The second of our team profiles looks at league juggernauts Manchester Mosquitoes. One of the original AFLCNE teams, the Mozzies played their first league game in 2006 and during that time have grown into the most successful club in AFLCNE history, having taken 5 premierships, playing in 6 grand finals.
The Mozzies originally competed under the BARFL Regional banner, finishing 3rd in their first season, and became part of the AFLCNE following its creation (then the AFL Central and North West league). Since then, they have become somewhat of a grand final fixture, running out in 6 out of the 7 finals so far. They have also established the ‘Movember Cup’, an annual charity competition that’s come to serve as the last run-out of the year for many AFLCNE clubs.
In 2016, the Mozzies completed a ‘three-peat’, taking the premiership for a third successive season, this time in a final against fellow league stalwarts Nottingham Scorpions. With domestic success demonstrated, the Mozzies are off to the AFL Champions league in April, this year looking to go one better than last and bring the trophy to the North of England.
The success of the Mozzies can be in part attributed to their inclusive club-orientated nature, and they’re always keen on new players, supporters or club members to help out. Home games are played at Burnage Rugby Club, SK4 3EA, where they’ll play the first game of their season vs Tyne Tees Tigers on 22nd April.
With the season just around the corner, we’re starting the countdown by profiling each of our teams. Over the next month expect to see a blog post every few days giving you a taster of who you can expect to see around the North this summer. And we start with the North East’s only Aussie Rules team, the Tyne Tees Tigers.
The Tigers were formed in 2012 in an effort to bring footy back to North East England following the decline of the North East league. Entering the AFLCNE in 2014, the Tigers claimed a shock first victory by defeating champions Leeds Minotaurs, though a tough first season followed with them finishing 7th.
2015 saw the Tigers claim a highest-ever 5th finish, with a string of victories, including one against eventual Grand Finalists Sheffield Thunder. Finishing 6th the following season, the Tigers defeated the Saints to make the inaugural AFLCNE plate final, narrowly defeating the Thunder to claim their first AFLCNE silverware.
2017 sees the Tigers continue to build with a packed pre-season, having played two fixtures already and the Tigerpig (Newcastle) and Haggis (Glasgow) cups lined up over the next few weeks. They’ll be looking to hit the ground running in their first game of the season against Manchester Mosquitoes on 22nd April at Burnage Rugby Club, Stockport.
The Tigers are actively recruiting from across the North East, with pre-season training taking place on Saturdays at 09:45, at their home ground Gosforth Sports Association, Broadway West, Gosforth, Newcastle, NE3 2NH.
With Wolverhampton Wolverines kicking off the season for a number of clubs last weekend at the West Midlands Charity Shield, this Saturday sees the Tyne Tees Tigers take to the field for their first run-out of a packed 2017 pre-season at the Bawbag cup.
The Tigers will make the journey to visit our Northern neighbours, playing in a three-team round robin tournament versus the Kingdom Kangaroos and West Lothian Eagles in South Queensferry.
Last season’s 2-team format in Newcastle saw the Roos take victory, and the Tigers will no doubt be hoping to return the favour and demonstrate what the AFLCNE has to offer by bringing the trophy back south of the border. However, the addition of new boys the Eagles adds a new dimension to the mix, and the day is looking like a spicy affair.
The tournament will start at 12:00 at the Queensferry Sports and Community Hub, 30 Ashburnham Road, South Queensferry, EH30 9JN.
Tomorrow sees the annual West Midlands charity shield taking place, hosted by Wolverhampton Wolverines. Men’s and women’s teams will battle it out to claim the first silverware of the season, all in aid of Balls to Cancer.
As well as last year’s champions the Wolverines, tomorrow will see the Uni of Birmingham (men’s and women’s), Huddersfield Rams, West London Wildcats and last year’s AFLCNE grand finalists Nottingham Scorpions (men’s and women’s) eager to make an early mark and give us a taste of what to expect this season.
The bar will be open, and there’ll be an Auskick session in the middle of the day, so it’s a great opportunity for a family day out, all for a good cause.
The comp will take place at Willenhall Rugby Club, Bognop Road, Essington, WV11 2BA, with ball-up at 11:00. All spectators are welcome (and encouraged!), and any players who fancy a kick will be welcome.
With it getting towards a year since the last posting of a front page article, we at the AFLCNE thought it might be worth an update. Just to show that there’s someone here helping in our own small way to keep the footy world turning.
First, off the field news. With a new AGM came a change in committee, with a new president, secretary and treasurer elected. For the 2017 season these are:
President – Stephen Bowles (Sheffield Thunder)
Secretary – Phil Martin (Tyne Tees Tigers)
Treasurer – Andrew Batchelor (Nottingham Scorpions)
With it being an IC year, a huge focus has been on national selection, with training camps already having been held. Under the steerage of the Mozzie’s Dean Thomas, GB are hoping to come away with a few prize scalps this season, and to help them along their way a number of current and former AFLCNE players have already been named in the squad, surely with more to come. Couple this with Garth Nevin (Thunder) and Adam Morris (Wolverines) being named as coaches of the Dragonslayers and Vixens respectively, and it’s clear the AFLCNE is having a huge impact on the national game.
The women’s game in the north has also taken a leap forward, with the Nottingham Scorpion’s women’s team playing their first game last weekend, against the University of Birmingham. With fixtures coming up for March and April, expect to see more of the ladies as they build on their success so far.
And, in the men’s game, pre-season fixtures start in a couple of weeks with the West Midlands charity shield, to be held in Wolverhampton. A number of AFLCNE teams are represented, and it’s a great chance to get a first glimpse of how the squads are shaping up. As well as individual fixtures for quite a few teams (including the Champions League for the Mozzies), there’ll be the annual pre-season runout at the Haggis cup in Glasgow as your next chance to see a few northern teams in the same place.
Then, from 22nd April, expect to see teams battling it out to get their hands on the coveted AFLCNE premiership (see our fixtures here). The Scorps will be trying to go one better this time, while the Saints will be looking to build on a succesful debut season. The Tigers are going all out preseason to hit the ground running, while the Thunder are hoping to re-build and repeat the success of their 2015 campaign. Meanwhile, the Rams will be tough challengers, while the Wolverines will be looking to build on last season’s success and put in another challenge. And last but not least, the Mozzies will be looking to keep a tight grasp on that trophy.
As the season is approaching, all teams have started training, and they’ll all be keen on new players, whether a complete novice or seasoned hand. See our contacts page for more details about your local team, or drop us a line.
Hopefully, that gives you a taster of what’s been happening so far. Expect more to come as we approach the season.
With Lightening Rounds and the first full round of the season undertaken last Saturday we’ve seen some big scores posted early in 2016. With the Huddersfield Rams winning by 148 pts against the Tyne Tees Tigers you’d have thought it would be biggest winning margin of the round not the smallest! The Manchester Mosquitoes chalked up an astonishing 165pt victory over last years Grand Finalists in the Sheffield Thunder. But even they were outdone by Wolverhampton’s win over league new boys the Merseyside Saints, with the Wolverines winning by 289pts 50.23.323 to 5.4.34.
This just goes to show how difficult it is for new clubs to enter our league and be competitive from the get go. We’re sure the Saints will regroup and bounce back but with their next game up against reigning Premiers Manchester it will be a tough task ahead for them.
Speaking of difficulties it’s a testament to the above and beyond attitude of our clubs that this rounds fixtures went ahead with the Tyne Tees Tigers having to swop hosting rights at short notice for the round with the Huddersfield Rams due to a waterlogged pitch. A relocation of some 125 miles! The Tigers will now host Round 4.
The AFLCNE’s representative side will take on the England Dragonslayers in Huddersfield tomorrow afternoon. Hosted by the Huddersfield Rams at Huddersfield YMCA on Laund Hill.
AFLCNE players will be lining up for both teams with the National side having first choice of players. Expect a high quality match with our British players taking centre stage with selection for both the England Dragonslayers and GB Bulldogs up for grabs this year!
Venue: Laund Hill, Salandine Nook, New Hey Rd, Huddersfield HD3 3XF.
Ball up: 14:00 2/4/16
Food and drink available on site.
Sadly the Birmingham Bears have had to withdraw from the 2016 AFLCNE season. Their playing numbers are such, that they wouldn’t be in a position to fulfil fixtures this year. The Bears are fully aware of the ramifications of this for the league but in the absence of so many organisers from previous years have made this decision rather than forfeit continuously throughout the season.
They are not folding completely and will continue to train in Birmingham and keep an active presence on social media whilst allowing any available players to compete in the AFLCNE for their nearest team the Wolverhampton Wolverines. It is hoped that the Bears will be in a position to re-join the League in 2017.
The league fixtures will be completed as previously published but with double headers involving the Bears becoming single headers and their direct opponents having a bye week. The altered fixture list will be available at aflcne.com shortly.
Fresh from their success in the Fitzpatrick Cup Birmingham University are looking to host a Charity tournament on March 12th in Birmingham. They will be raising money for Bloodwise the UK’s blood cancer charity. This is a charity that is close to home for Birmingham’s President and England Dragonslayer Ross Denton whose brother Ben was diagnosed with Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in August last year.
“I was absolutely gutted when my 26 (at the time, 25) year old brother was diagnosed with leukaemia back in August. I felt so useless as there was nothing I could do but keep him company as he was undergoing treatment. Thankfully he went in to remission not long afterwards but is still undergoing some pretty brutal treatment which is very difficult to watch. It’s brought our family so much closer together, and has shown me that a strong family can get you through anything. Ever since joining the sport, the Aussie Rules community has felt like a family to me. Everyone is so supportive and you know they will get behind you when you need them to. Together we can raise some money for an amazing cause and attempt to support all of those that have been affected by blood cancers in some way.”
The tournament will be 9 a-side and a suggested donation of £5 per player which can be made via this link.
If your club wishes to enter a team either contact Ross on Facebook or email email@example.com.
The Facebook event with details for the tournament can be found here
The following AFLCNE players have been nominated and selected to represent the Central and Northern England Australian Football League with The Northern Storm in April 2016. For the game against the England Dragonslayers, as the higher tier of representation the national team had first choice of available AFLCNE players.
The Northern Storm Inaugural Squad
Game Vs England April 2nd at Huddersfield.
Mick Kay (Thunder) – Captain.
Spike Kilheeney (Mozzies) – Vice Captain.
Craig Degville (Wolverines)
Jack Tift (Wolverines)
Chris Thomas (Wolverines)
Jakob Garside (Rams)
Ste Hall (Rams)
Dave Durrance (Rams)
Josh Kenny (Rams)
Matthew Peckett (Rams)
Tim Gower (Mozzies)
Stu Connolly (Thunder)
Michael Teasdale (Tigers)
Cameron Lloyd (Tigers)
Kieran McKenzie (Merseyside)
James McKenzie (Merseyside)
Martin Kearney (Scorpions)
Jamie Swift (Scorpions)
Will Sykes (Merseyside) – Coach.
The Northern Storm Squad
London AFL Tournament April 16th.
Ian Mitchell (Wolverines) – Captain.
Matthew Whiteley (Rams) – Vice Captain.
Craig Degville (Wolverines)
Jack Tift (Wolverines)
Chris Thomas (Wolverines)
Adam Morris (Wolverines)
Lewis Gedney (Wolverines)
Matthew Whiteley (Rams)
Luke Booth (Rams)
Graham Bickerdike (Rams)
Alex Overton (Rams)
Jakob Garside (Rams)
Matthew Kilheeney (Mozzies)
Chris Britton (Mozzies)
Declan Alder (Mozzies)
Spike Kilheeney (Mozzies)
Tim Gower (Mozzies)
Simon Vardy (Thunder)
Stu Connolly (Thunder)
Mick Kay (Thunder)
Anthony Roy Brannigan (Tigers)
Colum Donaghy (Tigers)
Steve Allen (Tigers)
Michael Teasdale (Tigers)
Cameron Lloyd (Tigers)
Neil Parsley (Merseyside)
Jack Smith (Merseyside)
Love ’em or Hate ’em there simply isn’t a game without Umpires.
All AFLCNE clubs are required to provide field and goal umpires for league fixtures throughout the season. Sometimes a lack of confidence can stop people from volunteering. To grow our game and develop our sport we need more umpires.
AFL Europe will be running a level 0 and level 1 accredited umpiring course in Central London on Saturday 27th February (lvl 0) and Sunday 28th of February (lvl 1) and it costs nothing!
If you’re interested in umpiring or just want to help develop your own game and club then register for AFL Europe’s course at the following link.
If you can’t make those dates or can’t travel try the AFL Community website where you can undertake the Club Umpire online learning programme (which is also free) from the comfort of your own home. So no excuses!
Late last year we announced that the Central and Northern England League would be introducing a representative side with the aim of giving our best British players more experience of playing the 18 -a-side format of the game and act as a stepping stone to playing at international level.
We are pleased to be able to announce that the AFLCNE representative side will be called <drum roll….>
The Northern Storm
In the first year of this side all club presidents have been asked to nominate players for selection to Ian Mitchell (Wolverhampton) and Will Sykes (Merseyside). The squads to play against the England Dragonslayers and in the AFL London pre-season tournament in April will be announced here on Sunday the 31st of January.
January 26th is Australia Day, Australia’s National Day. Some of our clubs have events either on the weekend or the day it self. If you’re interested in attending one of these events feel free to get in touch with the clubs:
Newcastle upon Tyne: Tyne Tees Tigers host an Australia Day party from 5pm: Details
Wolverhampton: Wolverhampton Wolverines play in an International Rules Game: Details
Merseyside: Merseyside Saints having some drinks from 19:00 at The Montgomery in Eastham
Manchester: Manchester Mosquitoes are having an open training session and BBQ at Burnage Rugby Club from 11:00.
International Rules Football is a hybrid game of Gaelic Football and Australian Rules football. The rules are a compromise between those of the two codes, with Gaelic football players being advantaged by the use of a round ball and a rectangular field (Australian rules uses an oval ball and field), while the Australian rules football players benefit from the opportunity to tackle between the shoulders and thighs, something banned in Gaelic football.
Many will be aware of the annual International Rules Series between Australia and Ireland, held last autumn in Dublin, with the Irish taking home the Cormac McAnallen trophy for 2015. But in the West midlands the upper hand lies with the Australian Rules Footballers. AFLCNE club the wolverhampton wolverines hold an International rules series against local GAA club St. Mary’s an the Wolverines are currently in possession of the 2015 trophy and we will be looking to hold onto it over the two test matches that are to be played on the weekends around Australia Day and St Patrick’s Day in January and March of 2016.
With the first fixture starting at 13:30 Saturday January 23rd at 13:30 Aldersey Highschool in Wolverhampton there’s no reason for you not to get your footy fix in early this year!
On the 26th, 29th of January and the 11th of February we will be promoting our sport at the National Sports Roadshow in Worcester, Leeds and Lincoln respectively. These Roadshows have presentations , demonstrations and stalls from a wide range of companies, clubs and sports right across the sports Industries including the likes of Worcester RFC, Leeds United, Yorkshire County Cricket, the FA and Lawn Tennis Association.
AFL England recently attended a highly successful Roadshow at Brunel University in London and now it’s our turn to help promote our sport, build connections and grow the game. We will have a stall and 30 minute taster session to deliver at each of these events and all involved in Aussie Rules are welcome to come and help out!
If you are available and willing to help man the stall or deliver the 30 min sessions can you let Ian Baxter know either via email: President@aflcne.com or on Facebook.
Dates and Venues
- 26th January Worcester University
- 29th January Leeds Beckett University
- 11th February University of Lincoln
The long term effects of concussion is a hot topic in contact sports across the globe, not just for Australian Rules Football. The Central and Northern England Australian Football League has the welfare our players at the heart of what we do. As such we are introducing league rules and guidance for the management of concussion for the 2016 season.
These rules and guidance are based on the 3rd edition of the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool it has been put together by League President Dr. Ian Baxter and has been agreed by AFLCNE presidents.
You can find our rules and guidance under the documents and policies tab in the about us section on our website. The Rugby Football Union have an excellent on-line training section on management of concussion, it’s free and you can access it at the following link. Concussion Testing:- e-learning
If your not sure why the long term effects of concession are important watch this 20 minute video of Carlton and AFL great Greg “Diesel” Williams.
AFLCNE club the Tyne Tees Tigers are looking to the future with an exciting development for their club, announcing their new home ground and training venue for 2016. Based in Gosforth they will be becoming affiliate members of the Gosforth Sports Association alongside Gosforth Rugby Club and Newcastle City Cricket Club.
Tigers President Phil Martin had this to say about the move “It’s a fantastic opportunity for the tigers to be a part of a community sporting venture and the permanent home for both training and playing opens the club to be more accessible and part of a wider community”
The Tigers are looking for opponents for a match to help celebrate the move in March. If your club is interested please get in touch with Phil via firstname.lastname@example.org
Our league has been running since 2010 as part of the growing story of Aussie Rules in the UK but how long has Aussie Rules been played here? You may be surprise to find out that it’s been for well over 100 years.
Former league secretary and member of the Tyne Tees Tigers Michael Teasdale found this newspaper clipping from 100 years ago today (Dec 13th 1915) during his work at South Tyneside Library.
“I was looking through the papers because we have a display in the library which updates weekly with articles from the Shields Gazette, in particular those mentioning local servicemen, alongside articles from the Daily Mirror which provide a larger perspective on the war.
I was definitely surprised both to find the picture and to discover that games were played in the UK 100 years ago, albeit just within the ranks of the Anzacs. My feelings (well, thoughts) upon finding it were “that’s cool, I’ll have to show the lads at the club that” followed shortly by “how many times can this journalist say ‘football’ in a caption that short?” though it doesn’t actually make me view the game any differently – at the end of the day these guys were passing the time as they knew how.”
This game played by ANZACs is even earlier than the one played in 1916 at Queens Club in London, which Collingwood hope to recreate next year in London. You can see a clip of what is thought to be the 1916 game here.
But neither of these can claim to be the first game of Australian Football in the UK. That honour goes to the match held in Balham London in 1888 between Edinburgh University and London University some 27 years earlier!
As 2015 starts to draw to a close we start looking to next year and here at the AFLCNE we are no exception.
In 2016 the Central and Northern England League will be forming a League representative side with a view to playing 18 a-side games as opposed to the leagues 9s format. The aim behind this is to give our top British talent more experience of the 18s game and help them to prepare for national team selection and hopefully playing for the British Bulldogs.
All clubs have been asked to put forward the names of their players who they feel would be suited to playing in this representative team. The final selections will be made by Ian Mitchell (Wolverhampton Wolverines) and Will Sykes (Merseyside Saints). The name of the representative side has yet to be decided.
It is envisaged that the AFLCNE rep side will join a training session/friendly fixture with the English Dragonslayers in Huddersfield on April 2nd before taking part in the AFL London Pre-season tournament on April 16th.
At the London tournament there will also be a ‘Supers’ competition for the over 35s. If there are enough interested ‘old-timers’ from around the League we would also like to enter a team in this. Any AFLCNE players wishing to register an interest in the Supers comp please contact Ian Baxter at email@example.com
With the addition of the Merseyside Saints to the AFLCNE, 8 teams will contest the AFLCNE 2016 Premiership. But they won’t be the only new thing in the league next season. The AFLCNE will also be introducing a plate competition for the teams that finish 5th – 8th after the home and away season. The top 4 teams will, as in previous seasons, compete for the honour of becoming AFLCNE premiers. The Plate Final will be the warm up game for the league Grand Final.
League President Ian Baxter had this to say about the Plate competition:
“As a league we are mixture of well established sides and newer clubs, the Plate competition means all clubs will have something to aim for towards the end of season and hopefully gives developing clubs some success and recognition for their hard work developing the game that they otherwise may not have got”
Either way it promises to be an exciting season in 2016. The full fixture list can be found here