THREE-TIME European champion Michael Sharp is looking to make his mark Down Under when he represents his home nation in the world cup of Australian Rules Football.

The 24-year-old, of Levens, has been selected as part of the Great Britain Bulldogs team which will travel to Australia’s Sunshine Coast in July for the Australian Football International Cup.

Sharp’s passion for the sport was born out of a gap year visit to Queensland after completion of his A-levels at Queen Elizabeth School, in Kirkby Lonsdale.

On his gap year, he supported teachers at the renowned Matthew Flinders Anglican College.

There he played for Hinterland Blues AFC and became completely hooked, combining his skills on the football and cricket pitches of South Lakeland.

On his return to England, he was delighted to discover his chosen university, Birmingham, had already an established AFL team and he was promoted to the role of captain of Birmingham Lions in his second year of study.

From there, he signed for North London Lions, a successful AFL Premier Division team principally established by the large Australian ex-pat community, of which he remains a prominent member.

His performances for the Lions caught the eye of the Great Britain selectors and coach Dean Thomas asked Sharp to represent the 18-a-side GB team and the nine-a-side England team on numerous occasions, making his Great Britain debut against the Netherlands in 2016.

His first taste of becoming a European champion came when he was part of the triumphant GB team soon after, when he helped his home nation to success over Ireland in the grand final in London to lift the silverware.

During the competition, GB overcame Germany, France and Sweden to set up a crunch meeting with Ireland.

Sharp revisited Australia in 2017 when he represented Britain in the International Cup in Melbourne, the team securing a creditable sixth place as they faced the likes of South Africa, New Zealand and Nauru.

Britain, however, retained the European Championship, held every three years, in 2019 when they were victorious over Denmark in the final, having saw off the challenge from France, Croatia and Ireland along the way. As in 2016, he was named in the team of the tournament.

Sharp made it a European treble last year when he helped England’s nine-a-side team to the European Championship trophy in Sweden.

Ahead of his travels to Australia for the International Cup, Sharp will be attempting a five-week trek over February and March to the Everest base camp and the Annapurna Range, raising money for War Child charity in the process.

Anyone wishing to support him and donate to War Child during the challenge can do so at