The very best of AFL throughout Europe comes together once a year for the Champions League. This was the 5th annual outing of the event, held once again in Amsterdam, to contest for the AFL Europe Champions League Trophy.
15 men’s teams and 8 women’s teams battled it out to be crowned the best European club of this nine-a-side competition for 2019. With 29 different nationalities being represented across the globe the growth of this competition continues to exceed expectations, as word of mouth and love for the game continue to spread.
23 of Europe’s best teams competed at Amsterdam’s Sportpark de Eendracht and throughout the day added to be a total of 56 matches across the five pitches, making it a huge day of Aussie Rules. Working through their pool matches before progressing to finals and then some to the Grand Finals, teams had to work hard, aiming to be the men’s or women’s champions for 2019. This again is seen as such a stellar event and as one of the premier competitions for international Australian football.
With two new women’s teams of the Zagreb Panthers and the Amsterdam Devils making their debut in the competition, it leaves the women’s side of the event to have some unknown and excitement to brew, while eager to see the improvements and changes of the more experienced sides. Plenty of onlookers and teams were eager to see the future of the new teams and how the more experienced campaigners would react with plenty of great match-ups on the schedule.
Group A consisted of the Port Malmo Lynx, Nottingham Scorpions, Amsterdam Devils and the 2018 champions, seemingly the team to look out for in the women’s competition, the West Clare Waves. The Scorpions and Waves left no time in asserting dominance into the competition with some convincing wins to start off the event. The host side of Amsterdam gave it their all all day bringing a great amount of passion to the event but were outdone by a lot of class and experience from it’s pool competitors. All other three teams recorded some large wins throughout the day, where the Scorpions finished second in the group behind a convincing West Clare Waves who only allowed one point against them throughout their three pool matches.
Group B was considered one of the closest groups of the competition, including many tight games spread between the Wandsworth Demons, Hamburg Dockers, Paris Cockerelles and the Zagreb Panthers. With all three of Paris’ matches being decided by under eight points, for them to only come out with one win seems to not justify the competitive run they had. The Panthers in their inaugural turn in this event, showed a lot of heart with an extremely close game against Paris and proved that they can hit the scoreboard on offence. They unfortunately finished with zero wins, but showed plenty of positive signs for the future. Hamburg and Wandsworth seemed very forceful on the offensive end, having some big wins through the pool stages. Wandsworth showed the competition they are not to be messed with, with an important win over Hamburg, later leading the group stage in pool B.
The finals promised for some close encounters, with the top four teams focused on making the big dance. The Hamburg Dockers who had such an amazing tournament were out shone by the speed and class shown by the West Clare Waves who won convincingly by 46, heading to a second consecutive Grand Final appearance. Semi Final 2 was a much closer encounter where the game between Nottingham and Wandsworth was a grind for the win. The grit and skill of Wandsworth ran it out towards the end defeating the Scorpions by 13 points, progressing to the Grand Final.
Like many Grand Finals of the Australian game it started with both Wandsworth and West Clare having a tough body on body battle with plenty of contested footy. This didn’t last long as West Clare kicked into gear and showed the amount of raw fitness they had, even after injuries and the amount of games they had played already. The Demon’s crowd really got behind the skill and everything their women’s team were doing which was great to see, however the class that the Waves showed the entire day, again was brought out in this match. Never letting down they put on an extremely dominating performance with sheer pace and skill winning by 39 points and taking out their second consecutive AFL Europe Champions League win.
West Clare Waves (39) defeated Wandsworth Demons (0)
|avril 6, 2019||09:00||Champions League||2018/2019|
|West Clare Waves (F)|
|Wandsworth Demons (F)|
|Nottingham Scorpions (F)|
|Hamburg Dockers (F)|
|Port Malmö Lynx (F)|
|Zagreb Panthers (F)|
|Amsterdam Devils (F)|
West Clare Waves (F)
Wandsworth Demons (F)
Nottingham Scorpions (F)
Hamburg Dockers (F)
Port Malmö Lynx (F)
Zagreb Panthers (F)
Amsterdam Devils (F)