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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    North Melbourne Football Club yesterday announced that Red Óg Murphy has signed with the club as a Category B rookie. The following originally appeared here.

    The young Sligo player trialled with the club in August and impressed according to North’s GM of Football Cameron Joyce.

    “Red was invited to Arden Street and we were really happy with his ability and character,” Joyce said.

    Image: Instagram @red_og_murphy

    “Our recruiters, and in particular our Pro Scout Nick Byrne, have stayed in touch with him and his family over the past few months and we are really happy to have signed him as a Category-B rookie on our list.”

     

    In particular, Murphy’s running capacity stood out and his testing ranked in the top echelon of players at the club.

    “We did a variety of tests with Red and he was exceptional,” Joyce added.

    “We feel that he has the right foundations to enable him to have a real crack at playing in the AFL and we will give him every chance.”

    Murphy recently played for his club side Curry against Shamrock Gaels on the weekend in the Kennedys Intermediate final replay but unfortunately, his side lost 1-13 to 1-10.

    The forward, one of his club's and county Sligo's brightest prospects, will now have a much bigger challenge on his hands as he attempts to trade the round ball for the Sherrin.
      ...


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    With the release of the AFL’s 2019 premiership season draw due tomorrow, some important pieces of the puzzle have already been announced. High amongst those is the decision to grant Townsville, in North Queensland, their first AFL match for premiership points. The city will see the Gold Coast Suns meet St Kilda at Riverway Stadium in their Round 13 clash.

    It makes a bitter sweet situation for North Queensland. Whilst Townsville has earned the right to host a match after years of doing their “apprenticeship” with NAB Challenge and JLT pre-season matches, it does replace Cairns which has hosted matches at Cazalys Stadium since 2011. The sweetener for the north is that Mackay will again hold a JLT series match at Great Barrier Reef Arena on March 3rd when the Gold Coast Suns meet the Western Bulldogs.

    Townsville crowds have already proved to be enthusiastic fans of matches played in the city – right down to pre-match activities and community support. The chance to host a premiership match of such high stakes should see Townsville support this event vocally and at the turnstiles.


    The Suns have been regular visitors to the north since 2010 when they visited Cairns to play the Bendigo Bombers. Since then they have visited Cairns, Townsville and Mackay on a regular basis, growing support and getting support for their own recruitment through local academies. In the recent past this has netted them players such as Jack Bowes and Jacob Heron.

    St Kilda is newer to the region and will take a little time to develop a fan base. They have a huge travelling period, going to China in Round 11 to meet Port Adelaide. Then they travel to Townsville for the Round 13 clash. A bye in Round 12 should help rest their travelling legs.

    Riverway Stadium (formerly Tony Ireland Stadium) has a capacity of 10 000. That is slightly less than Cazalys in Cairns, though it is thought that the Townsville crowds will challenge that capacity. This happened for a T20 cricket match in 2007 between Queensland and Victoria. The biggest AFL crowd to date in Townsville was a bit over 7000 attending the 2013 inaugural pre-season clash between the Suns and North Melbourne.

    Cairns’ crowds have dipped in recent years, especially in 2018 when horrid weather forced the Round 1 clash to be played in atrocious conditions in front of a small crowd. Townsville has now grabbed the gauntlet and will hope to build itself into the stronghold of footy in North Queensland. The city boasted two AFL listed players in 2018 – Braydon Preuss (North Melbourne, now Melbourne) and Josh Williams (since de-listed by North Melbourne) – who both came from the Hermit Park Tigers AFL Townsville club.

    Acting Suns CEO Andrew Thomas stated to Fox Footy that, “North Queensland is a significant region for our club and is our home away from home and we enjoy playing our role in developing Australian Football throughout the region, which is also a key recruitment catchment for the Gold Coast SUNS Talent Academy.” (See: https://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/afl-...a9d1e40eeb ...

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    AFL England is investing in the future of the game by looking at the greater development of junior football across England. Reporting on their www.aflengland.org website, AFL England is looking at schools and existing or potential clubs to grow interest and develop talent.

    AFL England is launching a consultation on a national junior program which is set to be launched in the Spring of 2019.  Under the new program, the number of junior clubs in England could grow to 12, including clubs in London, Liverpool, Reading and Bristol. The consultation aims to discover where there is the most interest in junior Australian rules football. 

    The consultation form is available here [see direct link below] and we would invite people to share it with friends, families, schools and anyone who you think might be interested in getting involved in the Junior program.

     If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact juniors@aflengland.org 

    During the consultation period, people will be able to select a Junior club they are interested in receiving information about. This will help AFL England focus its efforts on launching a successful Junior program. AFL England will also be opening up applications for Junior Coordinators who, with help from AFL England, will market and operate the centres in their local area. 

    Currently, the Clapham Cubs are the only junior club operating in England, and AFL England President Jason Hill says that junior growth is high on his list of priorities when it comes to growing the sport. 

    “I think we definitely recognise that in order for any sport to grow in this country, it must appeal children and give them opportunities to engage and participate in that sport from a young age,” said AFL England President Jason Hill. 

    “We are working with a number of partners on developing this program, and this consultation will allow us to find out where to focus first, before rolling out the scheme nationwide.” 

    The program is modelled on the highly successful Auskick program in Australia, which attracts over 100,000 primary school aged participants annually, as well as the ECB All Stars programme which is delivered nationwide at over 2,000 centres. 

    To access the link for the consultation form as mentioned above, follow the link to the original story here and click consultation form in story. http://www.aflengland.org/consultation-launched-on-afl-england-junior-program/ωfbclid=IwAR2LMQ0loALX0DbZR4VLyaO-FEt-YsIewiWIP84goHdp6MSZ4-jEa-rFly0

     

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    I am sure this is not what Bizet had in mind when he wrote Carmen, but it was the first thing that floated through my mind when receiving the result of the Bayonne Toreadors first home match when they downed the ALFA Lions on the weekend for their first win in the CNFA premiership. After pushing last season’s finalists – the Paris Cockatoos – to 20 points in the debut match in round one, this time the Toreadors went one better.

    Already, the Toreadors have sent a shiver up the spine of the competition. Entering their maiden season, the Toreadors had been quietly bubbling away preparing for a good while. To those in the know, their instant success isn’t a surprise. However, many have been caught by surprise by the skill and intent of the league’s newest team.

    To meet the two strong opponents in the opening two rounds was always a daunting prospect, but the crew from Bayonne have performed beyond expectations. Already there has to be a small thought emerging that they could potentially play finals. That is a long way off, and other teams will work them out as the season progresses, but the Bayonne Toreadors have already sent a strong message to the competition – dismiss us at your peril.

    The Lions gained a quarter time lead 26-21, but by the main break the Toreadors had bounced back and asserted authority. Even the Lions conceded that the Toreadors played with an impressive level of skill and intensity. At half time the Toreadors led 53 to 36.

    By the final break, the Toreadors had pulled away to a very handy 21-point lead. The last quarter saw the build continue as the Toreadors extended the margin to run our convincing 45-point victors. The final score saw Bayonne 119 defeat the ALFA Lions 74.


    It may not have been a bull fight, but a toast should be raised to the Bayonne Toreadors.


    ...

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  • 11/05/18--15:51: Odense Lions Thinking Big

  • Denmark’s Odense Lions have grown admirably since their introduction to the DAFL in 2014. Whilst yet to taste to joy of a premiership, the club has taken huge strides. Their men’s team recently tasted victory in the Lions Cup and the growth of their women’s team has been a huge success story.

    Now, the club is scouring the world looking for potential players who can take the club closer to their ultimate goals of success on the field. The following invitation from the club hopes to get some experienced talent to the club – and they are prepared to go to great lengths to get players to Odense – targeting Australian’s looking for a new challenge, but certainly open to anyone from anywhere who can take the club forward.

    According to club founder, Morten Mose, “We have been growing and building our club since 2013. A lot have happened since we had our first session with ten people on a small grass field outside of Odense. We have moved to a central location, 50+ members, busses to games, biggest club in Scandinavia and have both a men and women’s team.”

    “With the big growth we need more experience at training and games to be competitive in one of Europe’s strongest Leagues, the Danish Competition DAFL. Someone to lead by example and helps us share the love for footy to even more people.”

    Their advertising pitch reads:

    “Odense Australian Football is looking for new experienced Australian players. As the newest club in Denmark we are looking to be even more competitive in one of Europe’s strongest Leagues. We would like to bring in someone with a passion for sharing the love of footy, and to share their experience to help us grow. You will be a part of the club’s leadership group and help with your experience, by leading by example.”

    “We will help you with travel expenses, get you settled in Odense, and introduce you to the biggest club in Scandinavia in Denmark’s 3rd biggest city.”

    “We are a social club and having fun whilst playing is the most important thing. We have international footy trips, big parties and loads other events beside the Football.”

    “So, if you would like a Danish challenge, come to Odense and play with the Lions.”

    “If you’re interested, get in touch and we’ll be happy to have a chat!”

    If you are looking for a great football challenge, and like the thought of combining that with a great opportunity to explore Odense, Denmark and Europe, contact the Odense Lions on their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/OdenseLions/


    ...

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    Round 5 of the NTFL 2018/19 season continued to throw up interesting and sometimes unexpected results which keep alive finals hopes for most teams and further confuse followers of the game. St Mary’s and Palmerston both enjoyed valuable wins whilst early finals hopefuls, Waratah and Darwin Buffaloes, stumbled.

    With no Premier League matches played at TIO Stadium this weekend, the opening match saw Waratah host the desperate St Marys. On form, and home ground advantage, Waratah should have won. But life doesn’t work that way. In a tight match up until the final change – less than two goals separating the teams until then – St Mary’s pumped the gas in the final term to kick four goals to one and hand Waratah a stinging defeat.

    Another seven goal opening quarter blitz from Southern Districts Crocs set the tone for their demolition of Wanderers. Ahead by 62-points by the main break, it looked like a big score line coming. But Wanderers did win the third quarter to cut the deficit back by a couple of goals. However, the Crocs just got annoyed by the temerity of Wanderers and ran away in the final quarter to win in a canter by 81 points.

    The Nightcliff Tigers cemented second place on the ladder after dispatching the Darwin Buffaloes by 50 points at home. The Tigers held the advantage all day, but a five goal to nil second quarter gave them the momentum and a safety barrier going into the second half. The loss was hardly damaging, but it was certainly a lost opportunity for the Buffaloes to entrench themselves inside the top three. They now sit in third place, just ahead of Waratah and with the Saints and Magpies breathing down their necks.

    Palmerston enjoyed a big win against the hapless Tiwi Bombers. Spurred on by a seven-goal haul from Kyle Emery, the Magpies sniffed victory pre-game and set about ensuring that happened. Ahead by 26 points at the main break, Palmerston simply needed to quell any possible Bomber revival – and they did. By the end of the match, the Magpies had racked up an impressive 45 point win to sit in sixth place on the ladder, level with St Mary’s. The Bombers are still winless and need to change something quite dramatically and quickly if they still hold finals dreams.

    Next weekend’s matches will see the Tiwi Bombers hosting St Mary’s at Tiwi Oval and in desperate need of a win to re-float their season. Saints need the win to stay deep within the top five. Similarly, Palmerston and Wanderers will do battle with a win vital for both. Darwin Buffaloes and Waratah clash in match both need to repair damage done last round and in the last of the TIO Stadium matches, Southern Districts and Nightcliff Tigers meet in possibly the match of the round.

    It is an even round in that one plays two, three plays four, six plays seven and five plays eight. This could lead to some very interesting results next roun ...

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    The clouds drifted in from Hinchinbrook Island. The players drifted in from Cairns, Townsville and the Whitsundays. The clouds made far less noise about it. A variety of bodies in various states of disrepair had descended like arthritic locusts on beautiful Cardwell – midway between Cairns and Townsville. The purpose – to compete for the AFL Masters Cardwell Cup for the naming rights as the best Masters’ team in North Queensland.

    Whilst the breeze brought with it the clouds and occasional shower, the players brought mainly beer and some ill-fitting footy shorts from bygone eras (their playing days). The converted rugby league ground was as hard as the rocks in the nearby Cardwell Range. The grass playing surface was a cross between vegetation and piano wire.


    But it set the scene for one of the most enjoyable footy carnivals in this magical part of the world, attracting crowds (albeit small) which lined their campervans, trailers and Winnebagos lovingly around the boundary line.

    Young kids from Innisfail, Mission Beach, Cardwell and other nearby locales turned up early for the AFL Clinic run by Nigel from the Cassowary Coast Crows (based in Mission Beach). This was followed by the now traditional clash – the Cardwell Showdown – featuring the Power and the Crows. Pyramid Power and Cassowary Coast Crows. The premiership winning Pyramid Power Under 14 girls team played a Crows girls team. They won by plenty, but the winner was the women’s game as the future was on show.

    Then it was time for the main events. A round-robin featuring players from Cairns, Townsville and the Whitsundays based in Airlie Beach. Townsville Sharks arrived with the cup, as most recent winners, and ran out to defend it against the Cairns Stingers. Cairns had other ideas. Their team that in recent years has featured such names as Onions, Pickles and Nuggets – making it sound more like a menu that a team – hit the field full of vengeance to get back the cup. In a perfect start they downed Townsville 37 to 17.

    The next game saw the Cairns Stingers put away the Whitsunday Bald Eagles to the tune of 81 to 11 in a comprehensive display of half-paced running and slowing skills. But it was better that their opposition on the day – a shade faster, a shade stronger, a shade more talented – and the cup was heading back to Cairns again.

    The final game was a dead rubber of sorts. The Whitsunday boys defeated Townsville, though the score-keepers appeared to have slinked off to the nearest watering hole for a drink, taking the scorebook with them.

    At days end, weary players boarded their vehicles for the journey home – pillaging the eskys – and remembering another fun day of footy in Cardwell. Cairns Stingers are Cardwell Cup champions once more and order is restored to the world.

    Meanwhile, in Townsville and Airlie Beach, plans are being hatched for retribution.

    Cardwell Picture Credit: Cardwell State Scho ...

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    The following article from Fox Footy at their www.foxsports.com.au website looks at the naming of Essendon and AFL legend, Michael Long as the 2018 Northern Territorian of the year. As well as being an icon of the game for his achievements on and off the field, Long remains an inspiration to generations of people inside and outside of sport. 

    ESSENDON champion Michael Long has been named Northern Territorian of the Year in recognition of his work as an indigenous community leader.

    Darwin-born Long has been described as a football icon who made a stand against racism during his career, and an advocate for reconciliation. 

    The Michael Long Learning and Leadership centre in Darwin provides accommodation, education, football and other sporting and corporate facilities.  

    The centre aims to give young indigenous Territorians the same opportunities as their non-indigenous peers.

     Long’s selection also recognised The Long Walk Foundation charity’s work to increase awareness of indigenous culture and history.   

    The Long Walk started in 2004 when Long trekked 650km from his home in Melbourne to Parliament House in Canberra to meet with former prime minister John Howard to get indigenous issues on the national agenda. 

    In his AFL career, Long played 190 games for Essendon, winning two premierships and the Norm Smith Medal in 1993. 

    In other awards announced in Darwin on Wednesday, anti-bullying advocates Kate and Tick Everett from Katherine were named the Northern Territory’s local heroes for 2019. 

    The couple started the Dolly’s Dream foundation to create positive change and a legacy for their daughter Amy “Dolly” Everett who took her own life in January 2018 after being bullied. 

    Rapper and dancer Danzal Baker was named the Northern Territory’s young Australian of the year and human rights campaigner Charlie King was named its senior Australian of the year. 

    All the winners will now represent the NT in the national awards to be presented early next year. 

    To read the original Fox Footy article, follow the link: https://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/afl-news-michael-long-named-named-northern-territorian-of-the-year-for-2018/news-story/1d7d25eda3da9d8f2b086fc04082d50dωfbclid=IwAR2odVSX3A-is7K6BvOTxUuJGU7-2GvKJb311i_ZW5bKmaOxYlcw39qq57M

     

    Picture Credit: Fox Footy ...


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    The new AFL Middle East season gets underway on Friday morning (Dubai Time) with a double header at Dubai’s Sevens Stadium. The season starts with the Dubai Dingoes clashing with the Abu Dhabi Falcons ahead of the grand final replay between the Dubai Dragons and Multiplex Bulls. 

    Whilst the off-season didn’t produce another team for the 2018/19 season – the Bahrain Suns, Doha Kangaroos and Muscat Magpies still a distance away from re-entering the competition – the four teams that take the field on Friday will be determined to create an exciting contest for this season’s flag. 

     

    Each team has seen the usual comings and goings which will change the look of team lists, but a look at last season also gives a clue.

     The Dubai Dragons will again start favourite as they embark on a campaign that could net them a fifth straight AFL Middle East flag. Each year, the Dragons return to the field with enough replacements to cover losses. It remains to be seen whether they can again this season, but word out of the Dragons’ camp is that they are pleased with their renovated list. That is a worrying idea for other teams.   

    The Multiplex Bulls won the pre-season cup. They have won pre-season hit-outs before, right from their beginning. They have beaten the Dragons before, and will again. But the question remains as to how mentally tough they are in the biggest games – grand finals. Their list has been tweaked over the off-season and outwardly they believe they are ready to finally win a flag. Maybe their round one clash will give an indication, but grand final day is the proof.

    Abu Dhabi were the big improvers last season. Ladder positions in a four-team competition tell little. But their results across the season showed a team that could win matches and were tough to beat. Over the previous off-season, the Falcons quietly built and everyone saw the results. If they have built further this past off-season, then maybe there are surprises in store and a grand final berth is possible. 

    The Entertainer Dubai Dingoes finished last in the 2017/18 season. The club knew that they had to address weaknesses to improve and it will be interesting to see if they have. They have been active in trying to recruit, but cards are close to their chests about how successful they have been. It will be interesting to see how they address the challenge of improving on last season. 

    It marks an exciting season ahead for the AFL Middle East, made all the more exciting by the two year naming rights sponsorship from the Entertainer.  ...


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     Last week, World Footy News reported on the arrival of a new centre for Australian Rules football. Hawaii, better known for Pacific holidays, Pearl Harbour, Waikiki Beach and Kilauea, has some hardy enthusiasts getting together in Honolulu to create a new club – a club that could potentially develop like no club before it. 

    Dallas McCulloch isn’t your average footy player. But his drive, along with a great team around him, is making positive things happen. They are onto something. Our interview with Dallas and his vision for the future makes for some very interesting reading. 

    The prospects of a Pacific-wide Australian Rules football competition have been discussed for many years with many locations touted as potential venues. However, the arrival of Hawaii as a football destination might just add another dimension to that argument. 

    Here is our chat with Dallas.

     Hawaii…what a backdrop for a footy club. How did the club come about in such a location?

    Our literal backdrop for footy is Diamond Head Volcanic Crater that dominates the skyline of every postcard of Honolulu ever made.   We play at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki, so it's pretty hard to beat the scenery around here for sure.  We have a crew of people from all over Australia, Baltimore, Tennessee, Turkmenistan, Canada, Texas, New York, Seattle, etc. and we all wound up living on this little rock in the middle of the Pacific. 

    This game is amazing, everywhere else in the USA has a team, so we figured why not usω  A few former USAFL players got together with some people from the Australian Consulate, we started hitting up people we know, and it's building up. 

     

    What is your own background and interest in the game? 

    I used to come home just hammered drunk while living in Grand Rapids Michigan at like 3am back in 2009.  I had this small attic apartment on the 3rd floor of a giant Victorian home split into smaller units that I couldn't really afford after my ex girlfriend had moved out.   

    Part of being super broke meant not having the internet, cable TV, or anything like that; however, I did have an antenna on my old school TV.  I had about 8 channels that I could pick up, and 4 of them were PBS (Public Broadcasting System).  Sometimes PBS 3 or 4 would play AFL games super late at night, so I'd drunkenly watch it while having no idea what the hell was ever going on.

    Fast forward to 2015 and I had been living in Austin Texas for a couple of years, and I decided to apply for an Australia working holiday visa.  I figured I should meet some Aussies and familiarize myself with the culture a bit before going, so I took a shot in the dark and searched for an Aussie Rules Football club in Austin.  The Austin Crows met up at a park not too far from my house, so I met up for a kick and was hooked.  The boys were a mix of Aussies, Americans, and a few others from all over. 

     I had been playing in punk rock bands and on tour for my whole adult life, so I hadn't been on a sports team since I was 12 and replaced athleticism with skateboarding, malt liquor, and punk rock.  I really enjoyed the game since it allowed a guy with my build to do thrive.  At 183cm and 80kg I realized I'm never going to play in the NFL, but even most pro AFL players are pretty close to my build.  I had done a lot of endurance running and biking, and the sport really played to my ability to just keep going.

    I moved to Australia in 2016 with the goal of playing as much footy as possible.  We'd play in the streets in Thornbury at friend's houses, I'd bring my ball to punk rock backyard BBQs in my yard in Coburg, and I'd take my Sherrin up to Coburg Oval to practice shots on goal in a nice VFL field.  I started training with the North Brunswick Bulls in early 2017, and those guys were amazing.  Everybody had been playing since they were 3, and I hadn't touched a footy until I was almost 30.  I was the only American to ever walk into that club house, but the boys didn't care about that.  They accepted me into the club and helped me improve my skills a whole lot.
     

     

    As it stands, how many people have you gathered to build your club on and off field? 

    We have had probably close to 30 people out to play at some point in the past couple of months.  The most we've had at any single practice so far has been 12, but it keeps growing!  This was just an idea in my head only 3 months ago, so I'm excited to see where it goes if it keeps growing at this rate. 

     

    You mentioned your desire to explore a Pacific-wide tournament. Can you detail the dream a little from your perspective as I think this is a BIG hook for interest? 

    We are in the middle of everything, and we are one of the most high demand vacation spots on earth.  I travel around the world with punk bands for a living (when I'm not in school), and I can go anywhere and tell them I live in Hawaii and they know exactly what it is.   

    We are very conveniently located in route between Australia and North America, but we're also not that far from other Pacific Islands as well as Japan and the rest of Asia.  I'd love to see some beautiful tournament with a Kiwi team vs. Samoa, Japan vs. San Francisco, Vancouver vs. Taiwan, Hawaii vs. Singapore, not to mention all of the Aussies that could come out here and join the huge number of Aussies that already live or vacation here.

     

    Within Hawaii, what are the prospects for the short and long term future?

    Short term we're just building up our numbers and showing up regularly.  We have a decent core group of people, but we're recruiting more and more.  We show up every Wednesday, and sometimes meet up on other days for a kick.  After practice we're usually cracking a few tinnies and having time to talk shit with each other.  We're trying to build a community, not just have a quick workout sometimes.  We're formulating bylaws to become a registered non-profit corporation, and have to do all of the fun bureaucratic things involved with that.  While it's boring to deal with the legal side of things, it is necessary to enable us to succeed in the long run.

    Here are some long term goals starting with what can be done soonest: Have a metro club match (we're figuring out dates to reserve the field, keep posted), become a legal entity, recruit enough players to field a real team, play a USAFL tournament on the mainland, host some USAFL teams or teams from wherever for a tournament out here, then the next step is to get crowds of 50,000 to watch us, so we can start an AFL expansion team and win back to back Grand Finals!

     

    Whilst ex-pats are often the starting point for growth of our game, do you see markets for getting kids involved, even just with things like Auskick style events?

    We haven't really targeted children at this point, but we do recognize the success of this game will be in recruiting people younger than our core group.  While I'm in my 30s, I do attend University of Hawaii and have brought some younger college students out who are helping to make up our group.  We've also had some Australian members of University of Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific University basketball and football teams come have a kick and/or join our Facebook group.   

    The bulk of us are married, have real jobs, quite a few of us have kids, quite a few of us graduated from college years ago, etc.  It's mostly an excuse for us to do something active sometimes and have a few beers with the boys (or girls, since we have quite a few women playing with us too.) afterward.

    I really hope we can build this up to the point where we can get some kids interested in this sport.  Polynesia including Hawaii has a long history of putting up a huge number of pro American Football players as well as Rugby players.  I don't see why AFL stars shouldn't also be coming out of here.

     

    Anything further I haven’t covered that you might like to add? 

    Link up our Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/277940929599866/ ). If you have some mates coming out for a holiday, have them come join us for a kick.  Where we play is a quick walk from all the tourist hotels, and across the street from the beach.  As of now we're meeting Wednesdays at 5pm @ Kapiolani Park (Paki & Monsarrat).  We're open to all people regardless of sex, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, experience with footy, etc.  Have a kick, it'll be fun. 

    You can also get in touch with the Hawaii AFRC through Meetup at the following link: https://www.meetup.com/Hawaii-Australian-Rules-Football/


     

     

     

     

     

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    The opening round of the new 2018/19 AFL Middle East season got underway yesterday in Dubai with two tight matches which produced two significant results. The Dubai Dingoes came out snarling against the Abu Dhabi Falcons, whilst the Dubai Dragons won a thriller against the Multiplex Bulls.

    In the opening match on a hot morning at the Sevens Stadium in Dubai, the Dubai Dingoes got their bark back and put a serious bite on the Falcons. In a tight opening half, it was the Falcons getting their noses in front to go to the main break with a seven point lead.

    The Dingoes came back out after the break with renewed spirit – conscious that their new season needed a positive start – and rammed home eight goals to five after half time to win the game by ten points. It wasn’t the start the Falcons were looking for. After the promise of last year they needed a good start to the season. However, the Dingoes would be delighted with the win after a tough season in 2017/18. Already they are in a position to challenge for finals later in the season if they can snare another couple of wins.

    In the second match of the day, the battle between the two best teams of the past few years continued. The Dubai Dragons and Multiplex Bulls have dominated the competition for the past few years, and the Dragons have enjoyed great success. However, results have always been close.

    The pattern continued with another Dubai thriller. Little separated the two teams in the first half. By the main break, the Dragons had snuck ahead by just two points. The second half was just enthralling as the Dragons tried to consolidate their lead and the Bulls tried to peg it back. By the end of the match it was the Dragons holding on by just three points, setting up their season and continuing the heartbreak for the Bulls.

    The next round of matches on November 23rd will see the Abu Dhabi Falcons hosting the Dubai Dragons whilst in Dubai the Multiplex Bulls will take on the Dubai Dingoes.

    Final Scores:
    Dubai Dingoes 11 8 74 d Abu Dhabi Falcons 9 8 62
    Dubai Dragons 13 11 89 d Multiplex Bulls 13 8 86 ...

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  • 11/12/18--15:33: Bombers Away

  • In front of an ecstatic home crown at Tiwi Oval on Bathurst Island, the Tiwi Bombers finally got their first win of the season. They downed St Mary’s by 21 points to not only gain their first four points of the season but also claw their way off the bottom of the ladder. In other results, the Palmerston Magpies resurgence continued with a win over Wanderers, The Darwin Buffaloes downed Waratah and in the top of the table clash, Southern Districts defeated Nightcliff.

    Over in Wurrumiyanga, the Tiwi Bombers were up against an equally desperate St Mary’s. Both teams needed a win to keep finals on the radar, but more so the Tiwi Bombers who really had to win this one. The enthusiastic home crowd played their part as the Bombers gained the lead and stayed there before running out 21-point victors. Mathematics says that Saints are still right in the mix for finals, but form is another matter altogether. Their first six rounds have been shaky, at best, and they need to find the firepower to win consistently.


    The Palmerston Magpies have jumped into the top five with another good win, this time against Wanderers by 19 points. A tight first half saw the Magpies lead by just four points at the main break. A three goal to one third term gave Palmerston the breathing space they needed to go on to their third win of the season. The loss saw Wanderers slump to last place, with plenty of work to do to climb the ladder again.

    The Darwin Buffaloes continued their solid start to the season with a tight 13-point win against Waratah. The game remained tight for most of the day. The third quarter was where Buffaloes wrested a three goa advantage which was enough to see them over the line. It sees them equal second with Nightcliff Tigers – behind them on percentage – and setting up a great opportunity for another flag tilt later in the season. Waratah have now lost two in a row and face top team, Crocs, next weekend. It will be a tough ask to upset the reigning premiers, but they almost need to if they are to restore order.

    The Crocs themselves jumped two games clear on top of the ladder when they downed the Tigers by 17 points. The game was tight for the first three quarters with Crocs just keeping their noses in front. However, their three goal to one final quarter saw Crocs respond when they needed to grab the game when it had to be won. Both teams showed enough to suggest they are the two best teams in the league this season, though Darwin are right up there with them.

    Next weekend will see the Tiwi Bombers take on Darwin Buffaloes at TIO Stadium in the opening game of the triple-header. This will be followed by the clash between Wanderers and the Nightcliff Tigers and the Palmerston Magpies up against St Mary’s. The Sunday match will see Southern Districts host Warata ...

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    AFL England has announced the Transatlantic Trophy on their www.aflengland.org website. Following is their story detailing the clashes which feature both men’s and women’s matches.

    AFL England is delighted to unveil the Transatlantic Trophy in a new reciprocal arrangement with USAFL, the national governing body for Australian rules football in the United States of America. 

    Under the new arrangement, both the USA men’s and women’s national teams – USA Revolution and USA Freedom, respectively – will visit Great Britain in August 2021 for matches against the Bulldogs and Swans.  

    These matches are tentatively scheduled for the 21st August 2021, with the USA expected to play warm-up games in the week prior.

     Great Britain Bulldogs Head Coach Dean Thomas says that its return is a positive step for the development of the sport across the two countries.   

    “For the players in particular,” he told AFL England. “It gives them a fantastic competition to look forward too, against genuinely talented opponents. 

    “This is a competition that the next generation of Bulldogs can aim to make their own. Upcoming talent, as well as future players who will arrive on the scene, can target this competition as perhaps their first foray into international footy.”

    Meanwhile, Great Britain Swans Head Coach Ian Mitchell says that the return of the Transatlantic Cup is a “fantastic opportunity” 

    “The Transatlantic Cup is something I have heard about previously but never been involved in. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to test ourselves against some of the best nations in a different environment outside of the International Cup. 

    “It’s a great opportunity to create and foster positive partnerships in order to develop players, infrastructure and the game as a whole. I feel that arrangements like this could be key to the development of the countries involved but also for the general development of the game outside of Australia.” 

    The Bulldogs have never won against the United States, losing 10.8 (68) to 3.3 (21) in the Atlantic Alliance Cup in 2001, and then losing by 78 points in the inaugural AFL International Cup 5th place playoff in 2002.

    Meanwhile, the Swans have a perfect record after beating the USA as recently as 2017 in the International Cup 3rd place playoff 4.1 (25) to 5.2 (32). 

    Great Britain Swans captain Laura Turner-Ramadan  (pictured above playing against the USA) was captain that day. 

    “It’s great for the development of the British women’s game for us to take part in a tournament like this,” she said. “We need more opportunities for women to play against the world’s most talented female footballers to improve their skills and really make our mark in world footy. 

    “The USA league is thriving and our game against them at the International Cup indicates that they will be a tough foe for us in the coming years.” 

    USA Freedom Head Coach Christina Licata says that she was excited to partner with Great Britain in this endeavour. 

    “We’re excited to expand our competition to Great Britain for the Transatlantic Cup in 2021. As we continue to invest in talented women footballers in the U.S., we’re seeking more opportunities for player development and competitive games as well as the growth of women’s footy in general.” 

    To read the original story, go to their website at: http://www.aflengland.org/transatlantic-trophy-unveiled-between-great-britain-and-the-united-states/ωfbclid=IwAR2HzsmcPGT8WhSXFstyx456WPEYRgj_T8Gbz4-AyjxabudOlUKi6tvURbc

     

      ...


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  • 11/13/18--16:34: Coyotes Back In The Game

  • A first round falter from the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes has been redeemed after the team enjoyed victory on the weekend over the Bordeaux Bombers. After losing their opening round match to the Paris Cockatoos, the Coyotes needed a win to stay up and about – and they got it against a determined and committed Bombers team.

    Playing at home, the Coyotes had an advantage. Yet, the Bombers never let the game get right way from them. In the end the Coyotes were too good, winning 100-63.

    The 37-point win sees the Coyotes right back in the mix for finals action. Whilst the finals series is a long way away, there are only five matches left for them before finals – like all teams – and every win is vital. With both Paris teams likely to be finals bound and at least one of the Stade Toulousain teams challenging, the Coyotes may find themselves in a battle royale with both the ALFA Lions and the fast-improving Bayonne Toreadors for a finals spot.


    No team has the luxury of dropping games they should and could win.

    The Bombers have had a torrid start to the season, going down to the Stade Toulousain (1) team and now the Coyotes. It has been two tough matches against possible finalists. However, their draw gets better with two home matches to come which gives them a chance to rebound and challenge for that finals group as well.

    Round Three sees the Bayonne Toreadors have a rest now that the Perpignan Tigers are out of the competition for the season. The Stade Toulousain (2) team will meet the Coyotes in Toulouse this weekend. The round finishes the following weekend with the ALFA Lions hosting the Paris Cockerels in Lyon whilst the Bordeaux Bombers will take on the Paris Cockatoo ...

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    As a kid in the Aussie Rules playing states of Australia, from the first time you pick up a footy and kick it around the yard you are on the path to AFL football. From the youngest ages, Auskick programs, junior clubs, representative football, school football and later academies and combines create a path to the big time. The pathways are clear and ready.

     

    Not so in Ireland. At least not as directly for Australian Football. The equivalent local pathways can take young Irish kids on a journey to club, county and country Gaelic football. But whilst on that journey, many kids – girls and boys – might learn of an opportunity to head to Australia and try AFL. Be the next Jim Stynes or Tadgh Kennelly. At this point. Careers do a complete right angled turn and Irish clubs face the prospect of losing their talent to another code – albeit related.

     As men and women reach the stage of heading down under, the clubs in Ireland simply rebuild by growing the next talent – and then possibly losing them also. In the vast majority of cases these clubs do all they can to help their talented players live a dream. Bu it doesn’t necessarily help the clubs – even though they are given a small level of compensation from the AFL.   

    Irish Hawk, Conor Nash, has raised the issue as the Irish clubs being far better compensated for grooming talent which they lose to Australian clubs. His views can be found in an article on the www.afl.com.au website, and appears here in part to provide the basis of his argument. 

    IRISH Hawthorn forward Conor Nash has backed calls for Gaelic football clubs that have players poached by AFL teams to be fairly compensated.

    North Melbourne's recruitment of Red Óg Murphy late last month brought the number of listed Irish players in the AFL to a record 14.  

    Nash told the We Are Meath podcast in Ireland that Gaelic clubs deserved payment after developing young prospects. 

    "I certainly think there is a case there for some sort of compensation. It certainly has to be the club. I wouldn't think it would be the county board or something like that," Nash said.

    "If it was the club, yes, I'd be all for that. If it was the county board as such, probably not. 

    "I'd love to see it go back right to the roots, because everybody knows that clubs could do with a bit of spare cash every now and then." 

    However, Nash pointed out a potential complexity with such a system. 

    "If you look at my situation where I (played Gaelic) football and rugby, do you compensate both of themω Do you compensate one more than the otherω" Nash said. 

    Compensation does exist in small doses – linked in part to a games played formula. But many AFL clubs are getting great talent for a relative pittance. If the AFL clubs can demand massive draft selection benefits for losing players to free agency, then surely clubs that produce the likes of Nash, teammate Conor Glass, Essendon’s Conor McKenna, Suns’ star Pearce Hanley, Cat Zach Tuohy and Sydney Swan Colin O’Riordan deserve a little more respect (and due compensation) for providing such a talent and aiding them in getting to AFL list.  

    To put things in a slightly unfair light, the Western Bulldogs lost Luke Dalhaus and were give draft pick #25 as compensation. Collingwood lost Alex Fasolo and got pick #57. Did the Irish clubs who lost players over the past 12 months or so receive anything remotely comparable for giving up potential starsω No, it certainly isn’t the same thing – but it does involve clubs losing talent. 

    The AFL and its 18 clubs have money. They can afford to do something more to develop the game back in Ireland. It is only a matter of enough people agreeing that they should, then put things in place. In return, the talent pool from Ireland will likely grow further. It has grown substantially over the past ten years and will grow further over the next ten – and AFL clubs are the biggest beneficiaries of that growth. 

    But Conor Nash has raised a pertinent issue, and one that might be cause for a very healthy debate – both in Ireland and here in Australia.

    To read Dinny Navaratnam’s full story on the AFL website, go to: http://www.afl.com.au/news/2018-11-14/afl-teams-should-compensate-gaelic-clubs-says-irish-hawk ...


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    Sarah Black reports on the www.afl.com.au website about the impact that Greater Western Sydney AFLW player, Cora Staunton, has had on the women’s game in terms of more Irish women chasing an AFLW dream.

    The 2019 AFL Women's season will see five Irish born-and-bred players, including Staunton, on club lists.

    It's a noticeable increase from the two in 2018, one of whom, expat and now-delisted Demon Laura Duryea, played her football in Melbourne before being drafted.

     

    The four new recruits come from a Gaelic football background, with Sarah Rowe (Collingwood rookie), Ailish Considine (Adelaide rookie), Yvonne Bonner (GWS rookie) and Aisling McCarthy (Western Bulldogs' senior list), moving from across the world to play AFLW.

     The influx of Irish AFLW players comes on the back of an increase in Irishmen in the AFL, with a record number of 14 – headed by Geelong's Zach Tuohy (county Laois), Gold Coast's Pearce Hanley (county Mayo) and Essendon's Conor McKenna (county Tyrone) – on lists for the 2019 season.

     

    The AFLW migration from Ireland started in earnest when GWS sprang a draft surprise in October 2017, calling out Staunton's name with what eventuated as its final pick, 45.

    Kicking five goals in seven games, Staunton's exploits weren't far from the news back home, especially when she broke her nose and returned to the field against Collingwood in round three.

    It gave impetus to women's Australian Rules football in Ireland, which is gaining momentum, albeit from a small participation base.

    Numbers have increased from fewer than 20 female players in the whole country to more than 150 in the space of a year, with 10 different teams having competed in various competitions in 2018 (games are often played with nine players on each side).

    The premiership competition now has four teams, the same size as the men's.

    Mike Currane, the coach of the Irish Banshees (the women's Australian Rules team that represents the country in International Cup) and founder of AFL Ireland and AFL Women's Ireland, said Staunton's success last year had been a boon for AFLW in his country.

    "We started with eight clubs, simultaneously, around Ireland and it's just taken off from there," Currane told AFL.com.au.

    "Prior to Cora's debut, we had been aware of Laura Duryea playing season one in the AFLW (for Melbourne) and that generated a bit of publicity at home here as well.

    "The Cora effect when she headed out to [Greater Western] Sydney was definitely a huge factor in growing awareness of the sport, as well as the structure being put in place. But the Crosscoders program has been the main accelerator in getting the number of (Irish) girls playing AFLW to five."

    That Crosscoders program, instigated by Western Bulldog (and former Wimbledon Hawk in England) Lauren Spark, AFL England president Jason Hill and Jonathan Jeffries, saw international players from other sports selected for a week-long trial in Melbourne.

    Bonner, Considine (who has played Aussie Rules in Ireland for West Clare Waves along with her Gaelic duties with county Clare) and McCarthy were all graduates of the program.

    "The likes of ourselves here in Ireland and a lot of people in football internationally believed there was potential for girls overseas to get involved," Currane said.

    "Over the course of the week, the interest of AFLW clubs was definitely tweaked, most particularly when the Crosscoders beat a combined VFLW side in a challenge match. The following morning the phone was hopping."

    Being paid to play – something that isn't available in the amateur Gaelic football competitions in Ireland – as well as the ability to play in the GA championship season (which runs from May to September) are appealing factors for players wanting to try out for AFLW sides.

    The extra work put in by club officials like Giants senior AFLW coach Alan McConnell, who recently tied in a trip to visit his UK-based son with home visits to recruits Bonner and Callum Brown (AFL), as well as Staunton, creates a comfortable environment for international players.

    Interest has risen so much in the talent of international players, Crosscoders may hold its 2019 trial around May next year when AFLW clubs will have full rookie availability, rather than only a handful having spots as was the case in September this year.

    "Participation numbers are just going to increase. If you take the Cora factor from last year and multiply it by the fact there's five Irish girls going to play in season three (in the AFLW), I think interest is going to grow," Currane said.

    "Cora is the most well-known (female) Gaelic footballer, without question, over the last number of years.

    "It got huge publicity for the sport and for women playing the sport and came at a really good time for us."

     

    Irish AFLW players:

    Yvonne Bonner – GWS rookie, Gaelic football for county Donegal

    Ailish Considine – Adelaide rookie, Gaelic football for county Clare, camogie (female hurling), AFL Ireland for West Clare Waves

    Aisling McCarthy – Western Bulldogs senior list, Gaelic football for county Tipperary

    Sarah Rowe – Collingwood rookie, Gaelic football for county Mayo, has also represented the Republic of Ireland in soccer

    Cora Staunton – GWS senior list, Gaelic football for county Mayo

     

    To read the original story by Sarah Black, go to the AFL website at the following link: http://www.afl.com.au/news/2018-11-14/aflw-how-the-cora-effect-has-boosted-irish-numbers

      ...


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    The latest initiative of AFL England, the National University League, commenced last weekend. The competition brings together the talent in men’s and women’s football across England and southern Wales and is running also as a prototype for a wider uptake across all of Europe.

    Cambridge University held nominal favouritism going into the event for the men’s draw, as much to do with being the host team as anything else, whilst the women’s draw was a little less predictable given the comparative lack of competition in preceding years. The competition combined players from each university who had played for the team before as well as new faces, providing a great opportunity to further grow the game in universities.

    Clearly, Birmingham had not read the script going into the weekend. They took the opening day honours in the men’s draw, downing both Cambridge and Oxford to start the season with an unblemished record. Oxford defeated Cambridge in the other match.

    In the women’s draw, Oxford were too good for their competition, downing both Cambridge and Birmingham comfortably.

    After round one we see Birmingham lead the men’s competition and Oxford leading the women’s with two wins each.

    The next round of the competition will see the debut of the South Wales Students team. Hosted by Oxford University on December 1st, it will see Birmingham enjoy the bye while Oxford, Cambridge and South Wales do battle. It is also the first "Rainbow Round" tying into the Rainbow Laces campaign in autumn.

    In other news, AFL England announced last week that the men’s best & fairest medal would be named in honour of the games co-founder and called the Tom Wills Medal. The women’s game will also receive a best & fairest medal to be named at a later date.

    Round 1 Results:
    Men's Division
    Oxford 10.11 (71) def. Cambridge 3.3 (21)
    Birmingham 7.4 (46) def. Oxford 4.5 (29)
    Birmingham 6.6 (42) def. Cambridge 3.6 (24)

    Women's Division
    Birmingham 3.3 (21) def. Cambridge 2.6 (18)
    Oxford 5.10 (40) def. Birmingham 4.2 (26)
    Oxford 7.6 (48) def. Cambridge 0.2 ( ...

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    Here’s a new argument to get your collective and individual teeth in to.

    Since 1987 when the West Coast Eagles and Brisbane Bears entered the then VFL, interstate teams have reached the grand final many times. All but one of those games has been played at the MCG. Currently, fuelled further by Caroline Wilson’s recent comments on 3AW’s Sportsday program about the subject, Adelaide Crows coach Don Pyke and outgoing Sydney Swans Chief Executive Andrew Ireland are two strong voices pushing the idea.

    It seems that the rationale is about fairness and removing “home” advantage for Victorian clubs, and by playing three grand finals for a best of three result this will be reduced. But the idea is fraught with inconsistencies. Not only that, but sheer statistics make a case against the idea. The clubs, AFL, sponsors and businesses would undoubtedly welcome three major events each year. Think of the money raised.



    But that might be all it is – a money grab – and not an equaliser as suggested by advocates of the change. A look at the data over the past 31 years shows the following:

    1. Since 1987 there have been 32 grand finals contested (including the drawn final in 2010)
    2. Interstate (non-Victorian) teams have been involved in 20 of those grand-finals
    3. Of those 20 grand final appearances, the non-Victorian team has won 12 times
    4. Of those 20 grand final appearances, the non-Victorian team has lost 11 times
    5. On three of those occasions the grand final has involved two non-Victorian teams

    That raw data already suggests that the chances of an interstate team winning a grand final at the MCG is just slightly better than 50/50. If a grand final is genuinely supposed to be a 50/50 contest (two teams, like heads and tails) then the VFL/AFL grand finals in the era of interstate teams is right on track for that.

    This quells the argument somewhat that there is a Victorian advantage. Even if you completely remove the three contested grand finals which featured two interstate teams, you still have a nine to eleven result favouring Victorian teams – not exactly a domination.

    As Wilson noted in her discussion on 3AW, the noise surrounding perceived Victorian advantage dissipated somewhat after the West Coast Eagles won the 2018 flag against Collingwood.

    Don Pyke questioned the fairness of the existing (and long-standing) tradition to play grand finals at the MCG – now locked in until 2057 – and has lobbied for change. Some believe it was his sour grapes response to losing the 2017 grand final. But others believe that the 2017 result – where Adelaide had a better record across the season than Richmond – proved that the current system is flawed and unfair.

    However, history has shown that more than once in the AFL/VFL era a team that has performed best across the season stumbles at the final hurdle. History tells us that is what happens when the best team ON THE DAY wins. It also makes a mockery of a finals series at all in that any unfairness could potentially be removed by awarding the premiership to the team that wins the minor premiership. Finals were brought in to take the top four, five, six or eight teams after the home and away season and allow them to gladiatorially fight things out for a last team standing result.

    It is an interesting argument on both sides, and one that will no doubt be resolved in due course. But a best of three tournament (like Rugby League’s State of Origin) to decide the premier is only needed if there is unfairness.

    And the statistics above do not support that argument ...

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  • 11/17/18--23:55: Swiss Sensations
  •  

    As reported on the www.afleurope.org website, Switzerland is set for its first official national tournament when the Winterthur Lions take on the newly created Swiss teams, the Basel Dragons and the Geneva Jets. In a relatively short time, Swiss footy has grown from one club to three, which is impressive growth of the game within a single European country by any standards. 

    After months of preparation and planning, this Sunday will see the first Swiss tournament take place between hosts the Winterthur Lions, and newly established clubs the Basel Dragons and Geneva Jets. 

    As a first for football in the nation, the 9-a-side tournament will act as the inaugural Australian Football competition in Switzerland, as the teams prepare for the first season of the Swiss League set to take place in 2019.

    Captain of the Winterthur Lions Stefan Burgener told afleurope.org that it was an amazing feeling to have now established three clubs in the country. 

    “I feel proud of what we’ve been able to grow in this short period of time”, Stefan said. 

    “In August we were thrilled to have a single 7-v-7 match in Switzerland and now we have about 38 players across 3 teams who will be playing on Sunday.” 

    Prior to the announcement of the weekend’s competition, AFL in Switzerland had consisted of just one club which was the Winterthur Lions. 

    As a result, the Swiss national team could only pick players from just the one franchise for international fixtures. 

    Now with more players to choose from and more potential for growth and development than ever before, Stefan is looking forward to seeing more awareness around the sport in 2019. 

    “I think this will grow awareness even further and help gather interest in the new Swiss League which will be played from May – September next year,” Stefan said. 

    “They both (Basel and Geneva) particularly since August this year, have been working tirelessly to grow a base of players and committee members for their respective clubs.” 

    “Now that the league has been established, we aim to establish more clubs in Switzerland and to improve our Men’s national team.” 

    Having played exhibition fixtures prior to Sunday’s official tournament, the Winterthur Lions will now play regular matches in 2019. 

    With the league now set to take place next summer, Stefan also mentioned to afleurope.org that the nation is trying to build up the women’s game in preparation for next year’s Euro Cup to be held in Norrtälje, Sweden. 

    “We also aim to hold as many women’s matches as possible and start a new women’s national team to compete alongside the men’s team at the Euro Cup in Sweden next June”, Stefan said. 

    “I’m excited for what the future holds.”

    The Swiss Tournament kicks off at 1:30pm local time on Sunday. 

    For more information, please visit the official event page here. 

    Swiss Tournament Fixtures:

    13:30: Winterthur vs. Basel

    14:30: Winterthur vs. Geneva

    15:30: Geneva vs. Basel 

    To read the original AFL Europe article on their website, go to the following link: https://afleurope.org/swiss-tournament/ωfbclid=IwAR3QihjM-2R7c2j-KDqwM2XK5r8RMdXlfSO_6CWRjZPQseTEjPcqL47_arM 

     

    Picture Credit - AFL Europe (www.afleurope.org) ...


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  • 11/19/18--04:03: Waratah Bring Down Crocs

  • The NTFL deck was shuffled on the weekend with some upset results shaking up the competition. At least, the winners and losers were shuffled yet the ladder remains largely the same. Waratah brought down the previously undefeated Southern Districts Crocs, the Tiwi Bombers downed the Darwin Buffaloes, St Mary’s burst the Palmerston bubble and Nightcliff were too good for Wanderers.

    Saturday’s triple-header at TIO Stadium kicked off with a revitalised Tiwi Bombers outclassing the Darwin Buffaloes. But it didn’t start that way as the Buffaloes burst out of the blocks with a seven goal to one opening quarter. Leading by 26 points at half-time, Darwin had little idea what was about the happen. The Tiwi Bombers called on the grit and explosiveness that saw them defeat St Mary’s last weekend to launch a nine goal third term. Another six goals in the last quarter saw the Bombers race away to an impressive 44-point win.


    Nightcliff outclassed Wanderers in the next game, pressuring them to increase their lead at every break before running out 66-point victors. Again, Wanderers found scoring a challenge with a one goal opening half. Apart from a sixteen goal opening round, Wanderers have failed to kick more than seven goals in a match since. Without firepower and better avenues to goal, Wanderers might face a long, hard season.

    St Mary’s kept their erratic season on track, bringing down the in-form Palmerston Magpies. Going into the match, Palmerston were on a roll with two successive wins. Saints had lost two of their past three matches. But a five goal to nil opening term by St Mary’s set up a lead that proved too difficult for Palmerston to peg back. In the end, Saints downed the Magpies by 48 points.

    In what proved to be the biggest upset of the round, Waratah were far too good for Southern Districts. The final margin was 22 points in favour of Waratah and they deserved the win, being the better team on the day. However, Crocs can really only blame themselves after they virtually kicked themselves out of the contest. Southern Districts finished with three more scoring shots than Waratah, but missed too many gettable shots.

    After seven rounds, and one third of the way through the season, Southern Districts still hold top spot, a game ahead of Nightcliff. Waratah have jumped to third place, ahead of Darwin on percentage. St Mary’s have nudged Palmerston out of the top five, though both are equal on points. The Tiwi Bombers are still in seventh position ahead of Wanderers.

    Next weekend will see the Palmerston Magpies up against the Nightcliff Tigers on Friday night. Saturday will see the Tiwi Bombers hosting Waratah at Tiwi Oval. Saturday night will see a TIO Stadium double-header with St Mary’s clashing with Southern Districts before the Darwin Buffaloes go head-to-head with Wanderer ...

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