Contributed by: Wesley Hull
Just over a week remains before competing teams run out onto the playing fields of Stadium Robert Monseau, Saint Médard en Jalles in Bordeax. Teams are now in final preparations for journeying to the French city ready for the start of the 9-per side championship.
Bordeaux knows very well how to stage the event, having hosted the event back in 2013. On that occasion, the French teams in both the men’s and women’s were unlucky runners-up. This time around, the buzz around France is to turn that result around and take one, or both, of those titles.
But there is a class field assembled once again. Last year’s winner of the men’s draw, the Croatian Knights, are ready to go again after having performed well in the International Cup in Melbourne just a few weeks ago. The team they vanquished last year, the Irish warriors, will be determined to reverse that result. In the women’s draw, last year’s finalists – the Irish Banshees and the England Vixens are back.
The men’s draw features 14 teams, broken into four pools. The women’s draw has seven teams in two draws. For the complete breakdown of pools and match schedules, go to the AFL Europe website at this link: http://www.afleurope.org/euro-cup-2017-fixtures/
Teams competing for the men’s title in 2017 are:
Irish Warriors, Croatian Knights, England Dragonslayers, German Eagles, French Coqs, Austrian Avalanches, Jerusalem Peace Lions, Swiss Mountain Cocks, Scottish Clansmen, Flying Dutchmen, Russian Czars, Czech Republic Dragons, Welsh Red Dragons and Swedish Elks.
The women’s teams for the event in 2017 are:
Irish Banshees, England Vixens, Croatian Queens, Swedish Ravens, French Gaulouises, Scottish Sirens and a combined Welsh Wyverns and Danish Valkyries team.
Amongst the highlights for the draw in 2017 are the Jerusalem Peace Lions back again for another shot at international Australian Rules football. The return this year of the Czech Republic Dragons is a boost for the competition, but perhaps the most special is the team from Switzerland – the Swiss Mountain Cocks – joining the competition.
In the women’s fixture, the Welsh Wyverns, whilst not at the event as a stand-alone team, are a welcome addition to women’s international football and a stepping stone to bigger things in years to come.
AFL Europe will be updating on the event, as well as scores and results on the day, via their media platforms. Go to their website at http://www.afleurope.org/ for further information, or go to their Facebook and Twitter sites.
Certainly, the enormous work done by the CNFA and the Bordeaux Bombers to bring such a high calibre event to France is about to pay dividends as the collective eyes of the international Australian Rules football world are fixed on the city.
World Footy News