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Tuesday, April 23 2019 @ 06:04 am ACST

A Massive Weekend For Footy – International Footy

Listen up, Australia! The AFL Grand Final has passed. The Eagles are premiers. Most followers of the game are currently watching Facebook feeds or websites to see which player is being traded to which club. Most of the Australian population waits for next September for the next biggest day of the year.

The more enlightened footy follower, however, knows that this weekend is arguably the biggest weekend for footy seen for many years. Just like the planets aligned earlier this year and Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and Venus were visible in the same sky on the same night, this weekend sees that rarest alignment – the biggest carnivals for AFL Europe, AFL Asia and the USAFL have aligned this weekend. In Cork, Ireland, players from 15 European nations – men and women – will arrive for the Euro Cup. This Saturday, players and teams will be arriving from nations such as Russia and Israel as well as long term competitors such as England, Germany, France and more to hope they become the newest Euro Cup Champions. England won both the men’s and women’s titles last year in Bordeaux, France. Every other nation is out to usurp them. More than 350 players will be in Cork from all over Europe and the Middle East.

The complete list of men’s teams involved sees the: Irish Warriors, Austrian Avalanche, Scottish Clansmen, Swedish Elks, German Eagles, Welsh Red Dragons, Danish Vikings, Swiss Mountain Cocks, Croatian Knights, Netherlands Flying Dutchmen, Tel Aviv Cheetahs (from Israel), England Dragonslayers, French Coqs, Czech Republic Dragons and Russian Tsars. The women’s competition will feature the Irish Banshees, French Gauloises, Croatian Queens, Scottish Sirens, England Vixens, Swedish Ravens, Danish Valkyries, Welsh Wyverns and German Eagles.

The full draw for the Euro Cup can be found on the AFL Europe website at: https://afleurope.org/euro-cup-fixture-confirmed/

Whilst the action in Ireland will have the European footy converts riveted, over in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia, the Asian Championships will be in action. AFL Asia has put together a massive tournament which will feature around 500 players – 100 of which are women – from 13 Asian nations. It will be the biggest Asian Championships tournament yet held in terms of numbers – a huge endorsement of the Australian national game across Asia.

The list of nations and teams headed to Kuala Lumpar features: Vietnam Swans, Philippines Eagles, Hong Kong Dragons, Macau Lightning, China Reds, Cambodian Tigers, Laos Elephants, Indonesia Garudas, Thailand Tigers, Singapore Wombats, Myanmar Fighting Cocks, host nation the Malaysian Warriors and also a team from Papua New Guinea (Oceania). It is a “who’s who” of Asian talent, including the inaugural women’s tournament. For more information on the AFL Asian Championships, visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/AFLAsia/

Spinning the globe further, and your finger lands on Racine, Wisconsin. Located between Milwaukee and Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan, Racine will host 45 teams from all over the United States of America and Canada in both men’s and women’s competition. So big is this tournament that it commences this Saturday, with the finals in each division played on Sunday.

For the uninitiated, teams from major cities will be in Racine – New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, Dallas, Boston, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia and more. But those in the know understand that the Golden Gate crew are current title holders in men’s and women’s competition. Powerhouse clubs such as the Austin Crows, Denver Bulldogs, Dallas Magpies as well as Canadian clubs – the Calgary Kangaroos and Quebec Saints – will be the ones to keep an eye on. Fr a complete list of USA/Canadian teams, go to the USAFL story at: http://usafl.com/news/20180930/2018-u...-announced

With more than 30 nations represented across almost 100 teams and in excess of 1000 players on three continents, there has to be a strong argument that this coming Saturday could well be the biggest Australian Rules football day ever seen in terms of the scope and scale of what will be seen.

Those involved and who follow the game across the world know this already. The challenge now is to get the rest of Australia (and the world) to be aware of just how far-reaching our game really is.

Good luck to all competitors across the world this weekend.

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