‘Show Us What You’ve Got’ – GB Head Coach Thomas to Bulldogs Debutants

Bulldogs Prepare to Face the Netherlands for the First Time Since September 2016

Injuries Force Five Changes to Matchday Squad

20th August 2018 – Head Coach Dean Thomas has told his debutants to show established players exactly what they can offer the team as the Principal Great Britain Bulldogs begin their journey to the AFL Europe Championship next year, and the AFL International Cup in 2020.

Thomas has named 14 debutants in the squad to face the Netherlands on Saturday at Motspur Park and says that he hopes the Bulldogs will be able to close out 2018 on a positive note.

“It’s a great opportunity for the new guys to experience international footy,” said Thomas, “It’s all about players starting to put forward their case for inclusion in the squad for next year’s AFL Europe Championship in London. We’re looking forward to a tough and competitive game [against the Netherlands].

“For many players, this is the last game of the 2018 season,” said Thomas, who has coached the side for the last two years. “For many of our experienced boys, their last international was a loss [against Nauru at the 2017 International Cup], so we know they are keen to commence this new cycle on a positive note.”

Since the squad was announced back in June, Michael Sharp and Mark Ireland, both of whom played in the defeat to Nauru, have withdrawn from the squad due to injury, with Marc Cashman, Jonny Harvey and Cameron Cope also ruled out through injury.

With a combined 34 caps and 16 goals between the five of them, Thomas now has a total of 14 players poised to make their international debuts, with Luke Carrigan (West London Wildcats), Andrew McManus (West London Wildcats & Glasgow Sharks), Paddy Lawson (Manchester Mosquitoes), Keir Wotherspoon (West Lothian Eagles & London Swans) and Craig Degville (Wolverhampton Wolverines) all receiving Great Britain call-ups.

Name Club Name Club
*Joe Lloyd Wandsworth Demons *Keir Wotherspoon West Lothian Eagles/London Swans
David Jordan Wandsworth Demons George Dibble Wolverhampton Wolverines
*Hugo Phillips Wandsworth Demons Craig Degville Wolverhampton Wolverines
Matt Warwick West London Wildcats *Adam Reed Wolverhampton Wolverines
*Luke Carrigan West London Wildcats *Rhys Lincoln Wolverhampton Wolverines
*Andrew McManus West London Wildcats/Glasgow Sharks Andy Walkden Manchester Mosquitoes
Ross Denton (capt) North London Lions Andrew Cochran Manchester Mosquitoes
*Sam Killoway North London Lions *Adam Kelly Manchester Mosquitoes
Myles Hudson Wimbledon Hawks *Paddy Lawson Manchester Mosquitoes
Owain Ryland Cardiff Panthers *James Clayton Huddersfield Rams
*Calumn Arthur Newman Cardiff Panthers Anthony Roy Brannigan Tyne Tees Tigers
*Rob Goliah Nottingham Scorpions *Liam Dolling Glasgow Sharks
* denotes uncapped player

Just under two years ago, the Bulldogs faced the Netherlands in their only previous international fixture, with the Bulldogs emerging victorious after a 15.8 (98) to 3.1 (19) win on Battersea Park.

Of the ten players previously to have been capped by the Bulldogs, only Anthony Roy Brannigan and Ross Denton did not appear when the Bulldogs last faced the Netherlands in September 2016, with the Bulldogs running out comfortable 15.8 (98) to 3.1 (19) winners.

Now captain of the Great Britain Bulldogs, Denton says that his new-look Bulldogs side have a few stars in the making as they look towards the future and the AFL Europe Championship next year.

“We’re excited; we know certain players have all performed well for their clubs over the last few years, and that’s why they’ve been named to represent the Bulldogs,” said Denton, who plays for the North London Lions. “So there are a lot of unknown quantities in the squad going into the match. There are a few stars in the making, and I can’t wait to see them all in action.”
By his own admission, Denton has endured a frustrating year with several injury niggles carried through off the back of Great Britain’s equal best-ever finish at an AFL International Cup twelve months ago.

Now back to what he hopes is full fitness, his focus is fully on the Bulldogs’ defence of the AFL Europe Championship in 2019, and that starts against the Netherlands on Saturday.

“The Netherlands are somewhat of an unknown entity,” said Denton. “They’ve not played a lot of 18-a-side footy, so it’s hard to know how to prepare for them. That being said, the game is important for us; an international fixture is always one you will want to win and the lads will know that they will need to give their all out on that pitch. It also gives some of the new boys the opportunity to get up to speed with our style of footy and laying the foundations for the next couple of years.

“The squad can’t wait to get out there this weekend. There is something truly special about representing your country that is there no matter how many times you’ve done it before. I have full faith in us to bring it home come the final siren.”

Great Britain Swans Ready for AFL London All-Stars Test

First Meeting Between the Sides Since May 2017

Squad Shows “Huge Potential” – Head Coach Ian Mitchell

19th August 2018 – The Principal Great Britain Swans take on the AFL London All-Stars this Saturday at Motspur Park, in the first meeting between the sides since May 2017.

Goals from Caroline Sellar, Danni Saulter, Laura Park and Lucy Kilheeney saw the Swans run 4.7 (31) to 0.1 (1) winners. But after a “year of development,“ according to GB captain Laura Turner-Ramadan, who captained the side in that 30-point win, this time around she is expecting a more demanding game.

“The London All Stars team is a tough team,” she said. “They’ve been chosen as some of the best players in the AFL London league.”

The Swans finished third on their first-ever appearance the International Cup last year, and Turner-Ramadan believes that by facing tough teams such as the All Stars, her side can go one step further and match the high standard of football played by the likes of the USA, Canada and Ireland.

Great Britain Captain Laura Turner-Ramadan

“It’s an exciting time for the Swans because we’ve retained a number of experienced players from the 2016 AFL Europe Championship and the 2017 International Cup,” said Turner-Ramadan, “But we’ve also had a new influx of women especially from Wales and the University of Birmingham.

“We’ve recruited a number of first-year players to our training squad, and this game is a great opportunity for them. It’s all about gaining more 18-a-side game time, getting to know the style of play we want going forward, and having that important guidance from the GB coaching team.”

Meanwhile, Head Coach Ian Mitchell is hoping that a full season for his players will have a positive impact on the Swans’ first competitive outing since the AFL London Pre-Season Cup in April.

“I’m hoping to see some of the things we’ve been talking about all season come to fruition,” said Mitchell. “I’m sure it will be a stern test against some experienced players in the All-Stars team, but we have a good mix of girls.”

Great Britain Swans Head Coach Ian Mitchell pictured twelve months ago at the 2017 AFL International Cup

“Some played in the 2017 International Cup, some are returning from injury, and on top of this, we have a lot who have shown huge potential in the squad sessions. Although they’re relatively new to the game, we’re looking forward to the future and I know that a lot of them will be aiming to secure spots in our AFL Europe Championships squad next year, and beyond.”

If you want to see the Great Britain Swans in action, then the match is at 12:00 on the 25th August at the Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Fields.

For more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/2072019282830470/

 

AFL England Launches National University League

Oxford, Cambridge and Birmingham Named as Inaugural Participants

League Runs November 2018 – March 2019

17th August 2018 – AFL England are committed to growing the game of Australian rules football up and down the country; from grass-roots and junior projects, to major regional London, CNE and Southern leagues.

That is why we’re delighted to announce the launch of the National University League (NUL) featuring teams from Oxford, Cambridge and Birmingham University, with a view to expanding to include sides from Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan and the University of South Wales.

The first season will start this autumn and run from November through until March. The league will use the same nine-a-side format used in major competitions such as the Euro Cup, AFL Europe Champions League and Fitzpatrick Cup, and will run on a home and away ‘carnival’ format, so as to give teams the chance to socialise and enjoy the game together.

There will be both men’s and women’s competitions which will take place on Saturdays on ovaled rugby pitches. The current provisional schedule is as follows (dates subject to change):

Round 1: November 10th

Round 2: November 24th

Round 3: January 19th

Round 4: February 2nd

Round 5: February 16th

Round 6: March 2nd

Grand Final (1st vs 2nd): March 16th

AFL England President Jason Hill said that he was pleased to finally reward the enthusiasm of the university sides and give them their own competition.

“Our university teams continue to grow year-on-year. For too long they’ve had to make do with occasional friendlies with club sides from around the country, and now they have a proper league to compete against one another in.

“Three universities may not make it the biggest of leagues at the outset, but we know for sure that there is an appetite at other universities to form teams. We hope the introduction of the league will not only give Oxford, Cambridge and Birmingham more competitive match experience but also that it will lead to more sides popping up and joining the league.”

The two sides at the inaugural women’s Australian rules football Varsity match between Oxford and Cambridge

The university game is thriving, with annual men’s Varsity Game between Oxford and Cambridge in its 98th year, making it the oldest regularly played Australian rules fixture outside of Australia. 2018 also saw the very first women’s Varsity Game. Also, in 2018, the Birmingham women’s team took home the Haggis Cup and Birmingham Aussie Rules President Matti Darowski said that he was thrilled at the prospect of a university league.

“With a large number of students wanting to try something new every year, I think that promoting the sport at universities is one of the best ways to expand the sport in the UK,” said Darowski.

The Birmingham university side was founded in 2009 and has since developed a reputation as one of the most important teams in the country for developing young players, both male and female. The team has seen current players and alumni reach international level or higher.”

The University of Birmingham Australian Rules Football Club

“In recent years we have played Oxford and Cambridge in friendly games several times each year,” said Darowski, “But it never felt like the results mattered that much.

“The fact that we’re now playing for silverware just adds to the rivalries between the three university clubs. It’s fantastic that both the men and women will have this opportunity, and we cannot wait to bring the title back to Birmingham!”

Mitchell Robertson from Oxford added “Scheduling matches against other sides has been one of the most challenging tasks for us as a university club. We look forward to AFL England’s establishment of a proper fixture list for the upcoming season.”

For more information about the National University League, to find out how to get involved with one of the university sides, or for more information on how to set up a university side of your own, head to aflengland.org or email info@aflengland.org

AFL England Partners With CrossCoders and Western Bulldogs to Find International Footy Talent

AFL England Unveiled as CrossCoders Partners

Program Aims to Find New Western Bulldogs AFLW Rookie

July 17, 2018 – AFL England have been unveiled as strategic partners of CrossCoders, a global program that will allow top female athletes a once in a lifetime opportunity to become a professional in Australia’s premier football league.

The program comes with the backing of the Western Bulldogs AFLW and the club’s hierarchy – from CEO Ameet Bains to Head Coach of the AFLW side Paul Groves. Continue reading “AFL England Partners With CrossCoders and Western Bulldogs to Find International Footy Talent”

England 2018 Euro Cup Squads Announced

England Dragonslayers and Vixens Both Defending Euro Cup Champions
Tournament Takes Place on Saturday 13th October in Cork, Ireland
 
July 12, 2018 – Both the England Dragonslayers and Vixens have named their squads for October’s 2018 Euro Cup in Cork. Following an intensive selection, both sides will be looking to retain the titles they won last year in Bordeaux, and have named squads bursting with talent ahead of the tournament later this year.

Continue reading “England 2018 Euro Cup Squads Announced”

GB Bulldogs Team for Netherlands Friendly Clash Named

Head Coach Dean Thomas to Mix Experience with New Faces Ahead of International Friendly

Ten Players in Line to Make Bulldogs Debut

June 25, 2018 – The squad for the Great Britain Bulldog’s fixture against the Netherlands has been named, with ten players in line for their GB debut including Glasgow Sharks star Liam Dolling.

Continue reading “GB Bulldogs Team for Netherlands Friendly Clash Named”

Lauren Spark: Ready for More After AFLW Grand Final Success

From playing footy at school as a kid to playing on the biggest stage possible for a female footy player, former Wimbledon Hawk Lauren Spark last year helped the Western Bulldogs clinched the AFLW title after defeating the Brisbane Lions 4.3.27 to 3.3.21. Continue reading “Lauren Spark: Ready for More After AFLW Grand Final Success”

AFL England Recognises LGBT Pride Month

AFL England Recognises Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month

AFL London to Walk in Annual London Pride Parade

June 12, 2018 – Each June, LGBT Pride Month attracts millions of participants around the world. AFL England wants to recognise and celebrate the part that LGBT people play in the footy community, both in England and around the world.

Continue reading “AFL England Recognises LGBT Pride Month”

The AFL Europe Championship 2019 Returns to London!

Europe’s Flagship AFL Competition Returns to England

Great Britain Bulldogs and Swans Looking to Retain Both Titles

June 7, 2018 – AFL Europe have announced that for the second time in a row, the AFL Europe Championship, Europe’s premier Australian rules football event, is to take place in London in October 2019. The event will be hosted by the Wimbledon Hawks Football Club, in conjunction with AFL Europe.

Continue reading “The AFL Europe Championship 2019 Returns to London!”