Articles on this Page
- 10/16/15--06:05: _Merseyside Saints G...
- 10/16/15--14:38: _One time Canadian P...
- 10/17/15--00:44: _From Russia, With L...
- 10/17/15--04:40: _2015 USAFL National...
- 10/17/15--16:45: _2015 USAFL National...
- 10/18/15--00:17: _Asian Championships
- 10/18/15--01:22: _Hamburg Edges Munic...
- 10/18/15--14:30: _Japan Cup title goe...
- 10/18/15--14:40: _2015 USAFL National...
- 10/19/15--06:17: _Buffaloes Lock Horn...
- 10/19/15--12:48: _Coyotes Take Down C...
- 10/19/15--21:50: _Hong Kong Dragons W...
- 10/23/15--06:35: _The World Game
- 10/23/15--23:01: _Abu Dhabi Falcons S...
- 10/25/15--13:54: _Buffaloes Charge – ...
- 10/27/15--00:41: _AFL Returns to Cair...
- 10/27/15--04:41: _Witnessing Greatness
- 10/27/15--20:15: _Flying Higher – Ire...
- 10/28/15--03:55: _Glass signs with Ha...
- 10/28/15--06:14: _Warriors Take South...
- 10/16/15--06:05: Merseyside Saints Green Light For AFLCNE 2016 Season
- 10/16/15--14:38: One time Canadian Pyke bows out on own terms
- 10/17/15--00:44: From Russia, With Love…
- 10/17/15--04:40: 2015 USAFL Nationals Day1 Streaming schedule and links
- 10/17/15--16:45: 2015 USAFL Nationals Day1 - Austin Crows and OC Bombers in box seat
- 10/18/15--00:17: Asian Championships
- 10/18/15--01:22: Hamburg Edges Munich For German Premiership
- 10/18/15--14:30: Japan Cup title goes back to Goannas
- 10/18/15--14:40: 2015 USAFL Nationals Day 2 - Austin Crows are 2015 USAFL Champions
- 10/19/15--06:17: Buffaloes Lock Horns With Saints In Thriller – NTFL Round Two
- 10/19/15--12:48: Coyotes Take Down Cockerels in French Season Opener
- 10/19/15--21:50: Hong Kong Dragons Win 6th Asian Champs Title
- 10/23/15--06:35: The World Game
- 10/23/15--23:01: Abu Dhabi Falcons Start Season In Style
- 10/25/15--13:54: Buffaloes Charge – NTFL Round Three
- 10/27/15--00:41: AFL Returns to Cairns in 2016 - Press Release
- 10/27/15--04:41: Witnessing Greatness
- 10/27/15--20:15: Flying Higher – Ireland’s UCC Bombers
- 10/28/15--03:55: Glass signs with Hawks, but still studying at home
- 10/28/15--06:14: Warriors Take South African National League Title
The AFLCNE will welcome a new team to their playing fields for the 2016 in a move which will bring the competition back to eight teams and bring the city of Liverpool back into the Australian Rules football scene.
The recent AGM for the league saw a unanimous decision to allow the fledgling Merseyside Saints to take their place in the competition next year. A message from the AFLCNE on their Twitter account said “following today's AGM it gives us great pleasure to welcome [the] Merseyside Saints into the AFLCNE. See you on the field!”
Will Sykes is co-founder of the club and club president. In a short interview, Will laid out the situation for the club in terms of how people feel about the decision. He also looked at the demographics of this newest team from a Liverpool base and what will ensure future longer term success.
He began by stating that “everyone at the club is extremely excited at our approved application to join the AFLCNE for the coming season. I've been inundated with messages from players and supporters telling me if their excitement. We all see this as a great chance to grow the game of Aussie Rules in an area of the UK that embrace sport to the fullest. They have the Blues and Reds on Merseyside now they have the best footy side to support, the Saints.”
“I feel that the Merseyside area offers an untapped resource of potential Aussie Rules stars. You just have to look at how they embrace Liverpool and Everton football clubs to see how passionate the people from Merseyside are about sport. Our aim is that the Saints will be a club that promotes and builds Aussie Rules in the North West while representing the AFLCNE.”
“Starting a sporting team or club is an extremely difficult task to achieve. It has to be done slowly and correctly for it to be sustainable. When the idea of the Saints first came about, it was agreed that league status wouldn't be applied for until we had a strong foundation in place. With a lot of effort we know have a strong consistent playing squad, use of fantastic facilities and an active committee.”
“Dedication and commitment are the keys to our success, so at our inaugural AGM I ensured that we had the commitment of the players for the coming season and a committee that would actively help grow the club. One person running a club is too much strain and pressure, so an active committee who were passionate about building the club was vital. I think those are the differences between the Saints and previous attempts [to establish a Liverpool/Merseyside team in the past].
It won’t be an easy journey on field. As the Tyne Tees Tigers have learned in their first two seasons, there is heartache and hard times that go with the joy and fun. But in a relatively short time the Saints have gone from a dream to the reality of being a team in the AFLCNE, and that is a huge step. If Will and his club have come this far, there is no telling how much further they can go.
The AFLCNE will also be delighted to see their ranks grow with another team, but also to have tapped another major population centre as a place to grow the game further.
With a simple tweet Mike Pyke literally and figuratively hangs up his boots after a successful (surprisingly so) career at the Sydney Swans that was highlighted by a most solid outing in the 2012 premiership win against the pre-three-peat Hawthorn Hawks. From a 25 year old taking as big a personal sporting gamble as several more high profile 'code hoppers' - but with far less fanfare or fortune - Pyke has carved out a 6 year career that more than justified his personal journey and also the leap of faith of his club and coaches. And also highlighted the need the system to retain the means by which the sporting narrative can throw up such pleasant surprises rather than militarily fit to a formularised predictability.
End of the road was another finals series, although for the Swans falling out in straight sets was a somewhat hollow outcome for a season that promised so much more. Injuries to key players certainly didn’t help come pointy end of the season for the Swans. Pyke’s last hit out would be against North Melbourne and form All-Australian ruck Todd Goldstein. Goldstein snagged a goal, had 34 hits and 11 disposals and helped get North get home by 26. For Pyke – hampered by a niggly knee – it was becoming more laborious as he shared ruck duties with Kurt Tippett. 19 hit outs and 9 disposals to finish off his 110th career game.
For Pyke season 2015 provided a highlight moment, the 100th game in Round 10 this year when the Swans got the job done comfortably against the Gold Coast Suns at Carrara. Pyke (31 hit outs) and Tippett (17) got the choccies in the ruck against the inexperienced Nicholls. The win left the Swans in 2nd with 8 from 10. At this point they were fitting the prediction of a side seeking finals redemption after a Grand Final embarrassment in 2014. Alas they faded in the 2nd half, only winning a further 8 from the next 12 and had to again get past the Suns in Round 23 to ensure a top 4 finish - but still the need to head to Perth in week 1 of finals.
Pyke finished the year with 20 matches, 1 more than 2014. His best season was 2013 with 25 games while sharing ruck duties with Shane Mumford. That Mumford was let go at the end of that season was as big a vote of confidence in Pyke as anything however the burden of #1 ruck takes its toll. In 2013 Pyke averaged 22 hit outs, 11 disposals and a 1 goal each week (28 for the year). Mumford similar, slightly more hit outs, less goals (9). It was a good double act; the last 2 years disposal average has dropped to 9 and 8 and the goals have dried up. Hit outs around 26 per week this year. This was after a pretty solid patch from Round 5 to the 100th game with only one week below 30 hitouts and included highs of 59 against the Doggies in Round 5 and 53 against Carlton in Round 9. However – he missed several matches in the second half of the year due to that dodgy knee and with a year to go on his contract he would be 32 next year. Another season just seemed a bridge too far.
The 2009 Debut
Pyke debuted for the Swans in Round 6 2009 against Richmond at the age of 25 - a 'mature age recruit' but even for that category he was not typical by any means. Relatively unspectacularly – and not to critical acclaim by any means; especially if using commentator Brian Taylor as a guide (famously described him at one point as the worst player in the competition). Pyke managed 8 games in 2009 including 5 straight from Rounds 17-21. The Swans had Darren Jolly still as number 1 ruck. As it transpired Jolly moved on to Collingwood at seasons end however the writing seemed to be on the wall for Pyke that opportunities might be few and far between as the Swans signed Shane Mumford from Geelong and Mark Seaby from West Coast.
In 2010 Pyke was on the outer until Seaby went down early in Round 6 against the Lions. After 6 games his year was done. And the door opened for Pyke who charged in and played every game for the rest of the year including a key role in the Round 22 win over Brisbane to help ensure a finals spot (when Pyke rucked as #1 against Leuenberger with Mumford missing); as well as both finals. Pyke has acknowledged that at the time he’d felt that had Seaby not been injured then his time might have been up and he’d have to consider returning to Rugby.
As a mature age recruit Pyke was not typical, an international, a Canadian. And even then Pyke was not the typical Canadian – in that playing international Rugby Union is not the typical sporting path for a country that we perhaps think more of Ice Hockey. After 22 tests for Canada in a 4 year career that included coming up against the likes of the Wallabies and All-Blacks, and playing professional Rugby in France – Pyke, from the town of Victoria (British Columbia) was inspired to Australian Football by a mate who had moved to Melbourne. The Pyke story cost a whole lot less and came with a whole lot less fanfare than either of Karmichael Hunt or Israel Folau who were lured from the NRL as much for the publicity as anything. Pyke came to the Swans for a two week trial, and that the story didn't start and end there was clearly a tribute to the determination of Pyke and the attitude of the Swans to take the chance. Pyke also had played basketball – the combination of his size, Rugby and Basketball background and his athleticism made him a plumb fit for a rucking role especially given his athleticism. He was picked round 4 (57th pick) in the 2009 rookie draft and in 2010 was a rookie elevation at number 101. Another critic, player manager Ricky Nixon, suggested the Swans were wasting their time. 110 games and a premiership medallion later - it is a credit to Pyke that he makes his own call to bow out and with nothing short of respect from the AFL and broader football community.
The 2012 Premiership
After 2011 which had been an injury ruined season with only 2 games played, including ironically injuring himself in the Round 7 game against the Dogs when he had managed to kick multiple goals for the first time in his career – 2012 offered no assurances with again Mark Seaby still in the wings fighting to be understudy to Mumford who was clearly #1 ruck at Sydney. Seaby himself though only managed 7 games in 2011 and played 5 more in 2012 with his last game against Richmond in Round 7. The door hadn't been shut on the big Canadian yet. And so it turned out that the next week when Pyke returned that this time he was back for good - even if it wasn't entirely obvious at the time. Slotting into the role of the serviceable lieutenant to Mumford, Pyke was able to expand his game including a goal kicking highlight in round 21 (against the Dogs) when he managed to push forward for 3 goals for a career high match tally (he would equal this mark in 2013 v Geel).
Leading into the 2012 decider against Hawthorn there was some speculation about Shane Mumford and his hamstring. With Mumford and Pyke both selected, Pyke entered perhaps still just as a role player in support, perhaps still just a bit of a curiosity to many, and ironically with greater coverage back in Canada. As it played out – the Swans won a classic Grand Final by just 10 points over a slightly wasteful Hawthorn. Mumford was cooked by the third quarter and was to be handed the red vest - subbed out. With a Grand Final to be won - Pyke was the handed the keys and more than held firm for the Swans with several vital involvements in the last quarter. 16 disposals, 29 hit outs and 6 marks including a Swans game high 3 contested marks. His medallion was well earned.
For some internationals or ‘exotic’ recruits – the wrong place at the wrong time might apply. Landing at a successful club can limit opportunities. That Pyke who became an Australian citizen in 2014, in his 110 matches played in 13 finals including two Grand Finals speaks volumes for the success of his journey. Compared to the career tally of some other cross code players it can hardly be suggested that Pyke was granted token matches. ...
The love of the game in Russia is slowly growing, largely through the efforts of late of two of their newest clubs – the Saint Petersburg Cats and the Lazy Koalas in Moscow. After many years of work by Roger Scott and his crew to get a foothold in Moscow, a new breed has grabbed the game by the throat and is lovingly steering it to bigger and better places.
Whilst the national team has yet to reappear at the Euro Cup since their debut international appearance in 2011, the game is far from finished in Russia. During this season the teams from Moscow and St Petersburg have found the resources to compete on a reasonably regular basis – considering distance, opportunity and personnel need to be available at the same time every time to make an event happen.
Alexey Andryushin from the Saint Petersburg Cats, one of the new clubs in the nation, forming in 2014, was happy to give an overview of the 2015 season in Russia – especially from the viewpoint of the Cats as they continue thee long road to stability and success.
In the first major national event for the year, the Gagarin Cup, four teams contested the event. Three were Moscow based – the Lazy Koalas, Moskali and Slavyane – and the Saint Petersburg Cats. On the day the Lazy Koalas were too good for all teams, taking out all three games to win the cup.
• SPb Cats 0:46 Slavyane
• Moskali 31:46 Lazy Koalas
• Moskali 32:14 Slavyane
• Lazy Koalas 85:0 SPb Cats
• Lazy Koalas 38:21 Slavyane
• Moskali 48:7 SPb Cats
Saint Petersburg also won a Gagarin Cup award on the day recognising their work in developing the game in the city.
In May the ANZAC Day Cup was played for the first time in Saint Petersburg at the Kolomyagi Stadium. The visiting team representing Moscow was the Lazy Koalas. The result was certainly lopsided, but the fact that a formal game was played in the second largest Russian city behind Moscow meant a victory for all concerned.
Scores: Lazy Koalas (Moscow) 221 d Saint Petersburg 13
Most recently, the return bout was played at the Krasny Baltiets Stadium in Moscow during early September. The annual Concrete & Steel Cup was once played with nominal Moscow based teams. For the first time this event changed format to become a genuine city versus city showcase. Once again it was the powerhouse Lazy Koalas that were too good for the Cats, but purists will note that the final margin was far less than earlier in the year, suggesting that in small degrees the Cats are closing the gap and learning more and more each time they play. The 75 point turnaround between the two games is even more profound when the bigger defeat for the Cats was on home soil, yet they improved to narrow the gap playing away.
Scores: Lazy Koalas (Moscow) 166 d Saint Petersburg 33
Alexey notes that, “our training sessions usually take place at public places of Saint-Petersburg such as Tavrichesky Garden or Field of Mars, so every spectator or passer-by can easily join in and test his skills in this unusual sport for Russians. We usually conduct trainings on weekend mornings, plus from April to September (when evenings are not too dark) we have additional weekday evening training. Apart from that, we study theory during off-field sessions as well: taking a good look into rules, developing in-game tactics, analyzing AFL matches.”
“Our goals for 2016 include making Australian football a well-known sport in Saint-Petersburg by appearing in newspaper articles & TV programs, getting governmental support. We also wish to train hard and improve our individual and teamwork skills”
“Additionally, we hope to bring new people into team to make possible regular full- lineup matches at our trainings (as we are currently the only Australian football team in Saint-Petersburg and have no opponent to play with on regular basis).”
“We also hope to further develop international relations and play a couple of friendly games with our closest neighbours from Finland, Estonia and Sweden.”
Certainly Alexey, Slava Belov and the team in Saint Petersburg deserve enormous credit for bringing their club so far so quickly. At the same time, Mikhail Artemyev and his remarkable team at the Lazy Koalas have capitalised on the legacy developed by Roger Scott and his crew to grow a strong and powerful Moscow based club.
As Russia begins the journey into winter, and footy goes into a hiatus of sorts, thoughts might justifiably begin to wander towards a new national team for upcoming European events as the playing base increases in both size and talent. It would represent a great gift to the European Australian Rules football scene.
A gift…From Russia, with lov ...
USAFL Nationals Day 1 Streaming Schedules are below. All schedules are subject to change and some years the match schedules can stretch out during the day. Click on the icon next to each match to watch via Youtube. All times and days are local Austin, TX times (the first 9am match Saturday is at 1am in Melbourne, Australia on Sunday).
|Sat 09:00||Women's||Women's||San Francisco vs New York|
|Sat 10:00||Division I||Pool B||Cooper's||Orange County vs Denver|
|Sat 11:00||Division III||Pool A||Field 4||Tulsa vs Ohio Valley|
|Sat 12:00||Division I||Pool A||Cooper's||Los Angeles vs Calgary|
|Sat 14:00||Division III||Pool B||Field 4||Portland vs Des Moines|
|Sat 15:00||Division I||Pool B||Cooper's||New York vs Denver|
|Sat 16:00||Women's||Women's||Denver vs Sacramento|
|Sat 17:00||Division II||Pool A||Field 2||Columbus vs Sacramento|
Day 1 of the 2015 USAFL Nationals in Austin is complete. As players regroup and recover for Day 2 some will be eyeing a place in the final tomorrow afternoon, while others will be regretting those few errors that may have cost them a game today. It was a warm one so a few cold beverages under the Texas stars might assist with the hydration.
The Orange County Bombers have set themselves up for a crack at the Division 1 title in Pool B winning both their first round matches. Defending Champions New York got the day off to flier easily accounting for Dallas, but went down to Denver after lunch. They will play the undefeated Orange County tomorrow to decide who will go to the Grand Final. If Orange County win they go straight in but should New York win it could come down to percentage with Denver favourites to defeat Dallas in the other remaining match.
In the Pool A it is home side Austin that is undefeated knocking over both the Calgary Kangaroos and the Golden Gate Roos today. They just need to defeat the winless LA Dragons to progress through to the final for the second time in three years.
In Division 2 In Pool A the Sacramento Suns are undefeated and will be confident of taking their claims for the division to the final tomorrow with a win over Ft Lauderdale in the morning. In Pool B Quebec are the clear leaders undefeated in their matches. While Chicago and Houston played out a rare draw and sharing the points.
Cincinnati and Portland both undefeated in their pools but both will still need to win their morning matches on Sunday to playoff for the Division 3 title.
Kansas, Baltimore/Washington, San Diego and Denver are all unbeaten on top their pools in Division 4. SD/OC v DEN and KC v BWE/EDM will be the semi finals tomorrow.
Defending champions in the Women’s Division the Denver Lady Bulldogs ended Day 1 on top with an unbeaten record. New York pushed them today but they remain favourites to take out the Division. San Francisco, New York and Minnesota took one win each for the day.
In Women’s division 2 Calgary are undefeated and top the pool going into Day 2.
|B||Sat 09:00||New York vs Dallas||NYM||57||def||DAL||9|
|B||Sat 10:00||Orange County vs Denver||OCB||23||def||DEN||20|
|A||Sat 11:00||Austin vs Golden Gate||AUS||29||def||GGR||20|
|A||Sat 12:00||Los Angeles vs Calgary||LAD||22||def by||CKO||29|
|B||Sat 14:00||Orange County vs Dallas||OCB||43||def||DAL||8|
|B||Sat 15:00||New York vs Denver||NYM||20||def by||DEN||34|
|A||Sat 16:00||Los Angeles vs Golden Gate||LAD||15||def by||GGR||25|
|A||Sat 17:00||Austin vs Calgary||AUS||46||def||CKO||15|
|A||Sat 09:00||Columbus vs Fort Lauderdale||COL||51||def||FLS||8|
|B||Sat 10:00||Houston vs Chicago||HOU||28||drew||CHI||28|
|B||Sat 11:00||Minnesota vs Quebec||MNF||11||def by||QBS||40|
|A||Sat 12:00||Boston vs Sacramento||BOS||14||def by||SAC||15|
|B||Sat 14:00||Houston vs Quebec||HOU||20||def by||QBS||23|
|B||Sat 15:00||Minnesota vs Chicago||MNF||15||def by||CHI||47|
|A||Sat 16:00||Boston vs Ft Lauderdale||BOS||27||def||FLS||16|
|A||Sat 17:00||Columbus vs Sacramento||COL||9||def by||SAC||22|
|Sat 10:00||Portland vs Austin||POR||56||def||AUS||20|
|Sat 10:00||Nashville vs Des Moines||NSH||18||def by||DMR||41|
|Sat 11:00||Tulsa vs Ohio Valley||TBF||8||def by||CIN||64|
|Sat 11:00||Philadelphia vs North Carolina||PHI||38||def||NCT||30|
|Sat 14:00||Portland vs Des Moines||POR||74||def||DMR||16|
|Sat 14:00||Nashville vs Austin||NSH||16||def by||AUS||29|
|Sat 15:00||Tulsa vs North Carolina||TBF||18||def by||NCT||20|
|Sat 15:00||Philadelphia vs Ohio Valley||PHI||24||def by||CIN||38|
|Sat 08:00||Dallas/Austin vs Atlanta||DAL||8||def by||ATL||25|
|Sat 08:00||Denver vs Houston/Baton Rouge||DEN||21||def||HOU||20|
|Sat 09:00||Los Angeles vs Kansas City/Cleveland/Sacramento||LAD||35||def by||KCP||57|
|Sat 09:00||Baltimore/Edmonton vs Golden Gate||BWE||43||def||GGR||26|
|Sat 12:00||Orange County/San Diego vs Atlanta||SDL||58||def||ATL||8|
|Sat 12:00||Seattle/Portland vs Houston/Baton Rouge||SEA||47||def||HOU||28|
|Sat 13:00||New York/Columbus vs Kansas City/Cleveland/Sacramento||NYM||21||def by||KCP||23|
|Sat 13:00||Calgary/Milwaukee vs Golden Gate||CKO||48||def||GGR||3|
|Sat 16:00||Seattle/Portland vs Denver||SEA||18||def by||DEN||19|
|Sat 16:00||Orange County/San Diego vs Dallas/Austin||SDL||66||def||DAL||7|
|Sat 17:00||Calgary/Milwaukee vs Baltimore/Edmonton||CKO||21||def by||BWE||57|
|Sat 17:00||New York/Columbus vs Los Angeles||NYM||9||def||LAD||1|
Women's Div 1
|Sat 09:00||San Francisco vs New York||GGR||10||def by||NYM||14|
|Sat 10:00||Minnesota vs Sacramento||MNF||10||def||SAC||7|
|Sat 13:00||Denver vs New York||DEN||33||def||NYM||7|
|Sat 14:00||San Francisco vs Minnesota||GGR||20||def||MNF||12|
|Sat 16:00||Denver vs Sacramento||DEN||15||def||SAC||7|
Women's Div 2
|Sat 11:00||Boston/Columbus/Chicago/Tulsa vs Arizona/Baltimore||BOS||15||def||AZH||12|
|Sat 12:00||Calgary/Portland/Vancouver vs Minnesota/Montreal||CKO||61||def||MNF||8|
|Sat 15:00||Calgary/Portland/Vancouver vs Arizona/Baltimore||CKO||78||def||AZH||0|
|Sat 17:00||Boston/Columbus/Chicago/Tulsa vs Minnesota/Montreal||BOS||39||def by||MNF||45|
The 16th AFL Asian Championships, to be held this Saturday 17 October in Bangkok, is set to be the biggest and best ever, with record numbers of teams, local player initiatives and a new 2-division format.
13 teams from across the Asian region will descend on Bangkok this week, with the Singapore Wombats looking to defend their 2014 “Asian Champs” title against six other teams in the new First Division, including the Hong Kong Dragons, Jakarta Bintangs, Malaysian Warriors, Philippine Eagles, Vietnam Swans and hosts the Thailand Tigers.
“The new format means no easy games this year”, said Vietnam Swans President and AFL Asia Vice President Grant Keys. “The larger teams just won’t be able to rest and rotate players like they have in the past, it should really even things out. All seven first division teams are going to Bangkok believing they can win it.”
A new Second Division Cup will be competed by 6 clubs, including the Bali Geckos, Cambodian Eagles, China Reds, Macau Lightning, Myanmar Fighting Cocks and Lao Elephants. Most of the second division clubs will have large contingents of local development players.
“We are excited by the commitment of these second-tier Clubs towards local development. The new Second Division will give these guys a legitimate opportunity to taste success at Asian Champs and enjoy more games against teams of similar experience levels”, said AFL Asia President Darren Whitfield.
Andrew Embley to Coach local development players
With over 35 local Asian players already confirmed to attend this year’s Champs, AFL Asia has sought the assistance of West Coast Eagles legend Andrew Embley to lead a training clinic for all local players on Friday 16 October, before coaching the inaugural all-local South East Asia vs East Asia match, a new initiative to be held prior to the Asian Champs Grand Final.
“We are absolutely delighted to have Andrew with us in Bangkok once again” Whitfield said. “Embers did a fantastic job with the IndoChina boys last year and with local development a big focus of AFL Asia, he is the perfect person to help us ramp up our efforts in this space.”
Embley has a strong connection to Asia, being of Anglo/Burmese ancestry with both his grandparents and father being born in Burma (Myanmar) before migrating to Perth in 1964. This will be his second AFL Asia engagement, having coached the inaugural match of the IndoChina Bulldogs team at the 2014 IndoChina Cup.
“I had a great time with the boys last year and I’m looking forward to coming back and seeing how much they have developed over the past year,” Embley said. Its great to see so many local players now playing footy in Asia and I’m happy to do what I can to help their development”
About the AFL Asia Championships
The Asian Champs, now in its 16th year, is the most prestigious Australian Rules Football tournament in Asia. For the first time in the history of the event there will be two divisions of teams competing in Bangkok, with 7 first division and 6 second division Clubs confirmed making it one of the biggest Champs to da ...
The new look AFLG footy format wound up last month with the Hamburg Dockers defeating the Munich Kangaroos in the Grand Final by 39 points in the 16 players per side competition held from July to September. This followed a reversed result in the earlier nine per side competition held between April and June where the Kangaroos defeated the Hamburg Pirates (one of two Hamburg teams in this competition) by 32 points.
The new format which was put together over the past off season was designed to allow teams which had struggled with numbers to compete across a season more effectively and fairly. The draw was also constructed to rationalise the locations of rounds to allow multiple games to be help at a single venue to increase games but make planning for travelling a little easier.
In the “9’s” competition, the Frankfurt Redbacks were able to return to competition after a season out of regular combat. At the same time the format allowed for newly formed teams, the Dresden Wolves and Freiberg Taipans, to be able to enter the competition on a permanent playing basis for the first time. All three of these teams recorded multiple wins under the format, giving heart to the clubs and their supporters that they belong at this level and can grow.
To round out the 10 team competition, the Stuttgart Emus, Berlin Crocodiles and Munich Kangaroos had their regular teams. Both the Hamburg and Rheinland clubs split themselves into two teams each – Hamburg becoming both the Pirates and the Swans with Rheinland providing both the Früh Kölsch and Früh Sport teams. For the most part the draw successfully reduced the forfeited games tally across the competition, though the Rheinland Früh Kölsch team still struggled across the season.
The draw saw each team able to play 12 games across 10 rounds with locations spread to include Esslingen, Köln, Freiberg, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Dresden, Berlin and Munich.
By the end of the home and away rounds the Munich Kangaroos held top spot and favouritism going in to the finals, going through undefeated. In the finals matches Munich (1st) took on and defeated Hamburg Swans (4th) to march into the Grand Final. The Hamburg Pirates (2nd) defeated the Berlin Crocodiles (3rd) to claim the other spot in the big dance.
In the end it was the Munich Kangaroos 8 7 55 defeating the Hamburg Pirates 3 5 23 to claim the year’s first premiership.
The following week saw the commencement of the 16 per side competition. Just three clubs contested this – Munich and Hamburg being joined by the Rheinland Lions. The scheduled six games didn’t pan out the way it was hoped with three games forfeited. Munich again topped the ladder undefeated with four wins ahead of Hamburg with two and Rheinland winless. Munich entered the Grand Final as warm favourites to win both flags for the year to be absolute German champions, but the Hamburg Dockers had other ideas.
Final Score: Hamburg Dockers 12 12 84 defeated Munich Kangaroos 5 13 43
Over the coming months the AFLG committee and clubs will sit down and assess the success or otherwise of the format changes for 2016. Not everything went to plan, but the successes saw two new teams in the league, another former club return and most rounds (certainly of the 9’s format) attended by the majority of teams. It is certainly a positive list of achievements on which to build their 2016 draw.
It is certainly another positive for German footy to go with the fifth placed effort of the German Black Eagles team at the recent Euro Cup in Croatia as the nation continues to churn out genuine talent and toughness – the hallmarks of footy ...
On October 10th, 2015 teams from across Japan travel to Chiba, just outside of Tokyo for the much anticipated 4th AFL Japan Cup. In what was a welcome change from the torrential rain of previous years, the weather held up to allow for a massive day of competitive football from seven of Japan’s clubs.
There was some doubt heading into the tournament as to who the favourites would be as one of the JAFL’s powerhouse clubs, the Tokyo Bay Suns decided to join forces with competition debutants, the Miyazaki Grandswells, while veteran clubs, the Eastern Hawks and the R246 Lions merged toform a formidable team for the tournament. Throw in the Senshu Powers, Tokyo Goannas, Komazawa Magpies, Shonan Poseidons and the new team from Sendai Port, and it was the scene was set for a special day.
The competition started with a round robin of matches where each team played each other once with the highest finishing teams then contesting for the cup in the finals. The initial rounds saw some aggressive, bruising football as all teams were out to win their early games.
There were some very promising signs from the ever-energetic Komazawa Magpies as well as gallant efforts from JAFL new boys, the Sendai Port FC – a team comprising mostly foreign expats who had never played the game before – and there was no bigger cheer throughout the day than when they kicked the first goal in their club’s history.
Another highlight of the tournament was the Shonan Poseidons recording their first ever win s in the JAFL. They played with an attacking flare that no doubt cemented them as a future premiership contender, and they went on to win three matches including one final to finish in fifth place and see the Miyazaki Grandswells finish sixth.
After making it through the round robin with only one loss between them, the Tokyo Goannas and Komazawa Magpies met in the grand final to contest for the Japan Cup.The length of the match was extended and it proved to be a telling factor as the Magpies long injury list and reduced bench was unable to hold up against the attacking power of the Goannas who ran out eventual winners to be awarded their first ever Japan Cup trophy.
Yuji Yamamoto of the Tokyo Goannas was adjudged the best player in the Grand Final while his teammate Gordon Jones won the award for the leading goal kicker of the tournament. As per tradition, a Dream Team consisting of the best players throughout the day was announced and had representation from each of the seven teams – a sign of the star power that exists all over the country:
As expected the 4th Japan Cup was a roaring success with new teams blooded, maiden victories had, and some fantastic games of football played in great spirit in front of a large group of fans. A huge thank you must go to the JAFL for putting on such a fantastic event, as well as to the sponsors and support staff for all of their efforts throughout the day.
The JAFL is tireless in its endeavour to grow Aussie Rules throughout Japan, and the hard work has resulted in 12 active teams across six of the country’s regions. The season of the JAFL’s Top League is reaching the pointy end with only one round to go before finals and it’s very tight at the top of the ladder! Keep up to date with all the action at http://www.jafl.org as Japan’s finest start gearing up for that one day in November!
Day 2 of the 2015 USAFL Nationals in Austin is now completed. The Austin Crows 4.4 (28) have defeated the Orange County Bombers 2.4 (16) to win the National Championship for the second time in three years.
Division 2 saw the silverware headed north of the International border with the Quebec Saints 3.9 (27) defeating the Sacramento Suns 0.0 (0) in a 27-0 shutout.
The Women's Division 1 was once again won by the Denver Lady Bulldogs who have earned their 6th straight national title finishing on top of the table with a 4 win 1 loss record.
Division 3 was won by the Portland Steelheads 5.7 (37) to Ohio Valley 1.3 (9).
Division 4 was won by San Diego/OC Bombers combine team 7.5 (47) defeating KC Power 4.3 (27).
The Women's Div 2 was won by the Calgary/Portland/Vancouver combine.
|Sun 09:00||Calgary||21||DEF BY||Golden Gate||22|
|Sun 11:00||New York||22||DEF BY||Orange County||36|
|Sun 12:00||Austin||42||DEF||Los Angeles||4|
|Sun 16:30||Austin||28||DEF||Orange County||16|
|Sun 09:00||Minnesota||13||DEF BY||Houston||35|
|Sun 11:00||Sacramento||49||DEF||Ft Lauderdale||2|
|Sun 12:00||Chicago||13||DEF BY||Quebec||41|
|Sun 15:00||Sacramento||0||DEF BY||Quebec Saints||27|
|Sun 09:00||Des Moines||9||DEF BY||Austin||36|
|Sun 09:00||North Carolina||9||DEF BY||Ohio Valley||74|
|Sun 10:00||Tulsa||20||DEF BY||Philadelphia||58|
|Sun 14:00||Portland||37||DEF||Ohio Valley||9|
|Sun 11:00||San Diego/Orange County||49||DEF||Denver||15|
|Sun 11:00||Baltimore Washington/Edmonton||18||DEF BY||Kansas City||45|
|Sun 12:00||New York||39||DEF BY||Calgary||40|
|Sun 12:00||Seattle/Portland||16||DEF BY||Atlanta||67|
|Sun 13:00||Houston/Baton Rouge||16||DEF BY||Golden Gate||49|
|Sun 13:00||Los Angeles||39||DEF||Dallas/Austin||33|
|Sun 14:00||KC Power||27||DEF BY||SD Lions||47|
Women's Div 1
|Sun 09:00||New York||15||DEF||Sacramento||3|
|Sun 11:00||Denver||14||DEF BY||Minnesota||20|
|Sun 12:00||San Francisco||10||DEF||Sacramento||8|
|Sun 14:00||Minnesota||28||DEF BY||New York||42|
|Sun 15:00||Denver||18||DEF||San Francisco||2|
Women's Div 2
|Sun 10:00||Arizona/Baltimore||0||DEF BY||Minnesota/Montreal||17|
|Sun 13:00||Calgary/Portland/Vancouver ,||81||DEF||Boston/Columbus/Chicago/Tulsa||12|
The ladder after the second round of the NTFL season sees two teams undefeated (Southern Districts and Wanderers), two teams winless (Buffaloes and Tiwi Bombers) and St Mary’s in the somewhat unusual landscape of fifth place. But as clinical as leader positions can be, they don’t tell the story of the matches played to get there. Round two was a case in point as the fans were treated to thrillers, seesaws and a hiding for good measure.
The round kicked off with the Nightcliff Tigers taking on the Tiwi Bombers. Nothing in the game at quarter time became a useful three goal lead to the Tigers by the main break. Then the Tiwi boys unleashed a willowing third quarter to kick nine goals and take total control of the match. Being 23 points up at the final change, the Bombers should have put this away, but Nightcliff then powered home with nine goals of their own in the final quarter to win by the same half time margin – 18 points. In an amazing statistical anomaly, both teams kicked eleven goals seven for the second half, built around two opposing quarters of dominance.
Final Score: Nightcliff Tigers 20 16 136 d Tiwi Bombers 18 10 118
Wanderers kept their post-premiership momentum going with a convincing 50 point win over the Waratah crew. Without ever racing away with the game, Wanderers just played a by the numbers contest to win each quarter and gradually increase their lead. The result doesn’t give credit to Waratah which fought all day, never letting Wanderers have things completely their own way. But, in the end, Wanderers were simply too good and did what they needed to do.
Final Score: Wanderers 13 11 89 d Waratah 6 3 39
The match of the round was the late game at TIO Stadium. On paper, and recent meetings, this game was all St Mary’s. But Buffaloes simply wouldn’t lay down. Leading by six points at quarter time and drawing away to a 13 point half time lead it was suspected that Saints would simply overpower Buffaloes in the second half. But Buffaloes lowered their heads and locked horns with St Marys to bring the ball game back to a three point lead to Saints at the final break. Buffaloes then threw everything at Saints to snatch the lead before saints fell over the line to win by just a single point.
Final Score: St Mary’s 10 7 67 d Buffaloes 10 6 66
In the Sunday game at Norbuilt Oval, Southern District got away to a four goal lead against the Palmerston Magpies by quarter time, and that is effectively where the game stayed. Both teams surged and counter surged their way through the match with the Crocs leading by 18 points at half time and 22 points at three quarter time. The last quarter remained tight before the Crocs held out for a 22 point win.
Final Score: Southern District Crocs 14 15 99 d Palmerston Magpies 11 11 77
Next week’s round will see the Tiwi Bombers in front of their home crowd at Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island against St Mary’s. Buffaloes will play Wanderers in the first stage of the double header at TIO Stadium, followed by Waratah against Southern District. In the Sunday game the Palmerston Magpies will take on the Nightcliff Tiger ...
The Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes have got their season of to a fantastic start, winning the opening match of the new Football Australien (CNFA) season for 2015/16. Up against last year’s premiers and most dominant team, the Coyotes left nothing in the tank and showed no regard for past reputations by downing their cross-town Paris rivals.
The final score saw the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes 111 defeat the Paris Cockerels 82.
With the Paris Cockerels having spawned a new team, the Paris Cockatoos, over the off season it is likely that the Paris team may have been missing a player or two compared to last season, but that means little as the Coyotes, but their own admission, were “in the face” of their opponents from the outset and determined to fight. Certainly, the Coyotes took full advantage of playing on home soil to ground out their 29 point win.
The remaining matches scheduled for Round One will be played next weekend with the Perpignan Tigers hosting the Firesharks Montpellier in a southern fixture whilst the Toulouse Hawks will host Lyon-based club the ALFA Lions, hoping to build on their encouraging performances at the Coupe De France last month.
The other round one match between the Bordeaux Bombers and the Strasbourg Kangourous has been rescheduled to be played after the winter break in February. Rounds One to Four will be played in 2015 priot to the break, reconvening in February to complete the remaining five rounds before a June finals series culminating in a Grand Final on 25th June.
The following article from the AFL Asia website gives a wrap of the recent Asian Champs tournament in Bangkok. The Hong Kong Dragons took the Division 1 title, whilst the Laos Elephants celebrated winning the title in Division 2.
The Hong Kong Dragons have restored their claim to being the most successful team in Asia following their 6th AFL Asian Championships victory, defeating a gallant Malaysian Warriors team 4.11.35 to 2.3.15 in what many have described as the most successful ‘Asian Champs’ in the 16 year history of the event, this year hosted by the Thailand Tigers at the Harrow International School in Bangkok on Saturday 17 October.
Playing their 5th straight Asian Champs Grand Final, the experience of the Dragons in managing a large roster of players to get through the biggest day of footy in Asia shone through, running over the Warriors in the second half to put the Dragons back on top of Asian footy after last year’s Grand Final defeat to the Singapore Wombats.
The Warriors in their first ever Asian Champs Grand Final came out firing, getting the jump on the Dragons early and registering the first two goals of the game. With five competitive games already under the belt on a hot and sunny Bangkok day, injury, cramp and exhaustion soon took took its toll on the Warriors who just didn’t have the legs to finish off a great day for their Club, with their six-point semi final defeat of last year’s winners the Singapore Wombats a highlight.
The Jakarta Bintangs will also be pleased with their day out after playing their first Asian Champs final in some years, giving Hong Kong a big scare leading for much of the first half in their semi final.
Record numbers of teams and participants traveled to Bangkok to compete in a new two-division format, which is being hailed a success and will be continued at the 2016 Asian Champs to be held in Saigon, Vietnam. 404 players were registered for this year’s Champs, including a record 40 local players from China, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam, proving local football development efforts by AFL Asia Clubs in the region are beginning to pay off.
Nowhere was this more evident than in the new Second Division, where the Lao Elephants won their first ever piece of silverware, defeating their IndoChina neighbors the Cambodian Eagles in the Grand Final, with a total of 13 local Laotian and Cambodian players making significant contributions.
A Grand Final curtain raiser between local players from SE Asia and East Asia was another big highlight of the day, with former West Coast Eagle premiership player and Norm Smith medalist Andrew Embley helping out on the sidelines after conducting a successful training clinic for 35 local players on the previous day. For the record, the East Asian team, featuring 11 Chinese players from the Port Adelaide FC sponsored South China AFL defeated the SE Asians 30 to 25 in an entertaining display of AFL Asia’s local footy talent, the first time such a game had been held at the Asian Champs.
It was a massive day for footy in Asia with AFL Asia playing a constructive role in helping this most prestigious of footy tournaments in Asia grow and evolve. Much credit to hosts the Thailand Tigers for their management of the day’s logistics which saw 31 games and an Auskick session being conducted over two grounds between 7.30am and 5.30pm. Congratulations to Al, Brendan and their team of umpires and volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the day to ensure the tight schedule went according to plan. Thanks also to sponsors Brand HK, Tenderloins Sports Bar & Steakhouse, Bangkok Hospital, Coca Cola (ThaiNamthip) and AFL Asia’s Official Photographer Mr Rob Brewer for capturing the day. Keep an eye out for photos as they are loaded up on the AFL Asia facebook page.
Div 1 Grand Final – Hong Kong Dragons 4.11.35 def Malaysian Warriors 2.3.15
Div 2 Grand Final – Lao Elephants 4.7.31 def def Cambodian Eagles 3.0.18
Div 1 Semi Final – Hong Kong Dragons 5.4.34 def Jakarta Bintangs 2.3.15
Div 1 Semi Final – Malaysian Warriors 5.3.33 def Singapore Wombats 4.3.27
Ladder (after Preliminary Games) (Div 1):
Hong Kong Dragons 4-0
Malaysian Warriors 3-1
Singapore Wombats 3-1
Jakarta Bintangs 2-2
Philippine Eagles 1-3
Thailand Tigers 1-3
Vietnam Swans 0-4
Ladder (after Preliminary Games) (Div 2)
Laos Elephants 4-0
Cambodia Eagles 3-1
China Reds 1-3
Bali Geckos 2-2
Myanmar Fighting Cocks 1-3
Macau Lightning 0-4
Best Player in Tournament: James Gillette (Singapore)
Leading Goalkicker: Tom Robinson (Singapore)
Best Player in Final: Christian Cook (Hong Kong)
Best Player in Tournament: Blair Bell (Laos)
Leading Goalkicker: Josh Young (Bali)
Best Player in Final: Steve Chapman (Laos)
Fastest Man: Hasanema Ziso Dachi (aka Dachi) (Bali)
Play of the Day: Joel Thompson (Cambodia) for 80 metre torpedo goal on half time siren.
All Asian Team
Hong Kong: Sam Agars, Jock Auld, Darren Brakenridge
Malaysia: Kurt Stocks and Owen Lewis
Singapore: Chris Mitchell and Andrew Jacobs
Jakarta: Tom Harvey and Simon Quail
Laos: Ekkaphon Choumphavan and Handa Yattivong
Cambodia: Brett Norton and Peter Kokke
Thailand: Aaron Klutke
Philippines: Shane Hawke
Vietnam: Tim Pickert
China: Chen Shaoliang
Myanmar: Conor Smith
Macau: Dave Thomas
Bali: Josh Young
2000: Indonesia v Hong Kong (winner Indonesia)
2001: Singapore v Indonesia (winner Singapore)
LG6A27472002: Singapore v Indonesia (winner Indonesia)
2003: Hong Kong v Indonesia (winner Hong Kong)
2004: HK v Sing (winner HK)
2005: Bali v Sing (winner Sing)
2006: Bali v Sing (winner Sing)
2007: HK v Bali (winner HK)
2008: Dubai v Sing (winner Dubai)
2009: Dubai v Sing (winner Dubai)
2010: Dubai v Sing (winner Dubai)
2011: Sing v HK (winner Sing)
2012: HK v Jakarta (winner HK)
2013: HK v Philippines (winner HK)
2014: HK v Sing (winner Sing)
(A precursor tournament called the Four Nations Cup was held in Bangkok in 1999, which was won by Singapore)
From the AFL Asia website at: http://www.afl-asia.com/hk_win_asianchamps2015/
The www.afl.com.au website has recognised the recent international Australian Rules football carnivals across the world with this overview of the AFL Europe Axios Euro Cup in Croatia, the AFL Asia Asian Champs in Thailand and the USAFL Nationals Tournament in Austin, Texas.
The article by Dinny Navaratnam shows a strong endorsement by the AFL of how far the game has come on three continents - Europe, Asia and North America – by having so many clubs and national teams represented. It truly stands as example of our game beginning to take on the initial appearance of – The World Game.
(Picture: Rob Brewer for AFL Asia)
THE HONG Kong Dragons are the champions of Asia, after they beat the Malaysian Warriors last Saturday, 4.11 (35) to 2.3 (15).
The Dragons bounced back from last year’s Grand Final defeat to the Singapore Wombats. It was the fifth consecutive Grand Final for the Dragons.
The Harrow International School in Bangkok played host to the 16th annual AFL Asian Championships, with teams in the decider each playing off in their sixth match for the day, albeit in shortened games.
Former West Coast midfielder and 2006 Norm Smith medallist Andrew Embley was heavily involved with the tournament, running a couple of clinics – one with the local players and an Auskick session as well.
He helped coach both teams in the South East Asia vs East Asia match, which solely involved local players. The East Asian team came away five-point victors.
Embley has familial links to Asia, with his father having been born in Burma (Myanmar) before migrating to Perth in 1964.
Plans are underway for Embley to coach an all-indigenous IndoChina team that will be competing in the 2017 AFL International Cup.
The IndoChina team is made up of players from Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Burma.
In all, 404 players registered for the championships, with 40 locals.
The women’s competition threw up one of the most exciting results in years, with the Denver Lady Bulldogs eventually crowned premiers for the sixth straight time, but not before they had their 23-game winning streak ended.
With scores locked at 14-all, Minnesota’s Paige Kiecker won a free kick in the forward line as just seconds remained in the game. A 25m penalty brought her right to the goal line (25m penalties replaced 50m penalties except in the men’s division one competition).
Despite vigorous attempts from the opposition to distract Kiecker, she kicked truly to give the Freeze the historic victory.
Ultimately though, Denver was too good and came away as victors in the round robin tournament. The Lady Bulldogs beat the San Francisco Iron Maidens to seal the title, 2.6 (18) to 0.2 (2).
There were 45 teams competing at the USAFL Nationals. In all, around 70 per cent of players competing reported being born outside Australia.
Richmond forward Ben Griffiths and his former Tiger teammate Dan Jackson ran a clinic at the Nationals while Essendon captain Jobe Watson and Sydney premiership player Ted Richards were also in attendance.
On the men’s side, the Austin Crows came away as division one champions in front of their home crowd after beating Orange County, 4.4 (28) to 2.4 (16).
It's not challenging soccer just yet but Australian football is growing worldwide. Picture: Dorota Sherlock
The European competition, held on Saturday, October 10, featured 12 male teams and six female teams.
The Euro Cup involved only locals to ensure the tournament’s fairness. England beat Denmark in the women’s competition by 48 points to be crowned champions.
The results were reversed for the men’s tournament as the Danes won by 21 points against the English.
Euro Cup was highlighted by the participation of the Peace Team, made up of Israeli and Palestinian players. The Peace Team was involved in the men’s draw and won the respect of everyone in attendance.
Yonatan Belik managed the Peace Team. The 25-year-old played for the side in the AFL International Cups in Melbourne, in 2008 and 2011.
Belik is an inspirational figures in AFL, having brought the team together to promote harmony and show that sport brings people together despite political tension and outright conflict.
Belik previously lobbied former AFL Commissioner Linda Dessau for money to help fund equipment for camps he helps run to promote peace through footy.
(Picture: Dorota Sherlock for USAFL) ...
The new AFL Middle East season got under way yesterday with the Round One matches featuring the Abu Dhabi Falcons, B M Bulls, Dubai Dingoes and the Doha Kangaroos. Two weeks ago the Pre-Season Cup was played with the BM Bulls winning on the day.
After a big off-season developing skills and fitness for the new footy season, the Abu Dhabi Falcons have started their season in the best possible way. Last night the Falcons flexed their 2015/16 season muscles with a win over the Doha Kangaroos.
After a tough, hard fought match it was the Falcons 13 9 87 defeating the Kangaroos 12 2 74.
According to the Doha Kangaroos Facebook page, “Injuries to key players both before and during the game made it difficult for the Roos but that's not taking away anything from the performance of the greatly improved Falcons.”
The Falcons finished last season lower down the ladder but with a much improved performance than their position indicated. Early indications are that the team has improved further for this season.
In the other Round One match, the BM Bulls from Dubai defeated the Dubai Dingoes in the first local derby of the year. Final scores saw the BM Bulls 16 11 107 defeat the Dubai Dingoes 12 7 79 in a fast and free flowing game. A measure of the Bulls’ standing in the league in just their second season in the competition came from the Dubai Dingoes own Facebook page, stating “[it is] fair to say we can hold our heads up high [as we] stood toe to toe with the best team in the competition.”
The next scheduled match is the Round Two clash on 30th October when the Dubai Dragons are scheduled to visit the Muscat Magpies, Oman.
The next assignment for the Bulls is the Grand Final replay against the Dragons on 13th November, whilst the Dubai Dingoes are drawn to host the Magpies. The following week sees the Falcons host the Bulls whilst the Kangaroos will host the Dingoes.
Picture: Action from the Falcons v Kangaroos clash in Do ...
The Darwin Buffaloes, often better known locally as just the Buffaloes, have certainly started to turn the NTFL competition on its head, or at the very least clip it around the ears. Desperately unlucky last weekend to go down to the St Marys powerhouse by a solitary point, the Buffaloes went one better, defeating the other of last year’s grand finalists, Wanderers, by two points.
After having spent the past few years inhabiting the lower reaches of the NTFL ladder, there is something very inspiring about the Buffaloes at the moment. If last weekend’s loss was seen as “just one of those days”, then this weekend’s 10 11 71 to 10 9 69 win over Wanderers is proof. The Buffaloes are on the way back up. This in light of the fact that they trailed last year’s premiers by 36 points at half time. The second half belonged to the Buffaloes but they still trailed by 20 points at the final change. But the momentum of the second half was theirs and they hung on in a thriller to come from behind and create the upset of the season to date. Watch this space, Buffaloes fans.
The weekend’s round also saw St Marys travel to Bathurst Island to play the Tiwi Bombers. In a tough, tight but fast game it was the Saints that held firm to win by 24 points, extending their lead bit by bit each quarter. Final scores saw St Marys 15 9 99 defeat the Tiwi Bombers 10 15 75. It was the third straight defeat for the Bombers, setting off alarm bells. Another loss next weekend will seriously hurt the Bomber’s finals chances.
Southern Districts flexed their muscle against Waratah. Trailing at the first break and leading by just 15 points at half time, the Crocs fired up after the long break to finish strongly. After just three rounds, the Crocs are the only undefeated team and many pundits believe they are the most impressive team in the league to date.
The round was completed today at Northline Oval where the Palmerston Magpies defeated an undermanned Nightcliff Tigers 12 13 85 to 11 7 73. The win secures a good hold in the top five and a good start to the season for the Magpies. The Tigers had a few last minute player changes and new recruit Tyrone Downie was injured early.
Round Four commences on Friday night when Palmerston takes on St Marys at TIO Stadium. The Saturday double-header at the same venue will see Buffaloes take on the Tiwi Bombers whilst Southern Districts and Wanderers will do battle, On Sunday Waratah will meet Nightclif ...
The AFL is pleased to announce a Toyota AFL Premiership Season match will occur at Cazalys Stadium, Cairns in the 2016 Season.
The match, to be held in Round 17 on Saturday July 16 at 7:25pm EST, will see the Western Bulldogs host the Gold Coast SUNS.
Simon Lethlean, the AFL Executive Team Member responsible for the 2016 fixture, thanked the Queensland Government and Cairns Regional Council for their continued support in taking the match to the region.
“We know North Queensland fans are passionate about AFL, and with the support of the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, and Cairns Regional Council we are thrilled to bring a match to the region for the sixth straight year,” he said.
“The region has continued to benefit from live AFL as we have seen by strong participation numbers across all levels of competitions and programs over the past five seasons.
“This is the first time that we will hold the Cazalys match at night starting at 7:25pm, opposed to the previous twilight time slot, providing great atmosphere for fans at the venue,” Mr Lethlean said.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Kate Jones, confirmed Tourism and Events Queensland would support the Cairns Toyota AFL Premiership Season match in 2016 following the success of previous events.
“The 2015 AFL Premiership season match in Cairns resulted in direct spending of $2.7 million and more than 12,000 direct visitor nights in Queensland,” Minister Jones said.
“Events such as the Toyota AFL Premiership match in Cairns play an important role in promoting a destination, driving visitation, generating jobs and fostering community pride.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to growing tourism in Queensland and continuing our partnership with the AFL into 2016.
“The Toyota AFL Premiership match in Cairns is one of many world-class sporting events supported by Tourism and Events Queensland as part of the It’s Live! In Queensland events calendar.”
Mayor of Cairns Cr Bob Manning said the Council was looking forward to welcoming the match back to the city for another year.
“Council is again proud to be able to work with the AFL and Tourism and Events Queensland to bring AFL to Cairns. These games showcase AFL to the Far North Queensland community and promote growth of the sport in our region,” Cr Manning said.
“For our community this match provides an opportunity for local fans the chance to see their heroes in action. Previous matches in Cairns have drawn big crowds and I’m sure next year’s clash will be no different.”
Western Bulldogs CEO David Stevenson said Cazalys Stadium has become a home away from home and the Club is pleased to return in 2016.
“Our home game in Cairns has become an important part of our fixture, and we are thrilled to be returning for the third consecutive year in 2016,” Mr Stevenson said.
“We all have an important role to play in helping grow our great game, and we embrace the opportunity to take our club to communities like Cairns, who are unmistakably passionate about football.
“Our players, coaches and staff have thoroughly enjoyed connecting with the North Queensland community, along with our dedicated supporters who travel from around the country to attend the game — we look forward to strengthening that connection yet again next year,” he said.
Gold Coast SUNS CEO Andrew Travis said the Club was pleased the match was confirmed for another season allowing further engagement with North Queensland.
"We always look forward to returning to Cairns for what promises to be another exciting game of AFL football in Far North Queensland,” Mr Travis said.
“As a club we have established significant support in Cairns and enjoy playing our role in developing AFL throughout the region, which is also a key recruitment catchment for the Gold Coast SUNS Talent Academy.
“In the past, through community camps, pre-season games and AFL premiership fixtures, the Gold Coast Football Club has and will continue to support the growth of AFL in Far North Queensland,” he said.
AFL Cairns, the affiliate league who run the local community competitions, also own and manage the Cazalys Stadium venue.
AFL Cairns President, Gary Young, said the league was delighted that the match was returning to the region.
“We’re passionate about AFL in the Tropical North and we couldn’t be happier that the match is returning for a sixth straight year,” he said.
“The match provides us a platform to engage the wider community through coaching sessions with presentations by AFL coaches and NAB AFL Auskick and Junior Football Clinics for kids of all ages.”
This will be the sixth Toyota AFL Premiership Season match to be played in the Tropical North and the third time the Western Bulldogs have played an AFL match in Cairns.
AFL fans can secure their reserved match tickets, flights and accommodation for the game from this Thursday, October 29, by booking an AFL Travel Package available at afltravel.com.au/cairns
Over 11,000 people are expected to attend the match on Saturday July 16 at 7:25pm local time.
For ticket on-sale date, venue and match information please visit: afl.com.au/tickets
A limited number of corporate hospitality opportunities will be available and for further information please contact AFL Cairns on 07 4042 300 ...
To watch The Moody Blues live at the Sydney Entertainment Centre was one of my life long wishes. Burned into my memory is watching Justin Hayward ascend an ethereal mountain singing “Nights In White Satin” and hitting every note as I had remembered it. My life seemed complete…almost.
A year earlier I had the same uplifting feeling watching Pink Floyd play the entire Dark Side Of The Moon album, and was transfixed when David Gilmour brought “Comfortably Numb” to life. A couple of years earlier at a Dire Straits concert, Mark Knopfler played the guitar solo from Sultans Of Swing to sheer perfection, and their pulsating rendition of “Private Investigations” was breathtaking . Watching Jimmy Barnes and Chisel burst to life with “Conversations” was brilliant, but nothing tops watching The Boss play “Born To Run” live with ten thousand plus backing vocalists.
I feel so lucky to have experienced so many of the greatest artists in the world live, right there in front of me. Today’s youth might see my choices as dated or irrelevant (poor souls!), and prefer to carry their memories of Beiber, Katy Perry or similar as their own defining entertainment moments. God forbid!
But how does this conversation link to footy?
I wasn’t around to experience John Coleman. My dad was. I couldn’t experience Jack Dyer. My grandfather did. Dad saw the likes of Bob Davis, Charlie Sutton, Thorold Merrett, Bernie Smith, Lou Richards. My grandfather saw greats like “Chicka” Smallhorn, Dick Reynolds, Jack Regan, Haydn Bunton Senior. At the time Dad and Poppa may or may not have known they were watching legends of the game.
I came into the orbit of footy at a time of change. I watched the retirements of John Nicholls, Bob Skilton, Ted Whitten, Ron Barassi and Kevin Murray. I wasn’t there for the games – just the news service later in the day. But I did see Kevin Murray play live – right in front of my eyes. More would follow.
Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s I had my own football awakening. The ability to get to games changed and I remember watching greats like Leigh Matthews, Peter Knights, Peter Hudson, Michael Tuck and Don Scott at VFL Park taking on a Collingwood team boasting Len Thompson, Bill Picken, Barry Price, Peter McKenna and the Richardson lads, Wayne and Max.
I would venture to the occasional Essendon game and see the likes of “Nifty” Neville Fields, “Rotten” Ronnie Andrews, Graeme Moss and a red and black version of Des Tuddenham. Later on, once I had a car and could get to games under my own steam I saw more Bomber greats but also watched, with varying degrees of awe and annoyance – depending on the scoreline – greats like Malcolm Blight, Gary Dempsey, Keith Greig, Robbie Flower, Kevin Bartlett, Bruce Doull and so many more stars of a great era.
I could see the “Mad Dog” Muir’s, the Mark “Jacko” Jackson’s, “Big Carl” Dittterich or Peter “Crackers” Keenan and their various shenanigans. I could watch on in wonder as the “Macedonian Marvel” Peter Daicos slotted goals from almost anywhere to the chagrin of Essendon supporters. I saw Trevor Barker leap high into the air, only to be equalled or bettered by Paul Van Der Haar or Simon Madden.
I could go on for days at the incredible talent on all teams that I was able to watch live – just like Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen – but it would become tedious.
But it raises a new thought. As I look back on an era 30-40 years ago, and the players then who would go down in history of icons of the game, who of the current crop will we remember with the same fondness, awe, excitement or reverence as we do now a Gary Ablett Senior, a Tim Watson, a Bernie “Superboot” Quinlan or a Maurice Rioli. The answer will likely be clouded by club affiliations, favourites, man (or woman) crushes or something else entirely. But it makes for an interesting argument.
It is a question of who that player might be and what sets them apart.
The 1990’s and early 2000’s gave us some likely legends in names like Nathan Buckley, James Hird, Mark Ricciuto, Wayne Carey and Michael Voss as a starting point. More recently names like Adam Goodes, Jobe Watson, Scott Pendlebury and Joel Selwood have set a course for legendary status after they finish their playing days. But, just as we might now think about musicians and their possible place in history down the track a way, what current players have that quality that might have us looking back at them one day and speaking of them as if they were a Coventry, an Ian Stewart or a Doug Wade?
Hard also to find a starting point here, so arbitrarily I will look at debuts from the start of this decade – 2010.
From the draft of that year, Dyson Heppell at Essendon and Luke Parker from the Swans have that certain something that suggests greatness. At the same time Tom Lynch at the Gold Coast might yet become one of the great forwards, if not club leaders. From the 2011 crop, Port Adelaide’s Chad Wingard is already well on the way to hero status beyond his own club and could be a legend.
From the 2012 intake, Ollie Wines at Port Adelaide and Jake Stringer at the Western Bulldogs have those freakish talents associated with the greatest. Essendon’s Joe Daniher has the potential to be a truly great forward, much like Paul Salmon. Of the 22013 talent, “The Bont”, Marcus Bontempelli at the Dogs has so much X-factor it is frightening, whilst Carlton’s Patrick Cripps might become a Blue’s great one day.
And so, what did the 2014 draft deliver? It is way too early to know, but fun to gaze into a crystal ball. Collingwood’s Darcy Moore is a special talent like his dad. Swan Isaac Heeney is a super talent and a marketable face also. Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw has the smarts already to be the next big Demon thing. And keep an eye on Essendon’s Jayden Laverde who has already shown glimpses of a huge future.
In less than a month the 2015 draft takes place and a new crop will be on display in front of adoring fans. It begs the question as to whether or not names like Weitering, Scache, Parish or Mills will be watched up close by their current idols and spoken of in reverential tones thirty years from now.
I was once dragged kicking and screaming to see Torvill and Dean live in Sydney. I had no clue about the art of ice skating and wondered what all the fuss was about. But after sitting mesmerized as they skated their way through their “Bolero” routine right there in front of my eyes I grew to appreciate their incredible talent – so much more impressive live that on the TV. Thirty odd years later their performance still lives in my memory, even if my enthusiasm to take up skating myself has waned.
Witnessing greatness from close up cannot be replaced. From The Moody Blues to Alex Jesaulenko, seeing this greatness at arm’s length allows greatness to live on in the memory, and I am extremely lucky and blessed to have witnessed so muc ...
Ireland’s own UCC Bombers footy team, based down in Cork, has been gradually developing a full head of steam as it heads closer to becoming a key part of the continued growth of Australian Rules football in the nation. The club’s Public Relations Officer, Ian O’Brien, was happy to give an overview of their season to date and a look at the inspiration that Geelong’s Irish ruckman, Padraig Lucey has become to the club.
“The UCC Bombers started the new season in a positive manner with a win over the current Rebel Shield winners the Leeside Lions. This proved to be a close encounter with a highly skilled and experienced opposition. The Bombers came out on top in the first leg of the Rebel Shield competition with a 5 point margin and the final score being UCC Bombers 7.12.54 defeating Leeside Lions 7.7.49.”
“This was a major test for the club, especially the newcomers who performed with such enthusiasm and determination with a mere five weeks training under their belts. The game itself proved to be an intense test of physicality and in the end the Bombers pulled ahead by the narrowest of margins.”
“The UCC Bombers are a team that have yet to reach its peak in terms of potential and for the past number of years the club has been constantly developing for the better. This win over the Leeside Lions bodes well for the club and forms the basis of a successful year ahead. The performance by the old and new members of the UCC Bombers team solidifies them as contenders for the upcoming Fitzpatrick Cup.”
“The UCC Bombers have been developing as a club for more than three years and over this period of time there were new innovative additions to the club. For the very first time the Bombers had the honour of being coached by both players and coaches from the VAFA. This was a major contribution to the club’s training sessions as it opened up new training techniques and skill tips in the process.”
Another key addition to the club was the opportunity to train with a current AFL player. The Bombers also had the pleasure to train with one of their former teammates, now a member of the AFL’s Geelong Cats. Padraig Lucey was a former member of the UCC Bombers when he had the opportunity to further develop himself into a professional Aussie Rules player.”
“Padraig Lucey came out to join the club the year he was invited to the Irish Testing Combine with Tadgh Kennelly. He trained with the Bombers, got to know the rules of the sport, and learned various techniques in order to further develop his skill level.”
“The Bombers were a stepping stone for Lucey in order to reach a professional level. The UCC Bombers are honoured to have a former player represent the club on a professional and global scale. The club thrives off the idea that it is possible to reach a professional level and this idea was realised through the success of Padraig Lucey.”
Certainly the Bombers have come a long way in a short time, and the steps they have taken remain positive in terms of future growth and possible expansion to the national league at some point, if this should be their wish. Until then we will watch their development with great interest and wish them luck. ...
Hawthorn Football Club announced today Irishman Conor Glass was added to its list, with the 18-year-old signing on as an International Category B rookie.
A talented Gaelic footballer, Glass has won three Ulster club minor titles with the Watty Graham team, as well as two MacRory crowns and a Hogan Cup victory with St Patrick's, Maghera.
Glass hails from Maghera in Northern Ireland and has been on the Hawks’ radar for the past few years, having previously made three trips to Australia to visit Waverley Park.
At 189cm tall and boasting excellent skills on both sides of his body, Glass is a likely utility prospect for the Hawks.
Hawthorn Recruiting and List Manager Graham Wright said the Irishman is an exciting pick up for the club.
“Conor has been on our radar for some time now and we are thrilled that he is finally a Hawthorn player,” he said.
“He is a good mark of the round ball and has shown great skills on both side of his body.
“Now it will be a matter of him honing these skills with an oval ball and learning the game of AFL,” Wright said.
Glass is currently undertaking his high school studies and is due to graduate in June 2016.
Hawthorn and Glass will work together to arrange a date for his relocation to Australia following the completion of his studies.
In the interim, HawksTV’s interview with Glass can be found here.
Fellow Irishman Daniel Flynn was today officially delisted at Port Adelaide. Flynn was homesick in 2014 and returned home part way through the season. He returned and played out the season in the SANFL. He then decided he was quitting early in 2015 before the start of the season and remained in Ireland rather than returning to Port Adelaide citing homesickness. ...
The second season of the recently revamped South African national Australian Rules football competition concluded recently with the Gauteng Province based team, Warriors, defeating the Nyanga Blue Birds team from the Western Cape Province.
The new format commenced in 2014 and was considered a success as eight teams from across South Africa competed in a ten round format. There are two teams from each of four provinces – Gauteng, Western Cape, KwaZulu Natal and North West.
The Warriors and Blue Birds teams finished the home and away rounds in first and second place respectively, and met in the final which in the end was dominated by the Warriors on the scoreboard. Final scores saw Warriors 5 9 39 defeat the Nyanga Blue Birds 2 7 19.
The final ladder at the end of the season was as follows:
1. Warriors (Gauteng)
2. Nyanga Blue Birds (Western Cape)
3. Khayelitsha Real Divines (Western Cape)
4. Platinum Buffaloes (North West)
5. Hurricanes (KwaZulu Natal)
6. Wild Cats (North West)
7. Giant Bees (KwaZulu Natal)
8. Super Owls (Soweto – Gauteng)
Earlier in the season the Giant Bees won their first ever game in the competition when they downed the young Super Owls team, made up of kids with no experience from Soweto. Whilst the Giant Bees took the points on the scoreboard, it is possible that the Soweto based Owls might yet be the biggest winner as more kids take up the game.
For the present, however, the warriors continue to celebrate their success and will likely do so right up until Round One next season. AFL Footywild in South Africa must also be celebrating as their competition continues to grow and develo ...