Tag: Aussie rules

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.

NUL All-Stars to Face Irish Universities Side

AFL England is delighted to announce that a team representing the National University League will take on an Irish Universities team this year as university football continues to grow across Great Britain and Ireland.

The International University Test Matches will take place on April 20th in Dublin, and feature both Men’s and Women’s fixtures.

The NUL All-Stars team will be selected from some of the best players in the National University League’s inaugural season. More details about the selection process for the All-Stars will be

“I’ve seen first-hand the passion and enthusiasm on display by each of the member universities in the National University League,” said NUL coordinator Will Shillibier. “I am delighted that this will be recognised and rewarded with the opportunity to represent England and Wales abroad.”

This fixture is the latest in the AFL England ‘All Stages, All Ages’ strategy which is committed to providing footballing opportunities to players, whatever stage they are at.

“After a very successful inaugural NUL, we wanted to test them against the best Ireland has to offer,” said AFL England President Jason Hill. “In the lead-up to the AFL Europe Championships and International Cup 2020 I’m sure both our National Teams will be looking on the games, and wider competitions, to see the up and coming talent that our Universities have to offer.”

Ireland has shown itself to be consistently one of the best European footballing nations, winning the nine-a-side Euro Cup in 2011 and 2012, and the 18-a-side AFL Europe Championship in both 2010 and 2013.

At a university level, the UCC Bombers are three-time Fitzpatrick Cup champions in the men’s tournament while the UCC Crusaders have won every women’s tournament since its inception.

AFL Ireland Women’s Coach Mike Currane said “This is another very exciting development for European & global international football. It’s also massive for Irish Women’s football particularly being announced at the same time as the first ever AFL Ireland Women’s Universities Cup. The games will provide another opportunity and stepping stone towards full International Australian football for students. With university football in its infancy but growing in both regions this represents a very exciting step, providing us as National Coaches another opportunity to test and develop players.”

Meanwhile, Irish Warriors Head Coach Brian Currane added that the fixtures will play a “big part” in the National Team Development Program.

“I am delighted to be involved in this exciting announcement as it comes at a key time for the growth of AFL Ireland. With the Universities having a large pool of up and coming talent, this is a great opportunity for them to experience full 18-a-side football and to represent the Irish Universities team.”

 

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

GB Swans Enjoy Training Session at University of Wolverhampton

On the 17th November, the Great Britain Swans spent the day training at the University of Wolverhampton. The side worked on match tactics and drills and also enjoyed a classroom session reviewing the team’s three-year plan (2017-2020) and looking ahead to the 2019 European Championships and beyond.

They also performed some baselines fitness assessments in order to measure key footballing stats including speed, stamina and vertical leap.

“It was a fantastic day,” says GB Swans Head Coach Ian Mitchell. “There were some new girls from the University of Birmingham as well as from South Wales who are featuring in the inaugural National University League (NUL) which was great to see, as well as plenty of familiar faces.

“That said, there were only four girls present who played at the 2017 AFL International Cup in Melbourne, perhaps highlighting a changing of the guard in British women’s football.”

Meanwhile, GB captain Laura Turner-Ramadan praised the quality of the facilities at the University of Wolverhampton.

“The facilities were really high quality and the stats that we measured replicate those used in the AFLW. The squad have set some good markers as a baseline.”

The squad will return to the University of Wolverhampton in the New Year for another training session on the 19th January.

“It’s going to be a tough couple of months of fitness training over the Christmas period!” said Turner-Ramadan.

Check out some photos from the day in the gallery below:

Transatlantic Trophy Unveiled Between Great Britain and the United States

Triennial Transatlantic Trophy Unveiled Between Great Britain and the USA
First Installment Takes Place in Great Britain 2021; United States 2024

AFL England is delighted to unveil the Transatlantic Trophy in a new reciprocal arrangement with USAFL, the national governing body for Australian rules football in the United States of America.

Under the new arrangement, both the USA men’s and women’s national teams – USA Revolution and USA Freedom, respectively – will visit Great Britain in August 2021 for matches against the Bulldogs and Swans.

These matches are tentatively scheduled for the 21st August 2021, with the USA expected to play warm-up games in the week prior.


Great Britain Bulldogs Head Coach Dean Thomas says that its return is a positive step for the development of the sport across the two countries.

“For the players in particular,” he told AFL England. “It gives them a fantastic competition to look forward too, against genuinely talented opponents.

“This is a competition that the next generation of Bulldogs can aim to make their own. Upcoming talent, as well as future players who will arrive on the scene, can target this competition as perhaps their first foray into international footy.”

Meanwhile, Great Britain Swans Head Coach Ian Mitchell says that the return of the Transatlantic Cup is a “fantastic opportunity”

“The Transatlantic Cup is something I have heard about previously but never been involved in. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to test ourselves against some of the best nations in a different environment outside of the International Cup.

“It’s a great opportunity to create and foster positive partnerships in order to develop players, infrastructure and the game as a whole. I feel that arrangements like this could be key to the development of the countries involved but also for the general development of the game outside of Australia.”

The Bulldogs have never won against the United States, losing 10.8 (68) to 3.3 (21) in the Atlantic Alliance Cup in 2001, and then losing by 78 points in the inaugural AFL International Cup 5th place playoff in 2002.

Meanwhile, the Swans have a perfect record after beating the USA as recently as 2017 in the International Cup 3rd place playoff 4.1 (25) to 5.2 (32).

Great Britain Swans captain Laura Turner-Ramadan  (pictured above playing against the USA) was captain that day.

“It’s great for the development of the British women’s game for us to take part in a tournament like this,” she said. “We need more opportunities for women to play against the world’s most talented female footballers to improve their skills and really make our mark in world footy.

“The USA league is thriving and our game against them at the International Cup indicates that they will be a tough foe for us in the coming years.”

USA Freedom Head Coach Christina Licata says that she was excited to partner with Great Britain in this endeavour.

“We’re excited to expand our competition to Great Britain for the Transatlantic Cup in 2021. As we continue to invest in talented women footballers in the U.S., we’re seeking more opportunities for player development and competitive games as well as the growth of women’s footy in general.”

National University League Announces Tom Wills Medal

7th November 2018 – To mark the inaugural season of the National University League, which features teams from Oxford, Cambridge and Birmingham University, as well as a combined team from the Universities of South Wales, AFL England is proud to unveil the Tom Wills Medal.

In Australian rules football, the best and fairest is the player adjudged to have had the best performance over a season for a given sporting club or competition.

The medal will be awarded to the player deemed “best and fairest” in the Men’s Division of the National University League during the home-and-away season.

There will also be a best and fairest medal for the Women’s Division.

Tom Wills

Tom Wills was born on the 19th August 1835 in New South Wales. At the age of 14, he went to England to attend Rugby School, where he excelled in sports, most notably in rugby and cricket.

In an 1851 letter to his father, Wills said: “I know that if I [study] too hard I will become quite ill. We hardly get any play during school time.” The letter was the size of a broadsheet newspaper, the majority of which was devoted to the school’s cricket scores.

Despite not matriculating at Cambridge – against his father’s wishes – he did play for the university’s cricket team, most notably in the 1856 Varsity match against Oxford. He later became a notable amateur cricketer in England.

Wills returned to Australia after his schooling, and on the 10th July 1858, in a letter to a magazine, he advocated for the winter game of football as a way of keeping cricketers fit during the off-season.

Less than a month later, on the 7th August 1858, the first football fixture was played between Melbourne Grammar School and Scotch College. Both the match and Wills himself are immortalised in a statue outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The inscription reads that Wills “did more than any other person – as a footballer and umpire, co-writer of the rules and promoter of the game – to develop Australian Football during its first decade.”

 

National University League Fixtures Announced

With the start of the National University League less than a month away, and after extensive consultation, the fixtures for the inaugural season have been announced.

Several changes have been made to the original schedule published back in August. This is due to clashes with events such as the Movember Cup and the Fitzpatrick Cup, as well as future Great Britain training days.

Changes were also needed in order to accommodate a new team to the league, representing universities from the South of Wales, bringing the total number of teams involved to four alongside the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Birmingham.

The 2018/19 season will take place over four rounds, held in Cambridge on November 10th, Oxford on December 1st, Birmingham on January 19th and finally in South Wales on February 16th, after which the teams ranked first and second in the ladder will face off against one another on March 16th in the Grand Final.

2018/2019 Fixtures

Round Date Venue Team 1 Team 2
1 November 10th Cambridge Cambridge Oxford
Cambridge Birmingham
Oxford Birmingham
2 December 1st Oxford Oxford Cambridge
Oxford Wales
Cambridge Wales
3 January 19th Birmingham Birmingham Wales
Birmingham Cambridge
Cambridge Wales
4 February 16th Wales Wales Birmingham
Wales Oxford
Oxford Birmingham

 

Click the links below to see each team’s fixtures

Men’s Division

Women’s Division

University of Oxford University of Oxford
University of Cambridge University of Cambridge
University of Birmingham University of Birmingham
South Wales Universities South Wales Universities

There are of course two divisions – men’s and women’s – and the fixture list is the same for both divisions.

For more information like the National University League page on Facebook or email info@aflengland.org

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”

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”