AFL Britain

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AFL Great Britain
Sport Australian rules football
Jurisdiction England, Wales, Scotland
Abbreviation AFL GB
Founded 2008 (2008)
Affiliation Australian Football League
Location London
President Adam Bennett
Secretary Donald Eastwood
Coach Mark Pitura
Rob Fielder
Replaced British Australian Rules Football League
(founded) 1989
Official website
United Kingdom

AFL Britain, also referred to as AFL Great Britain was the governing body for Australian rules football in England, Wales and Scotland. It was formed in 2008, replacing the British Australian Rules Football League (BARFL) as national body. The BARFL's clubs formed AFL London upon creation of the new national body. In 2012, AFL Britain effectively renamed itself to AFL England as the British umbrella the body was working under was really ineffective across the whole of the UK (Scotland and Wales had their own autonomous body).


The AFL London and various regional English, Welsh and Scottish leagues, are all currently represented by the AFL Britain and, along with Wales and Scotland jointly supply players for the Great Britain Bulldogs representative side at the Australian Football International Cup.[1][2]


British Australian Rules Football League[edit]

The BARFL was formed in 1989, with efforts from John Jelley and others seeing the formation of eight clubs for an inaugural season in 1990. The founding clubs were the London Hawks, West London Wildcats, North London Lions, Earls Court Kangaroos, Lea Valley Saints, Thames Valley Magpies and Wandsworth Demons in and around London and a club based in Leicester, the East Midland Eagles. Of the foundation teams, four still survive in West London, North London, Wimbledon (former London Hawks) and Wandsworth.[3]

The inaugural game took place between the Earls Court Roos and Lea Valley Saints, with Tango tapping to JvdM who pumped it long to Donger for the first ever goal. The Roos prevailed 33.24.222 to 1.2.8.

Between 1990 and 2001, the league existed as one competition for all clubs, ranging from a high of 10 clubs in 1991 to a low of only 6 in 1998.

BARFL logo

Divisional structure 2001-2007[edit]

In an environment where large numbers of Australians could be both a blessing (in terms of experience and teaching ability) and a curse (in terms of new clubs outside London finding it difficult to compete against the Australian expat-based London clubs), the league in 2001 divided teams into two leagues. The first league was the London Premiership, where the powerful London clubs would continue under the same local-content regulations as previously (i.e. quotas of British players who must be on the field at any time).

Beneath the London Premiership would be a London Conference, where the teams could field their 'reserve' sides, including the Clapham and Ealing teams which had been previously entered by Wandsworth and West London respectively. The London Conference has greatly relaxed 'local content' rules, meaning that backpackers and other Australians can compete at a social level.

In 2003, with new clubs being formed outside the capital and regional clubs still struggling against the larger numbers of Australians playing for the London sides, it was decided that clubs outside London would compete in a Regional Premiership. This included the Bristol Dockers, St Helens Miners and the two new sides in the Doncaster Saints and Reading Kangaroos.

In 2004, a fourth division of the BARFL appeared, with the Scottish Australian Rules Football League forming. In the inaugural season, three clubs played each other for the premiership, the Edinburgh Old Town Bloods, the Edinburgh Uni Body Snatchers and the Glasgow Sharks.

2007 saw the introduction of a third tier of football in the London region, known as the Social Division. This division was formed for the same reasons as the Conference division, with some of the larger clubs being unable to field their full player lists in two teams resulting in some fiedling more than one team in the Conference.

AFL Britain[edit]

Due to a number of contributory factors, including the developments initiated by Aussie Rules UK and the changing nature of the sport across the country, 2008 saw the BARFL rebranded and redeveloped to become AFL Britain, an organisation with less direct control over football in London but a greater ability to support the game to grow both in and outside the capital.

In 2010, the AFL Britain will have four affiliated leagues, the AFL London, AFLB North, AFLB Central, AFLB South. In addition, the organisation maintains close communication with the Scottish ARFL and Welsh ARFL, who are independent bodies overseeing footy in their respective countries.

AFL England[edit]

During the season of 2012, it was decided by the AFL Britain Committee that it was best to rename to be more focused on football within the England domain. This would also assist with National Governing Body status from Sport England. As AFL Britain mainly looked after affairs to do with football in England, it was felt it would be more relevant. This would sit aside the other AFL leagues such as Scottish ARFL, Welsh ARFL in the UK and with AFL Ireland in Ireland.

Current clubs[edit]


The AFL London features eight clubs, fielding a total of over 24 teams across three divisions - the London Premiership (1sts), London Conference (2nds) and London Social League (3rds).

The restructure of the BARFL in 2001 saw the London-based clubs form the London Premiership, and the regional clubs break off to form their own league. The new structure also enabled London clubs to field reserve grade teams, forming the London Conference. Prior to this, two BARFL Premiership clubs, the Wandsworth Demons from 1999 and the West London Wildcats in 2000, had fielded second teams in the main division. These teams, the Clapham Demons and the Shepherds Bush Raiders became founding members of the Conference.

In 2007, a third level of competition was created, the London Social League. Some teams from outside London have competed in the Social League, including Manchester and Nottingham who transferred to the Central & North West League in 2010, and the Bristol Dockers who continue in the Social League.

The BARFL Premiership became part of the new AFL London structure for the start of the 2008 season as part of the AFL Britain restructure, becoming in the process a competition solely aimed at those clubs in or around the London Region.

Current teams[edit]

Club Colours Years in competition Previous Names Conference Team Social Team Women
North London Lions
Port Moresby Vipers Colours.svg
1990- Regents Park Bounds Green North London Lions
Putney Magpies
Collingwood icon.svg
1999- London Gryphons (1999–2003) Hammersmith
London Swans
AFL Sydney Icon.jpg
1991- Sussex Swans (still playing in Southern league)
South East London Giants
AFL GWS Icon.jpg
2008- Dulwich Dragons (2008–2011) South East London Giants
Wandsworth Demons
1990- Clapham South London Wandsworth Demons
West London Wildcats
1990- Shepherds Bush Raiders Ealing Emus
Wimbledon Hawks
AFL Hawthorn Icon.jpg
1990- London Hawks (1990–94) Balham Hawks Wimbledon Hawks
Reading Kangaroos
AFL North Melbourne Icon.jpg

Regional England[edit]

The BARFL Regional Premiership commenced in 2003, and ran until it was absorbed into the BARFL's 3rd division Social League at the start of the 2007 season. The Aussie Rules UK 9-a-side National League began in 2007, featuring teams in a number of regional divisions. This then combined with the AFL Britain in 2010, to form the AFL Britain North East, Central & North West and Southern Divisions.

North East[edit]

Club Colours Years competed
Durham Saints / Swans red white 2007 - ARUK
Gateshead Miners blue 2008
Hartlepool Dockers red white green & purple 2006 - ARUK 2010 - Invitation & social
Middlesbrough Hawks Brown gold 2006 - SARFL 2007 - ARUK
Newcastle Centurions black white 2007 - ARUK
Redcar Bombers red black 2009
Tyne Tees Tigers yellow black 2010 - AFL England

Central and North West[edit]

Club Colours Years competed
Birmingham Bears 2009 (ARUK Central), 2011-
Huddersfield Rams 2009 (ARUK Central), 2010-
Hull Mariners 2010-
Manchester Mosquitoes 2006 (BARFL), 2007-09 (London Social), 2010-
Nottingham Scorpions 2004-06 (BARFL), 2007-09 (London Social), 2010-
Sheffield Thunder 2010-
Wolverhampton Wolverines 2010-


Club Colours Years competed
Bournemouth Demons 2007-
Chippenham Redbacks 2009-
Guildford Crows 2010-
Portsmouth Pirates 2009-
Plymouth Seagulls 2011- (Social basis)
Southampton Titans 2007-
Sussex Swans 1991-


Club Colours Years competed
Edinburgh Bloods 2003-
Glasgow Sharks
Aberdeen Dingoes 2009-
Kingdom Kangaroos 2013-
Glasgow Giants
AFL GWS Icon.jpg
Falkirk Silverbacks
Collingwood icon.svg


Club Colours Years competed
Bridgend Eagles 2011-
Bristol Dockers 1991-2010 (BARFL/AFL London), 2011- (WARFL)
Cardiff Double Blues Light blue with dark blue monogram 2007-
Gwent Tigers Black with yellow sash 2009-
South Cardiff Panthers Navy blue with white monogram 2007-
Swansea Magpies Black and white 2007-
Vale Warriors Green with gold yoke 2010-

Defunct clubs[edit]

Club Colours Years in Competition
Birmingham Crows Navy blue, red and gold 1993-1994 (BARFL)
Doncaster Saints 2003-2004 (BARFL)
Earls Court Kangaroos Royal blue and white stripes 1990-97 (BARFL) (known as Esher Kangaroos 1992 and Firkin Roos 1996-97)
East Midland Eagles Royal blue, gold and white 1990-1996 (BARFL)
Lea Valley Saints Red, white and black 1990-1996 (BARFL)
Leeds Jets 2009 (ARUK Central)
Liverpool Blues Navy blue with white monogram 1993-1994 (BARFL)
Liverpool Eagles Red with white eagle 2009 (ARUK Central)
St Helens Miners
Southport Sharks Jumper.svg
2002-2004 (BARFL), known as Northwestern Miners for the 2004 season.
Swindon Devils 2004-2006 (BARFL), 2007 (WARFL), 2008 (ARUK South)
Thames Valley Magpies Black and white stripes 1990-91 (BARFL)
Thanet Bombardiers 2006 (BARFL), 2007 (ARUK South)

Grand final results[edit]

Pre-divisional structure[edit]

  • 1990 Wandsworth 10.10.70 d Earls Court 9.14.68
  • 1991 Earls Court 18.15.123 d Wandsworth 12.15.87
  • 1992 Wandsworth 12.5.77 d West London 11.9.75
  • 1993 London Hawks 12.13.85 d Lea Valley 6.5.41
  • 1994 London Hawks 15.8.98 d West London 8.11.59
  • 1995 Wandsworth d West London
  • 1996 Wimbledon d West London
  • 1997 Wandsworth 7.11.53 d Wimbledon 7.10.52
  • 1998 Wimbledon 11.8.74 d Wandsworth 7.2.44
  • 1999 Wandsworth 14.10.94 d West London 14.5.89
  • 2000 West London 11.12.78 Wandsworth 5.2.32

Divisional structure[edit]

Year London Premiership London Conference London Social Regional Scotland
2001 North London d Wimbledon Shepherds Bush d Regents Park N/A N/A N/A
2002 North London 18.11.119 d West London 8.5.53 Shepherds Bush d Regents Park N/A N/A N/A
2003 Wandsworth 11.11.77 d West London 9.8.62 Shepherds Bush 11.8.74 d Clapham Demons 7.6.48 N/A Bristol Dockers 13.19.97 d Reading Roos 9.7.61 N/A
2004 West London 14.12.96 d Wimbledon 5.2.32 Shepherds Bush 18.19.127 d Putney Magpies 9.4.58 N/A Reading Roos 28.20.188 d Bristol Dockers 1.6.12 Edinburgh Old Town 24.25.169 Glasgow Sharks 2.4.16
2005 West London 9.14.68 d Wimbledon 9.7.61 Shepherds Bush 11.12.78 d Clapham Demons 11.9.75 N/A Nottingham 10.9.69 d Bristol Dockers 8.6.54 Edinburgh Old Town 12.11.83 d Glasgow Sharks 1.7.13
2006 West London 18.11.119 d Wimbledon 2.6.18 Shepherds Bush 5.11.41 d Clapham 4.3.27 N/A Reading 22.20.152 d Nottingham 6.7.43 Edinburgh Bodysnatchers 11.9 (75) d Edinburgh Old Town Bloods 10.3 (63)
2009 West London Wildcats d Wandsworth Demons Clapham Demons d Shepherds Bush Raiders South London Demons d Ealing Emus
2010 Wandsworth Demons d Putney Magpies Shepherds Bush Raiders d Clapham Demons Ealing Emus d South London Demons
2011 West London Wildcats 13.11 (89) d Wandsworth Demons 8.9 (57) Shepherds Bush Raiders 17.4 (106) d Clapham Demons 9.13 (67) South London Demons 3.11 (29) d Ealing Emus 3.4 (22)
2012 North London Lions 8.8 (56) d Wandsworth Demons 8.7 (55) Shepherds Bush Raiders 11.11 (77) d Regents Park Lions 12.3 (75) Reading Roos 8.9 (57) d Balham Hawks 3.4 (22)
2013 West London Wildcats 10.10 (70) d North London Lions 9.6 (60) Shepherds Bush Raiders 9.5 (59) d Regents Park Lions 5.12 (42) Reading Roos 6.5 (41) d Ealing Emus 3.6 (24)
2014 West London Wildcats 14.13 (97) d Wandsworth Demons 8.10(58) Shepherds Bush Raiders 14.9 (93) d Clapham Demons 2.4 (16) Ealing Emus 4.7 (31) d South East London Giants 4.6 (30)
2015 North London Lions 8.9 (57) d West London Wildcats 8.8 (56) Shepherds Bush Raiders 8.20 (68) d Bounds Green Lions 5.5 (35) South London Demons 7.4 (46) d Ealing Emus 1.9 (14)

Great Britain national team[edit]

AFL Britain also co-ordinate a representative team, the British Bulldogs, who have competed at the Australian Football International Cup, in the Atlantic Alliance Cup and against other national sides in European test matches.

Former AFL players who have played in AFL Britain teams[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Welcome to AFL Great Britain - Intro". AFL Great Britain. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "AFL Britain". Australian Football League. Archived from the original on 19 March 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Devaney, John. "The story of the British Footy League". Australian Football. Slattery Media. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "The story of the British Footy League". Retrieved 11 August 2017. 

External links[edit]