AFL England

IC17 Womens Round 1: Swans on song!

The opening round of the Women’s competition of the 2017 International Cup kicked off with the Eurpean Champions the GB Swans taking on the Pakistan Shaheens.

Original stories & Photo Credit: Beau Newman & Stephen Alomes (

GB SWANS:           20.22 (142)

PAK SHAHEENS:   0.0 (0)

2017 marks the GB Swans first appearance in an International Cup and after their victory in the European Cup back just under a year ago confidence was high. The players and coaches had put in a huge amount of effort over the past months to ensure readiness for tournament in which they have been touted as one of the tournament favorites. The match was streamed live across the globe and the link to all matches can be found here.

The match began in a willing fashion, with GB asserting dominance early, establishing their run and carry game and taking it to Pakistan. The ascendancy was also significant in the stoppages as Alannah Blount was giving the Swans first use of the ball and the clearances were well in favour of the Swans as they took a 30 point lead into the quarter time break.

The second quarter started in the same vein with the physically bigger and stronger Swans dominating the play with their running in numbers along with their clean and efficient disposal. The Pakistani defence was looking shaky and their turnovers inside their defensive 50 were also a worry, attributing to 4 of their 9 goals conceded in the second quarter. The Swans entered half time with a 90 point lead with a significant amount of momentum behind them.

Swans v Pakistan

GB Captain Laura Ramadan-Turner meets her opponent pre-match (Photo Credit: World Footy News)

With the beginning of the third quarter, the Shaheens came out with a renewed sense of intensity. Although not troubling the scorers, their defensive efforts were the best they showed for the match, only conceding a total of 20 points for the quarter. In a show of good sportsmanship, as a GB player was being seen to by the trainers, the Swans girls tried their hardest to not only encourage, but offer words of advice and a few pointers to their opponents, many of whom had never played a formal match before.

In the huddle at the 3rd break, the Swans coach, Garth Nevin, implored his team to finish strong and to not “let the foot off the gas”, and they did not disappoint as they ran out 142-point victors- a big win essential for gaining % in the rounds. The Swans ended the match as they had begun, clear centre breaks, good run and carry and the most important part, the application of scoreboard pressure coming mainly from Stacey Hughes and Rania Ramadan. The Swans ‘talls’ provided the significantly smaller Shaheens with all sorts of problems throughout the match, and it showed in their aerial dominance and bullocking physical play.

However, as Stephen Alomes (World Footy News) so rightly states- “Sometimes the story of a footy match is about the weather. Some other times it is about one side rather than the other.” The more experienced and physically dominant GB Swans may have taken a comprehensive victory and kept their opponents scoreless though the true story of this match is more about the loser as the Pakistan story is in itself a miracle. In a country affected by wars, refugees and internal conflict, many of the Shaheens players came recently from other sports, and few had played full matches, let alone 18-a-side matches, before they arrived in Australia. However the team played with pride and passion and we look forward to seeing their continued progression in this tournament and beyond.

Full match stats:

GB SWANS:           20.22 (142)

PAK SHAHEENS:   0.0 (0)

GB: Stacey Hughes 4, Rania Ramadan 4 Danni Saulter 3 Frankie Hocking 2 Alex Saulter, Laura Turner, Louise Darby, Caroline Sellar, Charlotte – Ellen Eales,  Jessica Milford, Rachel Hunt 1.

Stacey Hughes, Danni Saulter, Frankie Hocking, Freya Blount, Lucy Jones, Alex Saulter
PAK: Abiha Haider, Salma Mumtaz, Ghazia Amir, Myra Ahmad, Asmra Habib, Noor Ul Nisa

Swans & Shaheens

GB would like to thank all of our sponsors and partners for their continued support:


Principal Limited are the headline partners of the Great Britain representative teams

Mouthguard Provider:  – Our Mouthguard provider for AFL International Cup 2017 – Opro

Travel Partner: LOGO_LOCKUP_NEW_STA – Our Travel Provider for AFL International Cup 2017 – STA Travel

Training Kit Sponsor: lwc-logo-2– Our Training Kit Sponsor – LWC Drinks

Australian Rehabilitation Partner: urban – Our Rehabilitation Partner while in Australia – Urban Leopard