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Friday, January 29 2021 @ 01:13 am ACDT

A New Force In Switzerland – Geneva Jets Take Off

Last weekend saw the inaugural AFL Switzerland tournament. It is the first time that an all-Swiss competition has been held and featured the established Winterthur Lions club as well as the two newly formed additions – the Basel Dragons and Geneva Jets.

As previously noted in an earlier story (see Swiss Sensations), the tournament was made possible through exciting growth in Switzerland. Basel, located in the north east almost at the border of Switzerland, France and Germany, have put together a team. Additionally, Geneva, in the south-east, have also gathered sufficient numbers to compete.

And compete they did. Over the three match round robin, each team played two games at Deutweg Stadium in Winterthur.
The opening match saw the host team, Winterthur, take on the Basel Dragons. The Lions were too good across the match, showing their experience to record a strong 55-point victory. The second game was an upset, especially given the Lions’ dominance in the opener. The Geneva Jets downed the Lions by 10 points to set up a dream final game – if the Jets could down the Dragons, they would take out their maiden tournament.

In a close game, the Geneva Jets did defeat the Basel Dragons in the final match, but not without a solid performance from the Dragons. The Jets hung on to win by just seven points to become the first Swiss champion team.

What was most impressive from the outside looking in was the enormous footwork put in by the AFL Switzerland body to reach out across the country and develop three competitive teams so quickly. Geneva may have won the tournament, but Australian football was probably the biggest winner. With three clubs now established, and the potential to tap into other Swiss markets such as Zurich, Lausanne, Bern or Lucerne, the tournament is the perfect proof that the game can be embraced and developed relatively quickly.

The proximity of the Swiss teams to clubs and leagues across Italy, Germany, Austria and France also holds great potential for future matches or small tournaments a cross borders.

Final Scores:
Winterthur Lions 10 10 70 d Basel Dragons 2 3 15
Geneva Jets 7 8 50 d Winterthur Lions 6 4 40
Geneva Jets 9 10 64 d Basel Dragons 9 3 57

Picture: The Winterthur Lions donning their new outfits donated by the Coburg Lions in Victoria (AFL Switzerland)
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A New Force In Switzerland – Geneva Jets Take Off | 4 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
A New Force In Switzerland – Geneva Jets Take Off
Authored by: Harley Vague on Wednesday, November 21 2018 @ 02:17 pm ACDT

The next step is to get more games. Winterthur is reasonably close to Stuttgart's Tubingen. Basel is close to Freiburg and reasonably close to Strasbourg. Geneva is just across the border to Lyon.There is an opportunity in that geography for the CNFA , AFLG or AFLSw.

It's a pity Winterthur don't play out of neighbouring Lichtenstein.

Edited on Wednesday, November 21 2018 @ 02:18 pm ACDT by Harley

A New Force In Switzerland – Geneva Jets Take Off
Authored by: Wesley Hull on Wednesday, November 21 2018 @ 03:48 pm ACDT

Thanks Harley. Reading between the lines of some conversations I have read, the Swiss plan already includes those options you mention and more as they plan to grow carefully and quietly. To be where they are already has been a huge step (and more) quickly and I think we could all be surprised in time by how much AFL Switzerland and its new collection of teams (currently driven heavily by the Lions) impacts the landscape in that part of Europe.

As I mentioned in the article, Switzerland enjoys borders with France, Germany, Italy and Austria - all nations that have had our game played there for many years and all open to new opportunities.

A New Force In Switzerland – Geneva Jets Take Off
Authored by: Harley Vague on Thursday, November 22 2018 @ 11:25 am ACDT

Switzerland might look towards the setup in Croata, except in reverse. Croatia has the Croatian league plus international teams. The Swiss might look at a league that has local games plus credits games in other leagues.

A New Force In Switzerland – Geneva Jets Take Off
Authored by: Cam Homes on Friday, November 23 2018 @ 02:57 pm ACDT

Yes! the more matches (against a variety of teams) that can be played and on a more or less regular basis the better it is for the development/growth of the game in these new regions.

And as you say, Harley, setting up a 'local' (to play for premiership points) league and a wider league (for credits or ranking points) is a good way to achieve that regularity and variety( eg. not playing against the same old faces each/every week).

The six/seven teams/clubs mentioned don't have to all play each other in a traditional premiership season if a modified version (ie. not worry about provisional ranks) of our (WFN) ranking scheme is used instead of a "Prem" table. Tho' the top ranked teams could play a grand final if they wanted to, having travel in mind here.
As long as, say, each of the Swiss teams at least play one (nearest) of the "foreign' teams they would take a big 'stride' in achieving a stable and lasting competition, and a boost to the "foreigners" playing standards as well as their own.

Wes, any info on HM Swiss v expats playing at the moment? ( they pretty well have to have about a dozen or so Swiss to play Euro Cup)(good signs)

The Lugano Steinbocks played in the Italian League a while back, any word of possible resurrection of them in future?