AFL Europe Championship – Dublin 2013
DCU Sports Ground
3rd to 10th August 2013
National teams representing Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and Sweden
Australian Rules Football League Of Ireland(ARFLI)
The Australian Rules Football League Of Ireland was founded in 2000 to administer the sport of Aussie Rules on the Island of Ireland and have been at the forefront of the sport internationally since foundation.
The first AFL Europe Championship was held in the Oresund region of Denmark and Sweden, with matches held in Copenhagen, Farum and Malmo. Ireland’s national team won the championship, coming from behind to beat Denmark in the final.
ARFLI bid to host the event in November 2010 and were awarded hosting rights shortly afterwards having held a tender process among Irish Universities for facilities provision. Following that process DCU was selected and submitted as the facilities provider during the bid process.
Once the championship was awarded an organising committee was formed by ARFLI and corporate and state support was sought, with Fáilte Ireland become the main partner, The Score.ie becoming the main media partner, Uniphar providing medical support, Livestream Digital/Asgard Media as production partners and AerTV Sports as a broadcasting partner and the Australian Embassy as an awards partner. Several months before the championship commenced, the staff of DCU Sport began planning the facilities provision for the event and ultimately Ireland’s first full size football oval, dressing rooms for all teams, medical facilities, tournament headquarters and lecture facilities were delivered. A tournament website www.dublin2013.org <http://www.dublin2013.org> went live in September 2012, with all design and branding elements provided by Internationally renowned sports branders Lockerroom 51.
DCU Sport couldn’t have been more helpful, from their administration to ground staff. They were, from the outset in a position to provide two tournament ovals and warm up areas if required and the surface of the oval earned widespread praise as the best ever provided for an event in Europe.
More than a thousand people attended the four match days, with close to 400 in attendance for the final day’s play. There were also more than 160 participants in the event itself.
A number of volunteers were provided from within the league’s membership base and also from that of the Ireland Australia Association.
How was the event structured?
The six teams were drawn in two groups of three according to performance at the previous event in 2010, with each team playing against the other teams in their pool and one crossover match against the equal seed in the opposite group. These matches took place on Saturday 3rd, Tuesday 6th and Thursday 8th. Following the group stages, the winners of each group met in the Grand Final on Saturday August 10th, that being Ireland and Great Britain. Denmark and Sweden played off for third, while Croatia and Germany played off for fifth. Ireland came from behind to win the Grand Final with the very last kick of the game, a goal which can be seen here http://youtu.be/b5pz4jNs3OM
Where next for the Irish Team?
The Irish Team will now turn their attention to defending the sport’s World Championship, the AFL International Cup in Melbourne next August and look to extend a competitive unbeaten run, which stretches back to 2008. Those interested in taking up the sport can find details at www.arfli.com <http://www.arfli.com> . For ARFLI the next major challenge is the development of a permanent full size oval in Ireland which can be utilised by our clubs and national teams.
How the event went, Cian Quigley, President, ARFLI:
Following years of planning and months of preparation, the event was a massive success. All of the visiting teams enjoyed the experience, our sport received media attention which was a multitude greater than anything else we’ve ever received and our team continued their winning ways, but significantly in front of friends and family who would rarely have had the chance to support the team.