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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    West Coast Eagles’ International Rookie Paddy Brophy will give cause for Irish footy fans to pay attention during the half time break at this year’s AFL Grand Final. Brophy who has played his footy this year with East Perth in the WAFL will line up in the Grand Final Sprint.
     

    The man from County Kildare in Ireland will have to beat out a strong field which includes Sudanese born ruckman Majak Daw and Hawthorn’s pacey defender Angus Litherland.


    Oddly enough the two heats will also include two drivers from 13 CABS – Gurdev and Parminder Singh - will carry the flag for the taxi-driving fraternity.
     

    Heat 1
    Majak Daw
    Caleb Daniel
    Angus Litherland
    Charlie Cameron
    Darcy Moore
    Rory Lobb
    Paddy Brophy
    Henry Schade
    Darcy Lang
    Parminder Singh

    Heat 2
    Brad Ebert
    Anthony Miles
    Dean Towers
    Andrejs Everritt
    Jay Kennedy-Harris
    Hayden Crozier
    Elliott Kavanagh
    Leigh Montagna
    Lewis Taylor
    Gurdev Singh
      ...


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    Whilst the football world’s collective eyes are quite rightly locked on Melbourne this weekend for the AFL Grand Final, a week later the European “Grand Final” of footy nations will take place in Umag, Croatia. On Saturday 10th October, twelve men’s and six women’s teams will contest the Axios Euro Cup.

    The men’s draw will have twelve teams competing. As well as the host nation, Croatia, there will be teams from England, Ireland and Scotland representing Great Britain. The Scandinavian contingent will be the teams from Norway and defending champions, Denmark. France, Austria, Germany and The Netherlands are the other stand-alone teams.

    Additional to these are the European Crusaders team for those players coming without their national team in tow and also the Peace Team, of which more details will be released shortly.



    The women’s draw will feature the host nation, Croatia, as well as England, France, Denmark and Norway. The Swedish Ravens women’s team will be the only one from that nation, rounding out the six teams.

    Notable absentees at this stage for the event are the Italian team in the men’s competition after reaching the quarter-finals in 2014 and the semi-finals in 2013. Reigning women’s champions, the Irish Banshees will not be at the event.

    More detailed previews of the teams and event will follow during the lead-up to the even ...

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    The 2015 AFL Grand Final is here. Reigning Premiers Hawthorn have again made it to the big dance and will be joined by the West Coast Eagles in the battle for the flag.  

    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 the big day can be seen below.  .

     

     

    Network Region AFL Game Day The Pre Game Show Pre-Match Entertainment 2015 AFL Grand Final Highlights
    Australia Plus Asia - - 3/10 @ 10:45 HK (Live) 3/10 @ 12:24-16:00 HK (Live) 5/10 @ 02:00 HK
    Australia Plus Pacific - - 3/10 @ 14:45 Fiji (Live) 3/10 @ 16:24-20:00 Fiji (Live) 5/10 @ 06:00 Fiji
    Australia Plus India - - 3/10 @ 08:15 IND 3/10 @ 10:15-13:30 IND 4/10 @ 23:30 IND
    ESPN BT Sport UK & Ireland - - 3/10 @ 03:45 BST (Live) 3/10 @ 05:24 BST (Live) 6/10 @ 18:30 BST
    ESPN Caribbean - - 2/10 @ 23:00 EST (Live) 2/10 @ 24:00 EST (Live) 7/10 @ 14:00 EST
    EUROSPORT2 Europe - - - 3/10 @ 06:30 CET (Live) -
    EUROSPORT2 UK & Ireland - - - 5/10 @ 19:30 BST (Delay) 6/10 @ 07:00 BST
    EUROSPORT2 Asia - - - 3/10 @ 12:30 CET (Live) -
    FOX SPORTS USA - - - 3/10 @ 00:24 ET (Live) -
    FOX SOCCER PLUS USA - - - - 5/10 @ 21:00 ET
    ORBIT SHOWTIME Middle East 2/10 @ 23:00 GMT(LIVE) 3/10 @ 0100 GMT (LIVE) - 3/10 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) -
    OTLSM Worldwide (Boats & Cruises) - - - 3/10 @ 04:30 GMT (Live) -
    RDS Quebec - - - - -
    RDS2 Quebec     - 5/10 @ 15:30 EST (Delay) -
    SKY SPORTS New Zealand     3/10 @ 14:45 NZST (Live) 3/10 @ 16:24 NZST (Live) -
    SUPER SPORT Africa - - - 3/10 @ 06:30 CAT (Live) -
    TSN2 Canada - - - 2/10 @ 23:00 ET (Live) -
    TVNZ New Zealand     3/10 @ 14:45 NZST (Live) 3/10 @ 16:24 NZST (Live) -
    CLARO SPORTS Latin America - - - 8/10 @ 17:30 CDT (Delay) -
    WATCHAFL.COM.AU Worldwide (excl. Australia) - - - 3/10 @ 04:30 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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  • 10/02/15--19:18: 2015 AFL Grand Final Day
  • The day has arrived. The 2015 AFL Grand Final played in October for one of the few times in the game’s history due to the Cricket World Cup earlier this year. Reigning Premiers Hawthorn are aiming to go three in a row and up and coming challengers the West Coast Eagles are primed to knock them off.
     
    It’s going to be a warm one, possibly up to 31 degrees celcius. And it has been a very windy start to the day in Melbourne, but that does seem to be dropping off as the morning wears on.
     
    All around the world people are waiting in place or making their way to their local Grand Final party. If you are thinking of making a last minute dash you can check out our party list here

     

    Alternatively you may be watching the game in the comfort of your own lounge room – for the full International Broadcast Schedule follow this link. And for those not able to have TV coverage you an stream the game (via subscription) through  http://watchafl.afl.com.au/

    And don’t forget the Grand Final Sprint which will feature Irishman Paddy Brophy hoping to make his mark on the MCG.
    The running schedule is as follows;
    12.30pm
     
    Sprint Heats – Northern Side Wing
     
     
    1.10pm
     
    Preliminary team warm up opportunity
     
     
    1.30pm
     
    Retiring Players Motorcade – Andrew Carrazzo, Paul Chapman, Kane Cornes, Daniel Cross, Dustin Fletcher, Chris Judd, Luke McPharlin, Chris Newman, Brent Reilly, Jared Rivers, Brad Sewell, Adam Schneider, Rhyce Shaw and Rising Star Winner Jesse Hogan.
     
     
    1.40pm
     
    Ellie Goulding Performance
     
     
    1.51pm
     
    Bryan Adams Performance
     
     
    2.04pm
     
    Mike Brady Performance 
     
     
    2.12pm
     
    Umpires enter arena on cue / Delivery of match footballs to Umpires
     
     
    2.14pm
     
    West Coast enters arena on cue/team photo
     
     
    2.17pm
     
    Hawthorn enter arena on cue/team photo
     
     
    2.25pm
     
    Premiership Cup Arrival – Escorted by Premiership Cup Presenters Dean Kemp and Peter Knights (team line up)
     
     
    2.26pm
     
    National Anthem
     
     
    2.28pm
     
    Two Sirens – Toss of Coin
     
     
    2.30pm
     
    2015 Toyota AFL Grand Final Commences
     
     
    3.40pm (approx)
     
    Half-time (25 minutes) – Auskick and Grand Final Sprint
     
     
    5.20pm (approx)
     
    Post match presentation / team photo
     
     
    6.00pm (approx)
     
    Media Conference – Runners Up
     
     
    6.20pm (approx)
     
    Media Conference – Premiers
     
     
    7.30pm
     
    Post Match Premiership Party – Premiers presented on stage to fans at MCG
     
     
      ...

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    North Melbourne’s young Sudanese ruckman, Majak Daw, has taken out the 2015 Grand Final Sprint, an event which has traditionally been a part of the half time entertainment since the late 1970’s. Whilst North Melbourne bowed out of the finals race last weekend, losing to West Coast, Daw has given the club something to cheer about.

    After loping through the heats held earlier in the day, Majak Daw started the race well behind early leader, Charlie Cameron from the Adelaide Crows. But once the athletic and muscular Daw got his rhythm he raced past the leader and cruised home to an easy win.

    Daw becomes the first Australian Rules footballer born overseas to win the event. Born in Sudan, his family fled with Majak in tow to escape the civil war in their country. After living for three years in Egypt, the family moved to Australia where Majak found his way to Australian Rules football and the Kangaroos.


    He has often been the subject of conversations around his supreme athletic physique and performance and remains a scary future prospect as his footy awareness grows. The win in today’s sprint highlights how his speed could yet become a game-breaking asset.

    Daw has become a crowd favourite, but he is especially popular as a role model amongst other young footballers from Sudan and other African countries as more and more take up the game from grass roots level through to the highest levels of the game.

    The event commenced in 1979 as a 100 metre sprint with former Hawk, Geoff Ablett the first winner. Andy Wilson from Essendon won an earlier mile long grand final footrace in 1977. The event was not held between 1987 and 2002. The 2014 winner was Jordan Murdoch from Geelong after Paddy Dangerfield from the Adelaide Crows had his own “three-peat” at the event, winning in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

    In the most important result on the day it was a magnificent day for the Hawthorn Football club as they won their own “three-peat” of premierships flags, defeating the West Coast Eagles to make it flags in 2013, 2014 and again for 2015. The Hawks won the day by 46 points in a comprehensive performance downing the Eagles 16 11 107 to 8 13 61. Hawk forward, Cyril Rioli won the Norm Smith Medal for best afield in the Grand Final, joining his uncle Maurice Rioli who won the medal for Richmond in a losing team in 1982.

    Majak Daw, born in Khartoum, has played 16 senior matches for North Melbourne since his debut in 2013 and has kicked 17 goals.
    ...

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    The reality is that the best prepared and performed team on any given day, at any given event, will take home the titles. The talent and determination in the team list will go a long way to deciding events as will the collective desire to focus for the sustained periods required and get the job done.

    But can past performance be used as a guide to how the teams will go at this year’s Euro Cup in Umag, Croatia. This is far from an exacting science, but it does make an interesting exercise to see what journeys each nation has been on in the preceding years.

    Following is a team by team analysis of past performance as a guide to how they might perform at this year’s Euro Cup.

    DENMARK:
    This team will be hard to beat again in 2015. Having won the championship last year in London they are the reigning title holders. The Danes were not at the 2013 event in Bordeaux, but they performed brilliantly in Edinburgh back in 2012, going down to the Irish team in the Grand Final by just one point. They have also proved that home ground advantage for host teams means nothing to them so will not fear Croatia if they both reach the final. Look to Denmark to be the team to beat again.

    CROATIA:
    The nation has the advantage of home soil which will help their cause, but it is their history at the Euro Cup which says much about the development of the national team as a force in the game. Since 2008 they have only once missed out on a top three finish – in 2012 when they lost a quarter final to Denmark – and are primed to take the title again. First place in 2010, runners-up in 2008, 2011 and 2014 and third place in 2009 and 2013 sees them as one of the most consistent nations at the Euro Cup. Will be right up there with Denmark to fight for the title.

    ENGLAND:
    Fifth place in 2005 and sixth in 2014 doesn’t tell the story. From 2006 to 2013 the England side was also highly consistent and successful winning the title in 2008, 2009 and 2013, third in 2007, 2011 and 2012 and a fourth place in 2010. Took the title in Bordeaux in 2013 and will be a strong show again this year with many of that team still around as well as an influx of new talent. Certainly a dark horse for this event.

    IRELAND:
    Back to back titles in 2011 and 2012 saw the Irish become a power of Aussie Rules footy in Europe after finishing third in 2010. Lost a pool match to France in 2013 by just one point in possibly the upset of the tournament and finished fifth overall before coming back hard for third place last year in London. On the way back up and very capable of pulling of an upset of their own, so will need to be respected in Umag.

    FRANCE:
    After many years sitting in and around the quarter finals stage of the Euro Cup, then contesting the Euro Bowl in 2010 and 2012 (winning in the latter), the French made their greatest breakthrough in 2013 in Bordeaux, reaching the Grand Final against England. They defeated Austria to take the 2014 Euro Bowl and overall ninth place. Unlikely to take title, but have the history to suggest they could go a long way this year, even a smokey for the semi-final stage.

    GERMANY:
    Runners-up in 2007 and third in 2008, the German team has spent a number of years either absent from the event (2013) or further down the pecking order around the 6th to 12th range. However, powered through last year’s event to reach the semi-finals and take overall fourth place. Certainly proved they have the ability to go far and will be watched with interest. Certainly a chance for semi-finals or even Euro Bowl champions.

    SCOTLAND:
    Grabbed silverware in consecutive years in 2009 (Euro Plate) and 2010 (Euro Bowl), but of late have not been high up on the pecking order. Always a great chance of repeating their 09/10 results and grabbing another trophy, but unlikely to threaten for the top echelons.

    NORWAY:
    After just three years in the world of the Euro Cup, the Norwegians have had a remarkable start. Winning the Euro Plate in their debut year (2012) and backing it up with another plate last year, the Norway team has already proven they belong in this company. An 11th place finish in Bordeaux in 2013 is their highest result but they will be hoping to better that again this year. But another plate to fill their trophy cupboard would not go unappreciated.

    AUSTRIA:
    Having been a perennial cellar-dweller for many years, the Austrians have certainly turned the corner in the past couple of years. With a previous best in 2005 of 9th place (of 9 teams), the Austrian team finished 9th in Bordeaux in 2013 to take out the Euro Plate and followed up last year with an overall 10th place to be runners-up for the Euro Bowl. The signs are very encouraging that the work done in Austria is paying off and they would be delighted with another piece of silverware in Umag.

    THE NETHERLANDS:
    The early years of the Euro Cup saw a powerful team from The Netherlands finish third in 2005 then back to back runners-up in 2009 and 2010. Since then the Dutch team has dropped alarmingly in performance and missed the tournament altogether in 2012/13. But they returned last year to finish 15th overall in London and may well surprise this year as they continue to rebuild.

    EUROPEAN CRUSADERS:
    A team which changes in makeup each year depending on the players who become available, the Crusaders have occupied the lower rungs of the ladder. Their best results were in 2009 when they were runners-up in the Euro Plate final and ninth place in Belfast in 2011. They are unlikely to do huge damage at the event but always a chance of stealing a plate.

    PEACE TEAM:
    Unknown, untried and unlikely to figure very high in most people’s predictions. But the Peace Team are in a position to surprise everyone. There is no track record to base form on and a large number of their players have little background in the game, but like previous efforts from teams like Norway, Iceland and Russia, they might finish higher than expected with just a win here or there. This team will certainly be very interesting to watch.

    WOMEN’S COMPETITION:
    Between 2010 and 2013 the Women’s tournament was held between just two competing teams. The Irish Banshees women’s team won the event in 2010, 2011 and 2012 against Italy, Switzerland and a European Crusaders team respectively. The 2013 event in Bordeaux featured a combined European Crusaders team beating the home nation. Last year, for the first time, the women’s draw grew to five teams with the Banshees joined by first timers England, Denmark, Scotland and France teams. Again, the Banshees took the title.

    This year’s Women’s event has been blown wide open with the Banshees not coming to Umag. New teams from Sweden and Norway will compete as will a Croatian women’s team for the first time. Favouritism would appear to rest with the three teams from last year – the England Vixens, Denmark Valkyries and France Les Gauloises, but the Croatian team will be hugely keen to perform well in front of a home crowd and may surprise.

    As stated initially, the elements which will decide the event will be the performances of teams and players on the day. But if history can be any guide, many teams have demonstrated levels of success in past and recent years which give a pointer to what may happen this weekend in Umag.


    2015 Axios Euro Cup Draw

    ...

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    After the trauma and tragedy of Cyclone Pam earlier this year - for AFL Vanuatu the footy has helped provide a focus to return to normality. The season reaches its conclusion this weekend and that in itself is a victory given the starting point. Along with the AFL Vanuatu decider - this week has also seen AFL Vanuatu again playing host to a contingent from Adelaide's Concordia College.

    It’s not always where someone is going but where they have been. With much focus in AFL circles currently around trade week – the movements of one James Aish are a talking point. A couple of years ago he was in Vanuatu with his school mates from Adelaide’s Concordia College, at the time a week after starring in the SANFL Grand Final. This year – Concordia College has again headed to Vanuatu as a continuation of their ‘Football Outreach Vanuatu’ Program.

    The AFL Vanuatu season was dramatically impacted earlier this year when Cyclone Pam ravaged the Vanuatu archipelago. Having a footy season at all is a tribute to the hard work of the dedicated folk who make AFL Vanuatu tick.

    The finals series kicked off with the Qualifying final in which the Mighty Malapoa Kangaroos (6-1-37) overcame the erratic Errakor Tigers (4-8-32), while in the Elimination final the Seveners Saints (10-4-64) getting past the Onesua Magpies (8-7-55). Last weekend it was the Seveners who continued their surge, getting past the Tigers to march into the decider against the Kangaroos. This week is the big AFL Vanuatu Festival inclusive of the Grand Final between Malapoa and the Seveners. And in the morning there will be an exhibition game with the Concordia College lads taking on the Vanuatu Volcanoes.

    The schedule for the day : Saturday 10th October 9am - Pikinini Kick 10:30 am – Exhibition game – Concordia vs Vanuatu Volcanoes Local Food for sale from Kensul Community 12:30 pm – Under 15 tryouts 1:30 pm – AFL Vanuatu Grand Final – Malapoa vs Seveners 3:30 pm : Presentation and Stringband Kensul Youth

    It should perhaps be noted that the last time these sides met in early September it was actually the Seveners who took the points with a narrow 7-2-44 to 6-3-39 win over the Roos. The Grand Final clearly could go either way and should be a fine exhibition of footy.

    Concordia help take Malapoa training during the week in the lead up to the Grannie.... ...


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    As the AFL season in Australia moves into the trade and pre-draft stages, two more young Irish prospects have announced themselves at the current  NAB AFL Draft Combine. At the end of last season AFL clubs willingly added Irish talent to their 2015 lists with Conor McKenna going to Essendon, Sean Hurley to Fremantle, Padraig Lucey to Geelong, Cian Hanley to Brisbane and Paddy Brophy to West Coast.

     

    Whilst the North American experiment is in a state of limbo with Eric Wallace being delisted by North Melbourne and the possibility of Mike Pyke retiring, the Irish contingent continues to blossom. The following article from www.afl.com.au introduces the progress of two more Irish candidates.

     

     

    IRISH prospects Darragh Joyce and Colin O'Riordan have created plenty of interest at the NAB AFL Draft Combine, with the teenagers considered strong chances to earn international rookie contracts

     

    The pair has impressed in all aspects of testing despite limited exposure to the Australian game.

    Joyce is no stranger to AFL recruiters, with the 18-year-old a standout at the International Combine in Dublin last December.

    "I'm out here to do business and get a contract," Joyce told AFL.com.au.

    "I've had interviews with the Swans, St Kilda, Essendon, Brisbane and the Bulldogs, so there has been a bit of interest.

    "That's the whole reason I'm out here, because if a contract weren't on the cards I wouldn't be out here."

    The 193cm County Kilkenny product has a predominately Hurling background, but played Gaelic football at school.

    When the opportunity presented to pursue a professional career in Australia and escape Ireland's economic gloom, Joyce didn't think twice.

    "I've put a college on hold to come out here and chase a dream," Joyce said

    "My father works abroad in London as plasterer for the past four years because all the work has dried up in Ireland.

    "I've had the footy in my hands every day back at home, but once we got knocked out of the hurling with Kilkenny, I've practiced even more so.

    "It's a fantastic opportunity."

    While Joyce looms as key defender at AFL level, O'Riordan has all the attributes to be a goalkicking midfielder like Pearce Hanley.

    The 19-year-old was named Gaelic football's young player of the year in 2014 and has twice earned junior All Ireland honours.

    Bringing those achievements to the combine has seen the Tipperary native grilled by several clubs.

    "It was a bit daunting having an interview in front of 10 or 12 people, but all you can do is be yourself," O'Riordan said

    "The dream is to be a professional, I didn't come out here to make up the numbers.

    "You can financially benefit from a game you love."

    And the Irishman's proclaimed affection for Australia's indigenous game isn't fabricated to impress the locals.

    "I used to set the alarm, get up early and watch the highlights show it back in Ireland," he said

    "I had instant love for it, and I'm not just saying that now because I'm over here, I have a genuine love for the game."

     

      ...


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    It’s all happening in Papau New Guinea this weekend – from Gary Ablett at Boroko (Port Moresby) to the AFL Lae mens and womens grand finals.

    In Port Moresby, AFL PNG is holding a Niukick Gala Day at the AFL Oval at the Bisini Grounds in Boroko. AFL Gold Coast Suns captain Gary Ablett Jnr will be joined by former NBL basketball star Jason Smith. Running this morning 9AM to noon, locals are invited to learn to kick, mark & take a spekky from the best AFL player of our time.

    In Lae, the second largest city in PNG and capital of Morobe Province, the action takes place at Eriku Oval today (Saturday 10th October).

    Todays schedule – Lae Grand Final day: 10:30 am – Salle DOGS (3rd place) vs Harbour SUNS (4th) Mens 12:30 pm – Salle DOGS vs Harbour Mermai – Womens Grand Final 2:00 pm – Highway LIONS vs Salamanda POWER – Mens Grand Final Followed by presentations.

    AFL Papau New Guinea has been busy in recent weeks. Across late September the Under 14 Binatangs toured to Brisbane where over recent years they have excelled (winning the championship in 2013) in the Queensland Under 14 championships. Playing against teams from across Queensland and players from Cape York to Coolangatta.

    Across the week the U/14 BInatangs found the going tough but showed resilience to stick to the task.QLD U/14 Championships Game 1 : NQ Northern 11.6.(72) def PNG 3.2.(20) Game 2 : PNG 6.9.(45) def Brisbane North 4.3.(27) Game 3 : Gold Coast North 7.5.(47) def PNG 4.7.(31)

    The Esiloan AFL Port Moresby premiership season wrapped up too with the Defence Hawks 8-7-55 getting over the University Tigers 7-2-44 in the A Reserves. In the main game the reigning 2014 premier the Moniplus Taurama Suns (captained by Jeffrey Namate) took on the Concept Koboni.

    This was after the Concept Koboni Demons took out the Qualifying final against the Moniplus Taurama Suns earlier in the month. Koboni winning that match booked their passage direct to the Grand Final. The other senior finalists were Oilmin Kokofas who knocked the Bomana Cats out of the finals.

    The Koboni had finished the season on top of the ladder while the Suns were the reigning premier. The Grand Final turned out to be a classic in front of a strong crowd of around 3000 at the Murray Barracks oval.

    With less than a minute remaining 7 points up – however Koboni pulled off the miracle. Scott Johnson from a set shot narrowed the gap to 1 point and with the seconds ticking away the Demons found Chris Mong unmarked in front of goal who was able to slot it through just before the final siren rang across the field.

    BOG for the match was Koboni centreman Paul Philip. Koboni coach Douglas Laip paid tribute to his team and also credited the Suns “The Suns are a great football team but as is always the case, there has to be one winner and we won because we fought hard in the final quarter when champions have to stand up.”

    Esiloan AFL Port Moresby GF played Sat Sept 26th

    qrtr Koboni Taurama
    1 1.5.(11) 2.2.(14)
    2 4.7.(31) 2.3.(15)
    3 4.9.(33) 5.4.(34)
    4 8.10.(58) 8.5.(53)

    The Womens division was won by the Gerehu Magpies (3.5.23) over the Lamana Dockers (2.0.12).

    AFL PNG is more than the on field side of things – and September kicked off with a visit by AFL PNG Academy members to the Bomana Correctional Centre Juvenile Division for a visit with officers, staff and inmates as part of AFL PNG’s life skills program ‘Footy for Life’. This program aims to strengthen ties within the community and help towards the development of players into strong citizens, to live a positive life and be positive role models within their own communities.

    Koboni Demons - 2015 POM Premiers.....

    Gerehu Magpies - 2015 POM Womens Premiers.... ...


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    Less than a year ago the B M Bulls had not played their first competitive match. They were about a week away from the 2014 AFL Middle East Pre-Season Cup and were a complete unknown quality to everyone. History says that the Bulls went on to record enough wins on the day to reach the Grand Final against the Dubai Dragons.

    Back then it was the Dragons team which prevailed, but the signs were clear from their first competitive day that the Bulls would not take long to develop into a competitive unit.

    Today that view was vindicated when the BM Bulls reversed last year’s result and have defeated the Dubai Dragons in the 2015 AFL Middle East Pre-Season Cup.



    Whilst it is only a pre-season fixture and it is a long time to go until the business end of the season, the victory is remarkable. Not only have the Bulls pulled off an incredible feat, landing their first premiership of any description, less that a year after their debut game, but they have sent a clear message. The Bulls are here and they mean business.

    The event is somewhat of a pointer. Last year’s pre-season final saw the Dragons and Bulls fight out a close game but the Dragons won. By season’s end both teams had again made it to a grand final, the BIG one, and the result was the same – a Dragons win. It might also be a sign of things to come this year.

    Time will tell as to whether the Bulls are on line for an historic AFL Middle East premiership for 2015/16. But they have got their campaign off to a wonderful start.

    Full details and scores will be available as soon as possible and updated on this article.



    Picture: Victorious Bulls Holding their first ever AFL Middle East tr ...

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    Meanwhile in Fiji it’s been a big Fiji Day and AFL Fiji joined in the party by holding a Fiji Day Cup Under 15s competition at the FNU Nasinu Campus in Suva. 8 boys teams and girls from 6 schools also participating. Many of the kids have been participating in Bula Kick programs, as well as in conjunction with the Fiji National Sports Commission/Ministry of Health running the Tailevu Wellness program. The Fiji Day Cup is an important stepping stone for new and young AFL Fiji talent with the possibility of national representation in the Oceania Cup up for grabs.

    The participating boys teams coming from Sila Central High School, Tailevu North College, Western Lautoka, Western Nadi, John Wesley College and a pleasant surprise with Nabua Broncos also joining in. The girls teams made up from Tailevu North, DAV Girls College, Sila Central and Western Lautoka.

    The Fiji Day Cup competition holds an important place in AFL Fiji development as AFL Fiji selects a squad of around 30 players to represent Fiji in the Oceania Cup, again scheduled for December this year.

    AFL Fiji were excited with over 250 players participating over the day and congratulations to Sila Central for winning both the boys and girls divisions.

    Additionally this year, not just is a Junior Tribe squad to be selected for the U/15 AFL Oceania Cup, but also an Under 14 Junior Development Squad who will face off against an Australian 'Wanderers' U/14 side in Suva this December. The girls will be selected towards an Under 17 talent squad to continue training and will play an exhibition match during the Oceania Cup as well.

    Boys and girls divisions for Fiji Day Cup.....

    Last weekend Bula Kick wrapped up in the West of Fiji with the Western school team running the Bula Kick introductory program for boys and girls, along with training for boys and girls in preparation for the Fiji Day Cup.

    Last Bula kick session in the West for season 2015..... ...


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    The Sydney Swans tonight announced they have signed Irishman Colin O’Riordan as an International Category B rookie.

    O’Riordan, who turns 20 next week, is an exciting prospect who hails from Irish county Tipperary.

    The 187cm talented junior was recently named Gaelic football’s young player of the year and he’s also an All-Ireland minor winner in both hurling and football and has twice earned All-Ireland honours.

    Irishman Tadhg Kennelly is a favourite son of the club in modern times and along the way they have also had Brendan Murphy, Chris McKaigue and Tommy Walsh come to the club from the Emerald Isle.

    Kennelly oversaw the talent combine in Ireland late last year that was the first step in getting O'Riordan into the AFL system, but all clubs have the chance to both be at the combine here as well as see O'Riordan at the combine in Melbourne.  With Internationals the draft does not come into play in terms of who gets to sign them, it is first to sign them can then officially take them in the national draft.


    Recruiting and List Strategy Manager Kinnear Beatson said the club is thrilled O’Riordan has decided to join the Swans.

    “Colin came to the club early this week for a trial and had a training session with members of our academy where he instantly impressed us,” Beatson said.

    “What struck us the most was how well he kicked the footy – he’s clearly been doing a lot of work on that – and he genuinely looks like an AFL footballer.

    “He’s got great skills, takes the ball at the highest point when marking overhead, his work ethic and his competitiveness really shone out in the session he had with us.

    “We’re really excited Colin has decided to join the Swans and we know he’s got the attitude and drive to give himself the best possible chance to forge a long and successful career.”

    O’Riordan, who is flying back to Ireland on Monday after the AFL Combine, said he can’t wait to get back to Australia to start pre-season training with the Swans.

    “It’s unreal, it’s a dream come true, I know it’s a cliché but it is 100 per cent true – I’ve always dreamed of being a professional sportsman,” O’Riordan said.

    “I fell in love with Sydney instantly and from the moment I arrived at the club I felt at home as everyone was so welcoming.

    “It hasn’t sunk it yet but when I touch down in Ireland and see my family I’m sure it will.

    “I’m so thankful for everything Tadhg Kennelly has done for me and introducing me to a great club like Sydney and I can’t wait to get back up there and get stuck into training, meeting all the players and coaching staff and immersing myself in the game full time.” ...


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    The Danish men’s footy team has etched themselves into the history books by becoming just the third team to win back to back titles after England (2008/09) and Ireland (2011/12). The Danes were terrific in taking out the title in Umag. The women’s title was taken by the England Vixens, defeating the Danish girls in their final.

     

    In a tough final, heavily effected by strong winds, the England team raced to an early lead before the Denmark team charged back into the game, eventually running out comfortable winners by 21 points.

     

     

    Host nation Croatia held on in a thriller against Ireland for the third place battle. Germany finished in fifth place, taking out the Euro Bowl by defeating the team from France in another thriller by just three points. The Netherlands defeated the European Crusaders in the battle for ninth place to be the winners of the Euro Plate.

     

    Also of note amongst then performances on the day was the continued rise of the Austrian team, taking seventh place, their best performance at a Euro Cup.

     

    Overall men’s standings at the end of a great day in Umag, Croatia were:

    1.      Denmark

    2.      England

    3.      Croatia

    4.      Ireland

    5.      Germany

    6.      France

    7.      Austria

    8.      Scotland

    9.      The Netherlands

    10.    European Crusaders

    11.    Norway

    12.    Peace Team

     

    The women’s standings at the end of the day were:

    1.       England

    2.       Denmark

    3.       France

    4.       Croatia

    5.       Norway

    6.       Sweden

     

    Scores:

    Pool A

    Germany 55 d Norway 4 – Ireland 90 d Norway 1 – Ireland 35 d Germany 20

    Pool B

    Austria 39 d Peace Team 8 – Denmark 93 d Peace Team 0 – Denmark 84 d Austria 12

    Pool C

    Scotland 22 d Crusaders 19 – England 56 d Crusaders 3 – England 71 d Scotland 0

    Pool D

    France 87 d The Netherlands 12 – Croatia 71 d The Netherlands 8 – Croatia 70 d France 15

     

    Semi-Finals:

    3rd Place Group

    Crusaders 26 d Norway 25 – The Netherlands 47 d Peace Team 16

    2nd Place Group

    Germany 52 d Scotland 15 – France 66 d Austria 13

    1st Place Group

    England 23 d Ireland 9 – Denmark 57 d Croatia 14

     

    Finals:

    11th Place Match – Norway 25 d Peace Team 1

    9th Place Match – The Netherlands 28 d European Crusaders 12 (The Netherlands Plate Winners)

    7th Place Match – Austria 29 d Scotland 3

    5th Place Match – Germany 24 d France 21 (Germany Bowl Winners)

    3rd Place Match – Croatia 29 d Ireland 26

    Euro Cup Final – Denmark 47 d England 26

     

    Women’s Draw:

    Pool A  

    France 26 d Sweden 7 – England 82 d Sweden 1 – England 85 d France 1

    Pool B

    Norway 32 d Croatia 12 – Denmark 47 d Norway 1 – Denmark 36 d Croatia 18

    Semi-Finals:

    England 88 d Croatia 0 – Denmark 50 d France 1

    (Fifth Place Playoff) – Norway 29 d Sweden 7

    (Third Place Playoff) – France 40 d Croatia 1

    Final

    England 54 d Denmark 6

     

     

    Congratulations must go to AFL Europe and the team in Croatia for putting the event together. Congratulations to Denmark and England, whose men and women reached both finals, but also to all team and players who contributed to a great day. ...


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    The 2015 Euro Cup is now but a memory and the players, officials, supporters and families have started the journeys home. In another year from now we will start again, somewhere. But now we have a chance to look at how each nation performed at the event.

     

    Denmark:

    As close to faultless as a team could get. Won their Pool B matches against Austria and the Peace team by huge margins, then mauled the host team, Croatia, in the semi-final stage. Gave England a decent headstart in the final before powering home and away by 21 points. Little more could have gone right to make this two years of Danish dominance.

     

    The women’s team fell only at the final hurdle, proving too good for Norway, Croatia and France, However, they went down heavily in the final to England suggesting a gulf between their own best and the best women in Europe.

     

    England:

    Made short work of the European Crusaders and Scotland in the Pool C matches before a tougher semi-final hitout against Ireland. Played well to win through to final, and started well until the Danes overran  them. Certainly an improvement on 2014 where they finished sixth, but would be disappointed they let this chance slip.

    The England Vixens were far too powerful for all opponents, dominating the series. On that form they would have likely beaten the Irish Banshees had they been there, such was their power and structure. Their closest game was the 48 point win in the final. An ominous display.

     

    Croatia:

    Pummelled their Pool D rivals in France and The Netherlands before going down to the Danes in the semi-final by a 43 point margin. Played in a cracker of a playoff for third place, eventually holding off the Irish team by just three points. As hosts, Croatia possibly expected better, but still a good result overall.

    For the Croatian Queens this tournament was very much a starting point for development. On that basis the women tried hard and proudly and will have learned a great deal. Winless but competitive.

     

    Ireland:

    Topped Pool A with a big win against Norway before playing well to down a resilient German team by 15 points. Two tough losses in the semi-final and final stage, downed by England by 14 points then by Croatia in a thriller by three. Would be a touch disappointed, but are still building nicely after a surprising 5th place in Bordeaux two years ago.

     

    Germany:

    Defeated Norway but lost to Ireland in their pool to make it a shaky start. From there they proceeded to record a strong win against Scotland and held their nerve against a fast finishing France to hold on to fifth place and the Euro Bowl. Overall, three wins for the day was a good result for the Black Eagles and proves they are still a team to be respected.

     

    France:

    Went on something of a rollercoaster ride on the day. A first up win against The Netherlands was followed by a heavy loss to Croatia. Followed up with a big win against Austria before going down by just three points to Germany in the playoff for fifth. Inconsistent but generally played well.

    The French women started well with a win against Sweden before back to back losses to both England and Denmark. A good win against Croatia saw them finish third with 2 wins and 2 losses so overall a good effort and a huge improvement on last year when they went winless and bottom of the standings.

     

    Austria:

    A fantastic result  for the Austrians. Their seventh place at this event far exceeds any previous efforts at a Euro Cup.  Did not come home with any silverware, but had already made their point. Wins against the Peace Team and Scotland set up the result. The Austrian team should be very proud and are probably proving that somewhere right now.

     

    Scotland:

    Won their first game against the Crusaders by three points. After that they had a tough draw, going down to both England and Germany. Austria were too good for them in the playoff for seventh place. Have performed better in the past but eighth place was still a good return for the Scotland team. Will benefit from the tough games in the long run and will be harder to beat in 2016.

     

    The Netherlands:

    Took out the Euro Plate on the strength of back to back wins against the Peace Team and the European Crusaders after having lost their opening games heavily to both France and Croatia. Their resilience showed through to keep playing out the tournament with heads high, securing those important wins. A huge improvement on their 15th place in London, proving the Dutch are on the way back up.

     

    European Crusaders:

    In effect the team was not a reality until the day before the event, meaning they played under the pressure of little to no opportunity to play as one. Nevertheless, they did secure a narrow win against Norway and pushed hard in the playoff for ninth place against The Netherlands. Played their role giving players a chance to be a part of the tournament, so more than successful again.

     

    Norway:

    A case of peaking too late, perhaps. Norway lost their Pool A games heavily to both Germany and Ireland before losing by the narrowest of margins to the Crusaders. Finished on a high with a win against the Peace Team, but can only dream what might have been if they had won against Crusaders.

    The women’s team struggled bravely with injuries which saw them perform well with two wins against both Croatia and Sweden but a loss to Denmark. Stood aside to allow Croatia to play off for third place as their injury toll mounted. Overall, a good performance to be built on for next year.

     

    Peace Team:

    Went through tournament without a win but were competitive in most games. Will have learned an enormous amount from the matches and will be far better versed and prepared when they come back next year…we hope. Cannot be said to have lost when they won the hearts and respect of most people for just being there and playing with a united spirit.

     

    Sweden:

    The Ravens found the going tough, but represented their country bravely. Unable to taste victory in a game sense but will have come away with so many victories in terms of learning the game and displaying their passion. Like France from last year to this year, Sweden might find a huge improvement in just twelve months when they hopefully return to battle at the 2016 Euro Cup.

     

     

     

      ...


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    The Northern Territory Top End summer footy season roared back into life last weekend with four Premier league matches to kick off 2015. The NTFL (Northern Territory Football League) got off to a flyer with a triple header at TIO Stadium in Darwin, with the showcase of the round being the traditional Grand Final rematch from the previous season – Wanderers against St Mary’s.

    The feature match was a thriller, and treated the crowd to an exciting come from behind win to last year’s premiers – Wanderers. The St Mary’s crew skipped out to a five point lead by quarter time, despite only having three scoring shots to eight. The adage of bad kicking being bad football was on display as Wanderers squandered opportunities whilst the Saints made the most of theirs kicking three straight to Wanderers one goal seven behinds.


    St Mary’s held a two goal lead by half time and were still four points up at the final change. A ripping last quarter saw Wanderers able to grab the lead and hand on by just three points in a match that may have set the tone for the new season. Final score saw Wanderers 9 13 67 defeat St Mary’s 10 4 64.

    In other results, the earlier matches saw last year’s wooden-spooners, Waratah, outplay the Tiwi Bombers in something of an upset. The final scores saw Waratah 20 9 129 defeat Tiwi Bombers 10 16 76. The evening’s other match saw the Palmerston Magpies bring hope to a new season when they downed Buffaloes. The final score saw Palmerston 17 12 114 defeat Buffaloes 10 11 71.

    The other match of the round was played on Sunday with Nightcliff Tigers hosting Southern District, but sadly for them it did not help the result. The Crocs were too good for the Tigers running out convincing winners, 23 8 146 to 11 12 78 to claim the first top spot for the year.

    Next round will see Nightcliff take on the Tiwi Bombers, Wanderers clash with Waratah, St Mary’s up against Buffaloes and Southern District to tackle Palmersto ...

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    Following in the wake of fellow AFL listed countrymen, Majak Daw at North Melbourne and Aliir Aliir at the Sydney Swans, two more Sudanese footballers have set their sights firmly on succeeding at the highest level. Their results at the recent AFL Draft Combine prove conclusively that they will give everything they have to give and more.

    Mabior Chol and Gach Nyuon (pictured) are both very similar in many ways. Both were born in Sudan and both saw their families flee their home countries and spend time in camps elsewhere. Gach’s family spent time in refugee camps in both Kenya and Ethiopia before his journey brought him to Melbourne as a seven year old.

    Mabior’s family also fled, via Egypt. Leaving the war in Sudan as a two year old, violence saw his family leave Egypt when he was eight for Brisbane.


    Sam Lansberger from the Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne has written a detailed story about the boy’s journeys which was featured previously on World Footy News (see: Incredible Journeys From Africa To Australian Football) and is again worth reading in full to appreciate the incredible journey they have both travelled to date.

    But at the recent Draft combine, both boys excelled in their pet disciplines to the extent that they caught more than one or two passing eyes.

    In the Absolute Standing Vertical Jump, Mabior jumped 334cm whilst Gach jumped 330cm. In third place was possible number one draft pick Jacob Weitering with 327cm. This measures the height they jump from the ground to their highest point in the air at their fingertips from a standing start.

    The pair also took the top two spots in the Absolute Running Vertical Jump, but in reverse order. Gach took this event with a total jump of 362cm (equalling Nic natanui’s jump in 2008 prior to his drafting to the West Coast Eagles), shading Mabior at 357cm. Again Weitering took third behind the pair at 344cm. This event measures the distance from the ground to the highest point they reach in air with a running start.

    Both excelled in the Relative Running Vertical Jump with Gach coming second at 94cm and Mabior fourth at 90cm.

    Proving that it isn’t only jumping where they possess incredible athletic abilities, Mabior took second place in the 30m Repeat Sprints with a time of 24.30 seconds, just behind future star Daniel Rioli who recorded 24.15 seconds. He also ran an impressive 2.95 seconds in the 20 Metre Sprints.

    These performances may very well have caught many eyes, and in what is described as a “shallow” National Draft in November the boys might yet sneak onto a club’s Rookie List. But at worst, the pair have provided more evidence that the renowned athleticism found in sportsmen from a range of African countries is becoming a very neat fit with Australian Rules football.

    For more information on the pair, read Tadhg Kennelley’s post-combine assessment of theor draft chances: http://m.sportsfan.com.au/afl-news-di...cks/177828

    Picture: http://m.sportsfan.com.au
    ...

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  • 10/14/15--23:55: 2015 USAFL Nationals Preview
  • The USAFL Nationals are set to get underway in Austin Texas this weekend.  USAFL matches have been underway since early in the year but for most clubs all those games are the warm-up for this tournament.  This year 36 men's teams and 9 women's teams from all over the US will battle it out in warm conditions at Onion Creek Soccer complex in Austin.

    The Austin Crows will be favourites in their own backyard to take the title as they did here two years ago, their most likely rival in the final is set to be the reigning champions the New York Magpies.  Don't be surprised though if Austin's neighbours in the Dallas Magpies can work some magic to make it an all Texas affair in the final.  In the Women's Division the Denver Lady Bulldogs are looking to go 6 in a row but will face stiff competition from the other four teams in their division.

    Read on for all the details on the schedule of events, the pools, my predictions and the USAFL Weekly Report show schedule for the Nationals. 

    The tournament schedule is as follows

    Time Event Location
    Friday, October 16
    8am - 4pm Administrator's Conference Wyndham - Executive Learning Center
    1pm - 5pm Umpire's Clinic Wyndham - Guadalupe/Barton Creek
    3pm - 5pm Player's Clinic Onion Creek Soccer Park
    4pm AGM Wyndham - Executive Learning Center
    6:30pm - 11pm Player Registration Wyndham Foyer
    7pm - 8pm Women's Meeting Wyndham - Executive Learning Center
    8pm - 9pm Official Welcome Function Wyndham - Highland Lakes Ballroom
    9pm Coaches Meeting Wyndham - Executive Learning Center
    9pm Umpires Meeting Wyndham - Guadalupe/Barton Creek
    Saturday, October 17
    8am Player Check-in Opens Onion Creek Soccer Park
    8am - 6pm Day 1 of Competition Onion Creek Soccer Park
    1pm College Exhibition Game Onion Creek Soccer Park
    2pm Kid's Clinic Onion Creek Soccer Park
    6:05pm Women's Photo Meet in front of Tournament Central
    Sunday, October 18
    9am - 6pm Day 2 of Competition Onion Creek Soccer Park
    1pm Masters vs Legends Onion Creek Soccer Park - Field 1
    2pm Division 4 Final Field 4
    2pm Division 3 Final Field 1
    3pm Division 2 Final Field 1
    4:30pm Division 1 Final Field 1
    5:30pm Awards Ceremony Field 1
    7:30pm Official After Party The Market

    MEN'S DIVISION 1:
    (Two pools of four teams, round robin.  Winners advance to Grand Final)

    Seed Pool A Pool B
    1 Austin Crows New York Magpies
    2 Los Angeles Dragons Orange County Bombers
    3 Calgary Kangaroos Denver Bulldogs
    4 Golden Gate Roos Dallas Magpies

    Alex's Predictions


    Unlike the previous years where the teams in Division 1 would same pushovers and powerhouses, all of the teams this year are in the top 15 in the USAFLWR standings. Add Calgary to that mix and it becomes the toughest Division One tournament in the last 7 years.
    Pool A Prediction: Pool A is the easier of the two pools this year, but don’t underestimate any of the 4 teams in the pool. Calgary has a strong contingent and with Golden Gate and LA both playing each other twice and tying once, it’s a tough sledding. Pool A Champion: Austin Crows
    Pool B Prediction: Pool B is the toughest of all 12 pools in the men’s divisions and in Division 1. 4 of the top 7 teams in the USAFLWR standings will be fighting on this one and expect a battle. It will literally be decided on percentage and who has the firepower to do it in. Pool B Champion: Based on past experiences and since they are the defending Premiers, New York, but don’t be surprised if Dallas or Denver can sneak up to win the pool.
    Grand Final: Austin vs. New York. A rematch of 2 years ago when Austin won the game by the tightest margin in USAFL history. New York hasn’t forgotten on that and they are going for 2 straight Premiers, a feat that hasn’t been done in nearly a decade. Expect a battle. Premiers: Austin Crows by 2.
     

    MEN'S DIVISION 2:
    (Two pools of four teams, round robin.  Winners advance to Grand Final)

    Seed Pool A Pool B
    1 Columbus Jackaroos Minnesota Freeze
    2 Boston Demons Houston Lonestars
    3 Sacramento Suns Chicago Swans
    4 Ft. Lauderdale Fighting Squids Quebec Saints

    Alex's predictions

    Defending Division 2 Champions are the clear favorites. That being said, expect the unexpected in this division as always.
    Pool A Prediction: This pool is almost too cut and dry with Columbus on a roll and no other team in the Division with better than a break-even record. If any team outside of Columbus makes it in, it’s because of upsets. Columbus is just that good. Pool A Champion: Columbus Jackaroos
    Pool B Prediction: This pool, like Pool A, is almost too cut and dry. Quebec has been the 4th seed before and yes have won a game in this pool, but Chicago and Houston are much tougher despite their records. Whoever wins between Minnesota and Chicago in their match (3 pm Saturday) will win the pool. Pool B Champion: Minnesota Freeze
    Grand Final: Columbus vs. Minnesota. The last time these two teams played each other last year, Columbus won by nearly 3 goals. With a powerful team, expect a first in this Division…Back-to-back Premiers. Premiers: Columbus by 13.
     

    MEN'S DIVISION 3:
    (Two pools of four teams, round robin.  Winners advance to Grand Final)

    Seed Pool A Pool B
    1 Tulsa Buffaloes Portland Steelheads
    2 Philadelphia Hawks Nashville Kangaroos
    3 North Carolina Tigers Des Moines Roosters
    4 Ohio Valley River Rats Austin Crows*

    Alex's predictions

    Division 3 expect a wide open field and surprises during the weekend.
    Pool A Prediction: Tulsa got the top seed thanks to Sacramento moving up to Division 2 and North Carolina is moving up to their pool and Division 3 because of their win last year in Division 4. With those two, expect a lot of scoring as well as from Ohio Valley. Philadelphia has surprised a many of teams in the past 2 years, so expect a dogfight. Ironically enough, whoever wins the 9 am game on Saturday between Ohio Valley and Tulsa will win the pool. Pool A Champion: Tulsa Buffaloes
    Pool B Prediction: This is the more interesting pool of the two as 3 of these teams have never faced each other (Nashville has faced Austin 3 times and won twice). Expect some interesting games to say the least. The game that will decide the pool will be the last game on Sunday @ 10 am between Portland and Nashville. Whoever wins that game wins the pool considering both of those teams have winning records. Pool B Champion: Nashville Kangaroos
    Grand Final: Tulsa vs. Nashville. If this happens to be the final, it will be their first ever meeting against each other. Dustin Brasel’s team is a tough competition in the USAFL Southwest region, but the Kangaroos have had tough games with Chicago, Columbus and Atlanta, going 4-2 between the matches. Expect a major battle that will come to the final minute to decide. Premiers: Nashville by 3.
     

    MEN'S DIVISION 4:
    (Four pools of three teams, round robin.  Winners advance to semi-finals, winners of semis advance to Grand Final)

    Seed Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D
    1 New York*/Columbus* Calgary*/Milwaukee Bombers Orange County*/San Diego Lions Seattle Grizzlies/Portland*
    2 Los Angeles* Baltimore-Washington/Edmonton Emus Dallas*/Austin* Denver*/Indianapolis Giants
    3 Kansas City/Cleveland Golden Gate* Atlanta Kookaburras Houston*/Baton Rouge Tigers

    WOMEN'S DIVISION 1
    (Round Robin, best record declared champions)

    Seed Club
    1 Denver Lady Bulldogs
    2 San Francisco Iron Maidens
    3 Minnesota Freeze
    4 New York Lady Magpies
    5 Sacramento Lady Suns

    Alex's predictions

    What an interesting year that the top 5 teams have had, especially the 5-time defending champion Denver Lady Bulldogs have had. Coming in with only 3 games under their belt, they have their work cut out for them as they face what could be their toughest competition to date. If Denver can beat New York (Saturday at 1 pm), then their rematch for the 3rd time will be set against San Francisco (Sunday @ 4 pm). Premiers: Denver will take their 6th straight.

    WOMEN'S DIVISION 2
    (Round Robin, best record declared champions)

    Seed Team
    1 Calgary Kookaburras/Boston Lady Demons
    2 Columbus/Baltimore-Washington/Portland/Chicago
    3 Arizona Lady Hawks/Tulsa Buffaloes
    4 Montreal Angels/Minnesota Freeze*

     

    For the record here is how the teams have fared during the 2015 USAFL season.  The table includes the USAFLWR standings based on points for matches played, the USAFL standings based on an opinion poll ranking the top 20 teams and the seedings of each team and their pool for the Nationals.

     

    Team USAFLWR Standings USAFL Standings W-L-D PF PA Pct. Pts. Nationals Pool: Seedings
    Columbus 1 11 10-2-0 713 300 237.67 28 Division 2: Top Overall Seed: Pool A
    New York 2 2 8-2-1 693 334 207.49 27 Division 1: 2nd Overall Seed: Top Seed: Pool B
    Austin 3 1 11-3-0 595 295 201.69 26 Division 1: 1st Overall Seed: Pool A
    Denver 4 5 9-5-0 805 527 152.75 23 Division 1: 6th Overall Seed: Pool B: 3rd Seed
    Dallas 5 6 10-2-0 607 349 173.92 22 Division 1: 8th Overall Seed: Pool B: 4th Seed
    Atlanta 6 26t 6-4-0 508 636 79.87 21 Division 4: 11th Overall Seed: Pool C: 3rd Seed
    Orange County 7 3 7-3-0 570 343 166.18 20 Division 2: 3rd Overall Seed: Pool B: 2nd Seed
    Cincinnati 8 24 7-5-0 664 406 163.55 20 Division 3: 8th Overall Seed: Pool A: 4th Seed
    Nashville 9 12 7-5-0 555 530 104.71 19 Division 3: 3rd Overall Seed: Pool B: 2nd Seed
    Minnesota 10 8 7-4-0 564 517 109.09 17 Division 2: 2nd Overall Seed: Pool B: Top Seed
    North Carolina 11 22 4-2-0 387 262 147.71 16 Division 3: 6th Overall Seed: Pool A: 3rd Seed
    Fort Lauderdale 12 19 4-4-0 373 363 102.75 16 Division 2: 8th Overall Seed: Pool B: 4th Seed
    Los Angeles 13 4 4-2-1 339 205 165.37 15 Division 1: 4th Overall Seed: Pool A: 2nd Seed
    Golden Gate 14 9 5-3-1 333 252 132.14 13 Division 1: 8th Overall Seed: Pool B: 4th Seed
    Tulsa 15 20 5-10-0 530 976 54.3 13 Division 3: 1st Overall Seed: Pool A
    Portland 16 18 4-2-1 301 203 148.27 11 Division 2: 2nd Overall Seed: Pool B: Top Seed
    Houston 17 10 3-9-1 483 474 101.9 11 Division 2: 3rd Overall Seed: Pool B: 2nd Seed
    Chicago 18 13 2-5-1 328 373 87.94 9 Division 3: 6th Overall Seed: Pool B: 3rd Seed
    Boston 19 14t 2-3-0 300 259 115.83 8 Division 2: 4th Overall Seed: Pool A: 2nd Seed
    Philadelphia 20 16t 2-5-0 234 476 49.16 8 Division 3: 4th Overall Seed: Pool B: 2nd Seed
    Seattle 21   2-6-0 209 489 42.74 8 Division 4: 4th Overall Seed: Pool D: 1st Seed
    Sacramento 22 14t 3-3-1 209 249 83.94 7 Division 2: 5th Overall Seed: Pool A: 3rd Seed
    Baltimore/Washington 23 21 2-4-1 195 380 51.32 7 Division 4: 7th Overall Seed: Pool B: 2nd Seed
    Des Moines 24 26t 2-6-1 363 437 83.06 6 Division 3: 6th Overall Seed: Pool B: 3rd Seed
    Baton Rouge 25 26t 1-6-0 428 545 78.53 4 Division 4: 12th Overall Seed: Pool D: 3rd Seed
    Kansas City 26   2-4-0 327 383 85.82 3 Division 4: 9th Overall Seed: Pool A: 3rd Seed
    Cleveland 27   1-2-0 158 358 44.13 2 Division 4: 9th Overall Seed: Pool A: 3rd Seed
    Milwaukee 28   0-2-1 13 86 15.12 1 Division 4: 2nd Overall Seed: Pool B: Top Seed
    Tampa Bay 29   0-1-0 59 74 79.73 0  
    Indianapolis 30   0-6-0 138 479 28.81 0 Division 4: 5th Overall Seed: Pool D: 2nd Seed
    San Diego 31 23 0-3-0 89 345 25.8 0 Division 4: 3rd Overall Seed: Pool C: Top Seed

    Womens Division

    USAFLWR Standings Team W-L-T PF PA Pct. Pts. Nationals
    1 New York Lady Magpies 6-2-0 398 174 228.74 20 Division 1: 4th Seed
    2 San Francisco Iron Maiden 3-1-2 157 101 155.45 9 Division 1: 2nd Seed
    3 Sacramento Lady Suns 2-1-1 102 72 141.67 8 Division 1: 5th Seed
    4 Minnesota Lady Freeze 2-2-0 121 68 177.94 6 Division 1: 3rd Seed
    5 Denver Lady Bulldogs 2-1-0 78 74 105.41 4 Division 1: Top Seed
    6 Boston Lady Demons 1-3-1 48 220 21.83 3 Division 2: Top Seed
    7 Baltimore/Washington Lady Eagles 1-1-0 34 50 68.00 2 Division 2: 2nd Seed
    8 Columbus Lady Jillaroos 1-1-0 13 29 44.83 2 Division 2: 2nd Seed
    9 Arizona Lady Hawks 0-2-0 35 80 43.75 0 Division 3: 3rd Seed

     

    USAFL Weekly Report Show Schedule

    You can catch the USAFL Weekly Report shows right throughout the Nationals on Youtube.  The timing for each of the scheduled shows is below (and subject to change).

    Day
    Time (CDT)/
    Length Show
    Show Title
    Description
    Thursday
    15 October
    9:00 am
    (1 hour)
    15-45/N12:
    Breakfast @ The Nationals- Day 2
    Our Thursday morning show to preview the day ahead and our shows from Austin.
     
    11:00 am
    (30 minutes)
    15-46/N13:
    Lunch @ The Nationals-Day 1
    From the USAFL HQ hotel @ Wyndham Garden Hotel in Austin as we get set for Opening Ceremonies tomorrow.
     
    1:00 pm
    (30 minutes)
    15-47/N14:
    On The Field
    Our first field report with Grilla as we talk on the field conditions.
     
    7:00 pm
    (90 minutes)
    15-48/N15:
    Preparation Show
    Our 2nd preparation show as we talk with Lisa Albergo and Stephen Kerbow as they make their final preparations.
    Friday
    16 October
    9:00 am
    (1 hour)
    15-49/N16:
    Breakfast @ The Nationals- Day 3
    Our Friday morning show with our arrivals from Stephen Kerbow and Lisa Albergo later in the day and our Opening Ceremonies later in the day.
     
    11:00 am
    (15 minutes)
    15-50/N17:
    Arrival of Stephen Kerbow
    Our arrival of co-host Stephen Kerbow and his wife, Lana, from San Antonio.
     
    2:30 pm
    (15 minutes)
    15-51/N18:
    Arrival of Lisa Albergo
    Our arrival of co-host Lisa Albergo @ Austin International Airport.
     
    5:00 pm
    (2.5 hours)
    15-52/N19:
    OPENING CEREMONIES
    Our Opening Ceremonies from Wyndham Garden Hotel Main Ballroom with our entire USAFLWR family.
     
    10:00 pm
    (30 minutes)
    15-53/N20:
    Day Recap
    Recap of the day from Austin and get set for a very busy Saturday.
    Saturday
    17 October
    6:15 am
    (30 minutes)
    15-54/N21:
    Breakfast @ The Nationals- Day 4
    Our Saturday morning show with a first look at the weather and our day’s shows ahead.
     
    Noon A
    (45 minutes)
    15-55/N22:
    On The Field- Lunch @ The Nationals- Saturday
    Our opening On The Field show with a recap of the Saturday games in the docket and a preview of the second half of the day.
     
    7:30 pm
    (1 hour)
    15-56/N23:
    Dinner @ The Nationals- Saturday Recap
    Our recap of Day 1 of the Nationals from Candlewood Suites (USAFLWR HQ) with Lisa Albergo and Stephen Kerbow.
    Sunday
    18 October
    7 am
    (30 minutes)
    15-57/N24:
    Breakfast @ The Nationals- Day 5
    Our Sunday morning show with our look at Sunday’s weather and the field conditions.
     
    Noon A
    (45 minutes)
    15-58/N25:
    On The Field- Lunch @ The Nationals- Sunday
    Our final round robin to get set for the Grand Finals from Onion Creek Soccer Fields.
     
    5:30 pm
    (45 minutes)
    15-59/N26:
    Closing Ceremonies LIVE!
    Our Closing Ceremonies with all of the awards given!
     
    8:30 pm
    (1 hour)
    15-60/N27:
    Nationals Recap
    Our Nationals Recap from the After Nationals Party site.
    Monday
    19 October
    9:00 am
    (1 hour)
    15-61/N28:
    Breakfast @ The Nationals- Day 6
    Our Final Show from Austin as we have our final thoughts of Austin 2015 and a look ahead to 2016.

      ...


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    Each year at the AFL Europe Axios Euro Cup one team seems to have its moment in the sun – a year where they reach a new height which surprises some but thrills many. In 2014, Wales finished fifth when they surprised England in their playoff. In 2013 the story was host nation France reaching the final. Norway had the European footy world talking when they won the Euro Plate in their debut year.

    The “feel good” story from the 2015 event in Umag, Croatia, could well be Austria. Their seventh placing overall was their best performance ever at a Euro Cup. Michael Jud, captain of the Austrian Avalanche national team has been through the lows in the past, but was delighted to talk about this high.

    “Before the Euro Cup we didn't know how to feel about it, because our year was not the best one when it comes to training and games because we had to cancel a lot of sessions due to heavy rain. Furthermore, quite a lot people were almost fully booked with working, studying and becoming fathers.”


    “We had some really tough games again in the CEAFL against the Croatians, but I think the gap between their 3rd place and our 7th place[in this Euro Cup] is not that big in the league.”

    “The Euro Cup - our group with Denmark and the Peace Team seemed to be quite hard for us. Nobody knew how exercised and skilled they [the Peace Team] are, but we for ourselves knew that this game would be the key for a good tournament, so we put everything we got into that game - passion, toughness, skills and our fabulous team spirit. As the result shows it worked out quite well.”

    “The game against the Danish guys we lost as expected, but we were able to score two goals and demanded way more from them than [the corresponding game] in London last year.”

    “In the game against the French guys nothing worked out as we planned it before. Plus the French guys played a really good game. Of course we were disappointed, but we still had the chance to improve our best ever finished place (which was 9th and after the win against the Peace Team was already 8th).”

    “Like in the game against France, we lost the toss and had to play the first half against the extremely heavy wind. Even though the Scottish guys played a really good game, we managed to just get one point from them due to the fantastic game of our backs, especially Martin Schittegg, and score a goal. With the 6 to 1 lead at half time and the wind in our backs for the second half we played our game and won in the end.”

    “It's still unbelievable that we as a country with just one team managed to end 7th out of 12, I am so proud of my teammates and for me as the skipper it's an honour leading that fantastic team into every game.” Certainly, credit goes to the lads at the Styrian DownUnderDogs, Austria’s only ongoing team (the Vienna Kangaroos has not yet reappeared in any on-field capacity). Maybe, just maybe, this performance might inspire a more permanent second team in Austria. Stranger things have happened.

    “I think we did not reach our peak yet, there is still a lot to improve and I know we can do better and also tease the big nations. We hope that we can recruit new players for the next season and we would also love to welcome Aussie players and coaches to our team.”

    So, there is the invitation to players and coaches worldwide. Austria has come a long way on the European footy scene, but plans are there to get bigger, bolder and better.

    To borrow a line from Oscar Hammerstein II, these Austrians continue to Climb Every Mountain.

    ...

    0 0

    The AFL today named a 22-man squad to contest the one-off Test against Ireland in the 2015 Virgin Australia International Rules Series, to be played at Croke Park in Dublin on Saturday November 21.
     
    Australia regained the Cormac Macanallen Trophy with victory in last November's Test on home soil in Perth and has again named a squad comprised entirely of All Australian players, under the direction of leading coaches Alastair Clarkson, Ross Lyon and Chris Scott.
     
    The coaching group of head coach Clarkson and senior assistants Lyon and Scott elected to keep faith with 14 players who were part of last year's victory, while those players from the 2014 Virgin Australia team who were injured or unavailable due to personal commitments were replaced with squad members who were either All Australian selections in 2015, or who had previously been an All Australian player at some point in their careers.
     
    The 2015 Virgin Australia International Rules squad is: Eddie Betts (Adelaide Crows), Grant Birchall (Hawthorn), Luke Bruest (Hawthorn), Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong Cats), Dustin Fletcher (Essendon), Andrew Gaff (West Coast), Brendon Goddard (Essendon), Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide), Dyson Heppell (Essendon), Luke Hodge (Hawthorn), Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn), Leigh Montagna (St Kilda), David Mundy (Fremantle), Robert Murphy (Western Bulldogs), Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda), Tom Rockliff (Brisbane Lions), Jarryd Roughead (Hawthorn), Nick Smith (Sydney Swans), Jake Stringer (Western Bulldogs), Harry Taylor (Geelong Cats), Chad Wingard (Port Adelaide), Easton Wood (Western Bulldogs).
     
    “As a proud supporter of the International Rules Series, Virgin Australia congratulates each of the players who have been selected to represent Australia,’’ General Manager Brand and Marketing Michael Scott said.
     
    “We wish the team the very best of luck as they face Ireland and hope to be flying the Cormac Macanallen Trophy home with the players after another successful series.”
     
    AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan also thanked each player who had made himself available for selection and wished the coaches well for the upcoming tour.
     
    “Alastair, Chris and Ross led the side with passion and a strong commitment last year and their efforts, along with the players, played a huge role in rebuilding the interest around the IRS Tests,” McLachlan said.
     
    ‘I also want to thank again John Borghetti and all of his wonderful staff around the country at Virgin Australia.
     
    “As the official airline of the AFL, Virgin Australia has provided incredible support throughout the 2015 AFL season and their passion and commitment to the International Rules Series has been integral in enabling Australia and Ireland to continue to compete against each other,” he said.
     
    Gaff, Heppell, Roughead and Stringer are the only members of the squad not to have played against Ireland in an International Rules Test match at some point during their AFL career.
     
    Clarkson said the squad represented the best collection of talent the competition could muster for the challenge of playing a different game with a round ball, and winning on foreign soil against an Irish side that would be smarting from last year's result.
     
    "The 2014 Test match in Perth was a great highlight, as we brought together the leading players from across our competition in the one side," Clarkson said.
     
    "We were able to combine well in a short period and give a great account of ourselves, to win the match, but the challenge will be more difficult again to now go to Ireland and win in front of a capacity crowd at Croke Park.
     
    "The playing line-up speaks for itself with the reputations they have established in our game, and we know what to expect in the speed and the skills required to succeed with a round ball under different rules.
     
    "On a personal note, it's a great opportunity again to work with the very best coaches in the game in Chris Scott and Ross Lyon and to be able to spend time with the very best players from across the AFL," he said.
     
    The team will initially travel to New York in the second week of November for a training camp, including a practice match against a US representative GAA team, before arriving in Dublin in the week of the November 21 match.
     
    The squad, which contains four current club captains and one former club captain, will have its leadership named after the players have come together.
     
    Player representative details:
     
    Eddie Betts - All Australian in 2015. Played IRS in 2010 in Ireland and 2013 in Ireland.
     
    Grant Birchall - All Australian in 2012. Played IRS in 2014.
     
    Luke Bruest - All Australian in 2014. Played IRS in 2014.
     
    Patrick Dangerfield - All Australian in 2012, 2013 and 2015. Played IRS in 2010 in Ireland and 2014.
     
    Dustin Fletcher - All Australian in 2000 and 2007. Played IRS in 2005, 2006 in Ireland (captain), 2010 in Ireland and 2014.
     
    Andrew Gaff - All Australian in 2015.
     
    Brendon Goddard - All Australian in 2009 and 2010. Played IRS in 2006 in Ireland and 2014.
     
    Robbie Gray - All Australian in 2014 and 2015. Played IRS in 2014.
     
    Dyson Heppell. All Australian in 2014.
     
    Luke Hodge - All Australian in 2005, 2008 and 2010. Played IRS in 2005 and 2014.
     
    Sam Mitchell - All Australian in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Played IRS in 2014.
     
    Leigh Montagna - All Australian in 2009 and 2010. Played IRS in 2008, 2010 in Ireland and 2014.
     
    David Mundy - All Australian in 2015. Played IRS in 2006 in Ireland.
     
    Robert Murphy - All Australian in 2011 and 2015. Played IRS in 2002 in Ireland and 2003.
     
    Nick Riewoldt - All Australian in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2014. Played IRS in 2014.
     
    Tom Rockliff - All Australian in 2014. Played IRS in 2014.
     
    Jarryd Roughead. All Australian in 2013 and 2014.
     
    Nick Smith - All Australian in 2014. Played IRS in 2014.
     
    Jake Stringer - All Australian in 2015.
     
    Harry Taylor - All Australian in 2010 and 2013. Played IRS in 2014.
     
    Chad Wingard - All Australian in 2013 and 2015. Played IRS in 2014.
     
    Easton Wood - All Australian in 2015. Played IRS in 2011.
     
     
     
    The Virgin Australia International Rules Test will be telecast around Australia by the Seven Network. ...

    0 0

     

    The Port Adelaide website has released a story outlining the role the club has had in the development of the game in Asia, particularly with the China Reds team. The article below showcases their involvement ahead of the Asian Championships which begin tomorrow in Bangkok, Thailand.

     

    (Picture: Zhang Hao, Russell Ebert, Chen Shao Ling – Port Adelaide FC)

     

    THE China Reds will take part in the AFL Asian Championships in Bangkok this weekend with the help of Port Adelaide as part of the club’s push into Asia.

     

    With money raised from the 2014 Port Adelaide ANZAC Day fundraising auction, 11 local Chinese players have been given the opportunity to make the trip to Thailand.

     

    This comprises the largest contingent of local players to ever represent a country in the championship, which is normally dominated by expatriate Australians.

    According to AFL Asia President Darren Whitfield, Port Adelaide has played an integral part in this result.

     

    “Port Adelaide is pioneering a way for local footballers to get involved, and their fundraising efforts are the reason that Team China are able to send 11 indigenous players” he said.

    In recognition of the club’s sponsorship of the South China AFL (SCAFL) and Team China, the players will be sporting Port Adelaide logos on their guernseys.

     

    The China Reds are comprised of combined representatives from the Beijing Bombers, the Shanghai Tigers and the Guangzhou Scorpions.

    Their trip is being managed by Zhang Hao and captained by Chen Shao Ling as they compete for the division two trophy.

     

     

    A total of 13 teams will take part in the competition this weekend, as the Singapore Wombats look to defend their 2014 ‘Asian Champs’ title.

    According to Whitfield the competition is an important part of the AFL’s push into China.

     

    “This competition is the ultimate display of footy in Asia and it plays a key role in its expansion in the region,” Darren said.

    He also made it clear Port Adelaide is one of the leading lights to nurture the development of the game there.

     

    “Port Adelaide’s involvement in China has been very important, and the players love the recognition that they get,” he continued.

    “It lets them know that this game is more than just what goes on in their local region.” He said.

     

    For more information about the competition and results, go to the AFL Asia website at: http://www.afl-asia.com/

     

     

    Exclusive to  www.portadelaidefc.com.au   ...


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