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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    The second week of the 2015 Finals series kicks off in Melbourne Friday night with Hawthorn hosting the Adelaide Crows in the Second Semi Final at the MCG.  Saturday night in Sydney the Swans host North Melbourne at Homebush Stadium. 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 

    The broadcast schedule for this Finals Week 2 can be seen below.  .


    Network Region Hawthorn vs Adelaide Sydney vs North Melbourne Highlights
    Australia Plus Asia 18/9 @ 17:30 HK (Live) 19/9 @ 17:00 HK (Live) 23/9 @ 02:00 HK
    Australia Plus Pacific 18/9 @ 21:30 Fiji (Live) 19/9 @ 21:00 Fiji (Live) 23/9 @ 06:00 Fiji
    Australia Plus India 18/9 @ 15:00 IND (Live) 19/9 @ 14:30 IND (Live) 22/9 @ 23:30 IND
    ESPN BT Sport UK & Ireland 18/9 @ 10:30 BST (Live) 19/9 @ 10:00 BST (Live) 22/9 @ 14:00 BST
    ESPN Caribbean 18/9 @ 05:30 EST (Live) 19/9 @ 05:00 EST (Live) 23/9 @ 13:45 EST
    EUROSPORT2 Europe 18/9 @ 11:45 CET (Live) 19/9 @ 11:15 CET (Live) -
    EUROSPORT2 UK & Ireland 22/9 @ 22:30 BST (Delay) - 22/9 @ 23:30 BST
    EUROSPORT2 Asia 18/9 @ 17:45 CET (Live) 19/9 @ 17:15 CET (Live) -
    FOX SPORTS USA 18/9 @ 05:30 ET (Live) 19/9 @ 05:00 ET (Live) -
    FOX SOCCER PLUS USA - - 21/9 @ 19:00 ET
    ORBIT SHOWTIME Middle East 18/9 @ 09:50 GMT (Live) 19/9 @ 09:20 GMT (Live) 21/9 @ 17:00 GMT
    OTLSM Worldwide (Boats & Cruises) 18/9 @ 09:50 GMT (Live) 19/9 @ 09:20 GMT (Live) -
    RDS Quebec - - -
    RDS2 Quebec - 22/9 @ 18:30 EST (Delay) -
    SKY SPORTS New Zealand - 21/9 @ 24:00 (Delay) -
    SUPER SPORT Africa 18/9 @ 09:50 GMT (Live) 19/9 @ 09:20 GMT (Live) -
    TSN2 Canada 18/9 @ 05:30 ET (Live) 19/9 @ 05:00 ET (Live) -
    TVNZ New Zealand 18/9 @ 21:30 NZST (Live) 19/9 @ 21:00 NZST (Live) -
    CLARO SPORTS Latin America 25/9 @ 13:00 CDT (Delay) 25/9 @ 16:30 CDT (Delay) -
    WATCHAFL.COM.AU Worldwide (excl. Australia) 18/9 @ 09:50 GMT (Live) 19/9 @ 09:20 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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    The Northern Territory’s own NEAFL team, the NT Thunder, qualified for this year’s Grand Final last weekend setting up a home event against the Aspley Hornets to decide the NEAFL premiership for 2015. Territorians have spent the week preparing TIO Stadium in Darwin ready for the match, aware that it will be a national showcase for the venue.

    The Thunder enjoyed a strong season, finishing second on the home and away ladder behind the UWS Giants. Last weekend they won their Preliminary Final against Sydney University by 70 points to reach the big day. This will be the third time in a Grand Final for the Thunder after having won the inaugural NEAFL flag in 2011 by defeating Brisbane club Morningside, then being beaten in the 2012 final by the Brisbane Lions.

    Their opponent, the Aspley Hornets, have been perennial finalists also. Last year they won the flag by defeating the Sydney Swans by just two points. In 2013 they went down to the Brisbane Lions. Both the Hornets and the Thunder have been regular finalists since 2011.

    For the NT Thunder it represents a great chance to play to their fans in Darwin in such a big game. When the team won the 2011 title, the game was played 1500 kilometres further south at TIO Traeger Park in Alice Springs. Whilst TIO Stadium and Darwin fans see plenty of the Thunder during the season, a Grand Final in the city will be momentous.

    The NT Thunder has always been a who’s who of both tremendous local talent from NTFL clubs and across the Northern Territory. It has also been a team littered with both past and present AFL players. Coached by former St Kilda and Brisbane Lions player, Xavier Clarke, tonight’s team will feature former AFL listed players including Liam Patrick (Gold Coast), Richard Tambling (Richmond/Adelaide), Jason Roe (Collingwood/Brisbane Lions) and Dom Barry (Melbourne) along with famous NT football names in Rioli. Motlop and Long.

    The Aspley Hornets are coached by former South Melbourne/Fistroy and St Kilda footballer, John Blair. Former Brisbane Lion, Cheynee Stiller is the Hornet’s captain and he has experiences beside him in former North Melbourne player, Eddie Sansbury.

    Other AFL listed players to have represented the NT Thunder are Jed Anderson (Hawthorn), nakia Cockatoo (Geelong), Alwyn Davey (Essendon), Nathan Djerrkura (Geelong/Western Bulldogs), Brett Goodes (Western Bulldogs), Steven May (Gold Coast), Andrew McLeod (Adelaide), Relton Roberts (Richmond), Zephaniah Skinner (Western Bulldogs), Troy Taylor (Richmond) and Austin Wonaeamirri (Melbourne).

    History says that the form line of these two teams in 2015, their successful NEAFL histories and their playing lists match them evenly. But a home Grand Final in Darwin for the NT Thunder might just be the advantage needed for a second NEAFL flag for the Thunder.

    In other Northern Territory footy news, Michael Solomon, former Head of Operations and Media Business at AFL Media, has been appointed the new CEO of the AFLNT, replacing former long-serving CEO, Tony Frawley.

    The new Northern Territory Football League 2015/16 season will kick off in Darwin on October 10th featuring the Grand Final replay between Wanderers and St Marys, the Tiwi Bombers taking on Waratah, Palmerston versus Buffaloes and Nightcliff clashing with Southern Districts.

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    The Toulouse Hawks have got their new season off to a positive start with victory in the French Cup (Coupe De France) over the weekend. After missing out on the 2014/15 season Grand Final earlier this year, the Hawks have reset their compass for the new season and this first up win is very handy for their preparation.

    The tournament was held in Toulouse and contested by six French teams: the Hawks, Bordeaux Bombers, AFLA Lions, Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes, Perpignan Tigers and a combined Paris Cockerels/Firesharks Montpellier team, bringing last year’s Grand Finalists together as one.

    Toulouse went through their four matches undefeated on the day in a resounding result and a pre-emptive message to the rest of the competition for the rest of the season. But they were not the only team to take great heart from the day. The fast-improving AFLA Lions from Lyon, unlucky to miss last year’s CNFA finals, won two of their matches on the day, as did the Perpignan Tigers who took a win from the day.

    Whilst the competition is a long way from the pressure of the championship season, it certainly presents an opportunity to prepare for the season and build confidence ahead of the upcoming matches.

    The French season gets underway on 17th October when the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes take on the Paris Cockerels and the Bordeaux Bombers host the Strasbourg Kangourous.


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    Back in the 1980’s the Australian cricket team announced a new face with “Taylor” appearing on the list and the world assuming it was the debut of future test captain, Mark Taylor. But everyone was shocked when it was in fact rank outsider, off-spinner Peter Taylor, named for his debut instead. A case of mistaken cricketers.

    In Denmark over the weekend the predicted victory of a Copenhagen team into the 2015 Grand Final occurred. In the upset of the season to date, however, it was the Copenhagen Giants that held on for a pulsating one point victory over raging hot favourites, the Copenhagen Barracudas. Like the analogy of the Taylors, the unexpected Copenhagen team is through to the big dance.

    The Barracudas started the game steadily, though aware of a big challenge being mounted by the Giants. Quarter time saw the favourites on track with a six point lead (15 to 9) and by half-time that lead has edged out to ten points (31-21). Many expected that from here the Barracudas would flex the muscle shown all year and pull away in the second half.

    But third quarters are not called the “premiership quarter” for nothing. Rather than go away, the Giants just kept on coming and caused just a ripple or two of anxiety in the Barracuda’s camp as they tied the game up by three-quarter time (Giants 6 5 41 to Barracudas 5 11 41). Maybe it was the errant kicking of the Barracudas that was the difference, but the Giants gained enormous belief that maybe, just maybe, they could win.

    The last quarter was a shootout in the classic style. In a game where a combined 11 goals had been kicked in three quarters, the last quarter saw each team kick six goals. As the final siren closed in the Giants knew they were now in a position to pull off an amazing upset…and they did.

    The final scores saw the Copenhagen Giants 12 8 80 outlast the Copenhagen Barracudas 11 13 79.

    The Giants now get to contest the 2015 Grand Final and will face the Aalborg Kangaroos which downed the Farum Cats in another tight finish. The Kangaroos skipped away to a match-winning four goal lead by three-quarter time but held off a determined fightback from the Cats to win 14 7 91 to 11 13 79.

    For the Giants the season has taken on fairy tale dimensions. After winning four of their first seven matches during the home and away season, they trailed off with three consecutive losses heading into the finals. They still managed to hold on to fourth place, and a finals berth, through a superior percentage to the Port Malmo Maulers. Yet, seemingly from nowhere they have toppled the top team and are in the Grand Final.

    The Aalborg Kangaroos will start clear favourites to take the DAFL flag, but need to be aware that the Giants are capable of big things and cannot be taken lightly. As the Copenhagen Barracudas learned, nothing can be taken for granted come finals time.

    The DAFL Grand Final will be played at Chang Boldklub, Aalborg on Saturday, September 26.

    As a footnote, Mark Taylor went on to a magnificent career as an Australian opening batsman and national captain after being the “other” Taylor in 1986. This might just be an omen for the “other” Copenhagen. Maybe this result is the catalyst to an even bigger future for the Copenhagen Giants ...

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    With the Södermalm Blues taking the chocolates in the SAFF Grand Final in Stockholm, Sweden, they broke a long-running losing streak on the big days and made their own history. The following article comes straight from the “newsdesk” of the Blues, basking in the glory of their premiership win.


    The following article by Rob “Haiku Bob” Scott from the Södermalm club, and the pictures, come courtesy of one very proud Swedish football club.



    Nothing lasts these days. Jobs, marriages, Prime Ministerships. Big on promises, short on delivery. About the only thing you could count on these days is Södermalm losing the Grand Final. They have lost the last four. Four years running. Four years is a long time in anything. Especially being Prime Minister.


    The Blues have won more games than anyone in the last four years but have nothing to show for it. Except pride. Except spirit. Except the monkey on their back! Sometimes truth needs harder evidence. Concrete evidence. Or silver. When the final siren sounded at the JCG this afternoon, and the drop-in scoreboard, screwed precariously to the cyclone fencing showed Söder 152 points up on the Solna Axemen, no discussion was necessary. The evidence was clear. In the shape of a Premiership cup.



    This was a belting. But if we only talk about the game, we’d be missing the point. This was not about Jason Neindorf’s 6 goal, Kingsley-Medal winning haul, or Johnny Briscoe’s 5 goal second half impersonation of Ted Hopkins, or Max Larsson’s Jim Stynes, or Johan Dahlberg’s “best game ever” (as Max Larsson just told me ) or Gaelan Doolan’s second-best-on-ground performance (so he tells me).


    It wasn’t about Marcus ‘Rappa’ Rappocio’s Scott Pendlebury-like gliding gallops from wing to wing and flank to flank, or forward pocket Chris ‘Tanka’ Tancredi’s contribution of a solitary behind – a mercurial snap from the boundary that clipped the post (so he tells me) – in a score of 167, only to be outscored by back-pocket Andrew Rundle.


    It wasn’t about 100-game legend Lars ‘Larry’ Hagberg’s quiet but relentless pursuit of the ball or Jonas ‘Hulk’ Holm’s bone-crushing tackles that could be heard from the sidelines (against the wind). The game wasn’t about Oscar Löfgren’s 4 kicks and Matthew Barton’s 6 in a desolate back-line, or Rob Njoku’s battered body finally getting through a whole game, or Kaj Karlsson’s bullocking and thumping kicks or Jonas Raninen’s pre-game prediction that they would win by 100 points.


    It wasn’t about Martin Winberg’s miss from point blank range. It wasn’t about Fergo going through the game unnoticed. And it wasn’t  about the magnificent umpiring (so he tells me) from retired Bromma Viking, Andrew Gillard. And it was definitely not about coach Daniel Jordan’s pre-match address and tactical nous, though he was Barrassi-like (so he tells me).


    Söder were brilliant. 25 goals to 2 in a grand final doesn’t need a unit of measurement for greatness. But today was about more than that. A club is more than the sum of its parts.


    Not taking the number of Premierships into account, Södermalm is the benchmark of the SAFF. They have more players, more members, more club events than any other. They have a chess club, a fishing club, a homebrewing club, a pool comp and a curling comp. In real terms, they are a social club that happens to play footy.  SAFF is a 9-a-side competition. 19 turned up to play in this year’s grand final. 3 less than last year. They keep turning up. They keep coming back. Today, they broke their grand final hoodoo and set a new record for the winning margin in a grand final. But it wasn’t about that.


    Final Scores: Södermalm 25.17.167 defeated Solna Axemen 2.3.15.




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    VFL Preliminary Finals at the weekend drew very solid crowds to North Port Oval.  On Saturday it was the Box Hill Hawks in front most of the day, Sandringham coming home with a wet sail to hit the front in the 11 minute mark of the last quarter.  But the Hawks were composed and went on to win by 7 points to clinch a Grand Final berth for the third year in a row.  Internationals featuring in this match were Jason Holmes (USA) for Sandringham and for Box Hill Hawks Kurt Heatherley (NZ) and Shem Tatupu (NZ).

    Holmes gave the Zebras good service in the ruck. The highlight of the day for him was in the third quarter when he he ran onto the ground, picked up the ball, and hit up Minchington who kicked truly to put Sandringham within a kick of Box Hill.  He finished with 24 hitouts, 1 kick, 1 mark and 2 tackles.


    Kurt Heatherley had a good game in defence and finished with 6 kicks, 4 handballs, 4 marks and 5 tackles.  He looked the experienced defender regularly cutting off Sandringham forays forward with marking and spoiling, rarely beaten.  He was commended by coach Marco Bello for his game. 

    At the other end Tatupu provided a good forward contest but kicked just one behind for the match along with one kick, three handballs , one mark and one tackle.  That performance won’t be enough to secure him a spot in the Grand Final but hopefully performances since joining the senior team this year will.

    Box Hill Hawks 5.6 7.7 10.12 12.17 (89)
    Sandringham 1.1 5.5 9.7 12.10 (82)

    Box Hill Hawks: Sicily 3 Lock 2 Anderson 2 Lawlor Grimley Spangher Langford Willsmore
    Sandringham: Brown 4 Saad 2 Minchington 2 Saunders Murdoch Ong Siposs

    Box Hill Hawks: Spangher Evans Collins Sicily Simpkin Lock
    Sandringham: Minchington Brown Cook Shenton Murdoch Saunders

    Williamstown came out on top at North Port Oval on Sunday in their Preliminary Final against Essendon on Sunday.  Leading by just five points at three quarter time the Seagulls held firm in the final quarter to finish 12 points in front at the siren. 

    Conor McKenna (Ire) the only international in the match looked good early for Essendon with a strong leaping pack mark from four deep.  Some strong tackling quick movement up forward making him look dangerous.  He finished with 7 kicks, 5 handballs, 1 mark and 1 handball.  His one goal in the third quarter looked like it might be the spark to get the Bombers going but it was not their day.

    Williamstown and Hawthorn now clash this Sunday at Etihad Stadium in the VFL Grand Final.

    Williamstown 2.4 6.8 11.9 15.12 (102)

    Essendon 3.4 5.9 11.14 12.18 (90)



    Williamstown: L. Masters 3, S. Tighe 2, C. Lockwood 2, M. Banner 2, A. Anastasio, E. Carr, S. Dunell, A. Gallucci, M. Gibbons, S. Critchley
    Essendon: J. Polkinghorne 3, K. Hardingham 3, D. Coghlan 2, N. O''Brien, S. Edwards, J. Thompson, C. McKenna


    Williamstown: B. Jolley, C. Lockwood, S. Tighe, W. Wheeler, P. Faulks, N. Meese

    Essendon: J. Ferry, N. O''Brien, J. Polkinghorne, M. Marigliani, K. Hardingham, S. Edwards


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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 10 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 - 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.



    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    Where: Game On Sports Bar 115 Ho Tung Mau, District 1, HCMC
    When: Saturday October 3rd, 9am – 3pm
    It’s game on again at Game On! Heaps of prizes, auction items, raffles and more. The best value Grand Final party in town with tickets just 1.1m for breakfast, lunch and 6 hours of free flow drinks!
    Auction items include: -Sydney Swans full team signed Guernsey, Port Adelaide guernsey signed by Robbie Gray, Hawthorn team signed lithograph poster, Geelong team signed lithograph poster…and many more
    Tickets available from all Swannies players, Game On, and the Spotted Cow.


    Hanoi, Vietnam
    Where: InterContinental Westlake, 1A Nghi Tam, Tay Ho, Hanoi
    When: Saturday October 3rd, 9am – 3pm

    Last year 220 people attended and with an expected 250 this year make sure you reserve your tickets early!
    This year we welcome our friends The Intimate Initiative along to raise some money and awareness about sexual health in Vietnam. 20% of all proceeds raised from the day will go to The Intimate Initiative. Tables of 10 with table service are available by prior arrangement by emailing Special discounted price for Vietnam Swans members and a very special auction item – a fully reconditioned Honda 67 motorbike courtesy of VIP Bikes!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

    Tokyo, Japan
    Hobgoblin Roppongi. 1/F Aoba Roppongi Building. 3-16-33, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-0032, Japan. Get off at Roppongi St. and start walking to Tokyo Tower. Hobgoblins will be on the left side after about 5 minutes walk.
    When: Saturday October 3rd @ 12:00 Noon. 

    The Tokyo Goannas proudly present the 2015 AFL Grand Final Breakfast. This annual event is great chance to meet some of the Goannas players and enjoy an English-style breakfast in the build up to the GF. Raffles and other prizes will be handed out during the course of the game (first goal scorer, Norm Smith), so get along and support AFL in Japan! Telephone: 03-3568-1280 Contact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


    Newcastle, England
    Where: Upstairs at Hancock Pub, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 4PU (nearest metro is Haymarket)
    When:12 -3pm, Saturday 3rd October
    Tigers will be hosting Grand Final party 2015 at Hancock Pub (opposite Great North Museum) on Saturday October 3rd. Come and join us and watch a replay of the match from earlier in the same day. Then stay after the match for the build up to Rugby World Cup match


    Atlanta, GA USA

    Atlanta Kookaburras Grand Final Party
    Where: The Albert Pub, 918 Austin Ave NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30307
    When: Friday, October 2nd, 10.00pm
    Advance discount tickets are available for group bookings (4 or more). All are on sale now at $25 and at door. For more information Contact : Wayne Kraska 404 617 2311 Buy tickets here.

    Buy tickets here.

    Austin, TX, USA
    : Sagra Austin Telephone: 512-535-5988. 1050 E 11th St Austin, TX 78702
    When: Friday, October 26th, 10.30pm
    The Austin Crows host the AFL Grand Final Party in Austin. Come catch the game after an ACL show or plan for it all day! $20 entry at the door and we will have some heavy appetizers, the game on two projectors and two TVs, raffles and a silent auction. Bring cash to join in, last year we raffled off over $3,000 of merchandise.
    Contact e-mail for the org9izers: 

    Dallas, TX, USA

    Where: Barley House (Bar) 5612 SMU Boulevard Dallas, TX 75206  214-824-0306

    When: 10/02/15 @ 9:00 PM

    Come out and support the Dallas Magpies Australian Rules Football Club. $20 entrance fee gets you 2 drink tickets and specials all night! Homemade meat pies will also be available!

    Contact: or see


    Tickets are limited, so be sure to pre-purchase your ticket online before the event. Tickets: Tickets are $20 each or 4 for $60. Purchase tickets here. Ticket price includes: Live game with sound on all TV’s in the venue Drink specials (including Aussie wine and beer) Live music from Australia’s own Dave Young. Giveaways on the night. Donation to the NY Magpies which helps pay the cost of running the biggest Aussie Rules club in North America. If you’d like to reserve a table (parties of 8+), please contact Jacque at Galway Pub NYC at (212) 725-2353

    Chicago, IL, USA
    Where:Chicago Swans’ live grand final viewing party at The Crossing, at 2548 N Southport Ave.
    When:The night kicks off at 9 p.m. on Friday, October 2nd.
    There will be food and drink specials all night, and a chance to win over $1,000 in cash prizes. Tickets are limited, and part of the night’s proceeds benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, so secure your spot now by buying online at 

    Denver, CO, USA
    Where: 3 Lions Pub 303-997-6886. 2239 E Colfax Ave Denver, CO 80206
    When: On the corner of York and Colfax just one block from the Colfax and Josephine RTD stop
    10/02/15 @8:30 PM
    Come to the Three Lions to watch great footy, Aussie meat pies, and more!

    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Toronto Dingo’s 20th Annual Grand Final Party
    When Fri, 2 October, 20:00 – Sat, 3 October, 03:00
    Where Sports Centre Cafe 49 St Clair Ave W Toronto ON M4V 1K6 (map). For more information see or email  

    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Where:Manchester Public Eatery, 1941 West Broadway, Vancouver BC V6J 1Z3
    When: Friday, 2 October 2015 from 7:00 PM to 11:30 PM (PDT)
    West Coast Saints Australian Rules Football Club Grand Final Party - we will be playing the game on 12+ screens there'll be raffles, pool, darts, 50/50 you name it.
    Tickets $15 a head, available from -


    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. 


    New York, NY, USA
    Where:The Galway Pub Phone 212-725-2353. 7 E 36th St between 5th and Madison Avenues in Manhattan. Closest subway is the 34th Street - Herald Square (B, D, F, M, N, Q, R) OR 34th Street - Penn Station (1, 2, 3)
    When: Friday, October 2nd from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
    Goto or  Join the New York Magpies for the biggest day on the Aussie footy calendar, the AFL Grand Final. The two best teams in the AFL will battle it out with the winner crowned the 2015 Premier. The best place in New York to catch the action is the Galway Pub with NYC’s very own Aussie Rules Football Club.
    Doors to the event open at 10pm with our very own Dave Young, lead singer of NYC Band Mean-Machine, performing to the crowd as the countdown to bounce down begins. As the Grand Final telecast starts we will turn to the pre-game entertainment on the 12′x 9′ HD projection screen and 14 plasma TVs on two floors!


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    The Calgary Kangaroos club has now grown to three senior mens teams to form a competition and produce a premier.. Established in 2002, the club has had to travel to Edmonton, Kelowna or Vancouver at times for competition. There is also a women's team and a flourishing junior program. (See Valley Creek School article)

    The name “Kangaroos” is now reserved for the  representative side to compete in inter-provincial and international tournaments. Locally, the Bears, Cowboys and Wolves compete for the Calgary Men’s Championship which is the old style premiership table. They also have one very enthusiastic mayor as the Roos number ticket holder.

    The following is from Lachlan Griffiths about the championship game day.


    "CALGARY (September 17, 2015) – The Calgary Wolves led the Calgary Bears by eight points in the season standings heading into Saturday’s double header. They would only need one game to secure the four championships points required to take the title in their first year in the competition.

    Facing the Calgary Cowboys in their first game of the day, the 2015 league debutants took control of the game early, scoring the first three goals of the game. Trent Dunlop (14 hit-outs) in the ruck gave his midfielders first opportunity with Keith Vogler (23 possessions) and Graeme Math (17 possessions) leading the charge out of the middle. Team Canada representative Nathan Singh (12 possessions, six tackles) moved from midfield to Ruck to help the Cowboys work back into the game, and along with Matthew Sheard (20 possessions) and Michael Karutz (21 possessions, four tackles) they were able to help the Cowboys get back on top of the clearances and win the second half. However, the newly formed Wolves were too strong in the end, running out eventual winners 8.3.51 to 3.5.23.


    With the title secured, the second game of the Wolves double header against the Bears should’ve been a formality. Bears Coach Matthew Bell would not let the Wolves have it all their own way. Giving young Canadian Dolen Vogel (23 possessions) the match up on the dangerous Vogler allowed Liam Terrell (14 possessions, four inside 50’s) free roam across the back flank for the Bears.

    Separated by only a goal at half time, Dunlop pushed forward and kicked a goal early in the second half to give his side some breathing room. As the game clock wound down and free space was hard to come by Terrell kicked a booming goal on the run from 55 metres, bringing his Bears back to within a kick. The siren followed quickly, giving the Wolves their second win for the day 4.2.26 to 3.2.20, capping off a stellar maiden season. They finished the year with a 9-3 record, leading the Bears who finished 6-6 and despite finishing with a 3-9 record the Cowboys will have the 2016 #1 draft pick to re-build their list.

    Following the game, Mayor Naheed Nenshi, the Calgary Kangaroos #1 ticket holder presented the trophy to Wolves coach Adrian Guthrie. Praising his team, Guthrie said “…credit to the Bears, they gave us all we could handle in that last game. Our work rate and team play though got us over the line today. We are thrilled to take the title in our first season.”

    Mayor Nenshi credited all teams in his presentation and wished the club well in their upcoming USAFL national tournament to be played in Austin, Texas on October 17th, 18th.

    Calgary Kangaroos President, Lachlan Griffiths, was pleased with the season. “We expanded to three teams this year, giving many more players the opportunity to play Australian football. While our club now turns it’s focus to the US Nationals, we will continue to find ways to promote the game here in Calgary and attract new players out to give this sport a try.”

    For photographs from the day or more information on the Calgary Kangaroos Australian Football Club, contact them:"

    Mayor Nenshi presents the cup to Calgary Wolves Coach Adrian guthrie



    Opening bounce


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    At the Coburg Football Club VFL Grand Final Breakfast this morning we had the chance to ask Box Hill Hawks coach Marco Bello about his thoughts on the development of the two New Zealanders in his team and what part they might play in Sunday’s Grand Final against Williamstown.

    “Shem (Tatupu), he’s come a long way. He played the first half of the season in the development league. He’s only been playing the game for four or five years. He was still learning the caper. It’s a new ball game for him, but his development not only this year but in the four years he has been trying out for us has been exponential.”


    “He’s developed as much as anyone and obviously has played a big part in our success the last 6-8 weeks. We’ll be looking for him to play a big part in the forward line.”

    “At the other end Kurt Heatherley in the back line, he’s a dour defender, he’s as hard as nails, he just loves the physical contact, has a rugby league background enjoys that contact type thing. His ability to read the footy now is great and his skills have come a long way.”

    “Both those guys will play an equally important part on Sunday.”

    This is the first time Box Hill and Williamstown have met in the Grand Final since 2003.  The Peter Jackson VFL and TAC Cup Grand Finals will be played on this Sunday September 27 at Etihad Stadium. TAC Cup Grand Final starts at 11:05am and the VFL Grand Final at 3pm (AEST).

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    The FAFL season came to an end on the 12th September with a Grand Final bringing down the curtain on a challenging year for Finnish footy. As stated through the FAFL Facebook page, “ This year’s Grand Final will see Helsinki Heatseekers (City) take on a combined Turku Dockers / Salo Juggernaughts / Vaasa Wombats (Country) to decide who deserves the right to be crowned Finnish Champions for 2015.”

    As it turned out, the final ended up being a full Helsinki Heatseekers list playing a Turku Dockers team supplemented by some extra Helsinki players. Nevertheless, there could be little doubt that regardless of format the Helsinki Heatseekers were the best Finnish team of 2015.

    The finale to the season was a departure from recent Grand Final formats with the theory of one dominant team playing a combination of the other Finnish teams for bragging rights. Throughout the season the Helsinki Heatseekers had won just about everything available to them. Probably the only “blemish”, if you could call it that was when they combined with the Vaasa Wombats in a match against the Turku Dockers and went down in the Finnish town of Paimio.

    The Heatseekers also won the FAFL Cup back in July, going through the round robin matches against Turku, Vaasa and the Salo Juggernauts undefeated. Scores for the carnival were:

    Qualifying matches:
    Helsinki 3.2 6.4 (40) defeated Turku 3.4 3.5 (23)
    Vaasa 1.1 4.2 (26) defeated Salo 2.3 3.5 (23)
    Helsinki 3.1 4.1 (25) defeated Vaasa 0.2 1.3 (9)
    Turku 5.4 7.6 (48) defeated Salo 1.1 3.3 (21)
    Turku 4.3 5.5 (35) defeated Vaasa 0.1 3.4 (22)
    Helsinki 8.4 10.4 (64) defeated Salo 2.0 4.1 (25)
    Helsinki 2.2 5.2 (34) defeated Turku 2.2 3.3 (21)

    The season commenced with practice matches in early May with new players trying out for the first time. Whilst the season was at times impacted by available player numbers, the FAFL Cup still showcased encouraging growth with the FAFL stating that “it was especially great to see a lot of Helsinki's newer players taking on key roles in the team and enjoying the game.”

    All of the Grand Final action was at Talin Urheilupuisto (on the rugby / gridiron field). The Helsinki Heatseekers certainly deserved favouritism after an undefeated year and a stability that has seen them remain consistent all season.

    But it was a tough season for the FAFL, and particularly the other teams – Turdu, Vaasa and Salo – as dropping numbers of available players meant that regular fixture events were always under pressure, which gave the Helsinki Heatseekers a pronounced advantage all year based on numbers alone. The FAFL will be working hard over the off season to look at ways of rebuilding the competition for 2016, as will the clubs as they look to open new markets or re-establish existing player pools.

    But for the time being it is the Helsinki Heatseekers that hold their first title since 2012 and can celebrate for a while before starting their own planning to defend the title in 2016.


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    The third week of the 2015 Finals series kicks off in Perth Friday night with Fremantle hosting Hawthorn.  Saturday night also in Perth the West Coast Eagles host North Melbourne.  The two winners through to next week's Grand Final.

     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 

    The broadcast schedule for this Finals Week 2 can be seen below.  .



    Network Region Fremantle vs Hawthorn WCE vs N Melbourne Highlights
    Australia Plus Asia 25/9 @ 18:00 HK (Live) 26/9 @ 17:30 HK (Live) 30/9 @ 02:00 HK
    Australia Plus Pacific 25/9 @ 22:00 Fiji (Live) 26/9 @ 21:30 Fiji (Live) 30/9 @ 06:00 Fiji
    Australia Plus India 25/9 @ 15:30 IND (Live) 26/9 @ 15:00 IND (Live) 29/9 @ 23:30 IND
    ESPN BT Sport UK & Ireland 25/9 @ 11:00 BST (Live) 26/9 @ 10:30 BST (Live) 30/9 @ 06:00 BST
    ESPN Caribbean 25/9 @ 06:00 EST (Live) 26/9 @ 05:30 EST (Live) 30/9 @ 14:00 EST
    EUROSPORT2 Europe 25/9 @ 12:15 CET (Live) - -
    EUROSPORT2 UK & Ireland 29/9 @ 22:30 BST (Delay) - 29/9 @ 23:30 BST
    EUROSPORT2 Asia 25/9 @ 18:15 CET (Live) - -
    FOX SPORTS USA 25/9 @ 06:00 ET (Live) 26/9 @ 05:30 ET (Live) 28/9 @ 19:00 ET
    ORBIT SHOWTIME Middle East 25/9 @ 10:20 GMT (Live) 26/9 @ 09:45 GMT (Live) 28/9 @ 17:00 GMT
    OTLSM Worldwide (Boats & Cruises) 25/9 @ 10:20 GMT (Live) 26/9 @ 09:45 GMT (Live) -
    RDS Quebec - - -
    RDS2 Quebec 30/9 @ 19:00 EST (Delay) - -
    SKY SPORTS New Zealand - 28/9 @ 24:00 NZST (Delay) -
    SUPER SPORT Africa 25/9 @ 12:20 CAT (Live) 26/9 @ 11:45 CAT (Live) -
    TSN2 Canada 25/9 @ 06:00 ET (Live) 26/9 @ 05:30 ET (Live) -
    TVNZ New Zealand 25/9 @ 22:00 NZST (Live) 26/9 @ 21:30 NZST (Live) -
    CLARO SPORTS Latin America 2/10 @ 13:00 CDT (Delay) 2/10 @ 16:30 CDT (Delay) -
    WATCHAFL.COM.AU Worldwide (excl. Australia) 25/9 @ 10:20 GMT (Live) 26/9 @ 09:45 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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    The Copenhagen Giants created Danish Australian Rules football history this weekend, on a weekend where victory by either team would have written a new chapter. Taking on the Aalborg Kangaroos for the 2015 flag, neither side had previously won a premiership. But after a remarkable last quarter charge it was the Giants that etched their name in Danish footy folklore.

    The script favoured the Kangaroos early. Former Greater Western Sydney player, Aksel Bang, got the ball rolling with the first goal for Aalborg just three minutes into the first quarter. It was one of four for the Kangaroos. The Giants had Samuel Kilworth to thank with two goals for the quarter, the second just prior to the quarter time siren keeping the scoreboard respectable and giving the Giants a little faith. Scores: Aalborg 4 2 26 v Copenhagen 2 1 13

    The second quarter started with three goals in the opening four minutes to the Kangaroos, all but sealing the game as they raced to a 31 point lead. But then the game began to change and the Giants found belief. They kicked four of the next five goals before halftime to suggest a strong comeback on the cards and reduce the deficit to just 11 points, winning the quarter. Scores: Aalborg 8 3 51 v Copenhagen 6 4 40

    A goal five minutes into the premiership quarter to the Giants bought them to within four points but they could not edge in front of the Kangaroos. But a goal to Mathias Biron saw the Giants level the scores by the 16 minute mark of the quarter. A goal to Aalborg inside the final minute of the quarter saw them steady, but the seeds of confidence had been planted for the Giants. Scores: Aalborg 10 5 65 v Copenhagen 8 9 57

    The final quarter saw the Giants unleashed. Goals to Kilworth (2), Palsgaard and Wilton for the quarter saw the Giants come home with a wet sail. From an eight point three-quarter time deficit they ran over the top of the Kangaroos to win an amazing come-from-behind premiership. For a club that barely reached the finals, largely on a superior percentage to the fifth placed team after losing their final three home and away games, this day was an amazing fairy tale like finished to a season.

    Final scores: Copenhagen Giants 12 11 83 d Aalborg Kangaroos 11 6 72

    Congratulations go to the Giants for winning their first ever premiership after coming into existence in 2013, initially as the FC Demons made of former Farum Cats players that were then based in Copenhagen. Almost an irony that it was the Giants that bought to an end the run of our successive flags for the Farum Cats from 2011-2014. This was certainly an impressive effort to come this far so quickly.

    The Aalborg Kangaroos should also be proud of their efforts in 2015 to reach the grand final for the first time in the club’s history that goes back originally to the 1993 season (though the "Jutland" team that lost the 2006 Grand Final was a merged entity of Aalborg and the then Århus Bombers). The Kangaroos will learn a great deal from their 2015 experiences and come back even stronger for 2016.

    Danish attention will now turn to the upcoming Axios Euro Cup in Umag, Croatia, next month where they have the chance to defend the title won so convincingly in 2014.

    Picture: Happy Giants (left to right: Chris Campion, Mathias Biron & Nathan Campion - sons and nephew of Danish footy legend Jim Camp ...

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    From the land of the long white cloud, and the playing fields of the South Pacific – not the normal talent pathway but a talent pathway characterised by unusual footy privileges such as national representation. This is the pathway taken by Kurt Heatherley and Shem Tatupu; a pair of New Zealanders, who have reached the cusp of the bigtime – as listed rookies at Hawthorn (Heatherley recently re-signed. Having progressed from taking on Tonga, Nauru or Papua New Guinea they now grace the fields of metropolitan Melbourne representing the Box Hill Hawks in the VFL. And today – they represent the Hawks, the Hawthorn AFL affiliate (feeder club), in the VFL Grand Final against the proud heritage of the stand-alone Williamstown Seagulls.

    Kurt Heatherley (34) Season 2015 has seen Kurt Heatherley solidly plying his trade as a reliable key defender for the Hawks. Running out 19 times Kurt has impressed, making the best list on 5 occasions. Many AFL followers asked “Kurt who?” when the Hawthorn press release proclaimed that Kurt had been re-signed – however with Brian Lake nearing the end the Hawks value the potential that Heatherley is developing. Coming through the international scholarship/rookie list – Kurt was recruited after showing talent for New Zealand in the AFL Oceania/South Pacific contests – initially signed by Hawthorn in 2009. A couple years spent boarding at Caulfield Grammar in Melbourne and playing a handful of TAC matches and training with Hawthorn – Kurt graduated to the VFL in 2014 when he officially joined the Hawthorn football club. Heatherley has been described by AFL talent guru Kevin Sheehan as “a beauty” – and showed impressively at the 2012 AFL draft combine, including a 2.84 second 20m sprint. He stands around 193 cm and at age 20 he has almost completed an apprenticeship that may in part form a blue print for future trans-Tasman recruits.

    Shem Tatupu (74) Teammate Shem Tatupu has notched up 10 senior VFL games in 2015, playing forward he’s bagged 17 goals and provided solid contest patrolling the forward 50. Having kicked multiple goals on 5 occasions his season has been highlighted by 2 bags of 4 against Coburg in round 14 and later against Geelong in round 18. Tatupu has shown he can provide the hit up lead to the wing or push back deep and be dangerous – as well as providing a chop out in the forward 50 ruck contests.

    The 2015 VFL Grand FinalWilliamstown win the toss and elected to kick to the Coventry end at Etihad stadium – the now traditional venue for the VFL Grand Final although on a fine sunny afternoon with the roof closed it’s hard not to yearn for the open air of Port Melbourne. The Seagulls got off to the better start with the first goal, answered by the Hawks before a string of 3 unanswered goals saw Williamstown kick out to an early lead before a goal each rounded the first term with the Seagulls holding the 3 goal advantage with a 20 point lead at the first break.

    Heatherley manning up as per ‘team defence’ had an early ineffective kick on the city side that went out on the full but shortly after marked inside defensive 50 and switched play boundary side. Tatupu lining up forward - generally inside 50 and generally matched up by Peter Faulks (#8) for Williamstown. Nearing the 8 minute mark Tatupu and Heatherley were both on the bench for rotations.

    Tatupu returned to the fray and got his first stats involvement with a mark and dish off handball and shortly after taking a ruck contest in the right forward pocket took the ball cleanly in the ruck and dished off a quick handball. The Hawks attempt at goal went across the face to the left forward pocket from which their much needed second goal was scored.

    Heatherley found himself contesting strongly and impressing with his positioning and body work; but still found himself outmarked in the Williamstown right forward pocket by the experienced Sam Dunell – however a nearside miss on goal meant that the full price was not paid. Heatherley almost helped get one back shortly after when he held an intercept mark that set up a Box Hill forward movement but the set shot from inside 50 by Grimley went wide. Heatherley effected a couple of spoils, one a clear goal saver – alas the other was unable to clear the area and the Gulls snared their 5th and the last goal for the quarter from the ensuing scrimmage around the 'Gulls goals.

    Qtr time Gls Bhd Total
    Box Hill 2 3 15
    Williamstown 5 5 35

    The second quarter saw a Box Hill revival as the game heated up. Heatherley and Tatupu both starting and a miracle left foot snap from the pocket by Anderson. Shortly after Tatupu made his first scoreboard impact with a left foot snap that look on target off the boot but bouncing in the square took a leg break into the post. Tatupu soon after marked strongly inside 50, and taking his set shot from around 40 out on a 45degree angle – got perhaps too close to the man on the mark and with a stutter was still able to clear the line for a behind to the far side. Box Hill continued to attack but were wasteful – working Grimley free for their fourth major and closing the gap to a goal. Trading goals from here and Box Hill went in at the main break trailing by 5 points with the game very much on the line. Tatupu had been on and off with the forward rotations, holding down key forward posts with O’Brien, Grimley and Collins. Heatherley with more time on the ground – but often finding himself standing alongside shorter opponents including Masters, Clousten or Dunell.

    Half time Gls Bhd Total
    Box Hill 6 8 44
    Williamstown 7 7 49

    The third term – so often described as the premiership quarter pretty well played out that way as Williamstown surged after the long break. Unfortunately as Heatherley spoiled a mark, he went to ground, and was unable to get back onto Dunell who pushed forward and helped set up the first goal of the 3rd term through Masters. By the time Box Hill managed their next score – a behind to move to 6.9.45 – Williamstown had moved to 10.8.68 and on the verge of breaking the game wide open. By this stage Tatupu was more off than on – and when on – often isolated one on one deep forward however the failure of the Hawks to gain effective clearances meant that he was starved of opportunity. Heatherley had a mid quarter break, and returned to be in the thick of the action – however, his tackle was a fraction late to stop the handball out to Conway who slotted the Gulls 11th, and Heatherley found himself vainly trying to pressure the ball carrier as the Gulls surged forward with the easy overlap for their 12th. Finally via a smart banana goal to Miles (#42) from the pocket and the Hawks had their first major for the term and at 28 points down this was the chance to apply some pressure before the final break. Alas 4 consecutive behinds as well as a shot out on the full failed to put any real dent in the margin.

    3 Qtr time Gls Bhd Total
    Box Hill 7 14 56
    Williamstown 12 10 82

    The last quarter proved largely one way traffic – after a minor diversion as Anderson managed a 2nd spectacular boundary line snap at goal – dribbling along the ground for one of the few Hawks highlights. A glimmer of hope for the Hawks - was there a last quarter fight back as per the second quarter. This had proven the scoring end - for now reason of strong winds or the like, after all, it's Etihad with the roof on top. As it eventuated the Williamstown side responded quickly and in style – unable to miss they slammed through 4 straight to blow the game apart – 44 points up and it was party time on the Williamstown bench.

    Tatupu and Heatherley, along with their teammates – were spent by now and when the final siren sounded it was a 54 point margin. The Hawks had lacked fluency moving forward – even experienced playera like Langford had managed to spear passes a fraction high or wide missing the forward targets. Nevertheless – for Kiwi products Tutupu and Heatherley – while their impact was limited today - this experience is another step in their football journeys.

    FINAL Gls Bhd Total
    Box Hill 8 18 66
    Williamstown 18 12 120

    Heatherley Tatupu and teammates lament the loss during the presentations to the victors ...

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    Footy in Far North Queensland is always a challenge, usually due to the beautiful winter climate, which whilst absolutely gorgeous for the local population and hordes of visitors can be taxing on the footballers racing about in mid to high twenty’s temperatures.

    But that meteorological explanation aside, it takes a remarkable team, in any language to build any football dynasty anywhere at any time. Which is why the performances of the Cairns Saints footy team is worthy of note, or more accurately, celebration.

    Last weekend the Saints added yet another chapter to their incredible story of success, which is now beginning to rival the best of clubs anywhere in Australia. Their victory over the South Cairns Cutters on the big day – winning a tough contest by just nine points 14 12 96 to 13 9 87 – placed yet another flag to drape on any unused wall and another premiership cup in the glass cabinet. Problem is the club is fast running out of walls and any additions to the trophy cabinet have to be prised in with a crow bar.

    Their victory over the Cutters was their “lucky” 13th, but all of those have come since their first just over 20 years ago in 1994, just a year after joining the competition. They have contested the grand final for the past nine successive years, winning seven of those and losing just to Port Douglas Crocs last year and to the Manunda Hawks in 2007 and 2011. Their reign has seen them take “three peats” of premierships on three occasions (1994-96, 1998-2000 and 2008-2010) and have also won three of the past four AFL Cairns premierships.

    It is a record the envy of all other AFL Cairns teams. Their 13th flag takes them to the outright first place on the seniors premiership tally board ahead of the combined entities of Centrals/Aloomba-Centrals/Trinity Beach (12) and North Cairns (10). Not a bad effort from a club which gave the others the better part of a 30-35 year head start.

    As if that wasn’t enough, club legend Matt Walsh passed the remarkable 1000 goal milestone with his fourth goal against North Cairns. He joined a very special group of elite talented people across the country to reach such a milestone. By season’s end his tally stood at 1046 goals since 2006. It is no coincidence that the Saint’s era of greatness has been linked to, and indeed built around Walsh.

    Other clubs across the country could rightfully produce evidence that their empires yielded more flags or were at the top for longer periods. But not many. The Cairns Saints have set a standard that will take a very long time to be equalled. They have raised the bar for excellence in Cairns, and in the long run that is great for Cairns footy. Like them of hate them, nothing can take away their success.

    The Cairns Saints empire stands as a symbol of local footy greatness, and that isn’t bad for a club which along the way has also lived with the threat of disbandment due to lack of money and sponsorship, so it hasn’t all been plain sailing.

    But is has been a wonderful journe ...

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    The footy season is well and truly over across the northern reaches of Queensland. The competitions in Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, Mackay and Mount Isa drew to a close with the completion of the AFL Cairns finals last weekend. Following is a brief look at each competition for the 2015 season.

    AFL Cairns:

    The Cairns Saints continued their remarkable decade, in fact generation, of dominance when they came from third place at the end of the home and away season to pinch the flag again. It brings their remarkable tally to 13 flags since 1994. For a more complete picture of the Saints’ history go to Cairns Saints Empire Rises Higher.

    With minor premiers, Port Douglas, going out in straight sets the door opened for the Saints to defeat South Cairns Cutters, which they did in a close match by just nine points. Final scores saw Cairns Saints 14 12 96 d South Cairns Cutters 13 9 87.

    The Manunda Hawks club, barred from playing in the 2015 men’s competition, were supported by their women’s team which took their premiership against North Cairns Tigers winning 5 1 31 to 4 5 29 in a tight tussle.

    AFL Townsville:

    The Hermit Park Tigers won their 11th flag and first since 2012 when they defeated the Thuringowa Bulldogs by 21 points at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville. The Bulldogs were on track to take a three-peat after finishing the home and away season on top by percentage. But the Tigers, bridesmaids in the past two grand finals, were determined not to let it happen again. The final scores saw Hermit Park Tigers 13 8 86 defeat Thuringowa Bulldogs 8 17 65.

    The Bulldogs’ women kept the club flag flying though when they defeated the University Hawks to win the women’s premiership. Finals scores saw the Bulldogs 4 2 26 defeat the Hawks 2 4 16.

    AFL Mackay:

    The Eastern Swans won their first flag since 2009, and their seventh overall, when they downed the Mackay City Hawks to complete an undefeated season. The final result saw the Swans hold on in a thriller by just five points, but win they did. Final scores saw the Eastern Swans 13 8 86 defeat the Mackay City Hawks 12 9 81.

    In the women’s league it was the Mackay Magpies downing the North Mackay Saints by 47 points, winning the match 9 13 67 to 3 2 20.

    AFL Capricornia:

    It was a huge season for the Yeppoon Swans in the AFL Capricornia competition as the claimed their fifth flag and first since 2009 when they downed the BITS (Boyne Island/Tannum Sands) Saints. The Swans did so in emphatic fashion recording a 1000 point premiership win after having played a near perfect season – just one loss to BITS earlier in the season. Final scores saw the Swans 22 15 147 to the Saints 7 5 47.

    The Glenmore Bulls defeated the (Rockhampton) Panthers in the women’s grand final in a most comprehensive fashion. Final scores saw Glenmore 5 6 36 defeat Panthers 0 4 4.

    AFL Mount Isa:

    For the second time in two years the Tigers club won the Mount Isa premiership by just two points. After outlasting the Young Guns team by 2 points to take the 2014 flag, this year the Tigers did it again to claim their 10th premiership. This time they held off a determined Rovers by that same margin, keeping the local crowds entertained and on the edge of their seats for two years running.
    Final scores saw the Tigers 12 7 79 defeat the Rovers 11 11 77 ...

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    Brisbane Lion and former Irish Gaelic footballer, Pearce Hanley, polled the most votes tonight at the AFL’s Brownlow Medal count for an international player. In a very small field, Hanley polled three votes in the final home and away match of the year when the Lions upset the Western Bulldogs. They were his only votes for the season which was ruined by injury and was his lowest Brownlow medal tally since 2011.

    Dashing Carlton defender Zach Tuohy, also from Ireland, also polled two votes for his game against St Kilda in Round 4. He was the only other international player to poll votes in this year’s Brownlow Medal count.

    Two Western Bulldogs players of multicultural backgrounds also polled this year. Jason Johannisen, born in South Africa, polled in two matches to finish the night with four votes whilst his team mate Lin Jong, of Timorese and Taiwanese descent, also polled in two matches for a total of two votes.

    Two other well-known Muslim footballers, Adam Saad from the Gold Coast Suns and Bachar Houli from Richmond, both polled votes in matches this year. Saad won two votes for his near best afield effort against the Fremantle Dockers in Round 11 and another vote for his Round 5 effort against the Brisbane Lions. Houli polled his votes in Round 5 also against Geelong.

    Whilst not strictly international players, Johannisen, Jong, Saad and Houli are four of the most recognised faces of the multicultural promotion of our game, nationally and internationally, to diverse ethnic groups embracing our game. Their Brownlow Medal performances will certainly help illustrate how far each has come at the highest level of the game as they continue to be respected role model for future generations of multicultural footballer ...

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    Eric Wallace was delisted by North Melbourne today after three years with the club as an International Rookie.  Wallace did not play an AFL match with the club, spending his first two years playing with North Ballarat and this year with Werribee in the VFL   Wallace was popular with team-mates at the club and a successful ruckman at VFL level.  A strong ruck brigade at North Melbourne meant that there was never really an opening for him to make that AFL debut.

    There is a chance that another club may offer Wallace a life line as able ruckmen of his stature are still in short supply generally around the league.  Beyond that the USAFL may be keen to secure Wallace's services for the US Revolution team in the 2017 International Cup if he is interested in continuing in the game.

    The statement from North Melbourne today follows.

    North Melbourne has today thanked Scott McMahon, Max Warren and Eric Wallace for their dedication to the Kangaroos, after they were advised their contracts would not be renewed.

    McMahon played 124 games for North Melbourne, after being selected in the 2004 Rookie Draft.

    The 29-year-old made his debut in Round 8, 2007 and quickly cemented himself in the side. A vocal leader, McMahon was a much-loved figure at Arden St among fans, staff and players.

    Max Warren played one senior game during his time at the Roos, lining up against Brisbane at the Gabba in 2014.

    Warren earned a promotion to the senior list in 2015, a reward for his consistent season playing for North Ballarat in the VFL.

    Wallace has spent the past three seasons as North’s international rookie after a strong showing at the 2012 AFL Draft Combine.

    The American has made an impressive transformation since first arriving at Arden St and having a limited understanding of AFL, and while he was unable to earn a senior call up, he won many battles at VFL level, playing against some of the competition’s best big men.

    North Director of Football Geoff Walsh thanked all three players for their service.

    “We’d like to thank Scott, Max and Eric for their commitment and dedication to the club during their time at Arden St,” Walsh said.

    “Scott, Max and Eric have represented the club extremely well both on and off the field and should be proud of their contributions.

    “They have all been true professionals during their time in North colours and we wish them all the very best for the future.”


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    Just a week after taking out the SAFF (Stockholm Australian Football Federation) premiership when the downed the Solna Axemen (see story Södermalm belt Solna to claim 2015 SAFF Premiership, the club has won its second flag of the season winning the inaugural Swedish League Elitserien (Elite Series) to be the Swedish national champions.

    The competition, set up to be the nation’s elite competition above and beyond the regional and urban leagues across the country, kicked off for the first time earlier this year. The competition featured the Södermalm Blues, Stockholm Dynamite, Port Malmö Maulers and the Helsingborg Saints in a six round competition designed around the other league draws.

    After five rounds the Blues were clear leaders, undefeated, but still had to negotiate the second placed Maulers for the title. The game was being played at the, Limhamnsfältet IP, Malmö ground which evened up the competition.

    Come the final and it was the Maulers quickest out of the blocks to take an eight point lead at quarter time. By half time the Blues had clawed back after a four goal to one second term to lead by 10 points, 5 4 34 to 3 6 24.

    The premiership quarter saw the conditions favour the Maulers and they played accordingly to again take the lead on the back of their own four goals to one term. Going in at three-quarter time they held an eleven point lead and would have to withstand the Blue’s comeback to the scoring end. Scores saw the Maulers 7 10 52 lead the Blues 6 5 41.

    But Södermalm would not be denied and slammed home another four goals in the final quarter to take the Elitserien title, and their second major title in a week. The final scores saw the Södermalm Blues 10 10 70 defeat the Port Malmö Maulers 8 11 59 for an historic 11 point victory and the honour of being the winners of the first ever Swedish national Elitserien.

    The double victory for the Södermalm team is a wonderful tonic after having waited for four years as perennial runners-up. The population of Stockholm may well be wondering what all that noise is coming from the direction of the Södermalm neighbourhood. But they needn’t worry. It is just the sound of joy, victory and Australian Rules football at its finest in Sweden.

    Picture: Blues' players savour vict ...

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    In less than two weeks the AFL Middle East Pre-Season Cup will be held in Dubai at the Sevens Stadium. October 9th signals the start of the new season as teams begin to flex their sleepier muscles and brush of the cobwebs ready to see which club will be the next champion.

    Last year’s Pre-Season Cup saw the Dubai Dragons play the newcomers, the BM Bulls, in the final. At the time many thought it might be a “flash in the pan” performance, yet just a few months later those same two clubs went on to contest the 2014/15 premiership. Certainly, a good performance at the pre-season event can be a guide to what might follow.

    President of AFL Middle East, Matt Burn, was happy to give a bit of a run down on what followers might expect for the new season.

    “I think the Dragons will not have it their own way this season. They are now very much the hunted, more than ever. The Bulls will have learnt a lot from their first season in the competition and have picked up a few handy recruits. The Falcons were the unlucky side last season and have had a big pre- season, training strongly for the past two months. Doha is a bit of the unknown and coach Pitre likes to play his cards close to his chest. The Dingoes have good numbers again and will be their usual strong competitive selves.”

    “Unfortunately the Muscat Magpies are not back, again struggling with numbers and the Gaelic players can only commit to one league which will be the GAA for 2015/16. They are still involved with the competition and some teams will travel there for a scratch match and weekend away. There are even plans for an International Rules one day tournament during the season involving all teams including Muscat.”

    Captain of the BM Bulls, Andrew Campbell, has watched over his club’s first off-season and likes what he sees. “From the 1st of September the Bulls were back with the footys sharpening up the skills. We have welcomed a few new recruits to the team and are seeing pleasing numbers of around 20 at training – a huge improvement on last year. The group is extremely tight this year and we are expecting this camaraderie to be our strongest asset which will make the Bulls a very tough outfit to overcome.”

    “Last year we promised we would come back bigger and stronger and we are doing just that.”

    The eyes of the Middle East Australian football world will turn to Dubai for the Pre-Season Cup before moving to the Round One clashes on 23rd October when the Doha kangaroos host the Abu Dhabi Falcons and the BM Bulls take on the Dubai Dingoes in the season’s first local Dubai derby.

    The season will conclude next year with the Grand Final to be played on 11th March, most likely at the Sevens Stadium in Duba ...

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  • 09/30/15--05:04: To Be The Hunted…

  • For the past four seasons in the Middle East, the Dubai Dragons have been the “Kings” of an otherwise arid jungle. Last year the club won their third flag, making them the league’s most successful club. Their tally saw them pass foundation club the Dubai Heat.

    Whilst the off season has been a time for the Dragons to savour the joys of success, it has also been a time where other potential dynasties have been plotting the downfall of the Dragons.

    Last year’s runners-up, the BM Bulls, might be the newest club to the league, introduced just last year, but they reached the grand final and lost. They are young but they are hungry and have used their contests with the Dragons as a measuring stick. They will be keen to avenge last year’s loss and have recruited well enough over the off season to bring about change.

    The Doha Kangaroos have long memories. They beat the Dragons two seasons ago and know how to do it again. One thing that comes from grand final clashes is a long term rivalry, and the Doha team is itching for another crack at the Dragons.

    The Dubai Dragons have stood by and watched their Dubai stablemate’s success and are, quite rightly, fed up with being Dubai’s bridesmaid. They too will want to bring down the Dragon’s dynasty, starting this season.

    Abu Dhabi Falcons are quietly watching the three Dubai-based teams knowing that they, too, are capable of bigger things. An improved team last year, and with a flag under their belts, the Falcons will be keen to teach their United Arab Emirates fellow clubs a thing or two.

    Like the Roman, Byzantine and Persian empires which eventually fell, albeit on grander scales and over far greater lengths of time, and with so many other differences that it is a very tenuous analogy, the Dubai Dragons face their own decline at some stage. Maybe not for long, but one only needs ask the Brisbane Lions, Geelong or Hawthorn (specifically the 1970’s to 1990’s) about the permanency of an empire.

    Dubai Dragons president, Huwy Jones, is acutely aware of the challenges facing the club this season. His analysis of the club’s list turnover since March when they took the flag is interesting.

    “As far as the Dragons are concerned, we have a bit of turnover in the list this year. A few old boys are retiring and leaving Dubai, but an influx of new players should help us stay competitive.

    “Of those leaving there is Ryan Lewis – a premiership player returning to Australia to run the Walwa Caravan Park in country New South Wales. I have retired and Jeremy 'Spanish' Onions , a two-time premiership player who suffered an ACL in last year’s Grand Final win is retiring to get married.”

    “New arrivals include Brian Harrington from Singapore Wombats, a small forward, Eddie Betts like. We also have Dalton Tuck from the Broadbeach Cats, a 6 foot 8 ruckman.”

    “Luke Donald is from Golden Square Football Club in Bendigo and is a nuggety back-pocket. Duncan Wilkie from the Munich Kangaroos is returning from broken leg and Xavier 'Junior' Berger from the Bordeaux Bombers in France is new to football.”

    It will be an interesting season as the Dubai Dragons will go from being the hunter to the hunted and it remains to be seen if they have the goods to remain kings.

    Left: Dubai Dragons - the hunted?

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