Tag: Melbourne

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.”