Aussie Rules European Cup in Lisbon. Who would’ve thought?

Lat weekend, I was invited by the Australian Ambassador to Portugal to present with him the trophies for the winners in the European AFL Cup that was held in Lisbon this year.

I have to admit that until I received the invitation I had little idea that Australian Rules Football was played so widely across Europe (Although i had heard of the Hamburg Dockers). Well it’s bigger than you think; over 20 men’s and women’s teams from Russia to Portugal came together for the all day event.

As it happens the home team was called the Portuguese Dockers after the Fremantle Dockers kindly helped them out with uniforms and gear. The Freo Dockers also gave the WA Portuguese Consul John de Silva and I some caps for the team to bring along from Australia which went down a treat.

The Portuguese Dockers were ,however, knocked out of the event by the extraordinary AFL Peace Team which has members from both Israel and Palestine. A wonderful example of sport transcending politics as they cross military checkpoints to train together each week.

In the end Ireland beat England in the Women’s 2016 European AFL Cup final and the Men’s 2016 European AFL Cup was won by Croatia who – in extra time – narrowly beat Ireland (who were last year’s champions).

From my perspective the spectacle of dozens of nations all brought together by Australia’s national game made it a day to remember and I hope it continues to bring nations together.

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About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

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