Tag: University of Birmingham

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.

GB Bulldogs 2019 Training Squad Named

The Great Britain Bulldogs have named a 53-man training squad for 2019 featuring players from 16 Australian football teams in five leagues across Great Britain, as well as one from the London Gaelic Athletic Association.

The squad was compiled in consultation with coaching group members both here in the UK and in Australia. For the first time, senior players were also consulted for their input as to the squad make-up.

Head Coach Dean Thomas said there were some hard calls to be made in deciding the squad.

“Undoubtedly some players are unlucky to miss out, whilst for some others, the next two years offer perhaps their best opportunity to cement their legacies within the national team.”

“We made some hard calls on some players who we felt it was time to move on from,” said Thomas, “Whilst giving opportunities to a big batch of yet to be capped players, & players with only 1 or 2 caps, who we think can help drive this group forward in a very meaningful way.”

The squad is by no means set in stone, with more players expected to be added during the 2019 season.

“Inevitably someone will respond positively to their omission and stand up during the domestic season to demand inclusion, but for the most part the players named today are going to form the bulk of our tournament sides, certainly next year.”

The squad balances emerging talent with experienced heads full of international experience, and will no doubt have their sights set on defending their title at the 2019 AFL Europe Championship in London and competing at the 2020 AFL International Cup alongside the Bulldogs’ Australian-based representatives.

The AFL International Cup is contested every three years and is the largest international Australian rules football event in the world. In 2017, the GB Bulldogs finished an equal best ever sixth, and selectors hope that this squad will form the basis for one which will challenge the world’s very best teams in 2020.

12 players who competed at the 2017 International Cup are named in the squad, including Great Britain leading goalkicker Andy Walkden who has kicked 30 goals in just 12 appearances for the national side.

University of Birmingham

Four players from Walkden’s former side from the University of Birmingham have been named, something which club president Matti Darowksi says is the reward for the team’s efforts so far in the National University League’s inaugural season.

“It’s fantastic to see all of our hard work this season paying off,” said Darowski. “It’s a real statement from our players ahead of the second half of the NUL season!”

The Bulldogs’ last fixture game back in August when 14 players made their debut in a 36-point win over the Netherlands. All 14 players have made it into the squad, including Hugo Phillips, Adam Kelly, Paddy Lawson and Liam Dolling, all of whom kicked goals in that win.

 

 

 

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

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. Continue reading “AFL England Launches National University League”

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”