Ten former students at the University of Birmingham have been named across both the Great Britain men’s and women’s squads for Europe’s premier Australian rules football event, which will take place in London this October. Both teams are defending champions and are hoping for another successful tournament. The Championship last came to the UK in 2016, and so the squad are hoping for another great home event. The AFL Europe Championship is an Australian rules football competition played between 18-a-side European national teams, held every three years. Great Britain are the defending champions in both the men’s and women’s competition, and the Bulldogs (men) and Swans (women) are looking to retain both titles this time around.
The team include alumni and GB men’s captain Ross Denton, and all-time leading goalkicker for his country Andy Walkden (pictured). George Dibble and Jack Coughlan both represented Great Britain at the 2016 European championships and the 2017 AFL International Cup in Melbourne. Sam Walon is in line to make his tournament debut after helping the University of Birmingham to the Grand Final of the National University League (NUL).
In the women’s squad, Charlie Eales was named captain with fellow Birmingham graduate Chloe Hall included in the leadership group. There will be competitive debuts for NUL women’s player of the season Lottie Colquhoun and Birmingham teammate Kate Franklin who helped the University of Birmingham to win the women’s division. They will be joined by Chloe Hall.