GWS get behind Women’s footy in Stockholm

Greater Western Sydney Giants have generously gotten on board to support Women’s footy in Stockholm.

Following from a visit to Stockholm by former number 1 AFLW Draft pick and GWS player Nicola Barr during her summer Euro trip, the Western Sydney club have kitted out the newly named South Stockholm Giants in the charcoal and orange.

The kit was debuted in an historic match this weekend when the South Stockholm Giants met the Norrtälje Dockers in a massive day of footy at Dockers Sports Centre in Norrtälje. It was the first game of footy to be played between two women’s teams based in the Stockholm area and with two men’s games being played either side the atmosphere around the ground was electric.

With the match being played under blue skies and with temperatures in the high twenties it was a fantastic day to run out the new kit. The coach of the Giants, Melbourne native and North Melbourne tragic Victoria Wyckelsma gave some insight to how the team was feeling prior to running out.

The girls are very excited to have the Giants onboard. I think they were a little surprised that a huge AFL team were interested in supporting them but they looked so good. Also having held a GWS membership since they joined the AFL I’m stoked that the girls are running around in one of the colours I support Victoria Wyckelsma

With a few pre-game cancellations some of the men that played in the other games on the day helped to fill up numbers in the Giants side for the first quarter. But once the game got rolling the women on the field took the game on as their own and put on a dominant display in front of the Norrtälje crowd. Coach Wyckelsma remarked on what the support from the Giants has given the playing group.

The cooperation is great for us to help establish a team- the girls have been kitted out in a fresh uniform and it really gives them a sense of belonging and that they are involved in something special. Victoria Wyckelsma

Team captain Louise Landare who had the honour of leading the team in their first outing in the new Giants kit was ecstatic that the group has been able to progress from a few girls chatting on facebook to a proper team with a proper playing kit. She was thankful in her message to the Giants.

It feels so luxurious to have our own playing kit, all of a sudden we have our own colours, it has done wonders for the team culture. Especially now when we are in the building phase. It is also a massive help here in the beginning when there isn’t much money floating around, to be able to have a kit that is ours, makes us really feel like we are a real team!Louise Landare
South Stockholm Giants: Back row L to R – Jennifer Englisch, Ben Flynn, Lawson Hammond, Eleanor Marshall. Front row – Frida Arnbom, Jennifer Ström, Tanja Nilsson, Louise Landare, Jonas Birgen

The Giants were able to hold onto their lead from the first quarter despite a concerted fight back from the Dockers team and ran out winners in the game 9.10.64 – 4.1.25.


Davidsson to Coach Crusaders

Swedish Ravens coach Ryan Davidson will take on the coaching role with the European Crusaders women’s team at the upcoming European Championships in London.

The tournament taking place over 5 days in October is the premier 18 a-side event on the AFL Europe calendar and is played every three years.

(AFL Europe) got in touch with me first regarding Ravens players wanting to play Euro Champs and the discussion developed from there.Ryan Davidsson

The Crusaders team takes the total amount of women’s teams to four with Great Britain, Ireland and Germany rounding out the division. Each team will play eachother once with the two highest ranked teams playing off on grand final day for European Champion!

But the team is not without it’s challenges as Davidsson explained.

The 18 a-side form is definately a factor. Neither the players or coaches get to be a part of that so often so resetting our way of thinking when we walk onto the field will be something new. In my eyes it presents an opportunity to coach more tatically compared to the 9 a-side game.Ryan Davidsson

The tournament will take place in London at the famed Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Field, the second time in succession the Championships will be played there. In 2019 the schedule has been shortened from 8 days to 5 days to accommodate players wishes around tournament length. There will though be no less of a show on display with record numbers attending the event.

I’m looking forward to meeting and getting to know a bunch of new players, many that i have coached against in the past and to see how that dynamic translates into reality on the football field. To get another perspective on European footy, to learn from the players and hear their stories about their footy experiences will be fantastic. Ryan Davidsson

At this stage 3 Swedish players will join Ryan in the Crusade for European glory but the hope is that more will join the cause in the coming weeks as well as more players from across the continent.

I urge all clubs to get involved in women’s footy. I think the AFL Europe tournaments will benefit hugely from more involvement from the lesser established countries and i would love to see the top teams being challenged more often. Can’t wait to see everyone in London, gonna be an awesome tournament! Ryan Davidsson

Ryan will be supported by AFL Europe stalwart Bridgette Allen on the team leadership panel with more appointments to be made in the near future. Follow the tournament on the AFL Europe Facebook page October 9-12.


First practice match for Stockholm Women’s team

On Saturday 16th March history will be made with the first practice match for the newly formed Stockholm Women’s team.

Following on from the foundation work layed out in 2018 by the core group of Stockholm based women, 2019 is shaping up to be an exciting year for footy in the Swedish capital.

We held our first proper training session last saturday and we had 8 people attend which is fantastic for a cold, windy day in march. We hope to build on those numbers in the coming weeks and really motivate the girls that are a little bit on the fence about coming down for a try.Coach - Victoria Wyckelsma

Stockholm will be meeting a well drilled Port Malmö team that have been playing together for a number of years.

I’m super excited about getting to know the Stockholm girls. Some of them have already played for the Ravens (National team) and showed great skills and talent. That they get to experience having a team in their home town is amazing. Running out with my Malmö girls against another Swedish team will definitely be a highlight in my footy career. I can’t wait until March 16th in Norrtälje! Port Malmö Lynx Captain - Hanna Falkenström

The formation of the team in Stockholm is an important part of the overall growth of the game in Sweden and Europe. Having a women’s team in the most populous city in the country is a stepping stone to a complete national women’s league and an improvement for the national team.

For women’s footy in Sweden I think it’s crucial that we have more than one team. The competition for getting a spot in the Ravens will be higher and I’m sure we’re gonna see the results of that very soon. Hopefully some more of the Stockholm girls will make their debut at the Euro Cup 2019 in Sweden. Port Malmö Lynx Captain - Hanna Falkenström

What the future holds for the Stockholm team remains to be seen but with the guidance and structure being implemented by the coaching staff it does look bright.

The idea is we build a solid core of players and eventually start having games over the summer months against other european cities- including Malmö, Copenhagen, Hamburg and Olso. With the aim to get as many Stockholmers into the national team.
We would also like to expand and try some friendly international rules games against the Stockholm Gaels! Coach - Victoria Wyckelsma

For anyone that is interested in becoming involved the coach had this to say.

Have a go, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and have fun! Coach - Victoria Wyckelsma

Stockholm Women v Port Malmö Lynx
Saturday 16th March 4pm @ Norrtälje Sportcentrum
Admission: Free
To become involved contact the group through facebook here.
The women’s game will be followed by a practice match between Norrtälje Dockers and Stockholm All-Stars.