Amsterdam played host to the 2nd annual AFL Europe Champions League at the weekend. With teams from all over Europe taking part it was great to see some former Red Lions amongst the masses.
The tournament is co-organised by the Dutch Australian Football Association (DAFA) and AFL Europe. It sees teams from all over Europe battle it out for the title of best domestic team on the continent. Teams qualify for the tournament by winning their respective domestic league.
Three former Red Lions took part as players in the event which hosted 13 men’s and 5 women’s teams. Michael Stewart and Neil Cooke represented the Amsterdam Devils, whilst Tom Crameri played for the Manchester Mosquitoes.
The Devils and Mozzies were drawn in the same pool so the boys were destined to go from teammates to rivals. The Mozzies got the chocolates in a nail-biter, winning by 4 points.
Manchester went on to square off in the grand final against eventual winners, the West London Wildcats, who went back-to-back Champions League premiers.
The women’s premiership was won by the Great Britain Swans who defeated the Swedish Ravens in what proved a great first tournament from the women’s side of the draw.
It was incredible to see the level of talent littered all over Europe with the games being of great quality. The non-Australian players have taken to the game with great success and it was shown in the standard of football played across the tournament.
A team of the tournament was announced at the conclusion of the day. It included the best player from each side as voted on following each game. Tom and Neil were both selected in the side with Neil also being handed the honour of being named captain of the side. This is a great achieved from the boys and well deserved.
The day was a massive success and is something that DAFA and AFL Europe will continue to grow well into the future. A big thank you as well to former Red Lion Ben Durance who fed the club updates on the event as a by-product to his involvement through the AFL Europe internship program.
Best of luck to the boys as they embark on winning their respective domestic leagues and hopefully we’ll see them back on the Champions League stage again in 2017, if not back in maroon and blue!
1. West London Wildcats
2. Manchester Mozzies
3. Hamburg Dockers
4. South Dublin Swans
5. Amsterdam Devils
6. Paris Cockerels
7. Zagreb Hawks
8. Sodermalm Blues AFC
9. Zagreb Dockers
10. North London Lions
11. Odense Lions
12. Edinburgh Bloods
13. Lazy Koalas Moscow
1. Great Britain Swans
2. Swedish Ravens
3. Odense Lionesses
4. Les Gauloises
5. Wandsworth Demons
Team of the Tournament
o Neil Cooke (Amsterdam Devils) – CAPTAIN
o Dylan Brooke (Edinburgh Bloods)
o Mikkel Kjoge (Odense Lions)
o Jay Orion (North London Lions)
o Tomislav Cuetto (Zagreb Dockers)
o Jane Dolezal (Zagreb Hawks)
o Pierre Bouchet (Paris Cockerels)
o Oscar Lofgren (Sodermalm Blues AFC)
o Rick Handsome (Hamburg Dockers)
o Tom Crameri (Manchester Mozzies)
o Lloyd Williams (West London Wildcats)
o Kevin Brennan (South Dublin Swans)
o Daniel Demaine (Lazy Koalas Moscow)
o Ida Rasmark (Swedish Ravens) – CAPTAIN
o Alex Daley (Wandsworth Demons)
o Camille Portal (Les Gauloises)
o Maria Falkesgaard (Odense Lionesses
o Lynsey Torrance (GB Swans)