As a result Aussie Rules Europe was established and the lobbying process began in earnest.
Less than six months later 10 national teams from around Europe participated in the inaugural EU Cup in London. The 10 competing teams were Belgium, Scotland, England, Germany, Sweden, Israel, the Netherlands, France, Austria and Catalonia. Belgium defeated Sweden in the final.
The format was unique as matches were 9-a-side and played on rugby fields. We felt this format was needed if the game was to grow in Europe.
During my time in London I worked with some great people to stage the EU Cup in the following locations:
- London, UK
- Hamburg, Germany
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Samobor, Croatia
Crucial to the success of the EU Cup was innovation in the following areas:
- Creation of a unique set of playing rules (9-a-side) & playing fields
- Creation of a new format, with each match consisting of 2 x 12 minute halves
- Creation of a player qualification system allowing for a certain number of Australian players per team
- Creation of a team, the EU Crusaders, allowing for an even pool if the tournament needed an extra team
- Creation of the Team Europe concept, with Team Europe jumpers being presented to the best players at the conclusion of the tournament
- Hosting a Conference the day following the EU Cup, allowing for the exchange of ideas and information between the various countries in Europe