Dockers head to Iceland for Arctic Cup
The Halifax Dockers will be pulling up anchor in Iceland this weekend where they will take on teams from both sides of the Atlantic.
In the inaugural event, of what is hoped will become an annual occurrence, the Arctic Cup sees teams from Halifax, London, Malmo, and Baltimore play against hosts Iceland on March 25.
Dockers player Jonah Scott says the seed for the tournament was planted after reading a story about Iceland’s difficulty growing the game.
The article resonated with the Nova Scotians, who similarly struggle to find competition in their remote location.
“The article struck a chord with us because we are in a similar situation. The NSAFL [Nova Scotia Australian Football League] has two teams five hours’ drive from each other so we don't get to play many games of footy each year,” Scott said.
“The guys felt it made sense to reach out to the IceAFL to see if they would be interested in playing a game against us some time in the future, either in Halifax or Reykjavik.
“As it turned out, quite a few teams saw that article, so we weren't the only team who got in contact, and before we knew it we were all involved in the process of putting together a tourney in Iceland.
“We are all hoping the success of the Arctic Cup in 2017 will result in it becoming an annual event that will help to promote Aussie Rules football in Iceland, our home towns and back in Australia.”
The Canadian side will take 11 players to the nine-a-side tournament, with three players coming from Quebec and another from British Columbia, giving the team the feel of a national side.
“We are really excited to be the one team at this tournament from Canada,” Scott said.
“There is definitely a sense of national pride at stake even though we are not affiliated with the national team in anyway. I know they're hoping to do Canada, and AFL Canada proud.
“I hope that this experience will create a bit of public interest for our sport here in Halifax and also be a motivator because of the great footy opportunities we can offer.”