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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

older | 1 | .... | 107 | 108 | (Page 109) | 110 | 111 | .... | 133 | newer

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    In the blinking of an eye, the NTFL season is one third complete with Round 6 being played out last weekend. It won’t be long now before we are genuinely talking finals, but many teams took strides towards the business end of the season across the round.

    The Nightcliff Tigers downed St Mary’s in an absolute thriller, the Darwin Buffaloes kept their hopes alive with an important win over Waratah, Wanderers downed Palmerston to strengthen their position and the Southern Districts Crocs took a stranglehold on top spot whilst taming the Tiwi Bombers.

    In the Friday night clash, Wanderers did enough to keep a pesky Palmerston at bay. Helped along by their new recruit, former Port Adelaide Power forward Brett Eddy with four goals, Wanderers broke a quarter time deadlock to move away over the next two quarters to effectively secure the game. A five goal to two rally by Palmerston wasn’t enough and Wanderers won their fourth game of the season by 21 points.

    Southern Districts ran riot with nine goals in the opening quarter of their clash with the Tiwi Bombers. With superstar forward, Will Farrar, kicking eight goals for the match, the Bombers were hard pressed to hold back the Croc tide, despite four goals from star veteran Ross Tungatalum. The win kicks Crocs two games clear on top of the ladder and with all the momentum in the world to keep rolling towards this season’s flag. The Bombers have to regroup quickly to stay with the finals pack.

    In probably the match of the round, St Mary’s led almost all day against Nightcliff. But, in the dying moments of the game, former Saint Cameron Ilett kicked the winning goal for his new team, Nightcliff, to steal a win for the Tigers by just three points. The win sees the Tigers back in second place on the ladder – a healthy percentage ahead of Wanderers. For St Mary’s, the loss sees them remain in the top five, but with just two wins from six matches they remain vulnerable.

    The final match of the round saw a desperate Darwin Buffaloes get their season back on track after three successive losses by downing Waratah by 21 points. Waratah led by 8 points at the first break, and just three points separated the teams by half time with Buffaloes holding sway. Six goals to three in the second half saw the Buffaloes take the game, helped hugely by Darren Shillabeer who kicked seven of their eleven goals.

    Round 7 will see Waratah take on the Tiwi Bombers and St Mary’s meet Palmerston on Saturday. The Sunday games will see Southern Districts clash with Wanderers in possibly the match of the round whilst Nightcliff hosts the Darwin Buffaloes.

    Final Scores:

    Wanderers 18 7 115 d Palmerston 14 10 94
    Southern Districts 21 17 143 d Tiwi Bombers 10 6 66
    Nightcliff 9 10 64 d St Mary’s 8 13 61
    Darwin Buffaloes 11 13 79 d Waratah 7 16 ...

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    Here's your chance to win the perfect gift for the Bombers or Cats fan in your life, or yourself, while supporting footy in Portland (Oregon)!

    On December 16th, during our PAFC Holiday Party, we’ll be raffling off team-signed Essendon and Geelong jumpers, with the drawing streamed online on Facebook Live. Proceeds will support the Portland Australian Football Club as we head into the 2018 season.

    Both jumpers are signed by their respective full 2017 senior teams, including all-Australians Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood for Geelong, and Joe Daniher, Michael Hurley, and Zach Merrett for Essendon. Each jumper will be raffled off separately; tickets can be purchased online using the forms below through noon PST on December 16th. Then, at 6:30pm PST on the 16th, head to our Facebook page to watch as the winners are drawn.

    To order your tickets head to the raffle page here. 

    Winners located anywhere in the United States will be shipped their jumper via USPS 2-Day Priority Mail. Winners located in Australia will be charged $15 USD to cover international shipping.

    *World Footy News accepts no responsibility for the outcome or conduct of this raffle and promotes it in good faith that funds raised will be used to directly promote and support Australian football in Portland.   ...

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    There will be a few new faces for both Ireland and Australia in the second International Rules Series this Saturday.
    On the Aussie side, there were injuries to Scott Pendlebury and Michael Hibberd. Pendlebury suffered a finger injury, but he tweeted after the game that X-rays were negative; Hibberd had a calf complaint and could be limited in Perth.

    Geelong superstar Joel Selwood did not play in the Adelaide test due to an ankle injury, but he will be good to go for the second test. Classy North Melbourne midfielder Shaun Higgins has also been called up to the IRS squad -- the 29-year-old played in every game for the Roos in 2017 and enjoyed a career-best year. Meanwhile, Dayne Zorko has been limited due to a hip injury, but he is planning to play again at Subiaco Oval on the weekend.

    Ireland wasn’t so lucky on the injury front, either, with midfielder Pearce Hanley leaving the Adelaide match with a broken hand. Enda Smith and Niall Murphy are questionable due to lingering effects of the virus that many of the Irish came down with following their arrival in Adelaide. The squad decided to bring in County Monaghan’s Darren Hughes and former Carlton rookie Ciaran Sheehan as reinforcements.

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    Coverage of the second of two IRS Tests between Australia and Ireland will kickoff at 4.45pm in Perth on Sunday local time.

    The match will be broadcast on limited overseas networks. It will also be streamed live on the Watch.AFL service, available by subscription.

    The full schedule is as follows.


    NETWORK Territory Local Broadcast Scheduled
    AUSTRALIA PLUS Asia 18/11 @ 16:30 HKT (Live)
    AUSTRALIA PLUS Pacific 18/11 @ 21:30 FIJI (Live)
    AUSTRALIA PLUS India 18/11 @ 14:00 IND (Live)
    FOX SOCCER PLUS USA 18/11 @ 03:30 EST (Live)
    ESPN - BT SPORT UK & Ireland 19/11 10:30 GMT (Delay)
    GEE - Boats & Cruises Worldwide (excl. Aust.) 18/11 @ 08:30 GMT (Live)
    ORBIT SHOWTIME NETWORK Middle East 18/11 @ 11:30 AST (Live)
    RTE2 Ireland 18/11 @ 08:30 IST (Live)


    ONLINE STREAM (SUBSCRIPTION) Territory Available Broadcast scheduled start
    WATCHAFL.AFL.COM.AU Worldwide (excl. Aust) 18/11 @ 08:30 GMT (Live) 

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  • 11/16/17--03:49: The #1 Draft Pick Fallacy

  • In a little over a week, the AFL world will be lauding the latest number one draft pick. The Brisbane Lions hold the pick this year and are already considering how to use it. At the same time, they will be hoping it will bring the dawning of a new area rather than being a poisoned chalice. To some, the gaining of the number one draft pick is a chance to obtain greatness, but history shows that isn’t always the case.

    AFL/VFL history is littered with failures – admittedly most from the era when drafting was a very inexact science. But names like Richard Lounder (Richmond, 1987), Anthony Banik (Richmond, 1988), Stephen Hooper (Geelong, 1990) and John Hutton (Brisbane, 1991) never reached the highest of expectations that came with the pick.

    On the other hand, Nick Reiwoldt (St Kilda, 2000), Luke Hodge (Hawthorn, 2001), Brendon Goddard (St Kilda, 2002), Adam Cooney (Western Bulldogs, 2003), Brett Deledio (Richmond, 2004) and Marc Murphy (Carlton, 2005) have gone on to be revered names in the game.

    Yet, the title of number one draft pick remains an elusive, at times enigmatic ideal. It is proven that players develop at different rates. A player who peaks at age 18 may never reach the rarefied heights of one that is anonymous as a teenager yet forges a great career later. This happens for all manner of reasons.

    It makes the entire mythology of the No.1 pick almost as unpredictable as the Melbourne Cup. The favourite may cross the line first, or be beaten by the bolter.

    A look back at the last 10 drafts highlights this. For the sake of the story, each year looks at the #1 pick, other stars inside the top 30 and then bolters outside the top 30. It is interesting reading.

    2016 – Andy McGrath (Essendon). A super first season and on track to be a superstar, but way too early to call and harder to tell if he will be cream of the crop. That might yet go to Sam Powell-Pepper (Port Adelaide #19) or Sam Petrevski- Seton (Carlton #6) or even Brandon Parfitt (Geelong #26). But there were gems later with Melbourne snaring Mitch Hannan (#46) whilst Jack Graham (Richmond #53) became a premiership hero.

    2015 – Jacob Weitering (Carlton). Has quickly become the cornerstone of Carlton’s defence and can also pinch-hit up forward. Too early to call, but was a super selection. However, Ryan Burton (Hawthorn #19) and Jade Gresham (St Kilda #18) are hot on his tail, as is Daniel Rioli (Richmond #15) with a premiership medallion. Later picks in Rhys Mathieson (Brisbane #39) and Jack Silvagni (Carlton Father & Son #53) could yet catch the others.

    2014 – Patrick McCartin (St Kilda). Has yet to live up to the hype that went with his selection. Illness, injury, concussion and indifferent form have stalled McCartin’s development. Sydney’s Isaac Heeney (academy pick #18) might yet be the best of this batch, though Conor Blakely (Fremantle #34) and Mitch McGovern (Adelaide #43) are making great progress.

    2013 – Tom Boyd (GWS). Now at the Western Bulldogs on a massive contract, Boyd might be a premiership player, but has yet to set the world on fire. Yet Josh Kelly (GWS #2), Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs #4) and Patrick Cripps (Carlton #13) are already enjoying stellar careers. Add to that George Hewett (Sydney #32) who’s stocks are rising, Toby Nankervis (Sydney #35) now a Richmond premiership player, Ben Brown (North Melbourne #47) rapidly becoming a cult favourite and Orazio Fantasia (Essendon #55) and Boyd has some serious pressure to be the best of that year.

    2012 – Lachie Whitfield (GWS). Despite his controversial drug related ban, Whitfield has been an excellent player for GWS. But the jury is still out as to whether he is a better player that Ollie Wines (Port Adelaide #7) or Joe Daniher (Essendon #10 Father & Son). There is also some argument for Tim Membrey (Sydney #46) now at St Kilda, Marty Gleeson (Essendon #53) or even Rory Atkins (Adelaide #81).

    2011 – Jonathon Patton (GWS). Undoubtedly a huge talent, especially with knee injuries behind him, but Patton has challengers. Chad Wingard (Port Adelaide #6), Toby Greene (GWS #11) and even Seb Ross (St Kilda #25) have forged great careers also. But further down the list is the brilliant Lachie Neale (Fremantle #58) and even a small nod to Alex Sexton (Gold Coast Suns #88).

    2010 – David Swallow (Gold Coast). Has been a solid, if unspectacular, player for the Suns and helped develop the fledgling club. But Andrew Gaff (West Coast #4) and Dyson Heppell (Essendon #11) may already claim better careers to date. Cam Guthrie (Geelong #23) is also a top shelf player now. Later, Jeremy Howe (Melbourne #33), Luke Parker (Sydney #40) and Alex Fasolo (Collingwood #45) round out a very impressive list to challenge the #1 pick.

    2009 – Tom Scully (Melbourne). Blossoming now at his second club (GWS) Scully endured much controversy and high expectation that held back his development somewhat. He also has to endure the fact that Dustin Martin (Richmond #3) and Nat Fyfe (Fremantle #20) have both won Brownlow Medals. Later picks included Max Gawn (Melbourne #34), Ben Stratton (Hawthorn #46) and even Dylan Roberton (Fremantle #49) now with a new lease of life at St Kilda.

    2008 – Jack Watts (Melbourne). Well, this is possibly the most argued example of a player yet to fulfil potential as a #1 pick. And it is unfair in the sense that he didn’t nominate himself for that title, yet has to live up to it. Nic Naitanui (West Coast #2), Michael Hurley (Essendon #5) and Jack Ziebell (North Melbourne) have all excelled at the highest levels in different ways – All-Australians, Captains, best & fairests – leaving Watts in their wake. But even later picks compound this with Daniel Hannaberry (Sydney #30), Steven Motlop (Geelong #39), Rory Sloane (Adelaide #44), Neville Jetta (Melbourne #51) and Michael Walters (Fremantle #53) making their own marks as well.

    2007 – Matthew Kreuzer (Carlton). A fine ruckman and one of Carlton’s best over the past decade. But is always locked in debate in a draft that saw Trent Cotchin (Richmond #2), Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide #10), Cyril Rioli (Hawthorn #12) and Alex Rance (Richmond #18) all worthy of having been #1. Later picks also add to the debate with Jack Steven (St Kilda #42), Easton Wood (Western Bulldogs #43), Cale Hooker (Eseendon #54) and Taylor Walker (Adelaide #75).

    History tells us that some players succeed, some don’t. Some #1 picks become greats, but so do picks from all positions in a draft. We also know that clubs pick on needs as much as reputation, which skews the results.

    So if we know anything going into next Friday’s National Draft it is that Brisbane could land a superstar and potential legend with their #1 picks, However, so could Essendon which comes in with their first pick at #48. Essentially, we know nothing other than every kid drafted can play footy and a huge range of factors will determine their careers after draft day.

    What we do know is that the number one pick being the best player of that year is a fallacy – mostl ...

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    AFL Media Release

    The AFL is pleased to announce the appointment of Nicole Livingstone OAM as the new Head of Women’s Football.

    A three-time Olympic swimmer, respected sports administrator and commentator, Ms Livingstone will join the AFL on December 4 charged with the responsibility of growing and managing the NAB AFL Women’s Competition and female football participation.

    AFL Chief Executive, Gillon McLachlan today said the league was delighted to add someone of Ms Livingstone’s calibre to the senior management team.

    “Nicole is a champion in every sense – as an athlete, an administrator and an advocate for women in sport,” Mr McLachlan said.


    “It is fantastic to get a person of her quality to lead our new national league.

    “Our first season generated a groundswell of support, and I am thrilled that Nicole is going to join the team to turn that energy into a growing, sustainable and successful women’s competition.

    “Nicole has served sport at the highest level, on the Board of the Australian Olympic Committee, as a Director of Swimming Australia, Deputy Chair of VicHealth and Chair of the Victorian Institute of Sport. I am so pleased that our game has attracted someone of her quality and capacity,” he said.

    Ms Livingstone said today that the opportunity to head up Australia’s most exciting women’s code was exciting.

    “After a stellar inaugural AFLW season, I look forward to leading our women into 2018 and beyond,” Ms Livingstone said.

    “The growth of women’s AFL has been extraordinary. Every Australian girl can now actively pursue footy as their passion, past time or career. Importantly girls can now follow their dreams and as they do, we will continue to break down any barriers that may exist.

    “I’m excited by the challenge of growing the sport from a community grass roots level right through to high performance along with ensuring the league is commercially sustainable.

    “There are many passionate AFL people around the country, all wanting to see the AFLW find its place in the hearts and minds of Australians and I look forward to connecting with them,” she said.

    In accepting her role as the AFL Head of Women’s Football, Ms Livingstone will resign from her roles with the Australian Olympic Committee and VicHealth.

    Nicole Livingstone OAM:

    Sporting Career:
    •Represented Australia at three Olympic Games.
    •One of Australia's greatest backstroke swimmers and a member of the Australian swimming team for twelve consecutive years from 1985 - 1996.
    •Holds the longest winning sequence of any Australian swimmer in history at the national titles, winning ten consecutive 100m Backstroke titles between 1987 and 1996.
    •One silver medal and two bronze medals from three Olympic Games appearances; six gold, two silver and a bronze from three Commonwealth Games and competed in six Pan Pacific Championships winning four gold two silver and one bronze medals.
    • Broke a world record in the 200m backstroke (short course) in 1992.

    Business and Media:
    •Retired from swimming in 1996.
    •Host and commentator, Wide World of Sports, Commonwealth Games, Nine Network
    •“Any Given Sunday” – host, alongside comedian and armchair sportsman, Mick Molloy on weekly sports program.
    •Joined Network Ten Sport in 2009 as a host and commentator for their swimming and surf lifesaving broadcasts.
    •Regular presenter on The Project, along with sports news presenting duties.
    •Broadcaster for the I.O.C.'s broadcast arm, Olympic Broadcast Service.
    •In 2017, became the host of the ABC's weekly sports comedy show "Sideliners".
    •Current Deputy Chair of VicHealth and on the board of Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
    •Current member of the Executive of the Australian Olympic Committee, as well as a Director of Swimming Australia.

    •1993: Life Membership Swimming Victoria
    •1997: Medal of the Order of Australia
    •2000: Australian Sports Medal
    •2006: Victorian Women’s Honour Roll
    •2016: VicSport Outstanding Contribution to Victorian Sport

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    The AFL's release of the news that Nicole Livingstone has been appointed as the Head of Women's football came through early this morning via press release.

    I am glad to see that a woman has been appointed to the position. I think that there are perhaps many women with a better understanding of women's football and may have been a better choice, but am prepared to see what Nicole can do.  She will bring a high personal profile and national recognition to the position.  I respect and have enjoyed what she has done in sport and in the media. 

    The cynical side of me says that she may be a puppet of the AFL commission in place to head nod to their agenda overall rather than to represent the interests of women's footy. But that's not really my biggest concern.

    In the statement, where she was directly quoted it appears that she sees the game only as Australian.

    “The growth of women’s AFL has been extraordinary. Every Australian girl can now actively pursue footy as their passion, past time or career. Importantly girls can now follow their dreams and as they do, we will continue to break down any barriers that may exist. 

    “I’m excited by the challenge of growing the sport from a community grass roots level right through to high performance along with ensuring the league is commercially sustainable.

    “There are many passionate AFL people around the country, all wanting to see the AFLW find its place in the hearts and minds of Australians and I look forward to connecting with them,” she said. 

    I would encourage women (and girls) from every league and country playing the game around the world to contact Nicole and let her know you are out there as soon as possible.  Let her know that every decision she makes she should consider all women in the game, not just those located on Australian terra firma. Let her know that you love the game too and have football dreams just like those girls in Australia. Let her know you are along for the ride and that it would be negligent for her to leave you behind.

    If she is smart she would quickly put together a committee of world women's footy to get her up to speed and consult with.

    Good luck Nicole but please take those green and gold blinkers off.  ...

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     The following media release from the AFL details the draw and rules for the new and exciting AFLX competition next year. Played as part of the pre-season build up to the season, AFLX follows in the steps of Rugby, cricket and even tennis with a revised, fast-paced format. The release states:

    The AFL wrote to the 18 clubs today outlining the addition of AFLX, an alternative version of the traditional game, to run in the lead up to the 2018 JLT Community Series.

    AFLX, a fast and exciting version of Australian Football, is to be played on a rectangular field and aims to showcase the unique and most thrilling aspects of the game to attract new fans. 

    The public will get their first chance to see AFLX in February 2018 when Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney host individual tournaments featuring all 18 AFL Clubs. 

     AFL General Manager of Game Development Andrew Dillon said the confirmation of AFLX was the first step in the launch of the alternative version of the traditional game.

    "AFLX has been created to provide us with the options to play a form of the game in places where oval grounds are limited and to showcase our game internationally at a point in the future," Mr Dillon said.  

    "Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide have each been chosen to host the individual tournaments with six clubs playing against each other in a round-robin format.  

    "The decision to hold three individual tournaments during the men's 2018 pre-season period has been chosen to introduce clubs, their players, their fans and the wider public to the AFLX game,” he said. 

    The AFL will continue to support AFL 9s, a nine-a-side non-contact social version of the traditional game, for all levels of participation. 

    The X in AFLX relates to the roman numeral character for the number ten which is a constant through the alternative version of the game. 

    Ten quick facts about AFLX

    I.            Played on a rectangular field (approx. 70m width x 110m length) with four posts at each end (as per a normal AFL field). Ground markings will showcase X as the centre square and 40m arcs.

    II.           Two field umpires, two boundary umpires and one goal umpire at each end of the ground.

    III.          Ten players per team, seven on field at all times and three on the interchange bench. No restrictions on player rotations.

    IV.         10-minute quarters or halves depending on the tournament format.

    V.           Free kick against for last touch out of bounds.

    VI.         Kick-ins from behind the goal line after all scores.

    VII.        No marks paid for backwards kicks (except in forward 40m area).

    VIII.       Quarters commence with a ‘ball up’ in the centre and at least two players from each team starting inside the 40m arc.

    IX.          Free shot from forward 40m arc – directly in front for deliberate rushed behinds.

    X.           10-point super goals when goals kicked on the full from outside the 40m arc. 

    In the week prior to the commencement of the 2018 JLT Community Series, three individual tournaments will be held in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. The details for these tournaments are as follows: 

    Thursday February 15

    Timeslot to be confirmed

    Hindmarsh Stadium – ADELAIDE

    Teams competing: Adelaide Crows, Port Adelaide, Fremantle, West Coast Eagles, Collingwood and Geelong Cats


    Friday February 16

    Timeslot to be confirmed

    Etihad Stadium – MELBOURNE

    Teams competing: Carlton, Essendon, North Melbourne, St Kilda, Hawthorn and Melbourne 


    Saturday February 17

    Timeslot to be confirmed

    Allianz Stadium – SYDNEY

    Teams competing: Sydney Swans, GWS GIANTS, Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast SUNS, Richmond and the Western Bulldogs

    Further information, including details of an official launch of AFLX, will be provided in the coming weeks along with ticketing details for the Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney tournaments.




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  • 11/17/17--04:13: Bombers’ Top End Journey
  • Essendon’s first to fourth year players have returned to the club for pre-season training, and the first order of business has been visiting communities across the “Top End” of the Northern Territory. Natalie MacGregor has reported on the club’s website that star Bomber, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, and the rest of the touring squad visited Maningrida, on the north coast of Arnhem Land approximately 500 kilometres east of Darwin.

    Giving back to the community is important to Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti

    Visiting the remote indigenous community of Maningrida, West Arnhem Land, as part of the Club’s ‘Right of Passage’ camp with first to fourth year players this week, McDonald-Tipungwuti said the group would benefit greatly from the experience.


    “The players will take a lot away from the whole experience,” McDonald-Tipungwuti said.

     “For our young players to meet the kids, come out to the community, most of them haven’t been to a remote community before so it’s a good experience for them to see how it is and get out of their comfort zone and share their stories,” McDonald-Tipungwuti said.

    “We had handball, kicking, bouncing and marking activities – skills that we do playing AFL so we wanted to teach the kids and encourage them to work on their skills.

    Maningrida is in Essendon’s Next Generation Academy Zone. The visit included footy clinics, education sessions and a traditional welcome to country dance from the local students.

    “There are talented kids up here, hopefully they can develop more with Essendon being here. It’s good for us to come here and hopefully teach them and hopefully get a few more players in the AFL,” McDonald-Tipungwuti said.

    “It’s good to come out and share our experience with them and encourage them, that if they want to back an AFL player, this is what they need to do.

    “It’s really good coming back and seeing the kids again and doing football clinics with them. It’s been a fantastic day and the boys have all really enjoyed it.”


    Earlier in the week the Essendon players visited the Michael Long Learning & Leadership Centre in Darwin. Whilst there they spent time with former club legend and centre patron, Michael Long, as well as some of the boys from the Lajamanu community. Lajamanu is located to the north of the Tanami Desert, around 890 kilometres south of Darwin. Not only did the community kids get to meet their football idols, including Michael Long, they also “enjoyed playing football on green grass this week compared to the ochre sand of the Lajamanu football ground.”

    The Essendon players will also get to experience the joys of NTFL football whilst in Darwin. They will be guests at the weekend’s clash between home team Waratah and the Tiwi Bombers – both teams desperate for a win to keep their finals hopes alive.

    According to the club’s website at :

    “Essendon’s first to fourth year players will head to the Northern Territory on Monday evening for the Club’s bi-annual ‘Rite of Passage’ camp. 

    The players will travel to Darwin and the Bombers Next Generation Academy zones in West Arnhem Land and Tiwi Islands as part of the weeklong visit to the top end. 

    Senior Coach, John Worsfold, said the camp provided a number of opportunities for the Club’s younger players.

    “The Rite of Passage Camp involves cultural learning and awareness, history of the club and its relationship with the Tiwi Islands and communities in Darwin, some footy work and some other educational pieces,” Worsfold said.

    Natalie MacGregor’s original story can be found at: ...

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    Recently, World Footy News reported of the decision that would see the Doha Kangaroos in Qatar stand down from fielding a team in the AFL Middle East competition for the current 2017/18 season. Their intention was to rise out the current travel restrictions between some Middle East nations and return to the league when travel became less difficult. (See story: Doha Kangaroos On Hold)

    To ensure the teams stay fit and remain together, both the Doha Kangaroos (AFL) and the Qatar GAA (Gaelic Football) teams have come together in a unifying tournament with a view to their respective league returns.

    The Doha Kangaroos state that:

    “With both sides being unable to compete in their respective Middle East Leagues due to the current travel restrictions, the Doha Kangaroos (AFL) and the Qatar GAA (Gaelic Football) have joined forces and will play in a local AFL tournament tomorrow.”

    “Four teams comprising of a mix of players from both codes will compete for the Donoghue-Simpson Cup at the Doha Rugby Club.”

    “The cup has been named in honour of Ben Simpson and Tom Donoghue, who both played in the Doha Kangaroos 2014 premiership side as well as for the Qatar GAA.

    According to the Qatar GAA site, the matches will be played under International Rules, but using an oval ball, which the GAA players were spending time coming to terms with.

    Not only is the event good news for the teams involved, it is also great news for the AFL and GAA leagues to know that the two teams plan to remain very active this season in a bid to remain match ready for their respective returns to their league rosters.

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  • 11/19/17--15:38: Tiwi Bombers Sound Warning

  • Last season was one to forget for the Tiwi Bombers. A wooden spoon followed some ordinary performances across the season and led to a commitment from everyone at the club to access all areas and find improvement. Their win on the weekend made in three in seven rounds – already surpassing their total wins for last season. Positive signs are coming from the Tiwi Islands as the club rebuilds.

    A home fixture for Waratah didn’t help greatly as the Tiwi Bombers got away to a handy early lead and still held a 20 point lead at the main break, courtesy of an after-the-siren goal to former Melbourne Demon Liam Jurrah, lining up again for the Bombers. A seven goal third quarter for the Bombers put the game safely out of the reach of Waratah, despite a 12 goal shoot-out in the last quarter, with Waratah kicking seven to reduce the gap. The Bombers would be heartened by the performance of first game player Jake Best who kicked seven goals in his Bomber debut.

    The Darwin Buffaloes sit in third place on the ladder, but that masks what might be a deeper problem. After going down to the Nightcliff Tigers by 66 points, questions have to be asked about their scoring ability that needs to improve greatly if they want to contest finals. It is the second time in the past three matches that the Buffaloes had been held to two goals for the game. Admittedly, the game against Crocs from two weeks ago has been struck from the records after Southern Districts fielded an unregistered player. The Buffaloes benefitted, but they could only kick two goals against the Crocs on the day. Again against Nightcliff the firepower needed to win was missing, made worse by a goalless second half. The win keeps Nightcliff snapping at Crocs heels in second place.

    The Crocs themselves were smarting after surrendering four match points and valuable percentage after their error in fielding an unregistered player. The NTFL stripped them of the win and a 60 to 0 percentage against them (the same as for forfeits) after their Round 5 match against the Darwin Buffaloes. The decision means the Crocs lost their undefeated status, making them just a little more determined to defeat Wanderers, which the duly did. In a low scoring game, the Crocs did enough to keep the Muk Muks at bay, holding on for a 23-point win. Star Croc forward, Will Farrer, was kept to a modest two goals, but still leads the NTFL goal-kicking race on 27 for the season.

    What Palmerston wouldn’t give for a second shot at their last quarter against St Mary’s. Leading the Saints at the final change, the gallant Magpies just had to hold their nerve and shut down the Saints. But it wasn’t to be, as the Saints kicked six unanswered goals in the last quarter to win by 33 points after Palmerston had previously led at every change. It was a bitter pill for Palmerston, but St Mary’s will be delighted as they now hold fifth place on the ladder with a four point buffer over sixth place.

    Next weekend’ matches will see the Friday night match between Southern Districts and Palmerston at TIO Stadium. Saturday’s matches will feature the Tiwi Bombers clashing with Nightcliff and the Darwin Buffaloes meeting St Mary’s. The Sunday fixture will see traditional rivals Wanderers and Waratah locked in battle.

    Final Scores:
    Tiwi Bombers 20 8 129 d Waratah 15 8 98
    St Mary’s 14 13 97 d Palmerston 9 11 65
    Nightcliff 12 15 87 d Darwin Buffaloes 2 9 21
    Southern Districts 10 10 70 d Wanderers 6 11 47

    Picture Credit: NT News

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    This week saw the best men’s footballers from Ireland and Australia’s native football codes take part in the hybrid series of International Rules. The series saw two close matches that was well received by crowds at the game and on TV.  So if the best men of the game can represent their country in this format surely the women can take part too?

    In fact they did back in 2006. Julia Boyle who played for Australia in the 2006 Women’s International Rules Series against Ireland told me, “It was the biggest highlight of my football career. I had played both Gaelic Football since I was 17 and VWFL since I was 19, I had represented Victoria in both Codes and had also won two World Cups for Australia in Gaelic Football. I had pretty much retired from AFL in 2002 after Parkside folded and was just playing /concentrating Gaelic Football. When word got around that the series was going to happen, I started playing AFL again."

    "It was very hard juggling commitments to both codes, often having to play two matches on the one day. I remember the 5 months leading up to the selection trials in the July 2006 I lost nearly 25kg, and I was the fittest I had ever been. The quality of the players that were selected Australia wide were the best in the country at the time, so it was very competitive in selection”.

    Another female player Cora Staunton played in the International Rules Series in 2006 for Ireland and said how “It was great to play in it lovely to represent your country. Great to play in it and play with girls from other counties”.

    So the female players from both Ireland and Australia enjoyed playing International Rules, but it seems the series was discontinued due to the relations turning a bit sour. The men’s series was suspended after a number of violent incidents that were particularly poorly received in Ireland and this majorly affected the women’s series from discontinuing the following year.

    The women’s series never resumed and Julia believes “the main reason was because we absolutely got flogged by the Irish, they (the Irish) we not prepared to negotiate on the rule of tackling, so it made it very hard for us to have a skill that that made us equal in the game. We even suggested using a AFL football instead of a round ball, but not even that could be compromised for tackling. We were basically playing Gaelic Football against players that had played Gaelic Football since they were toddlers, it wasn’t an even playing field. The only noticeable difference between Gaelic Football where the goal posts and stop start after a mark”.

    Also Cora Staunton feels the women’s series was discontinued due to the fact “maybe the overall series were very one sided the Irish were along stronger. Also the running of the series every year and the (Gaelic) all-star trips started around 2004 so the emphasis was put on them."

    But now given the strength and growing professionalism of the women’s game in Australia and the desire for the game to have a competitive pathway for young girls to be part of that is it time to re-start the series. Provide an international carrot at the top of the elite women’s footy pathway, an Australian jumper.

    Josh Vanderloo who is the Head of Competitions and Player Movement in the AFL says a Women’s International Rules Series could be resurrected, as “I’d expect that we will look at options for as early as the 2018 season”. Vanderloo also believes that if the Women’s International Rules was to be revived that it “should be a double header” to the Men’s International Rules.

    Likewise, Boyle feels the same way as Vanderloo, as she said “I always believe that it should be a curtain raiser, the AFL should treat both the men’s and women’s teams the same”.

    There was no tackling in the Women’s International Rules in 2006, but Vanderloo says in the future a resurrected Women’s International Rules “would be played under the same rules as the Men’s unless there was a compelling reason to change anything”.

    The Australian team in 2006 were well beaten by the Irish team but with the new levels of professionalism in AFLW the Australians would be more competitive in a Women’s International Rules if it was resurrected and Vanderloo says “as athletes, the AFLW players would be better prepared than ever before”.

    He also believes the “Utility type players such as Chelsea Randall, Ebony Antionio, Karen Paxman and of course Erin Phillips would be great (and plenty more)” in a Women’s International Rules revival.

    Boyle who played in the last International Rules believes the Women’s International Rules should most definitely be resurrected. She expressed how “she was very disappointed it didn’t continue after that year. There is so much talent in Ireland, and they would still match the current AFLW players”.

    Also the new levels of professionalism in AFLW has according to Boyle provided girls with “more opportunities now to concentrate on their training and skills without full time work commitments getting in the way, workplaces are also more flexible with girls who have sporting commitments”.

    "There is also more funding and sports medicine technology, and most importantly diet. For example the food situation when we got to Ireland was a debacle, we had nowhere to prepare our own meals, and the food we were given wasn’t very conducive to an athlete in training. Healthy food at the time was really had to find near where we were staying in Dublin. This would be different now. Back in 2006, we basically had to work to fund the trip, we personally spend between $2000-3000 for the experience to go, we were give a little subsidy, but it wasn’t a free trip by all means."

    The Australian women are not the only ones who want to be involved in the Women’s International Rules, as the Irish are keen too. Laura Corrigan Duryea who is Irish and plays for the Melbourne Football Club in the AFLW expresses how keen she as a player is if the Women’s International Rules was to be resurrected, as she said “of course I would a combination of my favourite two games in the world”.

    Staunton said “yes most definitely and I think most Ladies footballers would love the chance to represent there country like the men do”.

    Boyle says how she “would definitely support it, and the Irish would definitely be keen”. She goes onto say “I will be interested to see the progress of Cora Staunton who recently got drafted for GWS, she was the most dominant player when we played Ireland in 2006, and I would say she is the best footballer I have ever seen or played against. She is a legend in Ireland. So given the fact she has now moved to Australia to give it a go (AFLW), I think off the back of that, Ireland, will be very interested in getting the series back up again if she performs well this season”.

    So Duryea, Staunton, Boyle and other Irish players express how eager they are all to play in a resurrected Women’s International Rules Series. AFLW players such as Brisbane Lions Kate McCarthy have voiced their desire on social media for a series to resume too.

    Staunton also believes the Ladies Gaelic Football Association and the AFLW both “would benefit from it as it would give more media attention to our game which is always a plus”.

    Furthermore Duryea says, “the AFLW would definitely benefit with the opportunity to spot future talent. Obviously if the Irish girls get a taste for the game or are recruited this would require to uproot and move to Australia which would be a massive loss for their respective clubs and counties. On the other hand it’s an opportunity for these girls to be a semi professional athlete in a sport so similar to the one they have grown up playing”.

    The momentum if certainly building for the series to be resurrected, players and officials looking at the resumption in a positive light and believing it would be a win for both codes. We can reasonably hope that we could see the Australian women's team go to take on Ireland in 2018 and play as the curtain raiser to the men's matches if the AFL and Ladies Gaelic Football Association can agree to terms.

    Thanks to Julia Boyle for the images used with this article.

    In 2006 the squads were as follows

    Ireland squad:

    Bronagh O'Donnell, Alma O'Donnell, Caroline O'Hanlon, Caoimhe Marley (All Armagh), Bronagh Sheridan (Cavan), Angela Walsh, Norita Kelly, Juliet Murphy, Rena Buckley (All Cork), Micheala Downey (Down), Cliodhna O'Connor, Sinead Aherne (both Dublin), Aoibheann Daly, Anne Marie McDonagh, Una Carroll, Patricia Gleeson (All Galway), Grainne Ni Flathartha, , Sarah O'Connor (All Kerry), Brianna Leahy (Kildare), Lorraine Muckian, Patricia Fogarty (Laois), Dympna O'Brien (Limerick) Cora Staunton, Christina Heffernan (Mayo), Sinead Dooley, Jackie Shields, Geraldine Doherty, Mary Sheridan (All Meath), Mairead Morrissey (Tipperary), Mary O'Donnell (Waterford)

    Australian squad:

    Belinda Blay (Vic); Julia Boyle (Vic); Joanne Butland (QLD); Renae Campbell (WA); Jane Clifton (Vic); Penny Cula-Reid (Vic); Michelle Dench (Vic); Angela Doyle (WA); Sarah Hammond (Vic); Anna Haynes (WA); Emma Hender (ACT); Moana Hope (Vic); Meg Hutchins (Vic); Pia Kilburn (WA); Shelley Matcham (WA); Shannon McFerran (Vic); Anna McIlroy (Vic); Janine Milne (Vic); Talei Owen (NSW); Lydia Padgett (WA); Daisy Pearce (Vic); Katherine Pender (Qld); Kerryn Stephens (Vic); Lauren Tesoriero (Vic); Kathy Zacharopoulos (Vic)



    Also read about a women's International Rules series between Sydney Women's AFL and the New South Wales (Australia) Women's GAA  played in Australia in 2004 here.  ...

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    Australia has reclaimed the Cormac McAnallen Trophy in dramatic fashion, winning the 2017 International Rules Series in warm, partly cloudy conditions in Perth on Saturday. It was an exciting clash, with tempers flaring periodically and 30,000-plus spectators coming down to Subiaco Oval one last time to catch a contest.
    Joel Selwood was reported for high contact, causing a melee shortly right before halftime; the Geelong star was sent off with a black card with Ireland holding to a 13-point lead. The Irish were able to use accurate kicks and quality defensive pressure early on to hold Nat Fyfe and Patrick Dangerfield. Once again, Michael Murphy and Conor McManus were the major stars for the visitors.
    But halfway through the third quarter, the Aussies stormed back, aided by a huge mark from Fyfe and some classy plays from Dayne Zorko, who continued his excellent pressure from the first test match and also ended up scoring the game-winning over as well. Kade Simpson shined in the first game and continued to control the pace for Australia from half-back.
    McManus and Murphy combined to score seven overs and finish one-two in Ireland’s best-on-ground voting. In addition to Zorko’s three overs, Eddie Betts had two and Chad Wingard, Ben Brown, and Zach Merrett scored as well. Chris Barrett and Gary Brennan kicked the lone goals of the match for Ireland, but the Aussies prevailed by a score of 53-50 in the end. Fyfe earned the Jim Stynes Medal as the best and fairest in the series.
    Fans from both countries loved the second test, and Australia coach Chris Scott was no different. In his post-match press conference, the Geelong head man suggested that the 2019 edition of the IRS should be three games rather than two, while Ireland coach Joe Kernan also mentioned that he was excited for the future and hopes that the series will continue to evolve and grow.
    AFL CEO Gill McLachlan has expressed a keen interest in staging the 2018 or 2019 test matches in the USA -- presumably in a city like New York, Boston, or Philadelphia due to the strong Irish-American presence in those places.
    “That may be the next step, but we’ll talk to the Irish and work it out from here. "I know there's skeptics, but we're keen to keep it going and push it's worth doing," stated McLachlan.
    “I think the potential for the game is huge,” added Scott.
    AFL national/international talent manager Kevin Sheehan also had high praise for the 2017 IRS. “We felt it may be the best we've ever seen between the two countries,” stated Sheehan, who also said that selecting a squad from the All-Australian team was key to the IRS’s success this year.
    "There have been some great ones over the years, but this may have been the best, where every element was showcased."

    AUSTRALIA:   0.3.2   0.4.5   0.9.7   0.15.8 (53)
    IRELAND:   2.1.2   2.5.3   2.8.5   2.10.8 (50)

    IRELAND: G.Brennan, C.Barrett

    AUSTRALIA: D.Zorko 3, C.Wingard, R.Sloane, E.Betts 2, Z.Merrett, R.Laird, B.Brown, N.Fyfe, S.Burgoyne, L.Shuey
    IRELAND: C.McManus 5, M.Murphy 2, S.Walsh, C.Sheehan, N.Grimley

    AUSTRALIA: K.Simpson, Z.Merrett, N.Fyfe, D.Zorko, B.Goddard
    IRELAND: C.McManus, M.Murphy, S.Walsh, A.O’Shea, Z.Tuohy

    REFEREES: Matt Stevic (Australia), Maurice Deegan (Ireland)

    CROWD: 30,116 at Domain Stadium ...

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    Carlton has today announced they have signed talented Irish youngster Cillian McDaid as an international rookie. The signing does not come as a big surprise as the story has been doing the rounds in the Irish press in the past couple of weeks.

    The 20-year-old Gaelic footballer from Galway in Ireland has been signed on the two-year minimum deal for International rookies.. 

    McDaid was one of four Irishmen to trial in Florida earlier this year with the NAB academy tour of the United States.

    Stephen Silvagni said the Blues were “very pleased Cillian has agreed to join Carlton, and we think he is an exciting young prospect for our club,”

    “We have followed Cillian’s progress closely throughout the year and he uses the ball incredibly well. He is a determined young man of terrific character and we feel he will be a good cultural fit for our playing group too.


    “Cillian is an example of the exciting young talent coming out of Ireland at the moment and has studied our game thoroughly over the past few years. We see him as an attacking defender, but we’re excited by the versatility he has shown and we look forward to seeing what he can offer.”

    McDaid joins fellow Irishman Ciaran Byrne as the Club’s after Ciaran Sheehan was delisted last month.  Carlton have a long record of signing Irish talent in the past including Setanta and Aisake o'hAilpin and Zach Tuohy. ...

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    The 2017 Nathan Blakey Memorial Movember Cup has been won by the University of Birmingham Lions, downing the London-based visitors – the Wandsworth Demons. In a tight final, after a great day of round matches featuring teams from the AFLCNE as well as the University of Birmingham teams and the Demons, it was the Lions that held on by eight points.

    According to the Lion’s own social media information, “yesterday was a big day for the club. One big trophy for the cabinet and, importantly, three teams put forward in one of the biggest cup competitions in Aussie Rules in Great Britain.”

    “The Mens' 1s got off to a strong start, beating the Mozzies by five goals to three. Big shout out to Toby Webster for doing a fantastic job marking Great Britain Australian Rules Football forward, alumni and club legend Andy Walkden out of the game. In the second game, we went down to a different Mozzies team that, after a close first half, pulled away in the second through their quality and strength all over the park.”

    “In a must win final game, we got over local rivals Wolverhampton Wolverines Australian Rules Football Club - an absolute nail biter. Only making it to the final on goal difference, an exhausted Lions outfit would have to dig deep in the final against AFL London Premiers the Wandsworth Demons. And dig deep we did. The Tassie tearaway Tim Jones picked the team up by the scruff of the neck and dragged us over the line. Final score 30-22 to the Lions in a tense game that could've gone either way. Shout outs to Harry Williams, Ciaran Jeanes, James French, Justin Holloway and the rest of the 1s for playing out of their skins all day.”

    “The Two’s went through the day winless but can hold their heads up high as they fought hard and got a few goals against experienced opposition. Shout outs to Liam Roney and Tom Sanders for well taken goals and Matt Bennison for leading from the front all day.”

    “The Womens' team got some important time on the paddock and exposure to top level GB Swans players. Massive congrats to Joanna Friedman for winning best on ground.”

    “And finally, big thanks to the Manchester Mosquitoes for again hosting a tournament that's always one of the highlights of our footy calendar and, in doing so, raising money and awareness for a charity close to all of our hearts here at UoB, the Movember Foundation UK.”

    Not only was it a great day for football and raising funds for men’s health, it was also a result that might give further momentum for the Birmingham Bears to re-enter the AFLCNE in the not-too-distant future. With players, results and belief improving as a result of the event, it could well be the catalyst for bigger things.


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    As draft time approaches the thoughts turn to which players clubs will pursue. In an increasingly competitive drafting world, teams are less cavalier about taking risks on project players that might just clog up lists. Many clubs have signed international players to their lists – but not all.

    North Melbourne is one club - Melbourne is another. There are others. This is not finger waving at all. There are perfectly valid reasons why clubs have not pursued this line of recruiting at this time and have steered in a different direction.

    But history tells us that there are gems. Jim Stynes (Melbourne) won a Brownlow Medal. Tadgh Kennelly and Mike Pyke (both Sydney Swans) won premierships. Zac Tuohy (Geelong) and Pearce Hanley (Gold Coast) are fast approaching 150 AFL games. Conor McKenna (Essendon) was touted by talent guru, Kevin Sheehan, as potentially the best Irish player of all.

    The talent is there, but a question could be raised investigating whether there are more players out there.

    To get the best performers in any field there has to be an element of “aspirational” about the process. The same would follow with footballers. The AFL, in one bold swoop, could potentially lift the aspirations of more international players with one small tweak to the drafting procedures. Rather than lumping international players with others from other backgrounds as “Category B” players, it might simply be possible to create a new category – “International Rookie”.

    Seems almost too simple. Some will argue that the option already exists. But what if each club had to keep one rookie spot for purely international players? Not former basketballers, soccer players, cricketers – just international players. Not born overseas, but playing in overseas competitions or Gaelic football.

    The AFL’s rulings on rookies state that “Irish players can be signed directly to a club’s Rookie List under the International Player Rule and do not have to go through the draft. Previously, Irish players could not be listed as Category B rookies but took a spot on the main Rookie List.”

    “Clubs can now list one Irish player as a Category B rookie but for each additional Irish player rookie listed, that player will be deemed to be a Category A rookie and the club will forfeit its last selection in the Rookie Draft for each additional player listed.”

    This is close to the idea being suggested here, but with a difference - clubs still are not compelled to do so. Placing that one change into the rules creates more opportunity.

    It would create 18 clubs, 18 list spaces. If, after a season, a player has excelled, promote them. If not, delist them. If still an each way bet, retain on list for next season. There would still be 18 players, 18 clubs. The question might be that there is even more talent out there. Great! If there is, get them into feeder competitions – VFL, SANFL, WAFL, NTFL.

    With that kind of incentive, there is likely to be more emphasis on impressing at overseas combines to fight for those 18 list spaces. It would not be hard to imagine a player a few months back seeing that North Melbourne or Melbourne (or whatever club) having their international space unfilled and players overseas saying “I want THAT spot!” It is a different emphasis to wanting just a spot.

    It would be a small change or tweak for the AFL to make, but a massive incentive to get the best of the best from overseas vying for available positions on AFL lists.

    For those who inhabit the world of the International Cup, or better still, overseas competitions, there are plenty of talented players to be found. Some aspire to the highest levels and some have made it. But many do believe that the AFL is out of their reach because of the spasmodic approach currently seen where clubs might recruit an overseas player, but are not compelled to.

    The sceptics might claim that there just isn’t enough talent to warrant that kind of approach. Maybe so, but Hawthorn is happy with Heatherley and Glass, Carlton has just recruited McDaid to join Ciaran Byrne. Collingwood has retained Mason Cox. Geelong has Tuohy but also Mark O’Connor. The Sydney Swans long and successful history with internationals now sees Colin O’Riordan from Ireland. McKenna is at Essendon, St Kilda has Darragh Joyce and Ray Connellan from Ireland and recently delisted Jason Holmes who might yet get a rookie lifeline somewhere as an experienced ruckman.

    Throw in Pearce Hanley and it makes a healthy dozen current players going on into 2018. It would be more if all clubs utilised the option to have one international each.

    If the incentive to succeed is increased, the pathways expanded, the combines more important and the success rate in the AFL greater then players will strive harder again for those very concrete opportunities.

    The space race as we know it would have been one hell of a lot different had Neil Armstrong replaced his famous words “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” with something a little less impressive like “Hey, Buzz, open up the door, will ya! It’s boring and cold out here. Let’s go home.”

    I wonder if they AFL will risk taking the more adventurous road.

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    The 2017 AFL Oceania Cup will be returning to Fiji on December 4th.

    A total of four countries will be competing at the event, which is one of the most significant summer footy tournaments in the world. AFL Fiji has experienced rapid growth within the past few years, highlighted by the men’s national team (the Tribe) finishing sixth earlier this year at the International Cup. The Fiji Vonu, the women’s team, finished third.

    A country with no shortage of raw athletes, Fiji has recently become home to an AFL girls’ developmental academy, as well as a rapidly-growing Under-15s program, known as the Junior Tribe.

    Tonga will be bringing their U15 team, the Thunder, to the cup as well. While adult footy competition on Tonga has been sporadic in recent years, the junior Auskick programs are thriving and the sport has remained popular among schoolkids.

    The Melanesian country of Vanuatu will also be competing. Fiji’s western neighbor has had periodic footy competitions since 2006, but with the help of AFL development officers and coaches, they have developed a strong list of young athletes in a short amount of time. The U15 team, the Volcanos (pictured), are excited to play quality footy on a bigger stage in Fiji.

    And last -- but certainly not least -- is Nauru, possibly the most footy-obsessed country outside of Australia itself. The tiny Micronesian island has been a constant presence at the International Cup (finishing fifth this year) and also has a strong domestic competition that draws passionate players and fans alike. Their U15 team, the Stars, has won the past two Oceania Cups and will be looking to add another one to their arsenal in a few weeks time.

    The tournament will be held at Albert Park in the Fijian capital of Suva. In addition to the games, there will also be other sessions, including programs aimed at violence prevention and community ambassadorship. We often hear about footy being a great avenue for sports diplomacy, but it’s also an opportunity for youngsters to gain valuable life lessons and give back to their communities.

    Additionally, the Fiji Vonu Academy will be playing a test match on Wednesday, December 6th, while the best U15 players from the four competing countries will also be playing the Flying Boomerangs, an indigenous Australian side. The fixtures for all matches will be released soo ...

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    The Dubai Dragons have taken out the latest Dubai derby, downing the Dubai Dingoes by 68 points at Dubai Sports City. The Dragons were relentless, leading and extending their advantage at every break and never looking like allowing the Dingoes back into the match.

    Even though the first quarter saw just two goals to one in favour of the Dragons, the real story was in the poor kicking by the Dragons – eleven scoring shots to one showed more clearly where the match might be headed. By the final change the Dragons had put the game to rest with a 47 point lead, going on then to a comfortable victory. Darcy O’Sullivan kicked three goals for the Dragons whilst Jess Mcguirk kicked three for the Dingoes.

    Final Scores: Dubai Dragons 13 24 102 d Dubai Dingoes 5 4 34

    In the other game for Round 3, the Multiplex Bulls were too good for the Abu Dhabi Falcons at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai. The Bulls got off to a solid start and by the main break held a 32-point lead. Anything the Falcons threw at them, the Bulls had the answers and more. Whilst the second half was tighter, the Falcons just could not bridge the gap. The Bulls went on to record a valuable 41 point victory.

    Final Scores: Multiplex Bulls 15 14 104 d Abu Dhabi Falcons 9 9 63

    The results see the Dragons sitting undefeated on the ladder after three completed rounds. The Bulls follow, just a game behind but with the better percentage, and will fight hard to overtake the Dragons. The Falcons (third) and Dingoes (fourth) will be hoping to turn their fortunes around quickly if they want to see finals action.

    The competition will now go into its winter recess, with the next game scheduled for January 12th when the Abu Dhabi Falcons will host the Dubai Dragons at Zayed Sports City.

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    When young Zac Bailey galloped out of a centre clearance for the Allies, in their clash with the Vic Metro team at the Under 18 National Championships earlier this year, he changed the game and ensured an upset Allies win. He may have hoped for, but couldn’t know, that he had also turned on the neon sign that alerted recruiters to his talent and potential. Not only did he gain All-Australian U18 selection, he also lit the pathway lights to draft day.

    It was, therefore, little surprise to those who know him that Bailey was selected by the Brisbane Lions at last night’s NAB Rising Stars Draft at pick 15. The journey had reached a new destination, and young Zac now has a dream come true – an AFL career. The junior from Southern Districts Crocs in the NTFL had followed past Territorians to the highest level of the game.

    He follows an amazing list of past Territorians – names like Nathan Buckley (Southern Districts), Michael Long (St Mary’s), Andrew McLeod(Darwin Buffaloes), Maurice Rioli (St Mary’s), Peter Burgoyne (St Mary’s) and more – as well as current stars like Cyril Rioli (St Mary’s), Steven May (Southern Districts), Steven Motlop (Wanderers) and one day Jed Anderson.There are plenty more.

    But the past three seasons alone, prior to last night, have seen an acceleration with Brandan Parfitt (Nightcliff) going to Geelong with pick #26 in 2016. Daniel Rioli (St Mary’s) went to Richmond with pick #15 in 2015, whilst Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti (Tiwi Bombers) was rookie drafted by Essendon with their pick #22 and Ryan Nyhuis (Nightcliff) went to Fremantle with pick $34 in the same rookie draft. Geelong took Nakia Cockatoo (Southern Districts) with pick #10 in the 2014 draft.

    Now Zac Bailey can proudly look towards carrying on the Northern Territory tradition of producing some of the greatest players the game has seen.

    His partner in crime from the Northern Territory, Adam Sambono, wasn’t selected, but with precocious talent of his own, the kid from the Darwin Buffaloes will be more than a curious onlooker when the AFL’s Rookie Draft takes place on Monday. Sambono was a later arrival on the talent pathway and is still in the process of catching the eye of recruiters, but he would be an exciting addition to any AFL list.

    To round off the Northern Territory link, former Melbourne Demons and Alice Springs footballer, Dom Barry, was given another chance at AFL level when selected by Port Adelaide with pick #61 after resurrecting his desire and talent with Glenelg in the SANFL.

    Top selections by teams in last night’s draft were:

    #1 Cameron Rayner – Brisbane Lions
    #2 Andrew Brayshaw – Fremantle
    #3 Paddy Dow – Carlton
    #4 Luke Davies-Uniacke – North Melbourne
    #6 Jaidyn Stephenson – Collingwood
    #7 Hunter Clark – St Kilda
    #9 Aaron Naughton – Western Bulldogs
    #11 Aidan Bonar – GWS
    #12 Darcy Fogarty – Adelaide
    #13 Jarrod Brander – West Coast
    #14 Matthew Ling – Sydney
    #17 Jack Higgins – Richmond
    #19 Wil Powell – Gold Coast
    #22 Lachlan Fogarty – Geelong
    #29 Charlie Spargo – Melbourne
    #45 James Worpel – Hawthorn
    #47 Sam Hayes – Port Adelaide
    #49 Jordan Houlahan – Essendon

    Picture Credit: Brisbane Lions ( ...

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    The ALFA Lions have had a rocky start to their title defence so far, losing their opening games of the season. The Toulouse Hawks spent last season assisting in the development of their cross-town rivals. Yet both of these teams threw off the various monkeys from their backs yesterday to record big wins and set up their seasons in a positive – and slightly worrying way. Two of the leagues heavy hitters are back in town.

    The Toulouse derby between the Hawks and Aviators was always going to be a test for both teams. The Hawks were determined to recapture the title of Toulouse’s best whilst the Aviatiors were equally determined to show how far they have grown is just over a year.

    But, by quarter-time the Hawks had almost put the contest to bed with a 38-6 opening assault. Their defence was superb as they increased that to a 54-9 lead by half-time. The accelerator came down harder in the third quarter as the Hawks strolled to an 80 point lead before going on to a big win against the Aviators – their biggest yet – by 106 points. The final score saw the Toulouse Hawks hammer the Aviators 128 to 22 to stay at the top of the ladder and sound a warning to all – the Toulouse Hawks are back.

    In the other game yesterday, the ALFA Lions were determined to find a victory and get their season back on rack. Last season’s premiers had lost both of their opening games and desperately needed a win to stay within reach of the other potential finalists. Losses to both the Hawks and Cockatoos had seen the Lions winless for the season. Their opponents, the Perpignan Tigers, were also winless and were hoping for an upset win to give their own season momentum.

    But the Lions were not in any sort of generous mood, outplaying the Tigers in every quarter and running away with a huge 133 point victory. It puts the Lions back in the finals frame with a win and a healthy percentage boost. They will need it, as their next assignment is an away clash against the well-performed Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes. For the Tigers, the loss is harsh, leaving them winless on the bottom of the ladder and playing finals aspirants (Hawks, Coyotes, Cockerels and Cockatoos) over the remainder of the season – a daunting draw.

    Final scores saw the ALFA Lions defeat the Perpignan Tigers 144-11.

    The Round 4 matches see the Paris teams – Cockerels and Cockatoos – on the road. The Cockerels will travel to Toulouse to meet the Aviators whilst the Cockatoos head to Bordeaux to take on the hungry Bombers.

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