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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    Both the Auckland and Canterbury Leagues are well advanced in their seasons whilst the Wellington league will commence the first weekend in October for a short 6 game regular season before a Grand Final in early December.

    The Canterbury League sees all 4 teams with a win after Round 4 with both the Eastern Blues and Christchurch Bulldogs on 3 wins each. For more see

    The Auckland League after three rounds sees Waitakere Magpies undefeated, one game clear of North Shore Tigers, University Blues and Mt Roskill Saints, Both Pakuranga Panthers and Manurewa Raiders are winless rounding out the competition. For more see

    From information gained at it seems both Waikato and Otago are having organised kick-arounds this year. Whether this eventuates into any modified organised competition remains to be seen.
    All centres will be having functions to celebrate the AFL Grand Final this weekend. The Wellington League will be having a “Have a Go” session at the Poneke Clubrooms beforehand for those interested.

    The NZ Leagues continue to not show any great signs of advancement in numerical terms despite the great work being done with the juniors. This was picked up in a recent article which can be read here. Hopefully through the efforts of the committed the great work done with juniors will translate into deeper competitions which were evident just over a decade ago.

    Perhaps this will be the year where numbers demand that Reserves competitions resume in the major centres for 2015?


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    Inor da Silva just loves Australian Rules football. A member of the Timor Leste Crocs International Cup team in 2011, Inor still lives the game as much as he can.  His social media pages are littered with photos of the glory days of the Crocs playing against international teams. He is proud to fly the flag and holds the hope that one day Timor Leste footy can come back.


    Inor says, “Yeah we keep training in Dili every Sunday. We have got many players at training. But we still look for support for our national team, the Crocs, but we can’t find it. We hope to have good support [in the future] to get to the Asian champions tournament in the Philippines Cup. We hope we can get support soon.”


    Back in 2008 World Footy News wrote a story, Timor-Leste Crocs enter Asian Footy, looking at the start of the Timor Leste Crocs and the development of the game in the nation. Back then it was full steam ahead, but after their IC11 involvement the Aussie Rules footy scene has dropped away.




    One particular paragraph in that story paints the picture of how the game started in Timor Leste, as well as introducing two of the key people in establishing the game, Luke Gosling and Justin Bayard.
    “Australian peacekeepers and aid workers have been heavily involved in helping get the country on track, with the island located just 640 kms north-west of Darwin. Two such Australians were Luke Gosling and Justin Bayard, who started the Timor-Leste Australian Rules Football Club in 2008. As Gosling tells us, "The forerunner was the East Dili Eels, a group of blokes who would kick the footy on a Thursday afternoon. So we have 2 teams, the National team known as the Crocs, and the Eels who form for training games".
    Luke Gosling is now the Labor party representative for the seat of Solomon in Darwin. He does not have a role now with the Timor Leste football scene, but still has astute observations.
    “The crocs are rebuilding and it’s the Timorese who are doing it.  It would make great sense for an Aussie club to adopt them.  I know the Crocs are trying to get to the Asian Championships in Philippines next month but I'm not sure how they are going with getting the sponsor dollars.”
    “As I said some of the Timorese are getting it going again. [People like] Inor Da Silva, a young fella doing his best. The first Bali 9’s tournament he went to as a very young fella he was taking screamers over blokes twice his size.”
    “The main aim of us all, who started the club 6 or 7 years ago now, is that we will do what we can but most of us are now living back in Australia and are limited in what we can do. But i reckon if we can get a cracker of an article written we may be able to give the guys in Dili a bit of a boost.”
    And in part that is the objective of this story. The Timor Leste players are still turning up to train each week, but for whatω They need to be able to play either at a local competitive level, or re-enter the international field, even on a small scale, to get momentum for the future. But to achieve this they need a benevolent helping hand. A corporate sponsor would be invaluable to their cause, but the big fish might be a wealthy (by comparison) AFL club taking them under their wing as a partner.
    Inor’s coaching partner is Joao Barras Dejesus. Between them they keep the existing core of players active and learning.
    According to Joao, “AFL Timor Leste at this moment has 20 players. We had four teams before back to 2011 to 2012 and every team running and managed by Australian boys who worked in Timor. But after the boys had to leave Timor back to Australia the team started not going so well because of [a lack of] training, sponsors and coaches. [Back then] we also had a national team enter the IC11 in Sydney and Melbourne.”
    Back in April Joao started to gather interested players, all Timor Leste nationals, to commence training with a view to reorganising how the game is played there and making Australian Rules the “favourite game in Timor”. This was made tougher with no Australians there to lead the way.
    “We have practice every week.  I also use my four week holiday to work together with Inor and give the small group the knowledge and skills to grow the game. At this time we still focus on training and no games. We have some young players just join with us but they still do not understand much about this game. We try our best to teach them, as most of players come from soccer.”
    As a final word, President of AFLTL Romaldo Barreto looks at the revival this way. “We have almost 32 players from national team of Timor Crocs. We really want to again be exactly the same as [our] IC11 era, including the jumper.”
    “What would really help 12 months from now is to have one or two coaches from neighbourhood country like Darwin [in Australia] to at least come to Timor to assist every two or three months to oversee the progress and try to make a competition once a year between the Timor Crocs and Darwin or whatever to play in Timor Leste, or we can fly to Darwin.”
    “All of these are things that can help to grow the AFL Timor Leste Crocs again.”
    Which just leaves this invitation. If any reader knows of a business or club which may be interested in helping AFL Timor Leste resurrect their national team and aspirations, get in touch with them directly via email at - or contact us at World Footy News.
    Left: Timor Leste Crocs at IC11


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    The seasons have been completed in AFL competitions across northern and central Queensland over the past few weekends. Following is a brief rundown on each of the major competitions. For the victors, they are still quite possibly celebrating whilst other clubs will take a break from the game for a short while before plotting their assaults on the 2015 seasons.


    AFL Cairns

    The Port Douglas Crocs won their fifth senior premiership when they defied recent history, and the patterns of the home and away season, when they dispatched the Cairns Saints. History says that Cairns Saints have been to eight consecutive grand finals for five flags since 2007. They finished the home and away rounds in second place behind the much improved South Cairns Cutters.


    But Port Douglas was not deterred as they defeated both teams in the preliminary and grand finals to surprise many. The season was memorable for the Crocs as they also won the Reserve grade flag and the Under 17 Colts flag.

    North Cairns Tigers women’s team won their fifth consecutive premiership.

    AFL Cairns Seniors Final Score: Port Douglas Crocs 15 10 100 d Cairns Saints 13 6 84


    AFL Townsville

    The Thuringowa Bulldogs went back to back, and won their fourth flag in five years, when they thrashed the Hermit Park Tigers in the Townsville competition. Thuringowa, based at the city’s premier AFL venue Tony Ireland Stadium, won their 13th flag (four as Thuringowa and nine as West Townsville before that). The club made it a Bulldog’s season to remember by taking out the reserve grade and Under 16 flags also.

    University Hawks  took out the women’s premiership for 2014.

    AFL Townsville Seniors Final Score: Thuringowa Bulldogs 26 11 167 d Hermit Park Tigers 9 3 57


    AFL Mackay

    The Bulldog theme continued further south in Mackay when the Moranbah Bulldogs took out the AFL Mackay flag.  This was just the third flag for Moranbah. They also had to defy history to defeat the Mackay City Hawks who had won three flags in a row from 2011-2013. But the team from Moranbah, a large mining town 195 kilometres inland from Mackay, were determined to write their own chapter in the history books. They finished the home and away season in second place behind the Hawks, but come grand final day that meant nothing.


    The Eastern Swans took out the flags in reserve grade defeating the Hawks. They also won the Colts competition defeating North Mackay Saints. In the women’s competition it was the Magpies Northern Beaches team taking the premiership title from the Eastern Swans.

    AFL Mackay Seniors Final Score: Moranbah Bulldogs 12 8 80 d Mackay City Hawks 9 11 65


    AFL Mount Isa

    The Mount Isa Tigers took out the local competition this year when they defeated the Alpurruurulam (Lake Nash) Young Guns in a thriller by just two points.

    The Young Guns, their home being in the Northern Territory, just 17 kilometres from the Queensland border, made a fast start to lead by 20 points at quarter time. After that the Tigers just kept coming, reducing the gap to 17 points by the main break and 10 points by three quarter time before running over the Young Guns in a thrilling final quarter.

    The home and away season had seen the teams play each other five times and once in a semi-final. They were locked on three wins each, so the closeness of the grand final was not a surprise.

    AFL Mount Isa Seniors Final Score: Mount Isa Tigers 13 11 89 d Young Guns 13 9 87


    AFL Capricornia

    The Glenmore Bulls defeated the Yeppoon Swans in the AFL Capricornia grand-final.  For the Bulls it was a triumph of persistence as they broke a 24 year premiership drought.

    In reserve grade the BITS (Boyne Island – Tannum Sands) Saints won the flag defeating Glenmore, whilst in the women’s league the Glenmore girls defeated Panthers.

    AFL Capricornia Seniors Final Score: Glenmore Bulls 13 5 83 d Yeppoon Swans 7 5 47




    Left: Football at Bloomfield Falls, North Queensland ...

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    Watching the 2014 AFL Grand Final was an absolute treat. Whilst the result was lopsided with Hawthorn giving Sydney a hiding, it was a pleasure to be watching two of the three clubs who have enjoyed great success in recent years. It is debatable whether these two teams, and Geelong, are in the eye of a great era or dynasty, but we are all very privileged to watch.
    For the record, Hawthorn’s win today sees them with an impressive sequence of four grand finals for three premierships in seven years (2008-2014). That must be something special. Sydney is also in a run of 4 grand finals for two premierships in ten years (2005-2014).
    Sitting alongside these two current leviathans are Geelong with four grand finals for three premierships over five years (2007-2011).
    These clubs have won an amazing 8 premierships between them in 10 years (2005-2014), only interrupted by cameos from Collingwood (2010) and West Coast (2006). Prior to that, the Brisbane Lions era from 2001-2004 claimed four grand finals and three premierships.

     So, where do these recent performances sit on a grander scale of VFL/AFL historyω Also, what constitutes a dynastyω What is a golden eraω And what would be classed as a premiership to highlight a cycle of improvementω



    The following list attempts to show the best eras in the game’s history.


    Hawthorn (1983-1991)– regarded as a dynasty overseen by Allan Jeans and Alan Joyce, this group played in eight grand finals over nine years for an amazing five premierships (83, 86, 88, 89, 91). This era featured some of the game’s greatest players in Matthews, Tuck, Ayres, Dunstall, Brereton and more.


    Melbourne (1954-1960) - The Norm Smith driven Demons of this era contested seven consecutive grand finals for five premierships (55, 56, 57, 59, 60), losing to Collingwood in 1958. This amazing group featured famous names like Barassi, Mithen, Spencer, Beckwith, Dixon and a stellar cast of stars.


    Collingwood (1925-1930)– Still the measuring stick for all clubs due to the four consecutive premierships from 1927-30 (still the VFL/AFL record), this team contested six consecutive grand finals, being runners-up in 1925 and 1926. The era featured legendary names such as the Coventry brothers (Gordon and Syd) the Collier brothers (Harry and Albert – both Brownlow Medallists), Bruce Andrew, Harold Rumney and many more.


    Essendon (1941-1951) – Under the respected guidance of club legend Dick “King Richard” Reynolds, the Bombers contested an amazing nine grand finals in eleven years (including two in 1948 after the famous drawn grand final with Melbourne) for four premierships (42, 46, 49, 50). This era featured legendary names such as Hutchison, Coleman, Reynolds, McClure, McDonald and a cast of wonderful players.


    Fitzroy (1898 – 1906)– The first genuine “golden era” of the VFL, this Fitzroy team played in seven grand finals in a nine year period which yielded four premierships (1898, 99, 1904, 05). The era featured some of the greatest early players including Brosnan, McSpeerin, Trotter, Grace and Sloan (the VFL/AFL’s first ever premiership captain).


    Richmond (1967-1974)– The Tigers “ate ‘em alive” over this era winning four premierships over an eight year period from five grand finals. It was the era of club and VFL/AFL legend Tom Hafey as he coached the club to great success. The era also featured some of the games greats including Hart, Bartlett, Sheedy, Clay, Barrot and Stewart amongst a host of phenomenal talent.


    The above list sits at the top of a list which might loosely be termed as “dynasties” with all clubs winning four of more flags. The following list shows the “golden eras” which yielded three flags.


    Carlton (1906 – 1910) - 3 consecutive premierships from 5 consecutive grand finals (1906,1907,1908)

    Hawthorn (2008-2014) – 3 premierships from 4 grand finals in 7 years (2008, 2013, 2014)

    Carlton (1968 – 1973) - 3 premierships from 5 grand finals  in 6 years (1968,1970,1972)

    Brisbane (2001 – 2004) - 3 (cons) premierships from 4 (cons) grand finals  (2001,2002,2003)

    Melbourne (1939 – 1941), 3 (cons) premierships from 3 (cons) grand finals (1939,1940,1941)

    Carlton (1979 – 1982) - 3 premierships from 4 consecutive grand finals (1979,1981,1982)


    Sydney’s current effort sits just outside the above lists, and could be argued to be two cycles (2005-6) and (2012-14). They are joined by other clubs that won two flags within successful eras, with their cycles peaking as follows: Richmond (1927-34) with flags in 1932 and 1934, Collingwood (1935-39) with flags in 1935 and 36, North Melbourne (1974-78) with flags in 1975 and 1977, Collingwood (1915-22) with flags in 1917 and 1919 and Collingwood again from (1952-60) with flags in 1953 and 1958.


    Whilst this article looks very much at the successes in the AFL, it would also make an interesting exercise for anyone to analyse their own local competitions. Port Melbourne in the VFA had a dynasty of their own through the 1970’s and 1980’s. Currently, the Manchester Mosquitoes in the AFLCNE in England are enjoying a golden era of success.  The Toulouse Hawks in France are embarking on their own golden era with back to back flags. The idea is worth looking at across any competition.


    But for now I am content to enjoy the unfinished areas of Hawthorn, Sydney and still, possibly, Geelong as they see what 2015 can bring.


    Left: Fitzroy 1899 Premiership team (photo courtesy:

    Top image courtesy: Courier Mail ...

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    AFL Commission Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick was an onlooker at the 2014 International Cup (pictured here at the Women's Grand Final with fellow commissioners Linda Dessau and Sam Mostyn) and it's pleasing he took the time to mention it during his AFL Grand Final pre-match address.

    The full speech can be read here, and although it was only one sentence, it was good that the IC got a mention, as it shows he's not ashamed to spruik the international development of the game.

    "The International Cup won by Papua New Guinea was again a great success, and goes from strength to strength. Our game really has no boundaries."

    Fans of growing the women's side of the sport, as we all should be, would also be pleased to read Fitzpatrick say (speaking about women's football although no doubt primarily within Australia):

    "Women’s football is on the march, and the AFL is going to support it."

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    The full draw for this weekend's Axios Euro Cup was released earlier this week. The men's draw features 16 nations for 2014, separated into four groups. 
    The Prince Charles Group will feature: Italy, France Germany and the Netherlands
    The Winston Churchill Group will feature: Ireland, Scotland, Sweden and Norway
    The Captain Cook Group will feature: England, Crusaders, Spain and Wales
    The Adam Goodes Group will feature: Croatia, Catalunya, Denmark and Austria
    The event will be held at the London Irish Rugby Club. matches will kick off at 9.00am, with the grand final scheduled for a 6.00pm start.
    (See next page for full draw)

     The teams will be competing for the Euro Cup, the Euro Bowl and the Euro Plate, as well as the wwomen's championship (full draw yet to be released). Last year in Bordeaux, France, England took out the Euro Cup, ddefeating France in the final. Ireland won the Euro Bowl, while Austria took home the Euro Plate.


    World Footy News will post an article for the official women's draw as released by AFL Europe in a separate article.


    Below is the men's draw for the event.



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    The draw for the women's competition for the 2014 Axios Euro Cup in London has been released. This year the women's draw features a record five teams competing across 10 matches for the title. This is an enormous increase on the women's draw in Bordeax, France last year when just the French team and a combined Crusaders team locked horns. The Crusaders won by 19 points.


    The women's teams for the event this year are:


    England Vixens

    France Les Gauloises

    Irish Banshees


    Danish Valkyries


    The finasts for the women's draw will be decided based on standings at the end of the 10 matches. First place will play second place on the ladder in the final, scheduled for 3.00pm local time.


    For more information on the women's event, as well as the entire tournament, visit the AFL Europe website page for the event at:


    Full women's draw below.



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    Malcolm Ashwood's article about the 2014 SANFL Grand Final appeared last week on The Footy Almanac website.  Norwood's three in a row performance continues the Dynasties theme from Wes Hull's earlier WFN article.

    SANFL Grand Final – Norwood v Port Adelaide: The Greatest Win of All

    Norwood 12 10 (82) def Port Adelaide 11 12 (78)
    Best Players
    Norwood: McGuinness Panos, Baulderstone, Phillips, Bode, Webber, Rooke, Smart,
    Chippendale Dawe, Kirwan, Allan
    Port Adelaide: Mitchell, Summerton, Young , Stevenson, Clurey, Krakouer, Newton, Shaw
    Goal Kickers:
    Norwood: Phillips 4, Davis 3, Newton 2, Panos, Baulderstone, Donohue
    Port Adelaide: Krakouer 3, Newton, Shaw 2, Summerton, Hitchcock, Mitchell, AhChee
    Crowd: 38,644 at the Adelaide Oval.   Jack Oatey Medallist: Matthew Panos (Norwood).


    Read the rest of the story on The Footy Almanac site here.

    Norwood Football Club are the 2014 SANFL Premiers winning their 3rd Premiership in succession.

    Norwood last achieved this feat in 1887 – 89 (I missed those). Personally I believe this is Norwood’s greatest ever achievement for so many varied reasons. Having to play a side with 19 AFL listed players (No AFL in the SANFL, have a national reserves comp you clowns) and not a basket case of an AFL club with no depth and very average left overs, we beat genuine quality and all their advantages of being full time, their training and technological advantages. We won because it meant more. We were 21 mates against individuals more worried about their next contract. An interesting observance picked up by an astute Norwood official was about how after the final siren Port players flopped on the ground and stayed where they were as individuals for a long time. Where was the sticking together as a team and 1 club??
    Norwood lost 12 players from last year’s Premiership side, their dual premiership coachtheir dual premiership coach Nathan Bassett to the AFL and a change of President from Joe Tripodi to Paul Di lulio. Norwoods win was one for the ages. It was guts, determination and character brilliantly led by Kieran McGuiness and Jace Bode and coached superbly by Ben Warren.
    Back to the start of the day, Pembroke Cricket Club’s Matt Ray Ray Raymond has played in the reserves flag for Woodville West Torrens. I am rapt for Ray Ray, Raf Sterk has it up on our Facebook page within seconds we’ll done Rafa, same colours too so the Kings will claim that one also Ray Ray!! The pre match entertainment is ok but I am one for hurry up and get the main event on. ...

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    Can Aussie Bum crack the Spanish market? For the answer to this question and all your queries about doing business in 33 countries check Tim Harcourt's new book Trading Places – the airport economist’s guide to international business at the following link -

    Who is Tim Harcourt?

    Tim Harcourt, The Airport Economist, is the J.W. Nevile Fellow in Economics at the Australian School of Business at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Tim was also for over a decade the first chief economist of the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade).

    Tim is currently the inaugural Adviser-Global Engagement to the Hon Jay Weatherill, MP, the Premier of South Australia a position he holds on a part-time basis.

    Tim is also an Expert Panel Member, Minimum Wage Review, for the Fair Work Commission.

    Tim teaches International Business at the Australian School of Business at UNSW, in the AGSM MBA programme in Asia and Latin America with a focus on China, India, ASEAN, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and other emerging markets. Tim is a Visiting Professor at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica (PUC) in Chile.

    Tim is an active commentator in the Australian and international media on economic and trade issues and appears regularly on TV and radio shows including on ABC

    Tim explores the the connections and opportunities for Aussie rules internationally and international business to work together in the article linked here "And the big men fly in Dubai, Dalain and Delhi: The international dimensions of Aussie Rules Football." ...

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    A recent story by World Footy news reported on the great AFL/VFL eras. The article left open the possibility of clubs around the world coming forward with their own eras of greatness. It certainly hasn’t taken long for one great dynasty to show itself, and the story is quite remarkable. Enter, the Farum Cats from Denmark.

    Ian Hill, creator of The Footy Record and long-time stalwart of the Australian Rules football scene in Denmark responded to the article (Dynasties, Cycles and Golden Eras - ) with his own comment on the Cats’ efforts.

    Ian stated that “if the investigation extends to foreign leagues , how about the Farum Cats in Denmark? [They played in] five consecutive Grand Finals from 2004-2008 with a hat-trick of premierships in the middle three years. And now they've gone one better with another run of five Grand Finals for four consecutive premierships and that run is still open [to be continued] from 2010-2014.The last three of their current four-peat was achieved with not a single Australian player in the team. In total that's eleven years for ten Grand Finals and seven premierships.”

    The record books bear this out. The Farum Cats won their first premiership in 1996, after losing their first grand final in 1995. Back then the club was known as the Farum Lions (club founder Jim Campion liked the FFC link between the Fitzroy Football club and the Farum Football Club) and they would go on to be runners-up again in both 1997 and 1998 as Lions.

    In 2002 the club changed its name to the Farum Cats (the club Jim supported) after an agreement with the Geelong Cats. It has been a much different Farum history since then.

    The golden era began in 2004 when again they were runner-up, but this was the precursor to a three-peat premiership dominance with flags from 2005-07. Runner-up again in 2008 was followed by their single recent rest on grand final day before the cogs whirred into gear again and haven’t stopped.

    Runner-up again in 2010, the Farum Cats have since dominated the DAFL (Danish Australian Football League) with flags in 2011, 2012, 2013 and again this year.

    2014 saw the club finish second on the home and away ladder, yet come grand final day trounced the Port Malmö Maulers – 19 12 126 to 5 11 41 to put an enormous exclamation mark on their dominance.

    It is difficult to name a better run of success that this Farum Cats dynasty. But the invitation still stands to inform World Footy News of any similar dynasties or golden eras from anywhere in Australia or around the world.

    Left: The 2007 Farum cats holding aloft the premiership cup at Copenhagen landmark, The Little Mer ...

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  • 10/01/14--03:55: Tommy Walsh heads home
  • Irishman Tommy Walsh has advised the Sydney Swans that he will return home to Ireland. Walsh was recruited to the Club via a trade with St Kilda at the end of the 2011 season. He made his AFL debut in round 8, 2012 and played a further two matches that year. Walsh was almost a late inclusion on Grand Final day in 2012, but luck was not with him.  The Swans went on to win the flag that day.

    He returned to the team again in 2013 but his season ended when he was struck down with a serious hamstring injury.  Walsh struggled to return this year after that injury but finally played a number of good games in the NEAFL but not good enough to break into the ladder leading AFL team. 

    Sydney Swans General Manager – Football, Dean Moore said the Club wished to thank Walsh for his contribution.

    Previously at St Kilda he showed great promise playing in the VFL but was not given an opportunity at senior level by coach Ross Lyon who was criticised by many for not trying untested players such as Walsh at AFL level. Walsh was elevated to the senior list at the end of 2010 but did not play a senior game at the club. 2011 he again impressed at VFL level as a ruckman who could play key position forward and back, but could not crack a senior game.

    His return to Ireland will no doubt be welcomed by the GAA and his club and county football teams. ...

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    The following is a press release from the AFL Northern Territory to mark the beginning of the 2014/15 season tomorrow, as well as endorsing the message of major sponsor, TIO, about road safety and the Always Wear Your Seatbelt initiative  
    Launching into Safer Local Footy Thanks to TIO
    Competition is shifting gears this weekend between the eight premier league teams who are all vying for a spot in finals come March with the season launching this weekend.
    The upcoming season will see several new-look teams with fuel in the tank battle through arguably the toughest football conditions in Australia.

     AFL Northern Territory CEO Tony Frawley believes the sheer numbers of players participating in the sport around the Territory makes the league the perfect vehicle to promote TIO’s road safety message Always Wear Your Seat Belt.

    “Going straight from the AFL grand final into the round one of the TIO NTFL will hopefully give players a boost after seeing the nation’s best in action just last weekend,” Frawley said.

    “We are fortunate to have such a visionary partner like TIO, whose message is pertinent to all Territorians; players, friends, family and supporters alike.

    “A message on Road Safety, especially wearing your seatbelt, is always important and we are thrilled to be using Always Wear Your Seat Belt as the official message for the campaign.

    “There are still too many fatalities on our roads which may have had a different outcome had seat belts been worn.

    “It’s gearing up to be a huge season, and we’re thrilled to have TIO on our team heading into week one”.

    The high-beam will be on the first game of the fixture with last season’s grand final match up, Saints versus Wanderers, taking to TIO Stadium at 3:10pm.


    Round One Premier League Fixtures

    Saturday October 4

    St Mary’s v Wanderer s – TIO Stadium 15:10

    Southern Districts v Tiwi Bombers -  TIO 17:35

    Palmerston v Waratah -  TIO 20:00

    Sunday October 5

    Nightcliff v Buffaloes -  BMI Oval 16:00 ...

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    The following article is from the Essendon Football Club’s website detailing the club’s decision to recruit young Irishman, Conor McKenna as an International Rookie.


    Essendon Football Club is delighted to announce Conor McKenna will join the Bombers as a rookie listed player under the club's Alternative Talent Program.

    The exciting Irish prospect has accepted a two-year contract with Essendon and will be the second player to be placed on the club’s Rookie B List, following Johnny Rayner’s appointment last year.

    McKenna qualifies as a Rookie B as he has not been registered in an Australian football competition for the past three years.



    The 18-year-old was a star Gaelic football player from the county of Tyrone, Northern Ireland and was identified for his talents last year.  In his first AFL game in a combined Irish/Australian squad, the quick and agile 184cm midfielder kicked four goals and was almost best afield. 

    List Manager Adrian Dodoro said McKenna’s raw talent was an exciting prospect for the club.

    “We are thrilled Conor has taken the opportunity to join the Essendon Football Club under our Alternative Talent Program,” Dodoro said.

    “We were one of two clubs to attend the Irish Combine in December last year, and we were immediately impressed with Conor’s talents. He has exceptional speed and endurance and he has a strong desire to become a professional footballer.

    “His athletic profile is elite and while there is a long way to go, we really feel that Conor has the attributes to become a successful AFL player.”

    Essendon Football Club would like to acknowledge Kevin Sheehan, Tadhg Kennelly and Michael Ablett for assisting the club in this process.




    Left: New Essendon Irish recruit Conor McKenna at Draft Combine  ...

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    The AFL Vanuatu season reaches it's conclusion tomorrow (Saturday October 4th) at Kazza field in Port Vila. The Mele Eagles managed to book a date with the Erakor Golden Star Tigers for the 2014 AFL Vanuatu Grand Final showdown with a stirring preliminary final victory. The win didn’t come easy – a hard fought 4 point win over the well-credentialed Onesua Magpies.

    Mele and Erakor are established rivals in the AFL Vanuatu circles and the Grand Final match up should be a fitting finale to another positive season of growth and development for footy in Vanuatu.

    The Eagles won the preliminary final narrowly 6.12.48 to Onesua 6.8.44. This was a big win for the Eagles who had to fight their way from the Elimination final and having finished the regular season with a loss to Onesua who with that win had secured top spot heading into the finals. With assistance on the day from the Olinda Ferny Creek Football Club who have returned to Vanuatu for a post season trip again – there was plenty of help with umpiring and running water. Olinda Ferny Creek helped out further with donated sporting equipment including the beaut scoreboard (pictured below).

    Another feature of the day was the Vanuatu Volcanoes taking on Olinda in an invaluable hit out with the visitors taking the day by 4 goals. The AFL Vanuatu finals kicked into action with the Mele Eagles eliminating the Malapoa Kangaroos in the Elimination final and the Onesua Magpies going down to the Erakor Golden Star Tigers in the qualifying final. The Magpies would be disappointed to mirror Fremantle and Geelong in going out in straight sets.

    In other news – AFL Vanuatu has benefitted from a donation of footy gear from the Southport Sharks AFLQ side, in association with the Gold Coast Suns (of which the Southport Sharks are ‘Patron Partner’). As reported in June, new AYAD arrival (at the time), Blair Mortimer had a quality footy background and as reported here {on the Sharks website }, Blair’s links have seen the Southport Sharks take an interest and between Sharks and Suns players were able to gather 52 pairs of ‘old’ boots, along with the Sharks suppling 54 of their previous years jumpers, 45 pairs of shorts and 20 pairs of new socks. A large parcel was freighted in August.

    It’s great to see more Australian based clubs at any level increasing their awareness of footy players anywhere. Be it Vanuatu, anywhere else in the Pacific, Asia or Africa in particular – or, for that matter, ‘disadvantaged’ indigenous communities within Australia – I’d encourage anyone with a connection to look into helping even in some small way.

    Nancy from AFL Vanuatu shows of the trophy and medallions to be competed for.

    The new scoreboard - courtesy Olinda Ferny Creek ...

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    Buried amid the free agency news, the fall out from the Grand Final, James Hird and Essendon - the news that Sydney's American Rookie Patrick Mitchell has pulled the pin and heading home is barely earth shattering. However - along with the return of Irishman Tommy Walsh - it does highlight the journey of Mike Pyke and the massive gamble the Swans took across this period last year.

    Pyke of course is now an Australian citizen, however, technically we can still claim him as the first Canadian to contest 2 AFL Grand Finals! Of interest was the state of origin breakdown across the 44 players last week as well - 10 of whom emanated from NSW which perhaps again highlights the gamble and investment on growing the game outside of it's strongholds both domestically and internationally.

    The Swans have already been reported as bidding farewell to Irishman Tommy Walsh - however, their US experiment player Patrick Mitchell is also heading home after a pretty uneventful season in the NEAFL where he struggled as much with the game as with opportunity in a Swans NEAFL line up including Aliir Aliir, Sam Naismith and Toby Nankervis. There might still be some who regard these efforts with internationals as an expensive exercise in futility however - Mike Pyke still shines a beacon in the current era - lit formerly by Jimmy Stynes. When the Swans released Shane Mumford to the Giants during the 2013 trade period they headed into season 2014 with Mike Pyke as the clear number one ruckman. As it turned out - unheralded back-up Tom Derickx surprised in his improvement when called upon - however, heading into a finals campaign and then the 2014 AFL Grand Final and it was Pyke who was the stand alone number 1 ruck. Yes - he had support from Tippett and Reid. That an internationally sourced player had both this responsibility entrusted to him - and that his side contested the Grand Final is a reminder as to what clubs are seeking when taking a chance on players such as Mitchell, or Eric Wallace at North Melbourne, Jason Holmes at St Kilda (who according to Paul Hudson was very, very close to senior opportunity in 2014) and Mason Cox due to start at Collingwood. Read a good story here including view the Jason Holmes video clip.

    A side story to the 2014 AFL Grand Final was the number of players across the two sides who are NSW sourced. The Sydney Swans have a proud heritage of NSW sourced captains - dating back to Denis Carroll from Albury, Paul Kelly from Wagga, Brett Kirk also Albury and now Jarrad McVeigh from greater Sydney. Along side McVeigh (Pennant Hills) were Kieran Jack (Pennant Hills), Craig Bird (Nelson Bay),; Dane Rampe (Uni of NSW), Harry Cunningham (Turvey Park) and Ben McGlynn (Wentworth). The other 4 players from Hawthorn being Matt Suckling (Wagga), Isaac Smith (Cootamundra-Wagga), Luke Breust (Temora) and Will Langford (East Sydney). To put this into perspective - David Hale and Kurt Tippett were the two Queenslanders;, Grant Birchall the sole Taswegian and Rioli the sole Northern Territorian. There werew 4 from WA and 4 from SA. The Victorian reps can be broken into 11 metro and 10 Vic Country if we follow a junior state pathway splitting protocol. The west of Victoria was very well represented - Goodes and Lloyd from Horsham; Rohan from Cobden and just up the road from Colan of course the Norm Smith medallist Hodge. Just down the road to Warrnambool is the home of Jordan Lewis - considered stiff not to take home Norm himself. Brad Sewell from Newlyn near Ballarat. And Colac in fact provided a further 2 emergencies in Simpkin and Towers.

    All in all, there's players to be developed all over and the greatest value for the AFL is to have identifiable talent pathways. The AFL Grand Final would be much the poorer without the diversity of talent that was on display. ...

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    In a huge couple of weeks for the recruiting of Irish footballers, the West Coast Eagles have swooped on 20 year old Paddy Brophy on the final day of Draft Combine testing in Melbourne.

    Paddy is from County Kildare in Ireland and has been in Australia to take part in the Combine. He is from a Gaelic Football background, being a Celbridge clubman.

    According to the website, “Brophy is a dashing defender standing at 189cm and 84kg. His speed and agility stood out at the European AFL Combine held in Dublin this year and he dominated a match against the Australian Under 18s in London in April gathering 26 disposals and five clearances for the European Legion.”

    “Brophy spent three days in Perth last week visiting with West Coast ahead of signing as the club's first-ever international rookie.”

    “He impressed on day three of the draft combine, finishing equal first in the 'clean hands' test with a score of 26 out of 30. He also finished equal third in the goal kicking test, posting 4.1 from his five shots.”

    As well as Brophy heading to the Eagles, along with Conor McKenna going to Essendon and Padraig Lucy being signed by Geelong a few weeks ago, the Irish Independent also reports that “his Lilywhites team mate Sean Hurley joined the Freemantle Dockers yesterday and Daniel Flynn, a club mate of Hurley's is with Port Adelaide.”

    With a number of Irish players returning home either through delisting, homesickness of other reasons at the end of this season, it is refreshing that a new batch of Irish talent has arrived.

    We will be watching Paddy Brophy’s development with great interest.

    Left: Paddy Brophy playing Gaelic Football for Kil ...

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    The Euro Cup for 2014 is well under way. The games for the group standings have been completed and the results for both men’s and women’s are listed below. The semi-final results will be added to this story in the comments section below, with the finals results posted in a separate story early tomorrow. This will include playoff results for Euro Bowl and Euro Plate.


    Men’s Draw Results


    Prince Charles Group:

    Italy 5 6 36 d Netherlands  1 4 10

    Germany 5 5 35 d France 4 5 29

    Germany 5 5 35 d Italy 2 2 14

    France 3 2 20 d Netherlands 0 0 00

    Germany 7 4 46 d Netherlands 0 1 1


    Italy 4 6 3 d France 3 4 22

    Winston Churchill Group:

    Ireland 6 3 39 d Scotland 0 3 3

    Norway 7 8 50 d Sweden 1 3 9

    Ireland 9 8 62 d Norway 1 3 9

    Sweden 2 13 25 d Scotland 2 1 13

    Scotland 3 8 26 d Norway 0 3 3

    Ireland 7 7 49 d Sweden 1 2 8


    Captain Cook Group:

    England 11 12 78 d Crusaders 0 0 00

    Wales 13 6 84 d Spain 0 1 1

    England 3 3 21 d Wales 2 5 17

    Crusaders 2 9 21 d Spain 1 1 7

    Wales 9 11 65 d Crusaders 1 0 6

    England 8 12 60 d Spain1 0 6


    Adam Goodes Group:

    Croatia d Catalunya (score unavailable at time of print)

    Denmark 13 10 88 d Austria 0 0 00

    Croatia 4 9 33 d Austria 1 4 10

    Denmark 7 17 59 d Catalunya 0 0 00

    Austria 13 9 87 d Catalunya 0 0 00

    Denmark 2 5 17 d Croatia 1 5 11




    Prince Charles Group:

    Germany (3 wins 0 losses)

    Italy ( 2 – 1)

    France (1 – 2)

    Netherlands (0 – 3)

    Germany and France through to knockout rounds.


    Winston Churchill Group:

    Ireland (3 – 0)

    Sweden (1-2)

    Scotland (1 – 2)

    Norway (1 – 2)

    Ireland and possibly Sweden through to knockout rounds (to be confirmed)


    Captain Cook Group:

    England (3 – 0)

    Wales (2 – 1)

    Crusaders (1 – 2)

    Spain (0 – 3)

    England and wales through to knockout rounds.


    Adam Goodes Group:

    Denmark (3 – 0)

    Croatia (2 – 1)

    Austria (1 – 2)

    Catalunya (0 – 3)

    Denmark and Croatia through to knockout rounds.


    Women’s Draw Results


    England  7 8 50 d France 0 2 2

    Ireland 4 7 31 d Denmark 0 0 00

    Scotland 7 1 43 d France 1 0 6

    Ireland 3 5 23 d England 1 1 7

    Scotland 4 5 29 d Denmark 0 0 00

    Ireland 10 6 66 d France 0 0 00

    England 11 7 73 d Denmark 0 0 00

    Ireland 3 5 23 d Scotland 1 3 9

    Denmark 1 2 8 d France 1 0 6

    England d Scotland (score unavailable at time of print).



    Irish Banshees (4 wins – 0 losses)

    England Vixens ( 3 – 1)

    Scottish Sirens (2 – 2)

    Denmark Valkyries (1 – 3)

    France les Gauloises (0 – 4)

    Irish Banshees and England Vixens through to women’s final.




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    The 2014 Axios Euro Cup is over for another year after the event was completed under cloudy skies at the London Irish Rugby Club. With a record 21 teams competing this year (16 men’s teams and 5 women’s), it was teams from Denmark, Ireland, France and Norway that took home silverware from a great day’s football.
    In what some may regard as a surprise, the supercharged Denmark Vikings have won their first ever Axios Euro Cup in London defeating a gallant Croatian Knights. Denmark went through the event undefeated, but surged through the finals stages with big wins over Ireland in the semi-final before a commanding four goal triumph.
    Men’s Grand Final scores: Denmark Vikings 6 4 40 d Croatian Knights 2 4 16


    The powerhouse of women’s football, the Irish Banshees took out the Women’s Championship, ultimately downing the England Vixens. Undefeated across the pool matches, staying two goals clear of both the Vixens and the Scottish Sirens, the Irish girls were white hot favourites to win the final and did so, but not without a massive fight from the English girls who knew they were a chance after a hard fought 16 point loss to them in the pool match.


    Women’s Grand Final scores: Irish Banshees 5 1 31 d England Vixens 4 2 26


    The France Les Coqs have won the silverware in the final for the Euro Bowl. Following on from last year’s Euro Cup grand final performance, the French team outlasted a brave Austrian Avalanche team in the final by just seven points due to a powerhouse second half after the Austrians held a solid 16 point lead at the half time break.


    Euro Bowl scores:France Les Coqs 4 8 32 d Austrian Avalanche 4 1 25


    The Norwegian Trolls also carved their slice of Euro Cup history when they downed the Spanish Bulls in the final for the Euro Plate. The lads from Norway fought hard to reach the Plate final, but were never headed by the Spanish team, powering to a huge 62 point win.


    Euro Plate scores:Norwegian Trolls 8 14 62 d Spanish Bulls 0 0 00


    The partying has already been underway for some time now, but certainly the players from the Denmark Vikings, Irish Banshees, France Les Coqs and Norwegian Trolls have that incentive to party just a little harder.



    Congratulations to the winning teams at the event, and to all clubs for their performances at this year’s Axios Euro Cup.


    Left: The victorious Irish Banshees women's team


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    Earlier in 2014 the Essendon club undertook their latest multicultural program, Embracing India. Within Australia the program was designed largely to develop and grow a working relationship with Melbourne’s growing and vibrant Indian communities, particularly in the north-west region which is Essendon’s heartland.



    Amongst a host of other community projects, which can be seen by going to the Essendon website - - the club has sent a group of players and staff to India. The following story from the Essendon website tells of the focus of the trip and an outline of projects to be undertaken.


    Embracing India: October 5-15


    As part of the club’s multicultural program and in partnership with the club’s official tour provider Travel and Taste, Joe Daniher, Dyson Heppell, Zach Merrett and David Zaharakis will spend ten days travelling and embracing all that India has to offer.


    Essendon has emerged as the AFL club of choice for Melbourne’s Indian community, and to show its dedication to building strong and sustainable relationships, the club has taken the proactive step of sending its young leaders to immerse themselves in India’s rich and diverse culture.


    A key feature of the trip will see the travelling party visit the SOS Children’s Village in New Delhi. The village hosts children from all over the region who can no longer be supported by their families due to disadvantage. They will also spend time working with AFL India in the country’s north-eastern city of Kolkata.


    Heppell said he was looking forward to introducing Indian boys and girls to the game of Australian Rules Football.


    “I think the trip to India is going to be a beauty,” Heppell said.


    “As a club we’ve been doing a lot of work with the Indian community, the kids and the parents certainly love their footy and are passionate about Essendon so I think it’s important to learn more about their culture and history.”



    To read the rest of this article on the Essendon Football Club website, click on the following link:


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    Without the ability to watch all teams over the course of all matches at the Euro Cup it is difficult to do an all-team analysis. For that reason, this analysis looks at the performances of all teams over the course of the event by looking at the numbers. This analysis looks at both the men’s and women’s teams.


    Some readers who were there may see things slightly differently, but we would welcome any constructive insights in the comments section of this article below.


    The corresponding article after the 2013 Euro Cup in Bordeaux was sub-titled “Something for Everyone” - , which was true in that all teams had periods of success or performances which suggested a positive experience.

    Whilst some teams would have left the event happier than others, there are still positives to be seen in all team'ss performances in London. Following is a team by team review of performance, based onmatch results and final positions.

    Men’s Draw


    Denmark– Six games for six wins. An almost faultless performance by the Danish team, which included wins against Croatia (twice), Ireland and Wales en route to the title. Didn’t compete at Bordeaux, but vanquished the demons of 2012 when they lost the final in Edinburgh by just one point to Ireland. A great performance.


    Croatia – Four wins and two loses for the Knights was a great return which saw then improve on Bordeaux (third place) by reaching the grand final. Both losses were to the eventual winners – Denmark – but along the way had strong wins against Germany and a narrow three point win against England. Whilst disappointed to lose final, would be proud of their overall performance.


    Ireland – One could make an argument that the luck of the Irish deserted them. After a narrow dumping from the finals in Bordeaux (they did win the Euro Bowl), this year’s team lost just one match, to finish with more overall wins that Croatia. But the loss was a 39 point hiding in the semi-final against Denmark. Still, overall third place is a good result, and an improvement on Bordeaux.


    Germany– Returning to the event after missing in Bordeaux, the Black eagles came back in London with a strong performance. Winning their first four matches, the team only faltered at the semi-finals stage when they suffered losses to Croatia and the battle for 3rd and 4th place to Ireland. Wins against France and Italy showed their effort was no fluke and they deserved fourth place.


    England– Took sixth place in the event, winning all preliminary rounds to top their pool before dropping a game to the Croatians by a narrow three points with last kick of the match. That was enough to keep them out of the top four. Might feel disappointed, but powered to wins against lowly sides and fought it out twice with a resurgent Welsh team for one win and one loss. Injuries also hurt chances.


    Wales– Returning to the Euro Cup, the Welsh were dogged and earned fifth placing, their highest ever Euro finishing position. Two crushing wins in the preliminary rounds, before playing out narrow losses to England and Denmark. In their final match they defeated England convincigly in the battle for fifth place. Overall, a strong return to the Euro Cup for Wales and something positive to build on for 2015.


    Sweden– Three wins for the tournament saw the Swedes take out seventh place at the event. Along the way they dispatched Norway, Scotland and Italy, and going down to Ireland (3rd) and Germany (4th). Fresh from their efforts in Australia at the IC14, Sweden should be pleased with their return to the Euro action after missing in Bordeaux.


    Italy – On face value the Italians dropped away after Bordeaux (4th). But their two wins against Netherlands and France were sound, and the losses included a close defeat to Germany before two in the finals run against Ireland and Sweden. Still have positives to take away from the event to build on for 2015.


    France– To drop to ninth place this year after being runners-up in Bordeaux last year, the French may feel a little disappointed. But they did win the Euro Bowl, defeating Austria to do so, and also enjoyed wins against Scotland and Netherlands. Their losses were also narrow, going down to Germany (6 points) and Italy (8 points). Many positives again for the French in London.


    Austria– No matter how you look at it, Austria improved on their 201r4 showing in Bordeaux. After winning the Euro Plate last year, finishing in ninth spot, they were runners-up this year in the Euro Bowl. That is a step up. Big wins at the expense of Catalunya and Crusaders, and a narrow loss to France for the Euro Bowl showed the team has plenty to offer for coming years.


    Scotland– A sound re-entry to the Euro Cup after missing Bordeaux. Solid wins against Norway and Crusaders, as well as a narrow loss to Sweden by just 12 points, showed the Scottish team had plenty of spirit. Will benefit from this event and build strongly for 2015, especially with a proliferation of new Scottish club teams to draw from.


    Crusaders – Just the one win from the event against Spain, and a series of heavy losses, but the Crusaders team plays an important role at the Euro Cup. The team gives an opportunity for other players to play at the event that may or may not have played with another team. Any win is just icing on that opportunity, and they did enjoy some success.


    Norway – Three losses in their preliminary games was a tough start to this event, going down to Ireland, Sweden and Scotland. But they powered home in the finals stages to account for the Netherlands team by 13 points before trouncing Spain to win the Euro Plate. A very strong finish, and second Euro Plate for their ever-growing cabinet, means a productive event for Norway.


    Spain– In some ways the Spanish team play a different role at this event. Regardless of results, the fact that Spain are involved is a massive positive as it keeps the Aussie Rules flag flying in Spain. So to win a match against Catalunya, and play off to be runner-up in the Euro Plate, mark huge steps for the future of Spanish footy.


    Netherlands – Consecutive losses in their preliminary games against good opposition (France, Italy, Germany) before a narrow 13 point loss to Norway and a stirring win against Catalunya suggested a team that, whilst finishing in 15th place overall, managed to get better and gain confidence as the event went on. Certainly enough to suggest a modest return to the Euro Cup that mmay lead to bigger things in 2015.


    Catalunya – This team is in an almost identical position to the Spanish team. Whilst they might have been the whipping boys for other teams on the scoreboard, the measure of their efforts is in the fact that they were competitive. In fact, their overall scores reflected a more competitive effort across the event than in Bordeaux last year. Again, like Spain, they are keeping the game alive in their home nation simply by being in London.


    Women’s Draw


    Irish Banshees– A perfect five from five winning effort from the Irish girls. Tough wins against the England and Scotland teams as well as strong performances against Denmark and France saw them sail into the final as reed hot favourites. But they were pushed hard in the final, holding out the Vixens by just five points. Hammered home their title as the best women’s team in Europe, and maybe beyond.


    England Vixens– Three wins and a tough 16 point loss to the Banshees in thee round matches was a strong performance from the Vixens. Found themselves in the final as a result for a rematch with the all-conquering Banshees, and can count themselves unlucky after a brave five point loss in the final. A tremendous first up effort for the Vixens.


    Scottish Sirens– Split their results with two wins and two losses in their first Euro Cup as a national team. Big wins against France and Denmark were tempered by brave efforts against Ireland and England. Certainly a huge effort on which to build a recruiting drive for bigger and better things in 2015.


    Denmark Valkyries– Had to endure three heavy losses along the way, but the Danish girls managed a hard fought two point win against France. Whilst not a big win on paper, the result could yet translate into a positive recruiting poster for next year as the girls will have gained experience and belief in London. Will be bolstered by the men's perforrmance also which might help in recruitment.


    France Les Gauloises– Endured a tough tournament but the girls from France fought out every match. Unlucky to lose their match against Denmark by just two points. Will go back home knowing that the women’s footy scene has been taken to a new level with number of teams and standards, but now possessing an experiences nucleus of a team to challenge in years to come. ...

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