Tag: AFL England

Oxford Claim Dual National University League Minor Premiership Honours

After a blistering performance in the final round of the National University League, The University of Oxford have been crowned minor premiers in both the Men’s and Women’s Division. The sides will now face the University of Birmingham in the NUL Grand Finals on March 9th.

In its inaugural season, the National University League welcomed teams from Oxford, Birmingham and Cambridge as well as a combined Universities of South Wales side as they battled it out over four rounds of fixtures.

Heading into the final round, the men’s Grand Final line-up was already assured, but a dominant Oxford win over Birmingham ensured that it was the Dark Blues who clinched the minor premiership.

And it was a case of anything you can do, we can do better as the Oxford women leapfrogged both Cambridge and Birmingham to seal a place in the Grand Final, securing the minor premiership in the process.

“We’re thrilled to not only have participated in the inaugural National University League,” said University of Oxford Australian Rules Football Club president Romy Minko, “But to be finishing at the top of the ladder in both divisions is the icing on the cake!

“Both teams have trained hard this season, and I know for a fact that every player contributed to this end result. We knew that the girls needed to grab a result in the final round, and they did exactly that. Bring on the Grand Final!

“A big thank you to all the other clubs and to AFL England for bringing the season together in the first place!”

Round 4 also saw the culmination of the competition for leading goal kicker. Pauline O’Malley’s Cambridge side had a bye for the final round, and she knew it would be a tough ask for anyone to catch her. Oxford’s Stephanie Filbay had a crack, kicking seven goals over the course of the round to bring her total for the season to nine, just short of O’Malley’s tally of 12.

Final Standings

Pauline O’Malley (Cambridge) – 12 goals
Stephanie Filbay (Oxford) – 9 goals
Meg Davies (Birmingham) – 8 goals
Lila Wielemans & Lottie Colquhoun (Birmingham) – 5 goals

In the Men’s Division, Ben Doherty was six goals clear of the rest of the field heading into Round 4, courtesy of the 13 goals he kicked in Round 2. In the end, Doherty took the title with ease, adding a further 16 today – eight in each match.

“He’s been a real asset to the club,” continued Minko. “As much for his leadership and encouragement as his goal-kicking prowess. It’s well deserved.”

Final Standings

Ben Doherty (Oxford) – 29 goals
Tim Haskett (Oxford) – 15 goals
James Williams (Birmingham) & Josh Davey (Universities of South Wales) – 7 goals

The attention of all teams now turns to the Grand Finals which will be held in Oxford on Saturday, 9 March. There will also be 3rd place playoffs in each Division, bringing all four sides together for the first time.

England Dragonslayers Announce 2019 Euro Cup Squad

England Dragonslayers Head Coach Dean Thomas has named his first squad in preparation for the 2019 AFL Europe Euro Cup in June.

Last year the Dragonslayers bowed out to eventual champions Denmark in the semi-finals, and George Dibble, Michael Sharp, Cameron Cope, Rob Goliah, Adam Morris and Andy Walkden are the only players returning from the 2018 Euro Cup squad.

All but four of the players in the 16-man squad play their football outside of the capital, showcasing the strength of the Central & Northern England league. The Dragonslayers also welcome Sam Walon as the first player from the National University League to be selected for England. Walon has kicked four goals for the undefeated University of Birmingham so far this season.

 

There are six debutants in the squad, including Jack Coughlan (North London Lions), who sits in second place on the list of Great Britain Bulldogs all-time goal kickers along with Luke Carrigan (West London Wildcats) and Adam Kelly (Manchester Mosquitoes).

“We’ve gone early with selecting this side to give these boys plenty of time to prepare,” said Thomas. “We know not everyone in the English footy landscape agrees with this move, but we do know that everyone here will be supporting these players and backing them to get a good result.”

Myles Hudson (Wimbledon Hawks) is the new captain of the England Dragonslayers, having been elected by the players themselves. Hudson then chose Andy Cochran (Manchester Mosquitoes) as his vice-captain.

Head Coach Thomas says that this is an important step in giving the players ownership over the team and the path they wish to take going forward.

“With some experienced players being unavailable for the Sweden trip, it is a fantastic opportunity for this young group to establish themselves. We will keep our options open with regards to emergencies should any of these players become unavailable for any reason between now and the end of June, but we are very comfortable with the 16 named.”

The 2018 Euro Cup takes place in Norrtälje, Sweden on the 29th June 2019.

Brummy Marvelous! Lions Men into NUL Grand Final

Birmingham turned up the heat on home soil as they won all four of their games to jump to the top of both the Men’s and Women’s division.

After a bye in Round 2, the two sides jumped straight back into the fray as the men’s team kept up their unbeaten record.

A total of seven individual goal-kickers saw them see of the Universities of South Wales (UoSW) team, and they followed that up by soundly beating Cambridge. Four goals from James Williams and three for Ciaran Jeanes across the round helping their side secure a spot in the inaugural NUL Men’s Grand Final with a round to spare.

Birmingham University Women’s Team

Meanwhile, in the Women’s Division, Birmingham are also sitting in top spot, after four goals from Neave Dent helped them thrash the UoSW by 58 points, the biggest margin of victory in the Women’s Division this season.

They then put in another dominant display keeping Cambridge goalless in a rematch of the first-ever NUL match.

The Birmingham teams now have a combined record of 7-1 across the two divisions this season, and haven’t lost an NUL match since the opening game of the season against Oxford Women in November.

Meanwhile, the UoSW Men’s team recorded their first win of the season with a 7.10 (52) to 4.9 (33) defeat over Cambridge in the battle for third place in the Men’s Division.

Soundly beaten in both Round 2 matches – including a 110-point mauling at the hands of Oxford – the team bounced back and reversed a 51-point loss against Cambridge into a 19-point win thanks to three goals from Josh Davey, who scored five across the entire round.

Cambridge University Men’s Team

It was a disappointing end to the regular season for the Cambridge sides, with a win apiece for both their men’s and women’s sides.

The women now sit second in the ladder behind Birmingham on percentage only and will have a nervous wait ahead of Round 4 to see if they can hold on to a spot in the Grand Final.

For the Cambridge Men, they were the beneficiaries of a 50-0 forfeit win over UoSW, but still missed out on a spot in the Grand Final

Round 4 takes place in Cardiff on February 16th as the regular season draws to a close. With the top two teams confirmed in the Men’s Division, all eyes will be on Oxford to see if they can overtake Cambridge in the Women’s Division and also make it to the Grand Final.

Round 3 Results

Men’s Division
Birmingham 11.12 (78) def. Universities of South Wales 2.5 (17)
Birmingham 9.6 (60) def. Cambridge 3.6 (24)
Cambridge def. UoSW (forfeit – 50-0)

Women’s Division
Birmingham 10.8 (68) def. Universities of South Wales 1.4 (10)
Birmingham 4.9 (33) def. Cambridge 0.1 (1)
Cambridge 6.4 (40) def. Universities of South Wales 2.11 (23)

Round 4 Fixtures

Men’s & Women’s Division

Universities of South Wales vs Birmingham
Universities of South Wales vs Oxford
Birmingham vs Oxford

New England Head Coaches Named

AFL England are excited to unveil the Head Coaches of both the England men’s and women’s national teams. With preparations for the 2019 Euro Cup already underway, AFL England has moved quickly to secure new coaches following the departures of Mitch Skelly and Garth Nevin from the England Vixens and Dragonslayers respectively.
 
Rob Fielder returns to the England fold to lead the next generation of England Vixens. Rob brings with him a wealth of knowledge of English football and is one of the most experienced coaches in Europe, having served as the head coach of the England Dragonslayers and assistant coach to the GB Bulldogs.
Rob Fielder (centre) celebrating lifting the 2014 Euro Cup with the England Dragonslayers
 
On the men’s side, GB Bulldogs Head Coach Dean Thomas will be leading all male national teams in the lead up to the 2020 AFL International Cup. Thomas brings with him an intimate knowledge of the English player base and has seen success at both in the 18 and 9-a-side game, both with the Bulldogs at the AFL Europe Championships in 2016, and with the Manchester Mosquitoes
Dean Thomas (r) seen here coaching the GB Bulldogs against the Netherlands earlier this year
“With the Euro Cup being earlier in 2019 we wanted to move quickly to secure our coaching teams for Sweden and beyond,” said AFL England President Jason Hill. “I couldn’t be happier in securing what I’d consider two of the most experienced and successful coaches in British football history.
 
“We have a very busy two years for our performance teams in the lead up to IC20 and having consistency, player base knowledge and a legacy of success were key pillars in our search for who could take our teams back to the top of European football. I wish both Rob and Dean all the success possible in the lead up to Euro Cup 19 and beyond”

Vixens Fall Just Short in Euro Cup Grand Final

FT: England Vixens 1.2 (8) def. by Irish Banshees 5.3 (33)

Second Half Irish Blitz Ends Vixens’ Hopes of Retaining Title

England Dragonslayers Fourth After Defeats to Eventual Winners Denmark, and Croatia

14th October 2018 – A repeat of their dual victories in 2017 was not to be as both England sides failed to retain their Euro Cup titles in Cork, Ireland, with the England Vixens losing out in the Grand Final against last year’s runner-up Ireland.

Meanwhile, the Dragonslayers finished fourth after losing in the third-place playoff to Croatia, after defeat in the semi-finals against eventual men’s division champions Denmark. Continue reading “Vixens Fall Just Short in Euro Cup Grand Final”

Euro Cup Preview: England Teams Ready for Action

With the start of the 2018 AFL Euro Cup just one sleep away, the European footballing community’s eyes are on Cork. In total, 15 countries will compete for the title of European champions tomorrow at the Cork Institute of Technology, but in order to do so, they’ll have to take it from defending champions England…in both the men’s and women’s divisions!

With the combined England squads having made the trip across the Irish sea, they are preparing for a hard day’s competition tomorrow, starting with the pool stages and hopefully ending up in a repeat of their dual triumphs in Bordeaux twelve months ago.

Vixens open with matches against Denmark and Wales who are competing as independent nations after combining efforts in 2017. The England women’s team’s remaining pool matches area against Germany and Sweden.

Should the Vixens top their pool, they will face the runner-up of a pool including Ireland, France, Croatia and Scotland in the semi-final.

The Dragonslayers will come up against the relative unknown prospects of the Czech Republic, Russia and France in the group stages, and will also aim to top their pool. Depending on their position they will then face an opponent from Pool A (Ireland, Austria, Scotland and Sweden), knowing that should they avoid Ireland in the quarter-final, a Grand Final rematch may be on the cards.

Stay tuned to AFL England across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from updates live from Cork as the England teams aim to go back-to-back at the Euro Cup!

Euro Cup Draw: Dragonslayers and Vixens Find Out Pool Opponents

Both England teams have found out their opponents in the pool stages of next weekend’s Euro Cup in Cork. The Dragonslayers and Vixens are defending champions of their respective divisions and head to Ireland full of confidence.

The England Vixens were drawn alongside the Swedish Ravens, Danish Valkyries, Welsh Wyverns and German Eagles in Pool B of the women’s division, with the England Dragonslayers drawn with the Czech Republic Dragons, French Coqs and Russian Czars. Continue reading “Euro Cup Draw: Dragonslayers and Vixens Find Out Pool Opponents”

Hocking Hopes Rookie Camp “Opens the Eyes of AFLW Teams” to International Talent

GB Swans player Frankie Hocking, who was named in the 2017 International Cup Team of the Tournament. says that she hopes the CrossCoders initiative and AFLW International Rookie Cup will open the eyes of AFLW teams to the wealth of international talent beyond its borders.

Hocking is no stranger to Australian rules football; playing every game for the Great Britain Swans in their inaugural International Cup campaign and currently plying her trade for the AFL Sydney side Newtown Breakaways, where she was named joint runner-up in their Best & Fairest competition. Continue reading “Hocking Hopes Rookie Camp “Opens the Eyes of AFLW Teams” to International Talent”

Welsh Soccer and Netball International Jones Hopes for Aussie Rules Success

Nia Jones is no stranger to flying to Australia. Earlier this year she flew with her Welsh teammates to compete in the Netball competition at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. This time however, the ball will be a different shape, as she heads off to Melbourne to take part in the AFLW International Rookie Camp.

Alongside 17 other sportswomen from around the world, Jones was selected to take part in the Camp, which will be attended by several AFLW clubs.

Continue reading “Welsh Soccer and Netball International Jones Hopes for Aussie Rules Success”

Clubs Set for Women’s Champions League Qualifiers

Three Teams Will Battle for Champions League Qualification

Innovative Inter-League Format Takes Place This Autumn

10th September 2018 – With the women’s game continuing to grow in England and Wales, the Nottingham Scorpions, Sussex Swans and Cardiff Panthers will face each other to decide who will qualify for next year’s AFL Europe Champions League.

The three teams will play one another three times, with the best team after this round-robin format qualifying for the tournament, which will be held in Spring 2019.

AFL Europe Events & Communications Coordinator Lily Beck welcomed the news as the women’s game continues to develop further in Europe.

“We’ve seen some fantastic growth in the women’s division of the Champions League recently,” she said. “It’s great to see the UK clubs using the opportunity to compete at the Champions as an incentive to get more games played during the season, as well as becoming more and more competitive.”

This year’s Champions League had a record seven women’s teams competing, and Nottingham Scorpions; Laura Turner-Ramadan says that her side will be desperate to qualify again.

“The Champions League was an awesome experience last year,” she said. “The timing of the league means that our players can continue to practise their skills throughout the winter when ordinarily the season would go pretty quiet.

“We have lots of new players who are excited about playing the tournament style game days meaning they will get lots of experience and hopefully lots of goals!”

The competition will run over three rounds, in Cardiff (22nd September), Sussex (20th October) and Nottingham (10th November).

Mick Tierney says that the Sussex Swans are thrilled to be debuting their women’s team after just over 12 months of having women attending training.

“The whole club is excited at the prospect of Champions League qualification,” he said. “The players have been training hard all season, with many taking part in AFL London fixtures, and Niamh Polly, Becca Prevett, Bella Penny and Anita Butterley all playing for the AFL London All-Stars against the GB Swans last month.

“I know the whole club will be behind them. We’ll be heading to Cardiff with a strong and confident side.”

Women's Champions League Qualifier

PosTeamPWLFA%Pts
166037974512.224
2633248206120.412
3606353829.20

Stay tuned to AFL England on Facebook and Twitter for more information about the three rounds of qualification this autumn!

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