Contributed by: Ian Hill Monday, October 01 2007 @ 05:44 am ACST
If the Danish and Skåne footy administrators thought that last weekend's DAFL Grand Final signalled the close of business for 2007, they were sadly mistaken. A few post-season events took place over the weekend which extended their brief somewhat.
Things started happening in a small central Copenhagen pub at about 6.00 am on Saturday morning, when Aussies from all over Scandinavia began rolling into the Southern Cross to join those who had been there all night to watch a live broadcast of the AFL Grand Final.
The pro-Geelong, pro-Bartel crowd were not disappointed as the Cats' record thumping of Port Adelaide sent many of them home with a smile. But for some of them the 44-year wait could not be celebrated in full because there was the small matter of a full-scale international between Sweden and Denmark just across the Øresund in Landskrona, Sweden later in the day.
Some of those at the pub were due there as either players, coaches or officials, so they trudged off home to grab a few hours' precious kip before setting off again for Landskrona.
The Danish team was slightly off full strength for various reasons, as was the Swedish, but it was good to see the majority Skåne contingent joined by a few hardy souls who made the trip from Gothenburg, Karlstad and Stockholm to give the team a genuine national team feel.
Sadly, it bucketed down for most of the match. Whatever spectacle may have ensued was more or less ruined by the light but persistent rain. Having said that it probably made the match more interesting. Denmark had as expected opened up a lead of 23 points by three-quarter time. In dry weather it might have been more - and fatal for the Swedes. The rain eased of a little in the final quarter to give the dogged Swedes a sniff - which they duelly took.
Two early goals shocked the Danes and even when they pegged one back the Elks would not give in and made the Vikings earn their victory the hard way. At one stage the margin was as low as eight points but Denmark did not panic and won by 15 points. Full scores can be found on The Footy Record here[*1] .
But still the weekend was not done for the footy folks as the annual Farum Cup junior lightning premiership was held in Farum on Sunday. This year the competition benefited from the participation of the visiting Geelong College team who had played a junior Scandinavian side as a curtain raiser to the DAFL Grand Final the week before.
In the mini age group for boys and girls under 13, the tournament was enhanced by the entry of a junior North Copenhagen Barracudas team who joined usual participants Farum, Slagslunde (Denmark), Malmö and Landskrona (Sweden). The arrival of the Cudas not only made the tournament more interesting but gave it a new winner as they stole the show from Faum who finished second.
Following the minis, there was a three way junior tournament for under-15s between the Cats, Magpies and Bulldogs. Boys and girls from all over the region and Geelong College were divided up into even groups for full-field matches, which ended with the Cats defeating the Bulldogs in the final.
The enthusiasm of all the kids despite the persistent rain was fantastic to see. Weary administrators who were hoping to get away with allowing first place to take the trophy were hopeful in the extreme and the players insisted on the planned first v second final to take place despite the rain and the resultant deep puddles forming on the ground.
The experiment of mixing the Geelong College kids in with the Scandinavians was a resounding success. The rare opportuniy for these kids to play with and against Australians was priceless ... in some of the newer locals, it was possible to note the improvement as the day wore on.
Scores of the tournament will be available soon here[*2] .
If there was a negative aspect of the day to be found, it's the continuing realisation that the logistics of staging these kinds of tournaments remain complex with players from Denmark, Sweden and even Australia being involved. But the benefits are obvious and they will of course continue.