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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    Tash Gunawardana interviewed the GWS Giants captain Amanda Farrugia ahead of the 2018 AFLW season that starts on February the 2nd. Good luck to Amanda in her second season as captain of the GWS Giants 

    When growing up, what other sports did you play other than Aussie Rules?

    Growing up, I did not actually play Aussie Rules because I did not know that there was a pathway for girls. So I played basketball for the majority of my school life and started Touch Football in high school also. 

    Has it always been your dream to play professional football when a child or did you have other dreams as well?

    I was definitely not a dreamer as a kid. I was very content in the moment, playing basketball at lunch time and on weekends and being a diligent academic student. Therefore, where I am now feels like a dream I never thought possible.

    How long have you been playing football for?

    I am fairly new to the game and have only been playing since 2011.

    What is your biggest sporting accomplishment?

    Being awarded the captaincy of the Giants team in the inaugural season was a wonderful personal highlight. I have no doubt this would be surpassed but winning an AFLW premiership. Sharing experiences with your team mates makes them much more memorable. We will just have to see how the season unfolds.

    How do you prepare for a football match?

    I like to keep pre game preparation very consistent and routine. I eat the same foods, stretch/activate in the same order and ensure I get a really good night’s sleep.

    What is your go to meal after a football match?

    If I am allowed, I love to refuel with pizza! Research has been done to show it provides excellent nutrition post match. I just need to convince my dietician!

    What do you like most about being the captain of the GWS Giants women’s team?

    Having the profile of captain gives me greater leverage to have a positive impact in areas that I am passionate about. For example the promotion of the game amongst culturally diverse young people and particularly, the girls who attend my school. Being a full time teacher and being raised in western Sydney sends a strong message to young people that your background, age, sex or socioeconomic status are not barriers to the heights you can reach.

    Describe what it is like to be a GWS Giants women’s footballer?

    It is a privilege because when you play for the Giants, there is investment in you not only as a footy player, but as a person. Being a member of the Giants family enhances all aspects of your life.

    Who is an AFL player past and/or present you model your game on?

    I try and take little things away from lots of different players. It is great to watch Callan Ward, Joel Selwood and Tom Scully go about their work. Their courage, athleticism and work ethic are very admirable.

    Would you like to play in another football position other than defender in the AFLW 2018 season for the GWS Giants?

    Footy players play roles for their team whether you start on the bench or are the best player in the team, you have an important job to do. I am happy to play anywhere at all to be honest with you!

    Who has been the player or players you have learnt the most from in your first season at the GWS Giants?

    Every player has offered something that has acted as a learning experience. The young girls are encouraged to speak up and offer their ideas at all times because every player has a fresh take on things. Our 2017 Best and Fairest winner, Jess Dal Pos has certainly given great insights on her experiences playing on some of the league’s best midfielders. She has a great footy brain!

    Which one of your coaches has had the biggest impact on your football career?

    My club footy coach, Dan Ranson, has been an avid supporter of my footy journey since its inception. He has always encouraged me to pursue opportunities and provided copious amounts of positive feedback. At the Giants, it is fair to say Alan McConnell has been a mentor for each of us. His knowledge of the game and desire to challenge each of us to be better people and better players is relentless.

    How do you balance your life, work and football commitments?

    It is difficult at times but when you love what you do, you make it work. I have an excellent husband who is a huge Giants fan and a fabulous Principal who regularly allows me to travel and undertake AFLW commitments during school time. A big key is having supportive people around you who believe in the value of what you do.

    Have you had any injuries in your football career, if so what are they?

    Tore my ACL in 2012, which required a knee reconstruction. Broken nose requiring surgery in 2014.

    Which player from the GWS Giants women’s team do you think will be the one to watch in the 2018 AFLW season?

    Courtney Gum. Strong, skillful and a superb team player. Can kick 40m off both feet and reads the game very well. Definitely excited to see her in action and I am very glad she is on my team!

                          All images courtesy GWS Giants ...


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    Two bright young talents from the USAFL’s Los Angeles Dragons are taking their talents across the Pacific: both Gabriel Martin del Campo and Sam Murphy will be competing in local Aussie rules leagues in the 2018 season.
     
    A member of the US Revolution squad, Martin del Campo (pictured left) primarily plays in the midfield or half-forward line and will be taking his talents to suburban Melbourne. Born and raised in Southern California, Martin del Campo leaves on January 19th and will play with the Black Rock Football Club, who compete in the Southern Football League’s Division 3. In addition to Aussie rules, Martin del Campo also played rugby union and soccer in his younger years. He is a physical and versatile player who excels on the disposals and clearances.
     
    Murphy (pictured right), meanwhile, left for Perth back in November to play with the West Perth Falcons in the West Australian Football League. The Falcons are based out of Joondalup in Perth’s northern suburbs and have produced a large number of AFL players in the past, including Mark LeCras and Nathan van Berlo.
     
    Murphy originally came to the Dragons as a ruckman/forward and is excited to have a chance to compete for a starring role with the Falcons. The Connecticut native has played for the Dragons since 2016 (winning Rookie of the Year honors that season) and was originally an American football player. Murphy was able to secure valuable connections before he left due to the influence of former Dragons coach John Fragomeni, a Perth native who has mentored some of the best American players in LA.
     
    Best of luck to both Murphy and Martin del Campo as they pursue their footy passions in Australia. Hopefully more American footy players will take advantage of similar opportunities in the future!  
     
    More footy content and other musings can be found here on Frederick's Blog ...

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    We welcome Yoshihiro Imagawa to our writing staff.  Yoshi is a huge St Kilda FC fan and has been a regular contributor to The Footy Almanac the past few years and is now assisting AFL Asia and AFL Japan to get their footy news out to the world. 

     On Friday, AFL Asia announced proudly and with delight that Hayley Leary had been appointed as AFL Asia AFLW Promotion and Development Officer for the 2018 season. Grown up in Melbourne and currently based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Hayley participated in the AFL Asia 2016 Asian Championship AFLW Exhibition match in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

    Her great experience in playing footy in the exhibition match drove her in co-founding the Malaysian Warriors Women's team in 2017. On Saturday, 20 January, the Malaysian women club will be playing against the Cambodia Apsaras in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

    The leadership, footy and family are all hand in hand at her household, as she is married to Josh Leary who is the 2017 Malaysian Warriors Asian Campion Co-coach and Warrior women's team Co-Coach.

    A great opportunity to train together for the Men's and Women's teams with the Women's team having upwards 20 players on track has been created, thanks to her and Malaysian Warriors leadership team. The women footballers represented countries from Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, UK, Scotland, Ireland, Iran, Philippines and importantly local Malaysians.

    “In starting any team you need to have the local surrounding support and we are so thankful to the Malaysian Warriors for getting behind the Warriors Women’s team. The support from both the President Shaun Di Gregorio and the Warriors coaches has allowed for a smoother transition for all women into the club”. Hayley told afl-asia.com.

    AFL Asia values Hayley's skills and experiences into moving forward in their areas of promoting and developing AFLW, in particular assisting other clubs looking to create AFLW teams for the first time and strategically assisting them through that embryo phase of recruiting new players to the club and initial administration process. Hayley takes her new role as a pay it forward type one, particularly after all the help and support she has received in starting up the Malaysian Warriors Women's team, and is looking forward to helping others out.

    Hayley's promoting and developing AFLW in Asia will be centred in the AFL Asia for the 2018 season, with a highlight of hosting AFL Asia's first ever AFLW Asian Championships on Saturday, 13 October alongside their tradition Asian Championships, being played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    AFL Asia will utilise Hayley's leadership skill set and vision for the game in order to regularly promote AFLW within Asia via their website and social media platforms, and ensure there is plenty of exposure for their new focus area in the build up to their first ever AFLW Asian Championships. ...


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    When a Darwin thunderstorm rolls into town, the electricity generated can provide some of nature’s most spectacular light shows. When those storms roll in over TIO Stadium on match night it can have an entirely different outcome. On Friday night, that is just what happened when an electrical storm hit the stadium, taking out light towers and causing the cancellation of further matches.

    The washout affected earlier division matches, but perhaps the biggest impact was the decision to split the four points between Southern Districts Crocs and Nightcliff Tigers. Whilst nothing can be done about nature’s fury, the weather took away the chance to watch first v second on the ladder in what might have been a grand final rehearsal. Significantly, however, Crocs remain three games clear of Tigers with four rounds to go before finals.


    In the first of the Saturday games, the Tiwi Bombers’ revival continued, downing Wanderers by 54 points and leaping into the top five. Whilst their run to the finals is tough – Tigers, Crocs, Saints and Waratah (all finals contenders), the spot in the top five is theirs to lose. With three wins and a draw from their past four games, the Bombers are in form – but they have to stay that way. Rather than blow teams away with an early power surge as in recent weeks, the Bombers kept a nagging Wanderers team at arm’s length until a six goal to two final quarter saw the result blow out somewhat.

    Waratah squandered a chance to secure their place in the top five when they went down to an inconsistent St Mary’s. In a game that Waratah were predicted to win by many, they couldn’t match the Saints’ “A” game when the chips were down. In contrast, St Mary’s have now slipped into fourth place, just ahead of the Bombers and relegating Waratah to sixth place. Waratah have a more favourable draw that the Bombers in coming weeks, but life would have been easier had they maintained last weekend’s form to down Saints. They didn’t, so now the pressure mounts.

    The Darwin Buffaloes defeated the Palmerston Magpies by 43 points in a low scoring game. Whilst the margin continued to creep away throughout the game, the Magpies were still less than five goals down at the final change and not without a chance. But the Buffaloes kept Palmerston to just one scoring shot in the final quarter – a lone goal - to stride away with a comfortable win and secure third place for the time being.

    Round 15 will see teams locked in the battle for finals places pushing hard. The Thursday night match will be a beauty between the Darwin Buffaloes and St Mary’s, both determined to lock in their finals chances, or at least improve them. Friday’s Australia Day clash will see Waratah determined to get back into the top five when they play Wanderers. Wanderers can still make the finals mathematically, though the reality is probably less optimistic. Top team, Crocs, meet bottom team Palmerston, also on Australia Day, whilst the fascinating clash between Nightcliff and the Tiwi Bombers might well be the match of the round.

    Final Scores:
    Southern Districts Crocs v Nightcliff Tigers (Washout – shared points)
    Tiwi Bombers 17 13 115 d Wanderers 8 13 61
    St Mary’s 16 11 107 d Waratah 9 7 61
    Darwin Buffaloes 12 11 83 d Palmerston Magpies 5 10 40

    Picture Credit - AFLNT (Twitter)


    ...

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     AFL Media Release

    Fans have the opportunity to be part of history as tickets to the inaugural AFLX tournaments go on sale today via X.afl.

     AFLX is a new and different version of Australian Football and has been designed to take the traditional game from oval grounds to rectangular fields.

     AFLX will still contain and showcase the unique and most thrilling aspects of Australian Football in a shortened format, with seven players on the field and three on the bench.

     

    The 2018 AFLX concept sees three cities host three tournaments across three separate days in February.

    Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney will host individual tournaments featuring all 18 AFL Clubs, beginning on Thursday February 15 at Hindmarsh Stadium.

    Each tournament will see six AFL clubs competing across two pool groups that culminate with the best teams competing in a tournament Grand Final.

    Fans will enjoy seven matches in total at each tournament, including the Grand Final, with each match consisting of two ten minute halves.

    AFL General Manager of China and Project Manager for AFLX Dave Stevenson said fans would experience the unexpected at the upcoming AFLX tournaments.

    “The 2018 AFLX tournaments promise to be a great family experience to enjoy with non-stop action exciting fans of all ages,” Mr Stevenson said.

    “AFLX will provide a different experience for fans and will see plenty of action with fireworks, DJs, in game commentary, roving performers, kids and family zones and giveaways a feature at all events.”

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

    Ten quick facts about AFLX

    1. 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.
    2. Two field umpires, two boundary umpires and one goal umpire at each end of the ground.
    3. Ten players per team, seven on field at all times and three on the interchange bench. No restrictions on player rotations.
    4. 10-minute quarters or halves depending on the tournament format.
    5. Free kick against for last touch out of bounds.
    6. Kick-ins from behind the goal line after all scores.
    7. No marks paid for backwards kicks (except in forward 40m area).
    8. Quarters commence with a ‘ball up’ in the centre and at least two players from each team starting inside the 40m arc.
    9. Free shot from forward 40m arc – directly in front for deliberate rushed behinds.
    10. 10-point super goals when goals kicked on the full from outside the 40m arc.

    2018 AFLX Tournament information is as follows:

    Thursday February 15

    6.10pm ACDT

    Hindmarsh Stadium – ADELAIDE

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

    Friday February 16

    6.40pm AEDT

    Etihad Stadium – MELBOURNE

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

    Saturday February 17

    4.10pm AEDT

    Allianz Stadium – SYDNEY

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

     The 2018 AFLX Tournament ticketing information is as follows:

    Adult - $15

    Concession - $10

    Family - $30

    Kids 12 and Under – Free

    Tickets via: X.afl (all that needs to be typed into an internet browser) ...


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    Tash Gunawardana continues her series of interviews with AFLW players.  We are now just 11 days out from the start of the 2018 AFLW season.  Today's interview features Melbourne Football Club's Jasmine Grierson.

    What is it like to play with players such as Daisy Pearce, Karen Paxman and Elise O’Dea and what have you learnt from each of these players?

    I have loved every second of being able to train and play alongside these girls, every session is an opportunity to learn and develop into a better footballer. The way they prepare, train and live football is a true credit to the elite players they are. Not only on the field, but from role models to friends they bring so much knowledge and genuine care to the relationships in our team.

    What does Irish teammate Laura Duryea bring to the Melbourne Demons?

    ‘Irish’ brings so much enthusiasm and energy to every session. Experience and wisdom to the backline but also lots of laughs off the field.

     Image Left Source: afl.com.au

    Who have been your biggest influences on your football career and your sporting career so far?

    At the beginning of my football career my biggest influences were my dad and twin brother. Nearly every night we would be out in the backyard or at the park kicking the footy until it got dark. I only ever wanted to be better than my brother and they never put a limit on my ability.

    What is your favourite football position to play in and why?

    I am freshly converted to the backline and it is definitely my favourite position. Especially at Melbourne I really enjoy the creative license to take on the game and creating the transition from defence to offence. However, I will never be opposed to be a run up forward.

    What is your biggest sporting achievement thus far and why?

    Looking back I think it was the Under 18 National Championship that Vic Metro won in 2016. That was my first time in an elite program.

    Image Right Source: heraldsun.com.au Tony Gough

    What has been your biggest learning since being at the Melbourne Football Club?

    I have really learnt that I play my best footy when I am enjoying myself. Success will come when you practice the basics of the game and have confidence in the process, not relying on the outcome.

    If you could not be a women’s footballer, what other sport would you be playing?

    I played soccer through primary school and into high school, so I would still be playing.

    How do you get ready for a football match and how do recover after a football match?

    I try and keep my pre-game routine similar to everyday. My go to breakfast at home is eggs on toast and then I try to chill out for the morning with a nature walk and spending time with family. Usually I will listen to music on the team bus but I am always up for a chat pre-game.
    Recovery protocols do not change much so straight after the game I aim to re-fuel with a chicken and salad roll and lots of water. Into the ice baths from there and what I love the most, 9+ hours of sleep that night.

    Image Left Source: Adam Trafford/AFL Media

    What do you do in your spare time?

    In my spare time I love to catch up with friends over brunch and coffee. Spending time with my family is up there as well.

    What are you most looking forward to in the AFLW 2018 season?

    I am really looking forward to getting back to doing what I love most which is playing footy with my mates. Especially building on from what we created last season and we are all so excited to see how far we can take it in the second AFLW season.


     Image Left Source: zimbio.com ...


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    It has been a while since the Muscat Magpies, from Oman in the Middle East, have taken to the field. In fact, it was during the 2014/15 season that the club formally announced that it would cease playing in the AFL Middle East competition. Since then they have left the door open for a return and slowly worked towards a possible return. Last week, the club hosted the Multiplex Bulls in an International Rules match – a step towards something bigger down the track. The following article from Alex Broun at Sport 360 looks at the game.

    The first ever International Rules match was played in Muscat with the Multiplex Bulls taking on GAA Oman in an exhibition match.

    Hosted by the Sultan’s School, Seeb, 20 Bulls players made the trip from Dubai to play the landmark match, which is a hybrid of Gaelic football and Australian Rules, on Friday.

     The GAA team was made up primarily of all Irish ex-pats, plus two Omani’s and three guest players from AFLME’s Dubai Dragons. There is a close link between Oman and the AFLME as the GAA still include Muscat Magpies Aussie Rules as a part of their club, although the Magpies have not taken part in the league since 2014. 

    The game was played in great spirit with both sides taking some time adapting to the new format. The main difference for the Bulls was playing with the round ball and for the GAA it was getting used to the heightened physicality of tackles.

    It was tight for the majority and the Bulls headed into three-quarter time with just a six point lead. But the final stanza saw the UAE side score some crucial “goals” (worth six points and scored when the ball hits the back of the net) and they ended up winning 6.5.16(67) to 2.8.10(46). 

    Will Cook in goal for the Bulls was crucial to the win, making four to five big saves, while Ted Stobart and Joseph Yodgee were the difference up forward scoring five goals between them. 

    For Oman, Kieran Sheridan and Paul Early were the key players who got the “Irish” back into the game and were also helped by Australian Luke Byron who was impressive in his first ever game with the round ball. 

    Locals Rashid Alsawafi and Hamdan Ali Almaamari also did their home country proud, proving to be vital up forward in the second half. 

    AFLME GM Matt Burn said: “All in all it was a great hit out for both teams, with leaders from both clubs expressing how pleased they were to see their respective players test their skills and ability in the respective ‘foreign’ rules format. I am really looking forward to expanding this format so all teams from AFLME can take part in the future.” 

    Lance Scott from GAA Oman added: “The Muscat Clann Oman club wishes to extend their thanks and gratitude to the Multiplex Bulls who travelled down to Muscat in making this fixture possible and successful.” 

    Andrew Walter, Bulls Team Manager said: “The Bulls were absolutely wrapped to play the Muscat boys in the combined format.” “The game moved so quickly and was played in a great spirit. The Irish boys carried the ball really well with some silky skills. We were happy to grab the win but the Gaelic guys definitely gave us a scare.” 

    The long term aim of the match was to get the Muscat Magpies to rejoin the AFLME in 2018-19, playing the compromise rules format. 

    Further discussions will hopefully end with the Magpies being involved next season. AFLME will resume on February 2 with Dingoes playing Dragons and Falcons playing Bulls. 

    Alex Broun’s original Sport 360 story can be found at: http://sport360.com/article/regional-article/263406/multiplex-bulls-edge-muscats-gaa-squad-in-gaelic-football-aussie-rules-hybrid ...


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    The Tyne Tees Tigers, formerly a part of the AFLCNE competition, based across northern and central England, have made a monumental decision to leave that league and travel north to be a part of the AFL Scotland league, SARFL. Whilst on face value the question might be raised as to why a club in England would join a league in Scotland – geography justifies the decision. Based in Newcastle, in the north of England, the Tigers are closer to the Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow than most of their former AFLCNE opposition.

    According to Tyne Tees Tigers club president, Phil Martin, “we took the decision to change leagues based on travel involved. With the exception of the Huddersfield Rams, all the AFLCNE clubs are a greater distance from us than the SARFL clubs. Historically, due to this, we have always had a solid link to the Scottish clubs with strong representation at Tyne Cup over the years, with the pre-season Bawbag Cup between the Kingdom Kangaroos and ourselves (and last year included the Eagles as well) and also with pre-season friendlies. The time felt right to take the step [to join SARFL].”


    Phil doesn’t see this move as anything but a logical step towards long-tern success for the club both on and off the field and will have fond memories of the club’s five years in the AFLCE. The club will retain the same colours and logos used within their time in the AFLCNE.

    Phil also states that “I would also like to put on record our appreciation to the AFLCNE teams for five years [of] competition. We leave with great memories and many opponents who have become friends [as well as] two Plate victories.”

    The decision was ratified at last weekend’s AFL Scotland AGM, with a resounding vote in favour of the Tigers joining the league. Kirsty Gray from AFL Scotland added, “The Tyne Tees Tigers…will be [a] good addition to SARFL”.

    The move is immediate, with the Tyne Tees Tigers being a part of the upcoming SARFL 2018 season. They join the Edinburgh Bloods, Glasgow Sharks, Greater Glasgow Giants and Kingdom Kangaroos. In recent years, the Falkirk Silverbacks and North Lanarkshire Wolves have ceased playing after short stints in the league, building from ground up. The Tyne Tees Tigers arrive as a fully operational club with five years’ experience behind them. Their transition to another league will have challenges, but should see immediate successes for the club ad league at all levels on and off the field.

    A decision on the role that the West Lothian Eagles will play in the SARFL, discussed at the same AGM, will be announced by the club and league soon.
    ...

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    Scotland’s newest Australian football club, the West Lothian Eagles, has been granted the opportunity to compete in the SARFL, AFL Scotland’s national league, for the 2018 season on the agreement of being a developmental club. Whilst the club would be a touch disappointed that they did not receive full admission for 2018, they have received a great opportunity to build throughout 2018 ready for possible full inclusion in 2019.

    In many ways, their fate is in their own hands. Given a set of criteria by AFL Scotland, the club has already agreed to the opportunity and immediately implemented goals and targets around issues such as player numbers and retention, non-playing personnel, financial stability and all other aspects of club operation.


    Kirsty Gray from AFL Scotland confirmed that, “West Lothian Eagles have been voted in as a development team for this year, to help them get established [and] their players to develop with a view to them then graduating to be full league members next year. Both the Tyne Tees Tigers (see Tigers Migrate North Across Border) and the West Lothian Eagles will be good additions to SARFL and we are looking forward to the season ahead.”

    West Lothian Eagles club president, Ross Barker, stated in his address to the club after the AFL Scotland AGM decision that, “Our committee has decided to accept the offer put in place by the AFL Scotland committee. This means we will be joining the league as a development member. We get five games in the year and we have to field a team in each game in order to join the league next year. Although our points don't count, this will be the most important season for the Eagles as the pressure we have on our shoulders needs to be carried through each game. So this will also be a season where players will be able to prove themselves.”

    In short, this means that the West Lothian Eagles will play five matches against the existing SARFL teams across the season (Bloods, Sharks, Giants, Kangaroos and Tigers) as well as competing in February’s Bawbag Cup (dodgy name, important tournament) against the Kingdom Kangaroos and Tyne Tees Tigers as well as the Haggis Cup in April. Whilst not full members of the league, Eagles players can train with and be selected to play for the national Scottish Clansmen team, giving the Eagles a bona fide talent pathway for players.

    The opportunity laid out in front of the Eagles gives them the perfect chance, and specific guidelines, to gain more playing experience across the season and hit the ground running as a fully-fledged team in 2019. Whilst many would have been delighted to be awarded full playing status immediately, this might now be a blessing in disguise for the Eagles, allowing them to be even stronger.

    Rightfully, AFL Scotland has heeded the warning signs attached to the demise of previously developed clubs in Aberdeen, Falkirk and North Lanarkshire. Rather than risk similar setbacks for clubs and the league, AFL Scotland has now taken a cautious approach to the development of a new cub – and that might just be the most valuable gift received by the Eagles in the longer term.

    So, for the time being, regardless of their status, we will just have to say…Mon the Eagle ...

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    Tash Gunawardana interviewed the Western Bulldogs AFLW team's No. 19 draft pick Daria Bannister ahead of this week's opening round of the AFLW season.

    When did you make the switch from Netball to AFL and why did you make this change?

    I transitioned from netball to football in 2017. I played both sports for a year but with both being played on the weekend it became too hard so I decided to focus purely on football in 2017. I made the choice to play football because I loved the freedom and physicality of the game. I am a competitive person and I love the game style of football, the one on one aspect and the full team game. I have made some life-long friendships with people all over the country since taking up football and it has given me so many opportunities so far, I think I definitely made the right choice.

    Last year you finished year 12, so have you chosen to do further study yet or will you just focus on your football career for now?

    I received an email a week or so ago to say I have been accepted to study Nutritional Science at Deakin University, but I have decided to defer my studies for 2 years so that I can focus on football and then hopefully do some travelling in the off-season.

    Tell me about the day you were drafted and how it felt?

    Draft day there were so many mixed emotions.  I tried to keep busy during the morning but the draft still felt like it took forever to start.  I had some contact from a couple of Victorian clubs but nothing set in stone so it was a very nerve racking wait.  I spent the draft at home with my partner and another friend and watched it on the TV.  With so much talent around I did not expect my name to get called out that soon in the draft. When I heard my name I was just in complete shock.  To have your dream come true in such a split second is so surreal.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Image Source: The Advocate

     

    What has been the biggest change from playing Aussie Rules in Launceston to Melbourne so far?

    The workload on and off the track and the support staff around the club has been the biggest change. It has been a big step up from playing in Launceston. My club back home have been fantastic and so supportive but nothing could prepare you for the change in to AFLW. The Bulldogs coaching team, support staff and the girls have been great to me since making the move here. Everything is so professional and the level expected of each player at training is high and I am doing everything I can to make sure I do not let my teammates or the club down.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Image Source:AFL Tasmania

    Who has influenced your football and sporting career the most?

    Throughout my different sporting teams I have had many people who have influenced me in different ways. In regards of football I feel like I have been very lucky to have the support I did back home from my local club coaches. They pushed me and made me believe that I could get drafted and without that I am not sure I would be in the position I am in today. 

    I read in an interview you did for your club’s website on how Katie Brennan and Ellie Blackburn have taken you under their wing since being at the Dogs, what have you learnt from Brennan and Blackburn?

    All the girls have taken me under their wing and have made my stay in Melbourne a smooth transition. All the senior girls on the list are amazing. Their hard work and dedication on and off the field is inspiring. They are constantly providing me with feedback on little things I can do to improve my game for both myself individually and for the good of the team. All the girls have something to offer and we are all learning from each other, which is great.

    What do you enjoy most about playing women’s football?

    Watching football as a kid I loved the big hits and pack marks. I never once imagined that I would ever be able to do that. For me, since I have only being playing football for about 3 years now I just love being out there. I love every aspect of the game and I love that as a woman I can play football at an AFL level. I feel like I have to pinch myself to believe that I am actually able to do this. It is amazing and I am having the best time so far.

    What do you feel are your main strengths in football?

    My greatest strengths in football would have to be my attack on the ball and my courage. I am not afraid of anyone out there and I am willing to put my body on the line for my team. I am not someone who wants the glory. I am team focussed and I get as much if not more enjoyment from setting up a teammate than kicking a goal myself. 

    What areas in your football do you feel you need to improve in?

    Being my first year at the club I have a lot to improve on. I am still learning the Club’s game plans and set ups as well as trying to improve the standard of my kicking and handball skills so that I am able to execute at a level that is expected of an AFLW player.

    What is your favourite football position to play in and why?

    I like to play as a small forward. You get the best of both worlds there. You get to tackle, compete one on one, you get the big group packs as well as the option to kick goals if the opportunities arise.

    Which AFL player past and/or current do you model your game on?

    I do not really model off any one player.  There are characteristics of lots of players that I admire and try and model off.  You have Katie Brennan and her marking and kicking ability, Emma Kearney and Ellie Blackburn and their attack on the ball and their skill execution and Aasta O’Connor who hits hard and talks a lot on the field and is so knowledgeable about the game.

    What is your pre game ritual?

    I like to be really organised on game day. I lay all my clothes and gear out in front of my game that morning and do not pack my bag until I am ready to leave the house. I wear the same underwear every game and have an order in which I put my socks and boots on before I run out on to the field. It is not do or die whether or not I do all of these but it makes me feel a lot more relaxed if I am able to. 

    What is your go to meal after a football match?

    I love all food. I do not really have a go to meal, but if I had a choice it would be Lasagne.

    Describe what it is like to be a Western Bulldogs women’s footballer?

    It is a dream come true. To train alongside the girls each week is amazing. I am learning so much, my fitness has improved and I already feel like I am a completely different player to what I was 6 months ago. Each week I feel more comfortable and I cannot wait to start playing with the girls.

    What are you most looking forward to in your first season at the Western Bulldogs?

    Hearing the siren sound for the start of my first game. I got a little taste in last weekend’s practice match, but I cannot wait to hear the crowd and be around the girls when I run out for my first rostered match. I have so much support back home and I know they will all be there for my first game and I am so looking forward to that. I am planning to make the most of every opportunity I get to play and just enjoy every second of it. 

     

     

     


      ...


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    Robert Louis Stevenson didn’t ever write about St Mary’s, though one of his most famous books – The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde - fairly aptly describes the Green Machine this season. Supporters would be bouncing from delirium to despair as the Saints have gone from has-beens to supermen multiple times across the season. Three losses to start the season before two wins, a loss then three wins, three losses and now three wins.

    So far, every time they fall to bits they bounce back. Every time they get on a roll, they crash. With three rounds remaining, fans must be wondering which Saints team will play out the final three rounds. However, maybe this is why they have won 32 flags since 1952 – they simply don’t understand when they are done. Nevertheless, after downing Buffaloes on the weekend, and nabbing third place on the ladder, Saints need to understand quickly to secure a finals double chance and another chance at glory.

    In heavy conditions, the Saints and Darwin Buffaloes traded blows all match. Neither side could break away to a match winning lead, with less than a goal separating the teams for much of the match. Four lead changes in the final quarter made for heart attack football, but two goals in the final quarter to Saint Peter Mcfarlane saw them home by five points, despite four goals to Buffaloes’ Matt Campbell – one a huge goal from the boundary line in the last quarter.

    The Australia Day clash between traditional rivals, Waratah and Wanderers, saw the ‘Tahs too good in the end, winning by 48 points on the back of a special six-goal haul from Michael Newton. In a match of efficiency, Waratah’s goal kicking was on the mark, whilst Wanderers were wayward. Yet Waratah remain in sixth place – locked in a battle royale with the Tiwi Bombers for fifth position on the ladder. But Saints (3rd) and Buffaloes (4th) are only half a game ahead of Waratah, so a big finish from here could see the ‘Tahs play finals.

    If Palmerston could take anything at all away from the wreckage of Friday’s other Australia Day match against the Crocs, they were competitive at quarter time, just 19 points adrift of the flag favourites. But that is where it ended. The Magpies did not trouble the scorers for the remainder of the match as Southern Districts romped away to a 94-point victory and ensured the minor premiership. Whilst Will Farrer kicked another three goals to head the league tally on 42, the pleasing thing for Crocs is that they had ten goal kickers, meaning multiple avenues to goal – a huge bonus come finals time.

    The Tiwi Bombers made it four wins in a row when they upset Nightcliff in the wet at Tracy Village. The Bombers needed a big scalp to remain a solid chance for finals, and they got just that in downing the second-placed Tigers. Nightcliff are in a slump – one win from their last five matches – and need to find their former selves quickly. Tiwi, on the other hand, are riding the crest of a wave with four wins in a row and a draw from their corresponding five games. Their finals spot is far from guaranteed, and next weekend they face the ladder leaders, but they are in a winning mood at the right end of the season.

    Next weekend’s matches will see some terrific battles, three of which will shape the finals. St Marys will butt heads with Nightcliff in a game that both are absolutely desperate to win. Southern Districts will meet the in-form Tiwi Bombers whilst Waratah and Darwin Buffaloes will also clash in a game that both need to win. Just as important for both teams, to gain belief for next season, Palmerston will take on Wanderers in a battle for pride as much as it is for development.

    Final Scores:
    St Marys 5 17 47 d Darwin Buffaloes 6 6 42
    Waratah 15 5 95 d Wanderers 6 11 47
    Southern Districts 15 11 101 d Palmerston 1 1 7
    Tiwi Bombers 13 11 89 d Nightcliff 10 11 ...

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    Tash Gunawardana interviewed Carlton young gun Bridie Kennedy ahead of the Blues and Pies opening clash of the second AFLW season this Friday the 2nd of February. Good luck to Kennedy on her first season with the Navy Blues.

    When did you start playing Australian Rules?

    I started playing when I was 15. My best friend convinced me to start playing.

    Image Left Source: vfl.com.au

    Did you play any other sports growing up?

    I feel like I played every sport growing up. Basketball, netball, cricket, gymnastics and even did some horse riding. I found my fit when I started playing football.

    Which AFL team did you support as a kid?

    Collingwood. All the girls in my family go for St Kilda and all the boys go for Collingwood. Me wanting to be one of the boys joined the Collingwood supporters.

    What is it like to be a woman playing Australian Rules?

    I feel a real strength playing AFLW and hope that this can prove to other women and girls that we are just like the boys.

    Who has been the biggest mentor for you in your footy career so far?

    I would say my parents and my grandpa. My parents were a bit worried when I started playing football but now they love it and, with my grandpa, they are my biggest fans and come to all my games to support me.

    What is your favourite footy position to play in and why?

    I love playing in a position that allows me to be able to run around. My running ability and my aerobic capacity is my main strength, so as a running forward, back or midfielder.

    If you were not playing professional footy what would you be doing?

    If I was not playing football professionally, I think I would still be playing basketball or another sport and trying to get to the highest, professional level of that sport.

    Image Source: Carlton Media

    How did you feel when Carlton selected you at pick no.36?

    I was so pleased and relieved when I got picked up by Carlton at no.36. It was such an emotional rollercoaster, and felt like my dream suddenly became a reality.

    What do you feel you can bring to Carlton in your first season at the club?

    I feel like I can bring my running power to the team at Carlton for my first season and hopefully can show this on the ground and help impact the game. I would also like to bring some of my leadership qualities into the team.

    You were the Vice-Captain of the Dandenong Stingrays, so what leadership qualities do you feel you can bring to Carlton?

    I would love to continue developing my leadership qualities at the club, it is an area I am really passionate about. This year my main focus is to lead by example and live the values that the team and myself have established. I would love to be known as a leader through my actions both on and off the field.

    Which player past and/or present do you model your game on?

    I did not really grow up watching much football so I did not really model my game on anyone in particular. However, I loved watching the first AFLW season and have tried to model my game to what I saw in that inaugural year.

    How do you prepare for a footy match?

    I have a really weird thing before I play football to help me prepare – I like to have fresh breath. So, I will mentally and physically prepare for the game by eating mints before running out on the field.

    Image Source: Carlton Media

    How do you recover after a footy match?

    To help recover and reduce injury after a game I love going down to the beach and having an “ice bath” at the beach.

    What are you most looking forward to in your first season at the Carlton Blues?

    I am looking forward to the challenge and the step up from the other levels of football I have played, also the professionalism of the elite environment. ...


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    It was only late 2016 that the Bogotá Bulldogs became South America’s second permanent Australian Rules football team. In just a short time, the club has become the continent’s champion team, winning back-to-back Andes Cups against the Chilean footy stalwarts, the Santiago Saints. To some that might be seen as job done, but not the Bulldogs. Rather than be content with international titles, footy in Bogotá, Colombia, is about to have its first permanent league.

    Bogotá Bulldogs’ president, Patrick Smallwood, states, “this year we have decided to put on a 9’s footy league in Bogotá over two seasons. The club will hold a draft night and try to split players evenly between the three sides. The teams are the Bogotá Bombers, the Bogotá Bullants and the D.C Aguilas.”


    “Our pre-season kicks off this Saturday, with the first game to be played between the Bombers and the the Aguilas on March 3rd and finishing end of May. The second season begins start of July.”

    “We played an 18 per side game to finish the season last year in November between the Bombers and Bullants and 50 people turned up to play. So we thought no better time than now to take the next step.”

    “We won the hosting rights to the South American 9’s Championships for the first week of October, so we are hopeful that will be a success.”

    It would be a massive move forward for football in South America for a permanent 9’s championship to take a hold. With three Colombian clubs and the potential to get the Santiago Saints to travel from Chile, a four-team championship would be a huge boost and selling point for the game on the continent. Should that concept take hold it might become the catalyst for other nations to send small teams – there has been interest shown previously in Argentina (Aguilas) and Brazil and more recently in Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.

    On the annual Andes Cup tournament between the Santiago Saints and the Bogotá Bulldogs, Smallwood says, “it is Chiles’ turn to come and play us for the Andes Cup here in Bogotá and so we are pumped to host them again to defend the cup.”

    Further to these developments, the Bulldogs have been active in chasing other potential visitors. “We are well into talks with a number of U.S teams to make the trip down and believe we will make a number of those a reality this year.”
    “All up we are very excited for a big year and really want to test the potential of Aussie Rules here in Colombia. This also includes the running of programs at schools and other institutes. Very exciting times here for footy in Colombia.”

    The Bulldogs might not have been on the South American scene for long, but in that short space of time they have also helped revolutionise the game in Colombia and beyond. They could not have achieved much of this without the platform laid by the Santiago Saints, but the Bulldogs have even bigger dreams.

    The city of Bogota, Colombia.
    Photo Credit: Jan Arkesteijn (Wikipeia)

    ...

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    After a break since late November, the AFL Middle East competition gets under way again this week with two matches in the United Arab Emirates - one in Dubai and the other in Abu Dhabi. As with all matches in a four-team competition, both matches will have implications for the upcoming finals series.

    The Round Four clashes will see the Dubai Dragons take on the Entertainer Dubai Dingoes at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai at 12.30pm. Shortly afterwards in Abu Dhabi, the home team will host the Multiplex Bulls at 2.00pm at the Zayed Cricket Stadium. Victory for any team will brighten finals hopes with three rounds to go. Even the Dingoes, three defeats from three starts to date, could still turn their fortunes around.

    The Dragons sit undefeated on top of the ladder and will be favoured to defeat the Dingoes. Already a game clear of second-placed Bulls, the Dragons will be hard to dislodge from the minor premiership position should they win. For the Dingoes to have any finals hope their resurgence must start Friday with an upset against the Dragons.

    The battle between the Falcons and Bulls promises to be huge. The Falcons have just one win to date – against the Dingoes – but have been competitive against both the Dragons and the Bulls earlier in the season. A win here could catapult them right back into the finals frame, though the Bulls will also see this game as their chance to repair their own premiership credentials so they will not treat the game lightly.

    Whilst all clubs have been training over the break, last weekend’s International Rules clash between the Multiplex Bulls and Muscat Magpies will see the Bulls just a little more match fit, which might be an advantage returning from the break. It promises to be an exciting round of football in any case for all involved on and off the field. ...

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    With most of the European footy leagues gradually moving towards the beginning of their respective 2018 campaigns, the crew at AFL Europe have commenced an excellent series of articles that look back at the formation of national leagues across Europe, where they are now and what the future holds. So far the series has looked at footy in Denmark, Scotland and most recently Switzerland.

    To view these articles, you can visit the AFL Europe website at www.afleurope.org and follow the menus, or you can go to the individual articles via the following links:


    SWITZERLAND - “AFL in Switzerland was started by a few Italians in ca. 2009 in Lugano (in the Italian speaking region). A men’s and women’s team competed in the Euro Cup once each and the Lugano men’s team competed in the Italian league…”
    To view the complete article go to: http://www.afleurope.org/switzerland-...ry-report/

    SCOTLAND – “The SARFL (Scottish Australian Rules Football League) was started in 2003 by a couple of enthusiastic guys (Andrew Butler and Richard Prentice) who had moved to Scotland from London, where they played with the North London Lions. Michael Tonner, current Vice President of AFL Scotland, was also heavily involved in the early stages of SARFL’s development…”
    To view the complete article go to: http://www.afleurope.org/scotland-country-report/

    DENMARK – “DAFL had its first season in 1991, with 3 Copenhagen based teams; the Amager Tigers, Copenhagen Crocs, and North Copenhagen Barracudas, with the Barracudas taking home the first flag. 25 footy seasons later in 2017, the Barracudas again raised the cup, although a fair few changes have happened throughout the years…”
    To view the complete article go to: http://www.afleurope.org/denmark-country-report/

    AFL Europe will continue this fascinating series of articles as the year continues. For any further information on the articles or AFL Europe, go to their website and use the contact options available, or you can visit them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AFL.Europe.Ltd/

    ...

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    Tash Gunawardana spoke with GWS Giants recruit Courtney Gum ahead of this Saturday's AFLW Round 1 clash against Melbourne at Casey Fields.

    How did it feel at 36 years of age to be drafted by the GWS Giants in the 2017 AFLW Draft?

    Mixed emotions. I was really excited to be drafted and to get the opportunity to train and play at this level. There was also part of me that thought maybe it was a bit silly taking on this commitment at my age with a young family, business and a very busy life in South Australia.

    Who have been the player or players at the GWS Giants that you have learnt from in your short time so far at the club?

    All of them! Everyone brings their own unique story and experiences. Some have amazing technical knowledge like Alicia Eva and Jess Dal Pos. Amanda Farrugia is the most amazing leader. Then there are the young ones that show the most incredible commitment.

    What did you enjoy most about playing in the 2013 and 2014 Women’s Exhibition matches for Melbourne?

    The standard of the football and also meeting other like minded women who aspired to play elite level sport. Playing on both the MCG and Etihad was amazing!!

    Which players past and/or present do you model your game on?

    I do feel that Daisy Pearce plays a very smart brand of football. She is also super consistent which is certainly something that I try to aspire to be. I also envy Chelsea Randall’s attack at the ball. It takes a real strength of character to bring that to every game.

    What is your biggest sporting achievement so far?

    I think possibly winning the Howarth Trophy in 2013 which is awarded to the player in the NSW leagues that has played at the highest level (this included both men and women). It was a real honour.

    When did you start playing football?

    My first game was in 2010 when I was 29 however I played backyard footy almost every day, a few times a day growing up in country South Australia.

    What other sports did you play when growing up?

    I played Netball, Basketball, and Tennis. Growing up however my recess, lunch, after school and weekend activities involved every different sport. There wasn’t much else to do!

    What is the best part about playing football as a woman for you?

    At a personal level I love competing. Football involves quite a few different skill sets which is lots of fun. It also involves the mental side of the game which I love. Football is just a fun game to play!

    In what round are you hoping to debut for the GWS Giants this year?

    Ahhh… round one of course!!

    What are you most looking forward to in your first season at the GWS Giants?

    Definitely being in an elite (semi-elite) environment. From training, to prep to game day – it is so great to really commit to something and give it your all. It is an amazing experience to share this with peers and work towards a common goal. This hopefully translates out on the field when you play as a unit with synergy. Can’t wait!

    All images courtesy GWS Giants. ...


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  • 02/01/18--23:05: Crocodiles At Full Forward!
  •  Matt Thompson from the www.afl.com.au website takes a brief look at a unique problem in Australia’s “Top End”. It is very wet up here ( I live in Cairns), and Darwin and the more northerly climes of the Northern Territory are having a bumper “wet season”. Crocodiles enjoy the wet season, especially when their swollen river homes allow them to explore a little further…like the local footy ground. 

    IMAGINE the prospect of a crocodile at full-forward.

    Locals at the Daly River Football Club in the Northern Territory are preparing for that chance, with a croc net tied to the goalposts at their flooded oval. 

    Located about 220km south-west of Darwin, the community of under 500 has taken extra precautions as the big wet strikes. 

     The top end has been inundated in recent days, with the river peaking at 14.8 metres on Thursday.

    The water level isn't expected to begin dropping significantly until Monday at the earliest.

    About 300 adults and 100 children from the region have been evacuated to the Darwin Showgrounds, more than two hours away by car.

    AFL Northern Territory has been running clinics to keep the evacuees entertained, with players from the NT Thunder and AFLW helping lift morale. 

    "We're already working with government to coordinate player appearances and clinics down at the showgrounds for the next few weeks while the flood waters subside," AFLNT chief executive Michael Solomon said.  

    Solomon highlighted the importance of helping the bush community restore its oval as soon as possible, but it's likely to take several weeks. 

    "Football's the heart and soul of every community in the Northern Territory," he said. 

    "Certainly the intention is to get footy up and going as soon as we possibly can." 

    Matt’s original article can be found on the AFL’s own website at: http://www.afl.com.au/news/2018-02-02/a-croc-at-fullforward-nt-locals-get-snappy

    Picture Credit: AFLNT ...


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    The 2018 AFLW matches will be broadcast outside Australia on some of the AFL's international broadcasting affiliates.  For the full list in Round 1 see below, but in short it will be broadcast in the US on Fox Soccer Plus and across Asia/Pacific on the Australia Network.  The Melbourne vs GWs match will be broadcast in Russia on Viasat.   

    If you do want to watch AFLW matches outside Australia otherwise, you can do so by getting a WatchAFL subscription or hopefully stream the matches free from the AFL website afl.com.au or the AFLW app.

     

    ...


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    AFLW Round 1  Carlton vs. Collingwood

    Venue: Ikon Park Date: 2/2/18 Time: 7:45pm

    The AFLW season opened once again with the clash of arch rivals Collingwood and Carlton. The match was held at Ikon Park, the home of the Carlton Football Club on a Friday night with an offical attendance of 19,852.

    Image Source: Twitter @CarltonFC

    About two hours before the match the crowds poured into the ground in their thousands and about 20 minutes before the first bounce the ground was almost full. The atmosphere at the ground was building with fans coming in their thousands. The Pies started the match by kicking to the eastern end of the ground and the Blues to western (Legends Stand) end of the ground.

    Collingwood had a lot of the ball and ascendency in the first quarter but were unable to make the most of their opportunities when they had possession. In the first quarter Jasmine Garner for the Pies kicked the first goal of the match and she has now slotted through the first goal two years in a row against the Blues.

    Former Wimbledon Hawk player Kate Shierlaw kicked truly for the Blues first goal to even things up. It was a tight opening term. Carlton have now gained some of the ascendency back in the game. The Blues were also cleaner in their forward half towards the end of the first term with new star recruit Tayla Harris from the Lions who kicked the Blues second goal of the match.

    Carlton had a lot of inside 50s towards the middle and end of the first quarter. Chloe Molloy in her first game played a bit in the middle but mostly in the backline for most of the night and was the best for the Pies along with Barden. Brianna Davey, Harris and Stevens were best for the Bues. On one of the rare times the ball came near to Darcy Vescio a big roar came from the crowd when Vescio grabbed hold of the ball in the half forward line and kicked for goal but it dribbled through for a point.

    In the second term Alison Downie (#30) kicked truly for goal for Carlton. Molloy was holding up well in defence for her Pies, you would not think that she was playing her first match for the club. Barden for the Pies kicked for goal and gets it (something out of nothing). A goal separated both teams at half time.

    Molloy and Harris began the second half as they finished the first leading the way for both their respective teams. S.D'Arcy was reported in the third term for kicking Sarah Hosking from the Blues after she had marked the footy midway through the third. Molloy continued to play well down back for the Pies in the third. It was a tight end to the third quarter with both teams playing well with neither team able to get ascendancy that quarter and capitalise with their possession of the ball.

    At the start of the last Carlton continued to play well in the middle and Molloy continued to stand strong in defence for the Pies. Carlton were getting on top in the contest early on in the last quarter. Collingwood kept on fumbling the ball inside 50, but finally they were able to mark the footy inside 50 but they are unable to capitalise on the scoreboard. Molloy played really well in defence for the Pies and held up their backline well for majority of the night.

    The contest tightened up again with both teams unable to gain free possession of the ball from out of the middle halfway through the final term. Carlton barely hung on to the lead in the final 10 minutes of play, as Collingwood were slowly pressing in their forward line with a lot of inside 50s. There a couple of minutes left in the game and Collingwood were still attacking and pressing trying hard to take the lead in the match and win after chasing all match. Carlton's midfield and defence played well all night and held up well to the Pies attacking play.

    This match was tightly fought by both teams from start to finish with the Blues their noses in front at each break and at full time. Chloe Molloy was a standout in defence for Collingwood and also all over the ground in her first match. This may have come as a surprise to those who saw her tie the goalkicking in the 2017 VFL season, and was a good demonstration of her versatility.  She definitely did not let the "Molloy" name down at the Pies tonight she played very well racking up 20 disposals and leading the disposals for her team.

    New recruit for the Blues Tayla Harris from the Lions played exceptionally well for her new team, as she applied immense pressure to the Pies players on and off the ball and her marking was amazing too when the footy was down in the Blues forward half. Brianna Davey was everywhere for the Blues this match ending the match with 16 disposals.

    The Blues barely hung on to the lead in the last few minutes before the siren could sound for the end of the match, as Collingwood were doing all of the attacking for most of the last quarter. Unfortunately for the whole match Collingwood were unable to make the most of their opportunities when they had possession of the ball and their kicking inside 50 was scrappy and not clean.

    Carlton were a lot cleaner and slicker with the ball and their skills tonight. This was what separated both teams when the siren sounded as the Navy Blues had a bit more polish and clean when required during the match. As a result the Navy Blues won over their arch rivals the Pies in a tight tussle. This match has been a nail biting start to the AFLW for 2018.  I hope that all the matches for the remainder of Round 1 will be tightly contested and fought out to the very end by both teams, as this match was.

    CARLTON              2.1   3.1   3.4   3.4   (22)                  
    COLLINGWOOD    1.0   2.1   2.1   2.2   (14)           

    GOALS
    Carlton: Shierlaw, Harris, Downie
    Collingwood: Garner, Barden

    BEST 
    Carlton: Harris, Davey, Hardiman, J.Hosking, S.Hoskin, Stevens
    Collingwood: Molloy, Chiocci, Lambert, McIntosh, Garner 

    INJURIES 
    Carlton: Nil
    Collingwood: Duffin (strained adductor, replaced in selected side by Schleicher)

    Reports: Sarah D'Arcy (Collingwood) reported for kicking Sarah Hosking (Carlton) in the third quarter 

    Crowd: 19,852 at Ikon Park ...


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    On Saturday 20th January, the Cambodia Apsaras hosted the Malaysian Warrior Women for the Warrior's first International match at International School of Phnom Penh.

    Great energy and atmosphere was created for the Australia Day match by playing music and providing a BBQ and beers for all to enjoy. There were cheer squads from their men's counterparts supporting the girls enthusiastically while they were playing hard on the field.

    Approximately 120 people attended the memorable female footy match. The immaculate ground condition as well as its size and quality impressed the Malaysian club when they arrived, commenting that the footy field is one of the best in Asia.

    Under the hot and sunny weather, the game started with both teams going hard at the ball. The Warrior Women broke the line not long after the first bounce, with their gun midfielder Lyndsay Clarke moving the ball quickly amongst their midfield down into the forward line. Clarke was able to get he job done with a ripping kick from an angle bringing her side a goal.

    After the Warrior Women's flying start, Irish forward Karina Ni Mhuireagain scored a behind after breaking through the Apsaras strong defence. Finishing the first quarter, the Warrior Women led by seven points.

    Tough contests continued in the second quarter as the ball was going back and forth. Both teams had scoring opportunities, but were unable to break their opponent's defence. Both coaches acknowledged the solid backline efforts of the Warrior Women formed by Jen Heal and Ling Teo who intercepted and sent the ball towards the forward line. The Warrior Women then went on to score another goal by the Irish forward Jennifer Ryan. Warrior Women's lead extended to 13 just before the main break.

    The Cambodian Apsaras started positively in the third quarter. They gained more control of the ball and added more tackling pressure. The marking ability of the Cambodian Apsaras was precise and allowed for the Apsaras to take control of the game. Apsaras captain Hannah Slaughter and vice captain Neat Khin dominated the footy in the midfield, but the job was done by ruck-rover Sreymich Phat with some attacking footy and marking. A strong contested mark 20 metres out taken by the midfielder Sreylak Koun brought the Apsaras a much needed goal. Another three points were added by the hosts and then forward Sarah Pycroft kicked a quick goal from the goal square. The Cambodian Apsaras were in front by two points at the last break.

    The Warrior Women showed their warrior spirit in the last quarter. They kept the ball in their forward line almost the entire quarter and put a lot of pressure on the Cambodian back-line, who battled hard with Sreyneth Chhan laying multiple tackles. Finally, midfielder Manisa McCalman picked up a loose ball after dominating the play and scored the winning goal. Her coach Andrew McGrath described the goal as the best goal in International football, Malaysia has ever seen.

    The final siren sounded with the Warrior Women overjoyed by winning their first game. It was a great day for AFLW in Asia with the coaches of both teams impressed by the level of skill, determination and drive each player brought to the game. Well done ladies!

    Cambodia Apsaras                0.0  0.0  2.3  2.3 (15)
    Malaysia Warrior Women      1.1  2.1  2.1  3.1 (19)

    Goals:    
    Apsaras: Sreylak Koun, Sarah Pycroft
    Warriors: Lyndsay Clarke, Manisa McCalman, Jennifer Ryan

    Best players:
    Apsaras: Hannah Slaughter, Sreylak Koun, Sreymich Phat, Sreyneth Chhan, Neat Khin
    Warriors: Lyndsay Clarke, Marissa Hauser, Jen Heal, Manisa McCalman

    ...


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