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.
Hot on the heels of the AFL’s latest pre-season showpiece – the AFLX – Denmark has already taken a lead and will have their own DAFLX competition. Founder of the Odense Lions, and more recently the drive to bring the Aarhus Bombers back to glory, Morten Merhøj, has been one of the forces behind a new dimension to footy in Denmark.
According to Morten, “to make sure the many members in Odense keep interested in the sport despite not being able to play in DAFL Premier League because we are too many (but not talented enough to have two competitive teams), I came up with FAFLX [the “F” being for Funen, the island Odense is located upon).”
“But then I started looking into other clubs to join and found people in Aarhus interested in actually getting their club [the Aarhus Bombers] back on track. Then I wrote to all the players I could find on the Footy Record site who had played for teams in the area and all of the sudden we had a board and a playing group of 7-10 players.”
Most people enjoy a feel good footy story where a football team that has fallen off the radar for whatever reasons rises again like a phoenix and returns. The story is even better when that club goes on to enjoy great success. For the Aarhus Bombers in Denmark, that s exactly what has been happening in the background – the phoenix is rising and time will tell if that success follows.
But according to Morten Merhøj, founder of the Odense Lions and currently driving the Bombers to rise again, his version of the Aarhus Bombers will be bigger and better that previous models.
“[The] Aarhus Australian Football was started back in 1996. Before then you had to travel to Aalborg or Copenhagen to play. After a meeting at the local Australian bar, the Billabong Bar, the club was founded. Many people were at the meeting, but three men was the driving forces: Grant, Jason and Dean.”
The AFL Europe Fitzpatrick Cup was played out last weekend, and the following article from the AFL Europe website details the event. Once again, the UC Bombers have proved to be the university to beat, raising the bar even higher in 2018.
A mixture of rain, wind, hail and sunshine met participants at the 5th Fitzpatrick Cup hosted by the University College Cork (UCC) on Saturday. ‘The Farm’ played hosted to the annual universities tournament for the second year running in what proved a typically mild February day in Ireland.
Eleven teams made the journey to this year’s Fitz with eight men’s and three women’s varsity teams battling it to be crowned university champions of Europe.
The Irish city of Cork will be the host of the 2018 Euro Cup. Better known to some for the Blarney Stone, Blarney Castle, captivating architecture and the River Lee, the city is also home to two very successful Australian Rules football teams. A bit over 250 kilometres south-west of Dublin, Cork is home to both the Leeside Lions and the UCC Bombers, and the city in the province of Munster might just be the Irish epicentre of footy at the moment.
The Leeside Lions are the current ARFLI titleholders, going back to back last year. Last weekend, the UCC Bombers also went back to back in the men’s and women’s competitions at the 2018 Fitzpatrick Cup for universities.
The AFL Europe website stats that, “AFL Europe is excited to announce that this year’s Euro Cup will be held in Cork, Ireland.”
Tash Gunawardana interviewed marquee AFLW Brisbane Lions player Sabrina Frederick-Traub. Frederick-Traub played for the Lions last night in the Grand Final rematch against the Adelaide Crows at Norwood Oval and took home the four points against the reigning premiers..
You were born in England, what is your awareness of footy in the UK?
I am aware of both the male and female teams that compete in the International Cup.
Do you consider yourself English, or Aussie? Is there any identity clash when the Ashes are on? I consider myself English, although I left when I was 7 my family still kept me immersed in the British culture and I go back a fair bit – Hahaha I support Australia when they are playing any other country apart from England , I am loyal when it comes to my home country.
Cora Staunton and Laura Corrigan-Duryea will go head to head today and Irish eyes will be smiling. But Staunton will also renew acquaintances with Daisy Pearce.
Sure we are excited to see two Irish players line up in today's AFLW match. But still have a time to wait before we see women that have learned the Australian game in Ireland make it to this competition however. Today's meeting though could be some petrol added to the fire of local development in Ireland that is already on the up after winning this year's women's International Cup title.
Laura Corrigan-Duryea found the game in Australia, learnt it in suburban Melbourne and mastered the game at Diamond Creek before finally donning the number 11 for Melbourne in the AFLW's inaugural season. She backed up the AFLW season with a VFL season that saw her with a Grand Final runners-up medal around her neck and a championship medal for the International Cup (as co-captain of her nations footy team).
With most of the European footy leagues gradually moving towards the beginning of their respective 2018 campaigns, the crew at AFL Europe have commenced an excellent series of articles that look back at the formation of national leagues across Europe, where they are now and what the future holds. So far the series has looked at footy in Denmark, Scotland and most recently Switzerland.
To view these articles, you can visit the AFL Europe website at www.afleurope.org and follow the menus, or you can go to the individual articles via the following links: