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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    The Stuttgart Emus played host to the first game of the new tournament style format of the AFLG at their home ground in Esslingen. Esslingen is a short drive from Stuttgart and quite picturesque with an altstadt and the ground surrounded by a hilly backdrop. Two established teams in Stuttgart and Munich were playing as well as two teams new to the AFLG - Dresden and Ludwigsburg.

    It was encouraging to see Dresden making the long trip. They had enjoyed their time in the Czech Republic and were now looking forward to playing in the AFLG. This is not unlike the Strasbourg Kangaroos that once played in the AFLG but now prefer to play in the French league even though travel is much more of a problem.

    The weather was perfect for a day of football and the oval had a good grass cover. The ground is a proper oval, about 130m long, so for these 9-a-side games this is excellent but unfortunately the ground is no longer the full length it used to be for 16-a-side games. New volleyball courts are the culprit but at least workers preparing the new sites provided an interested gallery.

    The new format was a success with both old and new teams being competitive with each other and the new teams being competitive with the old teams in the beggining. The short duration of the games kept interest high and blowouts to a minimum. Beggining with this format and switching to the traditional format does seem to be the way to go.

    The only negative I heard was in regard to the loss of home games. I shouldn't say "only" because we all know how difficult it is to get a patch of grass in Europe and the number of home games is a justification factor. It does seem that the AFLG is continuing to make advances. ...


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    Today marked the end of the round robin preliminary matches for both the Kickstart state indigenous teams as well as the All Nations multicultural teams. The three days to date have seen a scintillating brand of football played in great spirit by the future stars of the AFL. Tomorrow the semi-finals commence to determine the 2015 grand-finalists.

    The Kickstart results have seen the Western Australians once again assert their superiority at this Under 15 national level. This is the fifth year of this championship and Western Australia is yet to lose a title. There is little to suggest 2015 will be any different.

    After their five matches, Western Australia are undefeated, a game and a half of their nearest rival, Victoria/Tasmania. Northern Territory hold equal third spot with South Australia, but had a higher percentage. Queensland and New South Wales/ACT are in fifth and sixth places respectively.

    The highlight match of the Kickstart Cup was certainly the clash between the higher fancied Victoria/Tasmania team against the New South Wales/ACT team. The game finished in a pulsating draw as a battle of defences ensued, keeping the Cairns crowd glued to the match and gasping with delight at the end result.

    In a show of strength today, Western Australia flexed their muscle ahead of the coming finals by dispatching a very good South Australian side. They will go into the finals series as very short priced favourites to claim their fifth title from five attempts. On form their likely grand-final opponent will either come from the dashing Territorians or the determined and well drilled Victoria/Tasmania team.

    In the All Nations Cup, the Queensland team has surprised many by finishing in first place after the round robin stage, separated by percentage only from both South Australia and Victoria/Tasmania. The Northern Territory team finished fourth followed by New South Wales/ACT and Western Australia.

    The South Australia v Northern Territory match on day Two proved to be the highlight so far. The Territory boys held the lead all match before being pipped by South Australia with nine seconds left on the clock.

    The Kickstart and All Nations Cups will move into overdrive tomorrow for the semi -finals ahead of Wednesday’s grand-finals before the teams say farewell to Cairns and return home.





    Images from the 2015 National Diversity Championships in Cairns (Photos courtesy Brett Kennerley)



    ...

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    AFL Round 3 kicks off with Collingwood hosting St Kilda at the MCG in Melbourne Friday night.

    Once again viewers around the world can access matches live or delayed on a number of TV networks or stream the telecast via subscription to Watchafl.com.au.

    The broadcast schedule for this round can be seen below.

     

     

     

    ...
    Network Region Coll vs St K Carl vs Ess Adel vs Melb Syd vs GWS NM vs Pt Adel Bris vs Rich Haw vs WB Geel vs GC WCE vs Freo Highlights
    Australia Plus Asia 17/4 @ 1730 HKT (LIVE) 18/4 @ 1130 HKT (LIVE) - 18/4 @ 1430 HKT (LIVE) - 18/4 @ 1700 HKT (LIVE) 19/4 @ 1100 HKT (LIVE) - 19/4 @ 1430 HKT (LIVE) 22/4 @ 0200 HKT
    Australia Plus Pacific 17/4 @ 2130 FJT (LIVE) 18/4 @ 1530 FJT (LIVE) - 18/4 @ 1830 FJT (LIVE) - 18/4 @ 2100 FJT (LIVE) 19/4 @ 1500 FJT (LIVE) - 19/4 @ 1830 FJT (LIVE) 22/4 @ 0600 FJT
    Australia Plus India 17/4 @ 1500 IST (LIVE) 18/4 @ 0900 IST (LIVE) - 18/4 @ 1200 IST (LIVE) - 18/4 @ 14300 IST (LIVE) 19/4 @ 0830 IST (LIVE) - 19/4 @ 1200 IST (LIVE) 21/4 @ 2330 IST
    ESPN BT Sport UK & Ireland 17/4 @ 1030 BST (LIVE) 18/4 @ 0430 BST (LIVE) - 18/4 @ 0730 BST (LIVE) 18/4 @ 1030 BST (LIVE)       19/4 @ 0730 BST (LIVE) 22/4 @ 1400 BST
    ESPN Caribbean - - - - 18/4 @ 0530 ET (LIVE) - - - - 22/4 @ 0100 ET
    EUROSPORT2 Europe 17/4 @ 1130 CET (LIVE) - - - - - - - - 21/4 @ 2300 CET
    EUROSPORT3 UK & Ireland 20/4 @ 2300 BST (Delay) - - - - - - - - 21/4 @ 2315 BST
    EUROSPORT4 Asia 17/4 @ 1730 HKT (LIVE) - - - - - - - - -
    FOX SPORTS USA 17/4 @ 0530 ET (LIVE) 17/4 @ 2330 ET (LIVE) - - - - - - - -
    FOX SOCCER PLUS USA - - - - - - 18/4 @ 2330 ET (LIVE) - 19/4 @ 0230 ET (LIVE) 20/4 @ 1500 ET
    ORBIT SHOWTIME Middle East 17/4 @ 0930 GMT (LIVE) 18/4 @ 0330 GMT (LIVE) - - 18/4 @ 0930 GMT (LIVE) - - - 19/4 @ 0630 GMT (LIVE) 20/4 @ 1700 GMT
    OTLSM Worldwide (Boats & Cruises) 17/4 @ 0930 GMT (LIVE) - - - 18/4 @ 0900 GMT (LIVE) - - - - -
    SKY SPORTS New Zealand - - - - - - 20/4 @ 0000 NZST (Delay) - - 21/4 @ 1800 NZST
    SUPER SPORT Africa - - - - - - - - - -
    TSN2 Canada - 17/4 @ 2330 ET (LIVE) - - - - - - 20/4 @ 1200 ET (LIVE) TSN.ca
    CLARO SPORTS Latin America 18/4 @ 0830 CTU (Delay) - - - - - - - - -
    WATCHAFL.COM.AU Worldwide (excl. Australia) 18/4 @ 0345 GMT (LIVE) 18/4 @ 0920 GMT (LIVE) 18/4 @ 0635 GMT (LIVE) 17/4 @ 0930 GMT (LIVE) 18/4 @ 0410 GMT (LIVE) 18/4 @ 0920 GMT (LIVE) 19/4 @ 0310 GMT (LIVE) 19/4 @ 0520 GMT (LIVE) 19/4 @ 0440 GMT (LIVE)  

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    Thanks to Lisa Roper who stepped up to coach the NZ Kahu team late last year for her thoughts on the series and what might be to come for the future of NZ women's players and teams.
     
    Living in Oz, we are often talking about the depth or growth of the women’s game, and looking at other areas we can grow to continue the momentum from the two women’s draft matches as we prep for a national league in 2020. 
     
    Like the netball, super rugby, A-League, NRL, and basketball, a team from NZ only spreads that love, grows the brand and further enhances each of their codes. The potential for a NZ team in our own womens AFL competition is not so farfetched, if not ready for 2017, we have definitely now sown the seeds, and perhaps by 2018 we could look at least as an U18 side coming across and joining into our Youth Girls National Tournaments.

    In the pouring rain for the anthems before Game 1.
    The U18 NZ Kahu team had two international series in 2014. A rematch of the Inaugural 2013 series vs the Australian Breeze team, chosen from the elite academies and states across the country, and then a 2 game series against the Indigenous Woomeras, chosen after their Kick start championships.
     
    For me, not only an honour to come back and continue to share my experience and knowledge of this game but also the privilege of taking on the head coach role for the country I grew up in. I had the added excitement of working on two very different campaigns. The uber talented Breeze players with a very structured game sense, and players I knew rather well after participating in their academy as a mentee coach. It was also good to see how much they had grown and improved between January and the October series. They are best young talent coming through, with an exciting few years ahead as they grow ready for 2020.
     
    While on the scoreboard it was a white wash, the skill level on the field was often matched by the Kahu squad, many returning from last year. It proved again, another huge step up between game 1 and 2 as they learn at a seemingly turbo charged pace. While the Breeze players showed the high level of skill and controlled the game our Kahu girls still managed to get plenty of touches on the ball and string passes together. If just for the lack of match experience, the Kahu players in either their 1st or 4th ever match against opponents mostly with 10-12 years of football under their belt, this game would have been a lot more even.
    Aleisha Taylor showing her drop punt form under pressure.
     
    One standout for NZ was Captain Hope Schuster, her continuous elusive running with the ball beat most of the Aussie team. It took the young Aussies a little while to work out just how to catch such a runner of the ball. And so with her the blend of rugby skills meeting Aussie rules, we get a game that is well worth watching. Learning to make the most of that break and how to effectively use the footy will be improved over time.
     
    The Kahu players learn a lot and very quickly from their Breeze opponent’s, and the level of sportsmanship is something to marvel at. When players from each team are hugging each other at the quarter breaks and saying ‘wow that was a hard tackle you put on me’ then you know the future of the game is in exceptional hands.
     
     
    Both matches were comfortably won by Breeze and despite the scoreboard, they themselves would agree, it wasn’t quite so easy out on the field.
     
    Playing against the Indigenous Woomeras team, had two new components that heightened the excitement for the series on the field. Off the field, we all got to witness the first ever NZ Kahu Haka, especially written for our Kahu squad. This is something special to all teams representing New Zealand, and for the Kahu squad they felt no different, so hours were set aside around the hours needed for football training sessions, in the learning of the background and story of their own Haka and then on the performance, probably something most other teams may not realise.
     
    On the field, for the first time ever, the Kahu squad would play on a fullsize oval and take on the cleverness and spark that accompanies the indigenous game. Explaining that difference was like comparing it to how their cousins and brothers play rugby in the backyard. They got it, and have suitably anticipated the creativeness that would come. No one was let down. Kahu played strong and had their own flair, while the Woomeras put on some globetrotter like displays with the footy and even the crowd could feel like winners from watching them.
     
    As with both matches, we had a fair amount of rain and wind, though one passage of play had the Kahu team marking 4 times in a row as if playing on a hot sunny day. NZ won patches of each quarter, and even dominated the first, though could not rack up the points as the Woomeras team were able to.
    Hope Schuster, ball in hand and away on a run.
     
     
    For NZ, a few players have really developed and stop up to the competition in every match. Kayla Paniora has grown huge amounts over the three series, and at only 15 is one with such potential, already ‘owning’ the fullback position and yet with the ability to pay ruck or in the forwards. She has spent a lot of her own time focusing on her drop punt, and the dedication shows through with a much more accurate kick than in her first series.
     
    Setarah Brown from Northland, ran riot through the midfield, is also now in her 3rd campaign and has proven to be one we will never forget. Great personality off the field and one of the hardest tacklers I have seen. Already she has shown enough potential, I have no doubt she could mix it with the best youth girls in Australia.
     
    Another future star is Dayna Harris-Lee, who despite having a serious shoulder injury that ruled her out of the second match, she dominated in the centres. A born leader, who is now working on a plan for a women’s league in Auckland, she is one who could easily put her hand into the draft mix in a couple of years.
     
     
    Ivy Kapeli-Esera and Rosie Schuster applying pressure
    Our approach to the second match against the Woomeras was also a big development curve for the assistant coaches, with each given an area of the field to focus on. Jamie Hunt and Mike Gregson are both current NZ Hawk players who also spend a fair amount of time coaching in New Zealand, so this adds to their development as well as gives them a chance to share what they have learnt whilst pulling on the black Guernsey. Our third assistant coach, Rowena Tatana has only recently moved back to NZ, and brought with her some valuable experience of playing in the Victorian league.
     
    She thrived on sharing that knowledge and with some more experience with be a future Kahu coach without a doubt. The Kahu squad need these coaches to continue developing so they can also continue their progress and assist the programs run by the AFL NZ High Performance team.
     
    For any spectators who came along and most especially those from AFL NZ who have now witnessed the three campaigns, all will agree that these series are vital to continue growing the game and see the talent being groomed.
     
     
     
    One of the youngest in the team, Ruby Murray-Beaumont reaching huge heights.
     
    In looking at the womens AFL league in 2020, one can only imagine how far some of these NZ Kahu players could go with a longer season. There are definitely 3 or 4 players with the ability to progress further in the game. With only 6-8 weeks of training before each of these series, they were able to match it in patches against both opponents, proving the skills are in fact there, they just need more regular matches to continue that game awareness and growth in the code.
     
    Perhaps it’s time to do a scholarship exchange type program to foster this talent, and help make the competition for places in these draft games even more competitive.
     
    Most definitely, we have the beginnings of a Women’s team for IC17, and given a few more years of football under their belts, we will have a competitive side, boasting the strong tackling that New Zealand is known for from other codes, and the flair of these new kids on the block will display. The 2017 side will be bolstered by New Zealand born players in leagues across Australia, who again will help these young guns quickly improve. Watch out for a top 4 finish, and a few Kahu players in future Womens AFL teams.
     
    2017 we are likely to see a sample of what to expect in 2020, as we gather the best players around Australia, and there is no reason to think we will not see one or two of these young players knocking on that door too.

    ...


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    The Under 15 players in cairns competing in the National Diversity Championships certainly present an amazing spread of heritage and culture. Whilst the Kickstart squad is comprised of players with indigenous Australian backgrounds, the All nations squad has the criteria that one or both parents had to be born overseas (or the player themselves) to qualify.

    On that criteria, the spread of multicultural talent is quite astonishing, and a pointer to the future uptake of Australian Rules football.

    Throughout a series of interviews conducted at the championships, accompanied by information provided in the official record booklet, the list includes (but is not limited to):

    Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), South Korea, Cambodia, Vanuatu, Afghanistan, France, Sudan, Congo, Lebanon, South Africa, Burundi, Cameroon, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Samoa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, England, Egypt.



    That is 20 countries in the above list from all across Asia, Africa, Oceania, North America, parts of Europe and more that simply didn’t come up in conversations or reach print stage.

    On that basis alone the All Nations Cup, whilst ostensibly accommodating players already living in Australia, also lends itself enormously to the growth of international football. As word gets out worldwide (such as this story) of how culturally and nationally wide the uptake is in multicultural communities across Australia (all six states and both territories are involved), it follows that there will be some level of knock on to those people linked overseas.

    These boys can be proud of their efforts here in Cairns at the National Diversity Championships, representing the All Nations banner. But their parents and communities are likely just as proud. Some commentators point to a tenuous concept of multicultural footy in this country, largely due to the criteria on which selection is based.

    But try telling that to their kids…or their parents…or the communities here and overseas that are BLOODY proud of these kids and their achievements to embrace the game and travel so far on a journey towards to higher levels of the game.

    (The picture at the top of this article was taken today at Cazalys Stadium in Cairns. It shows members of the Queensland All Nations team wearing donated jumpers from overseas clubs, provided on the day by local club Pyramid Power. It is a symbiotic gesture linking the All nations players to existing football clubs across the world ...

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    The 2015 AFL National Diversity Championships have been completed in Cairns with western Australia being crowned Kickstart champions whilst Queensland made history to win their first cup at any of these championships taking out the All Nations Cup. The following pair of stories are the grand-final summaries for both competitions.

     

    National Diversity Championships – All Nations Grand Final

     

    The crowd at Cazalys Stadium in Cairns was treated to a tremendous match with the Victoria/Tasmania team – last year’s winners – taking on the well performed Queensland team that had never reached a grand-final at these championships.

     

    Victoria/Tasmania made the early running with the breeze in the first half, but again the showers arrived to negate the wind effect. At times soccer became the sport of choice as both teams hacked the ball from end to end in the conditions.

     

    A goal to Queensland just on half time levelled the scores and set up an exciting final stanza.

     

     

     

    After the break, Queensland came out hard but the Victoria/Tasmania team knew they had to negate any wind advantage and played a tough, defensive brand of football. It took until seven minutes into the half for either side to score, a behind to Queensland, but that was the trigger and the Queensland team rattled on a succession of goals to make history and win their first ever National Diversity Championships All Nations Cup.

     

    Proud and emotional scenes were visible all over the field as players, coaches and officials embraced and the Queensland Kickstart team ran out to join their All Nations team mates.

     

     

    Final Scores: Queensland  7  3  45 d Victoria/Tasmania  3  8  26

     

    National Diversity Championships – Kickstart Grand Final

     

    The two best performed teams of the carnival met in the grand-final in front of enthusiastic crowd of families, team representatives and onlookers, playing for the greatest honour. History would be made either way – Five championships from five years for Western Australia or Victoria/Tasmania to win their first.

     

    The game started with Victoria/Tasmania using the breeze which had been as regular an attendee this carnival as the crowds. But it was Western Australia that kicked the first two goals of the match into the teeth of the strong breeze. Superior ball skills and structure once again set up the Western Australia attacks, but it was their fanatical defence which held Victoria back time and time again. Western Australia took a useful, but catchable, lead to the half time break.

     

    The second half saw the Western Australia boys raise the bar. Time and time they attacked, building as unassailable lead as the Cairns southerly drove them home. Late goals as a result of a tiring Victoria/Tasmania team, and some end-of-carnival razzle dazzle from Western Australia, was the score blow out to 44 points by the final siren.

     

    It was a proud coach, Shaye Hayden, who stood on the dias to revel in a fifth Kickstart title for the Western Australia behemoth.

     

    With contributions from all players, and a four goal haul from livewire Jarrod Cameron, Western Australia were deserving winners of the 2015 Kickstart Cup.

     

    Earlier in the morning it was another page written into the history books as the Queensland side won their first ever title at the national Diversity Championships, defeating the Victoria/Tasmania team by 19 points.

    Final Scores: Western Australia  9  3  57 d Victoria/Tasmania  2  1  13

     

    At the end of the two grand finals, winners of awards and the Flying Boomerang and World Nations teams were announced.

    Most Valuable Players – All Teams

    All Nations:

    Queensland – Dean Katsiris, Victoria/Tasmania– Buku Khamis, South Australia– Martin Frederick,

    Northern Territory– Yiannis Alexopoulos, New South Wales/ACT– Moustafa Sattout, Western Australia– Mach Deng

    Kickstart:

    Western Australia– Joe Hinder, Victoria/Tasmania– Tarryn Trindle, Northern Territory– Liam Fitz, South Australia– Mahali Lochowaik, New South Wales/ACT– Chris Holten, Queensland– Ari Miles

     

    The highest goalkicking awards went to:

     Tom Ansell (Queensland - All Nations – 15)

    Michael Mummery, Patrick Puautijimi (Northern Territory – Kickstart – Tied with 8 goals each)

     

    The major championships best player awards went to:

    Ryan Bennell (Western Australia – Kickstart)

     

    Martin Frederick (South Australia – All Nations)

      ...


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  • 04/15/15--18:22: On The Bench
  • During the semi-finals stage of the National Diversity Cup held here in Cairns over the past week, thee Queensland Kickstart team allowed me to sit with them in the coaching bench to watch and hear what goes on “behind the scenes”. It was a rewarding experience, and it went something like this…

     

    “One…Two…Three…”. The players are sitting stretching their hammies, quads, calves and counting the hold. You can see in their eyes this drill is the start. It is serious now. They are about to run out for what might be their last match together. A loss and their championships are finished. A win and they live to fight on to the preliminaries.

     

    They stand and the warm up continues. Clean hands. Close handpasses. Shouting, screaming, encouraging…getting pumped.

     

     

    Eddie Sansbury calls them into line groups – forward, mids, defenders. He tells the forwards to push up field. They are not tall, so get up and get the ball. Make it happen.

     

    He moves to the defenders. A reminder to get arms across chests. Know where their man is at all times. Make sure they hit targets. That’s their job. Keep possession, then get the ball out of there.

     

    Coach, Rhan Hooper gets the lads together. Quiet voice. Calm. He asks them to recite the words on the back of the whiteboard. “Pride”, “Hard at the Ball”, “Committed”. The mantra for their time together at these championships.

     

    Rhan reminds them it’s possibly their last game together and throws out a question – “Do you want thatω” A resounding “NO!”

     

    Now it’s time. The players leave the change rooms and gather in the race. They stay close…run out as a team. There is a palpable feeling of excitement as the players run through a guard of honour made by their All Nations team mates and onto Cazalys Stadium.

     

    The coaches move to the bench. Rhan remains the epitomy of calmness. He knows it’s up to them now. The boys know it is raining and instinctively play to the conditions. Some set plays work…others fall down in the wet so they improvise.  Some great lead up work sees the team kick a valuable goal into the wind.

     

    The bench becomes vocal. “Keep working”, they yell - a reminder that a passage of play is done, but the game isn’t.  Eddie sees things. So does Rhan. Sometimes they discuss, other times the assistant coach/runner just knows to get the message out quickly. His coach has faith in him.

     

    The New South Wales/ACT team has taken the lead. No need to panic. Just stick with the pre-game plan. Defenders get tight.  The siren goes. Half the match is done.

     

    At the half-time huddle, the players again head to their line groups. Rhan and Eddie move between each with messages, but the players are encouraged to self talk. Self assess. They talk each other up.

     

    The messages follow from coaches. One half to go.

    “Play to your strengths.”

    ”Find a man.”

    “Kick through the corridor with the wind, if not, use your 45’s and head to boundary.”

    “Push up. Follow ball.”

     

    Again, the message. “Is this our last half of footyω”

     

    The second half starts. Everything is recognised. “Good work. Good work” becomes the catch cry. Along with “Keep working. Keep working.”

     

    The coaches keep looking at whiteboard. Moves are made. Eddie heads out again with messages. Moves.

     

    The boys attack, but New South Wales pushes wide to boundary. But great reward for effort sees the Queensland boys get a goal. The boys needed that and the coaches can see it. Belief trickles back. The wind is strong, but the conditions are wet. It negates the wind, so the message continues. “Keep working. Keep working.”

     

    New South Wales/ACT return fire. Two and a half minutes to go now and Queeensland are 14 points down. “Keep working. Keep working.”

     

    But other than the mantra, the bench is quiet now. Nothing can be done from here. It is up to the players to run it out from here. Their own pride is their last chance, so they maintain their pressure to the end. The coaches know that and can see it. The old saying coming to life – “You ran it out to the end.”

     

    Siren. Job done. Rhan, Eddie and coaches move to a huddle – final messages, thoughts. Time now to ponder.

     

    Rhan brings the group in tight in the middle. Game is over but the team isn’t. Gives the message to keep heads up high. Be proud. Reminds team they were down in numbers. No interchange due to injuries, but all players kept fighting. Yep, be VERY proud.

     

    He reminds the players that the pride extends to the entire trip. All of their time together. Keep chasing their goals. “Head down, bum up.”

     

    He reminds the boys that the scoreboard doesn’t matter. It was a great game to watch and they all did the team proud. That is the note to finish on…PRIDE!

     

    Eddie and Rhan tell the boys their job isn’t done. From here they have to rally behind their state All nations team which is very much a chance to win the title.

     

    The coaches let the boys leave and head to the refreshing showers. They move but stop. The team leaders rally the players around and give heartfelt thanks to the coaches for their efforts since the first day the squad came together months ago. It is touching - and deserved.

     

    The whole team moves to the grandstand. Some photos along the way and pats on the back, then down the race to the rooms.

     

    This look at the mechanics of a match coaching session could not have happened without the kind and appreciated cooperation of Rhan Hooper and his coaching team: Eddie Sansbury, Dwayne Weetra and Travis Gulliver.  Similarly, the permission of Narelle Long, Kashif Bouns and Keith Shangere from the AFL Diversity departments in Melbourne and Brisbane got me on the field.

     

     

    It was a unique look at how an elite junior squad is prepared and managed during a match – the art of coaching. 

     

    For the record, New South Wales/ACT won 5  2  32 to Queensland 3  0  18.

     

    But the Queensland All nations team did go on and make history, winning the All Nations Cup - the first title Queensland has ever won at these championships, so the boys in both teams can share that Queenslandd pride. ...


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    American Footy Star program players Carl Winston III and Torrey Harkness have moved on from VFL club Port Melbourne where they missed the final list cut and have headed to the southern NSW team Temora Kangaroos in the Farrer League. They have also been joined by a third memeber of the program Eddie Ballard who had a preseason run with VFL club Springvale before also heading to the Riverina region township.

     Adding to the International theme at the club is Dominic Joyce who played for the Irish Warriors at IC14. Joyce has moved from nearby club Collingullie where he played the 2014 season.

    “We’ve got some North Americans, an Irishmen, we’ve looked outside the box to try and make our league stronger and a better place to be,” Temora President Darryl Harpley told The Daily Advertiser. “(Winston and Harkness) are out here to have a crack at our great game of AFL and if they want to come and learn more at Temora for a season or more than that’s fantastic for them.”

     

    All four Internationals played in Temora's seinor team in their round 1 loss at home to East Wagga Koorringal by 23 points. Tomorrow all four have been selected again to play in their Round 2 clash with Marrar Bombers. ...


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  • 04/17/15--02:40: Byrne to debut for Blues
  • If it’s the luck of the Irish that’s required to turn Carlton’s season around (currently nought and two), then surely two Irish heads are better than one. The ever reliable backman and sometimes long bomb goal scorer Zach Tuohy will be joined this weekend by fellow Irishman Ciaran “Casey” Byrne who will debut for the Blues.
     
    The 20-year-old from County Louth signed with Carlton as an International Rookie Category B at the end of the 2013 season after trialling with the club in 2012. He spent last year learning the game in the VFL where he ran out for 14 matches, initially playing as a forward before moving to the backline. 
     

     

    Ciaran Byrne
    DOB: 6 December 1994
    Guernsey No. 38
    Carlton Player No. 1161.
     
    Byrne was elevated to the senior list before last weekend to temporarily replace Cameron Giles, who has been placed on the Blues’ long-term injury list. He was named as emergency and did not play but this week his long awaited AFL debut has come.
     
    He will wear the No. 38 jumper for Carlton, and has been named on the half back flank for Carlton’s clash tomorrow against Essendon at the MCG.
     
    And the Irish flavour may not end there for the Blues. A few weeks back Ciaran Sheehan who debuted last year for the Blues was also elevated to the senior list under the AFL player rules regarding Nominated Rookie Players. He has been on Carlton’s injury list the last few weeks with a groin injury, but could be available as soon as next week. No team has yet had three Irish recruits play in the same AFL match.
      ...

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    Sure, most people who follow AFL know that Carlton Blues are the St Kilda Saints third opponent in the Saints’ annual Anzac Day Fixture at Westpac Stadium, Wellington.

    But for the first time ever a junior Victorian team will be travelling to Wellington to play against the newly formed AFLNZ Academy Team. The Academy Team have themselves recently returned from a trip to Sydney where they played against a combined Independent Schools’ Allstars team and then the Swans Academy side who were coached by Swans legend Mick O’Loughlin.

    The Academy side will be all the better for this experience but they will certainly be coming up against some slick players in the newly formed Peninsula Saints U16 team made up of players from the Frankston and Mornington Football Leagues, a traditional recruiting zone for St Kilda in days of yore.

    The Peninsula Saints were selected by their Clubs and all compete in the Frankston or Mornington Peninsula Leagues.

    Interestingly these two Leagues have combined both their U 16 and U17 Leagues for this season. This should result in two competitions per age group and lessen the blowouts that can sometimes occur at this age. In fact, the U17 competition is brand new and is designed as a stepping stone to senior football and is hoped to be used as a ladder for more players to stay actively involved with the game for a longer period.

    Back to the trip to NZ! No Dandenong Stingray U16 squad members were eligible for the trip which means that the quality of the team touring is not as high as it could be but it will nonetheless not lack for football talent.  The two footballers I know well are Mt Martha’s Tim Susovich who is a fearless, contested footballer, strong overhead and loves getting forward to kick a goal and Langwarrin’s Will Davis who is a towering tap ruckman who reads the play well and will place himself around the ground to his team’s best advantage. As examples of the talent selected, this team will play some very fine football.

    AFL South East, who along with the two Leagues (MPJFL and F&DJFL) and St Kilda, with sponsorship for apparel courtesy of Watersun Homes, are keen to see that this venture is not a one off and are hopeful it will become an annual event. AFL South East are also keen to explore new opportunities for NZ teams to return the visit on a regular basis.

    The games against the NZ Academy will be played at AFL Wellington’s home ground, Hutt Park. Hopefully the wind will not be blowing too fiercely as it can become very exposed there in either a strong northerly or southerly.

    Itinerary for the Peninsula Saints

    Thursday April 23
    Official Welcome Function - 6pm

    Friday April 24
    NZ National Combine Testing - 10am
    Match 1 v NZ U16 (Hutt Park) - 4pm
    NZ High Performance Awards - 7pm

    Saturday April 25
    Anzac Service - TBC
    St Kilda v Carlton - 1pm
    Halftime activities (Kiwi-kick) - 2.30pm
    NZ Hawks v AFL Academy - 4.15pm
    Halftime activities (AFL 9s) - 5pm
    After-match Function / Meal - 6.30pm

    Sunday April 26
    St Kilda FC Super-clinic - 9am
    Match 2 v NZ U16 (Hutt Park) - 1pm
    After-match Presentations - 3.30pm
    Team Dinner - 6.30pm

    Monday April 27
    Depart

    Peninsula Saints

    Players
    Jack Field, Crib Point FC, MPJFL 171cms
    Luke Sparks, Pearcedale-Baxter FC, MPJFL, 180cms
    Angus Wright, Seaford JFC, FDJFL, 180cms
    Shea Mitchell, Red Hill JFC, MPJFL, 171cms
    Joel Hepner, Rosebud JFC, MPJFL, 179cms
    Jayden Thomas, Rye JFC, MPJFL, 170cms
    Jordan Hoffman, Somerville JFC, MPJFL, 178cms
    Jake McGuiness, Pearcedale Baxter JFC, MPJFL, 172cms
    Nick Foster, Tyabb JFC, MPJFL, 170cms
    Tim Susovich Mt Martha JFC, MPJFL, 165cms
    Max Gorman-Batt, Dromana FC, MPJFL, 173cms
    Zac Adie, Balnarring FC, MPJFL, 168cms
    Lachlan Fewster, Mt Eliza JFC, FDJFL, 180cms
    Beau Galley, Mt Eliza JFC, FDJFL, 180cms
    Lachlan Willey, Edithvale-Aspendale JFC, FDJFL, 176cms
    Jack Bailey Bonbeach YCW JFC, FDJFL, 183cms
    Jed Goss, Sorrento JFC, MPJFL, 173cms
    Aaron Jackson, Frankston Dolphins JFC, FDJFL, 180cms
    Storm Bobridge, Sorrento JFC, MPJFL, 180cms
    Peter Megee, Hastings JFC, MPJFL, 182cms
    Lachlan Hinde, Frankston Rovers JFC, FDJFL, 180cms
    Lachlan Avery, Frankston Rovers JFC, FDJFL, 178cms
    Caleb Douglas, Frankston YCW, FDJFL, 185cms
    Jarrod England, Carrum Downs JFC, FDJFL, 175cms
    Will Davis, Langwarrin JFC, FDJFL, 192cms
    Tom Hogan, Bonbeach YCW JFC, FDJFL, 191cms

    Officials
    Coach:- Andrew Souter
    Team Manager/Trainer:- Debbie England
    Runner:-Warren Wright
    Tour Manager:- Jeremy Bourke

    U 16 NZ Academy

    Officials
    Coach: Shannon Wall
    Assistant Coach: Rowie Tatana
    Assistant Coach: Jeff Silby
    Manager: Aaron Tamariki
    Runner: Jack Green
    Physio: Chelsee Peita

    Players
    Isaac Piper, Auckland
    Jacob Tucker, North Harbour, Auckland
    Nathan Halloran-Mclean, waitakere, Auckland
    Sebastian Serrano, Auckland
    Jarred Lewis, Counties, Auckland
    Joseph Wadman, Northland
    Max Stuart, Northland
    Mitchell Stringer, Wellington
    William Kempt, Wellington
    Ish Perkins, Wellington
    Cullen Marsters, Auckland
    Joel Brown, Auckland
    Connor McGeough, Wellington
    Jack Morris, Waitakere, Auckland
    Misilifi Faimalo, Wellington
    Lewis Barrow-Young, North Harbour, Auckland
    Jordan Skinner, Northland
    Blake Williamson, Northland
    Zac Vaughan, Wellington
    Joseph Alesich- Tamariki, Auckland
    Shaun Hanning, Wellington
    Michael Iwashita, Northland
    Sam Green, Wellington
    Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Wellington
      ...


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    Best known in footy circles as the place where Essendon legend Tim Watson grew up, Dimboola is a small country town in the Wimmera region of Victoria about 330kms west of Melbourne. It is a traditional wheat/sheep farming area.

    The town population is around 1600.  Their footy team play in green and gold and are known as the Roos. And now it will be home for this footy season for Terence Brasch. 

    At home in Oregon state, USA Brasch like many Americans discovered Aussie rules late at night on TV.  Then he got together with some mates for a kick at OSU, before finding a more regular footy fix with the Porland Steelheads.   Brash is the latest lucky participant in the USAFL's footy exchange program where the league send a promising young American to Australia to further their footballing education.  His application was successful and soon would be on his way to Dimboola.

    The Roos have wasted no time to get the eager import into his kit (No. 26) and on the field.  He received his green and gold jumper on Thursday night and has been named in the Reserves on Saturday.  They will be playing away, further west at Nhill, a town that is pretty much half way between Melbourne and Adelaide. 

    Terence might  find some time for a post match chat over a beer during the season with fellow Wimmera league club Minyip-Murtoa's coach in Jaye MacCumber.  Their North American connection is that Jaye played footy in Canada and coached the Canadian team at the 2011 International Cup.

    For more on Terence's season (and get the full back story so far)  you can follow his well written blog at http://www.footyabroad.com and follow him on Twitter @WhereIsTerence

     

      ...


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    The USAFL-AFL Combine is back. But this year the location has moved from Los Angeles to the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. This is the same venue that the AFL held their 10-day high performance training camp for the U18 Academy earlier this year. The Combine will be held in just over a week from April 26-29. This year's updated video promoting the Combine to US athletes can be seen below and has been updated with clips of Combine graduates Jason Holmes at St Kilda and Mason Cox at Collingwood from NAB Challenge matches earlier this year.

                                                                                                                 ...


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    The world has a lot to thank the city of Liverpool for. This Lancashire city on the Mersey River estuary, some 280 kilometres to the north-west of London has touched people’s lives in some way.

    From The Beatles, Cilla Black (originally White!) and the other Mersey Beat bands of the early 1960’s (Gerry and The Pacemakers, Rory Storm and The Hurricanes, The Searchers) to comedians such as Ken Dodd and Jimmy Tarbuck, Doctor Who (or Tom Baker at least), Dr Doolittle (Rex Harrison) or even Lucius Malfoy from the Harry Potter stories (Jason Isaacs), few have been spared a touch of Liverpool.

    More notably, the Liverpool F.C is one of the greatest football/soccer clubs the world has seen, after winning 5 Champions Cup then Champions League. Even the RMS Titanic and the Queen Mary ocean liners were registered in the city.

    Now, maybe, Australian Rules football will become part of that story of Liverpudlians, with the new Merseyside Saints club being formed. Their newest incarnation sees a return of Australian Rules to the city. The Liverpool Blues existed briefly in 1993, followed by the Liverpool Eagles for a short-lived existence in 2008.


    Geographically, the Merseyside Saints will again create a wall of Australian Rules Football teams across central and northern England through the cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds, Sheffield and even the social club, Hull Mariners running west to east. These teams are also strengthened by the clubs in Nottingham, Birmingham and Wolverhampton to the south and the Tyne Tees club in Newcastle to the north, creating the AFLCNE. In a sense, Liverpool was the missing link.

    According to Merseyside Saints presidents:

    - Olivier LEMESLE (34 years old, French, Original Co-founder of the Strasbourg Kangourous in 2005 with Marc Jund [Former France National Men Team Head Coach, from 2005 to 2009], Axios EUCup 2013 champion with the England Dragonslayers and Everton FC supporter).

    And

    - Will SYKES (34 years old, Australian, Original founder of Plymouth Aussie Rules Football Club, and Liverpool FC Supporter),

    "Merseyside was the region in England who missed having a Footy team, to complete the AFLCNE league. We did not want to associate our team`s name to a city only, but to the whole region, to make every potential player, staff and supporters feeling concerned to pull the team to the top and being proud to be part of this project."

    Already the club has announced some major coups in a bid to build towards one day being a force to be reckoned with. Their Facebook page recently rang out with the news that “We can confirm the partnership of Merseyside Saints and National Division Three rugby side Wirral Aliens Rugby Football Club. This partnership provides the fantastic ground and facilities associated to Wirral Aliens RFC as the home of The Saints!"

    "The confirmation of this partnership is a huge achievement for the Saints committee and statement of the intent that the Saints have of being a highly successful club. Wirral Rugby club are synonymous with Merseyside and held in high esteem due to their sporting success".

    "Everyone at the Saints look forward to a long and prosperous partnership."

    Shortly afterwards the club took another step forward when they announced “[a] massive new signing to accept his halo and become a Saint, former professional rugby full back and current England Rugby strength and conditioning coach, Neil Parsley.”

    Already this new club is taking major steps to build infrastructures and a personnel base that will move them quickly to the AFLCNE.

    Saints can be contacted through their Facebook group: Merseyside Saints Aussie Rules Football Club - https://www.facebook.com/groups/344988882343813

    ...

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    The 2015 AFL Women’s Draft will be held in Melbourne today, Monday, April 20 at 7pm in the Limelight Room at Etihad Stadium. The Draft will be live streamed: http://www.aflcommunityclub.com.au/index.php?id=1828
     
    Two Canadians have nominted for the draft this year.  They are Canada Women's IC14 captain Aimee Legault (pictured left) and Kendra Heil who kicked two goals for the IC14 champions in the Grand Final.  Both players were named one and two respectively best for Canada in that match.   Legault was also named Captain of the World Team selected at the tournament and named in the centre and Heil on the half forward flank.
     

     

    Legault and Heil are playing in Australia this year and Legualt has played in a trial selection game for this draft.
     
    Players selected by Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs will play in two women’s exhibition matches in 2015; Sunday May 24 at the MCG and Sunday August 16 at Etihad Stadium. ...

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    AFL Round 4 kicks off with Richmond hosting Melbourne at the MCG in Melbourne, Friday night. Five matches will be played across ANZAC Day on Saturday including the St Kilda vs Carlton match in Wellington NZ.

    Once again viewers around the world can access matches live or delayed on a number of TV networks or stream the telecast via subscription to Watchafl.com.au.

    The broadcast schedule for this round can be seen below.

     

     

    ...
    Network Region Rich v Melb St K v Carl Ess v Coll GWS v GC P Ade v Haw Freo v Syd Bris v WCE Geel v NM WB v Adel Highlights
    Australia Plus Asia 24/4 @ 1730 HKT (LIVE) - 25/4 @ 1230 HKT (LIVE) 25/4 @ 1530 HKT (LIVE) - 25/4 @ 1830 HKT (LIVE) 26/4 @ 1100 HKT (LIVE) - 26/4 @ 1200 IST (LIVE) 29/4 @ 0200 HKT
    Australia Plus Pacific 24/4 @ 2130 FJT (LIVE) - 25/4 @ 1630 FJT (LIVE) 25/4 @ 1930 FJT (LIVE) - 25/4 @ 2230 FJT (LIVE) 26/4 @ 1500 FJT (LIVE) - 26/4 @ 1430 HKT (LIVE) 29/4 @ 0600 FJT
    Australia Plus India 24/4 @ 1500 IST (LIVE) - 25/4 @ 1000 IST (LIVE) 25/4 @ 1700 IST (LIVE) - 25/4 @ 1600 IST (LIVE) 26/4 @ 0830 IST (LIVE) - 26/4 @ 1830 FJT (LIVE) 28/4 @ 2330 BST
    ESPN BT Sport UK & Ireland 24/4 @ 1030 BST (LIVE) 25/4 @ 0100 BST (LIVE) 25/4 @ 0530 BST (LIVE) - 25/4 @ 1030 BST (LIVE) - - 24/4 @ 0600 BST (LIVE) - 29/4 @ 1200 BST
    ESPN Caribbean - - - - 25/4 @ 0530 ET (LIVE) - - - - 29/4 @ 0200 ET
    EUROSPORT2 Europe - - - - - - - - 26/4 @ 0830 CET (LIVE) 28/4 @ 2300 CET
    EUROSPORT3 UK & Ireland - - - - - - - - 27/4 @ 2300 BST (Delay) 28/4 @ 2315 BST
    EUROSPORT4 Asia - - - - - - - - 26/4 @ 1315 CET (Delay) -
    FOX SPORTS USA 24/4 @ 0530 ET (LIVE) - 25/4 @ 0030 ET (LIVE) - - - - - - -
    FOX SOCCER PLUS USA - 24/5 @ 2000 ET (LIVE) - 25/4 @ 0530 ET (LIVE) - - - - - 27/4 @ 1700 ET
    ORBIT SHOWTIME Middle East 24/4 @ 0930 GMT (LIVE) 25/4 @ 1200 GMT (LIVE) 25/4 @ 0430 GMT (LIVE) - 25/4 @ 0930 GMT (LIVE) - - - - 27/4 @ 1700 GMT
    OTLSM Worldwide (Boats & Cruises) 24/4 @ 0930 GMT (LIVE) 25/4 @ 1200 GMT (LIVE) 25/4 @ 0430 GMT (LIVE) 25/4 @ 0730 GMT (LIVE) 25/4 @ 1030 GMT (LIVE) - 26/4 @ 0500 GMT (LIVE) - - -
    SKY SPORTS New Zealand - 25/4 @ 1300 NZT (LIVE) 25/4 @ 1630 NZT (LIVE) - - - - - - 28/4 @ 1830 NZT
    TSN2 Canada - - 25/4 @ 1400 ET (Delay) - - - - 26/4 @ 0100 ET (LIVE) - TSN.ca
    CLARO SPORTS Latin America 24/4 @ 0830 CTU (Delay) - - - - - - - - -
    WATCHAFL.COM.AU Worldwide (excl. Australia) 24/4 @ 0930 GMT (LIVE) 25/5 @ 0110 GMT (LIVE) 25/4 @ 0740 GMT (LIVE) 25/4 @ 0940 GMT (LIVE) 25/4 @ 0440 GMT (LIVE) 25/4 @ 1040 GMT (LIVE) 26/4 @ 0310 GMT (LIVE) 26/4 @ 0520 GMT (LIVE) 26/4 @ 0640 GMT (LIVE) -

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    The third AFL Women’s Draft was held at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne last night. The event was streamed live on the internet (although we had one report of the stream dropping out in Canada for around 10 minutes). Western Bulldogs and Melbourne took turns to add to their retained players from the 2014 match.

    Western Bulldogs’ Number One selection Emma King from the Coastal Titansin Western Australia and Melbourne’s Number Two selection Danielle Goding were the top picks. Each team selected 16 players plus one emergency.

    Canadians Aimee Legault and Kendra Heil were present and received a special welcome from the AFL's General Manager Mark Evans in his opening address. A support crew for the Canadians were present from AFL Canada. Unfortunately neither of the girls were selected but the fact that they were considered for this two team competition is a great effort and no doubt an inspiration to women and girls playing and taking up the game around the world. It should be noted that some of those selected last night have been playing the game for only a relatively short time.

    The selections were as follows:

     

    1.WB Emma King Coastal Titans WA

    2.Melb Danielle Goding Morphettville Park SA

    3.WB Meg Hutchins Eastern Devils Vic

    4.Melb Kiara Bowers Coastal Titans WA

    5.WB Kellie Gibson Swan Districts WA

    6.Melb Ellie Blackburn Melbourne Uni Vic

    7.WB Emma Zielke Coorparoo QLD

    8.Melb Elise O’Dea Darebin Falcons Vic

    9.WB Katie Loynes Diamond Creek Vic

    10.Melb Emma Swanson Peel Thunderbirds WA

    11.WB Renee Forth Coastal Titans WA

    12.Melb Hayley Miller Coastal Titans WA

    13.WB Kaitlin Ashmore Melbourne Uni Vic

    14.Melb Ebony Rose Antonio Coastal Titans WA

    15.WB Lauren Arnell Darebin Falcons Vic

    16.Melb Dana Hooker Coastal Titans WA

    17.WB Jessica Wuetschner East Fremantle WA

    18.Melb Leah Mascall Coastal Titans WA

    19.WB Heather Anderson Belconnen Magpies ACT

    20.Melb Kira Phillips Peel Thunderbirds WA

    21.WB Emily Bates Yeronga QLD

    22.Melb Brooke Whyte Melbourne Uni Vic

    23.WB Leah Kaslar QLD Coolangatta BluebirdsQLD

    24.Melb Lauren Morecroft Diamond Creek Vic

    25.WB Hannah Scott Eastern Devils Vic

    26.Melb Cecilia McIntosh Melbourne Uni Vic

    27.WB Madeleine Keryk Melbourne Uni Vic

    28.Melb Bree White Vic St Albans Vic

    29.WB Phoebe McWilliams St Kilda Sharks Vic

    30.Melb Brianna Green East Fremantle WA

    31.WB Jordan Zanchetta Yeronga QLD

    32.Melb Courtney Cramey Morphettville Park SA

    33.WB Pepa Randall St Kilda Sharks Vic

    34.Melb Jodi Hicks Riverina Lions ACT

    The Western Bulldogs and Melbourne Football Clubs will compete in AFL Women’s Exhibition Matches on Sunday May 24 at the MCG and Sunday August 16 at Etihad Stadium. ...


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    Report courtesy of Matt Jaggar, AFLCNE

    After six years of trying, the Huddersfield Rams Australian Rules Football Club finally triumphed in the Haggis Cup last weekend.

    Edinburgh played host to this year’s pre-season AFL Scotland tournament, which saw the Rams narrowly beat Glasgow Giants in the first game, before walking over them in the final of this year’s Haggis Cup.

    The Rams, who are sponsored by Grosvenor Casino, named a match day squad that was a dynamic mix of fresh blood, youth and experience, with newbies getting their first taste of Aussie Rules alongside players who had competed in all five of the previous attempts north of the border.

    Huddersfield’s pathway to the final was by no means a straight shot as they ran in a couple of close games with wins of less than one goal in two out of three games before the final.

    Luke Booth, the Rams' most decorated player, claimed the tournament's Best on Ground votes, whilst club founder, Karl Haigh kicked the most goals and Robbie Wilson marked his Rams return with a performance which earned him the club’s player of the tournament.

    This Saturday brings the first round AFL Central and Northern England League, which sees the Rams face off against Manchester Mosquitoes in a rematch of last season’s Grand Final. Huddersfield will be eager to seek revenge after narrowly missing out on the flag in 2014 in a close final.

    The club is always seeking new players of any ability and holds weekly training sessions at Huddersfield YMCA, Laund Hill, Salendine Nook from 6:45pm, every Tuesd ...


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    The United States Australian Football League officially got the 2015 season under way this past weekend with the Eastern regional tournament being held at the Central Broward Park Cricket Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  2015 will see a full slate of regional (Eastern, Central and Western) tournaments held across the league; these events, and a new USAFL poll-ranking system, will help determine divisional seeding at the National Championships in Austin, Texas later this year.

    While three teams (#1 New York Magpies, North Carolina Tigers and the #20 Fort Lauderdale Fighting Squids) competed as full units, numerous players from other squads made the journey down to sunny Florida for an April footy-cation.  With two 2014 national champion sides in attendance, the stage was set for a wonderful day of Aussie Rules, with sunscreen and hydration the order of the day. 

    Match results of the day surprised many observers of the USAFL. 

    North Carolina 4.1 (25)
    #1 New York 10.8 (68)

    #20 Fort Lauderdale 7.6 (48)
    North Carolina 3.7 (21)

    #20 Fort Lauderdale 6.7 (43)
    #1 New York 2.6 (18)

    The Fort Lauderdale Fighting Squids were able to use their hometown advantage to overcome the reigning division one champion New York Magpies in the tournament’s final. Buoyed by a strong turnout of local players, the Squids forced New York to eat pie with a 25 point victory.

    Despite missing numerous players from the team that took home the 2014 gold in Dublin, Ohio, the Magpies still retained several key performers. The question remains whether or not they can retain their grip on the USAFL’s number one ranking without former coach Glenn Ormsby at the helm.

    In the face of two of defeats in Florida, the North Carolina Tigers appear to be a side on the way back up. With a mixture of veterans and newcomers, the Tigers snatched a division four championship in 2014. A strong, albeit unsuccessful, showing in Florida, indicates they will be a side to watch this season.

    In other USAFL results,

    #13 Nashville Kangaroos 13.14 (92)
    Atlanta Kookaburras 2.7 (19)

    Tulsa Buffaloes 8.10 (58)
    #10 Dallas Magpies 15.19 (109)


    Meanwhile, the April USAFL Top 20 Ranking Poll looked like this:

    1. New York Magpies
    2. Orange County Bombers
    3. Austin Crows
    4. Denver Bulldogs
    5. Minnesota Freeze
    6. Golden Gate Roos
    7. Los Angeles Dragons
    8. Columbus Jackaroos
    9. Houston Lonestars
    10. Dallas Magpies
    t-11. Chicago Swans
    t-11. Baltimore-Washington Eagles
    13. Nashville Kangaroos
    t-14. Boston Demons
    t-14. Sacramento Suns
    16. Philadelphia Hawks
    17. Des Moines Roosters
    18. Ohio Valley River Rats
    19. Portland Steelheads
    20. Fort Lauderdale Fighting Squids ...


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    Irishman Padraig Lucey made his VFL debut for Geelong on the weekend. As backup ruckman Lucey registered three hitouts, one tackle in their 18 point win over Werribee. Sudanese born Majak Daw registered 9 hit out and kicked 1.1 for Werribee.
     
    Kiwi Kurt Heatherley returned to the Box Hill team who defeated Footscray in their 2014 VFL Grand Final rematch by 13 points. Heatherley defended well and covered well when Matt Spangher was injured in first quarter.

     

    American Jason Holmes had an impressive 15 hitouts in the ruck for Sandringham as they snatched a one point win over Essendon.
     
    American Mason Cox also had 15 hitouts, as well as an impressive 7 tackles and his first goal in an impressive VFL debut against North Ballarat.
     
    American Eric Wallace in his third season on North Melbourne’s list kicked a goal and was named in the best players for Werribee in the VFL Development league. Coburg defeated Werribee by 48 points at Piranha Park.
     
    And American Alex Aurrichio made his VFL Development league as the Northern Blues went down to Williamstown by 67 points at Ikon Park. ...

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    The new footy season for AFL in central and northern England (AFLCNE) got underway last weekend with a settled group of teams ready and waiting. Whilst in previous seasons there has been the addition of new clubs (Tyne Tees Tigers) and the departure of clubs for indefinite periods (Leeds Minotaurs), this season saw the same seven clubs hit the fields.

    The future may hold new changes with the possibility of a new team from Liverpool (Merseyside Saints – see story: Merseyside Saints Continue Liverpool Legend but for now the 2015 teams remain the same as last season.

    Round One got away to a start with the Manchester Mozzies hosting two matches, whilst the Birmingham Bears hosted the other.

    The Manchester Mozzies proved that they seek continued dominance and maybe another flag opportunity when they flexed their muscle over the Huddersfield Rams. Similarly, the Wolverhampton Wolverines tried to put the disappointments of last season behind with an impressive win over the Tyne Tees Tigers.

    In what was likely the match of the round in Birmingham, the Bears were able to hang on by just two points over the Nottingham Scorpions. Sheffield Thunder had the first round bye.

    Results:

    Manchester Mosquitoes 22 18 150 d Huddersfield Rams 5 9 39
    Wolverhampton Wolverines 20 29 149 d Tyne Tees Tigers 3 9 27
    Birmingham Bears 13 12 90 d Nottingham Scorpions 13 10 88

    Ladder:

    Wolverhampton 4
    Manchester 4
    Birmingham 4
    Sheffield 0
    Nottingham 0
    Huddersfield 0
    Tyne Tees 0

    Next Round (Round 2):

    Sheffield Thunder v Tyne Tees Tigers (Sheffield)
    Manchester Mosquitoes v Birmingham Bears (Sheffield)
    Huddersfield Rams v Wolverhampton Wolverines (Huddersfield)
    Nottingham Scorpions (Bye)

    ...

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