy for European Legion
Monday, April 09 2012 @ 08:36 am ACST
Contributed by: Aaron Richard
Australian Under 18’s have defeated European Legion by 134 points in the AFL international match held at Surrey Sports Park in London on Saturday April 7.
Lead by High Performance Coach Michael O’Loughlin, the AFL’s future stars dominated early, kicking 15 goals in the first half, with Troy Menzel, brother of Daniel at the Geelong Cats, kicking five goals in a brilliant individual performance.
The European Legion, coached by former Sydney Swan and AFL Ambassador Tadhg Kennelly, matched the Australians in the third quarter with only one goal apiece resulting.
The Legion continued to compete fiercely up until the end of the match but was out-classed by the silky skills of the Australian side.
Most valuable player awards were presented to midfielder Nick Vlastuin from the Australian team and defender Levi Fernandez from Great Britain won the award for European Legion.
The representative European side was made up of Under 21 players from Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, Italy and Finland.
The Australian team comprised players from across Australia, all being members of the AIS-AFL Academy and are all eligible for the NAB AFL Draft in November this year.
The match was kicked off by the launch of AFL 9’s in Europe.
AFL stars, including Stephen Silvagni, Ang Christou, Glen Lovett, Brad Lloyd, AFL Ambassador Robert DiPierdomenico and AFL International Development Manager Tony Woods, all took to the field to showcase AFL 9s which will be played throughout Europe in 2012.
The Australian Under 18 team will continue their European tour with the next stop being France where the players will visit the Australian War Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux and play a historic match in Paris against the European Titans.
The AIS-AFL Academy is an element of the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, which supports grassroots players and football communities and helps young Australians fulfill their dream of playing in the AFL.
The NAB AFL Rising Stars Program provides recognition and a clearly identifiable direction for a player's career, comprising the NAB AFL Rising Star, NAB AFL Draft, NAB AFL Draft Combine, NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, AIS-AFL Academy and NAB AFL Under 16 Championships
|Australia U18||7.2 (44)||15.6 (96)||16.9 (105)||22.14 (146)|
|European Legion||1.0 (6)||1.0 (6)||2.0 (12)||2.0 (12)|
Australia U18: T. Menzel 5, J. Daniher 4, T. Membrey 3, L. Whitfield 3, J. Toumpas 2, J. O’Rourke, S. Mayes, B. Murdoch, J. Stringer, B. Grundy
European Legion: M. Bartley, P. McBrearty
Australia U18: N. Vlastuin, L. Whitfield, S. Mayes, O. Wines, T. Menzel, J. Daniher
European Legion: Levi Fernandez, Sean Hurley, Jens Djernes, Muiris Bartley, Emmett Bradley, Connor Gough