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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    Two 4WD troop carriers will be negotiating narrow bush tracks and river crossings, dust trailing behind the vehicles, as they travel seven hours across Arnhem Land from Maningrida to Nhulunbuy. They hope to pick up some extra players as they travel through the community of Ramingining.

    At the same time, a squadron of five light planes will leave Galiwinku, flying across the waters of Buckingham Bay and the Gove Peninsula. They will probably look out of the plane window at the dust cloud formed by the vehicles coming in from Gapuwiyak, headed for the same destination.

    Another collection of charter aircraft will be leaving Groote Eylandt to meet the others, as well as local teams in the Gove AFL. Yirrkala, Gunyangara and Gove teams should already be there.

    Such a movement of people and vehicles begs the question. What’s going on?

    On the weekend of 22 and 23 June, Nhulunbuy (Gove) will be hosting the East Arnhem Football Carnival. The mass movement of players and fans across the land and waters of Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, is headed for a huge Australian Rules football carnival in one of Australia’s more remote regions.

    According to Kevin Bruce, Indigenous Programs Manager for AFLNT, “Basically for the East Arnhem Carnival it is a senior [competition] between Maningrida, Groote Eylandt, Elcho Island, Gapuwiyak and teams from the Gove region. This is the first time a senior carnival for the region has been run as it is very difficult and expensive to coordinate.”

    This is certainly an enormous undertaking. The logistics already mentioned are almost mind-boggling, especially if you know the area. The costs, however, are also enormous. Kevin adds, “Galiwinku are catching charter planes which costs approximately $10,000. The flight time is only around 20 minutes. Groote Eylandt [are using] charter planes one way and then the standard flight to return. Flight costs alone are in excess of $15,000 and it is a 30 minute flight.”

    And all of this for a footy carnival?

    Kevin continues, “All teams are extremely excited about the carnival, running into family and even for the first time recognising which league is the strongest.”

    Bernie Price, Regional Development manager for the AFLNT in Maningrida echoes that statement. “It is shaping to be a fantastic event and one that would create much interest from the broader community.”

    It is certainly an exciting concept for Australian Rules football, and one that would be good for more AFL clubs to support in some way for the future. As the huge cost will most likely be met through grants, sponsorship, goodwill and other AFLNT, AFL Gove and local funding, it is hoped the event can afford to be run on an annual basis. Certainly the support of key national teams or players/personalities would raise the profile of the carnival, and the game as a whole within the region.

    Geelong has already started that ball rolling, as stated by Kevin Bruce. “Geelong FC will be supporting the event with best player awards. Only early last week a group of six, which included ex Cat David Wojcinski, travelled through Groote, Gapuwiyak and Gove as part of their commitment to the region via the AFL Partnership program. They will also come back through in October (at season’s end) with some of the current playing group.”

    Earlier this year, Kevin Sheedy paid a visit to Elcho Island (see link below), and the Essendon AFL club from Victoria sent their players north during the pre-season to visit communities and work with the kids in Wadeye and the Tiwi Islands. Maybe the same could occur in coming years to promote this event in the East Arnhem region further. Time will tell.

    Until then, we have a fantastic football carnival coming up that will be entertaining, exciting, exhilarating, enterprising and electrifying. For more information contact Kevin Bruce at or the AFLNT in Darwin through their own website.

    More information about some of these Australian Rules loving communities can also be found at the following links to other World Footy News stories:

    Groote Eylandt Football – Brave New Worlds

    Galiwinku – An “Island Home” to Aussie Rules Footy

    Maningrida Footy – not international but still a world away (but getting closer)

    Sheedy headed for Elcho Island ...

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    Austria has had an Australian Footy presence since 2004, initially with the Vienna Kangaroos and currently the Styrian Down Under Dogs based in Graz, who play in the Croatian Australian Football League and is this month about to debut in the field of International Footy, with the national team the 'Avalanche' taking on the Croatian Knights. 

    As Croatia is provisionally ranked  (40.61 rating points) and Austria (starting with 40.00 points) making its international debut,  the match will have no impact on our unofficial World Rankings.

    In the absence of any preview or promotion so far of this European Footy "First" we can, however, predict the Rating Points of the competing Nations regardless of the outcome. It is assumed that the match is being played in Zagreb and the rating gap with Home Advantage is therefore 3.61. As the system predicts the higher ranked team will win more often than not,  a Knights victory (of less than 40 points) will produce a Rating Change of +/-0.96 points. Croatia (five internationals) finishing  with 41.56 points and Austria (first international) with 39.04 points.

    If, however, the Avalanche can buck the odds and produce a debutante win, then the rating change would be +/- 2.04 points and Austria would finish with 42.04 points and Croatia would slip to 38.57 points.

    If this match is actually played in Austria then points will be different - information has been hard to fi ...

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  • 06/13/13--05:39: The making of Masala
  • Saturday a week ago, Masala Football Club secured their first victory – quite fittingly at the season mid-point and against fellow multicultural football side the Dragons (formerly known as the Southern Dragons). For those unfamiliar with Masala, they appear in World Footy News stories: Masala Football Club is born and Masala debuts in the heat.

    As club co-founder and current president (and a no-longer-so-active WFN correspondent) I take you behind the scenes of the club, and share our journey so far. Hopefully it’s an entertaining read – perhaps it might also prove useful to others in Australia or abroad working to get a club up and running.

    IC2011 – Idea born

    Through connections made with two players from the India Tigers team at the 2008 International Cup, Darren Ross and Sudip Chakraborty, I found myself co-organising an India Tigers team for the 2011 event. A good portion of the team were Melbourne-based, most without previous football experience.

    Following the tournament, myself and two of the Melbourne-based players – Trevor Banerjee and Fevin Mascarenhas toyed with the idea of getting the local players together to play regular footy. From there, the idea of a club with a subcontinental flavour was born. Shortly after another India player, William Fernandes was on board and we had our inaugural committee.

    2012 – Foundation Laid

    The four of us met on a regular basis throughout 2012. Our first priority was a name, moniker and colours. We looked at everything from Tendulkar Tigers to Brown Brothers FC – but found the names to be either too exclusive (often India-centric), infringing on existing brands or simply impossible to work with.

    Finally we settled on Masala Football Club (meaning a blend of spices) which was perfectly reflective of the diverse team we were looking to build. However by being Masala, the choice was made not to have a moniker, and this made creating a logo more difficult. With the help of a Sydney-based student, we eventually did come up with a logo: a star anise (spice) in which the seeds have been replaced by footballs.

    The Richmond Football Club (big supporters of the India Tigers at the International Cup) resolved our lack of colours – in exchange for us adopting the yellow and black, they agreed to provide our playing kit. Richmond’s support has been fantastic and has included several articles about Masala on their website and a pre-season function at their Punt Rd facilities. We are hopeful of one more event with Richmond before the year is out.

    Our desired league, the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA), agreed to consider our application if we incorporated (making us a legal entity) and submitted a Business Plan. Leagues generally require clubs to field at least two teams (seniors and reserves). Given the difficulty in getting one team together we would be applying for a stand-alone team in VAFA’s Club XVIII competition, which accommodates thirds and fourths teams for clubs in all higher divisions. This is not usually allowed, and similar concepts in the past had been required to operate under the auspices of an exisiting club (Hawthorn Spartans and their Thirds, Box Hill North and the now Dragons FC).

    We set to work on the constitution (or rules) – for those unfamiliar with Victorian Legislation and Incorporation Associations; you are given two options: adopt the Model Rules or create your own rules (which still need to be compliant with the legislation). Given that we had a very specific purpose for the club, we opted to create our own rules. We consulted both the Model Rules and several other publically available sporting club constitions and then had them looked over by a legal eye (thanks to Troy Thompson for his connections). It was submitted and after a few minor alterations, accepted. It was August 2012 and Masala Football Club Inc. was officially born!

    Before we could start on the Business Plan we needed to set our area of operation. According to the last census, Melbourne is home to 100,000+ India-born persons (and a sizeable Sri Lankan community) and this is without taking into consideration any Australian-born children. We made a list of a few key municipalities (either due to their location or demographics) and then did a mail out to all these councils. The City of Greater Dandenong, in Melbourne’s southeast was the first to respond, and most importantly they were eager to accommodate us. Greater Dandenong is home to a large number of migrants from the subcontinent. It is also home to a large number of Melbourne’s refugees and asylum seekers, many from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Whilst the council couldn’t give us a definite answer until their official ground allocations in January, they were prepared to confirm to VAFA that they were working with us to secure a home ground.

    Following this the Business Plan came together quite easily and it proved a good point for us to “take stock” – we were officially registered, in talks with a league and now had an area to work with - things seemed to be progressing to plan. I arranged a meeting with Tim Noonan, General Manager of Football Operations at VAFA and formally discussed our intent. Tim listen to what I had to say, and seemed impressed by both the consitution and Business Plan, but at the same time remained noncommittal – as our application had to be voted on by the board. I was told the application would be either: accepted as submitted; accepted if we partnered with an existing club; or rejected.

    It was a nervous wait but at the end of October I was informed by Tim that our application was accepted as submitted and we would be playing Club XVIII in 2013. AFL Victoria approval followed shortly after… and the fun began!

    2013 – Pre Season & Preparation

    For all the hard work that had gone into the club up until that point, things stepped up a notch after being accepted by VAFA. We had to recruit, find a coach, a club umpire and sponsors and plan a pre-season – and none of the committee had previously been involved in a football club.

    We received word from the council that we would be in a ground-sharing arrangement with the Lyndale Football Club (Southern Football League), making Barry J Powell Reserve our home ground. The ground has multiple social areas meaning that we still have our own club space and the reserve has two ovals (and no longer any junior teams) meaning there is room for growth.

    Our recruitment started with the Melbourne-based India Tigers and their ability to sell the concept to friends, family and Facebook connections. At our first pre-season session in late January we had a grand total of six participants. Given a large number of our players are from overseas, after all had returned back to Melbourne from holidays by about mid-February our numbers were close to a full squad. We were contacted by Team Africa for a practice match which was played in early March and was the club’s first ever hit out. We managed to field a team, but had only a couple of interchange in a match that was played in near 40 degree heat. We went down by about 60 points.

    It was the first of three practice matches – the others played against the Dragons, Endeavour Hills and Dandenong Redlegs thirds. All were losses on the scoreboard, but wins for the team, with players gaining valuable match time.

    Interestingly our real player growth began after the season had commenced. Against our first official opponents, Richmond Central, we had a full playing list of around 30. Just eight weeks later that is 50. The majority of these new players are not experienced, but they bring with them skills from other sports and an eagerness to be a part of the club. Word of mouth remains our most successful recruitment method, but we have had a few players hear of us by other means.

    Our playing group is diverse and 70% of our squad have made their football-debut at Masala. We have players born in countries like India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Estonia, New Zealand, UAE, Kuwait and Zimbabwe. Other players have both parents born in countries such as Italy and Vietnam. Our list includes an asylum seeker and a refugee. Of the 50 players on our list, 45 have had match time. We are preparing to host our own 9s tournament to make sure that all players remain engaged at the club, and have our eyes focussed on two teams in 2014.

    Finding a coach to lead such a diverse and inexperienced group took time – more so because we couldn’t offer any monetary return – just the opportunity to build a club from the ground up, and a few tie-ins to the Richmond Football Club. We were put in contact with Matt Peddlesden, a former Old Camberwell junior, who agreed to come on board as a playing coach. It has been one of the best decisions in the club’s short history and hopefully Matt remains on board for years to come.

    All Club XVIII teams need to provide an umpire for their home matches and this was perhaps the most challenging position we have had to fill – to the point that for our first two home matches we were borrowing an umpire from VAFA (which was testing our relationship with their Head of Umpiring). We contacted nearby junior leagues and all our connections involved with suburban football, without success. In many cases they too were seeking an umpire. Finally with the help of Gumtree we found our man!

    Sponsorship has secured us less money than we would have hoped, and like many football clubs we have been forced to be creative with our fundraising. Our player registration fee covers some of the cost, although we deliberately kept this low to encourage new players to try out football. We also have a Social Membership available for $50 (sign up here) which includes special offers from our partners, a club scarf and a vote out our AGM, amongst other benefits. McDonalds Noble Park (our shorts sponsor), Bank of Queensland Dandenong and Romak Hardware Distributors have all assisted financially or in kind, as has the Richmond Football Club.

    2013 – Inaugural Season

    The season started with a baptism of fire – a 131 point loss away to Richmond Central. It was a reality-check of sorts for the team, who went in very optimistic, having been competitive in their most-recent practice match. In hindsight it was a difficult opener - eight rounds in and Richmond Central remain undefeated and yet to be truly challenged this season.

    Since the first match, the team has continued to improve and now resemble a football team. On June 1, in incredibly wet conditions, the players’ hard work paid off and Masala defeated “rivals” the Dragons. It was a four quarter effort – Masala leading at all the breaks, in a very physical encounter. Making the victory all the more sweeter, when the sides met in Round 2, the Dragons were 82 point victors (although Masala was awarded the points after it was found the Dragons played unregistered players).

    For those interesting in seeing Masala in action, this Saturday at 2pm we take on Eley Park Sharks at home. We will be holding a kids football clinic beforehand.

    Show your support

    To show your support of Masala, like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. If you’re keen to be involved – either head down to training on a Monday or Wednesday evening at 7pm or sign up to a Social Membership.


    Masala Football Club promotional clip
    Masala feature at 10 minute mark - The Local Footy Show (Channel 31)

    Front page news on the Richmond Website: coach Matt and committee members Ash, Trevor and Fevin

    UHS-VU vs Masala: Captain Ben leads the team out

    Masala vs Richmond Central: Masala FC scarf prominently displayed above our canteen

    Dragons vs Masala: Pre-match huddle (yes that's rain!)

    Dragons vs Masala: Three quarter time chat

    Dragons vs Masala: Final siren

    Dragons vs Masala: Smiles all around ...

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    In October, over a hundred of Canada’s best women’s Australian Rules Football players will be in the nation’s capital to fight for the national championship title.

    AFL Ontario club, the Ottawa Swans Australian Football Club, has won the bid to host the 2013 Women’s Canadian National Championships Oct. 11 to 13.

    Australian Rules Football, also known as AFL or footy, is played widely in Australia through professional and recreational leagues. Internationally, especially on the women’s side, the sport has been rapidly growing.

    “To say the team is excited is an understatement,” said Swans captain Lisa Dalla Rosa. “Knowing that this October we will be playing on our field, with our club, sponsors and city cheering us on will be great motivation not only for the tournament but for the up-coming season as well.  We cannot wait to host players from across Canada.  This is fantastic for women's footy in the capital."

    The Ottawa Swans Australian Football Club was formed in 2006 by a group of Australian expats, and became a member of AFL Ontario and AFL Canada in 2007. The club has adopted the same name as the professional AFL club the Sydney Swans.

    Both women’s and men’s teams play in the Ontario AFL, playing at home at the Rideau Carleton Raceway in Ottawa and travelling to Toronto to face competition.

    The Swans debuted their women’s side in 2012. The team went on to finish second in the regular season league play, and have several members named to the national team, the Northern Lights.

    This will be an excellent chance for the best footy players in the country to play against one another, and duke it out to be the best women’s side in Canada.

    'The Ottawa Swans are extremely happy to be hosting the 2013 AFL Canada Women's Nationals,” said club president Chris MacLean. 

    “Hosting an event of this size, with teams represented from across Canada, is going to be fantastic for the development of the sport in the Ottawa region. Australian Rules Football has come a long way in the Ottawa region since our club's inception in 2006 and we hope this event encourages more men and women to learn this amazing game.”

    Teams from Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal and Hamilton will be travelling to Ottawa to compete in the national championship, sanctioned by AFL Canada.

    Updates will be posted to and as more tournament details come forward. ...

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    Ed: WFN welcomes new correspondent Vineet Basu. Vineet is Media and Communications Coordinator of the Australian Rules Football Association in India.

    May 2nd, 2013 - It was that kind of a summer day in Mumbai where people would rather stay indoor than venture out in the scorching heat outside, let alone play under such conditions.

    Good luck getting that through to the 80 odd kids who turned up to play in an Australian Rules Football tournament in Mumbai, a considerably bigger affair than last year’s inaugural tournament! No wonder they’re always using the word ‘madness’ in the same breath as ‘Footy’. Well, madness it is and we love it!

    Shivaji Park provided the setting for the clash between the Matunga Tigers and the Mahim Cats, the 2 local Footy teams in Mumbai. The lads were divided into 3 age groups viz Under-14, Under-18 and an open age group, to fight it out in a best of 3 format.

    Special guests were Lincoln Harris of India Unbound and Sudip Chakraborty, captain of the Indian Tigers - with the two going a step beyond encouraging speeches and actually playing against each other, representing the teams in the open age group final. They also donned the umpire’s jersey and officiated in a few matches. Incidentally, Sudip had made his way straight to the ground after a 30 hour long train journey from Kolkata!

    The history of Footy in Mumbai can be traced back to 2011, when Lincoln started to kick a Footy around with kids in and around Shivaji Park. He went on to help grow the sport by providing the basic equipment and occasional financial support to help sustain the momentum. The bulk of financial support required to pull-off this particular event was also provided by Lincoln himself; however each player chipped in to ensure they had sufficient funds in place.

    What made the tournament pleasantly unique was the fact that a few of the parents, apart from being present the entire day, actually prepared lunch and refreshments for everyone present. To top it off, there was also a never-ending supply of lemonade and ORS to keep the players hydrated in such demanding conditions. What a lift for the boys it was!

    The matches themselves were hard-fought, close encounters. The boys seemed to be enjoying themselves, trying out their skills in this relatively new sport and they were keen to learn from the experience of Sudip and Lincoln.

    The Mahim Cats emerged victorious in the U-14 and open-age encounters while the Matunga Tigers ran away with the U-18 honours. But the day wasn’t about medals and trophies, it was a day to throw caution to the wind and experience the madness, the Aussie way!

    From Sudip’s perspective, who has been working tirelessly for the past few years to develop the sport in the nation, it was a moment of immense pride to see the local lads, led by Sumesh and Mayur, take the initiative and execute it in the most professional of manners. “It’s the first time that a Footy tourney has been organised in India without any direct involvement from my side… It was an overwhelming experience… can’t really explain!”

    The tournament in itself was not the kind of affair that would make people sit up and take notice, but for the people at the Australian Rules Football Association in India, it was an encouraging sign of growing interest and a marker for the days to come. It served up a delectable concoction of excitement and passion, along with some valuable lessons learnt.

    The lads were over the moon to find the tourney covered in a local newspaper the next day. A proud moment it was for Footy in India, and a worthy example to follow for the rest of the nation.


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  • 06/16/13--06:49: Tatupu featured on Hawks TV
  • Shem Tatupu was this week featured on Hawks TV with Mark Mckenzie discussing Shem's development as the club prepares to have him on board full time at the end of this year as an international rookie.


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    North Queensland will once again become the focus of the AFL world when Cairns hosts its annual Gold Coast Suns versus Richmond Tigers match at Cazalys Stadium on Saturday at 4.40pm. This is the main event, following on from the earlier NAB Cup match in Townsville pre-season between the Suns and Kangaroos.

    This is a huge match for Cairns. Two weeks ago the northern city played host to the 2013 Women’s National Championships. Now the Gold Coast, undefeated in Cairns after three starts (they defeated the Bendigo Bombers as an AFL side in 2010), get a chance to enhance their own slim finals chances and seriously threaten those of Richmond. Following is a media release from the AFL giving the details.


    AFL will come alive in Cairns this week with a full program of community football and supporter events in the lead up to the Toyota AFL Premiership match between Richmond and the Gold Coast SUNS at Cazalys Stadium on Saturday, 13 July.

    AFL Commissioner Sam Mostyn, Gold Coast SUNS CEO Travis Auld along with players Michael Rischitelli and Jack Martin travelled to Bamaga and Thursday Island yesterday. The group will spend three days with communities in the Cape delivering the No Boundaries program with staff from AFL Cape York.

    Now in its third year, the program is supported by the AFL and the Gold Coast SUNS and uses Australian Football as the vehicle to encourage and reward attendance at school, community participation, leadership development and promotion of a healthy and active lifestyle for young boys and girls from the region.

    Over 300 students from 12 Tropical North Queensland schools will converge on Cairns on Thursday for a three day competition to be played at Watsons Oval. The North Queensland Secondary Schools Cup is a round robin competition with the grand final played as the curtain raiser to the Toyota AFL Premiership match on Saturday at Cazalys Stadium. The opening day of competition will see a visit from a Gold Coast SUNS player and all students will also take part in a Try-A-Trade expo as part of their week in Cairns.

    On Thursday, a Gold Coast SUNS player will tour the recently opened AFL Cape York House in Cairns. The new facility provides up to 48 years 8-to-12 indigenous students from Far North Queensland with a place to live and learn while they complete secondary schooling.

    Richmond player Daniel Grimes, assistant coach Justin Leppitsch, Gold Coast SUNS coach Guy McKenna and player Zac Smith will help in delivering a coaching and leadership session to the North Queensland AFL community.

    On Friday, AFL fans in Cairns will have plenty of opportunities to meet players and officials from Richmond and the GC SUNS. The main attraction will be the free AFL Fan Day at Cazalys Stadium from 3pm until 6pm. Featuring team training sessions, autograph signings with both Richmond and GC SUNS players, the AFL Playground, a SEA FM broadcast and team merchandise stalls, it will be a great afternoon for fans of all ages.

    Saturday will be a full day of AFL action with the Grand Final of the North Queensland Secondary Schools Cup kicking off at Cazalys when gates open at 2pm. The Round 16 match between Richmond and the Gold Coast SUNS will start at 4.40pm.

    There are still plenty of general admission tickets available for the Toyota AFL Premiership match. Patrons are encouraged to buy now to avoid the queues and take advantage of the free public transport. Tickets are on sale from Cazalys Social Club, or by phoning 1300 798 550. Prices start at just $22.50 for adults and $5.00 for kids 15 years or under. Booking fees apply.

    For information about the match, public transport and parking visit or call 07 4042 3000 during business hours.

    The Toyota AFL Premiership match between Richmond and the Gold Coast SUNS is supported by the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural and regional events across the State.

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  • 07/09/13--15:05: World XVIII match highlights
  • Highlights of the World XVIII Round 1 win over WA Northwest on Sunday. Later today the World XVIII take on the South Pacific team.

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    The 2013 season saw some big changes to the Brit Cup, starting with the first year the name has been changed to include a sponsor: ACM Sports.  However as usual the aim of the tournament was to give British players a chance to shine as the Aussie-expats take a weekend off.

    In addition, the format was also changed to allow the hosts, Birmingham Bears, to hold games on a rugby pitch, the common ground type for regional 9-a-side Australian football teams in the UK. Instead of 16-a-side, each team fielded a 10-a-side squad, and instead of an oval field, it was rectangular, in-keeping with the rugby pitch markings with a 40m kicking zone at either end. Shots at goal from outside the zone were not counted.

    The smaller team size allowed for more teams than usual, with four teams from the AFL Central and Northern England league – CNE Power, CNE Warriors, Midlands Sharks and league team Nottingham Scorpions – being joined by the WARFL Red Dragons and the AFL London Honeybadgers.

    The event was held at Old Yardleians RFC in Birmingham, where games were played on two pitches. Each game was two 12 minute halves, with the winner taking 4 points. The competition was in round robin format, with the top two teams playing each other in the final.


    Round 1 Pitch 1

    The first game was a derby between the two northern CNE teams, the Warriors in red and the Power in black and yellow. Although the teams were evenly selected and it should have been a close run game, but half time the Warriors were already 6 goals head. The Power managed to claw back 2 goals in the second half but the Warriors again outclassed their northern rivals, adding 4 more goals to their tally. Final score CNE Warriors 10.5(65) def CNE Power 2.2(14).

    Round 1 Pitch 2

    On pitch 2, there was a much more even game as the WARFL Red Dragons, last year’s champions, took on the AFL London Honeybadgers. The London players showed some spectacular plays but the unusual game format took some getting used to for the 18-a-siders and by the break the Welsh team had eased ahead by 4 goals to 3. The Red Dragons came out stronger in the second half, holding the Honeybadgers to a single behind whilst they kicked another 2 goals. Final score WARFL Red Dragons 6.4(40) def London Honeybadgers 3.2(20).

    Round 2

    Nottingham Scorpions and the Midlands Sharks were the two teams representing the southern CNE teams, with Nottingham being the only single club able to field a team. However, they struggled with numbers and with no-one on the bench, they soon started to flag in the heat. The Sharks piled on the goals totalling 4 by half time to the Scorpions’ single behind. After the break, the Midlands team doubled that whilst only conceding 2 behinds, and with every team having played their first game, the CNE Warriors, the Midland Sharks and the WARFL Red Dragons were beginning to look the finals contenders of the day. Final score Midlands Sharks 8.6(54) def Nottingham Scorpions 0.3(3).

    Round 3 Pitch 1

    By their second game the Honeybadgers should have become used to the game format but by the end of the first half, the Warriors went into the break looking comfortable at 3 goals to 1. In the second half, the Warriors dominated and added another 4 goals, holding the London team to a single behind. Final score London Honeybadgers 1.3(9) def by CNE Warriors 7.6(48).

    Round 3 Pitch 2

    In their second game, the Red Dragons came out strong attempting to add to their points and book themselves another place in the finals. And by the half time whistle it seemed game over for the Power who were 3 goals down with only a behind to show for their efforts. They came back in the second half and kicked two goals but could not hold back the mighty Red Dragons who added another 4 goals and 4 competition points to their scorecard. Final score WARFL Red Dragons 6.6(42) def CNE Power 2.2(14).

    Round 4 Pitch 1

    The CNE Power barely got off the ground in this game, despite knowing their opposition’s players well. They only managed a first half behind all game, whilst the Sharks, already showing the onlookers some finals hungry form, clocked up 6 goals by the break. In the second half the Power switched to damage limitation mode and the Sharks only added another 2 goals to their score, but the constant defence meant the Power weren’t getting any attacking opportunities and their scores stayed level. Final score Midlands Sharks 8.8(56) def CNE Power 0.1(1).

    Round 4 Pitch 2

    After their defeat against their midlands rivals, the Scorpions were out against last year’s champions with something to prove but were unable to hold back the powerhouse WARFL team with 10 men. In the second half the Scorpions were unable to add to their 2 goals, whilst the Red Dragons added 3 goals and 5 behinds to end the game on a lucky 7-7. Final score WARFL Red Dragons 7.7(49) def Nottingham Scorpions 2.2(14).

    Round 5 Pitch 1

    The home side came out of the blocks early and took 3 bites out of the sluggish Honeybadgers. The London team managed to claw back a goal in the first and second half, but by full time the Sharks had comfortably doubled their goal tally and notched up 6 behinds for fun. Final score London Honeybadgers 2.1(13) def by Midlands Sharks 6.6(42).

    Round 5 Pitch 2 

    The struggling Scorpions never really got off the ground in this game, managing a goal and a behind in the first half and failing to add to it. The stronger Warriors managed 3 goals in both halved but struggled with accuracy, totalling 9 behinds and leaving the onlookers wondering at what the score might have been. Final score Nottingham Scorpions 1.1(7) def by CNE Warriors 6.9(45).

    Round 6 Pitch 1

    The Honeybadgers finally found their feet in this game against the weaker CNE Power and kicked an early three goals. The Power managed to get a goal back but only scored a minor in the second half, however they did defend well against the Honeybadgers, who only added one more goal to the scoreboard. Final score London Honeybadgers 4.7(31) def CNE Power 1.1(7).

    Round 6 Pitch 2

    It was during this game that the Red Dragons finally began to run out of steam and had no answer to the Warriors’ 3 first half goals. After the break they found their wings and kicked a couple of goals, but they couldn’t hold back the Warriors’ who also added another to the scoreboard. Though the scores were low, it was clear the Dragons were never going to catch up. Final score WARFL Red Dragons 2.5(17) def by CNE Warriors 4.9(33).

    Round 7 Pitch 1

    The Power sensed a chance to get their first win of the day against struggling CNE league team Nottingham. But the advantage of knowing the opposition worked both ways and in a hard fought, competitive first half, the Power managed one goal more than the Scorpions’ two. The Scorpions came out the stronger and got another goal, whilst firmly suppressing the Power to three, and pipped the CNE compilation to the first win of the day. Final score CNE Power 3.5(23) def by Nottingham Scorpions 4.6(30).

    Round 7 Pitch 2

    This was the deciding game for the Red Dragons, who had to win this clash against the local side if they wanted to play in the finals for a chance to retain their status as Brit Cup champions. But the Sharks quickly slayed the Dragon’s hopes with 4 unanswerable goals, which could have been higher had it not been for the Shark’s accuracy problems. The Welsh team managed a goal and 4 behinds in the second half but could not hold back the sharks from confirming their place in the finals with 3 more goals to the tally. Final score Midlands Sharks 7.9(51) def WARFL Red Dragons 1.4(10).

    Round 8

    After 10-man Nottingham suffered an injury in the previous round, the Honeybadgers agreed to play 9-a-side for this game, more for pride than points as neither of them had made the finals cut. The Scorpions made the best of it, keeping the Honeybadgers down whilst scoring 2 goals, but in the second half the game was far more exciting, with the London team managing an impressive comeback, putting 4 goals through the centre posts and turning the game around. Final score Nottingham Scorpions 3.5(24) def by London Honeybadgers 4.2(28).


    Neither the Sharks nor the Warriors had lost a game up to this point and both of them had continually put on impressive performances. It seemed as if skills and camaraderie would go down to the wire as neither team had shown any sign of flagging so far. However once they took to the field, it was clear the Warriors’ stamina was lacking and by the half time whistle they were two goals down and floundering in their defensive half. But a few mistakes from the Sharks and some flashes of brilliance allowed the Warriors back into the game in the second half, though the Sharks came back at them time and time again. The Warriors had some luck with the Sharks wonky kicking and managed to scrape another goal but it wasn’t quite enough. The Sharks showed the crowd the meaning of “every point counts” with those 4 extra behinds the only difference in the score. Final score Midlands Sharks 4.10 (34) def CNE Warriors 4.6 (30).

    AFL England President Adam Bennett presented the three Midlands captains (who represented the Birmingham Bears, Uni team Birmingham Sharks and nearby Wolverhampton Wolverines) with the Brit Cup trophy, much to the delight of the locals, many of whom had turned out to watch the British Lions defeat the Australians at rugby and had stuck around to check out the rival code.

    And the day got even better for the Wolverines with the news that team mate Cameron Cope, in Australia representing the World XVIII at the NAB Under 16’s Nationals, had won his game against the NW Western Australia development squad.


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     In an AFL first, the Western Bulldogs will live tweet in Vietnamese during this weekend’s afternoon clash against Essendon on Sunday - to mark AFL Multicultural Round.

    The Club will also celebrate the languages of Melbourne’s diverse West in the lead up to the round – publishing footy articles on in Vietnamese, Mandarin and Amharic (Ethiopian).


    Click below to view the Dogs weekly Fan Guide in:




    Amharic (Ethiopian)

    The Western Bulldogs today launched the @WBFCcommunity Twitter account which will be the hub of the Bulldogs’ multicultural match day activities for Round 16 and the Twitter channel of the Club’s community programs going forward.

    Western Bulldogs Chief Executive, Simon Garlick said the ethnic diversity of Melbourne’s West was a central part of the Bulldogs rich history and culture. 
    “There are 95 different nationalities represented in the Bulldogs’ backyard - from Vietnamese to Indian, Ethiopian to African,” Garlick said today.
    “As the Community Club of the AFL we are very proud to work in partnership with our community and government to celebrate and support people and families from different backgrounds and cultures.
    “Through our community arm, Spirit West Services, we have engaged with over 40,000 people from multicultural backgrounds since 2005 through our multicultural community programs and initiatives.”
    “We are thrilled to be hosting the centrepiece match for AFL Multicultural Round which celebrates the contribution of the nation’s multicultural heritage to our community and our great game.”

    To follow the live tweeting of the match in Vietnamese this weekend follow @WBFCcommunity on Twitter

    Go to throughout the week to view further multicultural articles. 
    The Bulldog’s Backyard 

    •       Maribyrnong 
    -          More Vietnamese people than Cabramatta (NSW)
    -          58.2 per cent of people with both parents born overseas
    •       Brimbank 
    -          97,000 people born overseas
    -          113,000 or 62 per cent  speak a language other than English (LOTE) 
    •       Hobsons Bay 
    -          59.3 per cent of people with both parents born overseas
    •       Wyndham  
    -          Growing Multicultural community – in 2006 25.2 per cent were born overseas; in 
    2011, 38.9 per cent ...

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    The name Arafura is an indigenous word to the original people of the Moluccas which loosely means “children of the mountains” or “people of the mountains”. It’s modern application is that of the name of the Arafura Sea which is a body of water bounded by northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor.

    In footballing terms it is the name of the women’s Australian Rules football team comprising players from the Northern Territory, North Queensland (Cairns) and Papua New Guinea. The women who made up this side represented their countries and states with honour at the recent Women’s National Championships, held last week in Cairns.

    This is the first incarnation of this team, and it may yet be the last depending on how various state teams can prepare before the next carnival in 2015. If this sounds a little confusing, then it is time for their coach for the event, Andrew Cadzow (better known to many as the AFL Asia Pacific Development Manager), to provide some clarity. 

    “The Northern Territory team was a non-starter. They pulled out due to funding.  At the last minute we put together a team which included four of the Northern Territory girls, 12 from PNG and the rest from Cairns. It was a great opportunity to play, but difficult with only really a day to prepare compared to the other teams who had been training for up to six weeks.”
    So, given that this team was created almost out of thin air at the eleventh hour, could they possibly be competitive at the highest level of women’s Aussie Rules in the country? Again, Andrew explains. “I was keen to coach the girls to give them the most opportunity at this level. Overall, the girls were not disgraced. They performed well. There was a balance between experienced players and new faces. Whilst the scores reflected some big losses, the girls improved markedly the further they went.”
    “They listened and they wanted to be coached, which made the job easier. There were many girls who were new to the game that played well and learned as they went. Depth is crucial to teams, and eventually a lack of depth told.” 
    So, after this, is an Arafura team the way to go for the future? Andrew does not believe so. “It is important that the Northern Territory side return to a stand-alone team. The girls from North Queensland can still be part of the pathway to the Queensland State team, which is a better development pathway for them.”
    “The opportunities are limited for women’s teams across the South pacific. New Zealand has just started, and Fiji has just started. The five best PNG girls have played at the Queensland State Championships, though a team of PNG girls are hoping to be at the International Cup in 2014. It is better that the girls play in the Queensland State championships until a full PNG team is viable, as finances and ability to travel impact on their opportunities.”
    So, as it stands, the Arafura team has created history, but may now be consigned to the history books, at least for now. But the girls who were part of that historic squad can be proud of their efforts and look forward to the opportunities created by their experience as Arafura representative

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    Lead by 11 goals from South African born/Australian based Robert Mostert and South African Vuyisile Sokoyi, the World XVIII smashed the South Pacific in the final Round 2 match played at the Under 16 National Championships today at Blacktown International Sportspark in Sydney. 
    World XVIII 22.10 (142)
    South Pacific 4.6 (30)
    World XVIII: Mostert 6, Sokoyi 5, Jok 3, Moussalli 2, Paligorov 2, Kerbatieh, Moshoeshoe, Sekori, Mamur
    South Pacific: Siwee 2, Havea, Morehari
    World XVIII: Mostert, Volker, Kerbatieh, Sokoyi, Aujla, Jok
    South Pacific: Ngata, Misioli, Clark, Havea, Tirang
    Other results today were;
    NSW/ACT 16.13 (109) 
    Northern Territory 3.5 (23)
    NSW/ACT: Mills 4, Cornell 3, Bance 2, Dennemen 2, Rymer, O’Donoghue, Hey, Wilson, Coenen
    Northern Territory: Dhamarrandji 2, Parfitt
    NSW/ACT: Mills, Rymer, Coenen, Klemke, McDonald, Hebron
    Northern Territory: Parfitt, Nyhuis, Hogan, Rotumah-Onus, Corbett
    Tasmania 10.13 (73)
    Queensland 9.2 (56)
    Tasmania: Newson 2, Pitcher 2, Gavralas 2, Sushames 2, Dodge, Crossin
    Queensland: Michael 3, Glover, Harding, Ellis, Filewood, Wagner, Skuse
    Tasmania: Newson, Kilby, Hayden, Batchelor, Dyer, Lovell
    Queensland: Dennis, Hartley, Driffield, Glover, Michael, Ellis
    WA North West 23.16 (154)
    Flying Boomerangs 4.8 (32)
    WA North West: Birch 6, Howard 5, Petera 4, Ard 3, Shaw 2, Gore, Yorkshire, McAdam
    Flying Boomerangs: Wilkes 2, Nickels, Thomas
    WA North West: Hackett, Seton, Birch, Simons, Ard, Petera, Howard
    Flying Boomerangs: Gresham, Nelson, Hampton, Wilkes, Powell-Pepper, Davis
    Results from 2013 NAB AFL Under-16 Championships Round Two matches played Tuesday at Skoda Stadium in Sydney.
    Vic Metro 10.6 (66)
    Vic Country 10.4 (64)
    Vic Metro: Peet 2, Wilson 2, Gilbert, Jeffs, Klep, O’Kearney, Pirrie, Smith
    Vic Country: Schache 5, Edwards 3, Parish 2
    Vic Metro: O’Kearney, Stillman, Whitehead, Hardwick, Wilson, Anderson, Atkins
    Vic Country: Skinner, Parish, Cole, Dunkley, Schache, Edwards
    South Australia 14.14 (98)
    Western Australia 3.8 (26)
    South Australia: Rocca 5, Burton 4, Olekalns 2, Haysman, Francis, Beioley
    Western Australia: Eades, Clarke, Harold
    South Australia: Rocca, Haysman, Dew, Combe, Olekalns, Stewart, Snelling, Francis
    Western Australia: Smith, Stewart, Bennett, Shepherd

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    Mike McFarlane tells the story of his dad and his cousin playing kick to kick for hours down in Port Melbourne. Nothing out of the ordinary there, until he hits you with the news that the cousin was none other than Bob Skilton: three time Brownlow Medallist, South Melbourne superstar and legend of the game. It is now easier to sense that those Skilton genes have something to do with this remarkable story out of British Columbia, Canada.

    “Bob Skilton is my second cousin and grew up with my father in Port Melbourne. My dad often told us stories of going to the park with Bob to kick footies for hours at a time. We have met him a few times and I think he is proud that relatives of his have had some success in footy even though it is in a different country. My daughter, wife and I are huge Swans fans and this is not only because they wear the Canadian colors, red and white but also because of our proud family connection to the Swans!”

    That lineage has just produced another great feat with the selection of Hanna McFarlane, the daughter of Mike (and that would be niece of Bob) to represent Canada in the Northern Lights women’s national team in the upcoming Parallel Cup against the USA Freedom.

    This achievement follows on directly from Mike’s own performances in his younger days. “I learned my footy while living in Melbourne from 1981-84. I played for the Port Melbourne Colts for two and a half seasons winning one premiership. When the Vancouver Cougars began in 2001 I started playing again at the age of 40 and was selected to play for the Northwind at the Atlantic Alliance Cup in London, England, in 2001 and the first International Cup in 2002 when I was 41.”

    “I retired from the national team after the International Cup and started to focus on coaching. I created the NDJAFL in 2003 and it has grown to be one of the largest junior competitions outside of Australia. In 2007 I formed the Junior National Team known as the Wolfpack and took 2 teams in 2008 and 2011 on tours of Australia.”

    “As for Hanna, she began playing footy in 2004 at the age of 9. It was the first sport she had ever played. She did not get real serious about it until three years ago when she gave up dance. Hanna has worked extremely hard and has shown steady improvement in all of her skills and fitness.”

    “Last year she was first selected to the Northern Lights in Columbus but we had already planned a trip to Sweden to visit her family. She was extremely disappointed and made me promise not to plan any vacation for the summer in case she was selected again. Starting in October she took extra skills and fitness sessions to improve her chances.”

    “Hanna had a great season in our U18 age group of the NDJAFL, winning the McFarlane Medal as the B & F winner and also winning the Laura Szendrei Memorial Scholarship for graduating NDJAFL players. She is very excited about this opportunity and is hoping to help set herself up as a player to be selected for the International Cup in 2014.”

    The achievements of Hanna, and of Mike before that, certainly set up an interesting question. It is very likely that they have achieved the first ever father/daughter combination to represent their country in Australian Rules. Is this the case? Maybe a reader or two may unearth another combination somewhere, but at this stage it appears that the McFarlane’s have produced a footballing double act not seen before in Aussie Rules circles.

    Congratulations must go to Hanna on her selection. Dad is also proud of his daughter’s efforts, and can be justifiably proud of the whole family. Mike is also entitled to look back on his own career with pride, especially now that it dovetails so beautifully with that of Hanna.

    Who would have thought that Mike’s dad and Bob Skilton kicking a ball around in Port Melbourne would have one day led to this.

    Then again, we are talking about one of the greats of our game, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised at all. ...

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    The city of Cairns is currently in preparation mode for our next AFL match on Saturday. Whilst we are a little concerned about whether we will see more premiership matches here in 2014 and beyond (something which will be discussed at all levels post-game), the people of this far northern city and looking forward to a tremendous match.

     In 2009, the Gold Coast suns ran down the Essendon VFL affiliate, the Bendigo Bombers, with a goal in the dying seconds to steal the match. The match in 2010 provided one of the season’s genuine upsets when the Suns defeated the highly fancied Tigers by making better use of the howling gale that day. Then last year, the amazing Karmichael Hunt goal after the siren to win the game left an impression in everyone’s mind of what a great game was being bought to the city.

    This latest press release from the AFL provides more details, as well as providing some momentum for future matches in Cairns from next year onwards.


    Media Release from the Australian Football League

    The countdown is on to the third Toyota AFL Premiership match to be played at Cazalys Stadium, Cairns this Saturday, July 13, from 4:40pm.

    There has been a strong response from Tropical North Queensland AFL fans as well as fans from across the country with limited general admission tickets left to be purchased.

    AFL Deputy Chief Executive officer Gillon McLachlan said the AFL has noted the growth of game in Tropical North Queensland over the past three years.

    “The Round 16 match between Richmond and the Gold Coast SUNS has been selling extremely well and it’s testament to the work that both Clubs, AFL Queensland and AFL Cairns have done in the community over the past few years.

    “This week we’ve already seen Gold Coast SUNS players Michael Rischitelli and Jack Martin, accompanied by AFL Commissioner Sam Mostyn, travel to Bamaga and Thursday Island to deliver the No Boundaries program to school children.

    “With support of the game growing in Northern Queensland, demand for tickets to the Round 16 match in Cairns is high so we encourage fans to get their tickets early to avoid disappointment.”

    Brendon Gale, CEO of Richmond Football Club, has said the Club has been pleased with the support the match has gotten in its third year. “Bringing the AFL to Cairns has been a great success, and we have been pleased to be involved in these matches against the Gold Coast over the last three years.

    “We have received outstanding support from AFL fans in the region, in particular from our Tiger fans, and we hope to see a full house at Cazalys Stadium this Saturday afternoon.”

    Guy McKenna, Gold Coast SUNS senior coach, said the Club has thrived playing in North Queensland. “We have many fond memories playing in Cairns; Karmichael’s goal after the siren last year was arguably the single biggest highlight of last season.

    “The victory over Richmond in Cairns was a turning point in our year and the catalyst to ending the year with real momentum. “Hopefully Saturday’s game produces another exciting finish for Gold Coast SUNS fans in North Queensland”.

    Tropical North Queensland is part of the talent development region for the Gold Coast SUNS and there are currently 130players in the Academy program from Capricornia, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns.

    The match will cap off a week full of AFL activities that started with a visit by the Gold Coast SUNS to Bamaga and Thursday Island on Cape York, the North Queensland Secondary Schools Cup competition, an AFL Queensland led coaching and leadership session and an open AFL Fan Day. ...

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    GSCN will today provide a live stream of the USAFL match between the Columbus Jackaroos and the Nashville Kangaroos. You can find the stream at from Satuday 1pm (local time). ...

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    The World XVIII today completed a clean sweep of matches in their division of the NAB AFL Under-16 Championships kicking 25.13 to the Flying Boomerangs 5.3. The South Pacific team went down heavily to the WA Northwest team.

    Yesterday the Victorian Country team defeated South Australia 9.8 to 8.12 to take the Division 1 title. NSW/ACT defeated Tasmania today to take out Division 2.

    Division Two & Three results – Round Three matches played today at the Blacktown International Sportspark in Sydney.

    World XVIII 25.13 (163)
    Flying Boomerangs 5.3 (33)

    World XVIII: Sokoyi 5, McGivney 3, Paligorov 2, Kenny 2, Chol 2, Mamur 2, Kerbatieh, Aujla, Jok, Kassem, Kennedy, Moshoeshoe, Greyling, Mkhize, Sekori
    Flying Boomerangs: Young 2, Hampton 2, Nelson

    World XVIII: Kerbatieh, Aujla, Jok, Sokoyi, McGivney, El Moussalli
    Flying Boomerangs: Gresham, Young, Davis, Wilkes, Powell-Pepper, Waterbury

    WA North West 16.15 (111)
    South Pacific 3.9 (27)

    WA North West: Birch 6, Lockyer, Djiagween, Petera, Gore, Curtain, Martin, Ah Chee, Shaw, Adams, Oakley
    South Pacific: Savere, Clark, Tuvasi, Foilape

    WA North West: Simons, Butler, Cox, Birch, Adams, Evans
    South Pacific: Savere, B.Tirang, Riddell, Rai, Reti, J.Tirang, Ramo

    The World XVIII won Division Three

    WA North West’s Sam Seton won the Mark Browning Medal, presented to the Division Three best and fairest.

    NAB MVP players:
    NSW/ACT: Callum Mills
    Queensland: Ben Keays
    Tasmania: Jordan Hayden
    Northern Territory: Brandon Parfitt
    WA North West: Sam Seton
    Flying Boomerangs: Jade Gresham
    South Pacific: Luke Savere
    World XVIII: Hisham Kerbatieh

    NSW/ACT 12.8 (80)
    Tasmania 7.9 (51)

    NSW/ACT: McDonald 3, Mills 2, Cubis 2, Cornell 2, Simmons, Tiziani, Rymer
    Tasmania: Sushames 2, Murfitt-Cowen 2, Crossin, Davie, Johnston

    NSW/ACT: Hebron, Coenen, McDonald, Mills, Irvine
    Tasmania: Hayden, Batchelor, Ollington, Reynolds, Sushames, Derbyshire

    Queensland 19.12 (126)
    Northern Territory 9.5 (59)

    Queensland: Filewood 8, Tipungwuti 3, Elmslie 3, Wagner, Budarick, Woosup, Maynard, Glover
    Northern Territory: Hagan 2, Rotumah-Onus 2, Dhamarrandji 2, Hamilton, McMasters, Riley

    Queensland: Filewood, Brown, Wagner, Driffield, Keays, Dennis
    Northern Territory: Rotumah-Onus, Hagan, Parfitt, Shannon, Nyhuis, Carter

    NSW/ACT won Division Two.

    NSW/ACT captain Callum Mills won the Alan McLean Medal, presented to the Division Two best and fairest.

    Results from the 2013 NAB AFL Under-16 Championships - Division One - Round Three matches played yesterday in Blacktown Olympic Sportspark in Sydney.

    Vic Country 9.8 (62)
    South Australia 8.12 (60)

    Vic Country: Hulett 3, Mathieson 2, Dunkley, Weitering, Holmes, Schache
    South Australia: Partington 2, Rocca 2, Burton 2, Graham, Beioley

    Vic Country: Mathieson, Hulett , Schache , Skinner , Dunkley , Parish
    South Australia: Partington , Tahana , Olekalns ,Snelling

    Western Australia 8.10 (58)
    Vic Metro 6.3 (39)

    Western Australia: Mirco 3, Rogers 2, Chee 2, Kersten
    Vic Metro: Parsons 2, Thompson 2, Gilbert, McDonald

    Western Australia: Stewart, Ah Chee , Burnett , McComb , Mattews , Curnow
    Vic Metro: Atkins, Parsons, O’Kearney, Wilson , Stillman

    Vic Country won the Division One title

    NAB AFL MVP winners:
    Vic Country: Sam Skinner
    South Australia: Stephen Tahana
    Western Australia: Kade Stewart
    Vic Metro: Nicholas O’Kearney

    Vic Country’s Rhys Mathieson won the Kevin Sheehan Medal, presented to the Division One best and fairest.

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  • 07/13/13--05:01: Season Review – AFL Italia
  • Cristiano Colizzi, Communications & Media Manager at the Roma Football Club, was justifiably excited when chatting about the 2013 season. His beloved Roma team had just won their second premiership in the four year history of the competition in Italy, so when the nuggetty Blue’s back pocket was asked to tell a little more he decided to start…at the beginning.

    “AFL Italia was born in 2009 thanks to Nicola Giampaolo and Armando Colombo, who started training some guys for a national (Italy) team. At the 2009 Euro Cup in Zagreb (Samobor), they placed 13th overall.”

    “Then, with Luca Tramontin, they started to involve some guys near Milan and Lugano (Switzerland). Meanwhile Marco Musella [made] contact with them and started building a team in Rome. On December 12th 2009, Marco founded the Roma Football Club (RFC), choosing colours and logo of the Carlton Football Club from Down Under.”

    “In 2010 [we] started the first Italian premiership with the Milano Footy Club, Roma Football Club, Genova Dockers and the Lugano Bankers.”

    Wherever Australian Rules football is played it is driven by people with an enormous passion and appetite for the game. Many compromises and sacrifices are made by many people to ensure the game gets off the ground and stays there. The situation was no different in Italy.

    Cristiano continues by explaining that “As you can imagine, we play a 9-a-side game on rugby fields. We don't have any kind of sponsor. We pay for our own shirts, our training field, our trips and our after training beers (of course!). We (RFC) used to train from October to May. The season usually starts at the end of May and ends at the end of June (or beginning of July)."

    One thing that is clear when chatting to Cristiano is his love of the game and pride in how far AFL Italia (and his own Roma Football Club) have travelled and developed in such a short time.

    “The first premiership in 2010 ended with Rome winning the Grand Final against Milan, making Rome the inaugural Italian premiership team. Then, at the 2010 Euro Cup in Milan (Parabiago), Italy placed 6th overall. One of our Roma players, Sebastian Caffaratti, was named as EU Tournament Best Player.”

    “In 2011, Genova Dockers won the Grand Final against Rome. At the end of season 2011, Lugano quit playing in AFL Italia and started a new kind of league in Switzerland. At the 2011 EU Cup in Belfast, Italy placed 4th overall.”

    “[That same year] Roma Football Club played a friendly match against Cardiff Panthers in Rome. Also, Milano Footy Club changed their name and logo to Milano Footy Eagles.”

    “The 2012 season started with a triangle-cup between Genova, Roma and Milano. Rome won the first Italia Cup. [Later that year] Roma played a friendly match against London Swans in Rome. [The Italian season finished when] the Genova Dockers won the Grand Final against Milano. At the 2012 EU Cup in Edinburgh, Italy [was] confirmed the 4th place overall.”

    Which brings Cristiano to his look at 2013, and the journey of the Roma Football Club this year. “The 2013 Roma season of training started with determination to win again the title, because in 2012 we lost every match.”

    “After a few months, on January 13th 2013, one of our young players died in an accident on the streets of Rome. His name was Ludovico Bruschini. It was, unfortunately, motivation to start again to train for victory. We played a friendly match against Wandsworth Demons from London in Rome and lost by just five points.”

    “Then the season started. In the Rome match day, MIlano defeated Rome by 2 points. Genova didn't show up. In the following Genova match day, Rome 6 5 41 defeated Genova 5 6 36. Then Milano 6 5 41 again defeated Rome 3 7 25. Finally, Genova 9 8 62 defeated Milano 2 9 21. So, due to the not played games at the Rome match day (when Genova did not arrive), the Grand Final had to be played between the Roma Football Club and the Milano Footy Eagles.”

    “The show took place during the Rugby Festival in Fontanafredda (Pordenone, Italy), on June 29th 2013. Rome started with only 10 players (we play 9 a side). Milano were at their best with 15 players. Remembering that our last two matches were lost against Milano, and looking at the benches (we had one player, they had six), everyone thought it was easy for Milano to win.”

    “But no-one asked every single player of ROMA FOOTBALL CLUB what was in their hearts. They showed on the field that just 10 against 15 can work. Just one man can rest...but everyone of us had one more player inside. He was our friend from heaven, or wherever he is now: Ludovico Bruschini.

    “We won the game from the beginning.

    Quarter Time: Roma 4 2 26 – Milano 1 1 7
    Half Time: Roma 7 4 46 – Milano 3 4 22
    Three Quarter Time: Roma 10 7 67 – Milano 5 5 35
    Final result: Roma 12 9 81 defeated Milano 5 6 36

    We won our second premiership (of 4 played). We are the premiership winners for 2013. We are the CHAMPIONS!!”

    So, next on the agenda will be an appointment in Bordeaux at this year's EU Cup. The short, but proud, history of AFL Italia will receive another chapter. If recent history suggests anything about the Italian sides it is to beware. This nation of passionate footballers is primed to take their first title.

    The following video is well worth a look, as the Roma Football Club share their celebration with everyone through YouTube.

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    The AFL NZ have named their AFL New Zealand Heritage team, representing the best 22 players of New Zealand heritage to have played in the AFL.

    Attending the inaugural High Performance Awards for AFL New Zealand, I was surprised at some of the players selected to be acknowledged as part of the team.

    Richmond's Dustin Martin stands out in any crowd, with his neck tattoo signifying his tribal heritage, as does the Maori artwork inked on the arms of former Carlton player Paul Bower and Collingwood's Marley Williams. Frankston's Khan Haretuku's surname provides a hint and the media space afforded recently to the promising Hawthorn duo of Kurt Heatherley and Shem Tatupu would cause their selection to be no surprise.

    This team is relevant to current times with the criteria seeming to be active players now, or very recently.

    Given that, the full squad can been seen on the video clips available here ...

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    AFL Europe’s Gaelle Hazimeh and AFL England’s Women’s Football Co-Ordinator Tobietta Rhyman have teamed up to host a women’s football training session in London later this month. The session will take place on Saturday the 27th of July from 10:00 on Clapham Common.

    The session will include a meet and greet, mixed level training and skills development, followed by an opportunity to discuss the future of women’s football in the UK and Europe with Hazimeh and Rhyman over lunch.

    Hazimeh and Rhyman will attend a discussion on the future of the women’s game in Europe and various plans for the Euro Cup this week on Wednesday and will have lots of ideas to discuss with participants.

    The aim of the training session is to bring existing female football players and others interested in playing the game together in London. Hazimeh and Rhyman hope that the sessions can be repeated regularly with the ultimate goal being to establish a women’s Australian Football team in London.

    Anyone interested in attending can email This is an open training session so beginners and friends are most welcom ...

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    The following article, written by David Stone for the Oslo Crows website, details the recently played second round of the Kenguru Cup. The third round will be played shortly, on 1st August, again at the Storebrand Stadion. Out thanks to the crew in Norway for the article, and we wish them well as they develop their players ahead of the upcoming Euro Cup.

    The UMBI Ås Battlers have shot to the top of the Kenguru Cup table after two emphatic wins in the second round of the Kenguru Cup. The Battlers sit one game clear on top of the ladder after putting both Oslo East and Oslo West to the sword at Storebrand Stadion.

    Heavy rain the day before the matches didn’t disturb the playing surface. In fact the rain took the hardness out of the ground, creating perfect conditions for Australsk Fotball.

    The first match of the night saw Ås do battle with Oslo East, but as far as battles go, this one was over early. After a goal each to start proceedings, the home team piled on one six pointer after another, in a burst that put the game out of reach. East had no answer as Ås produced quality football out of the midfield, and the forwards converted well. Eivind Myrvold, Anders Thømt and Oliver Tomic were all strong for the Battlers, and Samson Langfelt and Maron Fife Shebokshi showed much improvement in their play.

    East’s dynamic duo Adam Pearce and Nathan Roxby battled hard, and were ably supported by Brage Blomdal. In the end they were undersized and undermanned as Ås ran away with the victory by 22 points, 10. 5. 65 to 5. 3. 33.

    Oslo West must have fancied its chances against the deflated east-siders after witnessing Ås’ victory from the sidelines. West had their largest squad in some time, and even loaned a player to East to help them with rotations. With size and freshness on their side, the odds appeared with West. And then the game started.

    East’s hurt pride and West’s general flatness turned the first half into a no-contest. West were timid, indecisive and down on skills. East dominated large stretches of play, and never looked like losing. West managed two late goals but it was a game they’d rather forget, particularly the first half.

    Final score Oslo East 6. 4. 40 v Oslo West 2. 6. 18

    Again, Brage Blomdal impressed for the East squad. Just Andre Michaelsen was beginning to become a factor, but sustained a shoulder injury that ended his day. West had an even spread of contributors, and their second half gave some hope for a stronger showing against Ås.

    The third game was the tightest of the lot, and arguably the best contest. West’s stronger second half translated into a much improved work rate in the early going against Ås, and while they were not matching Ås goal for goal, they had enough of the football to suggest they could mount a challenge. A late first half goal put them within touching distance.

    Pleasingly for coach David Stone, West’s improved effort started to turn into actual scoreboard results after the halftime break. The contest lifted in intensity and the desperate West squad pulled within six points with five minutes to play. But Ås, as they had done all night, rose to the challenge. A quick goal from a ball-up in their goal square and a second one minute later extinguished the West fire, and ensured Ås would finish the night unbeaten, and the round on top of the ladder.

    Final score Oslo West 4. 4. 28 v Ås 7. 4. 46

    So after two rounds it is Ås alone on top of the ladder.

    Round Two of Kenguru Cup showed just how far the non-Australian players have progressed. There was a definite skill level and tactical improvement across all three teams. The standard of football can’t be compared to the early games of just a few years ago.

    Thanks to the supporters and umpires from the night. Round three has been moved to Ås for booking/scheduling reasons.

    It’s do or die for all three teams!

    God sommer!

    Kenguru Cup Round 2

    Game 1: Ås 10. 5. 65 v Oslo East 5. 3. 33

    Game 2: Oslo East 6. 4. 40 v Oslo West 2. 6. 18

    Game 3: Oslo West 4. 4. 28 v Ås 7. 4. 46

    And the ladder…

    Team    Played   Win    Loss    Draw    For    Against    %        Pts

    Ås              4           3         1             0       149       97      153.60   12

    East          4           2         2             0       114      131      87.03       8

    West         4           1         3             0         85       120     70.83       4 ...

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