With the ANZAC Cup 2018 to be played on ANZAC Day, 25th April, AFL Europe has released an excellent article that gives that background to this solemn yet celebratory event, played each year in honour of those who fought to save Villers-Bretonneaux. To read the full article, follow the link at the end of this story.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, the men’s and women’s Australian Spirit sides will go head-to-head with the French national teams to contest the 10th annual ANZAC Cup, honouring those who fought to reclaim the town on the night of April 24th, 1918.
Villers-Bretonneux had been a key post for the Allies prior to the Germans successfully breaking through defensive lines and taking the town on the 24th as part of their Spring Offensive. This was a considerable victory given the towns vantage point over the city of Amiens which was of significant tactical importance to both sides.
As the new 2018 season gets closer for most Australian Rules football playing nations in Europe, the game’s controlling body, AFL Europe, continues to provide snapshots of different counties. Focusing in part on the past, present and the future, the series provides updates for those already familiar with the leagues featured as well as an excellent education for those new to the game.
In the last World Footy News story which featured the AFL Europe articles, the focus was squarely on the game in Switzerland, Scotland and Denmark (see AFL Europe’s Country Reviews). In this instalment we give you the links snapshots on both Wales and Croatia. To read the full stories, just click on the links provided.
This weekend’s CNFA Léo Lagrange round in France saw the Paris teams – the Cockerels and Cockatoos – hosting the Toulouse-based teams, the Hawks and Aviators. It was a highly successful weekend with both Paris teams winning, and in the process enhancing their finals prospects.
The Paris Cockerels handed the Toulouse Hawks their first defeat of the season. Both teams were locked on four wins apiece going into the match. The win for the Cockerels sees them outright competition leaders with two rounds remaining. In the other match, the Cockatoos leapt over the ALFA Lions and into fourth place after comfortably defeating the Aviators.
It has been a tough off-season for the Australian Football League Central & Northern England (AFLCNE). The first blow was the departure of the Newcastle-based Tyne Tees Tigers as they moved to join the AFL Scotland league SARFL for a variety of logistical reasons – the most obvious being travelling advantages. Soon afterwards, it was announced that Sheffield Thunder would not field a team for the 2018 season due primarily to low player numbers.
The double-whammy losses will see the AFLCNE feature just five teams for the season. But whilst there are less teams, most of the players involved last year will be out there again for their respective clubs, so the standard of football is likely to be just as high as before – maybe higher.
On this International Women’s Day we salute the women around the world making footy happen. Whether it is slogging it out on the training track, showing their skills in the heat of battle or doing all the jobs off the field that make the game happen (presidents, coaches, recruiting, media, development etc.), from a footy point of view they are putting the International in International Women’s Day. From Suva to Dublin, Paris to Zagreb, Port Malmo to Port Moresby, Cambodia to Calgary, Montreal to Islamabad, Auckland to Austin (and everywherer in between) women’s and girl’s footy is happening.
Increasingly women footballers are making the sacrifices to experience being a women’s footballer in Australia. In some cases it is to try themselves out against Aussies in Australian competition, in others it is to see if they can make it to the top against the best in the game’s homeland, and for others it is just to experience the game on it’s home turf at an Australian club. At the end of their journey they will take back a wealth of footy knowledge and experience to share ineir home land.
This year there are players such as Jess Blecher from Portland, Oregon (USAFL) who has just finished at Nightcliff in the NTFL and will play in Melbourne. Caroline Leduc has travelled from Montreal (AFL Quebec) to play with the East Fremantle Sharks and Alex Saulter (GB Swans and AFL England) is travelling to Australia to play with Melbourne University.
We asked Alex’s good friend and team mate Laura Turner to profile Alex Saulter ahead of her 2018 Australian footy odyssey.
Lyon’s own ALFA Lions have pushed their claims to defend their CNFA Leo Lagrange premiership title from last season with a big win against the Bordeaux Bombers. The win is their second of the season and if they can grab a win in their next match against the Aviators (not a guarantee) they would go to a final round match against the Cockerels in Paris hoping for a win – and loads of luck – to grab fourth place.
A big first quarter against the Bombers set up a 47-point lead by half time for the Lions. Bordeaux challenged in the third quarter, pegging back the lead, but the Lions steadied again in the final term to run out comfortable 71-point winners. The result has all but ended the Bordeaux team’s finals chances, but saw he Lions leapfrog them into being one of the likely remaining five finals chances.
They say history is written by the victors. In this case the victors are the Kingdom Kangaroos and this version of their historic three-peat was submitted to us by Sandy Bell.
The Kingdom Kangaroos won the annual Preseason Bawbag Cup for the 3rd time in 3 years on Saturday 24th March. The annual warm up tournament competed by the Tyne Tee Tigers, West Lothian Eagles and Fife’s own Kingdom Kangaroos.
The colloquially, and probably somewhat inappropriately, named Bawbag Cup was played on the weekend at the Leith Academy in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was a great day for the Kingdom Kangaroos as they defended the title they won last year in a three-team round-robin competition. The competition was made all the more historic with the West Lothian Eagles taking the field as an official AFL Scotland/SARFL team. It was also the first game for the Tyne Tees Tigers as a new member of the SARFL competition in 2018.
The West Lothian Eagles hit the field first against the more experienced Kangaroos. The final deficit was a four goal loss, but they were not blown off the park. According to their Facebook page, the only things that let the Eagles down was the lack of experience and game knowledge – two areas which will improve almost automatically the more games they play. The club was delighted with the form of the “first gamers” that took the field.
The two clubs that run under the banner of the Paris Cocks fought out their rescheduled Round One match yesterday in a clash hosted by the newly formed Antony Blues in the south of Paris. In an important match for both teams – the Cockerels to stay in the race for top two come finals time, and the Cockatoos to stay in the finals race – it was the Cockerels that were victorious by 21-points.
The Cockatoos were in the hunt at every change, being behind by less than three goals most of the match. But the kicking efficiency, especially near goal, of the Cockerels was superior. This was highlighted by the Cockerels having 19 scoring shots for the match compared to 23 for the Cockatoos, yet still winning by a comfortable margin.
The French capital city of Paris is fast becoming a hotbed of Australian football. With the powerful Paris Cockerels having given rise to their sister club the Paris Cockatoos, and the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes becoming a power in the north-east of greater Paris, Antony, a suburb south of Paris might yet become a fourth club in the city.
Steve Ryan coached the Paris Cockerels from 2014 to 2016 before joining the Texas-based Houston Lonestars club, contributing as a coach to a club regarded as one of the best organised in the United States. Having returned to live in the south of Paris with his wife, Steve is now a part of the group driving the Antony Blues. As Steve states, “I’ve been shaped by two great clubs in the Paris Cockerels and Houston Lonestars.” Now he is busy using that experience, and that of the other people involved in the project, to build a new team.