In one of the more remarkable performances in recent years the ALFA Lions from Lyon in France have taken out this season’s CNFA premiership in fine style, downing last year’s premiers – the Paris Cockatoos – by 62 points. The final score (Lions 103 d Cockatoos 41) was comprehensive and the ideal exclamation point on an undefeated season for a fiercely proud pride of Lions.
The result was notable for the fact that the club won all matches this season across the home and away season and the finals series. But what makes their season a truly “out of the ordinary” performance was that this premiership came after winning last season’s wooden spoon.
Finishing last in both the 2013/14 and 2015/16 seasons, and a sixth place in 2014/15, there was little to indicate the season they have just had. To highlight this further – prior to this season, the Lions had won just five games across their previous three seasons.
They are the two largest urban areas in France – Paris with over 11 million people and Lyon with almost 2 million. They are also the cities represented by two wonderful football teams in this weekend’s CNFA (French) Grand Final.
The ALFA Lions from Lyon are in their first decider since joining the league for the 2013/14 season. The Paris Cockatoos are in their second successive decider since joining last season – and winning a flag in their maiden season. It is a true changing of the guard for the competition and a very healthy sign of things to come.
But to pick a winner on the day is harder and there is some compelling evidence to support both teams. The ALFA Lions have gone through the season to date undefeated. That is a remarkable effort in any season, but arguably more so in the case of the Lions after years of building they have suddenly got to within touching distance of the summit. They also won their only encounter with the Cockatoos this season by a commanding 46 points (86 to 40), meaning they certainly have an edge psychologically over the Cockatoos.
The new season has started across central and northern England with some big scores, heavy losses and a tight tussle thrown into the mix. After an off season of planning, plotting, training and hoping, teams took to the fields. Following is an article from the AFLCNE website looking at the round.
With round 1 over, we can take a look at the past weekend. It was a high scorer, with the Mozzies and Wolves powering ahead to form an early leading pack. Nottingham’s victory over Huddersfield sees them take 3rd position, while the Saints sit at the bottom by default.
Saturday saw Manchester Mosquitoes welcome Tyne Tees Tigers for this season’s opener. While the Tigers put in a hard-fought performance, the experienced and well-drilled Mozzies proved too much, putting in a commanding 216-12 victory and giving a hint that they’re going all out for that fourth premiership.
Irishman Paddy Brophy has decided to end his Australian football career and return to GAA football in Ireland. He has cited personal reasons, including homesickness. Brophy was originally identified in the AFL's European Combine before being signed by the West Coast Eagles.
He played WAFL football in 2015 and 2016 but was unable to make a debut at AFL level.
West Coast Eagles Irish import Paddy Brophy has called time on his bid to become the club’s first international rookie to play senior football.
Brophy, in his third year at the club, has decided to return to his home country where he will resume his Gaelic football career, with the aim of playing for County Kildare.
The popular Irishman has been a valued part of the club’s squad and has performed strongly at WAFL level, without getting an opportunity at the elite level. He has played primarily off half-back with East Perth and has captivated staunch Royals fans with his dash and dare.
Irishman Conor McKenna of Essendon was charged with making forceful contact from front-on against Riley Knight, Adelaide Crows, during the fourth quarter of the Round Four match between Essendon and the Adelaide Crows, played at Adelaide Oval last weekend. He subsequently accept a one-match sanction with an early plea.
The available evidence and a medical report from the Adelaide Crows Football Club meant that the incident was assessed as careless conduct with medium impact to the head. The incident was classified as a two-match sanction. The player has no applicable record which impacts the penalty. His early plea enabled him to accept a one-match sanction.
The ALFA Lions from Lyon in France have achieved something that even their most hardened supporters find absolutely amazing – thy have reached the 2016/17 CNFA Grand Final against the Paris Cockatoos. Undefeated all season, this pride of Lions played their first finals match against the Paris Cockerels and won their way into the big one.
It speaks volumes for the effort and dedication of the Lyon team that created this club only a few years ago and have already climbed to within breathing distance of a premiership. Back in the early 2013/2014 season, when the club first played in league matches, one of their founders, Charles Bernigaud made the proclamation “but we are an ambitious team, be aware of this.” What followed was two wooden spoons and a sixth placing, yet that ambition has shown itself clearly this season.
Teams from across England and Scotland have assembled ready for this year’s Haggis Cup, this year being played at the West Of Scotland Rugby Club in Glasgow. Fifteen teams across men’s and women’s competitions have arrived ready for what promises to be a huge, exciting tournament.
The women’s competition will see host city, Glasgow, represented by both local clubs – the Glasgow Sharks and the Greater Glasgow Giants – as well as two teams from the Wandsworth Demons and a single team from the Wimbledon Hawks representing AFL London. The Nottingham Scorpions women’s team will be there flying the flag for the AFLCNE. The Wimbledon Hawks are on a high, having just been crowned women’s champions at last weekend’s AFL Europe Champions League tournament in Amsterdam.
The beautiful capital city of the Czech Republic, Prague, has played host to a three team tournament featuring the city’s own Prague Dragons, the Dresden Wolves from Germany and England’s University of Birmingham Lions. Back in September, the city hosted the final round of the Central European Australian Football league competition, and now they have followed up with another great promotion for the game in the nation.
According to Martin Hák, PR manager for the event, “the main takeaway [from the tournament] is that it was a great day for everybody and the fans saw quite some quality football too.”
“The weather was beautiful, the organisation perfect (including an outstanding barbecue), the referee was delighted by the spirit and fairness on the field and others were outraged by the extraordinary cultural program (Birmingham's Got Talent).”
The following article from the AFL Europe website gives a comprehensive review of last weekend’s AFL Europe Champions League tournament held in Amsterdam. Congratulations go again to the West London Wildcats, winning their third title by downing hosts, the Amsterdam Devils – and still the only winners of the event since its inception. The Wimbledon Hawks women’s team took their first title, downing the Odense Lionesses in the women’s final.
Champion teams from throughout Europe converged on Amsterdam over the weekend to contest the 3rd annual AFL Europe Champions League.
With 24 teams (19 men’s, 5 women’s), 16 umpires, countless volunteers, 5 pitches and 60 matches across the day it was always going to be a massive tournament for all involved.
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.