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Australian Under 18s thrash of the Titans


In the first ever AFL representative match played on French soil, the Australia Under 18's team provided a great exhibition of exciting football to overwhelm the enthusiastic European Titans by 167 points in France on Thursday, April 12.

Played at the picturesque Chantilly Polo Club, just outside of Paris, on a manicured oval field, the young Australian side had great mobile marking targets up forward in Jake Stringer and James Stewart.

The team received great supply from its exciting midfield lead by Nick Vlastuin, Emmanuel Irra and Jason Pongracic. When the Titans went forward it found it almost impossible to get past the Aussie defense with tall defender Lachie Plowman and the versatile Lachie Whitfield reading the play superbly and setting up many forward thrusts.

Europe’s only goal came in the last quarter with a smart evasive step from one of the three Frenchmen in the team, Gregoire Patacq, slotting it through from 40 metres, delighting the appreciative crowd which attended this historic game for the AFL code.

Most valuable player medals were awarded to Australia's Jake Stringer (Victoria Country, Bendigo Pioneers) and European Titans' ruckmen Paul O'Halloran (Ireland).

The Australia Under 18's team, all members of the AIS-AFL Academy, return to Australia on the weekend and will prepare for next month's NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

The European Titans return to club football in Ireland, Holland, Sweeden England, Wales, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Germany and France after the history making match in Chantilly.


Australia U18s6.4 (40)14.7 (91)20.11 (131)27.15 (177)
European Titans0.0 (0)0.1 (1)0.2 (2)1.4 (10)


Australia U18s: J. Stewart 6, J. Stringer 3, T. Membrey 2, E. Irra 2, O. Wines 2, L. Wilkins 2, J. Bourke 2, T. Smith 2, B. Grundy 2, L.Whitfield, N. Vlastuin, J. Toumpas, T. Menzel
European Titans: G. Patacq


Australia U18: J. Stringer, J. Stewart, J. Bourke, L. Plowman, E. Irra, L. Whitfield, N. Vlastuin, J. Pongracic
European Titans: P. O'Halloran, E. O'Suileabhain, J. Van Der Hulst, S. Walton, M. Kilheeny

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 fulfil 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, and comprises the following elements:

· NAB AFL Rising Star

· NAB AFL Draft

· NAB AFL Draft Combine

· NAB AFL Under 18 Championships

· AIS-AFL Academy

· NAB AFL Under 16 Championships

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Australian Under 18s thrash of the Titans | 12 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Australian Under 18s thrash of the Titans
Authored by: Brett Northey on Monday, April 16 2012 @ 11:11 pm ACST

See also Daniher's Diary.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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Australian Under 18s thrash of the Titans
Authored by: Cam Homes on Wednesday, April 18 2012 @ 03:19 pm ACST

Any body know what sort of crowd turned out to see this match and the Legions match in England?


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Australian Under 18s thrash of the Titans
Authored by: Olivier Tresca on Friday, April 20 2012 @ 04:07 am ACST

I was at the Titan's game, and the crowd was virtually non existant. There was about 50 people who were friends and familly of the AIS players. Some locals from the Chantilly Polo Club turned up to see what was going on, but they didn't stay long (I guess they had no idea what the game was about...). You wouldn't expect much of a crowd this far away from Paris, with no transport links and in the middle of the week...

I don't know what the crowd looked like in Surrey, but judging by the pictures I've seen it probably wasn't much better.

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Australian Under 18s thrash of the Titans
Authored by: Cam Homes on Friday, April 20 2012 @ 09:43 am ACST

Olivier, Thanks for the reply to my query.

Oh! that sounds pretty dissappointing. I would have thought a few French Footy fans/players might have turned up to watch.

In what way was the CFNA involved in the running of the event, if any?


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Australian Under 18s thrash of the Titans
Authored by: Olivier Tresca on Friday, April 20 2012 @ 07:25 pm ACST


I am not really involved with the CNFA anymore so I'm not sure what their involvment in the organisation was, but from what I understand it was quite limited. As for the attendees their was Thomas Urban the new president of the CNFA who was one of the boundary umpire and a representant of the UNSLL ( the "mother federation" of the CNFA). Cyril Talon was here aswell though he is not as involved in the CNFA anymore, the president of the new Cergy team, and me (but I don't really count as CNFA since I left France 3 years ago).

It was quite disapointing that nothing was done to try to attract spectators to the game. They was no communication on the event, and the choice of venu really did not help. Even the media coverage was very poor, only one local internet radio turned up for the first 5 minutes. I really hope that next year they'll make a bigger effort to make the game more spectator friendly, because even if the Titan were thrashed it was good fun to watch the AIS kids playing.

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Australian Under 18s thrash of the Titans
Authored by: Olivier Tresca on Friday, April 20 2012 @ 07:28 pm ACST

Also, some of the players from Paris wanted to come, but with the game being played at 11am on a thursday it meant taking a day off work to go see the game. Understandably none of them did.

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Australian Under 18s thrash of the Titans
Authored by: Cam Homes on Friday, April 20 2012 @ 10:31 pm ACST


Thanks again.

Seems that the AFL, AFL Europe and/or whoever else was involved with the organisation of this event will need to take some lessons from this first effort on 'mainland ' Europe soil.

Seems a huge pity that more effort wasn't taken to cash in on the success of France's IC11 campaign.

Obviously, play the game on a weekend is paramount, a few paid advertisments, get CNFA involved more(eg. run BBQ and drinks, organise a bus to and from Paris and the venue) are just some of the little things which would make it more successful.

AFL are great at organising the big events but seem to lose the plot a bit at grassroots level.


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Australian Under 18s thrash of the Titans
Authored by: dantez on Saturday, April 21 2012 @ 07:35 pm ACST

There's nobody really to blame for the location, as with almost every European location, finding a ground that is big enough to play an 18-a-side game on (and after that, one that will ALLOW you to play) is near on impossible. The result is out of town locations, and generally poor quality grounds. I played (for NL) on a park in Berlin that would've been big enough, and we had around 50-100 local people (ie. passing by, not related to either team) that stopped (and when they realised it was Berlin v The Netherlands, were cheering for Berlin). Was a great demonstration for the locals. Held on a Saturday afternoon.

AFL Europe should have definitely held the games on weekends to allow local players and supporters to come along. Seems it was more organised around the AIS boys rather that trying to showcase the game in Europe.

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Australian Under 18s thrash of the Titans
Authored by: Troy Thompson on Tuesday, April 24 2012 @ 10:03 pm ACST

Kevin Sheehan article on the AFL website  In Defence of the Academy.

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Australian Under 18s thrash of the Titans
Authored by: Cam Homes on Wednesday, April 25 2012 @ 11:09 am ACST

Last sentence of Dantez's comment;

Kevin Sheehan's "Defence of the Academy":


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Australian Under 18s thrash of the Titans
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, April 25 2012 @ 09:24 pm ACST

The article that Sheehan refers to was presumably this one by Greg Baum.

I don't like to simply knee jerk and criticise just because Baum doesn't appear to support our cause, but on this occasion... I must say his article seems to be somewhat pointless or misguided.

He calls the AIS side "Australia" in quotes as though somehow they are not, but surely it's quite a reasonable title given they are widely regarded as the best youth footballers in Australia.  Perhaps he's complaining about the lack of U17s tacked on the end everywhere.  As our readers often point out, the main sticking point is that they aren't wearing proper Australian footballer jumpers.

He references that they lost to Box Hill, a VFL team.  They are a youth side, the fact that they are around the mark at this level is a tribute to their ability.

He seems upset that they are our pampered best, as though he feels aggrieved at not getting the same level of pampering.  Presumably he doesn't want the AFL to strive to keep our best young talent from being lured to other sports!

He points out that some of these elite kids will not ultimately become regular AFL players.  Of course not, that's the way life unfolds in all sports.

And he takes some cheap shots at the very young international market, but a lack of vision or imagination is not an uncommon trait.

In short, an article that draws together some insignificant or inaccurate observations and tries to tie them into an article that seems to be a whine for the sake of filling out a column.  So far off target that it's no wonder Kevin Sheehan felt obliged to set the record straight.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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Australian Under 18s thrash of the Titans
Authored by: Cam Homes on Friday, April 27 2012 @ 09:56 pm ACST

Sheehan's commentary does really confirm to a large extent dantez's observation that the whole exercise is all about getting the AIS/AFL team a game overseas and little to do with promoting Aussie Rules in Europe.

Yes, junior Aussie Rules players can now play overseas, like soccer, rugby, hockey etc. players can. Surely these games should have greater purpose than that.

He says the trip was a great success, but from the comments of the people on the ground in France it seems the AFL absolutely blew away an ideal opportunity to promote (AFL) in France and Europe.

Why was there not a local curtain raiser organised? To not to have had one, is almost unforgiveable in my book.

Let's hope that a much better job is done next year, so then Sheehan can shut up the knockers by telling them that the match was played in front of a crowd of hundreds and brought untold benefits to French and European Footy.


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