In a move aimed at raising the standards and opportunities for footballers across the United Kingdom, AFL England announced yesterday the details of the inaugural National Cup, set for September. The following article from AFL England details the aims and structure of an event which is sure to have a positive and wide-reaching impact on the game.
On Thursday 16th February 2017 AFL England have announced their latest national competition – The National Cup.
The National Cup will be a first of its kind in the UK with a full draft, regional teams and the first Premier of the UK will be crowned. Head of Performance, Jason Hill, announced the competition this evening and had this to say, “The National Cup will become a way for us to raise the standard of Men and Women’s footy across the British Isles. After conversations with the committees of Wales and Scotland they were keen to be involved and we are proud to be able to showcase the talent that the British leagues have to offer. We’re keen for our players to learn from one another, whether British, Australian or any other nationality, and create a competition where we get the best players, playing the best footy against the best opposition”.
One old adage often used in football is “build it and they will come” – a reference to starting clubs and watching the interest and involvement grow. Doesn’t always work, but there are many cases of exactly that situation occurring. An equally valid saying is “don’t wait for the people to come to you, go to the people”. And that is exactly what the Sheffield Thunder team in the AFLCNE is doing as they take their product on the road.
After contesting the grand final just two seasons ago, the Thunder had a tougher run in 2016. A range of hiccups, not the least player numbers, conspired to derail their season. To address this for 2017, the club’s think-tank came up with the idea of travelling the region to spark interest in the game, promote the club and with luck unearth some new talent to re-establish the Thunder near the upper echelons of the competition ladder.
Weekend victories to the ALFA Lions from Lyon and the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes has seen the two top placed teams clear further away from the field as the CNFA finals get closer. Only three more rounds remain for teams to sort themselves into a final order but it looks likely now that both the Lions and Coyotes have booked their finals tickets and the remaining questions will revolve around which teams take third and fourth place.
The ALFA Lions, a club which has improved dramatically this season and impressed many footy followers, travelled to Toulouse to meet the Blagnac Aviators. In the end, a 40 point win appeared comfortable, but the Aviators once again pushed hard in their first season and would not allow a big defeat. Their efforts this season have been competitive from the outset, and the Lions know that they had to earn their victory. Final scores saw the Lions defeat the Aviators 86 to 46.
The following article from the AFL Europe website (www.afleurope.org ) details the recent Fitzpatrick Cup tournament held in Cork, Ireland. It was a great day for the host club, the UCC Bombers, taking out both the men’s and women’s titles on the day. It was another great event for Australian Rules football in Ireland, showcasing the talent coming from universities that is not necessarily connected to the existing ARFLI national competition.
A last-minute pitch change and some early rain didn’t deter participants at the weekends annual Fitzpatrick Cup hosted by the University College Cork (UCC).
With 8 men’s and 3 women’s teams in action it was always going to be a great day of Aussie Rules action.
The ASP Perpignan Tigers have let an opportunity to secure a finals berth slip last weekend when they went down to the visiting Paris Cockatoos. The result was a big thumping – Cockatoos 170 d Tigers 45 – which saw the Tigers drop out of the top four. Their percentage has also taken a big hit, meaning they will have to win both of their remaining games.
What hurt more was that the clash was a home game in front of a home crowd – a game they should have looked at winning. Their remaining matches are another home game against the hugely improved ALFA Lions before a clash with the Blagnac Aviators. To play finals, the Tigers must win both and hope that other teams above them falter in the run home.
The eight AFLW clubs last night announced their teams for the first round of their historic competition that will kick off tonight. Melbourne Football Club named Irish woman Laura Duryea (nee Corrigan) on the Interchange bench.
As Laura Corrigan she was the named full back in the World Team at the 2011 International Cup where she was dominant for the tournament champions Ireland and named joint best player of the 2014 International Cup tournament (along with Canada’s Aimee Legault).
After the annual winter break in France, the CNFA season gets back under way this weekend with matches scheduled for both Paris and Perpignan. The two matches also get the season reignited with clashes that may well determine the makeup of the finals race.
In what might be the closest match of the round, the fourth placed Perpignan Tigers will host the sixth place Paris Cockatoos – last season’s premiers. Whilst the Tigers have proven themselves to be a formidable opponent on their home turf, thee Cockatoos desperately need the win to stay in touch with the top four. In fact, the Tigers would be the most vulnerable of the top four teams and the Cockatoos know that the Tigers hold their desired position on the ladder.
Scotland is still in the grip of winter. Animals hibernate or hide in burrows. Footballers do the same in pubs. But the teams from the West Lothian Eagles and the Kingdom Kangaroos made a mockery of the weather and turned on a wonderful opening practice match for the upcoming 2017 season.
Eagles coach, player and frost-bitten founder, Mikey Allen, filed this report, shortly after he could move his hands again.
“Saturday, 28th January 2017, saw the West Lothian Eagles take on the Kingdom Kangaroos. This time the venue was the Roos’ home at Beveridge Park in Kirkcaldy. The weather was 1(one) degrees with rain and hail and eventually starting snowing in the 2nd quarter.”
It is now less than two weeks until the next instalment of the Fitzpatrick Cup, this year to be played in Cork and hosted by the UCC Bombers. The www.afleurope.org website has the following comprehensive write up of the event.
The 2017 AFL Europe calendar kicks off with a bang on Saturday 4th of February with the 4th edition of the Fitzpatrick Cup being hosted by University College Cork (UCC).
The ‘Fitz’ is a relatively new addition to the AFL Europe schedule with it first being run in 2013 to tie in with the International Rules Series held in Dublin between Australia and Ireland.
(Picture: UCC Bombers ready to host 2017 Fitzpatrick Cup - AFL Europe)
Naomi Ackerman has reported on the Evening Standard website the “clamour to join London teams as hard-hitting game soars in popularity”. With the inaugural AFL Women’s league competition about to kick off in Australia on February 3rd when Carlton and Collingwood play the historic opening match, women’s footy is set to explode further across Australia and the world, and this article reflects that growth with a look at the growth in the game being experienced across London.
It is not a sport for the faint-hearted — but that appears to be the attraction as London women sign up in their droves to play Aussie rules football.
The game, which involves full-body tackles and running for about nine miles in a match, has been played by men in Regent’s Park for more than 25 years but now it has soared in popularity among women who “enjoy a bit of rough and tumble”.