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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    Ben Guthrie from the www.afl.co.au website reports that Collingwood’s American success story, Mason Cox, believes that there is more talent on the way from the USA provided the AFL stays the course and keeps investing in that growth. The following article looks at his claims and a look at what has already occurred with American footballers. 

    THE AFL's decision to put its Draft Combine in the US on hold this year and instead prioritise Ireland in its search for international talent is a mistake, according to American Pie Mason Cox. 

    Cox, the tallest player to complete athletic testing in AFL conditions at the 2014 US Combine, has been one of the success stories of the League's decision to invest time and resources into the American pathway.  

    The 211cm big man will play the 26th game of his career against Brisbane at the Gabba on Sunday, a remarkable achievement given the former Oklahoma State University basketballer had not picked up a Sherrin before the testing day in Los Angeles in 2014.

    Cox told AFL.com.au the US talent pool remained untapped and he hoped he could be an example of why the League should persist with targeting former college athletes. 

    "There's obviously a lot of guys that come out of college and they're athletically gifted, but they go into the workforce once their college careers are over and that's just the way they (Americans) think," the Collingwood big man said. 

    "Hopefully the better I do and the more games I play it can show what the talent is out there and what's available." 

    The AFL has travelled to the US annually since 2012 to hold trials for American athletes in a bid to add more ruck and key-position players to club ranks. 

    The League has not ruled out returning to the States in the future, while clubs have the ability to scout players on their own accord.

    Once his AFL career has finished Cox, who turned 27 in March, said he would be keen to play a role in identifying talent in the US and providing gifted athletes the opportunity to play professionally, even if they do not realise their dreams of making it in the NBA, NFL or as professional soccer players. 

    "I do think there's a lot of talent there and I don't know maybe when my career's finished I can maybe take advantage of it," he said.

    "It's a tough sell at times, but I think people coming out of college at 22 years old are still in their prime athletically and still have plenty of talent to give." 

    Former St Kilda ruckman Jason Holmes, who played five games between 2015 and 2016, was the first born-and-raised American to play at AFL level after being picked up at selection No. 36 in the 2013 Rookie Draft. 

    Holmes was delisted at the end of the 2017 season after four seasons on St Kilda's list, but remains a pioneer for Americans coming into the League. 

    Cox, pick No. 60 in the 2015 Rookie Draft, has also had his struggles and many commentators have criticised his role in the team. AFL great Robert Walls even declared earlier this year that the American wouldn't "make it" at AFL level. 

    Nonetheless, the big man has become a fundamental member of Collingwood's team and its forward line given his height and ability to create a contest.

    Cox has booted four goals in five games this season and 31 in 25 games. 

    "Most of my friends don't know what footy is, so to stay level-headed is probably a little easier than it is for others," Cox said. 

    "At the end of the day I'm not really too worried about other people's opinions outside the four walls at Collingwood – it's really up to the coaches and players and they're the only people I really listen to because they're the ones that decide my fate on the weekend." 

    Cox, who signed a three-year contract with Collingwood at the end of last season, said he still sometimes cannot believe the career path he has forged. 

    "I'm so blessed to have all these stops on the rollercoaster that had to happen for me to land where I'm at," Cox said. 

    "There's a lot of hard work that went behind it but there were also chances that I took advantage of. 

    "It's pretty crazy to say that I'm in Melbourne, Australia playing AFL and playing for one of the biggest teams in the League.

    "I'm sitting at 27 now and I've done more in a lifetime so far than I ever thought I would. It's been a great experience – I can't say anything more."

     

    Ben Guthrie’s original article can be viewed at: http://www.afl.com.au/news/2018-05-06/us-talent-pool-remains-untapped-says-american-pie ...


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    The VFLW competition got under way in Melbourne this weekend, and amongst other things it featured the debut of yet another AFL London player having made the journey to the other side of the world to live a dream. The selection of Isy Currenti for the Geelong Cats and Jessica Edwards for Collingwood brings to five the amount of women to have played in the AFL London competition and made it to either AFLW or VFLW lists.

    As it stands, there are only the eight AFLW teams, but there are far more in the VFLW, and many of them will receive the necessary licensing and permission to become AFL teams over to next couple of seasons. It provides a very real pipeline for talented women across the world to follow – from their home league to VFLW to AFLW.

    (Picture: Jessica Edwards in action for Collingwood)


    Whilst the recruitment of Irish pair, Cora Staunton (County Mayo to GWS) and Laura Corrigan Duryea (Irish Banshees to Melbourne Demons) gained recognition at the time, it is the procession of players from the AFL London competition who are blazing a train for other women to follow.

    Lauren Spark’s journey has taken her from the Wimbledon Hawks in London to the Western Bulldogs in the AFLW. Another ex-Hawk, Kate Shierlaw, was born in Adelaide and barracked for Carlton. But her journey back to the Blues was via Wimbledon in the AFL London competition. Collingwood’s Lauren Tesoriero also cut her footballing teeth with the Wandsworth Demons in London.

    Another former Wandsworth Demon, Jessica Edwards (see [20171128135147895]), has lined up this weekend with the Collingwood Magpies VFLW team. Now, with Isy Currenti pulling on the Geelong jumper after leaving the Wimbledon Hawks to reach the pinnacle of women’s footy, there are five women who have shown that they can leave their familiar past behind and chase greater goals.

    They have also proved that English women, and indeed women from anywhere in the world, do have the talent to reach the lists of VFLW and then AFLW lists. All it takes is the courage and determination to take that leap of faith.

    For both Jessica Edwards and Isy Currenti, the journey is far from over. Both would have their sights firmly set on taking the next step to the AFLW next season and now that they are in the system here in Australia, with the best coaches, staff and facilities available for women in football, there is little to stop them other than themselves.

    Moreover, their deeds will act as an inspiration to other women, and younger girls starting their journeys, to chase their own footballing dreams – wherever that may take the ...

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  • 05/07/18--01:22: Hamburg Dockers Lead The Way


  • After three rounds of the AFLG (Germany) competition for 2018, the Hamburg Dockers find themselves a game clear on top of the ladder with each team having completed four games. The Dockers sit undefeated to date, though the Berlin Crocodiles and Munich Kangaroos are breathing down their necks a game behind.

    The weekend saw round robins played in both Hamburg and Berlin. In Hamburg, the Dockers, Frankfurt Redbacks and Dresden Wolves contested two matches each. In Berlin, it was the Crocs, Roos and Württemberg Giants locked in their own three-way battle.

    The Hamburg Dockers sent a strong message to all other teams with two comprehensive wins, dismantling the Redbacks by 84 points and the Wolves by 110 points. Coupled with their round two wins against the Wolves (again) and, significantly, Munich, the Dockers are already showing the form that could win them this season’s flag. In the other match, the Frankfurt Redbacks won their second game of the season downing the Wolves.

    In Berlin, the host team had a mixed bag. They went down in a tight match to the Munich Kangaroos after leading narrowly at half time. The Roos came back hard to snare a seven-point win. The Crocodiles won their other game against the Württemberg Giants comfortably by 57 points. Munich won their encounter with the Giants by 65 points.

    The Rheinland Lions had a bye this round.

    Round Four on May 26th will see the Frankfurt Redbacks hosting both the Hamburg Dockers and Württemberg Giants in their round robin draw. In Munich, the Kangaroos will host both the Berlin Crocodiles and the Rheinland Lions. The Dresden Wolves have the bye.

    Round 3 Results:
    (In Berlin)
    Munich Kangaroos 11 8 74 d Württemberg Giants 1 3 9
    Munich Kangaroos 7 7 49 d Berlin Crocodiles 6 6 42
    Berlin Crocodiles 8 12 60 d Württemberg Giants 0 3 3
    (In Hamburg)
    Hamburg Dockers 14 14 98 d Frankfurt Redbacks 2 2 14
    Hamburg Dockers 19 12 126 d Dresden Wolves 2 4 16
    Frankfurt Redbacks 7 7 49 d Dresden Wolves 5 1 31

    Round 2 Results:
    (In Dresden)
    Munich Kangaroos 15 11 101 d Dresden Wolves 4 4 28
    Hamburg Dockers 17 6 108 d Dresden Wolves 3 3 21
    Hamburg Dockers 6 7 43 d Munich Kangaroos 4 7 31
    (In Cologne)
    Berlin Crocodiles 13 11 89 d Rheinland Lions 2 3 15
    Frankfurt Redbacks 11 7 73 d Rheinland Lions 6 11 47
    Berlin Crocodiles 17 15 117 d Frankfurt Redbacks 3 1 19

    Ladder After Round 3:
    Hamburg 16, Berlin 12, Munich 12, Rheinland 8, Frankfurt 8, Württemberg 4, Dresden 0 ...

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    It doesn’t happen often, but the Bogota Bombers have set a few AFL Colombia records last weekend as they kept themselves firmly in the premiership race. Apart from being the highest score recorded in the very new South American competition, they also scored it being the bottom team. Add to that, the Bogota Bombers recorded a 213-point turnaround from the last time they met the Bogota Bullants. Certainly, the match has changed the status quo of the competition, bringing all three teams back into premiership calculations.

    Paddy Smallwood, president of AFL Colombia, provided a look at the game and its ramifications on the competition.

    “The game was a bloodbath. The Bullants went in very undermanned, with their captain Jamez injured and the league’s current leading goalscorer, Matt Sharaz, back home in Australia with his feet up, and many other important players out for various, some sceptical, reasons.”


    “The Bombers on the other hand went in with their strongest line up of the season by far. The Bombers came out charging and kicked a devastating eleven goals to two in the first quarter. The second quarter evened out a little with the Bullants having plenty of attack but ultimately inaccuracy hurt them and the Bombers extended their lead with an eight straight goal quarter to three to leave what was ultimately an unassailable task for the Bullants with an 82 point lead.”

    “Unfortunately, after half time one of the Bullants best players, Andy Fazz, went down injured. The Bombers, with revenge on their mind, showed no mercy and the flood gates opened. Colombian, Gorge 'Wham' Michael, slotted five goals in the third quarter to bring his total to ten for the game.”

    “The last quarter was a bloodbath. With any Bullants’ resistance all but gone, the Bombers had percentage on their mind. Another eleven-goal quarter had all watching calling for the mercy siren. Wham kicked another four goals to take his game tally to an astonishing 14 goals and claim the CAFL record for most goals in a game - a brilliant effort by a young Colombian fella only introduced to the game nine months ago.”

    “Although it was a disappointing game, it sets up the final regular game of the year fantastically. With the Bullants and Aguilas on two wins each, the Bombers now sit on 1 win but with a huge percentage. So, a win against the Aguilas in two weeks (19th of May) will see them jump the pack and charge into the grand final full of steam. The Aguilas will want to put a stop to their charge and instead face a possibly still depleted Bullants in the decider on the 16th of June.”


    Final Scores:
    Quarter Time - Bombers 11- 2 - 68 v Bullants 2 - 1 - 13
    Half Time - Bombers 19 - 2 - 116 v Bullants 5- 4 - 34
    Three Quarter Time - Bombers 27 - 3 - 165 v Bullants 6 - 6 - 42
    Full Time - Bombers 38 - 5 - 233 defeated Bullants 7 - 8 – 50

    Best Bombers - Wham, Fletch, Hollywood, Spuda, Quinn, Damian
    Best Bullants – Rimma, Quigley, Yesid, Pipe, Oscar.


    ...

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    All of the preliminaries are now done for Léo Lagrange CNFA Premiership season. Now, in Toulouse on May 26th, the grand-final will go ahead with the Paris Cockerels to clash with the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes. Whilst the Cockerels go into the big match as possible slight favourites, the Coyotes are super keen for a maiden title.

    The Coyotes already had plenty of incentive to win their first premiership. Twice bundled out of the finals by the Paris teams, and losing their only other grand final appearance to the Cockatoos in 2015/16, the Coyotes want retribution. Now they have even more opportunity for revenge, with the opportunity to bring down the Cockerels in a second grand-final.

    The efforts of the Coyotes in Toulouse cannot be understated. A win on the road in this competition is like diamonds – rare and beautiful – but to do so in a semi-final takes something special. The Hawks finished second on the home and away ladder, and had a pronounced home ground advantage – yet the Coyotes ground out a tough, relentless and courageous win.

    The final score saw the Coyotes 9 7 61 defeat the Toulouse Hawks 6 10 46. Each team had the same amount of scoring shots, but the Coyotes held their nerve better and capitalised on the scoreboard.

    When the Coyotes last played in a grand-final, they were the up and coming glamour team that surprised the competition with few expectations on them. It is different now. They are a team in their fifth consecutive finals campaign and rightfully one of the leagues power clubs. Now they are expected to win. They have a second chance at glory and will be expected to take it.

    This will be the Cockerels greatest secret weapon. They are a great side and a well drilled and coached team with a history of success. They know how to win flags and will play without the butterflies in the tummy. The Coyotes will have more than butterflies. They will have an entire insect eco-system in their stomachs and they will have a touch of “don’t screw this one up” about their game.

    But they are talented enough to win and deserve to be in another grand-final. Provided they keep their nerves in check.

    For the Toulouse Hawks, the season is over. On face value they missed out on a chance to win a flag. But look deeper, and the warning signs are their – a rebuild that saw them rise from wooden-spooners to semi-finalists in twelve months. That is impressive enough, but one senses that isn’t the end of their climb. They have only proved so much this year – there is a great deal more to prove yet. Beware the rising Hawks.

    But, for now, all eyes will be on Toulouse on May 26th as the Paris Cockerels met the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes for the 2017/18 premiership. May the best team win. ...

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    The Glasgow Sharks sent another strong message to the rest of their SARFL opponents on the weekend with a strong win against the Edinburgh Bloods in the battle of fierce rivals – geographically and historically. The win sees the Sharks gliding into top spot on the ladder after Round Three, having now downed the Bloods and the Giants in two impressive performances.

    The final score saw the Glasgow Sharks 14 16 100 down the Edinburgh Bloods 10 11 71 to record a 29-point win on the road.

    With two wins from two starts, the Sharks are off to a flyer. Their next match, against the Kingdom Kangaroos, could be season defining. Another win on the road will leave the Sharks in a very strong position before facing the Giants (away) and then three of the next four games at home (albeit, one of those is for no points against the Eagles – but the match practice still counts).


    The other match of Round Four will see the Giants hosting the Bloods in another match featuring teams from the rival cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

    Whilst early attention has been placed on the pleasing form of new teams – the West Lothian Eagles and Tyne Tees Tigers – the Glasgow Sharks have been building and building and already would have a small case of premiership desire growing.

    It makes for a fascinating 2018 season with an evenness evident across all teams which will see every win worth its weight in gold and every loss having potentially dire consequences. Last year’s premiers the Giants sit winless and must beat the Bloods to correct their season. Edinburgh are only a little better off with just one win and a need to get another win under their belts as well.

    It will be interesting, however, to see which team will be prepared to enter the Scottish waters and wrestle some Shark ...

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    The season is still young, and not all scenarios have been played out, but the Huddersfield Rams took another big step towards bigger things with their win over the Merseyside Saints. On face value, they have just one win from two games and their win was against the bottom-placed team. But digging deeper, there is a story in their results.

    Their opening round loss to the Nottingham Scorpions was only by 15 points. They pushed the grand finalists from the past two seasons all the way, suggesting they have the steel to stand up to the best opposition. Come finals time, and they will most likely be there, the Rams would not fear the Scorpions. Their 82-point win against the Merseyside Saints on the weekend was just the response they needed to give - and did.


    The Saints would have to be delighted in their own improvement. Whilst an 82-point is rarely a positive, in this case it is a massive improvement on the previous week’s 200+ point carnage. It says that many things improved – a better defensive unit, better scoring options up forward and a better level of general competitiveness. It is building blocks like this that teams grow from, and the Saints are well aware of that.

    The Manchester Mozzies, fresh off four consecutive premierships and a first round bye, returned to the field and immediately started wreaking havoc. Their 67-point win against the Nottingham Scorpions was reminiscent of a school bully returning after some time off and making sure everyone knew who was boss. Whilst all other teams are using the new season to start again and challenge for 2018, the stark reality is that the Mozzies just dismantled the second best performed team of the past two seasons. There is alarmingly little evidence to suggest that the Mozzie reign of terror is over.

    The Scorpions would be disappointed to have gone down in front of their home crowd, but it is only the second round and they now know the gaps they have to fill between now and finals time, so much can be taken from the game.

    The Wolverhampton Wolverines had the bye.

    Huddersfield Rams 141 defeated Merseyside Saints 59
    Manchester Mozzies 132 defeated Nottingham Scorpions 65

    Next round will be hosted by the Manchester Mosquitoes and features carbon copies of last season’s semi-final matches. The Mozzies will take on the in-form Huddersfield Rams whilst the Nottingham Scorpions will clash with the Wolverhampton Wolverines. The Merseyside Saints will likely be grateful for the bye to recalibrate ahead of their next matches. ...

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    The opening round of the new 2018 AFL Ireland Premiership season was played over the weekend in Cork, hosted by the reigning premiers the Leeside Lions. The Lions immediately set about staking their claim for another title with two good wins, but it was also a big day for the Belfast Redbacks as they claimed two wins from the day.

    The Leeside Lions have been the benchmark team in the competition, having won back to back flags in 2017 and 2018. With a balanced team that knows each other well, the Lions proved too good for the South Dublin Swans in the opening match before backing that result up with a hard fought win in a close match against the Galway Magpies.

    The Belfast Redbacks were determined to rebuild after last year, and successfully introduced some exciting new talent to their list. Sean Lynch, Diarmuid McConville and Padraic McCarthy pulled on the jerseys for the Redbacks in solid debuts. The new-look Redbacks were just as impressive as the Lions on the day, enjoying two comfortable wins against both the Swans and Magpies.

    After just one round of matches, it is too early to book grand final tickets. But the Lions have again made a statement that they are still the team to beat. The Redbacks also look the goods. But last year’s grand finalists – the South Dublin Swans – had a day they would rather play out again. They are likely to fight hard to find form and challenge again in 2018. The Galway Magpies pushed the Lions to just 11 points and were highly competitive against the Redbacks.

    After just one weekend in Cork, the season has signs of being one of the most even in years.

    Final Scores:
    Game 1 - Lions 13-9-87 d Swans 2-3-15
    Game 2 - Lions 7-8-50 d Magpies 6-3-39
    Game 3 Redbacks 11-8-74 d Swans 3-4-22
    Game 4 Redbacks 9-8-80 d Magpies 4-9-45
    (Scores courtesy Belfast Redback ...

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    Grand Final day for the AFL London competition wasn’t very long ago and fresh in most people’s minds would be the titanic struggle which saw the Wandsworth Demons hold off a desperate North London Lions by just three points in a low scoring match.

    Fast forward to Round Two of the 2018 AFL London Premiership season. Once again these two teams played out a breathlessly tight match. This time, the Demons held off the Lions by just seven points. Optimistic Demon fans could point out that the result was more than twice as big as last time. But most are more realistic and realise that the score-line suggests that nothing much, still, separates these two teams. Should they met in a grand final again, the Lions know they are close, but still have to find something extra.


    Of course, the West London Wildcats have their own ideas. Already harbouring thoughts of retribution and revenge for missing last year’s biggest game, the Wildcats are on their way back to their best after a powerful win over the Wimbledon Hawks. After going down to the Demons last round, the Wildcats were relentless against the stricken Hawks, powering away to a 128-point win on the road.

    Early indications are that the Demons, Lions and Wildcats will again fight for top three finishes. The Hawks and Swans, with two goals between them for the season to date, will need to find some answers quickly to remain in the hunt.

    The Women’s Premiership results almost mirrored the men’s results with the Wandsworth Demons eging out the North London Lions by three points, whilst the West London Wildcats had a big win over the Wimbledon Hawkettes.

    Next weekend will see the Round Three battles between the Lions and Wildcats, whilst the Swans will take on the Hawks for a chance of a first up victory for one of the two teams.

    Final Scores: Men’s Premiership
    Wandsworth Demons 6 11 47 d North London Lions 6 4 40
    West London Wildcats 20 16 136 d Wimbledon Hawks 1 2 8

    Final Scores: Women’s Premiership
    Wandsworth Demons 2 1 13 d North London Lions 1 4 10
    West London Wildcats 3 9 27 d Wimbledon Hawkettes 0 1 1


    ...

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    The names of Long, Rioli, Motlop, Davey and others have graced AFL lists for decades. Each year, players from the Northern Territory are making their way onto the biggest stage. Last year’s draft saw Zac Bailey from Southern Districts selected by the Brisbane Lions at Pick 15, whilst St Mary’s ruckman Tony Olango was grabbed by the West Coast Eagles at Pick 27 in the Rookie Draft.

    The following AFL Northern Territory Press Release looks a four NT prospects as they set themselves for the 2018 FL National Draft in November.

    Four NT standouts selected for national Allies squad           

     

    After a competitive showing at this year’s Under 18 Academy Series, four NT Thunder players have been chosen for the national Allies squad and will vie for the opportunity to play against the next crop of AFL draftees, while also putting themselves in contention for a spot on an AFL list. 

     Rodney Baird, Matthew Green, Michael Mummery and Izaak Wyatt will travel to Melbourne next week to play in practice games before the NAB AFL Under 18 National Championship takes place in June and July.   

    Green and Mummery, both part of the current crop of NAB AFL Academy Level 2 participants still had to put in strong performances during the Series to secure their spots, while Baird and Wyatt were consistently impressive in the NT’s games.  

    AFLNT Manager of Talent and Pathways, Wally Gallio said Allies selectors made up of AFL staff Luke Power, Kevin Sheehan and Marcus Ashcroft, as well as five AFL club recruiting managers selected the NT boys along with 46 other talented players. 

    “It puts our boys in a squad of 50 talented players, and next week they will split the Allies squad in half with one side to play Vic Metro and the other to play Vic Country.  

    “Playing for the Allies means they get the opportunity to play in a side that has a lot of depth and versatility and they will also be challenged by the best in their age group,” he said.  

    NT Thunder Academy coach Jimmy Driscoll will once again fulfil line coach duties for the Allies, with Gallio overseeing the team’s bench and rotations, and an NT Thunder strength and conditioning resource to travel with the team during the national carnival over the next couple of months.

    The Allies will be in competition against Vic Metro, Vic Country, South Australia and Western Australia for the division one title. 

    Under 18 NT Thunder players selected for the 2018 Allies squad:

    Rodney Baird

    Position: Defender

    Club: Palmerston

    DOB: 1/3/1999

    Gallio on Baird: “Rodney Baird has been consistent the whole Academy Series and deservedly won the most valuable player award for the Northern Territory this year. His interceptive marking and the way he ran the ball, as well as the way he acted like a general for the team and led by example was inspirational at times. On Saturday night he pushed his case for selection when he ended up with 20-odd possessions again and his disposal efficiency was at 85 per cent.”

     

    Matthew Green

    Position: Midfielder/Defender

    Club: Sporties Spitfires

    DOB: 5/5/2000

    Gallio on Green: “Greeny played across halfback and then we played him as an inside mid and he also played outside on a wing. His poise and ability to use the ball was really impressive and that’s what really attracted the AFL clubs and the other selectors of the Allies to him.”

     

    Michael Mummery

    Position: Midfielder/Forward

    Club: Nightcliff

    DOB: 13/6/2000

    Gallio on Mummery: “Michael started forward then played inside mid and his last three games of the Series was probably where he stood out. He was really good against Sydney in Alice Springs but on Saturday night against the Brisbane Lions he showed that he can play forward and through the midfield, his defensive work was also very exciting.”

     

    Izaak Wyatt

    Position: Small forward

    Club: Southern Districts

    DOB: 12/3/2000

    Gallio on Wyatt: “Izaak Wyatt, everyone thinks he’s a bit of a surprise packet but he’s shown over the last couple of years that he’s been a late developer. I think his footy changed when he played NTFL Premier League for Southern Districts under Shannon Rusca and was used as a small defensive forward. On Saturday night, he kicked a couple of nice goals and his defensive pressure was outstanding and that’s what put him in the fray.”

     

     

    Images: Rodney Baird (NT Thunder) Left. Michael Mummery (NT News) 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

                    ...


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    It would have to be the promoter’s dream for AFL Cairns – a match that will feature four ex-Cairns players in the one match. Three on one team, one on the other. Fans from the northern Australian city know the game is coming north – just a little too far north. Shanghai, China, to be exact.

    When the Gold Coast Suns run out onto Jiangwan Stadium on Saturday, mathematically, one seventh of the team (give or take) will hail from the Far North Queensland city. It is a city that has hosted premiership matches at Cazalys Stadium, as well as plenty of lesser games pre-season games prior to that. Along the way, local talent has threatened to make an impact, but this weekend will see the biggest representation of Cairns talent to date.

    Young draftee from last year, Jacob Heron, will debut for the Suns after impressing in the NEAFL. The former Cairns Saints player will join fellow Cairns Saints product Jack Bowes, with Heron selected in the Forward Pocket. Bowes will again line up on the wing, whilst veteran Suns’ player, and former Manunda Hawks and South Cairns Cutters product, Jarrod Harbrow will steer the defence. Three Suns from Cairns – quite a feat in itself.

    On the other side of the equation is big, bad Charlie Dixon. The powerhouse Port Adelaide forward (and himself a former Suns player) has become an even more valuable player since heading to South Australia. The former Redlynch Lions junior in Cairns went on to play senior footy, also with the Cairns Saints, before heading south to chase his AFL dream.

    Whilst the annual AFL Premiership match (this year it was a round one clash between the Suns and North Melbourne played largely underwater) is still the biggest weapon in the AFL Cairns armoury to attract new players to the game, the remarkable event of four Cairns players actually making it onto the playing field in one of the AFL’s marquee matches – a premiership match in Shanghai – must be a marketing gift.

    Cairns cannot lose out of this. Either the Suns win, steered home by three local players, or the Power get home on the ample back of Charlie Dixon. But bigger again is the selling point that Cairns truly is an AFL destination for matches to be played, and an AFL nursery which is now growing talent of the highest order at an ever-increasing rate. Or, possibly, the talent was always here – it is just being noticed more and more as footy in Cairns gains greater and greater exposure.

    Kids playing footy up in the tropical northern climes can now believe, really believe, that they might be the next Heron, next Bowes, next Harbrow or next Dixon. Or any one of a growing number of Cairns products before them.

    So, this weekend, as the footy eyes are projected to China, the people of Cairns – particularly the footy people – will have an ever-so-slightly greater interest in proceedings in Shanghai. All things going to play, that interest should also last well beyond next weekend.


    Pictures: Charlie Dixon (Port Adelaide Power) Top Left. Jacob Heron (Gold Coast Suns) Top Righ ...

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    AFL Sweden is currently gearing up for their 2018 Swedish Cup, this year to be played at the Limhamnsfältet in Malmö and hosted by the Port Malmö Maulers club. Hopes are high for the event to feature SAFF (Swedish Australian Football Federation) clubs – the Södermalm Blues, Solna Axemen, Årsta Swans and Norrtälje Dockers.

    It is also hoped that the Olso Crows club from Norway will make the journey to compete as well as players from other Swedish clubs from the south in the Göteborg Berserkers, Eksjo Bulldogs, Port Malmö Maulers – a Swedish team playing in the DAFL (Danish Australian Football League) - and Helsingborg Saints. Even if these clubs cannot be there in their entirety, combined teams will be put together.


    Yet to be confirmed is the possibility of multiple women’s teams for the event should numbers be sufficient. The Port Malmö Lynx team would be highly likely with the possibility of a combined team as a playing option.

    The tournament is one of the biggest on the annual AFL Sweden calendar, and with the amount of players and teams travelling there is sure to be a decent crowd on hand to cheer the teams on. Currently, the Solna Axemen lead the SAFF competition and will go into the event as one of the favourites along with the second placed Blues and third placed Dockers. The Port Malmö Maulers currently sit inside the DAFL top four and will also challenge for the event.

    The Swedish Cup will be played on June 2nd at Limhamnsfältet in Malmö. For more information on the event, contact AFL Sweden’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/aflsweden/ or the Port Malmö Maulers at: https://www.facebook.com/PortMalmoFootballClub/

    ...

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    The Edinburgh Bloods have come back hard after their last round loss, downing last season’s premiers the Greater Glasgow Giants on the road a week after going down to the Glasgow Sharks in a tight, tough match. The result gives the Bloods two wins from three starts this season and sets them up well for a run to the finals later in the season.

    The loss for the Giants could prove disastrous, in terms of defending their title, as they are now winless after their own first three matches. They face an uphill battle now to keep up with the pacesetters and will need a big change of fortune in coming weeks. Given that the new format with five teams (not including the Eagles) means two teams can miss finals altogether, the pressure is mounting for the Giants to at least get some momentum.

    The Bloods Facebook page states, “the Bloods have come away with a hard fought win on the road. We had a strong first half, weathered a [third quarter] wobble then pulled away late in the game to secure the victory. Final score 93-68. Thanks to the Giants for another hard but fair game played in the right spirit.”

    In the other match of the round the Glasgow Sharks continued their undefeated run, easily accounting for the Kingdom Kangaroos. Once again, the Sharks’ scoring power was on show with another 100+ point score – a constant in all three of their wins to date. This time it was a luckless Kingdom Kangaroos team that felt their wrath. This time, the Sharks racked up an impressive 159 to 72 victory to secure top spot as the only undefeated team and consign the Roos to a battle with their own demons. Whilst they have only lost one official home and away game with the loss to the Sharks, their other defeat was to newcomers the West Lothian Eagles, so the Roos are still searching for their first win of the season.

    Next round will see four desperate teams. The Tyne Tees Tigers will host the winless Roos, whilst the West Lothian Eagles will host the also winless Giants in what shape as fascinating matches. The Tigers have already proved that their home ground advantage is real after downing the Giants in Newcastle a few weeks ago. It will be a tough task for the Roos.

    The Eagles have already won one more game than some expected when they took down the Roos in their maiden match and win. The Giants need the win, but you can bet the Eagles can smell blood and will super keen for win number two in their developmental season. ...

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    The next instalment of the St. Petersburg Cup will be played in the Russian city this weekend. Once a battle between the St. Petersburg Cats and the Lazy Koalas from Moscow, the 2018 tournament will also feature the Helsinki Heatseekers club from Finland in a genuine combination of Russian and Finnish talent.

    As previously reported, the Helsinki team will travel by sea and road through Tallin, the capital city and major port in Estonia, and would not be averse to dragging along some local AFL Estonia talent for the event. (See AFL Estonia – More Than Just A Name)

    After years of gradual development, mainly in Moscow then more recently in St. Petersburg, the game in Russia has now grown to support clubs in both cities as they play across the year for the pride of being Russia’s best. Not only do the Cats and Lazy Koalas provide two national level clubs, but each has sprouted smaller, localised feeder teams to grow local match practice. After years of groundwork, the game is now moving forward in a pleasing way.

    The addition of competition with other Baltic states (Estonia) and potentially later with other Scandinavian clubs/leagues (Finland now and potentially, later, Sweden and Norway) offers the potential for greater growth of the game across the region – something that the clubs and also AFL Europe are conscious of and are actively developing.

    This weekend’s tournament, hosted by the St. Petersburg Cats in association with AFL Europe and AFL Russia, will be played at the Kirovets Stadium. The day will feature “come and try” sessions as well as a women’s exhibition game before the Cats, Lazy Koalas and Heatseekers play a round robin draw of matches to determine the grand finalists.

    The event shapes as an excellent display of Australian Rules football in a country that has embraced the game in a small but increasingly significant way.

    Program of Events:
    11.00am – Come and Try Beginners Session
    11.40am – SPB Cats v Helsinki Heatseekers
    12.20pm – Women’s Exhibition Match
    1.00pm – Helsinki Heatsekers v Lazy Koalas (Moscow)
    1.50pm – SPB Cats v Lazy Koalas
    2.30pm – Grand Fina ...

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    For two seasons, the Manchester Mozzies and Nottingham Scorpions have set the pace in the AFLCNE competition. Whilst, from time to time, other teams have shown signs of a challenge to their dominance, by grand final day both teams had proved they were a touch of class above the rest.

    This season had seen the Wolverines off to a blistering start and the Rams playing well. But come last weekend, the Mozzies and Scorpions had risen above the early season cobwebs and announced that, in all likelihood, they will gain dominate the season.

    In the weekend action in Manchester, the Nottingham Scorpions dished out an 89-point lesson to the Wolverhampton Wolverines whilst the Manchester Mozzies downed the Huddersfield Rams by 62 points. The victories have seemingly set in place a clear hierarchy – two clear favourites to challenge again, two worthy combatants on the next tier and the Merseyside Saints needing to turn their season around dramatically to challenge.


    It is still a long way to the finals, with variables such as injuries, travel, player availability, weather and form capable of creating change. But it appears that after just three rounds of the AFLCNE season, a pecking order is established.

    Next round will see the focus turn to Liverpool as the Merseyside Saints host the matches. The Saints will have their hands full against the Scorpions, whilst the Mozzies come up against the Wolverines. The Huddersfield Ram have the bye. Certainly, if results go the expected way, the top two teams could move further away from the challengers.

    This weekend is the Bank Holiday, so matches will resume on June 2nd as the season closes in on the half way point.

    Final Scores:
    Manchester Mosquitoes 20.15.135 d Huddersfield Rams 11.7.63
    Nottingham Scorpions 22.20.152 d Wolverhampton Wolverines 8.13.63
    Merseyside Saints - B ...

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    After a shaky start to their season, the London Swans hit back with a strong 48-point victory against the Wimbledon Hawks in Round Three of the AFL London competition. After an opening round drubbing from the Lions and a bye last round, the Swans needed to turn around their season quickly and did so at the expense of an out of sorts Wimbledon.

    The result may prove a catalyst for the Swans to push for a finals berth later in the season as they keep the Hawks at bay for now.

    In the second match of the weekend, two of the heavyweights in the West London Wildcats and North London Lions fought out a tough, tight game. In the end it was the Wildcats holdout out for 1 12-point win to keep them close to the Wandsworth Demons. The match showcased both team’s determination and proved that little separates the top three teams. In the Women’s Premiership matches, the Demons and Lions both recorded big victories.


    The first round robin format of the combined Southern England and Welsh leagues was also played with the Bristol Dockers and Cardiff Panthers dominating the day with two wins each.

    Men's Premiership
    Wildcats 11.17.83 def Lions 11.5.71
    Swans 12.11.83 def Hawks 5.5.3

    Women's Premiership
    Lions 10.10.70 def Wildcats 0.3.3
    Demons 13.12.90 def Giants 0.0.0

    Southern England & Welsh Leagues
    Sussex Swans 7.5.47 d Chippenham Redbacks 2.5.17
    Southhampton Titans 0.2.2. def by Bristol Dockers 11.7.73
    Portsmouth Pirates 3.3.21 def by Cardiff Panthers 7.5.47
    Southhamton Titans 6.3.39 drew with Chippenham Redbacks 6.3.39
    Portsmouth Pirates 2.2.14 def by Bristol Dockers 7.5.47
    Sussex Swans 5.3.33 def by Cardiff Panthers 7.4.46
    Portsmouth Pirates 5.10.40 d Chippenham Redbacks 2.6.18
    Swans 4.4.28 def by Dockers 14.5.89
    Titans 1.5.11 def by Panthers 5.10.40

    Central & Northern England
    Mosquitoes 20.15.135 def Rams 11.7.63
    Scorpions 22.20.152 def Wolverines 8.13. ...

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    After downing the Bogota Bombers on the weekend, the DC Aguilas have earned the right to meet the Bogota Bullants in the inaugural AFL Colombia grand final. It has been a wonderful first season for the fledgling league, setting up a permanency for the game in years to come. Whilst there were twists and turns along the way, with the Bombers finding form late to challenge, the two best performed teams will ultimately go to the big dance.

    Final Scores: DC Aguilas 23 11 149 d Bogota Bombers 12 15 87

    AFL Colombia president, Paddy Smallwood, reported from Bogota that, “this definitely ramped up to be the biggest match of the regular season. A rematch of what was the most intense contest of the season, it was do-or-die for the Blue Studies Bombers against the Gourmet Burger Bar Bogota D.C. Aguilas who were sitting pretty at the top of the ladder.”


    “Missing Andrew Fletcher , who helped sink the foot into the Bogota Craft Beer Bullants, may have had them a bit worried, but the Bombers surely still felt relatively confident with gun goalkicking Santa Martan Paddy Quinn and record goal scorer “Wham” York Peñalosa, as well as rugby blow-ins like Camilo Medina.”

    “The first quarter kicked off event-free, though the Aguilas did lose Miguel Pacheco Sailaku relatively early due to an injured leg and although the Bombers got more opportunities and shots on goal, they were spoiled by inaccuracy, falling short of the Aguilas 2-4 to 4-0.”

    “The second quarter didn’t improve on the ledger with some phenomenal pressure being placed on the Bombers and big man Sam Miller dominating in the middle. The Bombers still had the spoil of opportunities but continued with an unexpected streak of inaccurate shots going down 4-5 to 6-2.’

    “By halftime the bombers were kicking themselves for what was a weird funk in missed goals but they would soon be hit by further misfortune, having to lose their two rugby players and having no players on the bench. By this time the Aguilas were surely feeling the confidence as they started to pull one over and increased the differential to 102-66. Captain Paddy and one day ringer Brad Arnold twisted the knife with some excellent goals and contests alongside the freakishly dominant Sam.”

    “By the fourth quarter, the Bombers were all but spent. Goal after goal left Chris Payne and Travis Crockett ruing the missed chances at the start of the match as the Aguilas topped it off at 149-87, which wasn’t nearly as much of a blowout as the Bombers-Bullants game and surely has the Bullants shaking in their footy boots for the final.”

    Best Players:

    Aguilas: Sam Miller, Torres Sergio, Paddy Smallwood, Brad Arnold
    Bombers: York “Wham” Peñalosa, Paddy Quinn, Liam Oh Konel, Camilo Medi ...

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    The following article from the AFLNT website details an historic curtain-raiser match on Sunday to the clash between the Melbourne demons and Adelaide Crows in Alice Springs. Whilst much of the focus will centre on the Round 10 AFL Premiership match, the match between the Redtails and the Storm will instil great pride and excitement in locals and all Territorians.

    AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) is pleased to announce the teams for XYZ game, which will be played as a curtain-raiser to the Toyota AFL Premiership Round 10 blockbuster between Melbourne and the Adelaide Crows in Alice Springs this Sunday. 

    The two teams consist of some of the best talent Territory football has to offer, with players from Alice Springs and Darwin being joined by their remote teammates from regions such as Galiwin'ku, Gove, Groote Eylandt, Hermmansburg, Katherine, Lajamanu, Papunya, Tennant Creek, Ti-Tree, Tiwi Islands and Wadeye. 

     In a coup for Territory football and what is the AFL’ s launch of Sir Doug Nicholls Round, the Central Australian Redtails vs Top End Storm game starts at 11:40am ACST and will be televised nationally via the AFL’s broadcast partner, Channel 7.  The broadcast commences from 11:30am. 

     

    The Redtails will be coached by one of their own, Matt Campbell. Alice Springs raised Campbell is a former AFL player with North Melbourne and is the current Darwin Buffaloes NTFL player-coach and also a current NT Thunder player. 

    Not to be outdone, the Storm team will be under the guidance of former Melbourne AFL player, Tiwi Island product and experienced footballer, Austin Wonaeamirri.  

    The two teams will wear specially designed guernseys featuring work by local artists. 

    The Redtails guernsey is designed by Curtis Haines who is from Ti-Tree but now resides in Alice Springs.  

    The guernsey pays homage to a common sight in Central Australia, the beautiful red-tailed black cockatoo. Haines explained that the bird remains the focus of the design as it sits front and centre, and the surrounds represent the story of the Redtails Football Club.  

    “The stick figure on the front bottom right side represents the young man who lost his life through a domestic violence incident that happened in 2010 and was the catalyst for the Redtails Football Club's inception. It is also placed there in honour of him and in recognition of another young Redtails player who we lost far too early, in 2015. 

    “The patterns represent all communities in our region coming together to represent Central Australia through Australian football. We come together to strengthen our region and develop ways that together we improve not only our footy but create a future that addresses our issues and celebrate our successes.  

    “The guernsey is a powerful statement of unity, opportunity, pride and honour. It embraces all of us to achieve greatness,” he said.

    The Storm guernsey is a re-creation of the 2018 NT Thunder Indigenous guernsey by Nathan Djerrkura.

    The former AFL and NT Thunder player is also a Yolngu man from the Wangurri clan and lives in the remote Arnhem Land town of Yirrkala and will be playing for the Top End team on Sunday.

    Djerrkura said his design was inspired by watching the spectacular storms that roll in over the ocean.

    “When the lightning strikes the water, it lights up the sky and the ocean followed by a monstrous roar that shakes the earth 

    “I like to relate this to our Territory teams and how they light up the oval and the crowds with their speed, freakish skills and monstrous physical attack on the ball.” 

    The blue colour in the Top End Storm design represents the sea across the top of the Territory, and the colours in the lightning bolt represent the colours of the traditional garments worn by different tribes and clans across the Top End. 

    AFLNT Manager of Talent and Pathways Wally Gallio has been overseeing the Darwin and Alice Springs contingent and said a great occasion awaits both the players and spectators. 

    “Australian football is the language of the NT, and the opportunity these young men have to showcase their natural flair and that fast, exciting talent we are renowned for is too good to miss.

    “When they run out on Sunday they will not only do themselves proud but will carry with them the pride of their families, communities and the whole Territory,” he said.  

    To view the full squads for this historic match, go t the original article on the AFLNT website at: https://www.aflnt.com.au/news/2018/inaugural-central-australia-redtails-vs-top-end-storm-match-set-to-delight-the-nation ...


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    The Paris Cockerels have claimed the CNFA Leo Lagrange premiership for the 2017/18 season with a resounding 106-point victory against the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes. It is the Cockerels first flag since their 2014/15 season flag. For the Coyotes, it was a day to forget, and hopefully a catalyst for a determined effort next season to lift their first flag.

    The game was put away in the opening quarter. The rampant Cockerels knew the value of a fast start and that is exactly how they went about it, peppering the goals for a 67-13 lead at the first break. It was a huge quarter and immediately placed the Coyotes under massive pressure to worry about closing the gap first, much less winning.

    The second quarter was tight, and low scoring after the first quarter fireworks. The Coyotes defence held firm and with more accuracy they would have won the quarter. They didn’t and the Cockerels took the quarter narrowly to lead 80-24 at the main break.


    The “premiership quarter” loomed, but the Coyotes still trailed by nine goals. They would have hoped that by staying in the game they could whittle down Cockerels’ lead further and hope for a big last term. But it wasn’t to be as the Cockerels went on another scoring rampage to what was clearly the scoring end. Another huge quarter saw the Cockerels blast out to a 108-point lead – an unassailable lead. The three-quarter time scores saw the Cockerels leading 138 to 30.

    The last quarter was going to be about pride for the Coyotes as they south to stem any further bleeding. Even if the Cockerels had subconsciously relaxed, they still fought for more. But to the Coyotes credit, they kept fighting to the end and in fact won the final quarter. It was the smallest of positives to come from a dark day, but a positive nonetheless. I an oddity for the match, the second and final quarter totals were equal across the two teams. Sadly for the Coyotes, all of the damage was done in the first and third quarters which saw the Cockerels dominate 125 to 19 – and that kind of dominance wins premierships.

    The final scores saw the Paris Cockerels 159 defeat the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes 53.

    It was a fitting result for the Cockerels. The club went through the home and away season undefeated. Their only other meeting with the Coyotes this season saw them win by 18 points back in the second round in October. There was no real luck about their season – just pure hard work and a strong mental and professional attitude. They deserved their day of glory and can place their cup alongside the others they have won as the CNFA’s most successful club.

    The Coyotes have been through this heartbreak before. Nothing makes a grand final loss any easier to bear, but smart teams learn from tough times, as the club has done before, and will again as they rebuild and reload for the 2018/19 season.

    But today, the Paris Cockerels can crow from the highest buildings and peaks. They are the 2017/18 CNFA Leo Lagrange premiers and deserve to revel in the glory of a great day and a great season. ...

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  • 05/26/18--18:06: Roos Bounce Back – SARFL


  • A desperate Kingdom Kangaroos made the daunting journey south to Newcastle to take on the Tyne Tees Tigers and chase their first win of the season. As if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, only ten Roos made the journey to take on a near full-strength Tiger outfit. Not much fun stopping at one challenge when you can have so many more.

    But the Roos embraced the day and in the end triumphed over a willing Tyne Tees team by 43 points. The Roos were desperate to get back on the winners list as finals will only see the top three teams involved. The Tigers showed at their last home match that the trip to Newcastle is fraught with danger for teams that are not completely switched on. The Giants found that out just a few weeks ago. The Roos, however, played for their season, rather than being deterred by a road trip.

    Final Scores: Kingdom Kangaroos 19 18 132 d Tyne Tees Tigers 13 11 89


    In the other game this weekend, the West Lothian Eagles hosted the Greater Glasgow Giants. The Eagles’ results this year are not counted on the premiership ladder as it is their developmental year. But each game is vitally important to the club to prove that they have what it takes on and off the field ready for full inclusion in 2019.

    For three quarters, the Eagles held sway against last season’s premiers in a wonderful team effort. Holding a handy lead at the final change, the Eagles had to hold off a rampant Giants team. Even the Eagles concede that it was their own discipline more so than talent which cost them in a nail-biting finish. In the end, the Giants snatched a win with a goal on the siren to break Eagle hearts at full time.

    In the harsh light of retrospect, however, the result was an amazing endorsement of how far the Eagles have already come, and raises the question of how far they will advance by season’s end and especially by 2019. The club now knows that they can take on the best and compete. Whilst they have played last season’s grand finalists for a win and narrow loss, their bigger tests will come against this season’s best performed teams – the Sharks and Bloods.

    Final Scores: Greater Glasgow Giants 15 7 97 d West Lothian Eagles 14 8 92

    Next round will see the Tyne Tees Tigers hosting the Edinburgh Bloods. The Tigers need the win to stay in touch with a finals berth, whilst the Bloods would also see this game as a chance to strengthen their own finals chances.
    ...

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