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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    AFL Japan extends invitation to footy clubs from around the world to contest the Japan Cup.

    The Japan Cup has been held every two years since around 2001 and this year will be contested on October 10th 2015.

    Originally called the Sugadaira Cup because it was held in Sugadaira, Nagano Prefecture.



    Current AFL Japan President, Hideki Miyasaka told me it became the Narita Cup in 2003, upon moving to Narita, Chiba Prefecture where the Narita International Airport is located and has evolved into the Japan Cup with a move in 2009 to the current venue, the "Seimei no Mori Resort" once known as Japan Aerobics Centre.

    In the early years Asian Ex-pat teams such as Indonesian Bintangs and Singapore Wombats attended the cup along with Box Hill North from Melbourne, Australia.

    Hideki also told me that this year all the Clubs in Japan along with two new teams from Fukushima and Miyazaki are expected to contest the Cup but entry to Japan Cup is open to all-comers and AFL Japan is welcoming teams from Australia and elsewhere around the world to enter.

    AFL Japan is keen to help any potential contenders with accommodation etc. whilst in Japan.

    ...


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    With the demise of the Aberdeen Eagles from the Scottish Australian Rules Football League landscape a couple of seasons back there may well have been concerns for the growth of the game in Scotland. But the 2015 season has proved that those concerns have been replaced by an optimism and growth that looks set to take the game further, bigger and better into the future.

    A comment from the SARFL stated that “The best thing about this season has been the growth of the sport. No forfeited games. The league was two established sides [since the withdrawal of Aberdeen and the re-branding of the Kingdom Kangaroos] with three newer teams. By Friday night all three of the new ones [teams] had registered over 30 players over the season including a combined 10 in the 16-19 age bracket and at least two clubs have a schools program. Well done to everyone at each of the clubs who keep these things happening - whether you book the pitches or recruit a player it all helps the sport.”

    Certainly the on field results this year show some highly encouraging patterns as the league bounces vibrantly into the 2015 finals series.



    This weekend sees the Preliminary Final between the Greater Glasgow Giants and the Kingdom Kangaroos. One or the other would reach the Grand Final, and whichever it is will be well proud of their club’s development to get this far this quickly. Whilst the Roos have been around in their current form for a few seasons now, they have still performed admirably to grow into a finals threat. But the Giants have travelled that distance in even less time – just a couple of seasons – and are already a viable challenger.

    The yardstick again this year is the Edinburgh Bloods. Undefeated after the home and away rounds, a common question is “who can stop them from winning this year’s flag?” But in June the Roos pushed the Bloods to go down by 21 points and in July the Bloods got home by 26 points against the Giants. Both comfortable margins, though neither suggests invincibility. Edinburgh deserve their red-hot premiership favouritism, but the Kingdom and Greater Glasgow teams can still dream, hinging their hopes on those performances.

    On paper throughout the season the Giants have the better record or four wins to the Roos’ three. But in their only other meeting this year it was the Kingdom Kangaroos that triumphed over the Greater Glasgow Giants by a solid 37 points. So much for paper! This weekend’s Preliminary Final will simply come down to the best prepared team putting that into practice when the siren goes. Good luck to both teams.

    Waiting at the other end of this weekend’s match will be the behemoth, Edinburgh Bloods. Their closest match results this season were the two already mentioned against the Roos and Giants. No other team got close. No matter which team wins through this weekend, it faces a monumental task to take the flag from the icy, relentless grasp of the Bloods.

    But that’s what footy is about – challenges and striving for the best.

    And that’s what the SARFL has achieved itself this season to their enormous credit.

    ...

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    The following article by James Gottschalk on the AFL Europe website looks more deeply at the new growth of the game of Australian Rules football in Poland.

     

    The expansion of Australian Rules Football continues to grow at an astonishing rate in Europe, with 2015 seeing the inaugural AFL Europe Champions League taking place in Amsterdam. Ten countries were represented by a team demonstrating that Australian Rules Football has certainly staked its claim as sport capable of growing in such a soccer orientated continent.

     

     

    This year’s AFL Europe Axios Euro Cup is hoping to involve the unveiling of the newest AFL Europe franchises – AFL Polska. The driving force behind the inclusion of Poland into the AFL scene is Australian expat, Gareth Smith whose claim to fame is keeping Brett Voss to a handful of possessions back when Gareth was 17. Since taking the reins of AFL Polska and establishing a team in Bydgoszcz, the sports awareness and interests has greatly increase and participation has reached even the “grass roots” level.

     

    Gareth Smith is originally from Toowoomba, Queensland, a town dominated by its Rugby League presence. Gareth’s family moved north from Geelong, which was where he inherited his love for Australian Rules Football and the Geelong Cats Football Club. Coolaroo Football Club was where Gareth played his junior football, but being such a undeveloped sport in the area, Gareth often played in the under 13s, under 15s and Reserve grade side during Saturday’s competitions.

     

    Local football became part of Gareth’s life, playing each season until moving to Poland with his wife and now three children. “We had some friends in Poland and after finishing ten years working in Australia, we decided to move to Poland for an indefinite period” Gareth explains. It was in December 2014 when Gareth began his involvement with bringing this sport he loved to Poland and to get really get Futbol Australijski w Polsce developed.

     

    In a forest clearing, on a four-degree day, Bydgoszcz hosted its first Australian Rules Football training session; the turnout of participants hailed from Australia, Denmark, Turkey and Poland. As all newcomers to the sport could relate, the players found taking to the oval ball strange and unorthodox but the passion was evident and the sport became engrained within them. Within a few days, word of this foreign sport had reached the local tabloids and a local newspaper dispatched a reporter to a training session to report. Following an interview with the players and the coach, Gareth Smith, the Futbol Australijski w Polsce FaceBook page had doubled its “likes”.

     

     

     

    Being a massive Geelong Cats fan since he was a child, Gareth only thought it fitting to name the new team, the Bydgoszcz Wildcats. He was also lucky enough to meet a South African with connections to current a Geelong player and is hoping to use such a connection to create a partnership with the club back in Australia, as many clubs throughout Europe do maintain.

     

     

     

    Since taking control of the establishment of the Bydgoszcz team, Gareth has taken a step back from taking trainings and has handed duties over to English/Dane, Soren Mackenzie. Gareth still takes part in the Wildcats’ coaching role, but has decided to concentrate on further development in other cities. One village not far from Bydgoszcz is Osielsko, Gareth explains “they are very forward thinking and have a good baseball team…American Football team and they are keen to have an AFL team too”. As with the development any new sport, captivating the audience and participants is the great challenge, but Gareth believes that the locals in Osielsko would be interested in trying the game he is so passionate about.

     

     

     

    So what next for Australian Rules Football in Poland and the Bydgoszcz Wildcatsω The aim is to put together a side to compete against either the Berlin Crocs or the Prague Cats. Further on from that, putting together a Polska team to compete in the 2015 AFL Europe Axios Euro Cup, which will be held in Umag, Croatia. For now Gareth just wants to keep the interest in Poland growing. Since we last checked in with him, “likes” on the Futbol Australijski w Polsce Facebook page have exceeded 300 and Gareth has also been contacted by another Australian Rules Football enthusiast with the desire to start a team in the south of Poland. Even a clinic for school children was organised to give the students a taste of the game.

     

     

     

    As the average wage in Poland is approximately €700 per month, funding for team uniforms, goal post and footballs is very hard to come by. Gareth hopes to get in touch with teams in other countries to assist with such funding, as a way of developing a partnership between the clubs – particularly the Geelong Cats and the West London Wildcats.

     

     

     

    For anyone interested in getting involved with Futbol Australijski w Polsce for participation, funding, general information or even a Pole residing in another country that wishes to participate as part of the AFL Polska team at the 2015 AFL Europe Axios Euro Cup, please contact AFL Europe via Sarah Ongarello.

     

     

     For more information on the re-revelopment of the game in Poland, a World Footy News article can be viewed at New Polish Team in Bydgoszcz Gathers Interest. ...


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    The North London Lions have pulled off one of the most remarkable finals series by downing highly fancied favourites the West London Wildcats to claim the 2015 AFL London premiership. Not only have the Lions won their first flag since 2012, and their fourth overall, they have also become a timely reminder for finalists the world over that premierships can be won, even against red hot favourites, from third place.

    Not only that, but the Lions showed that when a premiership is on the line it is the team with the better skills, commitment, heart, teamwork and belief that will win the day rather than talent on paper.

    The Lions got away to a good start in the first quarter, taking the game up to the Wildcats and a little more. The first break saw the Lions build confidence by leading 3 4 22 to 2 2 14. Starting the second quarter eight points up would have lifted hearts.

    A good first quarter requires a suitable backup in the second. In a game of defences the Lions continued to hold the Wildcats at bay. Not only did they win the quarter, but they managed to keep the Wildcats to just one more goal, leading at the main break 4 7 31 to 3 4 22. The Lions now had to brace for a second half fightback from the Wildcats.

    The premiership quarter would define the match, as often happens, especially in finals matches. But the Lions were building more and more belief the further the game went. Two goals each for the quarter meant everything came down to the last stanza, but by small degrees the Lions kept winning quarters, going into the last with a 10 point lead. Three quarter time saw the Lions lead 6 9 45 to 5 5 35.

    The Wildcats were coming. Anyone that knew the club understood this. A season of dominance was coming down to the final quarter. A monumental fightback was a strong possibility and the Wildcats were just the team to do it. But the Lions were ready.

    In a fantastic last quarter the Wildcats kept coming but the valiant Lions just would not concede. Three goals to two in favour of the Wildcats kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. The question would be whether the Wildcats would complete a near perfect season and win with a last gasp or could the brave resilient Lions hold on.

    But hold on they did. The North London Lions pulled off the upset of the season in the biggest match and on the largest stage of 2015. History was made and the Lions were triumphant.

    The final margin was a solitary point, but for the Wildcats it might have been 100. For the Lions the margin, whilst frighteningly close, now reads as comfortable as any other margin…a win.

    Final Scores saw the North London Lions 8 9 57 defeat the West London Wildcats 8 8 56.

    And their greatest legacy might just be how their remarkable win inspires belief in every underdog contesting a finals series for the rest of this year. All clubs can now point to the North London Lions as an example of how to beat the odds and win premierships.

    So, as the Lions party hard in the wake of their glorious performance, the Wildcats will lick their wounds. But after the realisation of defeat fades they know they can reset the compass and use this loss as motivation to rebuild their dynasty.

    But for now it is time to applaud the Lion Kings…AFL London premiers for 2015.


    ...

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  • 08/10/15--05:22: Footy To Soweto?

  • Australian Rules football in South Africa took another monumental step towards nation-wide development with the recent involvement of a team from Soweto being included in a recent competition in nearby Potchefstroom to the south-west.

    The urban area of Soweto (abbreviated from South West Townships) has a population of around 1.3 million and makes up one third of greater Johannesburg’s population. Soweto, part of the already football mad Gauteng Province has included residents such as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.

    Now there is the opportunity for Australian Rules football to slowly take root in one of the most populous areas of South Africa, highlighted by the recent Australian Rules football carnival. It is hoped that this event is the starting point of a long journey of footy in Soweto.

    The following short story from the crew at AFL Footywild in South Africa gives a brief insight into the historic footy event.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Soweto, the south western township of Johannesburg. A place greatly infested with history, pride and opportunities for modern day South Africans. This place is a cornerstone of South African democracy, and countless music, sports, intellectual, cultural and political legends hail from this township.

    Soweto has now joined many other good old South African townships, in having footyWILD centres, where the country’s aspiring young talent are honed. Some of Soweto’s footy products were present at the recently held Super Cup in Potchefstroom in April.

    The boys tasted their first footy serving against experienced players, but were unfazed, as they played with pride and showed a good display of themselves.

    We hope with the hard work of the AFLSA staff in Gauteng, Soweto will soon have a footy club of their own.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For more information about the local South African competitions and football development, go to the AFL Footywild website at: http://www.aflsouthafrica.org/index.php

    To learn more about the history of Soweto, and the significance of it’s role in South African history, visit the following site: http://www.southafrica.info/travel/cities/soweto. ...

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    The Norwegian local Australian Rules football competition has moved into power mode now as the major national competition heads towards its 2015 decider. The Kenguru Cup pits the three main Norwegian teams – Oslo East, Oslo West and Ås Battlers – against each other over five rounds of battle between May and August.

    With four rounds completed it is the Oslo West team leading the way with four wins ahead of Oslo East (last year’s winners) on three wins and Ås Battlers locked with East on three wins. For Oslo West it is an historic occasion, already having been the first to qualify for this year’s final for the first time. This follows successive last placed finishes over the past couple of years.

    The final round in two weeks gives Oslo West the chance to hone their skills and put plans into action whilst Oslo East, last year’s winners, and Ås Battlers fight it out to be the other finalist. It will make for a fascinating final round, especially given the both East and Ås will be keen to win both of their matches to secure a finals berth and putting huge pressure on West to keep performing well.

    The season started well in Round One for B Ås Battlers. In the three team “round-robin” style format they won both matches on the day to hold top position. West defeated East to have one win and consign East to last place. But East reversed the roles in Round Two, defeating both opponents whilst Ås Battlers lost both. By the end of Round Two all teams were locked together with two wins apiece for the season, Ås Battlers narrowly holding top spot on percentage.

    Round Three saw the West team make their break, edging ahead of the field with two wins. East defeated Ås Battlers to leap into second place and keep the battle for that spot interesting going in to the fourth round.

    By Round Four the all-powerful Oslo West team had snared two more wins to sit comfortably at the top of the table, secure in the knowledge that they could not lose top spot. But this time Ås Battlers defeated Oslo East to lock the teams together again on three wins apiece and ensuring that their Round Five result would decide the opponent for West in the Grand Final.

    The final round of the Kenguru Cup season will be played in Ekeburg, Oslo on 21st August followed by the Grand Final on 4th September at a venue to be decided.

    Of note this season has been the playing of at least one woman per team across the competition in a positive move to further grow women’s competition across the Norwegian competition. Whilst it might be some time before a regular women’s competition get off the ground, the chance for women to play at the existing level is an excellent springboard.

    As well as the finale to the Kenguru Cup over coming weeks, the national footy scene in Norway is about to heat up with a national team looking to Umag, Croatia, for the Axios Euro Cup in October following by a trip to Portugal for the annual Algarve AFL 9’s tournament at Vilamoura.

    Kenguru Cup: Round 4 Results

    Oslo West 31 d Oslo East
    Ås Battlers 48 d Oslo East 40
    Oslo West 34 d Ås Battlers ...

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    Hawthorn announced yesterday the New Zealander Kurt Heatherley had been re-signed to a contract extension. There was some speculation that other clubs might seek the services of the key position defender but the new deal will see him stay at Hawthorn.
     
    Yet to debut in the AFL Heatherley has been playing well for Hawthorn’s VFL affiliate Box Hill at Full Back and in recent weeks at Centre Half Back. His confident marking of the ball and ferocious attack at the contest are his greatest strengths. 
     
    But for the quality and depth of Hawthorn’s defence that has been one of the best in the league the past two years Heatherley may have already stepped up to the AFL. So for now he bides his time honing his skills alongside those AFL players on the training track and coming up against AFL quality forwards in the VFL.
     
    Heatherley still looks likely to be the first internationally developed player to play Australian rules in their own country, to go through the development pathway there and ultimately make it to play in the AFL.
     
    His team mate and countryman Shem Tatupu has also has been impressing at VFL level in the past six weeks playing up forward and regularly kicking goals. Probably at least a year behind Heatherley in his footy learning he would be hoping the Hawks see a future for both of them at the club.

    For more see - http://aflnz.co.nz/blog/2015/08/10/heatherley-re-signs-with-the-hawks/ ...


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    The AFL recently announced a number of changes to the organisation's management structure. While these moves may appear to be a long way removed from how footy around the world fits into the AFL jigsaw puzzle, the individuals at the top, their priorities and how their attitude to international  footy develops is key to the future. We will have more to come on this in a follow up article.

    AFL Statement follows:

    Former General Manager of Broadcasting Simon Lethlean has been appointed as General Manager of Game Development and will oversee community football. This portfolio will also include Customer, Diversity, Female Football and International.

    Current Head of Corporate Affairs Elizabeth Lukin has been appointed to the AFL Executive as General Manager Corporate Affairs & Communications.


    Current Head of Diversity Jason Mifsud has been appointed into a new role as Senior Advisor - Indigenous & Multicultural Affairs and will work closely with the AFL Executive, AFL Commission and Indigenous Advisory Council  to lead the execution of the Indigenous and Multicultural strategies for our industry. He will report to Assistant to the CEO Tony Peek.

    Dorothy Hisgrove has agreed to continue to advise the AFL on key strategic matters including the design and implementation of the AFL’s Industry Executive Development program that was presented to, and strongly endorsed by, the 18 Club CEOs this week.

    Head of HR Sarah Fair will report to General Manager Clubs & AFL Operations Travis Auld on a day-to-day basis and also regularly attend AFL Executive meetings. 

    Travis Auld will also take responsibility for Broadcast Operations and Scheduling.

    Simon Clarke has been promoted to Deputy General Counsel, taking on broader legal responsibility including Broadcast contract management.

    The Brand and Market Insights team, led by Julian Dunne, will now operate under Darren Birch in Commercial Operations to promote greater alignment between commercial activities and marketing.

    AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan said the changes were the culmination of many months of work.

    “Much thought and planning has gone into realigning our structure and these changes will allow our organisation to deliver on a clear set of priorities for our industry.”
    ...


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    Friday night footy at the SCG kicks off Round 20 with Sydney hosting Collingwood. 

    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 Syd v Coll Ess v Adel NM v StK Pt Adel v GWS Geel v Haw Bris v Carl Rich v GCS WB v Melb Freo v WCE Highlights
    Australia Plus Asia 14/8 @ 17:30 HK (Live) 15/8 @ 11:30 HK (Live) - 15/8 @ 14:30 HK (Live) 15/8 @ 17:30 HK (Live) - 16/8 @ 11:00 HK (Live) - 16/8 @ 14:30 HK (Live) 19/8 @ 02:00 HK
    Australia Plus Pacific 14/8 @ 21:30 Fiji (Live) 15/8 @ 15:30 Fiji (Live) - 15/8 @ 18:30 Fiji (Live) 15/8 @ 21:30 Fiji (Live) - 16/8 @ 15:00 Fiji (Live) - 16/8 @ 18:30 Fiji (Live) 19/8 @ 06:00 Fiji
    Australia Plus India 14/8 @ 15:00 IND (Live) 15/8 @ 09:00 IND (Live) - 15/8 @ 12:00 IND (Live) 15/8 @ 15:00 IND (Live) - 16/8 @ 08:30 IND (Live) - 16/8 @ 12:00 IND (Live) 18/8 @ 23:30 IND
    ESPN BT Sport UK & Ireland 14/8 @ 10:30 BST (Live) 15/8 @ 04:30 BST (Live) - - 15/8 @ 10:00 BST (Live) - 16/8 @ 04:30 BST (Live) - 16/8 @ 07:30 BST (Live) 18/8 @ 20:00 BST
    ESPN Caribbean - - - - 15/8 @ 05:00 EST (Live) - - - - 19/8 @ 01:00 EST
    EUROSPORT2 Europe - - - 15/8 @ 06:30 GMT (Live) --- - - - - -
    EUROSPORT2 UK & Ireland - - - 16/8 @24:00 CET (Delay) - - - - - 20/8 @ 00:30 CET
    EUROSPORT2 Asia - - - 15/8 @ 14:30 CET (Live) - - - - - -
    FOX SPORTS USA - - - - - - - - 16/8 @ 02:30 ET (Live) -
    FOX SOCCER PLUS USA 14/8 @ 05:30 ET (Live) - - - 15/8 @ 05:00 ET (Live) - - 16/8 @ 01:00 ET (LIVE) - 17/8 @ 16:00 ET
    ORBIT SHOWTIME Middle East 14/8 @ 09:50 GMT (Live) 15/8 @ 03:45 GMT (Live) - - 15/8 @ 09:20 GMT (Live) - - - 16/8 @ 06:40 GMT (Live) -
    OTLSM Worldwide (Boats & Cruises) 15/8 @ 09:50 GMT (Live) - - - - - - - - -
    RDS Quebec - - - - - - - - 18/8 @ 23:30 EST (Delay) -
    RDS2 Quebec - - - - - - - - 19/8 @ 10:30 EST (Delay) -
    SKY SPORTS New Zealand - - - - - - 17/8 @ 24:00 (Delay) - - -
    SUPER SPORT Africa - - - - - - - - - -
    TSN2 Canada 14/8 @ 05:30 EST (Live) - - - - - - - 17/8 @ 00:30 EST (Delay) -
    CLARO SPORTS Latin America 15/8 @ 08:30 CTU (Delay) - - - - - - - - -
    WATCHAFL.COM.AU Worldwide (excl. Australia) 14/8 @ 09:50 GMT (Live) 15/8 @ 03:45 GMT (Live) 15/8 @ 04:10 GMT (Live) 15/8 @ 6:35 GMT (Live) 15/8 @ 09:20 GMT (Live) 15/8 @ 09:20 GMT (Live) 16/8 @ 03:10 GMT (Live) 16/8 @ 05:20 GMT (Live) 16/8 @ 06:40 GMT (Live)  

    The broadcast schedule is published here in good faith from schedules provided by the AFL.  All schedules may be subject to change. ...


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    Looking at the internationals in the VFL this week the headline act was the ruck clash between Americans Mason Cox the International Rookie and Alex Aurricchio who went through the same combine as Cox but did not get picked up by an AFL club. The match was played as the curtain raiser to the AFL clash between Collingwood and Carlton at the MCG.
     
    Cox not only with the advantage of the full time resources of the Collingwood Football Club and the Lexus Centre (see the Youtube clip below) but with an extra 13cm or so in height was the winner on the day with the Magpies home by 68 points. Aurrichio who is in Australia largely under his own steam and not at an AFL club had seven disposals, 8 tackles and 18 hitouts. Cox finished with 2 goals 1 behind, 11 disposals, 4 marks, 2 tackles and 21 hitouts.
     
    Eric Wallace (USA) continued his run of form (with similar stats to Mason Cox) 2 goals, 12 disposals, 4 marks, 2 tackles and 26 hitouts for Werribee as they defeated Essendon by 28 points. Conor McKenna (Ire) finished with one goal and four disposals for the Bombers.
     

    Jason Holmes (USA) was on the winners list too with the Zebras winning 120-87 against the Boroughs. Holmes racked up 32 hitouts for the day along with 4 disposals and 5 tackles.

    Box Hill looked to secure top spot in the VFL with a 79 point win over Casey. Kurt Heatherley (NZ) who this week signed a contract extension with Hawthorn had 14 disposals, 7 marks and 1 tackle in defence and Shem Tatupu (NZ) failed to goal this week up forward kicking just the one behind and having 9 disposals and 4 hitouts.  See more on Kurt here at Hawks TV.
     
    Development League
    Joe Baker-Thomas(NZ) returned to the Sandringham Development League team as they ran out 51 point winners over Port Melbourne.
     

    Box Hill 18.15 (123)  Casey  7.7 (49)
    Frankston 10.7 (67)  Coburg  11.9 (75)
    Sandringham 19.6 (120)  Port Melbourne  12.15 (87)
    Williamstown 8.14 (62)  Footscray  10.13 (73)
    North Ballarat 11.10 (76)  Geelong Cats  4.5 (29)
    Essendon 11.9 (75)  Werribee  15.13 (103)
    Collingwood Magpies 21.10 (136)  Northern Blues  10.8 (68)
    ...

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    In a “massively successful game yesterday for all involved” the Merseyside Saints in Liverpool took to the field for the first time in a match against the Wolverhampton Wolverines last weekend. The match was played at the Saints’ home ground at the Wirrell Rugby Club, south of the city of Liverpool across the River Mersey.

    The match was a great opportunity for the Wolverhampton team to enjoy an end of season trip to Liverpool and have another competitive hitout – one that marks a new chapter in AFLCNE history. The match was a comprehensive margin in favour of the Wolverines, but the Merseyside Saints stated that “stuff like this [the match] will ensure our club survives and grows.”

    Final Scores:
    Merseyside Saints 10 13 73
    Wolverhampton Wolverines 23 21 159


    On such an historic day for the Saints, the inaugural best player and goal kicking list recorded:
    Goals - Jack Smith 3 goals, Josh Connolly 2 goals, Tom Turner 2 goals, Matthew Ringer 2 goals, James Mckenzie 1 goal.
    Best on ground - Josh Connolly.

    Some players may get a chance to play in this year’s Brit Cup at Huddersfield this weekend, but the team will now prepare for their likely first tournament, setting their sights on the Movember Cup later this year.

    But for the moment the club can finally claim to be a competitive reality and the players that took the field against the Wolverines can enjoy the fact that they are now part of the history of a new, and hopefully one day powerful, Australian Rules football club.

    For more information on the origins and development of the Merseyside Saints club and the part they will one day potentially play in the AFLCNE, read the following World Footy News article titled Merseyside Saints Continue Liverpool Legend



    Left: The inaugural Merseyside Saints footy ...

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    Now that most of the national Australian Rules football competitions across England have wound down, the Brit Cup fires up with the Huddersfield Rams hosting the event this weekend. Hosted last year by fellow AFLCNE team, the Tyne Tees Tigers, the event pits teams from across England in battle.

    As once described by AFL England’s website, the Brit Cup is “an annual tournament which only the British players from the UK clubs can compete in…the event has been held in a number of venues around the country and is a great chance for the regional clubs to level the playing field against their Aussie-rich London counterparts.”

    According to the AFL England website, “AFL England is delighted to announce that the Huddersfield Rams will be hosting the 2015 Brit Cup at the Huddersfield YMCA.”


    “The annual competition will be held on Saturday 15th August. Clubs from all across the UK are invited to attend the one-day competition with both Men’s and Ladies divisions expected. Only British players are eligible for the tournament, which is played in a 9 or 12 a-side format.”

    So far the teams for the men’s draw include the hosts, Huddersfield Rams, as well as the combined AFLCNE All Stars team. Travelling north for the event are the Southern Barbarians (comprised largely of southern England teams) and the team from London. The women’s teams include the England & Scotland representitives team and the Kookaburras.

    Last year the event was hosted by the Tyne Tees Tigers at their North Shields home ground in Newcastle Upon Tyne. It was won by the Nottingham Scorpions which also won back in 2011.

    Past winners of the Brit Cup (and the host city) are:

    2014 – Nottingham Scorpions – North Shields (Tyne Tees Tigers)
    2013 - Midlands Sharks (Bears, Wolverines, University of Birmingham) – Birmingham
    2012 – WARFL Red Devils – Reading
    2011 – Nottingham Scorpions – Manton Colliery, Worksop (near Sheffield)
    2010 – West London Wildcats – Southampton
    2009 – West London Wildcats – Reading
    2008 – West London Wildcats – Motspur Park, London
    2007 – West London Wildcats – Barnes, West London
    2006 – West London Wildcats – Reading
    2005 – Wandsworth Demons – Nottingham
    2004 – West London Wildcats – Bristol
    2003 – West London Wildcats
    2002 – West London Wildcats – Crawley RFC, Sussex
    2001 – Wandsworth Demons – Downhills Park, London ...

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    The 2015 ARFLI competition moves into its final round of matches before the finals series this weekend. Whilst the Belfast Redbacks have enjoyed a terrific season, undefeated after seven rounds, it is the battle for other finals places which holds greatest interest.

    Currently, the Leeside Lions, South Dublin Swans and Galway Magpies are locked in a three way fight for second place and this final round will see all of those teams in action in a fight to the finish.

    Fighting for a home semi-final berth on August 22nd, the Swans must take on the powerhouse Redbacks. A very tough task, especially as it is a road trip to Belfast’s home ground. But the other game sees the Galway Magpies hosting the Leeside Lions with the winner likely to take second place and the home semi-final should the Swans lose to the Redbacks.



    It makes for an exciting finish with a number of permutations possible. In a year which saw the Dublin Demons go into a self-imposed hiatus and the North Leinster Giants struggle to field a team on a match by match basis, it is almost remarkable that the remaining teams have been so evenly matched in ladder positions.

    Whatever the results this weekend, however, the big prize is the premiership and to date the Belfast Redbacks have exerted a dominance over all other teams and it is difficult to see that changing. But footy is a funny game and grand finals come down to the best team on the day, so all likely finals-bound teams must still believe they have a show.

    For the Redbacks, a chance to go back to back after winning the 2014 premiership would be a mighty challenge, and a mighty reward for the most powerful team of recent years. They also won the premiership in 2012, so victory this year would see three flags in four years. They were runners-up to the South Dublin Swans in 2013.

    The 2015 ARFLI Grand-Final will be played on August 29t ...

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    For the past 10 years, World Footy News has collated an extensive list of Grand Final Parties around the world to help viewers find them. And with the 2015 AFL Grand Final being just 50 days away we are calling for clubs around the world to send details of your party to us, so that fans of the game in your country/city can watch the big game with you.

    You can either post details as a comment below (you must register before you are able to post a comment or login via Facebook) or email troy@worldfootynews.com - all these details will be collated as per previous years.

     Many of these events are major fundraisers for footy clubs around the world, so get along to watch a great game of footy and help them out.

    Events will be added here as they are sent to us.

    World Footy News publishes these listings in good faith.  We take no responsibility for any changes or cancellations.  The game may be on Friday night in your part of the world or in some cases may be a delayed or replayed telecast.  Please try to contact the hosts prior to the event to confirm details.  Also many of these events sell out due to capacity ahead of time so again please try to check ahead. 

     

     

     

     

      ...


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    The AFL Women's match from Etihad Stadium starting in just under an hour between Western Bulldogs and Melbourne will not be streamed on WatchAFL streaming services. The AFL has advised that you need to do the following to view the stream outside Australia

    "The only option would be to download the free AFL app and watch it through the ‘News’ section." ...


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    The 2015 edition of the 49th Parallel Cup between Canada and the United States was played on the weekend of 31/7/15 and 1/8/15 with both men's and women's matches played out. There was mixed success for the US with the Revolution triumphant over Canada's Northwind in the men's match and the Northern Lights defeating the Freedom in the Women's match, continuing the trend between these four sides.

    These were the first full field internationals since the International Cup last year, with this post-IC year continuing the tradition of not seeing much international vs international footy action. The only change in our men's World Rankings was the United States swapped places with Canada moving from 8th to 7th. For the women there was no change.

     

    World Footy News Australian Football World Rankings

    (as at end of 1st August 2015)

     

    Rank Team Points Games Rank Change
    1 Australia -   steady
    2 Papua New Guinea 57.66 34 steady
    3 Ireland 56.68 49 steady
    4 New Zealand 55.09 38 steady
    5 Nauru 53.30 27 steady
    6 South Africa 49.63 27 steady
    7 United States 47.61 43 +1
    8 Canada 46.69 43 -1
    9 Great Britain 44.69 54 steady
    10 Denmark 43.67 47 steady
    11 Tonga 41.93 14 steady
    12 Croatia 40.35 8 steady
    13 Fiji 40.18 14 steady
    14 France 39.09 13 steady
    15 Sweden 38.53 35 steady
    16 Japan 37.17 29 steady
    17 Peace Team 36.46 11 steady
    18 Germany 34.09 16 steady
    19 China 28.84 16 steady
    20 Finland 27.45 18 steady
    21 India 23.01 16 steady
    Dorm. Samoa 41.85 18 **
    Dorm. Iceland 35.64 4 **
    Prov. Indonesia 32.66 5 *
    Prov. Pakistan 32.35 5 *
    Prov. Timor-Leste 27.40 6 *

    * Nations marked in grey with an asterisk have played less than eight (8) matches under our criteria, and currently hold provisional ranking points, but are not yet officially ranked.
    ** Countries that have not played a qualifying full field match for 4 years are considered dormant and after 8 years fall off our list altogether. Samoa must play by 05/09/2016 to stay on the list. Last year Spain fell off the list based on this criteria.



    Not as many women's internationals have been played as yet but we're keeping track and our rankings so far are:

    World Footy News Women's Australian Football World Rankings

    (as at end of 1st August 2015)

     

    Rank        Team Points Games Rank Change
    1 Australia - steady
    2 Canada 53.38 14 steady
    3 United States 47.08 14 steady
    4 Ireland 46.81 10 steady
    Prov. Canada B 41.00 6 *
    Prov. Fiji 40.50 5 *
    Prov. Papua New Guinea 33.51 5 *
    Prov. AIM 33.29 4 *
    Prov. Tonga 32.50 5 *
    Prov. USA B 31.93 5 *

    AIM = Australian Indigenous & Multicultural. ...


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    The AFL last night announced it had completed the broadcast rights deal for the period 2017-2022. The deal for Australian free to air, Pay TV and digital media rights will provide the clubs and players of the AFL with financial surety for that period and also allow the AFL to divide up the remaining cash to run the competition and fund development.

    The following statements from CEO Gillon McLachlan and AFL Commission Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick outline the deals.  Any mention of international footy or fans outside Australia is notably absent which is somewhat understandable given this deal is all about domestic broadcasting.  It is still disappointing though that in the statements relating to the current state of the game and future growth that there is no mention of the game outside Australian shores.  The details of any carve up of cash and what proportion may go into international development will come down the track but given the omission in the following statements it would seem to be currently far from front of mind for the CEO or the Commission.  Having said that it was not mentioned during the previous deal announcement either

    Mike Fitzpatrick, Tuesday August 18
     
    Thank you all for coming
     
    I would like to introduce everyone here at the table.
     
    From Network Seven:
     
    o   Kerry Stokes, Executive Chairman of Seven Group Holdings and Executive Chairman of Seven Network
     
    o   Ryan Stokes, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Seven Group Holdings.
     
    o   Tim Worner, Chief Executive Officer, Seven West Media
     
    Executive Chairman of News Corporation and 21st Century Fox, Rupert Murdoch, and Chief Executive, News Corporation Robert Thompson. 
     
    From Telstra, Chief Executive Officer, Andy Penn and Joe Pollard, Group Managing Director, Media and Marketing.        
     
    As Chairman of the AFL, and on behalf of our clubs and supporters, I thank you, our media partners for being here, and for your commitment to our game.
     
    I speak on behalf of the industry in saying we know this will be a great partnership.
     
    Before I hand over to Gillon McLachlan to outline the detail of the announcement, I want to congratulate him and his team for negotiating this historic agreement which I believe delivers our game the security and resources it needs to remain Australia’s number one sport into the future.
     
    I also want to thank the Media sub-committee of the Commission – thanks to Kim Williams and Paul Bassett, experienced executives who have assisted in guiding the AFL through this process. 
     
    The AFL understands the challenges ahead for our sport in a rapidly changing and increasingly globalized environment.
     
    We don’t take success for granted, and we have always endeavoured to look ahead and make hard decisions for the long-term future of the game.
     
    The last ten years have been about expansion and investment in the AFL competition. Over that period, we added two new teams and invested in stadiums and infrastructure at the elite and community level around Australia.
     
    Senior AFL football is now played in every state and territory.
     
    Our challenge over the next decade is to make the right investments to grow our reach into every state, region, town and community. Last year we had an average of 32,000 at our Toyota AFL premiership games , we had over 1 million participants, and we have over 13,000 teams in 267 leagues across Australia, and we had nearly 200,000 women participating in the game.
     
    These are the figures and numbers we need to protect and grow.
     
    We need to continue to be the first choice for our elite and talented athletes, we need to strengthen our clubs at all levels, and we need to invest in the community level of our game.
     
    This agreement with News Corporation, the Seven Network and Telstra will allow us to make the right investment to keep our game strong.
     
    I am now going to ask Gillon McLachlan to outline the details of the agreement, and again I want to congratulate the team on this great outcome for our game.
     
    STATEMENT BY GILLON McLACHLAN
     
    It is a great day for our game, the game that so many Australians love and care about.
     
    I said when I became CEO that it is my job to deliver for four masters - supporters, clubs, players and community.
     
    I am really delighted that this agreement delivers for those four pillars of our game:
    •For our supporters – we are delivering maximum reach and maximum exposure, and we the AFL remain in charge and in control of our fixture.
    •For our clubs and players – we are delivering financial security to allow future growth and certainty.
    •And for the community – this agreement will allow us to focus resources to the foundations of our game – to ensure they stay strong, and grow into new areas, into new communities, to create new generations of supporters, members, players and volunteers. .
     
    The AFL’s challenge is to stay Australia’s game.
     
    And this new agreement for the next 6 years gives our game a chance to invest in the future.
     
    I am going to take a bit of time to outline the key elements here:
    ·         This is a 6 year agreement from 2017 to the end of the 2022 season.
    ·         The AFL continues to have full control of the production of the fixture, including the scheduling of the Grand Final.
    ·         The AFL Season will continue to be a 22-match season for each of our clubs, with a standard round of 9 matches.
    ·         Outside of Thursday night matches, and public holiday schedules and bye/split rounds, the competition will have:
    •1 Friday night game
    •2 Saturday afternoon games
    •1 Saturday twilight game
    •2 Saturday night games
    •2 Sunday afternoon games
    •1 Sunday twilight game
     
    ·         The AFL’s agreement with our partners will cover:
    o   The Seven Network for free to air
    o   News Limited for Subscription Television across Foxtel and the Fox Footy Channel
    o   Telstra for the Live AFL App, afl.com.au, club digital network and IP TV.
    ·         The agreement covers 6 seasons from Season 2017 – 2022, and will deliver the AFL a financial return of $2.508 Billion.
    Free to Air –Seven Network will be our partner
    Thanks to Kerry Stokes and Ryan Stokes and the Seven Network for your continued support of our game. Seven and Kerry Stokes have been an extraordinary partner for the AFL for decades and I thank him for their continued support.
     
    ·         Seven Network holds the Free to Air rights, and includes:
    o   The Toyota AFL Grand Final exclusively live in every state and territory.
    o   The Brownlow Medal count exclusively live in every state and territory.
    o   All matches in the Toyota AFL Finals Series live in every state and territory.
     
    ·         During our Toyota AFL premiership season, the Seven Network will broadcast:
    o   Each Friday night match live in every state and territory.
    o   One Saturday night match live in every state and territory.
    o   One Sunday afternoon match in the 3.20pm Eastern Time zone slot live in every state and territory.
    o   In addition, the Seven Network will telecast a further 11 games live across the season that are played on public holidays, the eve of public holidays such as Anzac Day / Easter Thursday and between 5-6 Thursday night games.
    o   In effect, across an average two normal rounds of 18 matches in our regular season, the Seven Network will broadcast seven games, equating to 3.5 matches per round across the season.
     
    ·         NSW/QLD: 
     
    o   All of the matches for the NSW/QLD teams – the Gold Coast Suns, the Brisbane Lions, the Sydney Swans and the GWS Giants – will continue to be shown LIVE on free to air television.
    o   As our game develops across the country, this support from the Seven Network is pivotal for us.
     
    o   In Western Australia and South Australia – where the Adelaide Crows, Port Adelaide, West Coast Eagles and Fremantle dominate the sporting landscape, matches will be shown on free to air television, but three matches for each team in the premiership season will be broadcast on a delayed basis.
     
    Subscription/Pay TV – Rights have been acquired by News Corporation. 
     
    Thanks to Rupert Murdoch and Robert Thompson on behalf of News Corporation. Mr. Murdoch is a legend of world media and I want to thank him for his personal support in this agreement. 
     
    •All nine games each week - every game of every round during the premiership season, to be broadcast live;
    •Across an average of two normal rounds of 18 matches in our regular season, Foxtel and the Fox Footy Channel will produce the broadcast for 11 matches, equating to 5.5 matches per round, while broadcasting the other matches live.
    •News Corporation has the right to sub licence one game per round each weekend, which would be played in the Saturday Eastern time zone slot of 3.20pm, to a free to air provider, if it wishes to do so.
    •With the exception of the Toyota AFL Grand Final, all other matches in the Toyota AFL Finals Series will be broadcast live.
    •In Western Australia and South Australia, Foxtel and the Fox Footy Channel will exclusively broadcast live three premiership season matches for each of the teams based in those states – West Coast, Fremantle, the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide – with those matches to be replayed on delay on free to air television.
     
    Digital Rights – Telstra will again be our partner.
     
    I want to thank Andy Penn and Gordon Ballantyne from Telstra. Our relationship with Telstra has delivered Australia’s number one digital sports property and we are very pleased to be continuing that relationship. Simply, they have been a great partner and I want to thank Andy for his faith.
     
    •Telstra will again hold the AFL rights for all hand-held mobile devices, the AFL website – afl.com.au – which is the most-visited sporting website in Australia, the club digital network and IP television.
    •Telstra will deliver every game, every week, live, in the palm of your hand, no matter where you are in this country.
     
    Finally I want to thank my team. I won’t thank them individually, but they have made an extraordinary effort over the last few days.
    ...

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    The following is a media release from the AFL Diversity Unit highlighting the recognition of the Multicultural programs both at a football and wider community level. Being involved first hand there is an enormous amount of work involved and this award recognises the efforts of many people to grow the game for a healthy and diverse future.

    The AFL is pleased to announce the AFL Multicultural Program has been awarded the Virgin Australia Sports Leadership Award at the 2015 Australian Migration and Settlement Awards in Canberra yesterday.

    Hosted by the Migration Council Australia (MCA), the awards recognise the contribution of organisations and individuals in supporting migrants settle in Australia.


    Established in 2005, the AFL Multicultural Program introduces multicultural communities to Australian Football through a number of programs focusing on community engagement, leadership opportunities, personal development, community strengthening, and talent identification.

    Jason Mifsud, AFL Senior Adviser - Indigenous and Multicultural Affairs, said the AFL was humbled and proud to be recognised by the MCA.

    “The AFL has a unique leadership role in the community with the capacity to influence social attitudes, add significant value to community development programs, and lead proactive change to produce greater social cohesion,” Mr Mifsud said.

    “We are strong in the belief that football is a powerful vehicle for community strengthening and inclusion within the Australian community."

    MCA Chief Executive Officer Carla Wilshire said diversity is a virtue for multicultural Australia and all finalists demonstrate how welcome and support can bring out the best of migrants living in Australia.
    “Individuals and organisations like these selected as finalists in the Australian and Migration Settlement Awards show how important the value of support is to newly arrived migrants,” Ms Wilshire said.
    Some highlights of the AFL Multicultural Program over the past decade include:

    • 10 Australian Citizenship ceremonies conducted in partnership with AFL Clubs
    • 227 multicultural community ambassadors from over 70 nationalities and 150 language groups
    • Over 25,000 people visited a AFL game through the program
    • Establishment of 15 new Multicultural AFL Auskick centres with over 1250 participants
    • Free Multicultural Schools Programs in 220 schools reaching over 22,000 students
    • 850 students involved in the annual Multicultural Schools Cup
    • 150 participants and over 25 nationalities represented at the annual All Nations Cup.
    • 30 Islamic schools represented in the Bachar Houli Cup
    ...

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  • 08/18/15--20:21: Rams Secure Brit Cup Victory

  • The 2015 Brit Cup was held last weekend at Huddersfield, with the local Rams team hosting the event for the first time. In an event that was dominated for many years by London based clubs (West London Wildcats and Wandsworth Demons) the event has now see a shift in focus to the Central and Northern England region with the Rams making it four or the last five victors being AFLCNE clubs.

    The Huddersfield Rams 2015 victory follows on from the Nottingham Scorpions wins in 2011 and 2014 and a combined Wolverhampton/Birmingham/University of Birmingham team in 2013.

    In a statement from the Huddersfield Rams, “Rams won the [Brit Cup] competition. After some very good games played the Huddersfield Rams emerged victorious not losing a game all day, showing that they are the best all-British team in the country. In the Women's competition the Irish Kookaburras [defeated] an England/Scotland All-Stars team.”


    “The event also welcomed the new CEO of AFL Europe [Megan Hession] who came to sample the Yorkshire atmosphere.”

    Full details of the event matches were not available at the time of writing, but World Footy News will endeavour to get a more detailed report added to this story in the very near future.

    But for now the Huddersfield Rams can be proud of their efforts to take out this competition and flying the flag for Australian Rules football in Great Britain for another yea ...

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    Following on from yesterday’s lucrative broadcast deals for the AFL, Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan announced at the National Press Club in Canberra a potential scheme to help develop and grow the game of Australian Rules football further. By looking towards a more focused development of multicultural and indigenous communities, McLachlan can visualise an idea where all existing AFL clubs buy into a “zoning” program to develop their own markets.

     

    Similar in some ways to the zoning of Victoria in days gone by, just on a national scale, the idea certainly may have ramifications for the further tapping of indigenous talent across the country. It may also be a huge step towards the genuine development of player talent across a spread of multicultural communities nationwide which might see greater numbers of players from all over the world embrace the game. What might start small may one day grow into an enormous pool of future talent.

     

     

    The following article is from the ABC News website and details McLachlan’s vision which, if funding and his own drive have anything to do with it, may take off in some form in the very near future.

     

    AFL boss Gillon McLachlan says game will grow by targetting multicultural and indigenous communities

     

    AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan has made a bold pitch to strengthen the game's place as Australia's number one sport by targeting the next generation of talent within multicultural and indigenous communities.

     

    Armed with a $2.5 billion war chest from a newly signed broadcast deal, McLachlan has unveiled how he wants to achieve it.

     

    Addressing the National Press Club in Canberra a day after signing the richest broadcast deal in the history of Australian sport, McLachlan said "radical" proposals - including a new zoning system supported by new funds - are currently before clubs to deepen the code's place as the number one sport in the country.

     

    "Australia is changing and if we want to continue to be Australia's game, we need to change too," he said.

     

    "While we can be proud of our history ... it doesn't mean we own the future."

     

    In the seat of Australia's parliament, McLachlan likened the struggle for sporting talent and support to that of a fiercely-fought marginal seats political campaign.

     

    With over $300 million invested in AFL clubs and training facilities, and thousands of people working within the AFL system, McLachlan said the sport needed to win over non-traditional AFL fans and talent.

     

    "We have a machine and we need to pivot and focus on new and emerging communities," he said.

     

    "After a positive discussion with the (AFL) commission, the AFL has also received support from our club CEOs to examine a new zoning system where a region is assigned to each club and the clubs are empowered and funded to develop talent and recruit in indigenous or multicultural communities.

     

    "It would mean carving up areas in our suburbs, inner and outer, (and) regional communities, for clubs to grow their talent base and ultimately their support base.

     

    "The talent developed in those zones will be available to clubs through a priority draft bidding system."

    McLachlan said potential young players needed "heroes" they could relate to and looked like them.

     

    "Our game needs to be able to tell stories that all Australians can recognise, men and women, kids and families have arrived here from Sudan, from China, from India, from wherever," he said.

    "It must be their story too."

     

    In a reflective address, with many politicians and power-brokers in the room, McLachlan paid tribute to the contribution of indigenous Australia to the sport.

     

    "We created a place where indigenous Australia can be accepted, not just by mimicking white Australia but by bringing something unique that enriches our game as a whole," he said.

     

    "This is still a work in progress but it's profitable to look back and see how far we've come."

     

     

    On Tuesday, the AFL signed a six-year $2.508 billion broadcast deal with Channel Seven, News Corp and Telstra. ...


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