Danish Cat wins fans in Geelong

TOP CAT: Geelong College exchange student Christoffer Nielsen shows his love of footy.  
Saturday, July 27

A DANISH teenager who plays Aussie rules footy for the Farum Cats, in Denmark, has been winning plenty of fans in Geelong.

Most people think Aussie rules footy doesn't have much of a following outside of Australia, but that is not the case according to Christoffer Nielson.

An exchange student at Geelong College, Nielson, 15, comes from Farum in Denmark, where he plays for the local Aussie rules footy team the Farum Cats.

Nielson's journey to play Aussie rules began when he was playing soccer in the park and saw Aussie rules being played nearby.

Nielson and his friends joined in and he later joined a junior Aussie rules league.

It was the speed of the game and the shape of the ball which first attracted Nielson to the code.

``It's a fast game and it's full of bumps,'' he said.

``It's different to soccer which starts to get serious in Denmark when your about 13 or 14.''

The Geelong connection to Nielson's story developed when Geelong College sent a team to Denmark last year to promote footy.

When the Geelong College team played the Denmark team, Nielson was one of the star performers for the home side.

Nielson was invited to study at Geelong College as part of its student exchange program and has started to play in the school's football side.

In his first match against St Kevin's, Nielson was one of the best players.

He also attracted the attention of the Geelong Falcons under-16 squad - and the Geelong Football Club - which invited him to training.

``While I was at Geelong training yesterday, I got to meet the players and it was great,'' Nielson said.

``They knew a lot about Danish football.''

Nielson says Aussie rules is gradually gathering more of a following in Denmark but it doesn't get the coverage it deserves.

``There is only highlight coverage at the minute, but it is getting better,'' he said.

``With a little more focus, it would probably become much bigger.''

The Denmark footballer said Aussie rules could definitely become more popular in Denmark, especially among some of the soccer players.

The Danish Australian Rules Football League has seven senior teams and several junior teams.