Italy and the Czech Republic battle it out at the recent four nations tournament in Fontanafredda, Italy.

2010 Euro Cup Attracts 15 Countries

Tuesday, September 28, 2010
2 October 2010
Milan, Italy

For one day in October, 15 European nations will play 9-a-side Australian Football to vie for the coveted Euro Cup. Parbiago, on the outskirts of Milan, will host the Cup which also features two European women’s teams playing Europe’s first ever Australian Football international women’s tournament.

Hosted by AFL Italia and the European Australian Football Association (EAFA), the Euro Cup will offer Europeans a unique way to experience Australian culture and sport firsthand.

Nations competing include:
  • Austria
  • Catalonia
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • EU Crusaders (combined European nations)
  • England
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Scotland
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • The Netherlands
  • Wales
Women’s teams

Host nation Italy, and European powerhouse Ireland, will also be fielding women’s teams to play against each other on the day in Europe’s first ever Australian Football international women’s tournament.

Grand final replay

Euro Cup organisers quickly rescheduled matches to incorporate a live telecast of the 2010 AFL Toyota Grand Final Replay, which will be shown at the ground, 6am local time. The match will be shown on the Eurosport Italia channel with Italian language commentary.

Organisers are also serving a light breakfast.

Not just for expats

For a long time the commonly held assumption was that Australian Football abroad was only played by expats, however this is clearly not true.

"French footy was set up by French people who saw the game on TV and wanted to have a go," says French coach Adam Le Nevez.

Many of the countries taking part in the Euro Cup simply don’t have large Australian expat communities and have done everything themselves.

"If there where Aussies in our team, we would have the possibility to learn from them," says Martin Schittegg of Austria. "So far we have had to learn by watching AFL matches, reading books and trying out whatever tactics and training methods we can think of ourselves."

There are also advantages to keeping the development of the game in local hands.

"The development of footy must go in line with developing local talents and not just for expats to get a kick while they work or live in Europe," says Italy’s Nicola Giampaolo. "In Italy we have adopted the policy that Aussies should play at club level to teach local players the skills and tactics, but the national team should only have Italian players."

The rules

2010 European Cup LogoThe Euro Cup is a 9-a-side international tournament of European nations with matches played on rugby- or soccer-sized fields of approximately 100m x 70m.

Each game consists of 2 halves of 12 minutes duration, with a short 3 minute half-time break.

Each team can expect to play 4 or 5 games on the day (3 pool matches and up to 2 knock out finals).

The playing field is divided into 3 zones. Each zone must contain 3 players from each team at the centre ball-up i.e. commencement of a half or after a goal has been scored. Once the ball is in open play, players are unrestricted in their movements and any player may score a goal.

Each team is permitted to use up to 16 players, but no more than 9 players may be on the field during play at a time.

The end result is a high speed, high action version of Australian Football which is taking Europe by storm!

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