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AIS-AFL young guns turn it on against Euro foes

Callum Twomey  May 10, 2013 3:09 PM

Watch the game's future stars in action in England as they take on the European Legion
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Versatile South Australian Matthew Scharenberg was the AIS-AFL squad's best against the European Legion

THE AIS-AFL Academy's tour match against the European Legion last month was different than any game of football the draft hopefuls had played before.

For one, it was in England – at Surrey Sportspark to be precise. The players walked to the ground from their nearby hotel, having done all their pre-match taping and preparation at one of the Holiday Inn's conference rooms.

The rooms at the Sportspark were too crowded, and doing it outside was not an option: the weather was too cold for that.

The game itself was unique, played against a team of Europeans who paid their own way to get to England and play against the Australian under-18 side.

At first the physicality of the European team, coached by Tadhg Kennelly and Brad Ottens, tested the Australians, but soon enough they took control to win by 86 points.

Versatile South Australian Matthew Scharenberg was awarded the best player medal for the Australians for his work in defence and his three goals.

Matthew Crouch dominated at the clearances, Ben Lennon marked strongly on the lead, and Marcus Bontempelli and Dwayne Wilson added some run through the midfield.

The game was played out in front of a number of AFL recruiters, who will assess and scrutinise the players all year ahead of November's NAB AFL Draft.

See all the highlights from this year's top draft prospects, and hear from head coach Michael O'Loughlin and national talent manager Kevin Sheehan in AFL.com.au's exclusive video of the game.

Follow AFL website reporter Callum Twomey on Twitter at @AFL_CalTwomey