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This page is a quick snapshot of the status of Australian Football in Finland. 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 (2010): 5.4 million
National side: Finland Icebreakers
Governing body: Finland Australian Football League
Vaasa Wombats (under formation)
Primary contact / link: Finland AFL
WFN Census (2004): none (their league post-dates the census)
WFN World Ranking (2008): 17th
Australian rules football in Finland is controlled by the Finland AFL, who formed in 2006 after the creation of Finland's first Australian football club around a year earlier. Domestic matches began in 2007 with two teams, the Helsinki Heatseekers and Halikko Juggernauts. A third team, the Espoo Roos was created in 2008. A fourth team, Turku Dockers, was formed in late 2008.
The first full domestic season was played with three stand-alone teams in 2009, with the Espoo Roos combining with Helsinki due to lack of numbers. The Turku Dockers defeated Helsinki for the inaugural Finnish premiership.
The Finnish national team has appeared at the Central European AFL Championships (winning 2006 and 2007), all EU Cups from 2007 until the present, and the International Cup in 2008. At the IC08, the Icebreakers finished 14th out of sixteen teams, losing their first four games but finishing the tournament with a win over fellow debutants India.
The Finland AFL will be back with a full domestic season in 2010, with the Turku Dockers defending their title as Finnish premiers. The Icebreakers are also planning to attend the inaugural European Championships in Denmark and Sweden.
Other points of interest:
AFL Brownlow Medalist and Geelong champion Jimmy Bartel visited Finland a few years back and played in a match between Helsinki and Halikko. A photo of Bartel in a Finland jumper then featured in Melbourne's Age newspaper.
Last Updated: Friday, April 29 2011 @ 07:43 PM ACST|Hits: 2,453