With the last update being a month ago (blame it on the weather/footy/beers) we at the league thought it was an opportunity to give you all an update on the past few weeks (and a lot has happened).
The final round of May saw the Rams consolidate their position just inside the playoffs by defeating a travelling Tigers side, while the Mozzies narrowly overcame one of this season’s finals contenders the Wolverines in a show of intent to put themselves comfortably in prime position. Meanwhile, the Thunder secured their first points by default, after mechanical issues meant half the travelling Merseyside team were stuck near Manchester (credit goes to those who made it playing in an excellent scratch match with Sheffield and Nottingham players).
Next up came this season’s first lightening round, in Newcastle. And for the first time in nearly 2 years, the Mozzies tasted defeat, against a Scorps side hungry for a spot in the big dance, and a strong Tigers side brimming with confidence. Meanwhile, the Saints were on the receiving end of two defeats. This saw the Mozzies knocked off top spot and the Scorps looking forward to what was shaping up to be a decisive clash the following week.
After a major wobble in the lightening round, the Mozzies ran out against the Scorpions the following week in what was looking like a season-defining clash. While the Scorps put in a valiant performance, the Mozzies took a win to put them back at the top of the table on percentage.
Meanwhile, Wolves were keen to show they were well within the title race, and came up against a Tyne Tees Tigers side with the wind in their sails. In a tasty clash, it was the Wolves who came out on top to keep themselves in the leading pack. Elsewhere, the Rams took the points from the Saints to put themselves 4 points clear of fifth with a game in hand.
And after all that drama, there’s not too much change in the ladder. The Saints are still looking for their first points and will hope the upcoming lightening round in Merseyside (1st July) will deliver. Manchester’s position seems more precarious at the top, with the Scorps and Wolves sensing that they could be the ones to take the minor premiership. The Thunder will be hoping to leapfrog the Tigers and equal last season’s position, although the Tigers will surely have belief now that they can make the finals for the first time in their history, but the Rams will be holding on tightly to that final spot.
It’s all still to play for, with the next action being the Merseyside lightening round on 1st July.
This weekend saw all three games played on the Saturday, with a double header in Wolverhampton seeing the Wolves return from a week off to take on the Saints, followed by the Rams facing off against league leaders the Mozzies. Meanwhile, Nottingham travelled to Sheffield to take on a Thunder side of growing confidence.
Wolves went out in the early game looking to show that their bye week hadn’t dulled their premiership ambitions after they cruised to a big victory against Sheffield in the first game. And they didn’t disappoint, with a thumping 274-23 victory against a travelling Saints side. Although Merseyside will be disappointed with the defeat, their first three goals of the season point to some early improvement, and given that their first two games have been against the early season’s form teams, they can be confident that their percentage will be improved as the season chugs on.
Following on from this, Manchester took to the field against a Rams side that picked up its first win last week. Keen to keep their foot on the gas, the Mozzies will be delighted with the 214-24 victory, a particularly pleasing a result against a Rams side that have traditionally been a tough squad to break down. The result puts them as good as level with Wolves on percentage, although having played the extra game the Mozzies are sitting pretty with a 4 point gap – whether it’s still there after the Mozzie’s bye next week is another question.
After two big wins in Wolverhampton, the action moved to Sheffield, with last year’s finalists Nottingham Scorpions taking on a Sheffield Thunder team that managed to find some promising form against Huddersfield last week. Neither team disappointed, with the hard fought game ending 81-62. Although the Scorps walk away with their unbeaten streak intact, the Thunder will undoubtedly be happy with a strong performance that saw them come within a hair’s breadth of taking the game.
Overall, two big wins saw Wolves and Manchester race ahead in terms of percentage, but a Nottingham Scorpions victory puts them firmly in the second finals spot, one below where they’ll hope to be at the end of the season.
- Wolverhampton Wolverines 41.28.274 d. Merseyside Saints 3.5.23
- Manchester Mosquitoes 30.34.214 d. Huddersfield Rams 2.12.24
- Nottingham Scorpions 11.15.81 d. Sheffield Thunder 8.14.62
As we come up to round 3, it’s the turn of the Tigers to take a rest. With the top 4 all in action, there could be some changes in the early season finals spots. However, at the other end the Saints will be looking to leapfrog Tyne Tees, while Sheffield hunt their first points of the season.
The first action of the weekend sees the Wolverhampton Wolverines take on the Merseyside Saints at home in the first game of a double header. Having seen their bye last week knock them off top spot, Wolves will be keen to get back in the mix and will undoubtedly go hard against the visiting Saints. However, coming off a heavy defeat last week the Saints will undoubtedly come out swinging, and will be hoping to put a big dent in the Wolves’s enviable percentage (and points, for that matter).
The next game pits Huddersfield Rams against the Manchester Mosquitoes. Last week saw the Rams pick up their first points of the season, and carrying this momentum they’ll provide a stern test for the Mozzies. The Mozzies for their part will trying to keep a tight grasp on that top spot, however, and this is looking like a tantalizing clash.
Finally, over in Sheffield, the Thunder take on the Scorps in a single header. Nottingham recorded a healthy win last week and will be looking to take advantage of a struggling Sheffield side to put themselves firmly in the race for top spot. The Thunder will be aiming to build on a much improved performance last week and will be hoping that the progress has continued enough for them to snatch a win from last season’s runners up.
With so much at stake for every team, there are some treats in store this week.
- Saturday 13th May, 11am – Wolverhampton Wolverines vs Merseyside Saints at Stafford Road Sports Club, Stafford Road, Walsall, WS3 2JT
- Saturday 13th May, 1pm – Huddersfield Rams vs Manchester Mosquitoes at Stafford Road Sports Club, Stafford Road, Walsall, WS3 2JT
- Saturday 13th May, 2pm – Sheffield Thunder vs Nottingham Scorpions at Sheffield Tigers RUFC, Hathersage Road, Sheffield, S17 3AB
With round 2 drawing to a close, there have been some shifts in the AFLCNE ladder this week. The Mozzies have taken the top spot from Wolves, who sit this week out, with a big win over the Saints, with the Scorps also seeing Wolves’ bye week lifting them into 2nd. Meanwhile, at the other end of the table, Sheffield switched with Tyne Tees to go into 5th and the Saints are 7th.
The first game of the round saw the Mozzies take on Merseyside Saints, who were kicking off their second season. This produced a thumping 243-7 win for Manchester Mosquitoes, giving them an enviable percentage of 2400. However, as always, the scoreline isn’t a fair reflection of the game, and with it being an improvement on the 273-7 score for the corresponding game last year, the Saints will be hoping that their development will bear fruit later in the season.
Sunday saw a double header played at Huddersfield. In the first game, Nottingham Scorpions took on a Tyne Tees Tigers team hoping to give their percentage a much needed boost, and claim a prize scalp in the process. With both sides fielding strong teams, the Tigers competed well for the first half, however the Scorp’s experience saw them pull away over the past couple of quarters to record a 150-44 win.
The final game saw the Huddersfield Rams take on Sheffield Thunder, another team desperate to improve their percentage after a difficult opening game. With the Thunder having received a fresh influx of players, the competitive game saw both teams push hard until the final buzzer, with the Rams eventually recording a 134-90 win. While the Rams are delighted with their first win of the season, the Thunder can take solace in the marked improvement in form since last week.
- Manchester Mosquitoes 36.27.243 d. Merseyside Saints 0.7.7
- Nottingham Scorpions 22.18.150 d. Tyne Tees Tigers 6.8.44
- Huddersfield Rams 19.20.134 d. Sheffield Thunder 13.12.90
With the dust having settled after the round 1 clashes over the bank holiday weekend, round 2 sees the Saints get their first run-out of the season while the Wolves sit this one out on their bye week.
The first game of the weekend is the Northwest derby taking place on Merseyside, which will see the Mozzies, coming off a big win against the Tigers, take on the Merseyside Saints. Last year’s premiers are favourites for the clash, but the Saints will be looking to cause an upset and de-rail the Mozzie’s early-season momentum.
On Sunday, we move across to Huddersfield for the other two games of this round. At 2:45, Nottingham Scorpions will be taking on Tyne Tees Tigers. The Scorps will be coming off a hard-fought round 1 victory, and hoping to pick up momentum in their title charge. However, the Tigers took a big percentage hit last week, and will be going all out to show they’ve got what it takes to compete with any team in the league.
The final game sees Huddersfield Rams take on Sheffield Thunder. Always a competitive game, both teams will be putting it all on the line. Big losers from last week, the Thunder will be looking to prove last week’s result was just a blip in their season. The Rams, on the other hand, will undoubtedly see an opportunity to get their first points on the board.
With one team at least guaranteed to get their first points, there’ll be some tough encounters over the weekend.
This week’s fixtures:
- Saturday 6th April, 2:45pm – Merseyside Saints vs Manchester Mosquitoes at Port Sunlight Rugby Club, Wirral, CH62 3QQ
- Sunday 7th April, 12pm – Nottingham Scorpions vs Tyne Tees Tigers at YMCA Rugby Club, Huddersfield, HD3 3XF
- Sunday 7th April, 2pm – Huddersfield Rams vs Sheffield Thunder at YMCA Rugby Club, Huddersfield, HD3 3XF
With round 1 over, we can take a look at the past weekend. It was a high scorer, with the Mozzies and Wolves powering ahead to form an early leading pack. Nottingham’s victory over Huddersfield sees them take 3rd position, while the Saints sit at the bottom by default.
Saturday saw Manchester Mosquitoes welcome Tyne Tees Tigers for this season’s opener. While the Tigers put in a hard-fought performance, the experienced and well-drilled Mozzies proved too much, putting in a commanding 216-12 victory and giving a hint that they’re going all out for that fourth premiership.
As Sunday rolled around, Nottingham Scorpions faced off against Huddersfield Rams at Moderns RUFC. With both teams bringing good numbers, the Scorpions were hoping for a reverse of the pre-season scoreline that saw the Rams take a convincing victory, so won’t be too disappointed with their 115-86 victory in a very competitive game.
The final match of the weekend saw a Wolverhampton Wolverines team carrying momentum from a successful pre-season come up against a rookie 9-man Sheffield Thunder side. Given the two team’s contrasting pre-season prep, a Wolves victory always seemed likely, however the huge 241-11 scoreline suggests that Wolves will be firmly lodged among the finals spots come the end of the season.
A hard day at the office for Sheffield and Tyne Tees will have exposed areas for both teams to build on, while Manchester, Wolves and Nottingham will be desperate to carry their form into next week. Meanwhile, the Rams can look back on a hard-fought game knowing that, with a bit of tweaking, they can be up there come July.
Final scores from the weekend:
- Manchester Mosquitoes 32.24.216 d. Tyne Tees Tigers 1.6.12
- Nottingham Scorpions 16.19.115 d. Huddersfield Rams 11.20.86
- Wolverhampton Wolverines 36.25.241 d. Sheffield Thunder 1.5.11
The season’s very nearly almost here, and we’re getting pretty excited about it. This weekend sees last season’s top six battle it out for first blood, with the Saints having to wait until next week to get their first points on the board.
The season opener tomorrow sees premiers Manchester Mosquitoes take on plate winners Tyne Tees Tigers at Burnage. The Mozzies will be going all out to make an early statement of intent, while the Tigers will undoubtedly be keen to show development arising from their packed pre-season schedule.
Across the penines and down a bit, Sunday sees this week’s double-header take place in Nottingham. The first game sees a repeat of the Scorps-Rams pre-season fixture. The Scorps will be desperate to avenge that defeat and stake an early claim to a finals place. However, Huddersfield will be out to prove that they’ve only got stronger since that game.
Wolves take on Sheffield Thunder in the final game of the weekend. The Wolves will want to carry the momentum from their Haggis cup performance and make an early charge for the finals places, while Sheffield will be keen to demonstrate that, despite them not playing any pre-season fixtures, they’re in with a good shout for the finals.
It’s lining up to be a bumper weekend of footy. As with all AFLCNE games, it’s free to watch, so head to Manchester or Nottingham (or both) for a taste of what the rest of the season has to offer.
This week’s fixtures:
- Sat 22nd April, 12pm – Manchester Mosquitoes vs Tyne Tees Tigers at Burnage Rugby Club, Stockport, SK4 3EA
- Sun 23rd April, 12pm – Nottingham Scorpions vs Huddersfield Rams at Nottingham Moderns RUFC, Nottingham, NG11 7AA
- Sun 23rd April, 2pm – Sheffield Thunder vs Wolverhampton Wolverines at Nottingham Moderns RUFC, Nottingham, NG11 7AA
In the last of our (slightly-compressed-because-the-season-has-crept-up-on-us) team profiles, we turn our attention to West Yorkshire’s only AFLCNE team, the Huddersfield Rams.
The Rams are another of the AFLCNE founder members, and since their inception have been an unmissable presence in the league, reaching two grand finals over the course of their existence. They have an almost exclusively English player base, and through this the Rams have been a hotbed of local talent, producing a string of players that have represented their country at the highest levels.
They are also one of the more active footy teams, and you’ll find them taking up any excuse for a kick, whether it’s in Newcastle, Wolverhampton or Glasgow (or, indeed, a snowy Huddersfield in January).
Last season saw the Rams deliver some solid performances with a young developing team to reach the semi-finals. They will hope that their team will, under the guidance of the Ram’s crop of internationals, use this experience to develop and go one further in 2017.
And their pre-season started positively, with a big win over last season’s finalists Nottingham Scorpions. After their annual run-out at the Haggis Cup, the Rams are ready to hit the season hard, with their first game being a chance to repeat their pre-season exploits against the Nottingham Scorpions on Saturday, at Moderns RUFC (ball-up 12).
Yesterday we were in the West, today we head across to the East Midlands to look at the Nottingham Scorpions. They’re a team with a long history in the AFLCNE, and are rightly proud of what they’ve achieved so far.
Being one of the founder members, the Scorps made an appearance in the first three finals, taking the premiership for the only time in 2011. While a three-season hiatus followed, Nottingham continued their trend of producing strong British talent, seeing players become regular features for both GB and England.
Last season saw a resurgent Scorps get to another Grand Final, with their only defeats of the season coming against eventual champions Manchester Mosquitoes. This wasn’t just luck, with stellar performances seeing Scorpions players claim best of British and league top scorer for the 2016 season. Retaining that strong core has been key for the Scorps, and they’ll see 2017 as a year to avenge that finals defeat.
However, it isn’t just the men’s side of the team that the league’s proud of. Having formed a women’s side last year, the Nottingham Scorpions women have burst onto the British footy scene, dominating in performances against seasoned teams from London up to Scotland. Boasting a number or current and future internationals, the future can only by bright for the Scorps women.
The men’s team will kick off their season vs Huddersfield Rams this Sunday, ball-up at 12pm at Nottingham Moderns RUFC. Some of the women’s team will also be in action for GB or North London Lions at the pre-season cup at Duke’s Meadow, Chiswick.
It’s been a bit quiet on the website front lately, on account of Easter, and the committee’s need to recover from the Haggis cup. But, today we continue our series of team profiles to look at the Wolverhampton Wolverines.
The Wolves were formed in 2009 by current president (and GB Swans coach) Ian Mitchell, and became a fully-fledged AFLCNE side in 2011. Although they haven’t yet made it to the Grand Final, the Wolves have an enviable player pedigree, having seen representatives go on to play for England, GB, the European Legion and the West Midland Tigers.
Last year, saw the Wolves make a promising early charge, keeping pace with eventual finalists the Mozzies and Scorps for much of the season. Although performances tapered towards the latter half, the Wolves stayed with the leading pack, easily making the finals, and losing in a spirited performance to Nottingham Scorpions.
This year, the Wolves have their eyes on going further. A strong pre-season performance at the Haggis Cup saw them conquer the best Scotland had to throw at them, losing out in the final to AFL London side Wandsworth Demons, and this performance will do nothing but boost their confidence in reaching the big dance for the first time in their history.
With a family-orientated nature, and their recent efforts to start a second team in Coventry, the Wolves are looking firmly towards the future, and are keen to grow footy around the Midlands. If you’d like to find out more, you can find them on the web, Facebook and Twitter.
You can next catch the Wolves in action this Sunday, when they run out against Sheffield Thunder in Nottingham.
Another weekend, another crop of AFLCNE teams in action. After the Mozzie’s trip to Amsterdam last week, no less than four teams are getting some cross-border action tomorrow, this time at the Haggis Cup in Glasgow.
While the Wolves, Rams and Tigers men’s teams will compete in a 10-team tournament, the Scorp’s women’s team will be competing in a 5-team women’s tournament – an event that in itself shows how far the women’s game has come in the UK.
Haggis Cup regulars the Rams will be looking to replicate past successes, while the Tigers will be continuing on their apparent quest to play every team in the SARFL, all the while making a run for the final. Wolves will be looking to bring their brand of footy up north and give us a preview of why they expect to go one better in the league this season, while the Scorps will be hoping to replicate their fantastic success so far this year.
As always, the Haggis will be an exhibition of footy, bringing together teams from across the UK to compete, and of course, drink together. So, get behind our teams headed North – if not for the footy then at least for the boat races afterwards!
Today it’s the turn of new boys on the block, Merseyside Saints. Having entered the the AFLCNE only last year, the Saints have big ambitions to bring footy to Merseyside.
The 2016 season saw the Saints take to the field for the first time at the Wolverhampton lightening round, suffering a baptism of fire with a 300-point defeat. However, they took on the steep learning curve with enthusiasm over the following weeks, reducing those deficits week-by-week and eventually claiming their first ever points.
Their season ended at the plate semi-final, going down by 47pts to eventual plate winners the Tyne Tees Tigers. While any defeat is disappointing, scoring 9 goals and 74 points overall is a testament to just how far the Saints came on in a little over 3 months. Having managed the notable achievement of fielding a team every week, the Saints clearly have a solid skills base on which to build.
This year, with new additions to the squad, they’ll be looking to grow that success further, inevitably eyeing a march up the table. Whatsmore, they’re planning for the future by recently announcing the introduction of a junior set-up, so we’ll hopefully be seeing much more of the Saints over years to come.
You can see the Saints in action for this first time this season on May 6th, when they clash with the Mozzies in Huddersfield. For more information on training, find the Saints on the web, Facebook and Twitter.
As the first evidence of this year’s summer starts to glimmer through, we take a look at Sheffield Thunder. Founded by two Aussie ex-pats in 2010, the Thunder are one of two Aussie Rules clubs in the Yorkshire area and have seen both GB and England players (and coaches) pass through their ranks.
After their creation, the Thunder quickly developed into finals stalwarts, rarely finishing outside of the top 4. Arguably, the Thunder’s finest hour came in 2015 when a string of victories, including one against eventual premiers the Mozzies, saw them make the Grand Final for the first time in their history. Although it wasn’t to be, as the Mozzies secured victory in a second consecutive final, Sheffield walked away knowing that, having won 3 out of 4 quarters, the future looked rosy.
However, a perfect storm of injuries and retirements, combined with stellar performances from their AFLCNE counterparts meant that the Thunder finished 5th in 2016, eventually finishing runners-up in the inaugural Plate Final to the Tyne Tees Tigers, and for the second year in a row losing a final despite winning 3 quarters of the game.
2017 sees the Thunder looking to rebuild their depleted squad and once again make a tilt for the finals. As part of this, they are welcoming all newcomers, irrespective of fitness level or experience – for more information find them on Facebook or Twitter.
You can first see Sheffield Thunder in action vs Wolverhampton Wolverines, on 22nd April at Moderns RUFC, Nottingham, NG11 7AA.
As we approach April, pre-season for many of the AFLCNE teams is being stepped up another gear. With all teams now training and some clubs having already played their first friendlies, this weekend sees a footy bonanza.
Most notably, the Mozzie’s pre-season preparation will be put to the test as they head across to Amsterdam on Saturday for this year’s champions league. Having finished runners-up in 2016, the 16-man squad will be looking to go one better this year and come back as champions of Europe.
However, closer to home there’s more footy action taking place. Nottingham Scorpion’s men’s and women’s team will both be in action on Saturday, with the women facing off against the West London Wildcats, before the men take on AFLCNE rivals Huddersfield Rams. All teams will be keen to show off their off-season development, and it’ll be a tightly contested affair.
And in the Midlands, Wolverhampton Wolverines warm-up before their Haggis cup trip by playing a development side in Coventry. While this will give early match experience to the Wolves lads, it’s hoped that it’ll help spark further development of footy in the Midlands.
You’re absolutely spoilt for choice this weekend, fixture times and locations below:
- Manchester Mosquitoes at Champions League – Ball-up from 10am at Bok de Korverweg 6A, 1067 HR, Amsterdam
- Nottingham Scorpions men’s/women’s take on Rams/Wildcats – Women first game, 1:30pm ball-up, men second game, 3pm ball-up. Moderns Rugby Club, Nottingham, NG11 7AA
- Wolverhampton Wolverines take on a development side – Ball-up 16:00 at Sphinx Sports and Social Club, Coventry, CV3 1WA
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.