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Australian Young Guns too classy for European Legion

Europe

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

Full scores:

Australia U187.2 (44)15.6 (96) 16.9 (105)22.14 (146)
European Legion1.0 (6)1.0 (6)2.0 (12)2.0 (12)

GOALS
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

BEST
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

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Australian Young Guns too classy for European Legion | 6 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Australian Young Guns too classy for European Legion
Authored by: Brett Northey on Monday, April 09 2012 @ 12:36 pm ACST

An article about the tour by Matthew Lloyd:  Elite teens find a wider world

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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Australian Young Guns too classy for European Legion
Authored by: Tobietta Rhyman on Tuesday, April 10 2012 @ 03:35 am ACST

It's a shame the European kids weren't more competitive but I still think it's a great opportunity for both sides. The Aussie kids get to travel the world and train with some elite coaches, and the European kids get to learn from and play against some future AFL stars. I really hope the result doesn't bring the critics of international football out the woodwork calling for the tour to be scrapped.

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Little Pommy Girl
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Australian Young Guns too classy for European Legion
Authored by: Troy Thompson on Tuesday, April 10 2012 @ 02:42 pm ACST

Images of the match here - http://slikimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/2012-04-07-AFL-EPG-Easter-Series-AFL-Academy-v-European-Legion/G0000_GFU0W3Vwqk

Not sure how the jumper clash went, but doesnt look the best in those images.  

 

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Australian Young Guns too classy for European Legion
Authored by: Cam Homes on Tuesday, April 10 2012 @ 08:19 pm ACST

Legion wearing footy jumpers, AIS/AFL wearing Rugby jumpers, weird!!!!!

Maybe the AFL should be sending the Legion boys to the high performance centre in Italy instead/as well as the AIS/AFL boys. Lets face it, the Aussie boys are already in a high performance program in Aussie anyway.

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Australian Young Guns too classy for European Legion
Authored by: sverik25 on Tuesday, April 10 2012 @ 05:09 pm ACST

Does anyone know how Jack Viney played?

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Australian Young Guns too classy for European Legion
Authored by: hopandsolo on Wednesday, April 11 2012 @ 01:59 am ACST

It's strange alright that the aussie's don't have the correct jumpers for an aussie rules match, that's the International Rules jumper their wearing.

On the lack of competitiveness I suppose there are a number of factors, the biggest one being the lack of experience all the Europeans will have of playing aussie rules and 18 aside aussie rules.  Not being at the game I can't comment on skills but I assume technically they weren't as good as the aussies with skills under pressure not being executed as well.  Aside from this, their lack of expertise means they won't recognise patterns in the play and be able to react appropriately.  Research shows experts are faster, more consistent and have better anticipation skills than novices.

The Europeans did have a week in camp preparing for this game but this time isn't going to turn you from a novice to an expert.  In my opinion to make the European's competitive you'd need to send them to Oz for a few months of constant training and games at the elite level.  I can only speak of the Irish on the team and some of their sporting CVs are very impressive, Paddy McBrearty from Donegal played in the senior All-Ireland semi-final last year at 18 years old.  So in terms of athletic ability these Irish guys should be competitive. 

Of course trying to gell all these players together in a week considering they don't know each other and don't know much about playing the game is another difficulty.

Even if the aussies trained with the European's for the week prior it would help as then they'd understand much better what was required.  This might be seen as unusual but making the game more competitive is in everyone's interests.

Still it's a good experience for both teams and if we were worried about hammerings both Gold Coast and GWS should also be scrapped!

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