The following article by Molly Halberstadt and Ryan Cartwright, posted on the USAFL website, looks at the recent Arctic Cup played in Iceland. The article gives a great insight into the event, including the results and also the overall “uniqueness” of what is hoped to be a permanent footballing fixture for years to come.
"Who thought footy would bring me to f***ing Icelandω" says a chilly Ross Levesque, bitterly surveying his drenched apparel against a backdrop of rugged rocky terrain and steep dark hills rising in the distance.
But it wasn't strictly footy that brought him to Iceland - rather, his brother Jay, whom Ross introduced to footy in 2003 and who is now a USA Revolution veteran, was the larger factor for Ross' short trip. The two faced off in the Arctic Cup, with Ross playing for a combination Swedish/Icelandic team and Jay for the Baltimore Washington Eagles.
Cian Hanley had all the ingredients to obtain anonymity. Having been recruited by the Brisbane Lions as an international rookie in 2014, the younger brother of new Gold Coast Suns recruit, Pearce Hanley, has endured injury and media attention directed towards his brother after his trade to the Gold Coast Suns last year.
In some ways he has been the forgotten Lion, but his quiet determination to overcome injury and chase the same dream as his brother has been agonisingly long but impressively tenacious. Having to overcome a serious ACL injury, then ongoing groin problems, Hanley has done it tough since joining the club from a Gaelic Football background for Country Mayo. On the weekend, Cian Hanley lined up for the Brisbane Lions in their final NEAFL practice match against the Gold Coast Suns.
The Blagnac Aviators have negotiated their first season in the CNFA and finished with a smile after enjoying a 40 point victory over the Perpignan Tigers. Their second win of their debut season has seen them leapfrog their Toulouse siblings, the Toulouse Hawks, to claw their way off the bottom of the ladder.
The final score saw the Aviators down the Tigers 113 to 73.
The Blagnac Aviators will sit down now and measure their success over the course of the season, but they will be delighted to have won their first game against the Hawks earlier in the season. To claim another win against the Tigers will very likely see the club rank their first season as “above expectations” and an exciting platform to build on for next season.
The Icelandic capital city of Reykjavic will host the fledgling Arctic Cup later this weekend in a huge boost for footy in Iceland and a great opportunity for teams headed to the nation for the event. An Iceland team will compete against the visiting Baltimore-Washington Eagles from the USA, the Halifax Dockers from Nova Scotia in Canada, Port Malmo Maulers from Sweden and the South East London Giants from England.
Featuring men’s and women’s matches, the tournament will take place at the suburb of Fossvogur on Saturday 24th March. Competing teams will arrive in Reykjavic Friday and Sunday will be spent sightseeing and taking in as many charms as possible from around nearby sights. The carnival is a pre-season match for visiting teams, but also a kick-start for interest in the game in Iceland.
As clubs and nations prepare for this year’s ANZAC Day services and commemorations across the world, the Tyne Tees Tigers from Newcastle, England, are marking the event in their own special way. The club is also keen to gain the support and assistance of any interested in joining their special service. The following article comes from the Tyne Tees Tigers website.
ANZAC Day, 25 April, is one of Australia’s most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
With the 2017 AFL Europe Champion’s League tournament looming in Amsterdam, the Manchester Mozzies have shared their views about the event and their preparations. Pool teams will be announced soon, but this article from the Mozzies’ website gives an insight into what happens in the lead-up to one of AFL Europe’s showpieces.
After nearly three months of training, the Mozzies are just two training sessions away from AFL Europe’s Champions League 2017. Though the groups for the initial stages of the tournament are yet to be announced the Mozzies are looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead in Amsterdam on April 1st.
Coach Chris Sproule has been including plenty of match simulation drills in training getting the squad ready for the intensity the AFL Champions League brings. “The boys are looking good, they’ve had plenty of running in their legs and their commitment to the contest is really impressive,” Coach Sproule said last week.
The ALFA Lions from Lyon in France have secured the minor premiership (short of a miraculous thrashing in their final round match) for the 2017/17 CNFA season. Their convincing win over the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes last weekend saw them leapfrog the Coyotes on percentage and now have one game left against the Bordeaux Bombers to put icing on the cake.
In the match which many saw as the grand final preview, the Coyotes travelled to Lyon to meet in a match which would help decide top spot. Both teams were undefeated going into the match. In the end it was the hugely improved Lions that took the points, eventually running away to a convincing 51 point victory. The final score saw the ALFA Lions 104 defeat the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes 53.
There are just four matches left to be played in the CNFA 2016/17 season, with battles taking place in Paris, Lyon, Toulouse and Bordeaux. In an amazing finish to the season, three teams could finish equal on points after the final round in the battle for fourth place, percentage only separating those teams. The Paris Cockerels, barring an unforeseen miracle, will finish in the top four. Each remaining game will either be a key to the pursuit of this season’s “Holy Grail” or a poisoned chalice, depending on results.
The biggest match on paper is next weekend’s blockbuster between the second placed ALFA Lions and first placed Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes. Both teams are undefeated this season – a remarkable effort. A win to the Coyotes will see them in a position to win the minor premiership. But if the Lions can win at home, they will take that honour as they already have a superior percentage to the Coyotes as well as a game in hand against the Bordeaux Bombers. It will be an amazing battle for premiership favouritism for two of the leagues most improved teams over recent seasons.
On March 4th the annual West Midlands Charity Shield tournament took place, hosted by Wolverhampton Wolverines. Men’s and women’s teams battled it out to claim the first silverware of the season, all to aid the ‘Balls to Cancer’ charity – designed to raise money to battle Testicular Cancer in men.
According to the AFLCNE website, “as well as last year’s champions the Wolverines, [the day] will see the University of Birmingham (men’s and women’s), Huddersfield Rams, West London Wildcats and last year’s AFLCNE grand finalists Nottingham Scorpions (men’s and women’s) eager to make an early mark and give us a taste of what to expect this season.”