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Articles on this Page
- 09/16/13--00:26: _Axios Euro Cup Team...
- 09/17/13--16:09: _Axios Euro Cup Team...
- 09/17/13--22:14: _Americans named amo...
- 09/18/13--15:27: _AFL Middle East – P...
- 09/20/13--05:41: _Axios Euro Cup Team...
- 09/20/13--06:30: _Axios Euro Cup Team...
- 09/21/13--06:59: _2013 Grand Final Pa...
- 09/21/13--14:41: _Dragonslayers win 2...
- 09/22/13--06:35: _Axios Euro Cup – So...
- 09/22/13--16:12: _Pakistan Shaheens t...
- 11/12/13--16:15: _AFL-India bags Aust...
- 11/12/13--19:15: _DCU Aussie Rules Cl...
- 11/12/13--19:17: _Sheehan boomerangs ...
- 11/13/13--03:12: _Bigfooty Media inte...
- 11/13/13--14:05: _Nepalese footy in t...
- 11/13/13--16:58: _Bigfooty Media inte...
- 11/16/13--06:08: _NTFL 2013/4 – The p...
- 11/17/13--04:57: _Vietnam Swans victo...
- 11/17/13--14:04: _Shaheens off to a F...
- 11/17/13--16:55: _Australian Rules fo...
- 09/16/13--00:26: Axios Euro Cup Team Preview – England Dragonslayers
- 09/17/13--16:09: Axios Euro Cup Team Preview – Italy
- 09/17/13--22:14: Americans named among Draft Combine ruckmen
- 09/18/13--15:27: AFL Middle East – Preview 2013/14
- 09/20/13--05:41: Axios Euro Cup Team Preview – France
- 09/20/13--06:30: Axios Euro Cup Team Preview – Spanish Bulls
- 09/21/13--06:59: 2013 Grand Final Parties around the world
- 09/21/13--14:41: Dragonslayers win 2013 Axios Euro Cup
- 09/22/13--06:35: Axios Euro Cup – Something for everyone in Bordeaux
- 09/22/13--16:12: Pakistan Shaheens to fly at IC14?
- 11/12/13--16:15: AFL-India bags Australian Sports Commission grant
- 11/12/13--19:15: DCU Aussie Rules Club helps make European history
- 11/12/13--19:17: Sheehan boomerangs back to Blues
- 11/13/13--03:12: Bigfooty Media interview with Finland AFL President
- 11/13/13--14:05: Nepalese footy in the shadow of Mount Everest
- 11/13/13--16:58: Bigfooty Media interview with AFL Asia's Phil Johns
- 11/16/13--06:08: NTFL 2013/4 – The patterns are emerging
- 11/17/13--04:57: Vietnam Swans victorious in seventh Indochina Cup
- 11/17/13--14:04: Shaheens off to a Flying Start
- 11/17/13--16:55: Australian Rules football elbows its way into Russia
The England Dragonslayers are the only home nations side making the trip to Bordeaux for this year's Axios Euro Cup. Coach Robert Fielder spoke to WFN about the highly-facied English side's chances, with the Slayers hoping to bounce back after a disappointing 3rd place last year.
"3rd in 2012 wasn’t quite what we’d planned for, but that’s the beauty of sport. We didn’t quite find our rhythm on the day, in control of the semi, two inaccuracies and it was all over. Since then, there has been an influx of new players and we’ve just finished our successful 2nd national weekend training camp.
"The camp is a superb opportunity to develop 30 players from all around the country using video analysis, game sense practices and games, plus a probables v possibles match to make final selection easier. There are a some established players whose circumstances have changed and hope to push for places next year."
"Finance and flexible employers (many are not) are a big issue for many players and especially staff potential attendance at these tournaments. It would benefit all to be recognised as a NGB sport to enable all the hard working volunteers in the sport to perform with at least one less hand tied behind their back. Nevertheless, we’re looking forward to what will be a tournament as exciting as ever."
The England Dragonslayers has tended to represent a large number of players from regional England, and doesn't have a great deal of overlap with the Bulldogs side from Dublin this year, with Fielder saying the 9-a-side game is a different environment.
"Many players from AFL London don’t play 9-a-side. It’s hard to transfer from 18’s to 9’s as the lightning game is less forgiving. We have selected 15 of the 16 places from the camp, specifically to reward those committed. A number of established players are there, plus exciting new players who will probably challenge for Bulldogs places, finance dependent."
"Matt Jaggar has been a great step forward in media. We’ve had packaged video that we can receive immediate feedback and use to analyse Our super woman Claire Shapland will again be sorting out the ailments and keeping the lads' bodies on the right track."
The 2013 Dragonslayers squad includes Ian Mitchell (Captain), Sean Walton, Paul Francis, Matt Whiteley, Matt Kilheeney, Rory Auld, Ross Ashman, Alastair McKinnell, Mark Todd, Luke Booth, Lee Tarn, Jack Wood, Graham Bickerdike, George Dibble, Steven Maguire and Tom Stewart - the last four of which are new to the Dragonslayers.
Fielder says "These lads all offer many different attributes, the most important being energy and drive, plus a conception of our methods and plays from the camp. It’s also great to see speedy McKinnell (2009-2011) and goal machines Todd (2007-2010) and Tarn (2008-2009) returning to the Slayers. Their experience could be the vital part of our campaign. Booth, Auld and Wood are playing great footy. The backbone of Mitchell, Walton, Francis, Whiteley, Kilheeney and Ashman will keep us in any tough match."
The Dragonslayers have their eyes firmly focussed on the Cup. Says Fielder, "we’re very focussed on our own performance, if we perform to our ability it’s going to take a fine team to stop us."
The Final Word
The English have been powerhouses on the European 9s scene for many years now. With some seasoned campaigners such as Mitchell, Walton, Booth and Tarn onboard, they are a definite shot at coming home champions. ...
As we get closer to the event, World Footy News continues its series of articles looking at the preparation and prospects of the various nations competing at this year’s Axios Euro Cup in Bordeaux. This time we look at the story of the Italian national team. Nicola Giampaulo, former coach of the team representing AFL Italia, gives us his insights.
“I am very excited with our prospects for this year’s Euro Cup.
The past 12 months have been stable and this is alone a positive outcome. We are finding it difficult to introduce new teams to the national comp but on the other hand we have not lost any either. Financial limitations are the biggest problem for the clubs and this makes it difficult facing costs and does not allow much promotion of the game.”
“The team has well prepared for the competition. They have met twice over the last two weekends for two-day training sessions in Genova and the 16 man squad is raring to go. We are very confident that we will perform well.”
“The squad has some new faces but the bulk of the players are seasoned 'Euro Cup' campaigners. Our strengths are in the midfield on-ball players - many very quick and skilful players ready to bounce on the ball to get first use and clearances. We are looking for a great team effort highlighted with some very dynamic individual performances.”
“As in previous years our main goal is to show that we are constantly improving in skills and game plan strategy. Our coach Armando Colombo firmly believes that the correct and intelligent use of the ball marks the best way towards goal and makes the game a whole lot more fun. In 2011 everybody considered our 4th place a fluke. We proved the sceptics wrong by confirming this placement last year. We aim to go better this year.”
“Go AFL Italia!!!”
The Final Word:
A string of wins at last year’s event, playing against the other Pool 3 teams (Germany, Wales and Iceland), saw Italy finish top of their pool. This was followed by a quarter-final victory over Finland before losing their semi-final to eventual Grand Finalists, Denmark. That run was no fluke, and the boys from Italy have every right to believe they can pull off a similar, or better, performance this year.
AFL National and International Talent Manager Kevin Sheehan said: “In the 26 years of the AFL Draft ruckman have been taken as the number one choice in the nation on six occasions and rank second only to the medium midfielders who have had eight number one Draft selections to be the most popular. Carlton’s Matthew Kreuzer was the last Ruckman to be selected at number one in 2007 with the likes of Josh Fraser (1999), Michael Gardiner (1996) and Jeff White (1994) also having that honour.”
One hundred and eleven players will attend the 2013 NAB AFL Draft Combine in Melbourne at Etihad Stadium from Tuesday October 1 to Friday October 4. State Draft Combines will be held in Melbourne (October 5), Adelaide (October 12) and Perth (October 13).
2013 NAB AFL Draft Combine – National
Club: Eastern Ranges
Aggressive and super competitive Ruckman/Tall Forward that consistently gets his hand to the ball providing his midfielders with first use. Has very strong hands overhead and can also be dangerous playing as a Tall Forward. Comes from a rugby background. Averaged 10 disposals and 19 hit-outs at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.
Club: Northern Knights
Ruckman/Tall Forward with fantastic athleticism. Possesses an excellent leap which allows him to give his midfielders first use through his tap work as well as providing a jumping/leading target up forward where he’s a threat in the air. An agile player who is always looking to be involved in the contest. Missed the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships due to injury. An AIS-AFL Academy graduate.
Club: Gippsland Power
Ruckman who is a fierce competitor and also capable of playing as a tall defender using his natural spring and strong marking to advantage. Averaged 10 disposals and 16 hit outs in five matches for Victoria Country in 2013.
Ruckman/Tall Forward in his first year of VFL football at Werribee. Former Tasmanian Under-18 & senior representative with terrific aerobic capacity and contested marking ability that also competes ferociously at ground level. Kicked 25 goals in the VFL during season 2013, his most impressive game of the year coming against Port Melbourne where he gathered 20 possessions, nine hit-outs, eight marks and booted two goals.
Ruckman who is very athletic and uses the ball well by hand & foot. Has progressed from the Under-18s playing 12 games at reserves level at Glenelg with his best game in Round 21 vs North Adelaide, gathering 13 disposals and 29 hitouts.
Mobile ruckman with the ability to distribute effectively by both hand and foot. An agile player who provides a very good marking target around the ground and is capable both in the air and at ground level. Averaged 11 disposals and 19 hit-outs at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.
Club: Swan Districts
Developing athletic ruckman who can take contested marks and is also competent at ground level for his size. Distributes the ball well to his midfielders. Comes from a basketball background and shows deft touch in his ruck work. Has developed the ability to push forward and present an imposing target. Played the last nine matches at senior level, with his 18 disposals, seven marks and 28 hit-outs vs East Fremantle his most impressive.
Club: East Perth
Ruckman with good athletic ability and has a real physical presence. Had an injury interrupted year breaking his tibia in Round 1 after representing Western Australia at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships in 2012. Returned to play at Colts level for the last six games of the year. Plenty of upside but has the physical size to compete at senior level. An AIS-AFL Academy Graduate.
Club: North Launceston
Dominant and athletic Ruckman who provides an excellent strong target around the ground. Can be very dangerous in the air when pushing forward and possesses a thumping left foot kick. Rarely misses from set shots. Joint winner of the Division Two Harrison Medal as well as earning All-Australian honours. Averaged 21 disposals and eight marks during the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.
Club: Mt Gravatt
Exciting and athletic ruckman who comes from a basketball background. Has an impressive vertical leap which often allows him to jump over his opponents and get first hands on the ball. A strong competitor who thrives in the physicality of the contest both in the air and at ground level. Had 25 hit-outs vs NSW/ACT at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.
Mobile Ruckman/Key Forward who is strong overhead and reads the game well. Has strong work ethic and is extremely competitive by nature. Produced his best in representative game - NEAFL vs SANFL at Under-22 level with a best on ground performance having 20 disposals, taking 12 marks & kicking two goals.
Club: Moreland State University
Potential key position player/ruckman from Moreland State University in Kentucky with a multiple sports background in basketball, soccer, American football, baseball and golf. Was introduced to AFL at the USA Combine in April 2013, where is vertical jump scores (SVJ - 78cm, RVJ - 91cm) were impressive. Left footer who looked very natural with the ball by hand and foot.
Club: Columbia University
Potential Ruckman from Columbia University with a basketball and American football background. An imposing athlete who has great appetite for the competition. Has a natural leap - (SVJ - 70cm & RVJ - 85cm) both impressive together with his absolute reach for a potential ruckman at 207cm. Has a double degree in political science and psychology.
2013 NAB AFL Draft Combine – State
Club: Werribee (Vic)
Club: South Launceston (Tas)
Club: Calder Cannons (Vic)
Club: Oakleigh Chargers (Vic)
Club: Glenelg (SA)
Club: South Adelaide (SA)
Weight: 98kg ...
In response to our recent article which explored the changes to AFL Middle East for the upcoming season, new Operations Manager, Tyron (Ty) Farrell has provided World Footy News with his preview of the upcoming season. Not only does Ty look again at changes to the organisation, he also provides his unique insight into the teams and their prospects.
So the 2013/2014 AFL Middle East Season is almost upon us and the teams have been hitting the pre- season trail pretty hard over the summer in anticipation.
This year the season has made a few major changes with Walid Melhem stepping down as Operations Manager as he moved back to Australia with work. Walid worked extremely hard over the last few years and should be proud of the work that he has done in getting the league to where it is today. From all in the region, we wish Walid all the best for his return to Australia and we look forward to continuing to build on the foundations that he left us.
I have taken over the role and am being ably supported by all the club representatives. It’s an exciting but challenging position.
The 2013/2014 Season will begin with the Pre-Season Cup being played on Friday 4th October and a great chance for the clubs to feel each other out before the season begins on the 25th of October.
Unfortunately Bahrain, due to the political situation, still couldn't get a team but we continue to try to work with the guys who are in Bahrain. Hopefully they will be-able to re-join us soon.
Another exciting development this year is we have increased the season to six games, in the first time in the history of the league. The reason for this is to satisfy the appetite of the players for more Aussie Rules and also to make it more attractive to the clubs and leagues sponsors. This is an exciting change and ideally we are working to a full home and away season, which is hard due to the short period of good weather to play but also to fit in around the various holidays and other sports played in the region by expats.
So who is the team to beat?
The Dubai Dragons are looking to replicate the Lions and are currently going for a three peat and they are definitely the favourite and benchmark of the league. Matt Burn has recently taken over the Presidency from Nathan Burns and with his fresh enthusiasm no doubt their recruitment drive will assist them greatly.
Doha Kangaroos, who had an amazing year last year and just fell short to the Dragons, will be looking to build on their great year last year. They will again be led by Ben Simpson, Joe Barnes and Joe Lewczuk and will definitely be a force to be reckoned with. With Qatar continuing to build for the World Cup in 2022, we expect more expats to the region which will only benefit the club.
Dubai Dingoes have lost a few players this year, but they will be there and amongst it as always. They are always a very tough team, led by Ben Dawson and they can never be ignored. Again expect a very strong team and with Mo Darwish coaching again they can never be counted out.
Abu Dhabi Falcons, continue to rebuild after the loss of most of their 2011 premiership season players. This year they have taken another blow with 2011 premiership player, and league best and fairest, Stuart Brohaska announcing his retirement due to a chronic back injury. This is a huge hole which will take some filling. The club again will be led by player/coach Adam "Trigger" Trzesinski and after an intense recruitment drive in the off season the club has welcomed many new faces so hopefully they can gel quickly and ensure the Falcons are a force again.
Muscat Magpies this year strengthened their relationship with the local GAA team and will always give a great account of themselves. They are the team with the least amount of Aussies playing but this doesn't diminish their players. Their attack on the ball is great for the league and a real showcase for the attraction of AFL. Unlucky not to beat the Falcons last year and with their weekends now in line with the rest of the league, you can expect big things and improvement from the lads from Oman.
All in all it builds for an exciting season.
This year we have also redeveloped and revamped the website www.afl-me.com and created a new Facebook page and Twitter account to help spread the word. Also after each round we will be posting photos and also match reports on the website, so people can keep abreast of what is happening in the league.
We have also strengthened our relationships with the Australian Business Councils' in the region and we hope this will help foster improvement in the league from new players and sponsors.
As we get closer to the event, World Footy News continues its series of articles looking at the preparation and prospects of the various nations competing at this year’s Axios Euro Cup in Bordeaux. This time we look at the story of the French national team, and host nation. Thomas Urban, President of the Comitê National de Football Australien, gives us a rundown.
“This season has been good to the French League. Seven teams were involved in the championship and football starts to be known in cities where we have clubs. We hope that this Euro Cup will be a chance for us to shine in the country and not just Bordeaux Bombers but every club will take benefit of it.”
“After a big win in the ANZAC game where the majority of the Euro squad played as a test, the game against Germany revealed some good elements. We have the chance to organize the cup and bring our best players. The boys are experienced - some have been playing in French team for 3-4 years. The new guys want to prove that they deserve their selection in the team. We have the chance to be supported by every member of the league.”
“The captain, Grégoire Patacq, will share his experience of the Titans and Continental to help new boys. We have guys who know each other and have automatism. Unfortunately Wilfried Houvion, Legion player, has gone to Canada for a year and will not be with us.”
The squad is:
Patacq, Marc Antoine
“We were disappointed last year because we played poorly against our opponent whereas we had the potential to bring a better result. This year is a home game and we want to honour our friends, family, sponsors and fans for their support. It is a short time[frame for] games so everything is possible. We are in the group of death (presumably meaning they are in the same pool as last year’s Euro Cup winners, Ireland, and Euro Plate winners, the up and coming Norway) but who knows.”
The Final Word:
“The Axios Euro Cup in Bordeaux is a great opportunity for football to grow in France. We currently have 7 clubs, but this year already Perpignan rose up and we founded a team in Lyon. We have some contacts in 3 other cities. It is just the beginning.”
It’s almost time for the players to run out onto the fields at St Medard-en-Jalles. As the opening siren gets closer, World Footy News continues its series of articles looking at the preparation and prospects of the various nations competing at this year’s Axios Euro Cup in Bordeaux. This time we look at the story of the Spanish national team. Dani Ribas from the Spanish Bulls gives us a brief rundown.
“The 2013 season did not see new growth, but a consolidation of the game from last year. Unfortunately there’s no league in Spain [or] new teams, although we are working on that. It’s hard to recruit new people if you cannot promise them regular matches against other teams. Basically, we are the same squad as previous Euro Cup editions.”
“The preparation for the tournament has not been as successful as expected, training in August in Spain is very hard (too hot) and most players were on holidays. Moreover, we don't have an own field and sometimes the place where we train is not available.”
“We are trying to recruit new players but it's not easy if you don't have a regular league. One of these new recruitments will play in Euro Cup for the first time, Victoriano Darias.”
“As this year the Euro Cup is held in Bordeaux we are going there by car, trying to make it cheaper because we don't receive any kind of grant or financial aid, we have to pay all expenses ourselves. Our main goal is to play good footy matches, enjoy, and try to finish between 4th and 7th place. We hope to win at least 2 games.”
The Final Word:
Just to have Spain at the tournament is an achievement and a positive step forward for Spanish football and other nations across the Iberian Peninsula. Last year saw a win against the Czech team before losses to Ireland and Finland in the pool games. They then defeated Wales in the semi- final of the Euro Bowl. So two wins is again possible if they can upset either Austria, Italy or both. ...
Every year since 2005 World Footy News has displayed an extensive list of Grand Final Parties around the world. And with the 2013 AFL Grand Final being played next Saturday between Hawthorn and Fremantle we once again call for clubs around the world to send details of your party so that fans of the game in your city can watch the big game with you.
You can either post details as a comment below (you must register before you are able to post a comment) or email firstname.lastname@example.org - all these details will be collated as per previous years.
28 September 2013 @ 6:00am Phone: 491711986295
Breakfast with live coverage opf the game. Full breakfast willo be avaliable for purchase.
Please contact us and let me know if you are planning to attend. email@example.com All ages welcome
Saturday 28th September doors open 7am.
Get on down to Nasimi Beach, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai with Large Screens, Aussie BBQ Breakfast, Four’n Twenty meat pies and everyone’s favourites; Lamingtons!
Amazing Prizes to be won; including Qantas flights, OSN Packages & Signed AFL jumpers and more..
Book early to avoid missing out!
www.adcduae.com/events Entry Adults Members AED 150, Non Members AED 180. Entry Kids Age 3-12 AED 75, Under 3 - Free.
Boston Demons Grand Final Party @ Kings Boston Ph 617-266-2695 - 50 Dalton Street
27 September 2013 starting 9pm.
Contact e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the Boston Demons at the only LIVE Grand Final Event in Boston. Bars shut down at 2AM in Boston, and while the alcohol will stop at that time the venue will stay open until the final siren. Meat pies and sausage rolls from KO Pies for sale and the best environment you'll find in New England. Come join both Australians and Americans watch the Grand Final as you would in Australia, with a beer, pies, and plenty of mates. $10 at the door goes to putting on the event and supporting Australian Rules Football in Boston. 21 and over only please.
Nashville Kanagaroos Grand Final Party @ Jed's Sports Bar and Grille. 114 28th Avenue North, Nashville, TN
Friday Sept 27th at 11.30PM.
Come and join the Nashville Kangaroos Australian Football team watch the 2013 AFL Grand Final. Free admission with drinks specials at a fantastic local sports bar to watch the greatest game on earth. Dress casual or in football colors and be ready to cheer!
$10 cover charge gets you a raffle ticket (and a warm fuzzy feeling for supporting the club).
Kick-off is at around 11.30pm, Friday the 27th, but the festivities start from 7.30pm with a preliminary final usually shown to warm up before the big event.
Poneke Rugby Club 3 Kilbirnie Crescent, Kilbirnie Wellington
From noon there is the opportunity to play AFL 9s, or KiwiKick for kids 13 and under. All touch (no tackle). Training provided. Meet at the clubrooms at noon.
The AFL Grand Final itself kicks off at 4.30pm. Watch live in the Poneke club rooms. Bar open from 3.00pm, food available, and there will be a pick the score competition.
For more information contact James Terry: email@example.com; 021 411 449
The England Dragonslayers are European 9-a-side champions, after defeating hosts France in the final of the 2013 Axios Euro Cup held in Bordeaux yesterday.
The bronze went to Croatia, who defeated Italy in the third-place playoff.
Full tournament report will appear in the coming days! ...
With the Euro Cup finished for another year, some teams are going home happy, some disappointed. That is the nature of any competitive sport. However, the individual performances can probably only be truly measured against the expectations of the teams themselves. In subsequent articles this may become more clear, however our starting point for a review is based on a cold, hard statistical analysis of results.
Below is a nation by nation look at performances. As an exercise, anyone interested in how this sits with the teams' hopes can read the series of preview articles published over the past few weeks, where nations listed their goals for the Axios Euro Cup.
Tournament winners, and deservingly so. England remained undefeated for the tournament. Comfortable wins in the round matches, and eventually in the final, though they were lucky to survive a scare in their 6 point win against Croatia in the semi-final. A very thorough and determined performance from the Dragonslayers, and deserved champions.
A tremendous effort by the host nation to reach the final and become runners-up to the clinical English team. A tough 15 point win against the underrated Norwegian team was followed by perhaps the upset of the tournament when they defeated the reigning champions, Ireland, by just 1 point. A tough slog against Italy saw a 19 point win before going down in the final. After winning the Euro Bowl and 5th place last year, the French have improved enormously to finish second this year in a boost for French football.
Did almost everything right, and unlucky not to finish higher. A big win against the Crusaders, and a tougher victory against Finland in the round matches was a solid start. Lost by a solitary goal to England before convincingly beating Italy in the battle for third place. Possibly disappointed that they didn’t finish higher, the Croatian Knights should be proud of their performance.
Two impressive wins against Austria and Spain in the round matches was a good start for the Italian team. Lost remaining games to the two sides that eventually finished second and third, kicking the highest losing scores of those rounds in the process. This was proof that they were a tough side with a never say die attitude. They didn’t win the tournament as they might have hoped, but certainly played four tough, entertaining matches.
The Warriors won their games against Finland (by 12 goals), Spain (by 12 goals) and Norway (by 11 goals). But their one point loss in an upset to France consigned the Irish team to fighting for the Euro Bowl instead of the Euro Cup, which they did go on to win. Will possibly see this as a disappointing result, but this was an impressive, and at times devastating, effort over the four games nonetheless. Will be driven to greater heights next year.
The Icebreakers thumped the Crusaders and lost to the Croatians in their round matches. A huge win over Iceland followed before being run over by a revenge seeking Irish team in the battle for the Euro Cup. Overall their 6th place result is their best since 2008, so the Finland team would be pleased with their performance in Bordeaux.
A solid win over Austria coupled with a fighting loss to Italy saw Spain earn immediate respect in the round matches. A heavy loss to a marauding Irish team was followed by another strong win over Iceland for a 50/50 return at the tournament. Dani Ribas had stated pre-tournament that they wanted to finish between 4th and 7th and win 2 games. Mission accomplished, and a great result for a side that spends little time together and less time playing at an international level.
The Ravens started the tournament in fine style with a big win against Catalunya, then a heavy loss to eventual tournament winners, England, in the pool matches. Losses to Spain and Finland consigned Iceland to an 8th placing. In one sense, Iceland have stayed much the same as last year on win/loss ratio, but 8th position is their best ever result in this tournament, so overall Iceland can take great pride and heart from their efforts.
The Avalanche took a while to rumble into action with losses to two tough competitors in Spain and Italy during the round matches. Persistence is a great virtue, however, and the Austrian team found great fight to hold out Norway by five points in the semi-final round before defeating the unpredictable Crusaders narrowly to win the Euro Plate. They may not have clawed out of the lower rungs of the ladder as hoped, but the Euro Plate will look good in their display cabinet.
Two heavy losses to Finland and Croatia in the round matches suggested that the Crusaders might simply make up the numbers at Bordeaux. But a 71 point win against Catalunya was enough for them to challenge for the Euro Plate where they pushed Austria right to the end, losing the Plate final by just seven points. Certainly must have been a thrill for their players to finish the tournament so strongly.
Having arguably the toughest draw, Norway’s tournament started with two losses to host nation, and eventual runner-up, France as well as reigning title holder, Ireland. A heartbreaking 5 point loss to Austria prevented Norway from taking out back to back Euro Plates, but a nine goal hammering of Catalunya was a good way to finish the event and stay clear of last place. They may not have equalled or exceeded last year’s efforts as hoped, but they were competitive against good teams and have certainly developed talent ready for next year’s International Cup in Melbourne.
Four heavy losses might suggest that the Catalunya team campaign was unsuccessful, yet their 12th placing is their best since 2008, albeit with a number of nations missing this year. But the measure of success for this squad was their ability to simply be at the event and expose their players to international footy again. If that effort can translate to more interest and more players, then the tournament will have been a huge success.
It's now less than a year until the 2014 AFL International Cup and one of the exciting features every three years is the anticipation of new footy nations making their Cup debut. With rapid growth over recent tournaments it's possible there will be a plateauing in new teams, but if Kashif Bouns gets his way we'll see the entry of the Pakistan Shaheens to represent that country for the first time.
Kashif is an AFL Multicultural Officer but takes his passion for the game and his original homeland beyond business hours.
"I have been working in Football for last three years and when I first came across the International Cup in 2011, I straightaway dreamt of entering a Pakistani team, however it just remained a dream until, Tony Woods and Peter Romaniw (AFL International section) who work with me in Game Development department started preparing for the 2014 tournament. I had a chat with them and understood what the requirements were. I had some meeting with the leaders in Pakistani community and also touched base with Ash Nugent (President of Masala Football Club, a key off field member of the IC11 Indian team and a worldfootynews.com alumnus) before I really got going".
"Ash has been a great resource for me, and although he has just become a proud father he has always been keen to offer his advice. I also had a chat with Sudip (Chakraborty) from AFL India and we have been trying to make time for a Skype hook up to discuss recent progress in Islamabad. I will really appreciate if you or Shane could get me in touch with those behind the Islamabad initiative."
With the AFL having the usual full-side footy tournament but an adjunct AFL9's event for newer nations, Pakistan will need to decide which to enter.
"We are aiming for a full side at this stage but considering none of the 23 boys who turned up at our first training session had ever played footy it will be a bit of challenge but our aim is still to field a full side and we believe we can make it happen and the nomination forms that has been filled with the AFL has also requested for a full side".
With Kashif and IC14 in Melbourne that city is the obvious initial recruiting area, but the Shaheens are open to players from across all of Australia and Pakistan. WFN has previously reported on teams in Pakistan's Swat Valley and more recently there was a report at the formation of AFL Asia that Islamabad has the beginings of a club.
"We will be looking to recruit Pakistanis from all over Australia at this stage, those from Melbourne will attend the group training sessions while players from interstate will be encouraged to join and train with their local footy clubs, they can then join the team for the tournament.
I have tried contacting the team in Swat a few times but haven’t heard from them. I also had a chat with Tony Woods and his department and they have no idea about AFL Pakistan at this stage, however we are willing to work with anyone who wants to grow the game in Pakistan and would be happy to lend a helping hand, the idea is to have a Pakistani based team participate in 2017 International Cup".
Of course the International Cup is more than just football. It brings together so many nations and cultures and hopefully teaches us all a little about each other. One suspects this has already been a success for Pakistan as we learn about the emblem chosen for their national Australian football side. Kashif explains:
"The word Shaheen means peregrine falcon, a bird immortalised in poetry and the hearts of many Pakistanis by the great poet, Dr. Allama Iqbal, for its relatively small size but immense strength and the ability to strike its prey from a great height. It carries the patriotic bond that their national poet influenced in this nation for freedom of their existence in world on the basis of which later new state Pakistan came in to being.
The symbol of the “Shaheen” has a long history in Pakistan. It is a part of the official emblem of the Pakistani Air Force and as such is a very recognised and powerful symbol of immense courage. It is also the state bird of Pakistan.
The AFL Pakistan team members are keen to adopt the same vision of courage and strength and the ability to believe in themselves and the power to achieve any goals they set their hearts and minds to. The name was selected after wide consultation and recommendations from the broader Pakistani Community in Australia".
We'll have more on the Pakistan Shaheens in the coming weeks.
The 31st October 2013 marked a historic day for the Australian Rules Football Association of India (ARFAI). A successful bid for the Australian Sports Outreach Programme (ASOP) grant resulted in the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and the AFL Headquarters signing an agreement to pass the grant in favour of ARFAI. The grant will help the ARFAI develop Aussie Rules Football in India with help from partner organisation Magic Bus - India.
The launch of the agreement was hosted at the Australian High Commission in Delhi. The grant was passed to assist focused development of Footy in the states of Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Jharkhand. ARFAI in this period will be working in close quarters with Magic Bus, India which is an international sport NGO helping unprivileged children using sports as a medium to relay social messages. Apart from the social programmes, ARFAI will also engage in educational programmes in other states as well through the India chapter of Global Community Sports (GSC) which is a company conducting educational and global cultural exchange programmes using Footy as the medium.
The 10 months long programme was inaugurated by the Australian Deputy High Commissioner, Bernard Philip. Bernard, a Richmond Tigers fan himself, was very forthcoming in his desire to give the ARFAI initiative all the support it craved for. The event was also attended by Rekha Dey, the ASOP India Coordinator. The ARFAI Secretary General, Sudip Chakraborty for whom it was a momentous event, spoke of his journey for the past 5 years which has seen him travel the length and breadth of the nation trying to promote the sport in India, with nothing but his passion for the sport to drive him on. Sudip thanked ASOP for giving ARFAI the opportunity to employ 7 development officers (including himself), who in the next 1 year will develop Footy in India under a professional setup.
The Australian Trade Commissioner, Tom Calder and Pratik Kumar, CEO of Magic Bus India also graced the occasion. Novy Kapadia, renowned sports journalist in India, was special guest at the launch. Mr. Kapadia spoke of the importance of grass-root development in sports and how he thought Footy could be a part in the process. The event, which was covered by various national media houses, also hosted Indian and Australian corporate big-shots who were invited to support ARFAI endeavours in the future. Incidentally, Tinku Grewal of Musashi India announced his support for ARFAI henceforth to start off with in-kind sponsorship and he expressed his interest to support Aussie Rules in India in a bigger way in the future. It would appear that Sudip’s efforts for the past 5 years have finally born concrete fruits. The grant will no doubt go a long way in helping ARFAI put the wheels in motion. But the hard work now lies ahead and Footy looks to grow leaps and bound with continued support.
Having been handed a tough draw in the semi-final, DCU were massive underdogs heading in against UCC Bombers, whose squad more than doubled the numbers of DCU’s. However, it was DCU who got off to the better start, with forward Aidan McGarrity scoring the first goal of the game and, in turn, becoming the first goal-scorer in DCU ARFC history.
The tide then began to turn in UCC’s favour; aided by a strong wind, they built up an insatiable lead in the first quarter. DCU’s inexperience with the oval ball told in the second quarter, when they failed to score the goals that their hard work and smart play deserved, kicking several behinds along with three more goals, one from team captain Caoilte Ó Baoill and two from lively forward Michael Kitching. UCC’s experience and greater numbers prevailed in the second half with the Cork team running out winners on a scoreline of 8-6 (54) to 4-7 (31).
Having suffered defeat in the semi-final, DCU were placed in the third-place playoff against NRC Eagles, who had their semi-final against Oxford. Conditions worsened before the game, with a downpour of rain coming to join the strong wind that blew diagonally across the field.
The game itself was not a spectacle, owing mainly to the awful conditions in which it was played. Handling issues with the wet ball made the game almost impossible to play, but both teams battled hard, with NRC going in leading at the half-time break having benefitted from the direction of the wind.
DCU had cause for optimism entering the second half, but again, they failed to capitalise on their chances and kicked a large number of behinds instead of converting their chances into goals. Despite the courageous and battling displays of midfield men Adam Page and Anthony Waters, DCU were condemned to another double-digit defeat, due mainly to the superior footballing abilities of the Eagles.
Speaking to the team after the game, coach John ‘Toasty’ Enright was quick to praise his charges for the effort and endeavour. He also told the team how proud he was of them, having started training just two weeks ago, to be able to be competitive against a team full of Irish internationals in the form of UCC.
Enright was also quick to praise team captain and club chairman Ó Baoill for his part in the day, calling the Irish international a “credit to his club, his college and his family.” Speaking post match, Ó Baoill was disappointed but not downtrodden, saying all the team needed was “a few games to gel.”
DCU’s representation did not stop after the third-place playoff, with Ó Baoill, Page and Myles Traenor playing for Oxford in the final as the English side lacked the required number of players. Despite the best efforts of the DCU men, UCC ran out champions on a scoreline of 7-11 (53) to 3-4 (22) in the rain.
Although there was no collective success for DCU at the Fitzpatrick Cup, there was some individual success, with Ó Baoill given the competition’s Best & Fairest Award, Australian Rules’ equivalent of a player of the tournament award. The award was presented in the company of AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick.
Image Credit: Derek Clarke
Carlton will list it's second Irish International rookie this year during the upcoming draft period with Ciaran Sheehan signed to join the club after Ciaran Byrne also signed up in August. Most readers here may remember Sheehan from the dominant Irish team that defeated the Australians in the recent International Rules series in Ireland.
Those with a longer memory will also recall the 18 year old Cork youngster coming to Carlton for a trial in 2009 before knocking back a rookie list spot and remaining in Ireland.
With Irish players in Setanta o'hAilpin and Niall McKeever's AFL careers looking to be over after being delisted by their clubs and Ciaran Kilkenny not making it past Hawthorn's preseason - the AFL would look like having the same number of Irishmen as the 2013 season (with Port Adelaide signing up Daniel Flynn).
But there is also still some hope that the number will increase, as Sean Hurley who attended the 2012 AFL Draft combine could be offered an International Rookie spot by Fremantle after he trials with the club between now and the listing deadlines.
Jason Lassey of Bigfooty Media interviews Finland AFL's President Janne Hokkonen.
You can read the text version of the interview here. ...
Always on the lookout for news on potential new teams or destinations playing Australian Rules football, I stumbled across the article below about our home grown game being played in Nepal at the base of Mt Everest.
There are many photos of people brandishing their scarves in club colours at one of the base camps or locations prior to their ascent. There is even the occasional photo of someone kicking a ball with the mountain as a backdrop. But this article was different. It looked at the very embryonic beginnings of something that one day may grow.
The following article is written by Sydney and Amsterdam based Richard Tulloch, renowned writer of books, plays, film and travel articles for younger audiences, as well as being best known for writing 150 episodes of Bananas In Pajamas. Richard has kindly allowed us to reproduce the article.
"We’ve been doing our bit to help the march of the greatest game on earth – AFL or Aussie Rules football – across the planet. I can reliably report that it was football played at the highest level – 3880 metres in fact, with Mt Everest as a backdrop.
The Thyangboche Yaks are fearless, agile and incredibly fit, but they still have a way to go in developing basic skills in kicking and hand-balling, and their ground needs a bit of levelling. When the ball goes out of bounds on the western side of the field, the boundary umpire needs to scramble down through the bushes, clear cows out of the way and grab the ball before it winds up in the river.
Once supercoach Kevin Sheedy has finished setting up his new team in western Sydney, he could do worse than head for the hills of Nepal to give the Yaks a few pointers. A Nepali premiership-winning team may be some years off, but we can assure Sheeds he’ll have a good time."
As a point of interest, further investigations into the ongoing interest in the game in Nepal unearthed this gem of a link about two eleven year old boys and their journey with an Adelaide Crows footy and a cricket bat. Whilst their motivation is humanitarian, it is also another small piece in a puzzle of Australian Rules footy creeping into Nepal. They can be seen at the following link showing the game to kids in Kathmandu. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzPTQZcqrb4
Should we find any further updates on the Thyangboche Yaks Australian Rules football team’s progress, World Footy News will provide a follow up story.
To read more of Richard’s work, go to: http://richardtullochwriter.com ...
Jason Lassey of Bigfooty Media interviews AFL Asia's President Phil Johns.
You can read the text version of the interview here. ...
I recall the 1981 VFL season so well. After six rounds, Essendon sat with a solitary win and faced the prospect of a lean year. Things changed, however, and they won their next 15 matches in succession to reach the finals. It was certainly strong evidence that much can change as a season progresses, and a positive attitude can turn things around.
However, after six rounds, certain patterns can be seen which give an indication of what is to come and the Northern Territory Football League is at that stage now. One third of the season played and already there are some strong themes emerging. Following is a brief on each of the Premier League sides so far this season in current ladder position which can be mulled over at leisure.
Undefeated and have put every team to the sword so far. Last year’s premiers, and the most successful NTFL team, are hell bent on back to back flags. There is little to suggest that they will be stopped to date, though their 21 point win over Wanderers in a low scoring match proved that they can be contained. Clearly flag favourites.
By far the biggest improver in season 2013/4. After missing last year’s finals, the Tigers have impressed with their only loss being to St Mary’s, and having recorded some impressive big wins along the way so far. On current form they appear certain to play a big part in the finals this season.
Have also improved this season and like Nightcliff have lost only once this season – to St Mary’s also. Started the season with a bye, but have been remarkably consistent since, even holding St Mary’s to their lowest score for the year. Certainly appear finals bound again in 2013/4.
After a patchy start – an impressive first up win against Nightcliff, then successive losses – they have since enjoyed two big wins, albeit against two of the bottom sides. Need to make a statement in upcoming games against St Mary’s and Tiwi Bombers to avoid an ongoing battle for a finals berth.
Have enjoyed a very consistent season to date – three wins and two relatively close losses. Yet to play either of last year’s grand finalists, but have already put themselves into finals contention should they hold the same course. A last start hammering of Palmerston would give them some added zip in the lead-up to the Christmas break.
Far too early to dismiss this team, but two wins from their five starts has been less than spectacular. A big win against Palmerston and a narrow win against Buffaloes is negated by emphatic losses to St Mary’s and Nightcliff. Liam Jurrah’s addition to the squad may be a catalyst for change, but that change needs to hurry before the Tiwi side falls behind others.
Their eight game 2013 experiment is almost complete. With their expanded participation this season they have reached a goal of winning one game and almost winning a second. Their recent win against Buffaloes would give them confidence – and incentive – to see out their season with back to back wins against the struggling Tiwi Bombers and Palmerston Magpies.
A strong first up win against Palmerston has been negated by a series of heavy defeats in their last three outings. No team should be dismissed after just 6 rounds (as shown in the introduction to this article) but Buffaloes need to find a spark and quickly to avoid a wooden spoon shootout with Palmerston.
The Magpies pushed the Buffaloes in a narrow loss to open their season, but since then they have struggled against all comers. They need something significant to alter the course of their season, and their Round 8 match against the Redtails might jump start them. If not, this is shaping as a long season for the boys from Palmerston.
World Footy News will look closely at the season again at the Christmas/New Year break. As Essendon proved in 1981, things can change. But it is equally true that the patterns seen so far this season are strong pointers to the remainder of the season. Time will tell.
The Vietnam Swans have won a fourth consecutive Indochina Cup, overcoming the Thailand Tigers, Lao Elephants and Cambodian Eagles in Phnom Penh in the seventh instalment of the event.
The round robin tournament was played in the 18-a-side format, with the Swans finishing undefeated on top with an impressive percentage of 282%.
The Eagles finished second with two wins and one loss, the Tigers finished third with only a win over the Elephants, and the Elephants finished fourth without a win.
This is the second consecutive year that Cambodia have had to settle for second position, despite some keys players coming back from injury.
Although leaving without a win, the tournament was an incredible achievement for the Lao Elephants, which managed to get 11 local Laotians to take the 15 hour bus ride down to play in Phnom Penh.
With such numbers coming out of Laos, the Elephants could become a future powerhouse in the Indochina Cup, as the locals gain experience and bridge the gap between themselves and the Australian expats.
The hosting Cambodian side also managed to field four locals.
With four consecutive titles, the Vietnam Swans will have a target on their backs, as the other sides will be hungry to make sure they do not get their fifth consecutive title next year.
The following article is courtesy of Zain Nabi. It follows the first match by the squad being assembled in Melbourne to represent Pakistan at the 2014 International Cup. This truly is a case of the first tentative steps towards international competition for a new footy nation.
Lo and behold! Perfect kicks, meticulous interceptions, scintillating mark, commendable team work, and, of course, crowd support were the highlights of the game as Shaheens took on their first actual opponents, Just Play – a local football team, and defeated them 44-26 under the overcast conditions at Princes Park Carlton.
It was the first real test of the relentless training sessions that the players had been through during the past couple of months. The Shaheens carried their skills from the training on to the playing field to display what Coach Andrew termed ‘an outstanding performance’.
“It is fantastic to see them performing like that,” he said during the post-game interview. “Honestly, I had not expected to see such professional approach from the players, but they surprised me.”
Before the game, the players had a brief warm-up session after which the game’s squad was announced. Nine players made it to the starting field while six were named as replacements. Coach Andrew named Khurram Mehdi the captain of the team. Faraz Kahn made history when he kicked the first ever goal for Pakistan Shaheens in any form of Australian Football.
The game was played as a part of the Cadbury AFL 9s social competition, AFL 9’s is a touch only version of AFL football. It is played outdoors on a rectangular field and requires the usual AFL skills, minus the tackling. You can kick goals, lay off a quick handball and take a diving mark. The Shaheens will play a total of 10 games as a part of the competition in preparation for their inaugural AFL International cup. Each week, they will start with a different playing squad and a new captain. The purpose of this exercise is to evaluate every player in a variety of roles and ascertain their role as the Shaheens make a push for the AFL International Cup.
Today’s victory has set high expectations for the rest of the games. Shaheens Founder Kashif Bouns, whose jubilant presence on the sidelines of the game was hard to ignore, is delighted on the team’s prospects.
“I am very proud of my team,” he said. “This victory shows we have talent and potential to make it big and we will make our nation proud.”
The Shaheens will play their next game on Monday, November 18. Below is the starting line-up of Shaheens for the first game:
F: Usama Khan Faraz Khan & Farrukh salahuddin
M: Bilal Khan, Mohammad Mohammad Ayaz & Zain Siddiqui
B Atta Khan, Jaffar Mehdi & Khurram Mehdi
IC Huzaifa Memon, Furqan Aslam, Omer Farooq, Hamid Shah, Noman Qureshi and Ovais Rehman
AFL 9’s Coach: Andrew Clarke, AFL 9’s Assistant Coach: Wassim Rafihi
An an update from their Facebook page:
Last night meeting was honoured by the presence of Consulate General Abdul Aziz Uqaili and his colleagues. Kashif Bouns presented the Pakistan Shaheens' framework and progress of last nine weeks. Honourable Abdul Aziz Uqaili ensured his and Pakistan High Commission's support to Pakistan Shaheens and congratulated team on their debut match win against local Aussie team.
Honourable Consulate General expressed his appreciation in the state of amusement; "I'm surprised to see boys winning their first match against local Aussie team with only nine weeks of training".
The following story looks at the Australian Rules football scene in Russia. It has been given to World Footy news to reproduce as a way of highlighting the tremendous work by Roger Scott and his crew to build the game from scratch in a country not usually associated with the sport.
Roger Scott began learning Russian while still in Australia. He works in commercial real estate in Moscow, and on Sundays teaches all those interested how to play Australian football, a game little known in Russia.
Moscow. One of the first warm days in August. At a small stadium in Lefortovo park, there are two dozen immigrant workers from Central Asia playing football (soccer), and several more people playing frisbee on the edge of the field. At five in the afternoon they are replaced by strongly built guys, about eight of them, carrying an oval ball.
"Whenever you come here, somebody is always playing football (soccer): in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening. Were there more of us, we would have just occupied this field and that's it," one of them says with a slight accent. The playing field in Lefortovo is free, therefore clashes of certain "subcultures" are inevitable.
The guy with an accent is called Roger Scott. "Like the rabbit," he says, when we are introduced. Roger is from Australia, but has been living in Russia for eight years already.
He has a double-headed eagle tattooed on his right shoulder. "It helps in difficult situations with the police. Although I don't have to show it that often these days, Moscow has become more civilised," he says, with a faint nostalgia in his tone.
Roger began learning Russian while still in Australia. He works in commercial real estate in Moscow, and on Sundays teaches all those interested how to play Australian football, a game little known in Russia.
"When I was a kid, I did not play very well. But in Russia I began to miss Australian football. I ordered a ball on the Internet and had it sent over from Europe. Then I began to look for people. It may have helped that the Eurosport TV channel in Russia began to show footy. One of the first to come was Fyodor, who fell in love with the game at first sight. “He is now in charge of the Russian Federation of Australian Football," says Roger.
Despite this being a game associated with a high risk of injury, the training session of the Moscow lovers of this Australian sport is held in a friendly atmosphere. Although from time to time it is interrupted by football lovers from Central Asia, violating the implicit rule on demarcating "the spheres of influence".
"We want to run, to mess around,” says Sergey from the Space Pirates team. In addition to footy, he also plays in an amateur rugby club, Forum. “Compared with rugby, Australian football is more fun, as it were. We are given a bit more freedom here."
The Russian footy league is at its inception. In addition to the Pirates, there are two more adult teams and two youth ones. When recruiting new players, Roger is looking for people for whom Australian football could become their main sport pursuit: he thinks it is easier to teach somebody from scratch rather than retrain rugby players.
Roger says three training sessions are enough to build one's confidence on the playing field. Newcomers join the "draft" and become members of one of the existing teams.
"We are not looking for people with some extraordinary physical features or abilities. Big, small, medium-height – there is a place for everybody. We just want train fitness and physical form. We have a 17-old guy playing with us and he is doing just fine: getting the ball, dodging opponents, and it's hard to catch him," says Roger.
Australian football is taking root not only in Moscow, but in Yaroslavl and Novokuznetsk too. Overall, there are some 100 people trying to play it. It is not yet possible to unite them, although the idea is there. "I just don't have enough time and money to go to those other places, Russia is too big," Roger explains.
The main events so far are local tournaments. The key ones are: the Gagarin Cup and the Concrete and Steel Cup. They involve all the five Moscow-based teams. In-between competitions, Space Pirates, Shooters and Thrashers hold demonstration games.
Two years ago, ahead of the European championship, a team called Russian Tsars was set up, Russia's national team, mainly comprised of Moscow players. The name was invented by Roger and the uniforms were ordered from Ireland. The project was sponsored by an Englishman, who paid for the team's trip to the championship.
After three months of training, Russian Tsars came the 10th among 18 teams, but since then they have not had any big games, since the sponsor has left Russia. But still they are planning to take part in Euro-2014 and even hope to come up in the top five teams there.
Roger and his teammates use every opportunity to involve as many people in the game as possible. A week after another training session in Moscow's Sokolniki park, there was a festival of Australian culture. In addition to master classes in boomerang throwing and country dancing, there were several lessons in Australian football there.
After an hour-long training session culminating in a brief but quite energetic game, Roger invites all those attending to leave their phone number.
“Do come to our training sessions”, he tells a guy in spectacles.
“It's too far for me, I am from Sergiyev Posad.”
“Are you? Well, why don't you set up a league there then?”
At moments like these Roger very much looks like a trailblazer. This is what English sailors must have been like when over 100 years ago they infected the whole of the world with the virus called football.
First published in Russian by Moskovskie Novosti.
August 27, 2013 Yaroslav Kulemin, Moscow News. Reproduced with the permission of Yaroslav Kulemin, Moscow News.