The IFAF 2019 Women’s European Championships kick off Monday, August 12 at John Charles Stadium in Leeds, England with two opening games.
Team Finland are the defending European Champions after running the table at the 2015 European tournament which was held in Granada, Spain. Finland defeated Great Britain in the title game, 50-12.
Since then, Great Britain has gotten the better of the Finns, defeating them in the 2017 World Championships.
Game 1: Team Finland vs. Team Austria, Monday, August 12, 3 pm (1500), John Charles Stadium, Leeds.
Team Austria finished fourth at the 2015 European Championships, losing to Germany in the bronze medal game. Head coach Cameron Frickey’s squad has a number of new talents integrated with veterans of the roster they fielded in 2015. The 45 player roster features 20 members of the Austrian title winning Dacia Vienna Vikings, including quarterback Cornelia Pripfl.
Team Finland has beaten Austria handily both at the 2010 World Championships and the 2015 European championship tournament when they won 52-7. Although that kind of lopsided score is not expected in this game, the Finns have to be the favorites.
Game 2: Team Great Britain vs. Team Sweden, Monday, August 12, 7 pm (1900), John Charles Stadium, Leeds
This is the most interesting matchup of Day 1. Although Sweden finished last in the 2015 European Championships in Spain, the team has progressed and come close to beating Finland a couple of times. Last year, the Swedes lost to the defending European champions by a single point, 21-20.
However, Great Britain looked impressive at the 2017 World Championships finishing fourth after losing a close game to Mexico in the bronze medal game. The Brits are playing at home and that home field advantage will be difficult for Sweden to overcome.