Former Marble Range footballer Buster Sund stars for Sweden at Euro Cup

A Swedish-born former Marble Range footballer and a former Port Lincoln resident have been busy with their involvement with Aussie rules football in Sweden, including taking part in the recent 2019 Euro Cup.

Buster Sund, who played briefly with Marble Range in 2017, played for his native Sweden at the Euro Cup, which involved more than 350 players from across Europe representing nations including France, England, Germany and Croatia.

The Swedish Elks were coached by former Port Lincoln resident Leighton Rowsell.

Mr Sund said he also assisted with the championships by cutting down some trees to provide extra goal posts for the event.

"We were looking at different solutions but everything was pretty expensive for just a one-day tournament, so one day when I was in the forest I got the idea, I found the perfect sized trees," he said.

"So just two weeks before the tournament I started to cut them down."

Sweden went into the event ranked 10th out of 16 teams but finished in fifth overall with the England Dragonslayers eventually taking out the men's competition over the Irish Warriors.

Mr Sund was named in the men's Team of the Tournament.

Mr Rowsell said coaching Sweden had been an amazing experience and he loved meeting players and coaches from across Europe.

He said Mr Sund was a standout in the competition.

"Buster learnt a lot while in Australia playing with Marble Range and has filled out to be a six foot beast that can out-run, mark and out work any other player," he said.

"He can ruck, rove, play forward or key back - a true utility."

Mr Sund and Mr Rowsell are both involved in Aussie rules in Sweden.

Mr Rowsell coaches the Port Malmo Maulers in the Danish Australian Football League while Mr Sund plays for the Norrtalje Dockers in AFL Sweden.

Mr Sund said there was some growth in football in Sweden but it was slow.

"My club trains two times a week and we have 10 games per year plus finals...with four teams total," he said.

"Plus there is a few other tournaments like indoor, champions league, Swedish Cup and also Euro Cup each year."

When he is not coaching, Mr Rowsell works as a teacher at Malmo International School, alongside fellow Port Lincoln teacher Emma Dempsey.

Mr Rowsell said nothing compared to country football in Australia but he and other Australians involved in the club were helping to try and replicate it.

"The priority for the club is to build the game for locals so anytime Aussies from overseas come they have a place they feel welcome," he said.

"At most games a barbecue and beers are consumed and we visit our sponsor pub who happily puts on any AFL games as long as it doesn't clash with the local soccer.

"During the snowy winter months we have off season inside where short kicking and hand passing dominates practice."

Mr Sund said he still remembered playing his first game for Marble Range and looked forward to returning to Australia one day.

"I got to Australia on a Friday, played my first game Saturday morning against Boston and it was lovely," he said.

"Amazing to see all the farmers from Marble Range sitting there cheering for us, it was a great win and a wicked party after the games.

"A good experience for a Swede that loves footy, I'm really looking forward to come back one day with some more experiences."

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