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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    The recent tour of Ireland by the USA Revolution national team in playing two #International Tests against the Irish Warriors has had only limited ramifications as far as the World Footy News World Rankings are concerned. Because Ireland received 3.00 *Home Advantage Rating Points the Rating Gap for both matches (Ireland won both) was +/-10.29^ and therefore No Advantage was gained or lost by either nation.

     For international footy fans new to WFN World Rankings see below for the relevant rules.

     *To reflect home ground / country advantage the home team has 3 ranking points added to their total for the purposes of the points exchange calculation. This is applied to one off or two team series, it generally is not applied to tournaments with multiple teams, as the home ground advantage is often diminished as teams experience neutral games, often stay for extended periods and the home side often has a heavy burden in organisation.



    ^A team more than 10 ranking points ahead of their opponent is simply defending their points, they cannot win any more from that match.

     # For matches played since IC2017, games must have been at least 16-a-side and all players on each team be nationals are deemed to be International Matches

    Player’s eligibility criteria met, confirmed by Lily Beck at AFL Europe.

    The only change at all to the Ranking Scheme is the addition of two matches to USA and Ireland’s total Matches Played tally. Ireland up to 61 & USA  to 50

    Ireland 56.64 + 3.00 home advantage = 59.64 Rating Points

    USA = 49.34 Rating Points

    Rating Gap = +/- 10.30 

    World Footy News Australian Football Men's World Rankings

    (as at end of 10th August 2018)


    Rank        Team Points Games Rank Change
    1 Australia -  0 steady
    2 Papua New Guinea 61.99 39 steady
    3 New Zealand 57.88 43 steady
    4 Ireland 56.64 60 steady
    5 Nauru 52.97 32 steady
    6 United States 49.34 49 steady
    7 Croatia 47.09 13 steady
    8 South Africa 46.61 32 steady
    9 Great Britain 46.23 64 steady
    10 Canada 45.84 48 steady
    11 Denmark 43.67 47 steady
    12 Tonga 41.93 14 steady
    13 China 39.91 25 steady
    14 Fiji 38.01 19 steady
    15 Germany 37.55 25 steady
    16 Peace Team 36.46 11 steady
    17 France 36.09 18 steady
    18 Japan 35.06 34 steady
    19 Sweden 34.18 39 steady
    20 Indonesia 30.94 12 steady
    21 Pakistan 29.14 10 steady
    22 Finland 27.45 18 steady
    23 India 20.71 21 steady
    Prov. Sri Lanka 37.41 5 *
    Prov. Indochina 34.00 2 *
    Prov. Timor-Leste 27.40 6 *


    * Nations marked in grey with an asterisk have played less than eight (8) matches under our criteria, and currently hold provisional ranking points, but are not yet officially ranked. 




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    In a revamped FAFL season which has seen a three round and finals format, as well as the Turku Dockers electing their first ever all-Finnish board, the on-field action has seen a marked difference in competitiveness. After the dominance in recent seasons of the Helsinki Heatseekers, either by pure talent or dwindling opposition, this season is shaping as one where each team could potentially take the title.

    Last weekend, the second round of the season was played at Parkin Kenttä in Turku. Across the three-way round robin format, all three teams enjoyed a win after the rain cleared to allow some good footy. The Turku Dockers upset the Helsinki Heatseekers, the Waasa Wombats then downed the Dockers and the Heatseekers regained their composure after the earlier shock loss to defeat the Wombats.

    These results, following on from the first round results, see the Heatseekers on top of the ladder, but they are not invincible – as the Dockers proved. Earlier this season the June tournament was played in Helsinki with the home team winning both matches against the Dockers and Wombats. The Wombats downed the Dockers in the other match.

    The updated FAFL ladder after two rounds:

    1. Helsinki Heatseekers (Won 3, Lost 1) - 12 points, 303.8%

    2. Vaasa Wombats (Won 2, Lost 2) - 8 points, 72.3%

    3. Turku Dockers (Won 1, Lost 3) - 4 points, 46.2%

    The Round 3 tournament will be played in Vaasa on August 25th. The venue for the grand final will be determined by the ladder positions at the end of the third round of matches with the minor premier to host the match. Teams finishing in first and second place will play in the grand final on 22nd September.

    Whilst the Heatseekers hold top spot ahead of the Vaasa round, and the Dockers are two games behind in last position, results in Vaasa could see any of the three teams reach the grand final – and from there it is the best team on the day. It makes for an exciting potential finish to a relatively even FAFL season. And as the Dockers proved last weekend, the Heatseekers can be beaten. ...

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    The 2018 SARFL Grand Final will see the Glasgow Sharks take on the Edinburgh Bloods after the weekend’s finals battle saw the Bloods down the Kingdom Kangaroos by 43 points. It is a fitting result as both the Sharks and Bloods have dominated the home and away season.

    The Bloods led for the match and continued to build as the game went on. An undermanned Kangaroos team fought to the end, winning the final quarter with five goals. However, it was a case of too little too late to stop the Edinburgh team from taking the match and the grand final place.

    The Bloods lead by 16 points at the first break and opened that up to 28 points by half time. By the end of the match, the Bloods had put enough distance between the two teams to withstand a Roo fightback.

    According to the Edinburgh Bloods’ Facebook page, “For the first time in three seasons, the Bloods have got through the semi-finals with a 95-52 win against the Kingdom Kangaroos ARFC. As always, against the Roos it was a tough physical battle but we stood tall and led for the majority of the game. Thank you to our opposition for another competitive game and we wish you all the best for next season. 'Mon the Bloods!”

    The Glasgow Sharks will go into the big match as favourites on the back of a near-perfect season and having downed the Bloods by 29 points in Edinburgh back in May. Their only blemish was their shock last-start loss to the Tyne Tees Tigers in Newcastle, which will now be put down to an anomaly rather than a form guide.

    The Grand Final will be played next Saturday at the Linlithgow Rugby Club at 2.00pm. A women’s curtain-raiser match will precede the big dance. Women from across the league will be divided into two teams as a showcase of Scottish women’s talent.

    It promises to be a huge day for the SARFL Grand Final and AFL Scotland.

    Final score:
    Edinburgh Bloods 13.17.95 d Kingdom Kangaroos 7.10.52

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    Round 13 of the DAFL saw an upset and a derby as the featured events. The Copenhagen Barracudas triumphed over their capital city rivals, the Giants, whilst the Aalborg Kangaroos upset the top team, the Farum Cats.

    An eight-goal opening quarter to the scoring end saw the Barracudas set their match up early. A 43-point quarter-time advantage for the Barracudas was clawed back to just 18 points by the main break as the Giants worked themselves back into the battle. However, the Barracudas kicked another eight goals in the third quarter to effectively decide the match, leading by 55 points by the final change. The Giants could not generate any real advantage in the final quarter and despite taking the quarter by two points, they still fell by 53 points.

    The Alborg Kangaroos inflicted the Farum Cats’ first defeat of the season. Hosting the Cats, the Aalborg team were strong as a unit and would not allow the Cats into the game. The win keeps the Kangaroos right in the finals mix, jumping over the Copenhagen Giants into the top four. Their next assignment is a tough one against the Barracudas – currently in second place – but they are still in the race.

    After a mid-season break, the DAFL got underway again the previous weekend when the Port Malmö Maulers defeated the Odense Lions by 50 points in Limhamn. The win saw the Maulers strengthen their own place in the top four and consigned the Odense Lions to a likely wooden spoon.

    With four rounds left to play ahead of the September finals series, all games will matter with all teams except the Lions capable of playing finals. The action resumes next weekend when Copenhagen Giants host the Farum Cats in a must-win clash for both teams. In the other match, the Copenhagen Barracudas will host the Odense Lions.

    Final Scores:
    Round 12 - Port Malmö Maulers 13 9 87 d Odense Lions 5 7 37

    Round 13 – Copenhagen Barracudas 22 6 38 d Copenhagen Giants 12 13 85
    Round 13 – Aalborg Kangaroos 108 d Farum Cats ...

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  • 08/13/18--00:19: Daring To Dream

  • Both the Belfast Redbacks and the Galway Magpies face a huge week ahead of next weekend’s AFL Ireland Grand Final. Having both won through to the biggest day of the premiership season, both will be entertaining thoughts – dreaming – of what might be next Saturday.

    For the Redbacks, a third premiership sits on the horizon. After having been the best team of the season, undefeated and seemingly well ahead of the rest, the Belfast crew must be quivering with anticipation and self-belief. However, they still have to produce the goods on the one day of the year that really matters. It is one thing to get excited, expectant, confident – it is another to believe the game is already won.

    For the Galway Magpies it is a different feeling. They last trod this hallowed ground in 2014, only to be beaten at the final hurdle. Now they have another chance to win their first title. The feeling of excitement will be palpable, not just within the club, but by others becoming aware of the deeds of the local team across Galway. The have been a bridesmaid before – now they want to be the bride.

    The Magpies won their way into the Grand Final when they downed the Leeside Lions last weekend in the provisional finals. The Lions won their earlier game against the South Dublin Swans to challenge the Magpies for a spot in the premiership decider. The Lions were never going to submit easily, having won the past two flags, but the Magpies held firm to win by 25 points.

    The Redbacks were able to sit back with a suitable beverage and watch to see who would come through to challenge them. They have beaten both this season, but in a sense, a final against the Galway team probably has more of an X-Factor. Where it was tipped that the Lions might be there, the Magpies appearance has been a surprise.

    It is sure to be a huge day, and memorable for either side. The dreaming lasts another week before reality sets in.

    Final Scores
    First Semi-Final - Leeside Lions 4-6-30 d South Dublin Swans 4-5-29

    Second Semi-Final - Galway Magpies 6-5-41 d Leeside Lions 2-4-16

    The Grand Final will be played in Belfast on 25th Augus ...

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    It was veteran Channel 7 commentator Anthony Hudson who uttered the famous words “who would have thought the sequel would be just as good as the original” when the West Coast Eagles defeated the Sydney Swans by one point for the AFL flag in 2006. This was in response to the Swans winning by less than a goal in 2005.

    Fast forward to London in 2018 and the Wandsworth Demons pulled off a similar miraculous premiership win against the West London Wildcats to be AFL London premiers. The result capped off an amazing finals campaign for the club, winning four of the five premierships on offer.

    For variety, the Shepherds Bush Raiders defeated the Clapham Demons in the Men’s Conference division Grand Final.

    When the teams met in the semi-final two weeks ago, scores were tied after the regular time played. It took extra time to be played for the Wildcats to sneak ahead and win by just three points. Nothing could top that – or so we all thought. The original was an amazing match and it would have to take something better (a sequel) to be better. It did and it was.

    After a big opening quarter where the Demons attacked hard and defended brilliantly, keeping the Wildcats scoreless, Wandsworth held a 22-point lead. However, by half time, the Wildcats were back in the game with a big four goal second quarter of their own. They trailed by just four points and it was game on. The premiership quarter – the third – was as tight as could be with the Wildcats pegging back a point to go to the final quarter just three points behind.

    The last quarter would have to be one of the most tense grand final finishes on record in London. Neither side gave an inch and the Wildcats crept closer. They won the last quarter and, indeed, the second half, but it just wasn’t enough as the Demons hung on desperately by the narrowest of margins.

    The Wandsworth Demons were delirious – the West London Wildcats shattered. However, football was all the better for such a wonderful display by two magnificent teams.

    Final Scores:
    Q1 – Demons 3 4 22 v Wildcats 0 0 00
    Q2 – Demons 4 7 31 v Wildcats 4 3 27
    Q3 – Demons 6 12 48 v Wildcats 7 3 45
    Full Time – Wandsworth Demons 8 13 61 d West London Wildcats 9 6 60

    The Women’s Premiership division saw the Wandsworth Demons win the flag against the North London Lions by a comfortable 22 points. In the Men’s Conference division, the Shepherds Bush Raiders pulled of something of an upset when they downed the Clapham Demons. The Demons had dominated the home and away competition but stumbled at finals time. The Raiders won in the end by 22 points.

    The Men’s Social division was won by the Demons over the North London Lions by 37 points. Last weekend, the Women’s Conference division was won by the Wandsworth Demons against the London Swans. It gave the Demons an amazing four flags across five divisions in one of the most emphatic club-wide performances to date.

    All clubs can now look forward to the off-season, either resting up or being a part of upcoming tournaments. Soon enough, the planning for 2019 will begin.

    We also hope that Anthony Hudson hears about this.

    Final Scores (Grand Finals):
    Women’s Premiership – Wandsworth Demons 5 3 33 d North London Lions 1 5 11
    Men’s Conference – Shepherds Bush Raiders 7 9 51 d Clapham Demons 4 5 29
    Men’s Social – Wandsworth Demons 7 5 47 d north London Lions 1 4 ...

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    The second AFL Colombia season has already produced surprising results, with inaugural flag winner, the DC Aguilas, already slipping behinds the other teams and at risk of being unable to defend their title from earlier in the year. President of AFL Colombia, Paddy Smallwood, looks at the last two matches.

    “The Aguilas, coming off a defeat to the Bullants in Round 1, needed to back up and face the Bombers. Again, with a number of key players missing through injury and vacations, the reigning premiers had their backs against the wall for the second week running, and the lack of confidence showed early.”

    “The Bombers jumped out of the blocks and stunned the Aguilas with an impressive seven goal four to the Aguilas scoreless first quarter. Some quarter time adjustments and composure where exactly what the Aguilas needed. Any thought of the contest being over where extinguished with three quick-fire goals to the Aguilas breathing life back into the contest. The Bombers then steadied with two of their own before the the Aguilas responded again to take out the quarter four goals to two.”

    “Both teams came out after the break needing the first goal, and when the Aguilas got it there was a feeling that a big upset might be on the cards, however the Bombers steadied and put the next few goals on the board to wrench back control. The Aguilas had no real response from this point, and the Bombers took the quarter five goals to two and effectively ended the contest. The last quarter opened up, and with many tired defensive legs on the park, the ball pinballed end to end with the Bombers overrunning a brave but ultimately defeated Aguilas unit. The Bombers took the last quarter five goals to three, with the deserved winners taking out a slightly flattering 72-point win.”

    Bombers 19-17-131 d Aguilas 9-5-59
    Best Bombers - Diego Lopez, Liam Okonnel, Chris Payne
    Best Aguilas - Iain Conlon, James Moore, Miguel Pacheko

    “On Saturday, the Bombers faced the Bullants in an anticipated match, with the winner effectively putting one foot into the Grand Final.”
    “The first quarter lived up to the hype with both teams showing great skill and dash while rebounding out of defence. Last season’s league best & fairest, Sam Miller, took early domination of the ruck, but the Bombers defensive midfielders negated the threat and continually drove them forward off the back of the square. It was really high quality end to end football. The Bullants’ inaccuracy ultimately costing them a bigger quarter time lead, which stood at four points at the first change.”
    The second quarter started in much the same way with an end to end arm wrestle. With the breeze picking up and favouring the Bullants end, the Bombers started coming under sustained attack. With the Bullants’ fleet of Colombian speedsters,the likes of Oscar and Anderson Marin and Yessid Gonzalez continually drove them into attack. The Bombers stood firm with Hollywood Fletcher and Geeves taking many intercept marks. However, an injury to key forward Irishman Oh Konel, and the weight of entry numbers, eventually over ran the Bombers. The lost the quarter five goals to three to be behind by 16 points at the main break.”

    ‘The Bombers entered the third quarter needing to hit the scoreboard, but it was the Bullants that came out firing, putting through the first two majors against the breeze. Although Bombers’ captain Crockett continued to rally the troops with his strong run and re-bound linking with Spudda Quinn at centre half forward, the poor decisions with their forward entries meant the attacks fell over time and time again. Whilst this played out, Miller continued his dominance allowing the Bullants to clear all stoppages with ease. The Bullants took the quarter four goals to two to go into final quarter with a commanding 26-point lead and the strong breeze.”

    “The Bullants dominated the last quarter with the Bombers out on their feet, with only some inaccuracy saving the Bombers blushes. The Bullants kicking away with four goals to the Bombers solitary goal for the quarter to take a 51 point win.”

    Bullants 16-13-109 d Bombers 9-4-58
    Best Bullants- Sam Miller, Anderson Marin, Oscar Marin
    Best Bombers- Trav Crockett, Jeeves, Spudda Quinn

    The AFL Colombia season will go into s short recess as the focus turns towards the upcoming Andes Cup against the Santiago Saints from Chil ...

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    Both the Santiago Saints and Bogota Bulldogs are feverishly preparing for the biggest South American match of the year – the Andes Cup – to be played in Bogota on Saturday 25th August. The Bulldogs are current title-holders and have won the title both years since the inception of the event. However, the Saints have been getting closer and maybe this will be their year.

    President of the Bogota Bulldogs, Paddy Smallwood, shared his thoughts ahead of the historic clash – the showpiece of Australian football in South America.

    “[Our] season goes into recess now as the Andes Cup vs Chile takes place in two weeks. The Bulldogs squad will be massively different to previous teams, with many great players having left Colombia and many new Colombian players forcing their way into the squad.”

    “The Bulldogs have had a very disrupted preparation with injuries to key players, however with the CAFL league going so well and producing so much Colombian talent, we feel whoever is picked in the squad will be match conditioned and ready to do the job.”

    “From what we are hearing Chile are bringing up a very strong squad, and with the previous encounters being tight affairs, the Bulldogs are very much preparing for a tough battle to retain the cup.”

    “But ultimately it’s a celebration of Aussie rules in South America we look forward to every year and with the exposure by playing it in the middle of the South American Cricket championships, we hope to inspire some other countries to get on the front foot and get a team started.”

    The event has grown quickly in stature since its inception in 2016. Now the Andes Cup has the potential to drive recruiting in both Colombia and Chile as well as inspiring other South American nations to develop smaller leagues or clubs.

    With previous forays into the world of Australian football in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, as well as whispers of things happening in other nations, footy on the continent could potentially take off and some of that will be the impact of the Andes Cup.

    Top Image: The Andes above Santiago (Pinter ...

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    As the home and away season in Germany came to a close on the weekend, the top three teams – Hamburg Dockers, Munich Kangaroos and Berlin Crocodiles – used their respective games to prepare for what lies ahead as well as proving to all and sundry that they have the talent required to go all the way in 2018.

    The Dockers and Kangaroos, the two best performed teams across the season, finished with big wins in excess of 100 points. The Berlin Croodiles also won, but were given a torrid time by the Dresden Wolves.

    The Hamburg Dockers hosted the Rheinland Lions and turned on a superb defensive performance. Whilst they were able to score at will across the afternoon, their efforts in keeping the fourth-placed Lions to just two behinds for the day should be a warning to all other finalists – to beat us you will have to outscore us, and good luck with that. The Dockers took command early and kept their foot on the Lion throats for a 113-point win.

    The Munich Kangaroos also enjoyed a huge win in Esslingen against the Württemberg Giants. Whilst it was a Giants home game, the Kangaroos dominated the match. Their massive 137-point win was a handy pre-finals hit-out to have the team cherry ripe for the next couple of matches. The percentage boost was largely irrelevant as they finished on nine wins for the season – the same as the Dockers – but they were too far behind on for and against to challenge for the minor premiership.

    In Dresden, the home team thrilled their local supporters with a six goal to three opening term to lead the Berlin Crocodiles. The second quarter was more even, but the Wolves went to the main break with well-deserved and handy 21-point lead. A likely half-time spray saw the Crocs come out and dominate the second half with twelve goals to two, but the Wolves were still in the game at the final break, trailing by just eight points. However, a six goal to one final term saw the Berlin crew run away to a 45-point victory.

    The round set up the finals makeup. On 25th August, the semi-finals will be played in Cologne. The Dockers will again meet the Lions in the first semi-final, whilst the Crocodiles will take on the Kangaroos in the second semi-final. The two winning teams will then meet in the Grand-Final in Dresden on 15th September.

    Whilst nothing in football is ever guaranteed, the Hamburg Dockers will be raging hot favourites to again defeat the Rheinland Lions, especially in light of the weekend’s results. Whilst the Berlin Crocodiles have played well across the season, they face a mighty challenge to match the Munich Kangaroos.

    Final Scores:
    Hamburg Dockers 16 19 115 d Rheinland Lions 0 2 2
    Munich Kangaroos 29 1 189 d Württemberg Giants 8 4 52
    Berlin Crocodiles 17 22 124 d Dresden Wolves 11 13 ...

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    “Warriors decorate the first battle of Australia expedition with victory”

    What a wonderful Google translation from AFL Japan’s website is that headline above, announcing a rare victory for the Japan Warriors Universities team on their regular annual tour to Australia.

    The Warriors, made up of players from Japan’s AFL playing Universities notched up this win against suburban Melbourne club Chelsea Heights on Saturday 11th August winning 8-9 (57) to 3-1 (19).

     Goal Scorers are listed as: Inagaki 2, Akira 2, Horiguchi, Konda, Hirabayashi and Kaji River each 1.

    Best for Warriors were: Inagaki, Kuroda, Shida and Kuboyama.

    The Warriors are scheduled to play Box Hill North tonight 14th August at 6.30pm. ...

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      James Madden is fast, agile and the Lions hope he will bring the luck of the Irish, after they signed the Dubliner as a Category B Rookie for the 2019 and 2020 AFL seasons.


    The Irishman broke the all-time AFL Draft Combine 20 metre sprint record at the European Combine last year, running at 2.69 seconds. He also travelled to Florida, USA to train with the AFL Academy.

    Image left:

    In his homeland, Madden stars for Dublin in both Gaelic football and hurling but is ready to test the water in AFL in Australia.


    “A lot of Irish lads would love to get this opportunity. You’ve really got to cherish it. It’s a good challenge obviously, new experience, new country, new city,” Madden told .


    After signing with the Club, the 18-year-old has been at the Gabba touring the facilities and meeting his new teammates this past week.


    “I knew it had been coming for a while now and it’s great to finally be here,” he said.


    Lions list manager Dom Ambrogio visited Madden and his family in Dublin earlier this year. Former Lion Cian Hanley also played a part in the recruiting process.


    “He [Ambrogio] had a great chat with me and my Dad and talked through the process,” Madden said.


    General Manager of Football David Noble said the Lions were impressed with Madden’s ball speed, ball control and decision making.


    “In list management it is important to explore all sport talent options,” Noble said.


    “We’re excited to secure his services for the next couple of years.”


    Noble believes Madden will have no troubles learning the intricacies of his new game.


    “The work that our team have been doing with our first and second year development players has been second to none. The results have shown for themselves and are really quite impressive.”


    Madden will spend the next two weeks in Brisbane before flying back to Ireland. He will re-join the Lions in November for the 2019 pre-season. ...

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  • 08/14/18--18:48: Shem Tatupu targets 2020 IC.
  • September 2015 and the Box Hill Hawks went down in the VFL Grand Final at Etihad Stadium. I was reporting that day for WorldFootyNews because of the presence of Kurt Heatherley and Shem Tatupu - 2 NZ products who had made it to the cusp of the big time in footy.

    For Heatherley - a sprinkling of (5) AFL games for Hawthorn since then - a lack of opportunities in 2018, in part due to injuries in the first half of the season - is finishing off solidly with the Box Hill Hawks. For Tatupu - after that loss at Etihad - his career took a U-Turn as he quit the Hawks and tried his luck at Melbourne Storm (Rugby League).

    In late 2016 he made the news for the wrong reasons - struck by a car after training. Now though, in 2018 he has performed another U-Turn and is back playing footy. After battling ankle injuries previously - he has strung together a solid 8 matches since mid June for St Kilda City in the Southern footy league, including the last 4 in a row making the listed best players.

    AFLNZ reported earlier this week that former Hawk Tatupu returns to International Footy. He has been named in a large NZ squad with an eye towards the 2020 AFL International Cup. His experience at the Hawks would make him a more than handy inclusion, and at age 22 now, fitness-injuries permitting, with another 2 seasons of footy under his belt he will likely be a formidable proposition for opposing sides. ...

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    FOX SPORTS Australia Pty Ltd

    Round 22 of the 2018 AFL Season kicks off Friday night Melbourne time with ladder leader Richmond hosting Essendon at the MCG. 

    The full broadcast schedule for the round can be seen below.

    In addition to the TV networks you can also subscribe to the Watch AFL service that will give you live access to all the matches and more (outside Australia only).

    You can access that service by clicking on the link here or the Watch AFL promo shot on the left to register and by then paying the subscription fee.

    Right now Watch AFL is offering The Finals Series Pass providing instant access and goes through to the 30th November 2018. This includes the Grand Final.. This pass includes all AFL Premiership season matches live and on replay, the Finals Series plus access to FOX FOOTY content.




























    All times subject to change - please check with your local guides ...

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    In one of the biggest upsets of the season, and in a game described by some as one of the greatest grand finals in SARFL history, the Edinburgh Bloods have won the 2018 AFL Scotland premiership. In a dramatic match, the Bloods have come from behind to grab the title by just five points from the Glasgow Sharks.

    Going into the game, many outside of Edinburgh believed that it would be the Sharks’ year. They lost just once for the season and defeated the Bloods earlier in the season. However, as has been proved many times before, grand finals are different beasts and nothing is guaranteed. The best team on the day will always beat the best reputation.

    The day began with the women’s curtain-raiser match between the “Bloodenas” and the “Giant SheEagles”. The Bloodenas grabbed the early lead and kept that ball rolling with a 51-point victory. The final scores saw the “Bloodenas” 9 8 62 defeat the “SheEagles” 1 5 11.

    Then came the main event. The Sharks got away to a better start, largely due to more accurate kicking, to hold an 11-point lead at the first change. However, the Bloods came back hard in the second quarter. They kicked five goals, using the conditions to advantage. Inaccuracy cost the Sharks dearly this quarter as they attacked often enough, but only managed the one goal. By the main break, the Bloods held a one-goal lead in a tight contest.

    The premiership quarter was going to be a beauty. Neither side would yield, but the Sharks managed three goals for the quarter and went to the final change holding a slender five-point lead. Knowing that the Bloods would be kicking to the scoring end it would take a huge defensive effort for the Sharks to win.

    The final quarter was a pearler. Both teams had four scoring shots, but the greater accuracy in front of goal from the Edinburgh Bloods was enough to hold the Sharks at bay in a pulsating final quarter. By the game’s end, the Bloods had held on by just five points in one of the best grand finals seen in Scotland, if not the best.

    It brings to a close the SARFL season, which in 2018 contained many highlights. Quite apart from the grand final itself, the competition was enriched by the addition of the Tyne Tees Tigers as a fully-fledged team and the West Lothian Eagles as a development team. Both would have learned much from this year and will be itching for next season. Both should be full playing clubs in 2019, adding enormously to the growth of the national league.

    Now, they and the other clubs – the Sharks, Kingdom Kangaroos and Grater Glasgow Giants – will spend the off-season planning to bring down the Bloods and chase glory of their own.

    The Edinburgh Bloods, though, have other ideas as they savour the flag and the joy that goes with it.

    Final Scores:
    Q1 – Edinburgh Bloods 1 5 11 v Glasgow Sharks 3 4 22
    Q2 – Edinburgh Bloods 6 6 42 v Glasgow Sharks 4 12 36
    Q3 – Edinburgh Bloods 7 10 52 v Glasgw Sharks 7 15 57
    Final – Edinburgh Bloods 11 10 76 d Glasgow Sharks 9 17 71


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    The new CNFA fixture for the 2018/19 Australian Football season has been released. With the Coupe de France kicking off in Bordeaux next month, the first round will commence on 20th October. The new season sees more changes, with a nine-team competition welcoming the Bayonne Toreadors to the CNFA.

    Another significant change is the dropping of the Blagnac Aviators brand in favour of two Toulouse-based teams – currently under the monikers of Toulouse 1 and 2. The format will see nine rounds across the period October to May and a grand final in June. Again, there will be a mid-season break from mid-December to early March. The Coupe du Nord (North Cup) and Coupe du Sud (South Cup) will be played in February. The season gets under way a week after the Euro Cup in Cork, Ireland.

    The most interesting addition is the Bayonne Toreadors. Bayonne is a small city located in the far south-west of France, in the Basque region. It sits some 30 kilometres from the Spanish border in an area with a long history of bull-fighting, hence the nickname “Toreadors”. The club has been developing in the background of the CNFA’s past seasons and they are ready to step up into the “big league” of French clubs.

    French fans don’t have to wait long for the anticipated gran final replay, with the Paris Cockerels clashing with the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes in the opening round. It was only back in May when the Cockerels claimed the 2017/18 title and they will be primed to defend it from the opening bounce of the new season.

    The Toreadors will be in action immediately, playing against the Cockatoos in Paris. The ALFA Lions, still smarting from missing the last season’s finals after taking the 2016/17 title, will host the Perpignan Tigers and the Bordeaux Bombers will host the Toulouse Hawks (1) team. The second Toulouse team has the opening round bye. The Bayonne Toreadors must wait until the second round for their historic first home match when the ALFA Lions come to town.

    Nestled neatly between the Irish and Swedish Euro Cups, the season blends tidily with the Champions League in Amsterdam in April and the ANZAC Day match in Villers-Bretonneaux. There is also provision for two dedicated women’s rounds and allocated time for any postponed matches.

    Whilst the Strasbourg Kangourous will not have a team playing in the CNFA’s Leo Lagrange premiership season, they remain a part of the footy landscape, being the hub of international preparation for teams ahead of the Euro Cup in Cork, opening doors to a future re-entry to the competition.

    There is much to cause excitement with the new season, but generating much of that excitement will be the new boys in town – the Bayonne Toreadors.


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    Back in 2013 I wrote an article which promoted the value and merit of school footy (see School Footy – the Aussie Rules Nursery). The article considered how important the school footy nursery was to club football. However, it also considered many of the challenges faced by schools and clubs in keeping numbers sustainable. Another factor considered was the devaluation of school footy inasmuch as some sectors did not recognise the value of school football adequately.

    Much has changed since 2013, and school football has risen to greater heights – at least in my experience. The increase in women’s and youth girl’s football has contributed to this.

    Our own Pyramid Power girls in Cairns have taken the link between school football and club football to an unusual, but potentially game-changing place.

    Last night, the Pyramid Power Under 14 Youth Girls team survived a big scare from their opposition, Cairns Hawks, to record an eight-point premiership victory. In a high quality game which rebounded from end to end like a tennis match, the Power girls clicked late in the third term to run over the Hawks at the right time. This description could be of any grand final anywhere – nothing particularly unique.

    However, dig a little deeper and there is a big backstory to the Power girl’s journey to last night’s success. As can often be the case, there is more to this Pyramid Power flag than meets the eye. Whilst the girls – Shaye, Talina, Ari, Summer, Tiffany, Emily, Sharmeria, T’Chiana, Rosie, Linda, India, Kathy, Dulcie, Katherine, Jacinta and Alicia (they deserve to see their names mentioned as they were wonderful) – won the game as a club team last night, the seeds can be traced back to 2015 when most of them were around ten years old.

    The core grew at Gordonvale State School in late 2015. By early 2016, the list had shrunk and new girls were recruited. They later played together at half-time in the Gold Coast Suns v Western Bulldogs clash at Cazalys Stadium in front of ten thousand AFL fans. They were hooked.

    Later in 2016, on a bus trip with the girls down to Mission Beach to play another embryonic school-based team, the suggestion was floated – whether this group of girls would consider coming on board ( lock, stock and smoking barrels) as a club team in the AFL Cairns competition.

    Last year, the girls played as Pyramid Power’s inaugural Under 14 Girl’s team. They finished third, with most of the girls still around 12 years old and much smaller than their opposition. However, this year, no such disadvantage. A stronger, wiser, more experienced outfit came together with some additions from outside that core group to win a premiership. From a school team to a champion club team with a premiership in only a couple of years.

    I don’t imagine for a moment this situation is unique. I am sure other school teams have treaded similar paths. However, I cannot imagine it is the norm either. The bold experiment by Pyramid Power to supplant a school team into a club-based league was out of the ordinary, yet has reaped a premiership in just a couple of years.

    Maybe it is a domain easier to work within, as girls footy grows new and exciting markets. Boys footy, grown over a longer period, has a more “traditional” pathway – following Dad, peer choices, heroes on TV. Nevertheless, a group of girls moving en masse from a school scene to a club scene should have clubs everywhere contacting their local schools to see what talent is there. No footy market can be guaranteed nowadays. Clubs that are too arrogant or detached to realise that talent pathways might be just around the corner or down the road could miss out on tapping into some serious talent.

    But, if a plan can be hatched in a bus on a highway in beautiful Tropical North Queensland and lead to a premiership two years later, then surely it is a concept worth exploring by other clubs everywhere.

    Personally, I would love to hear of other similar examples and maybe those, coupled with the Pyramid Power success, can enrich youth girl’s footy and maybe beyond. I don’t believe that anyone involved with Australian footy can remain complacent and assume the talent will come to them automatically. Sometimes you have to be imaginative, bold and a little “out there” to find and grow new markets for the game.

    The Power girls are now living proof of that.


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  • 08/22/18--05:03: Spirit Of Ancient Egypt

  • Whether you use the analogy of a strong wind blowing in from the Sahara, a tide relentlessly crossing the Mediterranean or a powerful new current flowing down the Nile, there is definitely something flowing into Egypt – a new game taking root in the land of one of the world’s oldest civilisations

    Professor Mohammed Hashem from the American University in Cairo takes up the story. “Yes, AFL is alive and well here in Egypt thanks to our fantastic university and our great team. Egypt is rich in sports culture and the two predominant sports here are soccer and of course handball which the Egyptians are very good at on an international level.”

    (Pyramids Picture Credit

    “So, Aussie Rules is basically at this stage of their education on the game, a combination of the two. That said, the revellers here are finding the many goals very exciting, along with the speed and endurance of the game. I am marketing the game as a high end endurance sport with many life skills associated with playing it.”

    “We have made Arabic commentaries for some of the matches to help with understanding the many rules involved. Once you see the page [the Auskick in Egypt Facebook page] - [we can discuss with] more clarity what exactly we are planning for this rich 100 million population soccer mad nation.”

    “I strongly believe if we can establish AFL here on a bigger level this could definitely be a great export product for Australia.”

    Hashem has already laid the bedrock for the sustained future success of the game in Egypt. The Auskick clinics now being offered through the AUC (American University in Cairo) have already attracted solid numbers, with kids eager to take up the new sport. Unlike some developing leagues or clubs that grow from an ex-pat base of older players, the Egyptian venture is growing from the roots up. The logic being that if enough kids take up the sport then a ready-made base will exist to grow the game further.

    Without worrying about logistics initially, there is certainly the capacity for a burgeoning Egyptian football presence to play against some nearby Middle East teams as well as those in southern parts of Europe.

    There is even a ready-made ambassador for the game in Egypt with former St Kilda player, Ahmed Saad, being the first Egyptian player in the AFL. Now running around for West Preston-Lakeside in Victoria’s Northern Football League, Saad might make the perfect spokesperson in Australia to promote the Egyptian game.

    ESPN reporter Callum Godde filed a story this week that featured an interview with Professor Hashem. The article details the journey so far for footy in Egypt, framed against the exploits of Australian soldiers playing the game in the shadows of the pyramids before their fateful journey to ANZAC Cove. Professor Hashem looks at the progress already made as well as the challenge ahead.

    To read the article, go to:

    There is much to be excited about in Egypt, and to give a fresh, novel perspective, that excitement is currently being driven by kids. However, if Professor Hashem has anything to do with it, that is about to change.


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    The following article from details the latest initiative to grow the game with a new league and competition to kick off later this year. The original article can be found at:

    Oxford, Cambridge and Birmingham Named as Inaugural Participants

    League Runs November 2018 – March 2019 

    AFL England are committed to growing the game of Australian rules football up and down the country; from grass-roots and junior projects, to major regional London, CNE and Southern leagues.  

    That is why we’re delighted to announce the launch of the National University League (NUL) featuring teams from Oxford, Cambridge and Birmingham University, with a view to expanding to include sides from Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan and the University of South Wales.

     The first season will start this autumn and run from November through until March. The league will use the same nine-a-side format used in major competitions such as the Euro Cup, AFL Europe Champions League and Fitzpatrick Cup, and will run on a home and away ‘carnival’ format, so as to give teams the chance to socialise and enjoy the game together.

    There will be both men’s and women’s competitions which will take place on Saturdays on ovaled rugby pitches. The current provisional schedule is as follows (dates subject to change):








    AFL England President Jason Hill said that he was pleased to finally reward the enthusiasm of the university sides and give them their own competition.

    “Our university teams continue to grow year-on-year. For too long they’ve had to make do with occasional friendlies with club sides from around the country, and now they have a proper league to compete against one another in. 

    “Three universities may not make it the biggest of leagues at the outset, but we know for sure that there is an appetite at other universities to form teams. We hope the introduction of the league will not only give Oxford, Cambridge and Birmingham more competitive match experience but also that it will lead to more sides popping up and joining the league.” 

    The university game is thriving, with annual men’s Varsity Game between Oxford and Cambridge in its 98th year, making it the oldest regularly played Australian rules fixture outside of Australia. 2018 also saw the very first women’s Varsity Game. Also, in 2018, the Birmingham women’s team took home the Haggis Cup and Birmingham Aussie Rules President Matti Darowski said that he was thrilled at the prospect of a university league.

    “With a large number of students wanting to try something new every year, I think that promoting the sport at universities is one of the best ways to expand the sport in the UK,” said Darowski. 

    The Birmingham university side was founded in 2009 and has since developed a reputation as one of the most important teams in the country for developing young players, both male and female. The team has seen current players and alumni reach international level or higher.” 

     “In recent years we have played Oxford and Cambridge in friendly games several times each year,” said Darowski, “But it never felt like the results mattered that much. 

    “The fact that we’re now playing for silverware just adds to the rivalries between the three university clubs. It’s fantastic that both the men and women will have this opportunity, and we cannot wait to bring the title back to Birmingham!”

    Mitchell Robertson from Oxford added “Scheduling matches against other sides has been one of the most challenging tasks for us as a university club. We look forward to AFL England’s establishment of a proper fixture list for the upcoming season.” 

    For more information about the National University League, to find out how to get involved with one of the university sides, or for more information on how to set up a university side of your own, head to or email


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    The return to competition after a short recess for the SAFF (Stockholm Australian Football Federation) has seen the Norrtälje Dockers record a stirring 10-point victory to boost their premiership credentials significantly.

    The catch-up game against the Blues has seen the Dockers inch ahead of the field into first place, just ahead of the Blues and Axemen. They can consolidate that position should they defeat the Axemen in their Round 7 clash this weekend. A loss, however, could prove costly, falling behind the Axeman and potentially the Blues as well if the Södermalm crew can defeat the last-placed Årsta Swans.

    The September finals are now on the horizon and every match from here is of critical importance to the teams finishing in the top three. The minor premiership winner will go straight into the grand final, whilst second will meet third to decide the other premiership contender.

    The Dockers got away to a good start in their match against the Blues. By quarter-time they had already managed a 14-point lead. The blues pegged that lead back to just two points by the main break, setting up a big third quarter. The Södermalm Blues rammed home four unanswered goals in the third term to have a big 22-point break at the final change.

    The last quarter, however, belonged to the Norrtälje Dockers. In a massive finish, the team lifted to boot six goals to one and run away with a 10-point victory. It is exactly that type of powerful finish that should be the catalyst for the Dockers starting their run to the flag.

    One thing certain about the SAFF this season – there are many twists in the tail still to come.

    Round 7 of the SAFF competition will be held this weekend in Skarpnäck. Matches will see:
    Årsta Swans v Södermalm Blues
    Solna Axemen v Norrtälje Docker ...

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    The following article was written by Christian Saggese for the Zuriost website in Switzerland. It looks at the efforts of the Winterthur Lions club to grow the game in the nation and potentially develop beyond the levels of lone Swiss clubs. This article is an imperfect translation from the original story written in German. To view the original article, go to: 

    Australian football player from Winterthur

    “We want to start a league in Switzerland” 

    Does Switzerland soon have its own Australian Football Leagueω Winterthur are well on their way to putting this dream into reality.

    Switzerland is soon to be richer by one sport. That is the wish of Stefan Burgener and Till Roost. The two Winterthurs founded the first Australian Football Club in Switzerland a few months ago under the name "Winterthur Lions".

     “Australian football is extremely popular in Australia”, says Burgener, who presides over the club and lived there [Australia] until he was 14 years old. "The final game [AFL Grand Final] entices millions of people in front of the TV and hundreds of thousands of fans every year, just like in the USA with the Super Bowl." 

    “So it is all the more regrettable that this popular sport [in Australia] in Switzerland still leads a niche existence. We want to change that. We want to make Australian Football better known, gain new members and build up our own league.” [Such is] the ambitious goal of the Winterthurs. 

    Not To Be Confused With American Football

    Stefan Burgener makes it clear: "Under no circumstances should Australian football be confused with rugby or American football, even though the name and the oval ball may trigger associations." In fact, Australian Football has its origins in cricket. "It was 1858 when, in Melbourne, it was considered [a means] to keep the cricketers fit in the winter, out of season. That's how Australian Football was born.”

    Australians Are Thankful

    The Winterthurs are already very active with their club. They took part in the European Championship 2017 in Bordeaux as Swiss Nati. "We only took the last place, but gained a lot of experience." Recently they organized the first Australian Football match in Switzerland at Eulachpark. "Our opponents, the Swiss All Stars, are made up of individual players from all over Switzerland. Fans from Basel, for example, came here for the event. There were also Australians living in Switzerland, who appreciated that the Winterthurs were so committed to their popular sport. In addition to Basel, we also know some players from Geneva. Now we are working on founding new teams there. The potential for a separate league is there,"Burgener is convinced.

    The Most Important Rules

    The main goal in Australian football is to score goals. There are four vertical bars at the end of the playing field symbolizing the goals. The ball can either be kicked or shot with a fist [handpass]. Even the opponent tackle is allowed. "As a full-contact sport, there may of course be some bruising. But ultimately, this is about tactical moves and not about the use of force” says Burgener. “That's why you do not have to be a muscle pack for this sport. [Additionally] Australian football is also very actively played by women."

    There Is A Lack Of Playing Surfaces

    What the club in Winterthur still lacks is its own playing field. A request to the city had been rejected. "There is not enough free space for it," was Burgener's explanation. Although he understands that, he does not think about giving up: "For the Australian Football, which is widely played in Europe, [there] is enough space in the size of a football [soccer] field on which we can install the four poles on each side."

    Until then they train in the public Eulachpark, directly at the playground. Every Tuesday around ten people meet at 6.30 pm for training. "If you are interested in this fast sport, you are welcome to come to our training at any time to try it out.” ...

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