Tag: AFL

UCC dominate Fitzpatrick Cup

University College Cork hosted the AFL Europe intervarsity competition last month and also took home the men’s and women’s cups.  On a bright February Saturday at the UCC sports grounds the well organised event finished in perfect fashion for the hosts who have developed an impressive club in recent years.

Read report below from www.afleurope.org

A last-minute pitch change and some early rain didn’t deter participants at the weekends annual Fitzpatrick Cup hosted by the University College Cork (UCC).

With 8 men’s and 3 women’s teams in action it was always going to be a great day of Aussie Rules action.

Despite the muddy pitches, Group A got off to a flying start with UCC 1 and Irish Uni’s claiming early victories. Group B started in similar fashion with Oxford 1 and Mixed ARFLI showing their class.

Mixed ARFLI went through the Group stages undefeated but were unable to progress as they were acting as a top-up team after a disappointing late withdrawal from reigning champions, University of Birmingham.

The standings following the Group stages:

Group A
Team Played Win Loss Draw Points For Against Percentage
UCC 1 3 3 0 0 12 152 18 844.44
Irish Uni’s 3 2 1 0 8 84 59 142.37
Cambridge 3 1 2 0 4 37 83 44.58
Oxford 2 3 0 3 0 0 9 122 7.38
Group B
Team Played Win Loss Draw Points For Against Percentage
Mixed ARFLI 3 3 0 0 12 129 37 348.65
UCC 2 3 2 1 0 8 79 73 108.22
Oxford 1 3 1 2 0 4 47 82 57.32
Maynooth 3 0 3 0 0 34 97 35.05


The women’s competition was hotly contested with Maynooth claiming two early victories to sit atop of the table following the Group stages. They were closing matched-up with UCC and were scheduled to play in the grand final later in the afternoon after finishing second.

The standings following the Group stages:

Team Played Win Loss Draw Points For Against Percentage
Maynooth 2 2 0 0 8 46 14 328.57
UCC 2 1 1 0 0 16 19 84.21
Oxford 2 0 2 0 0 15 44 34.09

The Men’s semi-finals pitted UCC 1 against Oxford 1 and Mixed Uni’s against UCC 2 to determine who would be playing off in the Grand Final.

UCC 1 lifted another level to easily account for a valiant Oxford 1 outfit with the final score reading 77 to 12.

The other semi-final went down to the wire with UCC 2 eventually getting over the line in a 1-point thriller. Final score in that game read 24 to 23.

The women’s final was between Maynooth and UCC after they finished in the top 2 of the division. Only 4-points separated these two teams in the Group stages and with Irish Banshees Head Coach, Pat Leavy watching from the side-lines it was always going to be a tight contest.

The first half proved just that with possession hotly contested and the scoreboard reflecting accordingly. UCC got the better of the second half and overran the previously undefeated Maynooth women claiming the Fitzpatrick Cup with a score line of 30 to 8.

It was destined to be a UCC clean sweep of the Fitzpatrick Cup but it was yet to be decided which men’s team was going to take the spoils. UCC 2 were the obvious underdogs but the chance to knock off their older rivals in UCC 1 meant that they were primed and ready to go.

The first half was a thriller with both teams putting it all on the line. A couple of quick goals got UCC 1 out to a 3-goal lead going into half-time. UCC 2 scored the first goal of the second half and the crowd was calling for an upset.

The more experienced heads of the UCC 1 boys proved too much to overcome for the 2s with some late goals blowing out the score line, 50 to 14. A well-deserved clean sweep for all involved at the UCC Aussie Rules program.

Special congratulation to John Enright who came away with the Golden Whistle for his excellent performance both on the pitch but also off it for arranging the umpire squad and formalizing the umpiring appointments.

Player of the Tournament for the men went to Paul Murphy of UCC 1 which topped of a great week for him after being named in the first five Irish Warriors to be selected for the International Cup in August.

Best on Ground in the final for the women went to UCC’s Eimear Sexton for her ferocity around the contest throughout the entire game.

Extra special thanks to all the volunteers who assisted in putting on a fantastic day of football along with the organising committee at UCC for making sure the day ran smoothly.

The countdown to the Fitzpatrick Cup 2018 is on!

Women’s Champions – UCC Crusaders

Men’s Champions – UCC 1 

For more event photos jump click through the following links




Banshees announce IC17 players

The management and coaching staff of the Banshees are delighted to announce the updated list of Irish and U.K. based players who have earned their seats on the plane to Melbourne for IC17.

CONGRATULATIONS to the following:-
– Carolann Cassidy (Ulster Kookaburras)
– Linda Connolly (Wandsworth Demons)
– Molly Cullen (Dublin Angels)
– Laura Flannery (Dublin Angels)
– Aisling Gillespie (Ulster Kookaburras)
– Aine Higgins (Dublin Angels)
– Emma Kelly (Ulster Kookaburras)
– Olivia McCann (Ulster Kookaburras)
– Roisin McFadden (Ulster Kookaburras)
– Rachael McGee (Ulster Kookaburras)
– Onóra Mulcahy (Wandsworth Demons)
– Sarah O’Donovan (U.C.C. Crusaders)
– Fiona Roarty (Ulster Kookaburras)
– Leona Russell (Ulster Kookaburras)

Ladies – well deserved on being selected but the hard work continues from now until August.

The next batch of players will be named following the upcoming Leprechaun Cup and the London Footy Festival.

Ireland ready for Euros

Starting on Sunday, Irish Warriors commence their challenge of retaining the 18 a-side European Championships in Motspur Park Oval, Wimbledon, London.  The women’s team, the Irish Banshees are also there and commence their competition on Thursday with both Grand Finals on Saturday 21st August.

Stitched Panorama
The 2013 Euro winning Warriors

This year there are four men’s teams and three women’s teams competing.  It is the first women’s full sided tournament and shows the progress the women’s game has made in Europe in recent years.  The men’s competition has shrunk in nations compared to the 2013 edition hosted by ARFLI in Dublin.  Then there were six men’s teams but absent this year are Denmark and Croatia.  Also a team that competed in the 2014 International Cup, France are not made the short trip to London.  Denmark are the most notable absence having impressed in recent 9 a-side Euro Cups however it is disappointing they are not attending considering their strong footy tradition in real aussie rules on a full sized oval and 18 a-side.

The IC14 squad, only 8 of them will play at EC16

However based on rankings from the 2013 tournament and International Cup performances the two strongest teams in Europe at competing, Ireland and Great Britain.  The Warriors field only eight of the squad that were such narrow runners up to Papua New Guinea at the 2014 International Cup in Melbourne and come with a mixture of home based and English based players.  Some notable players include Lions duo Muiris Bartley and Conor O’Halloran who both won their first ARFLI title last week and also competed in IC14 and EC13.  Another Lion, Luke Hickey has youthful dash and could have a big tournament.

Of the English based players, Tom Stack played in the European Champions League Grand Final in Amsterdam last March with Manchester Mosquitos and should make an impact.  Another very notable English based player is Kevin O’Brien who was on the team of the tournament at IC11.  Slightly confusing is the fact that their are actually two Kevin O’Briens in the Irish squad and both play for London club Wandsworth Demons.

Kevin O’Brien evades PNG at IC11 Grand Final in the MCG

Player of the tournament in The Euro Champs in 2013, former Galway Magpie John O’Regan is absent as he has emigrated and will be missed for his all round footy ability.  Probably the Warriors biggest obstacle in winning their third European Championships is Great Britain.  In 2013 only one point separated the sides with a last gasp goal from Mark Leavy the difference.  At the 2014 International Cup Great Britain had high expectations but probably under performed.  In particular at that tournament they struggled against the free flowing style of the Pacific island teams, with Nauru the team the halted their progress.  With many Warriors have Gaelic games backgrounds it is hoped they can replicate this free flowing game that seems to unhinge team GB.

However only three of the International Cup 2014 GB Bulldogs squad remain, they are Will Worthington, James Talbot & Owain Ryland.  Many of the GB players named will be making their GB Bulldogs debuts after impressing club competitions with others returning to the Bulldogs guernsey after a competing in either IC11 or EC13 Bulldogs campaign.

Irish Warriors’ Squad


Muiris Bartley(UCC & Leeside Lions)

Sean Paul Henry(Belfast Redbacks)

Luke Hickey(UCC & Leeside Lions)

Brendan Kelly(Belfast Redbacks)

Stiofán Mac Finn(Wimbledon Hawks)

Tom McKenna(Belfast Redbacks)

Paul Murphy(UCC & Leeside Lions)

Conor O’ Halloran(Leeside Lions)

Eoin Ó Súilleabháin(Leeside Lions)

Tom Stack(Manchester Mosquitoes)

Gerard Walls(Belfast Redbacks)



Liam Burns(South Dublin Swans)

Conor Fitzgerald(Wandsworth Demons)

David McElhone(Belfast Redbacks)

Sean McGlinchey(Belfast Redbacks)

Stuart McKeating(Belfast Redbacks)

David Miller(Belfast Redbacks)

Gavin Murray(South Dublin Swans)

Kevin Young Kev O’ Brien(Wandsworth Demons)

Eoin Ó Murchú(Wandsworth Demons)



Conor Fitzgerald(North London Lions)

Dominic Joyce(Leeside Lions)

Ryan McCloskey(Belfast Redbacks)

Kevin McDonnell(Galway Magpies)

David McGinty(Galway Magpies)

Kevin McSorley(Belfast Redbacks)

Kevin Old Kev O’ Brien(Wandsworth Demons)

Padraic O’ Connell(Leeside Lions)

Cóilín Ó Lordáin(Leeside Lions)



Rory O’ Donnell(UCC & Leeside Lions)

Alan Tobin(Wandsworth Demons)




1pm Irish Warriors v German Eagles

3pm Great Britain Bulldogs v Swedish Elks



4pm German Eagles v Swedish Elks

6pm Great Britain Bulldogs v Irish Warriors



1.30pm Great Britain Swans v Irish Banshees

2.15pm Irish Banshees v European Crusaders

3pm European Crusaders v Great Britain Swans

4pm Irish Warriors v Swedish Elks

6pm Great Britain Bulldogs v German Eagles



11.30am Irish Banshees v European Crusaders

12.15pm Great Britain Swans v Irish Banshees

1pm European Crusaders v Great Britain Swans



1pm Men’s Third Place PO

2.30pm Women’s Grand Final

3.30pm Men’s Grand Final

(The following team previews are based on those that appear on the AFL Europe website that were then reported on World Footy News www.worldfootynews.com)

Ireland Warriors

The team itself is coming together well, blending a mix of youth and experience. With multiple International medal winners like David McElhone and Eoin O’Suilebhain mixing with some really exciting prospects like Stuart McKeating, Paul Murphy and Luke Hickey this Warriors side looks pretty formidable.

The ruck duo of Gavin Murray and Dominic Joyce (Dominic back in Ireland after multiple seasons playing in rural NSW) will be ones to look out for and can be really dominate. They could dictate first use for their midfielders which is key to winning big games.

The improvement shown by players like Sean Paul Henry is going to be vital for the Warriors. His natural athleticism has always had him at the forefront of opposition discussions but not his foot skills have become a focal point of his game which makes him a really exciting prospect for the Irish side.

Great Britain Bulldogs

With a very young looking Bulldog’s squad, many of who are making their international debut, it’ll be very hard to pick who would potentially provide the difference in this tournament. The University of Birmingham keep producing high quality players and their link up with the North London Lions continues to be fruitful. Ross Denton, Jack Coughlan, Jonny Harvey, Andy Walkden, Chris Britton, George Dibble and Michael Sharp have all come through the pipeline and will be worth a watch at EC16.

The London league is seeing impressive performances from the Wimbledon newbies in Myles Hudson, David Hastie, Marc Cashman and Jason Hill, while Alex Watson and David Jordan at the Wandsworth Demons are putting in highly rated performances along with West London Wildcats defender, Lewis Brackstone.

The AFL CNE league continues to churn out new and young talent in Craig Degville, Andrew Cochran and Harry Duffield. More experienced players such as Owain Ryland, Andy Smith, Will Worthington and Luke Booth will be keys to bringing success, through their big tournament experience and years of service to the Bulldogs. All in all, X-Factor performances have the ability to come from the whole GB squad and we’re as excited as anyone to see who’ll shine at the AFL Europe Champs.

Sweden Elks

You can never go past veteran Andy Svensson. The oldest player in the team seems to get younger when he plays footy. Having played since the early 2000s he is a valued member of the team. Andy was a member of the Denmark side that defeated Great Britain back in 1996 when the Helsingborg Saints were members of the Denmark AFL. New Elks, Alex Olsson and Calle Wrang have proved in domestic footy that they can produce, whilst stalwarts Chris Martensson and Hampus Olsson will lead the team with bravado.

One of the most improved players is Buster Sund from Norrtalje. He was just 17 years old at International Cup in 2014 and gained valuably from that experience to become one of the most dominant players in the Stockholm league in the past two years.

German Black Eagles

The Germans are strong across the park and are blessed with the ability to play their players in any position. A few names to keep an eye out for are big bodied midfielder/defender, Florian Naumann, who can take a strong mark overhead and hits very hard. Ruben Streicher is a raw talent who plays as a tall forward or ruckman. He was named in the Euro Cup team of the tournament last year in Croatia and is only going to improve. Jakob Jung is one to watch for the opposition. He has all the attribute of a top-quality midfielder with his speed and skills, he’s also tough as nails so will be hard to stop in the Champs.

Players who have shown significant improvement for the Eagles are Jan Husken and Simon Assmus. Both will be hoping to continue their rapid develop and shake up competition.


History in the Making: Women’s European Championships in Australian Football

Some of the Banshees at a recent training session
Some of the Banshees at a recent training session

Irish Banshees’ squad

Claire Donnelly  Ulster Kookaburra’s

Terri Kelly            Dublin Angels

Ciara Mone         Ulster Kookaburra’s

Catherine Collins              Dublin Angels

Emma Kelly         Ulster Kookaburra’s

Fiona Roarty       Ulster Kookaburra’s

Carolann Cassidy              Ulster Kookaburra’s

Olivia McCann   Ulster Kookaburra’s

Onóra Mulcahy Wandsworth Demons

Naomi Curtis      Dublin Angels

Mairead Walsh  Ulster Kookaburra’s

Marley Bevan    Dublin Angels

Ursula Murphy  Irish Exiles AFL

Linda Connolly   Wandsworth Demons

Leona Russell     Ulster Kookaburra’s

Claire Doherty   Ulster Kookaburra’s

Clara Fitzpatrick                Ulster Kookaburra’s

Aisling Gillespie Ulster Kookaburra’s

Edel Gray             Ulster Kookaburra’s

Crea McAleer    Ulster Kookaburra’s

Tracey Moloney               Irish Exiles AFL

Amy O’Donnell  Ulster Kookaburra’s

Nuala O’Hagan  Ulster Kookaburra’s

Colleen Quinn   Ulster Kookaburra’s

Oonagh McAnespey       Ulster Kookaburra’s

Niamh Mc Fadden           Ulster Kookaburra’s

Colleen Mallon  Irish Exiles AFL

Ashleigh Payne                 Dublin Angels

The Banshees at IC14
The Banshees at IC14

The below discussion is from World Footy News, more detail on Banshees later in week.

Women have competed at the Euro Cup 9’s since 2010, but the 2016 edition of the European Championships showcases the continuing growth of Women’s Footy across Europe with Great Britain and European Crusaders* joining Ireland in full-field 18-a-side competition.

The Irish Banshees are currently ranked 4th of only four fully Ranked Nations (Played more than 8 International Matches) with 46.81 Rating Points. As Great Britain Swans and the Crusaders debut at this level they begin their international journey with 40.00 Rating Points. It is difficult to predict how the two new teams will measure up against each other and the seasoned campaigners, Ireland, winner of International Cup 2011 and Runners-Up to Canada Northern Lights at IC14.

So if we assume the Higher ranked nation will win more often than not then we could expect to see the Banshees to gain enough rating points (over 2 rounds and final of this tournament) to enable them to climb above United States Freedom into third place behind Australia and Canada.

Great Britain and the European Crusaders will slot in amongst the other provisionally ranked nations possibly at P1 and P4 depending on which team is more successful. Congratulations must be extended to both debutante teams as they join the International Australian Football family of nations

*European Crusaders: Team made up from players from other nations unable to field full 18-a-side teams. This team has players from France, Great Britain and Scandinavia.

Magpies double up in Galway

Galway Magpies hosted Rounds 5 and 6 of the 2016 ARFLI season in sunny conditions at the Swamp, Galway City on Saturday June 11th. The carnival format has proved to be successful this year with good turnouts at all carnivals to date including women’s games.  The home team the Magpies went into the day without a win this season but they rectified this by turning over the South Dublin Swans and the Belfast Redbacks to push themselves off the bottom of the ladder.
The Leeside Lions maintained their position at the top beating both the Swans and the Redbacks. The Swans and Redbacks had winless afternoons but were competitive.


The results see the impressive Leeside Lions remain undefeated with six wins from their six games played. The Belfast Redbacks are second with three wins and three losses, just ahead of the Galway Magpies on two wins and four losses. The South Dublin Swans now sit in fourth place with just one win from their six matches to date.

In women’s footy, the Ulster Kookaburras and the Dublin Angels had a good training game as they continue preparations for  upcoming internationals with Ireland.

The next carnival is in Belfast next Saturday June 25th.
Galway Magpies 9-2-56 d South Dublin Swans 5-5-35
Galway Magpies 9-2-56 d Belfast Redbacks 6-3-39
Leeside Lions 11-10-76 d South Dublin Swans 1-0-6
Leeside Lions 7-3-45 d Belfast Redbacks 3-3-21

Leeside Lions (W) 6 (L) 0
Belfast Redbacks (W) 3 (L) 3
Galway Magpies (W) 2 (L) 4
South Dublin Swans (W) 1 (L) 5







A big thanks to Mark Scooby White www.scoobyphoto.com for taking photos on the day of the carnival. See all photos here.


Lions top after Leeside Carnival

Leeside Lions top the ARFLI men’s ladder after a very successful carnival in Cork on May 21st.

The second carnival (Rounds 3 & 4) results:

Leeside Lions 12.10 (82) d Galway Magpies 1.3 (9)
South Dublin Swans 5.8 (38) lost to Belfast Redbacks 7.1 (43)
Leeside Lions 14.11 (95) d Belfast Redbacks 2.0 (12)
South Dublin Swans 9.5 (59) d Galway Magpies 6.4 (40)

The Lions dominated the Leeside carnival, again having big numbers.  They easily won both games although the Redbacks were understrength compared to the previous Swans carnival in Dublin.  The Swans got their first win of the season against the Magpies and will probably be disappointed not to have got two wins on Leeside after a narrow defeat to the Redbacks.  The Magpies were out of luck on the day but put in a determined effort over the two games.

After four completed rounds in two carnivals, the ladder is:

Leeside Lions (Wins) 4 (Losses) 0
Belfast Redbacks (Wins) 3 (Losses) 1
South Dublin Swans (Wins) 1 (Losses) 3
Galway Magpies (Wins) 0 (Losses) 4

The next carnival will be held in The Claddagh, Galway City on Saturday June 11th as the home team look for their first wins of the 2016 season.

Leeside Lions Carnival

This Saturday ARFLI teams make the trip to Cork for round 2 of the ARFLI season.  Games are taking place from 1pm on Saturday May 21st at the Farm, Curraheen Road Sports Grounds on the edge of Cork City.  This week sees the Leeside Lions play the Galway Magpies and the Belfast Redbacks and the South Dublin Swans playing the Redbacks and Magpies.  The Lions and the Redbacks are looking to consolidate their position at the top of the table with both the Swans and Magpies looking for their first wins.


Fixtures for Saturday’s Carnival are as follows:

Game 1. Lions v Magpies ballup @ 1.00pm
Game 2. Redbacks v Swans ballup @ 1.50pm
Game 3. Lions v Redbacks ballup @ 2.45pm
Game 4. Swans v Magpies ballup @ 3.30pm



First ARFLI Carnival Great Success

The ARFLI club season got off to a great start on Saturday May 7th with six teams participating in the opening carnival hosted by South Dublin Swans in Bushy Park, Terenure.  There were four men’s games and one women’s game on the day that started off damp but dried up quickly.  Although it was the first round of the competition teams arrived fit and with some impressive skills.

In the women’s game the Dublin Angels renewed rivalries with the Ulster Kookaburras.  In a competitive game the Kookaburras took the win.

In the men’s competition the first game was hosts South Dublin Swans against the Leeside Lions.  Some had tipped the Lions to have a big year in 2016 and they started impressively with a convincing win over the Swans.  At the same time the Belfast Redbacks got the better of the Galway  Magpies.  The second games saw the Redbacks defeat the Swans and the Lions defeat the Magpies.  So it’s two from two for the Lions and Redbacks with the Magpies and Swans having some work to do for round two.


Lions 8.8 (56) beat Swans 1.2 (8)

Belfast Redbacks 8.4 (52) Galway Magpies 5.4 (34)

Belfast Redbacks 10.3 (63) South Dublin Swans 3.2 (15)

Lions 9.8 (62) beat Magpies 3.5 (23)


Not surprisingly regular top goalkicker in the competition Shaun Murphy took the award for most goals kicked on the day.  Redbacks’ veteran Gerard Walls was awarded Best on Ground over the carnival.  Best newcomer awards went to Ronan O’Brien (Swans), Kieran Conroy (Redbacks), Luke Hickey (Lions) and Rory Madden (Magpies).  Incidentally Ronan O’Brien, the Swans’ best newcomer is the younger brother of 2011 AFL International Cup Team of the Tournament selection Kevin O’Brien.


Finally special thanks to the umpires on the day, Bryce Fraser, Brett Morrison and John Enright.  Next up is the Leeside Lions carnival next Saturday May 21st in Cork.

Swans 9s this Saturday

South Dublin Swans are hosting an Aussie Rules 9s tournament on Saturday to coincide with the International Rules match in Croke Park later that evening.  Although it is well outside the normal season there is great interest in the tournament with 9 teams entered.  This includes two new men’s teams from Maynooth University and National University of Ireland Galway.  Also playing with be UCC Bombers, Leeside Lions, Dublin Demons/DCU, Belfast Redbacks and hosts South Dublin Swans.  There will also be a women’s game.

The tournament is being held in Terenure College rugby club, Greenlea Grove, Terenure, Dublin 6W commencing at 11am and games will run until 4pm.  This is a very accessible venue for locals and visitors a like.  A full bar will be open on the day and food will be served.  Admission as a spectator is free and all are welcome.  If you are travelling to Dublin for the match it is a great way to kick off the day.

Location and Transport

See google maps for location https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=znVDSiH8hpZM.kH5fPzryxZUQ&hl=en_US

Any bus going to Terenure or through Terenure will get you very close to the pitches.  Download the Transport for Ireland Journey Planner app for live bus times and route planning.  Buses 15, 49, 54A and 65B from the city centre will all drop you a few minutes walk from the ground.  It is a 15 minute taxi journey from the city centre, approximate fare €15.

International Rules tickets on sale

The 2015 International Rules test between Ireland’s GAA players and Australia’s AFL players is taking place on Saturday November 21st.  This promises to be a great contest and a unique opportunity for Irish Aussie Rules fans to see the greats of the game on our doorstep.  The real stars are coming this year with only All-Australians eligible for selection.  This means stars such as Patrick Dangerfield, Luke Hodge, Nick Riewoldt will be on show.

Chose the Hogan Stand for the AFL Europe Community section, book tickets here http://gaa.tickets.ie/Listing/EventInformation/25541/eirgrid-international-rules-2015-ireland-v-australia-croke-park-21-November-2015

Australia announce International Rules squad

from http://www.foxsports.com.au

AUSTRALIA coach Alastair Clarkson has announced his squad to take on Ireland in the 2015 International Rules Series.

AFL Superstars Patrick Dangerfield, Luke Hodge, Nick Riewoldt and All Australian captain Robert Murphy headline the team.

Australia will take on the Irish in a one-off Test at Croke Park in Dublin on November 21.

The squad is packed with experience in the hybrid game with only four debutants.

Andrew Gaff, Dyson Heppell, Jarryd Roughead and Jake Stringer have never played International Rules before.

Retired Essendon defender Dustin Fletcher is also part of the squad, a fitting end to his 400-game career, and is destined to be the Australian goalkeeper.

Carlton, Collingwood, North Melbourne, Melbourne, Richmond, Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney do not have a player in the squad.

The team will travel to New York for a training camp, including a practice match against a US representative GAA team, before arriving in Dublin.

Ireland's Colm Boyle gets away from Australia's Patrick Dangerfield. Picture: Daniel Wilk

Ireland’s Colm Boyle gets away from Australia’s Patrick Dangerfield in 2014

Clarkson said the team would face a tough task on foreign soil.

“It’s going to be a lot tougher on their home turf,” he said.

“We’re pulling our guys out of all places from around the world where they’re having a bit of relaxation. They’re really keen to acquit themselves really well … and we’re going to give ourselves every chance.”

Fletcher was put through a fitness test three weeks ago, with Clarkson saying there are no concerns about the goalkeeper.

“He’s getting a bit long in the tooth but he’s still the best goalkeeper we’ve got, in our view, in our game with those long Inspector Gadget arms,” he said.

“He’s really excited about the trip.”

Jake Stringer, the youngest member of the team, says adjusting to the round ball will take some doing.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen it, so it’ll be interesting,” he said.

“I played basketball as a junior, so hopefully I’m not too bad.

“I’m really looking forward to spending time with the greats of the game.”

Australian holds the Cormac McAnallen Cup after a 10-point win in Perth last year.


Eddie Betts (Adelaide Crows)

Grant Birchall (Hawthorn)

Luke Breust (Hawthorn)

Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong Cats)

Dustin Fletcher (Essendon)

Andrew Gaff (West Coast)

Brendon Goddard (Essendon)

Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide)

Dyson Heppell (Essendon)

Luke Hodge (Hawthorn)

Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn)

Leigh Montagna (St Kilda)

David Mundy (Fremantle)

Robert Murphy (Western Bulldogs)

Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda)

Tom Rockliff (Brisbane Lions)

Jarryd Roughead (Hawthorn)

Nick Smith (Sydney Swans)

Jake Stringer (Western Bulldogs)

Harry Taylor (Geelong Cats)

Chad Wingard (Port Adelaide)

Easton Wood (Western Bulldogs)