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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    Apologies this was published after the filming mentioned below, due to being in the process of major site maintenance.

    Northern Territory football, and the game overall, will soon receive a boost with a new Australian movie to hit our screens in 2015. The following press release from the AFLNT details the call out to footy fans in the Northern Territory to be a part of the extras in the film, as well as being a part of the match being filmed for the movie.


    NT AFL fans will have the chance to be in a new Australian film, currently shooting in Darwin – at TIO Stadium on Saturday, June 14.

    Last Cab to Darwin is Jeremy Sims’ road movie drama starring Michael Caton, whose character Rex Macrae is a cab driver who, when told he doesn’t have long to live, sets out on an epic journey from Broken Hill to Darwin.

    Along the way he picks up a couple of passengers, including the character Tilly Johnson - the ‘best full forward in the history of Oodnadatta’ - played by Mark Coles Smith.

    AFL legend Brian Taylor has a guest role as ‘The Coach’ of the Saints – St Mary’s Football Club, Darwin – in the film and will shoot his scenes on June 10 at TIO Stadium with players from the club.

    Taylor is a former AFL footballer who played with Richmond (1980-84) and Collingwood (1985-90). Only 16 when he was recruited from Mandurah, WA, to play for Richmond, Taylor went on to be the Tigers’ leading goal kicker in 1982 & 1984; the Magpies’ leading goal kicker 1985-89 and in 1986 he kicked 100 goals and won the coveted Coleman Medal.

    Nicknamed ‘BT’ or ‘Bristle’, Taylor is an AFL commentator on Channel 7 and Radio 3AW Melbourne.

    Last Cab to Darwin also features dual Oscar®-nominee Jacki Weaver, Ningali Lawford-Wolf and Emma Hamilton and will be released in 2015.

    Footy fans interested can make their way to TIO Stadium to be a part of the crowd and watch the game to be filmed which will feature cast members, as well as cast and crew being on site for media opportunities.

    For more information, contact the AFLNT at ...

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    I was going to simply comment in response to the article Wellington AFL Game Doubt? but decided this issue is so significant it deserves as much focus as possible.

    So I repeat the title. Wellington simply must succeed.

    If the AFL can successfully host matches in Wellington each year then that will complement the significant work being done in junior development across New Zealand and gradually, if done well, in a generation build support for the country to have its own AFL club. At that point the eyes of Australians will be truly opened to an international future for the sport.

    Why is there a problem already in just the second year of this experiment? I think this is almost a case of being too greedy too quickly. The Wellington deal is a golden goose for St Kilda and the AFL but there's a real danger of immediately killing it in a breathtakingly short space of time.

    The generous offer put on the table by Wellington council was amazing and gives the AFL an historic opportunity to secure a foothold in New Zealand to back up all the grassroots work being done. That grassroots work may never yield the large outcome many of us desire without having the shiny beacon of regular popular AFL matches to aspire to.

    But to respect and nurture such an amazing offer requires a reasonable contribution in return.

    The deal hinges upon tourism for Wellington. It requires 3 things - a high profile on TV in Australia, a good travelling supporter group and preferably a reasonable turn up of locals.

    St Kilda vs Sydney in 2013 ticked some of those boxes. It had a high profile club in Sydney and both supporter bases provided plenty of travelling fans. However on Foxtel rather than free to air in Australia must surely have seemed like somewhat of a snub to Wellington.

    Come 2014 and this arrangement has suddenly been set up to fail. Again on Foxtel, and obviously less Saints fans would travel (not many will go twice in close succession), and unlike alluded to in the referenced article above, there was no bad luck about 2014 offering up Brisbane as a struggling side. Everyone knew Brisbane and St Kilda were likely to be, at best, strugglers this year. And Brisbane can hardly draw a crowd at home let alone convince 5000 fans to travel. And we all know it is a fixture not a draw - the AFL chooses who plays where and when.

    It also brings to mind efforts to convince Chinese students in Victoria to go to Melbourne Football Club matches when the MCG was all but empty as the club struggled through its darkest days, and for China itself to embrace the Demons when anyone who did tune in would've been doing so as Melbourne fans were turning off. When it comes to promoting the AFL it seems the League and clubs are putting forward something other than their best foot. Invest now and reap the rewards in 10 or 20 years, don't offer up bottom of the table teams.

    Invest. Don't take the money and run.

    To lose this opportunity would, in my opinion, be the single biggest blow to Australian football going international in the last 50 ye ...

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    An entry on the AFL Europe website showed the allocation of a start-up grant for a Budapest based Australian Rules football team in 2013. Whilst many readers possibly salivated at the thought of breaking into the Hungarian market, others may well have thought it was a misprint. But Geordie Est has returned to Australia from Hungary with the story of Aussie Rules progress in Budapest.

    “I carried out several clinics during my time in Budapest. They were predominantly for foreigners either living in the city or passing through. I started the clinics in late autumn when the weather was getting a bit chilly so I didn't get a huge amount of traction. Nonetheless, I would like to thank Ben MacCormack for sending the balls over. It did give me the opportunity to showcase the game in some small way. I also collaborated with a Frisbee group and introduced the ball and the game to those that were interested. I held the clinics at Margaret Island which is very central and provided an ideal location.”

    “Having a DSLR [camera] and a range of lenses at my disposal I took a few "promotional pictures" of one of the footballs Ben sent over, with a female model who was keen on Australia and AFL. I also took a few pictures during the screening event for the Grand Final at The Champs Sports Bar which I had organised for the second year running. Unfortunately I took the wrong lens with me that early morning and the pictures didn't turn out too well. A while ago I sent Ben a few samples of these images, but didn't take any snaps during the clinics unfortunately.”

    “While I'm in Australia for the time being, I do have a great interest in Europe because I also collaborate with others in fields outside of sport. The chances are that at some point I will get back to Europe to help out or take part in anything AFL Europe organises over there. I am always keen to remain engaged in any way.”

    “It would have been great to have shown your fellow writer [Harley Vague on his recent European fact-finding trip] around the city. I think Budapest on the up at the moment and is a great place for AFL Europe to look into.”

    Clearly AFL Europe felt the same way, with the issuing of a grant being a small step on the road to a Hungarian based team. Time will tell if the game continues to smoke and flame after the first sparks have been ignited, the the prospect remains real and with people like Geordie fanning the flames, Budapest might well be the new kid on the European block in years to c ...

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    The Toulouse Hawks have made it back to back French titles in their home city overnight, defeating the Paris Cockerels in a stirring match. The final score of 104 to 62 suggested a big win, but the Cockerels never stopped taking the game up to the Hawks.

    Words on the Perpignan Tigers Facebook page summed up the feelings well: “The new shield will return to the Toulouse Hawks who prevailed 104-62 against the Parisians. Kudos [go] to the Hawks for their domination in this [season’s] championship (unbeaten) and to the Parisians who fought to the end.”

    For the Toulouse team the day marks their first ever championship match victory, though the records show back to back titles. Last season’s victory was achieved without the ultimate match of the year being played, the title awarded after the match could not go ahead for reasons discussed in a previous WFN article Hawks v Cockerels battle for French premiership glory.

    That was the maiden championship for Toulouse, but yesterday’s victory is the first time the team has enjoyed the experience of playing an opponent on field to win the battle based on talent, courage, strength and commitment – one of the best feelings in football.

    Whilst the Paris Cockerels will certainly have heavy hearts after being runners-up for consecutive seasons, even they would acknowledge that the Toulouse team did little wrong all season on the way to glory. Toulouse won all six of their home and away matches, then defeated the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes in the semi-final, before defeating the Cockerels in the championship match – a perfect undefeated season.

    The Toulouse Hawks will now have the off season to plan for a three-peat effort in the 2014/5. For the Paris Cockerels, they now have that time to plot the demise of the Hawks and the rise of the Cockerels.

    But that is next season. For now the plaudits rest with the Toulouse Hawks – 2013/4 French Champions.


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    Aussie Rules the World is a new movie to be released in Australia on July 21st. It covers the issues of Aussie rules looking outside to the world for a place beyond its home shores. International footy followers will see plenty of familiar places and faces as Brett Kirk travels the world leading up to the 2011 International Cup and then reveals the passion for the game back on Australian turf as the world brings the game back to the native land.

    Please check out the trailer below.


    For more ways to connect to this great project follow the links below; ...

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    A Norwegian team comprising players from the Oslo Crows has crossed the border into neighbouring Sweden and stolen the silverware – the 2014 Sweden Cup.

    The annual event was held over the weekend, and the following details from the AFL Sweden website give an indication of what the event entails.

    AFL Sweden comes together on neutral ground in Jönköping for a civil war between all the clubs in the country to determine who is the strongest, who is the best, who is the champion of Sweden.

    The Swedish Cup is the only time in the year where all of the Aussie Rules players and teams from around the country come together to face off against one another in a festival of footy.

    The Swedish Cup is a great day where we can get together all of the country’s AFL players and enjoy footy as a whole group,” said AFL Sweden President Jörg Pareigis. “There is no better way to spend your day than enjoying footy with others that love the game as much as you do yourself.”

    The 2014 Swedish Cup will consist of: Årsta Swans, Norrtälje Dockers, Göteborg Berserkers/ Karlstad Eagles, Bromma Vikings/Solna Axemen/Södermalm Blues, also joining the cup with a wildcard entry will be the Oslo Crows from Norway.

    David Stone from the Oslo Crows was there and saw things this way. “We beat Arsta Swans in the final. Arsta is a Stockholm team. It was our third time at Sweden Cup. We came third last year. Sweden Cup is a mixed comp - most teams have a mixture of locals and Aussies. The tournament was in a place called Jönköping and it was a ripper of a day. Usually we win the trophy for 'longest distance travelled to get to the tournament', so it was very exciting to win the big trophy too!”

    The results for the day were:

    Arsta Swans 5 5 35 d Karlstad Eagles 1 6 12
    Oslo Crows 6 6 42 d Norrtälje Dockers 1 0 6
    Arsta Swans 5 4 34 d (Combined) Blues 3 2 20
    Oslo Crows 5 4 34 d Karlstad Eagles 0 6 6
    (Combined) Blues 3 5 23 d Norrtälje Dockers 3 2 20

    Arsta Swans 6 4 40 d Oslo Crows 4 3 27
    Karlstad Eagles 6 3 39 d Norrtälje Dockers 2 1 13
    (Combined) Blues 2 4 16 d Karlstad Eagles 1 4 10
    Arsta Swans 4 6 20 d Norrtälje Dockers 2 0 12
    Oslo Crows 7 6 48 d (Combined) Blues 2 2 14

    Semi Finals

    Arsta Swans 7 0 42 d Karlstad Eagles 5 3 33
    Oslo Crows 4 5 29 d (Combined) Blues 1 3 9

    Grand Final

    Oslo Crows 5 3 33 d Arsta Swans 2 3 15


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    Not all nations can afford to make it to Australia for the International Cups, and it should not be seen as a measure of strength or support of the game if a nation doesn’t get there. There are more factors than just the love of the game, or relative strength of the game, which impact decisions – fiscal considerations arguably the highest of these.

    A case in point is the Solomon Islands. According to the SIAFL (Solomon Islands Australian Football League), the desire is certainly there, but not the main mechanism to make it happen – funding.

    “Yes, unfortunately we will not be attending the IC14 competition. The biggest barrier came down to a lack of funding and sponsorship. Unfortunately we were not able to secure any corporate backing.”

    “We do have a senior male competition in Honiara consisting of 5 teams. Each team has had over 20 players at one point in time or another. We do believe that Solomons would have entered a very competitive team this year. As for future IC competitions, that may well still be dependent on sponsorship.”

    Additional to the healthy local competition, the Solomon Islands AFL crew have organised events such as the recent Gala Day and All Stars match to foster interest in the game. The ongoing school programs have also seen continued interest and growth, setting up an ongoing future with youth continuing to embrace the game. The Solkick and Junior Development program boasts a number of schools embracing the game through their sports programs.

    “Our sights are currently set on the Oceania Cup in December and we will continue to seek sponsorship and hopefully send an under 15's team to Fiji.”

    The decision not to come to Australia for the IC14 certainly allows the SIAFL to have a clear three years to continue to seek the funding and sponsorship to be at the next International Cup. Judging by the current youth development, as well as their existing core of players, the break might see a bigger and bolder national team in years to come and an overall brighter future for the Solomon Islands ga ...

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  • 06/18/14--04:36: Out Of Africa
  • The following article, written by Conor Walsh on the AFL website, looks at an upcoming Australian Rules football match between two African countries not usually seen mentioned Australian Rules football circles…until now. The work of Australian teacher, Tom Purcell, and his colleagues is changing that African landscape by degrees. Picture:Zimele.
    "BARE feet and tattered boots speed across the dirt, dust is wiped from sweaty brows and boys hop over barbed-wire fences to retrieve the inflated leather that is an Australian football.

    This is not in the Outback or on the hardy country football ground you may be imagining - this is in Embulbul, an outer suburb of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. Why would young Kenyan boys be playing our gameω Because of Tom Purcell.


    Purcell is a VCE teacher and House Head at St Kevin's College in Melbourne. In 2008 Purcell, who has eight children as well as two foster children from Nicaragua, founded Zimele, which runs in partnership with the Edmund Rice Foundation.

    Zimele, which means "To stand on your own two feet", has since been the driving force of Purcell's life. Zimele has raised funds to support various outreach programs in Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa and encourages people to recognise the wrongdoings of the world and walk with their African brothers and sisters."
    To read the rest of this article, click this link to the AFL website:  


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    In an unfortunate blow to the upcoming International Cup the National women’s team, the PNG Flames will not now be coming to the event. This will be felt throughout the football community in Papua New Guinea (particularly women’s footy) and the game in PNG as a whole.

    Just over two weeks ago World Footy News reported the announcement of the PNG Flames squad for the event here. 

    However, during the ensuing period the hoped for funding has not been forthcoming. As advised by Ben Drew, AFL Development Officer – Pacific, “the PNG women are no longer attending IC14. Time is tight and raising the required funding is very problematic.” When asked whether or not that decision might be changed, Ben was clear that the decision would not be reversed.

     This decision has no impact on the participation of the AFL PNG Mosquitoes men’s team which will still be coming to the IC14 as announced in a press release last week in our article here. This gives the opportunity for the people of Papua New Guinea to rally around the men’s team as they hope to push as far into the competition as they can.  

    For the PNG Flames the disappointment can be offset by continuing their development with other opportunities as they refocus and set sail for the next International Cup.

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    It's not uncommon for Australians - especially those south of the Murrumbidgee - to take a winter holiday to sunnier tropical locations and so it was the plan for my family to head to sunny Vanuatu across the first week or so of June. Of course one of my sons would pack a footy. Nothing too strange there. Perhaps what was more strange was a couple of bags containing 40+ pairs of donated footy boots and a couple of plastic wrapped brand new sherrin match footys.

    (AFL) Vanuatu here we come! The following is in part tropical paradise travel diary and in part a WFN inspired footy pilgrimage.

    Vanuatu is comprised of 83 islands of which about three quarters are inhabited. Port Vila is the capital and largest city and situated on Efate Island. The total population is over a quarter of a million of which a little over a quarter of whom live on Efate and most of those in Port Vila. Until 1980 Vanuatu was commonly known as the "New Hebrides", and for history buffs especially with respect to World War II; the New Hebrides were critically important to the Allies as the Japanese forces moved into the Bismarck and Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

    Colonized by the British and French; independence was gained by 1980. However, there are clear reminders of the dual colonial past including previously French and British jails - as summarised here by the Vanuatu Tourism guide : Vanuatu became a country governed by two countries, French and British each with its' own set of government and laws. Two police services, two health services, two education systems, two currencies, two passports and two jails. It is said the British law was stricter but its jails were more humane and the French jails were uncomfortable yet had better food. To date there is still the two jails operating.. .

    There is a legend too about how the French won the right to dictate the side of the road upon which to drive. And so to today they drive on the right. Also, many of the streets are referred to on the maps by the prefix 'Rue'.

    The French culinary influence is one to be celebrated by discerning tourists.

    June in Vanuatu is part of the driest season of winter but humidity remains high and temperatures generally in the mid to high 20s and often not dropping below 20 during the evening. It takes a little getting used to. And the realisation soon arrives that 'Island time' is a necessity. Rushing around becomes counterproductive. Umpiring a game of footy becomes very challenging.

    Australian Footy in Vanuatu was in the early days dominated by expats as a social activity. It's only really been over the last 10 years that it's evolved seriously for the locals - the Ni Vanuatu. Justin Johnson tells of the 2006 - 2010 time frame here . Forming AFL Vanuatu was important and as we reported in December 2010 the Oceania Cup in Tonga saw 5 young players from Vanuatu take the first steps on the international stage.

    Above - the first 5 AFL Vanuatu reps on the international stage back in 2010 - Robin Jacob at right was the first player I spoke to on Saturday.

    12 months on and the first ever full national side - the Vanuatu Volcanoes jetted to Fiji and competed stand alone. The on field challenges were great enough but WFN reported the experience was greater than that represented by merely the match results. Coached by Mal Thiel - "Mister Mal" - who, along with his family, has played a big part in the early evolution of AFL Vanuatu thus far and been a regular contact for WFN.

    And so here I was and I'd managed to nudge Vanuatu as a destination to front of mind and finally with a confirmed family holiday to Vanuatu - for me it could not be contemplated without trying to catch some AFL Vanuatu action. And along the way I figured I'd try to get a few mates at my footy club (Melbourne Masters SuperRules) to chip in to take a couple of footys or a couple of pairs of new boots. As it turned out - my children's school - Findon Primary - had 2 boxes of footy boots that were too big for Primary School students. Suddenly we were heading out with 40 odd pairs (not 'odd pairs') of new footy boots. Rebel at South Morang obliged with some cost price match Sherrins. Given we were flying out on a Thursday night and due to arrive in the early hours of Friday morning at Bauerfield International Airport in Port Vila - I figured I'd best ensure there would be no customs issues. A little of back and forth with Vanuatu Customs and Nancy Jacob at AFL Vanuatu and we got something sorted. In the end - we now know how it could have been done more easily. When arriving 2am local time though (having lost an hour on the direct flight from Melbourne with Air Vanuatu) - I thought it best not to risk a delay at Customs. Our accommodation for the week would be at Iririki Island Resort - a tropical island holiday (See tourism resorts map here). First thing to do - get the right key - and then to bed - can't sleep too long as the breakfast buffet closes at 10am. Next - Getting a feel for Port Vila, and my first face to face with AFL Vanuatu on the ground - and about the ground - the crab holes.

    Image left : Early morning arrival by 24 hr ferry to the jetty at Iririki Island. A coolish evening by local standards and balmy for Victori ...

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    A family holiday in June in Vanuatu - a great escape from winter in Melbourne. Staying at the Iririki Island Resort - we had plans for some simple and lazy resort time. However - we also had a Saturday morning date at Kazza Field and two big bags packed with 40+ pairs of footy boots and a couple of shiny new Sherrin match balls. First though - our recovery day one in Port Vila from a 2am arrival and getting to bed after 4am

    Our first impressions upon catching the regular ferry 3 minutes back to the water taxi hub - includes a variety of luxury and stylish yachts and boats in the bay and some prominent waterside real estate. Stark in comparison to the water taxis and their clients or the less well maintained roads and buildings in the main. With a guided tour around town and perhaps the biggest standout are the number of 'buses' and Taxis. The number plate for the buses are prefixed by a red 'B' and the Taxis by a red 'T'. The buses are generally of the mini bus/people mover style of vehicle. And there are many of them. And peak hour in Port Vila can be as busy as anywhere. However - despite the lack of crossings and the absence of traffic lights - there is an order. There is a courtesy. There is a respect and it appears the rule of the roads is largely based on common sense. That said - the casual tourist wishing to sight see needs to be wary doing so around Port Vila - a bus or taxi seems a much better option. Above left - the 24 hr Fruit & Veg market ; centre red B is for Bus ; right water taxis at sunset. The 24 hour Fruit and Veg market provides a wide variety of 'exotic' tropical produce. All pretty unfamiliar to Victorians - especially in a fresh natural state!! Meanwhile an 'au bon marche' supermarket with an ANZ ATM near the entrance sits nearby. And is a clear reminder of the French colonial heritage - along with the quality pastries down the road at the Au Peche Mignon.

    The harbour of Port Vila is a visual delight. The most regular sound of the harbour is the outboard motors of the small water taxi's - plying the waters by day and by night and at night without the aid of on board lighting as they traverse the waters they know so well. Almost on a daily basis a large ship - either a freighter or a cruise ship will enter the harbour and turn to starboard into Pontoon Bay to dock at the Main wharf. When it's a cruise ship - be ready for a flurry of greater activity as snorkelling boats, glass bottom boats, jet boats, fishing charter boats and more along with the sight seeing helicopters kick into a higher gear to make the most of the daylight hours before the cruise ship departs sailing out of the harbour and into the sunset. Cruise ship days are best not spent taking in day trips/tours - prices can some times rise and 3 days in we were feeling like locals!!! It should be noted here that many businesses accept Australian dollars - and this is almost expected on a cruise ship day.

    Friday afternoon at the Taxi rank between the Fruit and Veg market and the 'Au Bon Marche' - I strike a deal with Taxi driver Denison to meet at 9.30 the next morning with my family and the boots and be transported to Kazza Field (near Korman Stadium). And sure enough - 9.30am Saturday morning and there he is waiting. Out we head - cramped but all in - and how good is the sight of the Australian Football goal posts in place against the 'jungle' backdrop. Kazza field is an oddity - a broad flat grassed area - with footy goals at either end and on a semi parallel field (with a bit of overlap) there is a synthetic cricket pitch. At the Erakor round about end is a roofed shelter and nearby a number of shipping containers - that service the cricketers, the soccer players and one that provides on-site storage for AFL Vanuatu. We meet Nancy Patterson - the other 'Nancy'. Nancy Jacob isn't there - alas - I hadn't yet been able to get the message to her that we'd cleared customs and there was no need to head out to the airport. Between the two Nancy's the young boys and girls including the pikininis have a couple of gems to organise them.

    One of the first players I speak to is Robin Jacob - I didn't realise initially - speaking to him I was very impressed. As it transpires - Robin is Nancy's oldest - with 3 younger daughters - the girls not there this week due to exams. Kilip Andrew - as reported playing footy at Olinda Ferny Creek in Australia this season - is effectively an adopted older brother for Robin.

    Making sure we get some photos of 'presentations' of boots and balls - and then a chance to check out the field - and noting the crab holes. More meetings as Blair Mortimer - the new AYAD appointee arrives - 2 weeks in to a 50 week stint - he's only had a chance to get settled and this is his first day at the footy Vanuatu style as well. Blair was put onto this role by Gabel Stathis - a former AYAD in Samoa. Coming from Queensland and having recently completed his tertiary studies of a Sports Management and Marketing double degree - he works with AFL Queensland for the Gold Coast Suns and has played footy in the NEAFL for Southport. Blair was quick to nickname Nancy Patterson as 'Patto'. Hopefully he'll have a great time - just gotta not leave his phone in a buses!

    Above far left - land crabs and their holes - a feature of Kazza Field - photo from Alecia Thiel; Above centre left - Goal posts and crab holes ; (centre) new AYAD appointee Blair Mortimer ; (centre right) Nancy 'Patto' and me ; Above far right - Boots and footys

    Next - Part 3 - footy Vanuatu style, a well earned Tusker for the umpy and planning Mondays training run. ...

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    Gab Donnelly has spent a fair bit of time recently lurking around her local post office with large parcels. In her role as treasurer with the Baulkham Hills Hawks juniors in the north west suburbs of Sydney, Gab has been answering the call of their Cairns based “brothers” and sending footy boots and jumpers to all parts of the world to help kids and youth to keep playing our game.

    The most recent example is the sending of some club jumpers to the Bodibe club, a city 250 kilometres west of Johannesburg in South Africa. This follows on from their extraordinary gesture of donating a set of 20 jumpers to the Salamanda Port Powers team in Lae, Papua New Guinea ( ), and another donation of a jumper to the North Delta junior club in Vancouver, Canada. They also sent a small set of jumpers to the Pyramid Power club in Cairns to help promote the Brother Clubs Project.

    At this rate the club may run out of jumpers before long. But not heart.

    A recent World Footy News story looked at the troubles facing the Bodibe club, ten years after having had a donation of jumpers from the Hampton Park Rovers club in Melbourne. ( ). The Pyramid Power Brother Clubs Project undertook to do what they could to get equipment over to Bodibe to reignite the game. The first club to answer the call was the Baulkham Hills Hawks. They organised a drive to get footy boots donated and sent these along with a small set of jumpers to Bodibe.

    On arrival, the Bodibe team, led by club stalwart Joubert Motone, donned the jumpers and hit the field again. The sight of seeing these running around kicking an Aussie Rules footy again was quite emotional. Gab Donnelly, on seeing the photos said “it brings a smile to my face and a tear to my eye.” 
    Gab explained that “at Baulkham Hill Hawks AFC we are strong believers in community - and through the Brother Club program, our community has grown larger. We are very proud to help where we can and being able to send boots and jerseys to Bodibe seems like a small thing - but is immensely satisfying to see the benefit to the players in Bodibe.” 
    “Australian Rules football brings the world closer together - and the Pyramid Power guys, as facilitators of the Brother Club program should be super proud! Great effort!  Our Baulko jerseys are now in Lae (Papua New Guinea), Cairns (North Queensland), North Delta (Canada) and Bodibe (South Africa).... not bad for a junior club from north-west Sydney.”
    “I just used Facebook to reach the club to get boots and other donations - and the local paper got behind us too (not that it did anything but gain good publicity for the club). It didn't take much work really.”
    Joubert was also grateful, saying “they [the team] are very happy. God bless you and I wish that one day we can come there to play some games at your team. The time i got home I found the parcel slip at home then the following day I went to post office. I went home with them [the parcels] and opened them. I found boots and jumpers i was very happy. Even my mom was very happy. I felt like crying. Then later i took them to gym [and] i give them to my team. They were very happy. Everyone was fitting them. They told me they are proud of me. Even the school teachers told me that.” 
    Molefi Moletsane is the coach of the AFL team in Itsoseng, the town adjacent to Bodibe, also stated that “I am happy to be coaching that team and we are very thankful for everything that you are doing for the Bodibe guys.”
    Baulkham Hills Hawks have taken the “Brother Club” theory of assisting other clubs to a new height. It is remarkable that their generosity now extends to clubs in Africa, North America and Oceania. They are a beacon for others to follow to do whatever they can to share resources or simply assist and support teams across the world to help develop our great game further as a by-product of reaching out to others in need across the world.

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    The 2014 SIAFL (Solomon Islands AFL) Grand Final takes place tomorrow afternoon in Honiara. With a season interrupted by a deadly and damaging storm early this year – the season culminates with the White River Demons taking on the Central Coast Eagles.

    The match is scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) – June 26th – at the King George VI field in Honiara. As per the poster below – SIAFL staff will be in attendance from 3pm onwards with the opening bounce at 4pm.

    Season 2014 has shown resilience amongst the SIAFL community. The season kicked off back on March 27 The first week of April witnessed the deadly tropical storm that was to develop into Cyclone Ita and track towards the Queensland coast. The SIAFL season was interrupted but not the spirit – as reported here players from the White River Demons in particular played their part in assisting recovery – helping in the clean up and helping get the White River medical clinic back in operation as quickly as possible after the storms to help prevent the spread of disease.

    Missing from the local contests have been two young stars in Francis Ramo and Peter Nuku who are playing this season with Coolaroo in Queensland’s AFL Darling Downs competition.

    While it is sad that the SIAFL won't be represented at this years 5th AFL International Cup - there has still been plenty going on. All at WFN wish SIAFL a great day tomorrow. For anyone nearby be sure to get down and show your support.


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    The AFL this week announced the 2014 Flying Boomerangs squad which will compete at the NAB AFL Under 16 Championships in July on the Gold Coast.

    Coached by Eugene Warrior, former Port Adelaide and Norwood (SANFL) player, The Flying Boomerangs squad will participate in Division Three and will take on the World Team, WA North-West and the South Pacific.

    The Flying Boomerangs is a personal development and leadership program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men aged 14 -15 years-old, supported by the Coles AFL Indigenous Program.

    Selected by AFL Talent Managers following the 2014 National KickStart Under-15 Championships held in Coffs Harbour, the squad of 25 young Indigenous men has been chosen based on school attendance, leadership skills and football ability.

    Jason Mifsud, AFL Head of Diversity, said the Flying Boomerangs program is a great opportunity for the best rising Indigenous players in the nation to develop on and off the field.

    “The Flying Boomerangs will be exposed to the best training, coaching and mentoring, as well as personal development opportunities during the NAB AFL Under 16 Championships (July 3-13).”

    “The Boomerangs is more than a football program. It is preparing our next generation of young Indigenous leaders with the skills, qualities and experiences to become positive role models in their own families and communities.

    “While on the Gold Coast the squad will be engaged in education programs including a visit to the Gold Coast Suns Football Club, training at Goodlife Health Club which is a support partner of the AFL Diversity program, as well as a visit to Coles to Southport store to learn about career opportunities and pathways.”

    2014 Flying Boomerangs squad:

    Tyrell Hocking (Sailsbury, SA), Xavier Cubillo (Darwin, NT), Cameron Wild (Ceduna, SA), Nathan Kruger (Victor Harbour, SA), Adam Nichaloff (Alice Springs, NT), Jeffrey McDonald (Burunga, NT), Rodney Baird (Palmerston, NT), Dominic Grant (Darwin, NT), Leslie Maroney (Darwin, NT), Tyrone Hayes (Lakes Entrance, VIC), Aiden Domic (Mt Clear, VIC), Joel Garner (Gruyere, VIC), Jamaine Morgan (Croyden, VIC), Tyran Mansell (Launceston, TAS), Liam Lupton (Canberra, ACT), Tere Yarran (Huntingdale, WA), Harley Stack (Ballajura, WA), Billy Johns (Koondoola, WA), Kris Ryder (Beldon, WA), Tyrees Miller (Quinns Rock, WA), Brendon Collard (Kalgoorlie, WA), Gregory Humphries (Bunbury, WA), Kyron Hayden (Koondoola, WA), Bowe Roads (South Perth, WA), Sachem Parkin-Owens (Stradbroke Island, QLD)

    NAB AFL Under 16 Championships Flying Boomerangs schedule:

    Sunday July 6

    WA NW v Boomerangs at Broadbeach, 3.40pm

    Wednesday July 9

    World Team v Boomerangs at Broadbeach, 11am

    Saturday July 12

    Boomerangs v South Pacific at Metricon 2, 11. ...

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    The AFL today announced the 2014 World Team squad which will compete at the NAB AFL Under 16 Championships on the Gold Coast in July.  AFL Hall of Famer Anthony Koutoufides has been named head coach of the World Team again in 2014.

    The squad of 25 players will showcase the skills of the best upcoming AFL multicultural players from across the nation, as well as talented international youngsters from South Africa.
    Sadly for international development the numbers of international players in the team has been on the decline every year with only South African players imported to the World Team.  More internationals of course will be part of the tournament as part of the South Pacific team which will be announced shortly. 
    Koutoufides, who is from an Italian and Greek background, said he is excited to coach the World Team for the second year in a row.
    “The World Team provides international and multicultural AFL players with elite training, personal development and AFL talent pathway opportunities.
    “I hope to uncover great talent and lead the team to success again this year after we won the Division Three title in 2013.”
    AFL Head of Diversity Jason Mifsud said the World Team will be exposed to the best training, coaching and mentoring during the Championships.
    “The World Team plays a key part of the AFL’s multicultural strategy, providing talent pathways and personal development opportunities for young players from diverse backgrounds.”
    The World Team players who are from multicultural backgrounds were selected by AFL Talent Managers following the Australia Post All Nations Cup held in Coffs Harbour in April.
    The international players were selected from the AFL South Africa program based on high performance.
    The squad will take part in education and leadership sessions and high performance training during the NAB AFL Under 16 Championships, as well as visit Gold Coast Suns Football Club and train at Goodlife Health Club, a support partner of the AFL Diversity program.
    The World Team will compete against The Flying Boomerangs, the South Pacific and WA North-West.

    2014 AFL World Team:










    Glenmore Park

    South African

























    Sierra Leonian










    Papua New Guinean










    South African





    South African
























    Wyndham Vale










    Tuart Hill






    Burundian (Africa)















    Sri Lankan














    High Wycombe

    Ivory Coastian

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    By Rod Shaw

    The New Zealand women’s team is not yet ready for competition at the International Cup in 2014.

    AFL New Zealands’s Mick Coulthard said “The main contributing factor is the age of the girls that we have currently in our system, aged between 14 and 18 years of age that come through our secondary school programmes”.

    Though there are a number of Australian based New Zealanders playing that were interested this was not sufficient for a full team.
    Coulthard added ”As AFL female participation is still in its infancy within New Zealand, playing the game at a senior level will need to continue being developed with representative opportunities complimenting this”.
    The U18 NZ Kahus will be playing two series later this year against the U16 Australian Breeze in October for their second ever test series and the Woomeras in December. NZ will be better for last year’s experience, and a longer development program this time, but it is to be expected there will be some one-sided results. The focus just needs to be on continued development. ...

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    The following press release provided by SIAFL.

    Solomon Islands AFL hosted the 2014 Grand Final on Thursday between the White River Demons and the Central Coast Eagles. The stage was set for an exciting game of football between these two powerhouse clubs. Both teams have dominated the 2014 home and away season and were close games in their previous encounters.


    The game got underway and it was an even battle. Both teams struggled to get clean possession in their attacking half. For the first seven minutes, the ball remained in the centre of the ground with both teams turning it over. The high stakes match added extra pressure and players were making uncharacteristic mistakes. White River broke the drought when Dylan snapped a goal after a boundary throw-in in the Demons forward pocket. Demons continued to put the ball forward while Eagles struggled to impact on the score board. The second goal came when Puia stepped an Eagles defender and kicked truly from 40m out. First quarter results, Demons 2. 3. 15 and Eagles 0. 1. 1.

    Second quarter and the game was opening up. Eagles converted their first major and were moving the ball much better. Demons had plenty of the ball forward but wayward kicking opened the door for the Eagles. Central were able to kick two more goals during the second quarter. Spectators watched in awe as Johnny Mafane took a contester for ‘mark of the year’. Poor kicking in front of goals from the Demons meant the Eagles would close the gap. Demons held onto a one goal lead going into half-time. Demons 3. 8. 26 and Eagles 3. 2. 20

    What is also known as the ‘Premiership Quarter’ proved to be the defining one of the match. After the half time break the Demons lost momentum and the Eagles took full advantage. They also received several 25m penalties from un-disciplinary play from the Demons. It was looking like the Eagles would take the lead going into the final quarter as they dominated the play. Eagles had six scoring shots on goal but were only able to convert one major. At the other end of the ground, Demons also put away a goal and two behinds. The Eagles may have kicked themselves out of the game after squandering several opportunities. Three quarter time Demons 4. 10. 34 Eagles 4. 7. 31.

    With the score line close it was still anyone’s game. Eagles were looking tired and the Demons were getting first use of the ball out of the centre. The Demons turned to their senior players in the final term who were able to get their team over the line. L. Puia, R. Mosese and F. Batts all stepped up by converting on the scoreboard and cutting off the Eagles across the midfield. F. Batts nearly brought the house down when he cleared the ball close to the boundary and snapped it through for a goal on the tightest of angles. The Eagles suffered some injuries and ran out of legs, their fitness letting them down and they were unable to score. The Demons kicked goal after goal and finished the quarter with 6. 2. 38 to secure the lead, the match and the Premiership Trophy. Final siren and White River Demons declared the SIAFLF 2014 Premiers.

    Final Scores

    Goals Behinds Points
    Demons 10 12 72
    Eagles 4 7 31
    Goal Scorers Demons – L. Luia 3, R. Mosese 3, Fa’a, Dylan, F. BattsEagles – J.Mafane 2, S. Bua, Brax Best Players Demons – L. Puia, R. Mosese, Berri Eagles– R. Maelaboa, H. Platoon, Germain Best on Ground in the Grand Final – L. Puia SIAFLF also announced their season awards and trophy winners. Leading Goal Scorer – Junior Joel, Real Lions. Most improved Player – Berri, White River Demons. 2014 League Best and Fairest – Sam Bua, Central Coast Eagles. ...

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    Footy returned to its birthplace in India on the 15th of June as Kolkata hosted the first ever ‘ARFAI Bengal State Championship’ in Salt Lake, West Bengal. Six teams with players hailing from Bongaon, Kharda, Hooghly, Howrah and Kolkata fought it out on the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan school ground on a Sunday which witnessed scorching heat, thunderstorm, torrential rain and some cracking Footy action.

    The ground in fact hosted the first ever exhibition match of Footy in India back in 2008 with the efforts of present Secretary General of the Australian Rules Football Association of India, Sudip Chakraborty.

    The teams were divided into 2 groups of 3 each and played out a round robin format to decide which 2 teams would go on to contest the final. The first group featured the Tigers, Giants and Bombers while the second group matched up the Eagles, Saints and Wolverines against each other. The Eagles team was lucky to play in official West Coast Eagles merchandize provided by the club themselves and facilitated by ARFAI ambassador Helen Mell from Perth.

    The tournament also saw the first appearance of a non-Australian brother club in the form of Wolverines who take their name from Wolverhampton Wolverines club in AFL England. After fiercely fought matches in the group stages, the Bombers and the Saints advanced to get a shot at the coveted trophy.

    One of the major highlights of the tournament followed the group stage matches as the girls from Bongaon, trained by the experienced Rakesh Ghosh and Biswajit Das, took the field to play the first ever girls friendly match in Bengal. The start of the final was delayed due to heavy downpour after the friendly match.

    However, while the match was put on hold, the action continued on field as the ARFAI officials including the president, Tom Calder, braved the rain to enjoy playing some Footy themselves. Prasun Mukherjee was pleasantly surprised to see the President, Secretary General and Treasurer of an organization take the field themselves for the first time in his life as he mentioned later during his presentation speech.

    Serious action soon followed as the finals kicked off in the presence of a panel of honourable guests. The list included Prasun Mukherjee, former Commissioner of Kolkata Police, President of Cricket Association of Bengal and Executive Vice Chairman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Kolkata, Maidul Islam, former Indian soccer player and Mohameddan Sporting legend, G.V. Subramanium, Joint Director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Stephanie March, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) India correspondent. Stephanie had been present in the state for 2 days with her colleague to cover the Footy story in Bengal and the hardships the players overcome to play the game without any support from Australia.

    The final was a fast-paced encounter, somewhat attributed to the conditions of the pitch, and the Bombers and Saints enthralled the spectators with some admirable Footy skills. Although tensions were raised during the latter stages of the encounter, it was Footy that prevailed as the Bombers, under the leadership of Arif Ali, ran out eventual winners, claiming the first ever Bengal State Championship. Scores for the Grand Final – Bombers 6-1-37 defeated Saints 1-1-7.

    Arif Ali being one of the most experienced players in the group and having represented the Indian Tigers in AFL International Cup 2008, played a major role in leading his team to victory. The individual awards went to Arif Ali for Best Mark, Maidul Ali from the Bombers for Best Goal and Amaresh Mondal from the Saints for Player of the Tournament.

    The day ended with a presentation ceremony under cloudy skies as Prasun Mukherjee welcomed ARFAI to use the school ground whenever they wanted in their future endeavours. ARFAI expressed their sincerest gratitude to Bharitiya Vidya Bhavan for letting them use their facilities and for being one of the biggest supporters of the Indian Tigers during their visits to Australia during the 2008 and 2011 editions of the International Cup, coming in from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia.

    A special vote of thanks was directed towards Ashim Dawn, senior P.E. teacher at Bhavan’s, who had also the assistant coach for the Indian Tigers in AFL International Cup 2011, for his outstanding contribution throughout the day despite his advancing years. The day was wrapped up in jubilant mood with the glimmer of hope for bigger things to come in the future.


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    After months of speculation, the DAFL have officially confirmed that the Denmark Vikings national team will not be travelling to Australia for the 2014 International Cup. National team coach Páll Tómas Finnsson says that financial concerns meant that any side the Vikings could have sent would have been far from the best side possible.

    "The decision was made in March as it became clear to us that we wouldn't be able to raise the necessary funds to cover our travel and accommodation costs. The estimated cost is 5,000 AUD per person, or a total of 160,000 AUD for a full team list of 28 players and four officials."

    "Our players' football expenses have risen exponentially in the last few years. We participate in European tournaments such as the European Championships and the Euro Cup, and, in addition, many of our young talents have had the opportunity to represent their country in the European Legion's games against the AIS talent development squad and on the World XVIII Team."

    "The absence of major sponsors means that these players, many of which are under 20 years old and still studying, have reached the maximum of what they can spend on the sport. We therefore had the choice of travelling to Australia with a limited squad or cancelling our participation. After careful consideration and with much regret, we decided on the latter."

    The Vikings are one of Europe's oldest national sides, having competed regular against traditional rivals Great Britain and Sweden since the 1990s. They competed at the inaugural International Cup in 2002, where they finished 4th - their best result from any IC. They then withdraw from the 2005 edition, but returned in 2008 and 20 ...

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    For everyone keenly awaiting the final list of teams and match schedule for the 2014 AFL International Cup, we're pleased to report that the Men's competition draw is due to be released this Monday, 30th June.  The Women's draw is due out later in the week.

    Our latest information suggests there could be 18 men's teams (but not confirmed):

    Canada, China, Fiji, Finland, France, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Ireland (defending champions), Japan, Nauru, New Zealand, Pakistan, PNG, South Africa, Sweden, Tonga, USA

    And 5 countries represented in the Women's draw, but possibly with some countries fielding two sides:

    Ireland (defending champions), Canada, USA, Tonga, Fiji ...

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