Odense Lions make their debut in DAFL
Wednesday, May 07 2014 @ 06:48 pm ACST
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
Last year, World Footy News ran the article Anatomy of a new club – Denmark’s Odense Lions on the emergence of a new Australian Rules football team in the Danish city Odense. Last weekend the Lions took to the field in their first official hit-out in the DAFL. The following information comes from the crew at Odense in an interview that looks again at their origins, their first game and what follows.
“Australian Rules football in Denmark, and the Swedish region Skåne, is played in the league called DAFL. It is fantastic for everyone involved with the club that we already are a part of DAFL with it being just a year and a half since the club was founded.
"Odense Lions is the new team in the league this year and everyone did not expect much for a team with more than half of it being players completely new to the sport. Having recruited and trained during the long Danish winter, The Lions were filled with excitement about the first real game for many players and the first game in DAFL as Lions for everyone.”
“The first game would also be a road trip to Helsingborg. Traveling and the cost of this is one of the biggest obstacles for a young team which mainly consists of students. Nevertheless, with three boys going by train and the rest in cars, Odense Lions managed to organize a great footy trip with 15 guys traveling to Sweden while crossing a bridge, taking a ferry and and driving on the Swedish highways to play.”
“The game was against the Helsingborg Saints and Port Malmø Maulers, two teams that were in the top three in the DAFL in 2013. It could sound like the recipe for a slaughter on the field, but our Lions had no intention to go down easily.”
“In both games the two Swedish teams dominated on the scoreboard, but every player from Odense gave it everything. Players with more experience, like the coach Daniel Petrolo, young Frederik Christensen and Rasmus Jacobsen, showed the way and led by example. New players would have shots at goal, mark the ball and make great tackles and handballs."
Many players surprised and showed that there is massive potential in the Lions squad. New ruckman Christian Belling was winning most ruck contests, strong backman Jakob Harting was getting a name as one of best players on the field. Philip Valentin took on the leadership in the backline with strength and courage, Kasper Høegh ran all day and made sure that the Lions would be remembered as a team who puts pressure on the man with the football. Mathias Barfred and Peter Petrolo kicked the first goals for the Odense Lions and put the Lions on the scoreboard.”
Having a forward line with new recruits such as Alex Alborz, Jesper Galløe and Oscar Punterwold, it was amazing to see how quickly these guys had learned the game and showed great understanding about going for the football and fighting for it. There will be many goals to be scored, and tackles to be handed out from these guys in the time to come.”
Helsinborg Saints 6.4 (40) d Odense Lions 1.4 (10)
Port Malmö Maulers 13.7 (85) d Odense Lions 1.3 (9)
"Even though the first game for the Odense Lions were not a victories the spirit after the game was as high as if we had won. We celebrated the goals, the tackles and the amount of great plays and the Lions where both screaming and singing afterwards. The love for the game is strong among the Lions and we will keep training, keep fighting and keep improving our skills. The Lions have had their first taste of real football and now we are all hungry for more.”
And as we all know so well, there is nothing more dangerous than a pride of hungry Lions. Congratulations to the boys from Odense and we will keep a firm eye on their progress.