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This page is a quick snapshot of the status of Australian Football in Denmark. For further information, browse our news items or use the search facility. If you wish to contact football officials from the country, please search our site for links to their leagues or clubs, including in our Atlas. If unsuccessful, we can normally assist with putting people in touch.
Approx population (2009): 5.5 Million
National side: Denmark Vikings
Governing body: Danish Australian Football League
Domestic clubs (DAFL Premier League):
Helsingborg Saints (Sweden)
North Copenhagen Barracudas
Port Malmö Maulers (Sweden)
Jutland Shinboners (composite of Århus Bombers, Aalborg Kangaroos and Randers Dockers)
Under formation in 2011
East Coast Bulldogs
Primary contact / link: Danish AFL
WFN Census (2004): 260 (200 senior, 60 junior)
WFN World Ranking (2008): 12th
History: In 1989 Mick Sitch placed an advertisement in a Danish newspaper asking if there were any interested parties who would like to meet him for an kick-to-kick in Fælledparken, a public park in Copenhagen. Three people attended the informal session, forming the basis for the future league.
In 1990 regular training sessions were held, with numbers swelling to the point where the players split themselves into three groups with the intention of starting a competition the following year.
The foundation clubs of the league were the Amager Tigers, Copenhagen Crocodiles and North Copenhagen Barracudas. Official league play began on June 8th 1991 with North Copenhagen taking on Copenhagen. In 1993, the next team to join the league were the Aalborg Kangaroos, based in northern Jutland and around six hours' travel from Copenhagen, followed in 1994 by the Helsingborg Saints in southern Sweden.
1995 saw two new expansion sides, the Farum Lions forming in the Copenhagen suburbs and a group leaving the Helsingborg Saints to found Sweden's second team, the Lund Bulldogs. Lund folded during the 1995 season, the number of clubs remaining at six until the Århus Bombers join the league in 1997 as the second side in Jutland.
With no new teams since 1997 and player numbers decreasing for the first time, the DAFL restructured its competition in 2003. The concept was based on more games between more (and smaller) teams - with three conferences making up the league. These were to be the Jutland Conference and the Zealand Conference in Denmark and the Scania Conference in Sweden. Clubs would be split into smaller squads and representative sides from the three conferences would play a regional series. The champion sides of each conference would then play a Denmark/Scania wide finals series to determine DAFL premiers.
This format was then reinvented a second time in 2005. Instead of adding a new level above the regular league play, as had been the case in 2003, the new league replaced the regional series with the club-based DAFL Premier League. The Premier League teams in 2007 were the North Copenhagen Barracudas, Farum Cats, Copenhagen Crocs, Jutland Shinboners, Port Malmö Maulers and the South Sweden Saints. Sides in the Premier League draw their players from four local leagues, based on North Zealand, Copenhagen, Jutland and Scania.
The Randers Dockers entered the Jutland Local League in 2009, the first new club in Denmark in over a decade.
Outlook (2010): When the Danish league began, they were one of only two leagues in Europe, the other being the London-based BARFL. However, the DAFL's development has plateaued over the past ten years, with no new clubs between Århus (1997) and Randers (2009). In the meantime, clubs and leagues have started in over twenty other European countries, and leagues in neighbouring Sweden and Germany have grown to be almost as large as the DAFL.
The DAFL and AFL Sweden are planning to jointly host the first full-scale European championship of Australian Football in August 2010. Matches will be spread across the Copenhagen-Scania area, a "Euroregion" known in Danish as the Øresund.
Other points of interest: The DAFL has sponsored junior tours to Australia on a regular basis, mainly based on the junior program of the Farum Cats. The DAFL maintains a partner arrangement with Geelong College, and had a long-running player exchange program with Powerhouse in the Victorian Amateur Football Association.
Last Updated: Friday, April 29 2011 @ 07:41 PM ACST|Hits: 2,213