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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    Recently it has emerged via social media that the dates for the AFL International Cup 2017 had been set. Today the AFL confirmed that these dates are proposed dates only and at this stage have not been locked in.

    The dates were proposed by the AFL and sent to affiliates for feedback, and at this stage there has been no feedback opposed to these dates.

    So again, this is not yet 100% confirmed, but it looks likely that IC17 will take place from Saturday August 5 to Sunday August 20, 2017 (inclusive) in Melbourne. 

    From a world sporting point of view August is pretty quiet and in 2017 there are no major non-annual sporting events such as the Olympics or world cups of cricket, rugby or soccer.  The tournament is likely to coincide with the AFL home and away rounds 20-22, with that opportunity to attend a number of AFL matches a key attraction for most players taking part in the tournament.

    This sixth iteration of the International Cup is expected to be the largest yet with a record number of teams competing in both men's and women's competition. ...


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    The inaugural Northern Storm football teams for the upcoming clashes against the England Dragonslayers and the AFL London tournament have been announced on the AFLCNE website.  This is the first occasion where an 18 per side format has been used for the selections.

     

    The following AFLCNE players have been nominated and selected to represent the Central and Northern England Australian Football League  with  The Northern Storm in April 2016.  For the game against the England Dragonslayers,  as the higher tier of representation the national team had first choice of available AFLCNE players.

     

    The Northern Storm Inaugural Squad

     

    Game Vs England April 2nd at Huddersfield.

     

    Mick Kay (Thunder) – Captain.

    Spike Kilheeney (Mozzies) – Vice Captain.

    Craig Degville (Wolverines)

    Jack Tift (Wolverines)

    Chris Thomas (Wolverines)

    Jakob Garside (Rams)

    Ste Hall (Rams)

    Dave Durrance (Rams)

    Josh Kenny (Rams)

    Matthew Peckett (Rams)

    Tim Gower (Mozzies)

    Stu Connolly (Thunder)

    Michael Teasdale (Tigers)

    Cameron Lloyd (Tigers)

    Kieran McKenzie (Merseyside)

    James McKenzie (Merseyside)

    Martin Kearney (Scorpions)

    Jamie Swift (Scorpions)

    Will Sykes (Merseyside) – Coach.

     

    The Northern Storm Squad

    London AFL Tournament April 16th.

     

    Ian Mitchell (Wolverines) – Captain.

    Matthew Whiteley (Rams) – Vice Captain.

    Craig Degville (Wolverine

    Jack Tift (Wolverines)

    Chris Thomas (Wolverines)

    Adam Morris (Wolverines)

    Lewis Gedney (Wolverines)

    Matthew Whiteley (Rams)

    Luke Booth (Rams)

    Graham Bickerdike (Rams)

    Alex Overton (Rams)

    Jakob Garside (Rams)

    Matthew Kilheeney (Mozzies)

    Chris Britton (Mozzies)

    Declan Alder (Mozzies)

    Spike Kilheeney (Mozzies)

    Tim Gower (Mozzies)

    Simon Vardy (Thunder)

    Stu Connolly (Thunder)

    Mick Kay (Thunder)

    Anthony Roy Brannigan (Tigers)

    Colum Donaghy (Tigers)

    Steve Allen (Tigers)

    Michael Teasdale (Tigers)

    Cameron Lloyd (Tigers)

    Neil Parsley (Merseyside)

    Jack Smith (Merseyside)

    Martin Kearney (Scorpions)

    Jamie Swift (Scorpions)

    Will Sykes (Merseyside) – Coach.

     

    For more information on the AFLCNE competition, go to: www.aflcne.com  ...


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    With the Northern Territory Football League just three rounds away, the jostling for top five positions took some interesting turns on the weekend. Along the way, the Tiwi Bombers may have surrendered their chances, the Darwin Buffaloes tried to do the same, Nightcliff announced they are back in the race with fangs at the ready and Southern Districts effectively secured the minor premiership.

    The Nightcliff Tigers’ form in recent weeks has seen three wins from their last five outings and they now sit just a game out of the top five and a realistic chance of stealing a finals berth. The team they would most likely dislodge would be their victims from last weekend, Darwin Buffaloes. The Tigers and Buffaloes fought out a tight first half before Nightcliff kicked seven goals to two in the second half to score a vital win, and inflict a damaging loss on the Buffaloes. For the Buffaloes to hold a finals berth, after just one win in their past six matches, they need to beat both Tiwi and Waratah in the next two rounds before meeting the powerhouse Crocs in the final round. It can be done but the Buffaloes cannot make a mistake from here on. Nightcliff, on the other hand, are playing with a devil-may-care attitude that is dangerous and they would love to sneak into finals action.

    Final Score: Nightcliff Tigers 13 13 91 d Darwin Buffaloes 8 10 58



    The Tiwi Bombers went down by just one point to Wanderers in a fantastic match. In wet conditions, the Tiwi Bombers led by 10 points at quarter time. Neither side kicked a goal in the second quarter as both sides fought their hearts out. Both sides kicked eight goals in the second half. Yet for all the evenness of the contest, the one point loss was incredibly costly for the Bombers as it now puts them two games out of the top five with just three rounds to go. Too far behind now to get there bar a miracle, especially given they play three likely finalists in the run home. Wanderers added yet another close call to their list of heart attack inducing performances but now hold third spot and are again a chance to defend their premiership title.

    Final Score: Wanderers Eagles 11 19 85 d Tiwi Bombers 12 12 84

    Once again the Waratah team stayed in a contest for most of the match when they pushed the Palmerston Magpies to 21 points by three-quarter time. By a seven goal to one final quarter by the Magpies proved that they can up the ante when needed and they ran away to a ten goal win, boosting valuable percentage along the way. The Magpies are now in fourth place on the ladder but face the Saints, Wanderers and the Bombers in a tight run home. Waratah will not like to end result of most matches, but their recent ability to stay with teams for longer periods is a good sign and something to build on for next season.

    Final Score: Palmerston Magpies 18 11 119 d Waratah Warriors 9 5 59

    The match of the round was the top of the table clash between the Southern District Crocs and St Mary’s. Separated by a game going into the clash, this match was all about statements. Would Saints square the ladder and hold equal favouritism heading to the finals or would Crocs flex some muscle and set a gap between themselves and all comers? The answer came in the form of a 21 point Crocs victory that sees them two games clear on top of the ladder with three rounds to go. It matters little in many respects as finals are a different beast. But the bragging rights now sit with the Crocs. A tight first half saw the teams level at half time but the Crocs kicked five goals to one in the third quarter to effectively secure the match. Their accuracy in front of goal told also winning with just 19 scoring shots to the Saints 23.

    Final Score: Southern District Crocs 15 4 94 d St Mary’s Saints 10 13 73

    Next week’s matches will see the Darwin Buffaloes take on the Tiwi Bombers in a match vital to both. Nightcliff tackles Waratah, St Mary’s will meet Palmerston and in perhaps the match of the round the Crocs meet the now in-form Wanderers.


    ...

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  • 02/01/16--04:38: Dubai Dingoes Aiming Higher

  • The second half of the AFL Middle East competition got under way last Friday after the winter break. Whilst the scheduled Muscat Magpies versus BM Bulls match had long been cancelled, the other match went ahead with the Dubai Dingoes hosting fellow finals aspirant, the Abu Dhabi Falcons. The BM Bulls also played the Doha Kangaroos with their match being brought forward.

    The final scores saw the Dubai Dingoes 9 14 68 defeat the Abu Dhabi Falcons 7 3 45.

    The BM Bulls, however, defeated the Doha Kangaroos - 14 17 101 to 1 6 12 to secure the first grand final place with their third win for the season.

    The Dingoes/Falcons match was like a mini final for both teams. Locked on a win apiece heading into the match, whichever team won would go into finals calculations whilst the other would almost certainly be out of the running. The result now sees the Falcons unlikely to reach the final as their final match is against the league leaders, the Dubai Dragons.


    For the Dingoes, their second win for the season was vital. It keeps them in a mathematical position to steal the other finals spot.

    Form suggests that the Dubai Dragons will reach the grand-final, but it is hardly guaranteed. To do so they would have to win one of their remaining two matches. Should they lose both it could be a very tight finish to the season, opening the door for the Dingoes to sneak in depending on percentages.

    The remaining matches for the season are:

    12th Feb – Dubai Dragons v Dubai Dingoes
    26th Feb – Abu Dhabi Falcons v Dubai Dragons

    The remaining matches will keep the interest going until the end of the home and away season. The Dragons need to win both matches, but with a sniff of finals in the air you can bet that neither the Dingoes or the Falcons will give an inch.





    ...

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  • 02/01/16--22:32: Footy Returns in France

  • The French football season is due to return this weekend after an extended break for the winter and festive seasons. Barring new unwanted delays, the rescheduled Round One match between the Bordeaux Bombers and the Strasbourg Kangourous is set to take place in Bordeaux. It marks a vital game for both teams. Strasbourg currently sits inside the top four and another win could cement that spot a little longer. Bordeaux also needs a win to get away from the lower rungs of the ladder.

    Later this month the other rescheduled Round Three match between the ALFA Lions and the Paris Cockerels will be played in Lyon. Once again both teams need this win, the Lions to claw their way off the bottom of the ladder and the Cockerels to secure their place in the top four. The match is scheduled for 20th February, the same day as the first of the Round Five matches featuring the Bordeaux Bombers versus the Perpignan Tigers and the Toulouse Hawks versus the Paris Cockatoos.


    Round Five will be completed on 27th February when the ALFA Lions meet the Strasbourg Kangourous.

    As the competition currently stands, the ladder sees:

    1. Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes (12 points)
    2. Paris Cockatoos (9 points)
    3. Paris Cockerels (6 points)
    4. Strasbourg Kangourous (6 points)
    5. Perpignan Tigers (5 points
    6. Toulouse Hawks (4 points)
    7. Bordeaux Bombers (2 points)
    8. ALFA Lions (1 point)

    For more information on the CNFA season or the competition in general, visit their website at: http://www.football-australien.fr/ ...

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    Katie Klatt’s rapid ascent to the top of the US womens footy scene in just two years was remarkable, now she has a chance to take the next step up. That is to head to Australia.
     
    With the women’s game in Australia getting set for the debut season in 2017 of their own national league, they are lining up the talent to start strong. That includes bringing on talented athletes from other sports or those that have not seriously played footy until now. 

     

    Following the combine model used by the AFL internationally in NZ, China, Europe and the USA to try to find new talent for the men’s competition, the AFL is running these talent spotting combines in Australia’s capital cities. The best prospects will be placed in academies and with state league teams aimed at fast tracking them to be part of the extended women's exhibiton games (as played last year) and ultimately the 2017 National league.
     
    The fact that Katie has played the game representing both Sacramento and the USA Freedom in a sense will put her ahead of many others at the combine who have played little footy previously, but it remains to be seen how much of that footy ability will count when it comes to the athletic testing.

     

     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Should Katie be placed with the academy in Sydney and with a team, the whole setup of the 2017 league is still quite uncertain and there is a good chance that league will effectively be amateur in the sense that the players will not be paid. This may bring in visa issues, employment problems and make the whole transition quite tricky for any internationals involved.
     
    But first things first. The combine will be held in Sydney on February 21st. And Katie will not be the only American to attend. New York Magpies and Katie's USA Freedom teammate Kim Hemenway (pictured above marking in the red white and blue) will also be at the combine. Hemenway featured strongly for the US team at the 2014 International Cup proving to be a strong footballer in close and a goal kicking forward.  She was also named in the forward pocket in the women's 2014 World Team.
     
    For more on Katie see Brian Barrish's excellent article on usafl.com http://usafl.com/news/20160130/kickin-with-klatt-unexpected-footy-journey

    A further TV piece on ABC10 interviewing Katie can be seen at the following link http://www.abc10.com/videos/sports/2016/01/31/79605496/ ...


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    The AFL has granted Victorian based clubs the opportunity to develop their own talent academies to boost the development of players from non-traditional football backgrounds, or to fast-track development of project players across multicultural player markets. The following article from the www.afl.com.au website details the plan and the impact it will have on Victoria and the Northern Territory.

     

    VICTORIAN clubs have been given seed funding to establish club-branded academies in allocated areas throughout Victoria and the Northern Territory in a radical plan to attract youngsters from non-traditional football backgrounds to the game.

     

     

    Under the plan unveiled to clubs on Tuesday, they will be given the chance to invest in specific regions to attract youngsters from diverse backgrounds and indigenous heritage to play AFL and develop elite talent within those areas.

     

    The plan is part of an AFL push to ensure the game continues to attract and foster the development of players regardless of their background or location.

     

    For example, reigning premiers Hawthorn have been allocated the eastern Whitehorse region in Melbourne, along with Gippsland local government areas and Katherine in the Northern Territory, while North Melbourne has been given the Wyndham and western Melbourne areas.

     

    Those clubs will set up 'Next Generation' AFL Academies for boys and girls aged 11-18 using club brands with the aiming of increasing the talent pool.

     

    Clubs will identify and attract talented youngsters into regional squads to prepare them for the talent pathway program that players start at 16.

     

    Each club's investment in the academies will sit outside the football department cap.

     

    Football operations boss Mark Evans said the AFL was determined to make sure people who might not have been raised with a traditional football background feel welcome to play the game and are attracted to the AFL.

     

    "We will use the expertise, resources and brand power of clubs out in regional communities to help find and attract and develop young talent, boys and girls, all cultures, all backgrounds," Evans said.

     

    "If clubs can help attract and develop some talent that would be under-represented and not normally find its way into the AFL pathway then they will have the ability to receive some incentive for that similar to the bidding system used for the northern academies."

     

    If a club develops a young Australian from an Asian or African background and wants to draft them, then they will receive a discount on a basis similar to the current bidding system. Clubs will be able to apply for draft discounts on other youngsters from non-English speaking backgrounds if they develop the player in a similar manner.

     

    For indigenous players from under-represented areas such as the Pilbara, incentives will also exist for clubs to develop and nurture talent in those areas.

     

    The AFL believes the draft bidding system will stop clubs from trying to exploit the system by enticing talent to move into their areas.

     

    Evans said clubs intending to have team in the new national women's competition should ensure girls are part of the academy programs.

     

    The clubs were consulted in the past 12 months and are understood to have accepted the allocation in general terms.

     

    "The allocation of regions has been based on a range of factors – aligning to existing under-18 talent regions, minimising player travel and access issues, aligning AFL clubs to current or historical relationships with certain communities and balanced access to 5-18 year-olds from diverse backgrounds," Evans said.

     

    The AFL will meet with South Australian and West Australian clubs regarding the allocating of regions in those states, and is in the process of finalising the allocation of regions in Tasmania.

     

    Next generation AFL club academies – Victorian clubs region allocation

     

    Western Bulldogs – Western Melbourne, Wimmera, Mallee, South West Victoria, Ballarat, (North Ballarat Rebels & Western Jets)

     

    Essendon – North West Melbourne (Calder Cannons), West Arnhem (NT)

     

    Melbourne – South East Melbourne (Dandenong Stingrays), Alice Springs (NT)

     

    Collingwood – Central Melbourne (Oakleigh Chargers), Barkly (NT)

     

    St Kilda – Inner Southern Melbourne (Sandringham Dragons), Frankston LGA

     

    North Melbourne – Melbourne and Wyndham LGAs (Calder Cannons & Western Jets)

     

    Hawthorn – Eastern/Whitehorse LGAs (Eastern Ranges), Gippsland (Gippsland Power), Katherine (NT)

     

    Carlton – Northern Melbourne (Northern Knights)

     

    Geelong – Geelong /Hampden (Geelong Falcons), East Arnhem (NT)

     

     

    Richmond – Goulburn Murray, Bendigo, Sunraysia, North Central (Bendigo Pioneers and Murray Bushrangers)

     

      ...


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    By Matt Zurbo this originally appeared on The Footy Almanac website here.
     
    Two players, now we’re cooking! Especially in summer time, when most of your mates can’t be stuffed. But, also, after training, when your mates can’t be stuffed. Or on nights you want to do extra.
     
    All it takes is one good friend.
     
    Actually, that’s a fib. All it takes is someone who wants to get or stay as football fit as you. You don’t have to be friends at all, really.
    In a bad year for our club, determined to do extra, I found a young bloke having a kick and asked if I could join in. Simple. We’ve been kicking for two years now. He calls me “Old Man” as a 19-year-old punk will do. Thinks he knows everything. He’s a pisser. I really like him! We have nothing in common, or would never meet outside the oval we kick on. But that’s what’s so good about it. We have football and work in common. The same language.
     
    Again, keep in mind Training For Six is football training, not running. Any coaching manual, athletics club (which I HIGHLY recommend), or watching of AFL pre-season training, will teach you about running.
     
    Warm-up I.
     
    Do the slowly up and down the middle of the ground, rolling the ball at your feet, bouncing it, picking it up, chipping it forward, between each other. Just rolling the legs over. Get every muscle from back to hammies working. Get your touches in. Pick up the pace each length of the ground until you are warm enough to stretch.
     
    The next few involve no mucking around. Each one is short and sharp.
     
    Warm-up II.
     
    Get your eye-hand working. Start 30 meters apart with simple straight kicking. A few each foot, move to 25 metres. To 15 metres. Then go to handball, to ten metres, to five, to two. Them right in close, just throw the ball as quick as you can between each other. Catch-throw, catch-throw, get your reflexes up.
     
    Warm Up III.
     
    Take turns. Player 1 stays still for a minute while handballing down low to the left and up high to the right and straight at the eyes and then at the chest of Player 2. Nothing too hard, just get them in the rhythm of moving and gathering, watching the ball. Player 2 handballs straight back to Player 1. Then, after said minute, swap roles.
     
    Warm-up IV. To Hand.
     
    Modern football is so much faster, better in close than in days gone. Handball is expected to be an art. Again, take turns. Player 1 is stationary, Player 2, every time Player 1 goes to handball it, quickly puts a hand low or high or left or right, or puts hands straight out. The hand-baller aims for the hand, as if it is someone calling for the ball in a crowded arms and legs pack. Great for reflexes, spotting targets in traffic, and spotting exactly where you have to handball to while the ball is already in motion in your hand. Again, the receiver handballs straight back, then, after a minute swaps.
     
    Warm-up V.
     
    Now get your legs working. One of you simply stays still while the other works left and right for ten handballs, returning the ones on their right with their right, and the ones on the left with their left. Then swap.
    In all of these try and get your handballs spinning right.
     
    Warm-up VI. Fetch.
     
    Stand side by side. Stationary, Player 1 handballs out in front, sometimes along the ground, sometimes in air. Not a lot, just enough for Player 2 to get in a handful of good ¾-pace strides, turn, and handball back to you, then, in following through, be back to go again. Player 1 rolls ball out five-ten times, then roles swap.
     
    The idea of all these warm up is you only do a few of each, warm up every muscle, and will have touched the ball over 100 times before you even start. In the time it takes boring people to run five laps. They say footballers are creatures of habit. And all the greats practiced that bit more than the rest. You don’t have to. Just be smarter.
     
    Last Warm-up. Yo-Yo. (I swear by this.)
     
    Stand 20-30 metres apart, no more, facing each other. One of you with the ball.
     
    On “Go” each of you run backwards for about ten metres, exactly as if pushing back off your mark.
     
    As THE BALL CARRIER, stops going backwards and starts going forward, the other player does the same, leading at them.
     
    Three hard steps, kick.
     
    The hardest kick there is: 25 metres to someone leading straight at you.
     
    By the time you have followed through on your kick, and the other person had pulled up form their short lead/mark, you will both be where you started, 20-30 metres away from each other.
     
    Repeat. Both players run backwards, but this time, obviously, the other player has the ball/will dictate when to lead forward/kick.
     
    Do this for ten kicks each without stopping. You will really feel it in your quads, calves, shins. Have a break, then do it on your opposite foot for ten each.
     
    Not only will you be well-stretched, you will have practiced football’s best kick, and marking running straight at the ball.
     
    Notice all these drills have a flow/rhythm to them if done right. They are continuous.
     
    The Drills.
     
    No.1. Pendulum, Five to One.
     
    Stationary Player 1 has the ball. Stays stationary for the entire drill. Player 2 starts 30 metres away. Leads hard to left. Player I puts it out front of lead. Player 2 runs onto mark, delivers on left to stationary Player 1, then sprints hard across to right. When good distance is reached, stationary Player 1 then puts ball out to right. Running Player 2 marks on the run, then straightens and kicks on the right.
     
    Very important. Do not stop on marking and swivel back onto your preferred foot. Mark and run through the ball. Take those three ripping steps when you get it and you are straightening towards the stationary player.
     
    It works like a weave, almost – left, right, left right, for five kicks, by which time you will be buggered. While the leader is sucking in air, the ball is delivered to them. They become the stationary player. And have five kicks to recover while the other player has a go. Left, right, without a break for five kicks.
     
    Then back again to original set up for four each.
     
    Three each.
     
    Really lengthen your leads for the two and the one. You should be well warm enough now to do longer kicks.
     
    Between each drill just kick the footy to each other until your breath is back. It is like shuffling two laps between drills, but you will have touched the ball an extra 60-100 times each between drills.
     
    Until now we have been fairly down the line sort of stuff. Time to acknowledge that it is an oval ball, and that the game is often chaos. And to kick goals.
     
    No.2. Figure Eight.
     
    This is a play on drill.
     
    Find an oval with no fence hugging the boundary. If that can’t be done, use jumpers or whatever to make some goals on the fifty meter line, to imitate the boundary angle. Each played stands ten metres back from either point post. One from left point post, one from right. Player on left just in front of the boundary, the right just behind the boundary.
     
    Player on left, just inside, kicks for goal from near boundary on the run. Player on right, just behind opposite boundary marks shot at goal, jogging over his boundary, while other played jogs behind it on their own side, and repeat. Player on right kicks for goal. Every shot is play on. You should get a good weave of continuous shots at goal. After ten shots each, swap ends. This way you will both practice your left and right.
     
    Dribble goals are fine, too. It just means the receiver has to jog back for their shot on their side.
     
    This drill is also a great warm-down. Not all of these drills have to be done in this order. Or at all. They are just ideas. You can always innovate.
     
    No.3. Lucky Dip.
     
    Player 1 behind goals. Player 2 is 25 metres out. Player 1 nods left or right or back, inducing lead. Or drops bouncing ball short, or kicks it a mile straight up. The trick is the player out front must mark or gather for five shots at goal. No snaps. Must gather, run hard, with those three ripping steps, through the ball, straighten and kick.
     
    Some shots will end up being from only fifteen metres out, others from distance. Always run to make your distance. Always kick confident goals. By this I mean, do not worry about the player on the goal line having to run for it. You do not practice kicking to the fullback on a Saturday, you practice kicking well over their reach. They are very different types of kick. Hone the right one. Know your range.
     
    If you are the defender, and they kick it in high and you can mark it within play, do so. Even if it would have gone through, yell, “No goal”
     
    Again, this exercise should have a rhythm to it. You are getting fit while practising your goal kicking, and, at the same time, doing football running, with changes of pace as opposed to athletics.
     
    This drill is also important because it teaches you to kick for goal when you are tired. So often the kicker gets the first two or three goals, then sprays the last couple.
     
    After you have had your five continuous goes swap. Have a break kicking from the goal square while the other player has a go.
     
    No.4. Dummy.
     
    Put a wheelie bin on the oval. One player guards it from about two metres out, while the other tries to get around them with the handball, hitting the top of the bin (about a player’s hand height). Whether it hits the bin, is slapped down or misses, keep getting it and going again for a minute, then swap. Keep count. See who hits it the most.
     
    No.5. Follow Up Fetch.
     
    We’ve all done the one where the coach stays still and keeps belting the ball away, making you bring it back to him again and again. Only this time, they kick or throw or slap it away, you mark or run onto it, handball or kick it back, then run hard to get the handball back off them, pushing through for ten. The you stop and you become the coach. Get rid of the ball however you want, then they become the fetcher, gathering, delivering to you, then pushing hard to get the handball back. Repeat for as long as you like.
     
    Teaches you to follow-up on your possessions, not just hand the back. Also, different types of running. Gathering the ball and sprinting for a receive and steadying to deliver as all different paces, different motions.
     
    No.6. Two-Way Slingshot.
     
    This takes some running. Each of you start on a point post either side of the goals. You are going to run down the ground on one side, while they run on the other, kicking it to each other. BUT! There is to be NO kicking around corners.
     
    Player 1 leads out from their point post towards other end of ground. Player 2 has the ball and picks where Player 1 is running to, not where Player 1 is, simply runs in a straight line at that spot, and puts a kick up for Player 1 to run onto. Player 1 now has the ball, and is 30 metres further down the oval than the kicker,
     
    Player 2. So while the kicker sprints down the ground on their side, leading, Player 1 now turns, sees where Player 2 is running to, runs towards that, and simply puts the ball up for Player 2 to run onto. Repeat down the ground. Kick goal. Suck in air and go back. If you do the drill right it shouldn’t matter if you are on your left or right, all you are doing is practicing kicking in straight lines… to players on the move.
     
    Perfect for practicing kicking to wingers, or the switch.
     
    And gets you bloody fit!
     
    Several more drills. There are dozens, but two will do.
     
    All of these drills will be too much for many. Just mix and match. Don’t do the same ones each night. Keep it fresh/fun.
     
    No.7. Cant-have-its.
     
    Simple, tough. Learn bodywork. Player 1 places ball in front of themselves. Player 2 is behind them. On “Go” player two has to see how long until they can get around Player 1 to get the ball. Repeat for three goes, then swap.
     
    No.8. Ouches.
     
    Player 1 stands five metres in front of wheelie bin. Player 2 has ball. Player 2 must get around Player 1 tackle and hit bin with handball. Only do off three steps.
     
    Do not want to kill each other. Hit in three times them swap.
     
    The reason the bin is only five metres away is so Player 2 has the chance to lift their hands up if tackled and still hit the bin.
     
    Practice; tackling, handballing in tackles, getting around players, handball.
     
    No.9. Two-On.
     
    Not everybody wants to do competitive work. Injuries and all. Cool. But if you do, here’s a beauty.
     
    Wheelie Bin in goal square, or on softest part of ground. Again, this is not AFL, there will always be a part of the oval softer than others. Two-On is like one-on-one basketball. Player 1 starts with back to bin, twenty metres from it. Player 2 starts with back to bin, 25 metres from bin (five further metres away). Player one throws ball up, over Player 2’s head, or along the ground past them, and it’s on! There is holding the ball. Be honest about it. Try and handball out if tackled. If you miss the bin with your shot, reload. This time Player 2 starts 20 metres from bin, back turned to it, throwing all just past Player 1, 25 metres from bin, back to it. Hit bin with handball = one goal. First to three goals wins.
     
    The reason both players start with their backs to the bin, is they will not get a good run-up on each other, so impact will be minimal. It is about wrapping up, or evading, not collision.
     
    No.10 Sausages.
     
    We all love a goal.
     
    One defender, one forward. Defender takes off from goal line with the ball, while forward leads hard from wherever they want to. Defender runs out to about 15-20 from goal and drills a short or medium pass for long shot. While forward lines up set shot on goal, defender runs back to defend line. Sucks in air while forward lines up and shoots. When defender marks or gathers ball, forward then takes off again, hard, on long lead, (like from a kick-out) Defender, at the same time, is running, the second they have got the ball, taking off with those three ripping steps, towards where forward is leading to, puts ball out in front, with small/medium kick, etc… repeat for ten shots, then swap.
     
    Again. Rhythm. Lots of football running. Goal practice. Putting it out in front of someone at genuine match day leading pace. Set shots. Marking long bombs at goal. Has the lot.
     
    Defender’s note. If they are kicking good, deep goals, just run ball back at half place until you are over the goal line again, then explode for those first three ripping steps.
     
    If you want to up the ante, forward is not to break stride. Must run past bad/hanging defender’s kick rather than wait for it.
     
    The reason of this is simple. At one of my old clubs, everything we did was cone-to-cone. It drove me mad. But even then, you would lead out, bloke would kick, you’d hover under the ball, then mark and go. In a game you would be squashed. It is not a good kick just because it spins right. Practice having standards with your kicking. And not accepting ‘good enough’.
     
    Another team in the same comp did a “break from the centre and look to the leading forward” drill. We all did drills like that. But their coach instructed their forwards to run past a bad kick rather than wait for it. Highlight it was not a good kick. Raise the standard of expectation on delivery. They had to hit the forward leading flat out for the kick to count, and could not go in until they had done so, as a group, 25 times. At the start of the season it took them 130 tries. By the end, it took them about 30-35. We did not do this. They won the flag. We did not make finals. Their coach was the duck’s guts.
     
    Once you have the hang of this basic drill, each time the forward feels he has lead and marked and is now too far out, or simply one in about five kicks, if they do the head flick for the defender to lead out from goals, the defender goes hard for the short kick becoming the leading full forward. Another great kick to practice. Then defender pushes back to goal line with ball, touching goal line with their foot, and is off, kicking to forward again.
     
    Again. Goals must go OVER the reach of the full back, or they are not a goal.
     
    No.11. Ten Crunch.
     
    A huge flaw in teams that need Training For Six is these sorts of clubs usually simply ‘employ’ the best midfielder they can find as coach. It is almost someone who either knows nothing about marking, or does not even comprehend it is a skill that must be practiced. They rarely cater their training to specific types.
    It sh**s me.
     
    You and your training partner, Player 1 and 2, stand no more than three metres apart, and kick the ball straight in the air. First to ten marks wins.
     
    So simple.
     
    There is no run-up to kill each other with.
     
    You are learning the vital tasks of using your body, while keeping your eyes on the ball. A ripper drill for backmen, and ruckmen. And a great chance to have one over your mate. To give them the razz when you win. If ten is too much at the end of the day, no worries, just nominate. 3 Crunch is a nice, quick, competitive way to end a night. Five Crunch, whatever.
     
    A lot of ex-AFL players complain to me while I’m doing this footy book, that they don’t teach body on bodywork anymore to anyone bar the ruckmen. They say the defenders as so good at stepping back and getting a jump on, punching the ball without body contact. I dunno on two fronts. 1. Try telling that to Hawkins, or Cloke, or Lake, or Richards. 2. Training for Six is not for AFL. Aussie Rules is not AFL. AFL is a brand of a great game, not the game itself. Every other club besides the AFL has a need for bodywork.
     
    BEST ‘TIL LAST!
     
    I always finish with this, and have for 33 years of footy, because it’s FUN! And it has helped my footy HEAPS over the years. Both the distance in my kicking, and reading the ball off the boot, and attacking my marks. Footballers are competitive beasts by nature. Well, I am. Love a contest. And to give my mate a razzing if I win! That’s the best bit!
     
    The crown of Training for Two…
     
    No.12. Three-Drop.
     
    Stand 35 metres apart. DROP PUNTS ONLY. Kick the ball to each other. First player to drop three marks loses.
     
    The trick, obviously, is to bomb it a mile in the air, or just over their head, or just at their feet, like a drop volley.
     
    Rules: 1. No chest marks! If the ball hits your chest, even bounces off it back into your hands, you get a point. Three points loses.
     
    Rule 2. HONESTY! If the ball is in range, you HAVE TO GO FOR IT! If your mate is a cheat, and can’t beat you fair and square, don’t play. Seeing a kicking partner chase a ball as hard as they can, reach for it knowing they probably won’t mark it, getting a finger to it and being one mark closer to being beaten by you is cool. It means they are a mate. It means they have character, and understand football. And it feels that way when you do the same.
     
    Sometimes you only get a finger to it. Especially if they have bombed it over your head and you are running back with the flight. If you get a finger to it put your hand up. “Yep. Dropped it” and call the score – say, “2:1”
     
    Rule 3. If you do a kick so bad they cannot get to it, they do not get a point. You only get a point if you DROP a mark. They have wasted a kick.
     
    Tip 1. At first you will think the game will go all night. Neither of you, if you are any good, will be dropping your marks. Run them around like a tennis rally from the back of the court. Aim to the left, to the right, if they drop one short, bomb one over their head, getting them running back for it. Once fatigue sets in, you will be amazed at how quickly one of you will drop three in quick time.
     
    This game is a ripper for sh*tstir, fun, tense, but also gets you very fit.
     
    Tip 2. Mix it up. Drill the odd one straight at them. Look for their weaknesses. The young punk I was telling you about at the start of Training For Two, even though I’ve never seen him play, gives the impression he ducks his head, so I aim a lot of kicks hard, a few feet past his head. On the other hand, so to speak, he knows that after three operations on my right wrist, and a missing finger tendon, I can no longer form a fist or bend my right wrist. So it is hard for me to mark on my left side, because I can’t get my right hand around the ball. It has to come into my palm. So I must overrun it and mark on my right side of the body. So he always kicks way to my left! Haha!
     
    No mercy on an Old Dog!
     
    If they’re unfit, back to the tennis rally.
     
    There is often a wind advantage. As soon as you have a winner, swap ends. Go again. Mug’s away.
     
    Three-Drop is a beaut!
     
    Thanks for coming to Training For Two. From here it only gets easier. Remember, doubtful you would do all of these, but chose the ones that suit you.
     
    Personally, tonight I’ll do, say most of the handball warm-ups. Definitely the Yo-yo. Five-to-one. Slingshot. Sausages or Follow-Up Figure Eight to get a breather,
    finish with Three-Drop. Best of three games wins.
     
    That is a solid training night for two in which you have both done all types of kicking, marking, running and handball, touching the pill about 200 times each.
     
    All drills are good for the smallest kid, to be biggest hacks, to the pros from Dover. Just go as hard as suits your skill set.
     
    Next in TRAINING FOR SIX: Training for Three. Where we prove three CAN be a crowd.
      ...

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  • 02/03/16--16:28: Shark Numbers Increase
  • Today I met with East Fremantle Football Club's CEO Darryn Fry. Primarily it was to take charge of some uniforms destined for Canada's newest men's club the Victoria Sharks. (Victoria is the capital of British Columbia not the bigger Vancouver).The EFFC has also sent uniforms to the Beachside Sharks in L.A. and football boots to South Africa

    It was interesting talking to Darryn on the many aspects of running a football club. Running a club in the WAFL like any second tier AFL club requires the same level of sophistication of an AFL club at a fraction of an AFL's club budget. They definitely identify with the struggles of a football club yet their home ground, the biggest in the league looked at treat.

    Groundkeeping budgets are often is often the first to be cut. Despite near-season demands Darryn was happy to help with lesser likes. It was encouraging to hear that the EFFC placed importance on engaging with the community and indigenous projects. Every Tuesday Docker's ruckman Arron Sandilands attends his old club to continue the EFFC alumni connection.

    It is hoped that with the delivery of these uniforms not only boosts a formative club but fosters further interactions. With the number of AFCs that exist now throughout the world it makes sense to target state league clubs or even amateurs to establish links.

    These uniforms will be delivered in March when I hope to meet as many clubs on the N.W. Pacific Americas as possible.
    ...

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    Just two rounds remain until the NTFL finals series begins and Round 16 provided plenty of excitement as teams jostled for finals berths. In the highlight of the round the Crocs and Eagles played a pulsating draw, St Mary’s booted Palmerston out of the top five, Buffaloes all but killed off the Tiwi Bombers finals hopes and the Nightcliff Tigers leapt into the top five.

    Southern Districts Crocs has virtually assured themselves of the minor premiership, so their clash against Wanderers Eagles was less about top spot and more about flexing muscle against another likely finalist. Wanderers were still on a mission to prove doubters wrong and show they could actually defend their title after a tardy first half of the season. The result was a slashing game where little separated the teams all day and had them locked at 73 points apiece by the final siren. Incredibly, it was the tenth time this season that Wanderers had played in a game decided by less than a goal, with them being on the credit side with six wins a draw and three losses. It says something about their belief that they can stay in games so long and surge when they need to. That is something other finals teams will need to watch very closely.

    Final Score: Southern Districts Crocs 10 13 73 drew with Wanderers Eagles 10 13 73


    The Darwin Buffaloes might have finally done enough to see finals action this year, and at the same time killed off the Tiwi Bombers chances. Just three points separated the sides in another close game at the end. But the Buffaloes held sway all day and did enough to hold off a fast finishing Bombers team. Buffaloes now meet bottom placed Waratah and should secure a finals berth before meeting Southern Districts in the final round. For Tiwi Bombers, they need both Nightcliff and Palmerston to each lose their final two matches and win both of theirs, which is certainly possible though not very likely, especially as the Bombers meet the Crocs next week.

    Final Score: Darwin Buffaloes 13 16 94 d Tiwi Bombers 13 13 91

    Nightcliff Tigers walloped the Waratah Warriors by 110 points to leapfrog the Palmerston Magpies and jump into fifth place and a genuine chance at finals action. For the Warriors, their season just continued on the same path as they now face the unenviable reality of going winless for the season. But Nightcliff’s recent good form has seen them gather momentum at the right time. They face a tough road yet, with matches against St Mary’s and Wanderers to go, but they have shown an ability to surprise in recent weeks and winning one of those matches may just get them there.

    Final Score: Nightcliff Tigers 19 27 141 d Waratah Warriors 4 7 31

    Sunday’s match saw St Mary’s shake off recent wobbles and put away the Palmerston Magpies by 53 points. After having lost three of their last five matches, Saints needed a steadying performance with finals around the corner. A seven goal to one second quarter effectively put the contest to bed as the Magpies just couldn’t bridge the gap in the second half. The saints are a game and a half clear of third placed Wanderers, and with remaining matches against Nightcliff and Waratah they should hold second, but of more importance was the winning feeling.

    Final Score: St Mary’s Saints 18 13 121 d Palmerston Magpies 10 8 68

    Next weekend’s penultimate round sees the Tiwi Bombers take on the Southern Districts Crocs, St Mary’s clash with Nightcliff, Palmerston do battle with Wanderers and Waratah meets the Darwin Buffaloes.
    ...

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    By Matt Zurbo this originally appeared on The Footy Almanac website here.
     
    Training for Three. Now we’re cooking.
     
    Training with only 3? Many an empire has started with less. Now you can practice forward work, follow up, backline, on-ball. Lots.

    I just transcribed an interview with Barry Capuano. Essendon Premiership winger, 1950, and long time CEO in the successful 80s years. What an absolute ripper of a bloke! Just gold. A gentleman. Hope we’ll be mates forever, Barry. One of the things his said that was so great about Coleman as a coach was, “He never just told us what to do, he always said why.” Everything had a reason.

     

     If some of the Training for Six drills seem a bit long in their unfolding, it’s because, while I was never the fart of an ant that crawled on a Coleman’s bootlace, I very much agree. It’s not enough to just get fit. There has to be a reason for every drill. A way for you to improve.

    Warm Up 1.
     

    To warm up, the three of you jog down the middle of the ground and back, just once, to get your legs. Kick up heals-to-arse, zip-zag step a bit, little spurts of knees up. Do a few air kicks, touch ground, a few jumps, as you go. Then, the next time, take a footy. Chip and weave and handball and roll it in front of each other at half pace, no kick more than 20 meters. As with Training for One and Two, do this for a few lengths of the ground most muscles will be getting warm, not just the straight running ones.
     

    With each up and back slowly increase your speed, and distance with your passing, but do not go beyond ¾ anything.  Again, while boring people buried in the past will have jogged three laps, you will have touched the ball 40 times each. What a lazy head start!

    Then, when warm, do your lunges, one-two-three groins, sumos, yadda, yadda. Back, hammies calves. You are usually in a position to be training with three during summer. Grounds will be hard. Make sure you ALWAYS stretch your back before you do your hammies. Most hamstring injuries are back related. You will double your stretch if your back is loose. And ALWAYS do you calves and shins. (for shins, do the standard calf stretch, but bend your knee, just a bit, until you feel it in the front half of your leg, not the back)

    Now, the fun stuff

    Warm Up 2. Triangle.


    Go through handball on ground, in air, whatever in triangle for about five laps, then back the other way. Be rapid. Cannot stress enough two things. 1. Make it spin right! Such a good habit to get into. So few players at lower levels do it. 2. Can never get enough of picking ball up around ankles. That goes to the very core of the game. Quick reflexes, clean hands around your feet. Stupid bloody shaped ball! Handball into the ground to your teammate, do others as half-volleys, and normal ones, of varying pace. This is also important for modern footballers. At training players always handball at the one pace. But in a game sometimes you must lob them, sometimes you must punch hard through traffic. Also, receiving, sometimes you must have soft hands, sometimes you must be quick. Changing pace stops the receiver treating it like a routine/zoning out. Great for concentration.

    Repeat going back the other way, on your left.

    Triangle 2. As ball enters hands of Player A, Player B raises their hand left or right up or down to give the deliverer a target, as when in traffic. Again, only do about five each. As said, this is a warm up. Bang through each of these. I am a firm believer of rolling through many warm-ups. Banging out the routines for variation and touch. Variation is huge.
     

    Warm up 3. The Triangle. Boot.
     

    Pt.1. Start with a few circuits of stationary kicking.

    Pt.2. Then, do the Three Man Yo-Yo, as done in Training for Two. All three of you about 20 meters from each other. Player A has ball. They, and Player B run backwards away from each other, as if pushing back hard from taking a mark. Do it with urgency, and NOT just for one or two steps, but about ten. Do not cut corners in any drill, no matter how few people are there! It is an attitude you are practicing, a hunger, as much as a skill. This is everything towards being a good player. Hunger! Players A and B push back away from each other until player A starts coming forward with the ball to kick it. They both run straight at each other. Straight kick, straight lead. Hardest kick and hardest mark in football. Player B marks. Do not wait for the ball, run through the mark, in front of your eyes. Both players finish about 20 meters from each other again. Now Player B and C repeat.

    Pt.3. Start 30 meters apart from each other. Player A has footy. Player B leads AWAY from Player C, marks out wide, (like a switch kick, turns, running through the flight of the ball, not double backing, three ripping steps. Player C leads AWAY from Player A, repeat this loop for a good five minutes. Let it get some rhythm up.
     

    There will always be someone who runs towards the next player rather than out and away from them. Then when the mark is taken is only five meters away from who they must deliver it to. The drill is stuffed up. Trust me on this. Always. Ha! The second you see them leading the wrong way, call “Away.”

    Again, this will get you very fit, but it will be a football fitness, with three different paces, not an athletics fitness. And you will be learning to run through the ball, rather than losing your momentum by propping by reflex onto your preferred foot.
     


    Drill 1. The Sammy Mitchell.
     

    Put middle player on centre square line, or, if there is no centre square in summer, make your own using cones/jumpers/thongs for all I care. Middle player can go left and right along the line, but not forward or back off it. Other two stand either side of middle player.
     

    Outside two handball to each other while middle player tries to intercept, slap it down. Do not just go over their head. Two outside players will have to do a lot of darting left and right and faking handballs and punching through, as well as reading each other.
     

    Is a hugely good drill for players to realise; even as handball receivers they have to move sharp and hard to find space in tight. To gets two-way talk up. Make receiver call for ball. No point calling when player in middle has you covered. Gets receiver’s hands moving, pointing up or down or wherever to get it away from middle person’s bulk. It also teaches not to panic handball. Wait for the gap.
     

    After a minute you will be puffing. Have a brief spell, then let one of the outside players have a go in the middle and repeat. Obviously, do three times.
    This drill can be done with any multiple of three players. On nights of three, six, nine, whatever.
     

    Drill 2. Doing Some Loose.
     

    A great shake off between drills. Kick and handball between the three of you for a minute or two, moving back, forward, left, right, coming by for handball, pushing wide. Whatever. Start off ¾ pace. Just roll the ball over. Then build up to just two minutes of flat out. As always, each time you get the ball do those first three hard, dig ‘em in steps.
     

    This is not a long kicking, long striding drill. You would have done that in Boot Pt.3. This is just kicking it around. Not thinking too much, getting your touch up.
    Even this most basic drill cane have things to learn, though. If you kick it to player B and see C is going to come in for a handball, the second you kick it you should be pushing through to the side player C is running to. Don’t let them double back. Same with receiving a handball, be aware of where your next target is, and try and shift your running to suit. Such a simple thing, but always practice thinking two possessions ahead. This is what makes players who are slow, from Mark Lee to Sam Mitchell, still be so good.
     

    Try to never double back. Run through the ball every time. Kick on the opposite foot if you must. Always practice exploding. Not stopping and propping.
     
    Drill 3. Three Man Weave. Handball.

    We’ve all done it. Do it across the ground. Breath, do it back. Repeat. This is great because it teaches you to take hard steps after you have handballed. Not think your job is done.

    Drill 4. Three Man Weave. Kick.
     

    A real beaut. Also a real test.  Player A start with ball beside left point post. Player B start, say, 20 meters out from right point post. Player C start next to Player A. And you’re away!


    Player A kicks to B then takes off like the clappers to run about 20 meters in front of where he kicked it to, while Player C, runs like the clappers straight down the ground from the side the ball started. Player B, having taken the mark, turns, running towards where player C is running, puts it out in front of them, then runs like the clappers to get twenty meters in front of where player C will mark. Player C marks, Turns, running forward and across to where player A is now on the other side, and kicks out in front of them, then runs like the clappers to get twenty meters in front of where they will mark. The three of you get a weave up, heading down the ground for what will be about four kicks each, and when in range shoot. Suck in breath and go again.
     

    Brilliant for fitness. Passing on the run. Running through the ball. Taking off the second you kick.

    Drill 5. Set and Run.
     

    Basic goal kicking. Only do it from 35-40 out. Get your technique right before you start hooking the ball trying to kick the shit out of it. It’s those shots from 35-40 out that win and lose you the match. Malcolm Blight did that one from 75 meters to go into folklore, but, hey that was 40 years ago!
     

    Player A starts with the ball in the goal square. Player B is out to the Right, Player C out to the left. Player C leads bloody hard, wherever they want. Sometimes at the kicker, like a forward, sometimes to the side, as if in a kickout. Marks, pushed back. Set shot. Again. Always kick OVER the fullback’s reach. Player A marks, does mongrel kick to Player C, or out in front, or whatever. Player C marks/gathers runs through the ball and had a shot on the run. Repeat for five goes each. B always set shot, C always on the run. Everyone moves one spot to the left. Now A gets five set shots, B gets five on the run. Then to the left again.

    As discussed last week. So often at training players, and especially coaches, settle for less. They do drills cone to cone. Who cares if it was not a perfect kick! As long as it spins through the air and they mark it, the drill rolls on. Even if they had to wait a bit. Come game day, when you have opponents, the kicks are just as imperfect and the receiver gets hammered. With this drill, if the kick is not spot on, the defender spoils. It teaches you, even when kicking out at practice, to take pride in your kick.
     

    This drill is simple, but the hardest of all of Training For Six drills to master, because it involves getting rid of a lifetime of bad habits.
     

    Drill 6. Three Weave Goal.
     

    Train as you play and play as you train, yet 98% of all goal practice there is never anyone on the mark.
    Also, Train as you play, the player kicking out at training always watches his kick to see if it worked, when their first instinct should be to take off.
     

    So…
    This is great. It teaches forward work, back work, and REAL set shots.  Major alert!! Common sense is needed.  Player A has ball in goal square. Player B is 30 out. Player C starts five meters from Player B. Player A calls “Yep!” player B leads hard. Player A takes off as if playing on from fullback, those three ripping take-off steps, then running towards where player B is leading. Player C acts like the defender, chasing Player B. Player A kicks to Player B on the run, at pace.
    Mark or spoil, Player B goes back for a set shot. While they are lining up, the player who kicked out, Player A, runs out and stands the mark. Player C runs back to defend the goal line.
     

    THIS IS VERY, VERY HARD TO DO.

    Most players have spent a lifetime kicking out and just watching to see if their kick was any good. They are not used to then sprinting to make position. It will take a few goes to get the hang of.
     

    Also, players are totally used to, if they are on the mark, then they are on the mark. Yet, you look at the AFL, so often someone who has done a lot of running and is cooked, will call “I’ll get it” and push the bloke on the mark back into defence.
     

    As soon as Player B shoots for goal, and the ball is gathered by Player C, now fullback, Player A becomes the forward. Player B stands five meters from them, Player C does the play-on kick out. You repeat. Player C kicks out. Player A marks (or not) and goes back for shot. Player C keeps running on from their kick to be person on mark. Player B runs back to be fullback. Player A has their shot.
     

    Obviously, then Player B is now at fullback kicking out. Player C goes from standing on the mark to being the leader. Player A becomes the defender five metres away.
     

    If you do this right you will get a great rhythm up, learn to lead and mark under pressure, kick out under pressure, have set shots with a man on the mark. You will have completed a cycle.
     

    It is a beaut.  Do this for five cycles (net result of five shots each.)  Again, if kicking for real goals (over the fullback’s head) as opposed to practice goals (to the goal line) means the ball is always going over the fence, put fake goals in the middle of the ground. Better to practice kicking real goals through imaginary posts than practicing kicking motions you just would not use in a match.

    As said, there are more drills than there is night. Chose the ones right for you.

    We’ve all done one-on-one. It’s a beaut. Never gets old. Base running is vital, but you want to bust your gut and get match fit. The only real way to do that for footballers is, I believe, competitive drills. Not only do you use every muscle type, you do not take it as a given the ball will come to you, as in other drills. You must earn it. Time and again, AFL champs are telling m;, nice, mean, quiet, extroverted, whatever – the really good footballers are the ones who are competitive beasts. Here is one-on-one with a defensive bent.
     

    Drill 7. The Spoiler.
     

    Player A is the coach. Throws/kicks ball out for one-one-one contest between Players B and C. BUT. Whoever gets it back to Player A, Player A is now going to try to deliver it to them. So, you lost, no worries, they have the ball, cover your man!! Get between them and the delivery. If you don’t they will get three deliveries to Player A in 10 seconds, like in a game, you lose. If you turn the ball over Player A now looks after you.
     

    Whoever wins, suck in air. Player A now plays the winner.
     

    This way, the winner, often a better player, will have to compete against a fresh bloke until he loses. Like good players have to deal with rotating taggers.
    It is a great drill for all. You pit yourself against the best of you. If you are the best, you have to push yourself twice as hard.
     

    I don’t care what anybody says, the nature of football players is you will always try harder if competing for something, and get fitter for it.
     

    The trouble with one-on-one it is always finishes with the ball winner delivering to a stationary target. But not anymore.
     

    Drill 8. Long Range One-On-One.
     

    Player A starts with the ball. Player B and C are 50 meters away. Player A kicks high to a long contest, like a bomb into a forward line, or out wide, like a ball rolling onto the wing, then pushes back hard for twenty while ball is in air/dispute.
     

    Player A learns to time their lead. Waits for one of them to gain clear possession, then leads hard. It is very hard to kick to a leading target when you are knackered from competing, yet this is the game. And something we don’t practice. So practice it. Player A does NOT slow their lead for the ball. Does not prop and wait. If it is a bad kick, show it up for being a bad kick by running past it. Again, either rotate turns, or loser kicks, keeping the winner out there really testing themselves when they are knackered.

    Drill 9. Chip and Charge.
     

    Player A starts on goal line. Player B is thirty meters away, five meters off Player C. Player B calls, “Yep!” and starts leading hard. Player C is in pursuit. Player A takes off, running at player B, whatever angle the lead is, chips, keeps running, gut running, to either receive the handball back, or, if Player C can reach them, run past, as Player B goes back from mark as if in a game and Player C then stands the mark. Player B chips over to Player A, Player C chases to spoil. Player C and A are now thirty meters past Player B/further down the ground. They give the ball back, while sucking in air. Player B is now the kicker. Player C is the marker, A the spoiler. Repeat length of oval until goal can be kicked. Suck in air, go again from other goal line.
     

    This is great because the easiest kick in footy comes as a result of hard work. Remember, this is not AFL, AFL is a brand. A great brand, but a brand. This is Aussie Rules. In a game almost all minor league footballers will run by for the handball, then stop when they do not get it, even though they already have momentum up, are probably free of their man, and if they just keep going a few more meters are in the perfect spot for that breaking the lines chip over the top, or now within range of a goal/breaking up the zoning.

    Drill 10. The Long Lead.
     

    Player A starts with the ball about 80 out. Player B is forward standing in goal square. C defender. A rolls ball forward, gathers, three hard steps then looks up. THIS is when Player B leads. Learn to spot that looking up motion. Kick, mark 30 out. Deliver back. Resume positions. Do this for three goes, then swap rolls. Everybody has a go at being a forward, a defender, and the player who delivers from the wing.
     


    Now, to wrap it up with some fun, then a warm down.
     

    Drill 11. Two- Up.1.
     

    Remember – marking is a skill, but most coaches, not being key position players, or thinkers, seem to think you don’t have to practice it. One of the three most important skills in the game. No idea why.
     

    Part One… be thirty metres from the kicker. Just do ‘first to two marks wins’, next player in. You are tired and don’t want to be there all night.
    If the ball goes over both your heads, whoever gathers has to do a little one-two handball with the other contester, run past and drill it back to the tit of the kicker, then shuffle back for next mark. If you take a mark, with your body momentum forward, you must continue on to drill it to kicker then shuffle back. If you mark it with your body on the back foot, handball to the other contester, who plays on and drills it back to kicker. Not running flat out, but again, just practice good habits, always, always, always. Back foot, hand off, front foot take off. Kicker always gives them time to resettle.

    Two-Up Pt.2.
     

    Players who do practice two-up rarely do it properly. They are lazy. Vary rarely in a game will someone kick it 30 meters to a flat footed contest. Know your kicker. Have them five meters further back than their kicking limit, and have them bomb it long, as if into the forward line. Both markers move forward to the falling ball, as in a game.
    MUCH more realistic! MUCH better practice. Much harder.
     

    Drill 12. Back Foot, Forward Foot.
     

    To finish, a nice bit of hard yards. Player A in goal square with ball, as if in kick-out. Players B and C out front. Player A dictates, as in kick-out with a nod, or simple call, or playing on to a certain direction. “Long.” “At Me.” “Wide.” Whoever of B or C leads, but they both must be onto it. If they mark on the back foot, or running away from goal, or stationary, they must handball or chip to the other player, running towards goal. If they mark of gather on the front foot they run through the mark and continue on and kick it themselves.
    This teaches player who does not get kick out or rewarded lead, to push over to whoever will get it and support. And do so in a way that does not have their back to the goal. The really good players accommodate their running. The average ones only know straight lines. Read where the ball is going, push a bit back as it travels through the air towards the marker, and be aching forward, towards goal, when receiving. It also teaches back foot forward foot, running through the ball, and kicking running goals. Repeat until knackered. Swap with Player A at some stage to give them a go.

    Last!
     

    Drill 13. Three Man Two Drop.
     

    See Training for Two for Three Drop. Most fun post training drill for two ever! Play in a triangle, but only Two Drop. When you mark you can kick it to whichever of the two players you want to. When one of them has dropped two, there are only two of you left. Then, when one of those has dropped two you have your winner for the night. Shuffle a lazy lap. You have touched the ball heaps. Gentle stretches every 100 meters. You should be as knackered as ten marathon men and have touched the footy about 200 or more times each.

    Hit the beach.

    As said in Training For Two. There are more drills here than you need to do. But in Training for Three there is a drill for every type of position. Pick and chose, swap and mix to suit you and keep it fresh. For a good night I would do:

    All warm ups, maybe dropping one of the handball legs.
    The Sammy Mitchell. (what a champ!)
    Triangle Boot. (get my kicking right)
    Three Man Weave Kick, (for pure fitness)
    Three Man Weave Goal.
    The Spoiler. (one competitive one should be enough)
    Chip and Charge.
    then finish with either
    Back Foot Forward Foot or Two-Up No.2

    A bloody good workout.

    Next, Johnno’s brought his mate Louie along! Man, Training for FOUR!


    http://www.footyalmanac.com.au/training-for-six-chapter-3-training-for-three/ 

      ...


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    It looks like there will be new field for the Buffaloes, the Tulsa Buffaloes to roam. Tulsa county have allocated a footy field space in the Chandler Park area as part of an $18 million upgrade of the area. When community consultation on the project went out the Tulsa Buffaloes put their case and are set to be accommodated should the project get the green light as part of the Vision2025 tax proposal.

    The venue would be a huge boost to the USAFL club and footy in the region.  The USAFL recently added another team based in the state of Okalahoma, the Oklahoma City Flyers to their listing of USAFL clubs.

    For more on this story see video below or on the Fox23 News site here.  

     


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    After s self-imposed hiatus for the 2015 season, one of the ARFLI (Australian Rules Football League Ireland) foundation teams, the Dublin Demons, will return in a merger with the North Leinster Giants. The move will is a bonus and a boost for both clubs, but also for football in Ireland as it returns the men’s competition to its full complement of teams.

    The new entity will be basing itself out of Islandbridge in Dublin and training will commence soon in preparation for the upcoming 2016 season. Details of playing strips and other aspects of the merger, such as team name and nickname, will be announced as the season start gets closer.


    The Dublin Demons are an integral part of the history of Australian Rules football in Ireland. Having won the first pre-premiership title in 2000, after having been established in 1999, they also won the first official ARFLI premiership in 2001. They went on to win back to back titles in both 2008 and 2009. They also won a three-peat of Super 10s/9s titles in 2005 to 2007.

    The North Leinster Giants have undergone a journey of different identities, though their current team name arrived in 2011 after the merging of the Midland Tigers and West Dublin Saints. They were originally known as the North Leinster Kangaroos until becoming formally affiliated with the Greater Western Sydney Giants. Whilst the Giants are yet to taste premiership success, the Midland Tigers did win the Super 10s/9s title back in 2001.

    Whilst the Demons had struggled in recent years, leading to their break in 2015, the merger presents an opportunity for the new entity to share strengths, both on and off the field, and look towards growing as a strength in the ARFLI competition ...

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    The AFL Middle East Grand Final will be a replay of last season’s clash between the Dubai Dragons and the BM Bulls. The Bulls had already secured their place when they secured a grand final berth downing the Doha Kangaroos for their third win for the season, enough for a guaranteed berth.

    The Dubai Dragons needed to win this round’s game against the improved Dubai Dingoes in the local derby to claim the other grand final spot. For the Dingoes, they also needed victory to have a faint chance of reaching the final.

    But the Dragons snuffed out the Dingoes chances with a solid win, downing the Dingoes by 50 points with the final scores: Dubai Dragons 11 14 80 d Dubai Dingoes 3 12 30.


    With just one premiership match to go, the Dubai Dragons hosted by the Abu Dhabi Falcons on 26th February, the grand finalists cannot change. The Falcons can look for pride and finished above the Dingoes if they win, though the Dragons are favoured to win their fourth match from four starts and take out the minor premiership with an undefeated season.

    The BM Bulls now have the chance to prepare for their maiden premiership. They went down to the Dragons in last season’s grand final – remarkably, in their debut season – and have another chance to grab the silverware. However, the Dragons will be highly motivated to seek their fourth flag in five seasons, a run only disturbed by their loss to the Doha Kangaroos in 2013/14. The Dragons, already the most successful AFL Middle East club in terms of premiership success, will be keen to flex their muscle again to be the undisputed kings of AFL Middle East footy.

    Mind you, the BM Bulls might have other idea ...

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    The 2015/16 season for the Waratah Warriors in the Northern Territory Football League has largely been one to forget.  Whilst the fixture shows a winless season to date, the club has used the year as a developmental period to grow the next crop of star players ready to again see finals action. Part of their experiments involved the opportunities given to four Borneo players, one of which played his first senior game recently. The following article from Grey Morris at the NT News gives the details of their journey.

     

     

    NTFL club Waratah gets some international flavour with

    Timbul Kukuh Santoso making his Premier League debut

     

     

    WARATAH’S bold experiment to bring four Borneo-born footballers to the Top End paid dividends yesterday when utility Timbul Kukuh Santoso played his first league game.

     

    The 22-year-old “Borneo Express’’ roamed between half forward and half back, producing a 12 possession game that showed he is comfortable at that level.

     

    Timbul Kukuh Santoso, Mahendra Gilang Saputro, Muhammad Noor Pratama and Rama Yuda Yulianto have all pulled on Tahs jumpers at different levels this season.

     

    Coach Tim Weatherald said Santoso was the player that most impressed himself and Tahs official Garry Smart on a scouting trip to the Asian country at Easter.

     

    “Timbul played about six games before Christmas in Division 1 and 2 and we were able to get him back after some visa issues only last week,’’ Weatherald said.

     

    “He played in Division 2 and did amazingly well. He looks like he’ll head home next week so I thought I’d give him a run this week and have a good look at him.

     

     

    “He’s got a lot of natural talent, struggles with the English language a bit, but as you saw out there he runs to the right places and has an appetite for the footy.’’

     

    Santoso did some clever things, including finding Kim Kantilla for Tahs’ first goal with a long drop punt into the forward line.

     

    Weatherald said Santoso had the basic skills and the ability to go to a higher level.

     

    “He’s got an understanding of the skills required, it’s now a case of getting him to understand the game of footy,’’ the second year Tahs coach said.

     

    “When you don’t grow up understanding where to run and kick the footy it means you’ve got a bit of work to do.

     

    “But the bonus now is Timbul and the other lads can go back home and teach the lads over there what they’ve learnt from Darwin footy.’’

     

     

    Original article found at: http://www.ntnews.com.au/sport/local-afl/ntfl-club-waratah-gets-some-international-flavour-with-timbul-kukuh-santoso-making-his-premier-league-debut/news-story/420a5ea34831290fa073437f06e476d3 ...


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    The brutal truth is that the top four won and the bottom four lost. One round out from the finals and we are left with a very compelling and confronting truth. In a season which has seen so many close games, the irony is that most of the ladder positions are already signed, sealed and delivered with wide gaps between almost all sides on the ladder except, thankfully, for the battle for fifth place.

    As it stands, the Southern Districts Crocs will win the minor premiership, St Mary’s and Wanderers will meet in the Qualifying Final, Waratah will win the wooden spoon and the Tiwi Bombers will avoid the spoon by miss finals. These are now all givens. Buffaloes will play someone in the Elimination Final, and whether it be Nightcliff or Palmerston will be the most intriguing part of next weekend’s final home and away round.


    The Southern Districts Crocs were way too good for the Tiwi Bombers, downing them by 43 points in a game they led all day. But the big talk of the game was whether Crocs’ Full Forward, Will Farrer, would kick his 100th goal for the season in this match. Fans had little time to debate the issue as his two goals game early in the first quarter. He joins elite NTFL company with only four players having reached the magic “ton” for the Crocs. Only six other players had achieved that feat at all, including former Lion and Bomber Damien Cupido in 2012/13 and former Demon and Bulldog Allen Jackovich in 1988/89, both for Crocs. Others to have reached that peak include Crocs player Ashley Wedding (2006/07), Nightcliff’s Trevor Sutton (1979/80), St Mary’s Dennis Dunn (1985/86 and 1987/88) and Waratah’s Matthew Chilcott (1995/96).

    Final Score: Southern District Crocs 18 11 119 d Tiwi Bombers 11 10 76

    St Mary’s jumped away early against Nightcliff to grab a handy quarter time lead. From there the Saints kept the Tigers at bay at each change before pushing out to a 30 point victory. The win secured second place for the Saints, but the loss for Nightcliff spells danger for their finals aspirations. To play finals they must either defeat the in-form Wanderers next weekend or hope that Palmerston lose their clash with the Tiwi Bombers. Both are possibilities, but so are the reverse options so it rests in the Tigers’ hands.

    Final Score: St Mary’s Saints 13 20 98 d Nightcliff Tigers 10 8 68

    Wanderers’ run to the finals continued to gather momentum with a strong win over the Palmerston Magpies. The 46 point margin made a change for Wanderers, a team which has been hardened by a run of close finishes. But the Magpies now find themselves in a perilous position with no choice by to beat the Bombers next weekend and hope the Tigers lose to play finals. Apart from a goal-less third quarter, the Wanderers dominated the game and made sure the teams above them knew that they mean business.

    Final Score: Wanderers Eagles 12 13 85 d Palmerston Magpies 6 3 39

    Buffaloes iced their season with a win that meant they could not possibly drop out of the finals, making it their most successful season for many years already. Their huge 122 point victory over the Waratah Warriors was a handy exclamation point on a good season overall, especially as they play the league leaders, Crocs, in the final round. Mathematically, the Buffaloes could take third place if they knocked over Crocs and Wanderers dropped their game to Nightcliff. But form says that the Darwin Buffaloes will play in the Elimination Final in two weeks’ time which is a good return for the season so far.

    Final Score: Darwin Buffaloes 21 21 147 d Waratah Warriors 4 1 25

    Next weekend’s final round of the home and away series will see Wanderers versus Nightcliff, St Mary’s tackle Waratah, Southern Districts clashing with Darwin Buffaloes and the Palmerston Magpies meeting the Tiwi Bomber ...

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    The Vietnam Swans will host the 17th AFL Asian Championships at RMIT Saigon campus on Saturday 15 October, 2016.

    Confirmation was announced at the AFL Asia Annual General Meeting which was held on January 27th 2016.

    This will be the first time that the Swans will have hosted “Asian Champs”, which saw over 400 competitors travel to Bangkok in 2015.

    The new two-division format with a 12-a-side second division focussing on a commitment to promote local development was hailed a big success in Bangkok and will be continued in Saigon.


    “The Swans are excited to be hosting this years Champs and we can’t wait to welcome all of AFL Asia’s Clubs to Vietnam”, Swans President and AFL Asia Vice President Grant Keys said.

    As part of the Champs, the Swans are also excited to announce their intention to host what is believed to be the first ever official game of women’s Australian football in Asia, with a Vietnam vs Rest of the World game being proposed.

    “We pride ourselves on being the most inclusive Club in Asia, formed behind the close relationship we enjoy with our Saigon Ladies Gaels and Viet Celts Ladies sister clubs. We look forward to seeing these girls unite under a Swans banner this year and take on the world.” Keys said

    “We hope by signalling our intention to host the first ever Women’s international in Asia we will encourage many other teams around the region to develop their own women’s footy programs and invite their ladies along to Saigon with them” Keys said nervously, as his wife dusts off her footy boots.

    Following the success of AFL Asia’s local player development initiatives at the 2015 Champs that saw Andrew Embley travel to Bangkok for a pre-Champs clinic with a record 40 local players, the Swans will look to build upon these with further coaching clinics on the Friday and another East vs SE Asian local player feature game.

    "We are making local player development a big focus of the Swans this year and will be looking hard at the schedule to see how we can fit in as much as possible over the Saturday and where possible, on the Friday before the Championships" added Mr Keys.

    The Swans have proposed to AFL Asia its intention to help support AFL accreditation for umpires officiating at this years Champs.

    "We can’t wait to welcome all of AFL Asia’s Clubs to Vietnam”, reiterated Mr Keys.

    Source; AFL Asia and Vietnam Swans Australian Football Clu ...

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    Back in December 2015 it was reported that four Borneo Bears National players had been invited to join the Darwin Waratah’s to train and play in the 2015-2016 NTFL season.

    "One of the major highlights for 2015 which was organized and championed by Bears President Tommy Commerford and Bears Coach Shane Kruger, was a cross country AFL development agreement between the Borneo Bears and the Darwin Waratah’s".

    Today in the NT News we see how this experiment has progressed, "WARATAH’S bold experiment to bring four Borneo-born footballers to the Top End paid dividends yesterday when utility Timbul Kukuh Santoso played his first league game. The 22-year-old “Borneo Express’’ roamed between half forward and half back, producing a 12 possession game that showed he is comfortable at that level."

    The NT News story goes on to tell us that Timbul Kukuh Santoso, Mahendra Gilang Saputro, Muhammad Noor Pratama and Rama Yuda Yulianto have all pulled on Tahs jumpers at different levels this season.

    Coach Tim Weatherald said Santoso was the player that most impressed himself and Tahs official Garry Smart on a scouting trip to the Asian country at Easter.

    “Timbul played about six games before Christmas in Division 1 and 2 and we were able to get him back after some visa issues only last week,’’ Weatherald said.

    “He played in Division 2 and did amazingly well. He looks like he’ll head home next week so I thought I’d give him a run this week and have a good look at him. “He’s got a lot of natural talent, struggles with the English language a bit, but as you saw out there he runs to the right places and has an appetite for the footy.’’

    Santoso did some clever things, including finding Kim Kantilla for Tahs’ first goal with a long drop punt into the forward line.

    Weatherald said Santoso had the basic skills and the ability to go to a higher level.

    “He’s got an understanding of the skills required, it’s now a case of getting him to understand the game of footy,’’ the second year Tahs coach said. “When you don’t grow up understanding where to run and kick the footy it means you’ve got a bit of work to do.

    “But the bonus now is Timbul and the other lads can go back home and teach the lads over there what they’ve learnt from Darwin footy.’’

     "One of the missions for the (Borneo Bears) for 2016 and of course will depend on internal fundraising, is to tour a 100% Indonesian Borneo Bears team to the Asia Champs 2016." may see the Bears perform well in Division 2 of the Asian Championships this year even if the team is not  quite 100% local lads. 

    Source: AFL Asia and NT News. ...


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  • 02/15/16--00:24: A Smile On A Kid’s Face

  • Often lost amongst the crash and bash of senior based footy – men’s or women’s – is the layer of talent that stands to receive the baton after the existing playing groups have become too old to keep running. In so many ways, the kids are THE most important people in the game. It is all very well to have great players, administrators, umpires and so forth now. But ensuring that the pipeline runs deep into the future is vital.

    That is why there is nothing quite like seeing the smile on a kid’s face when they have a footy in their hands. The future is so much more secure when we can see the love of the game growing in the next generation – and the next.


    In my own ambassadorial roles I am lucky enough to experience that sensation many times over. I am honoured to hold the roles of Australia Post AFL Multicultural Community Ambassador, Footys4all Education Ambassador and AFL Schools Ambassador, and the combination sees me in continual connection with young children embarking on their footy journey.

    A couple of years ago, on behalf of the Melbourne based charity, Footys4all, our AFL Cairns club undertook a journey to Hope Vale, at the southern edges of the Cape York Peninsula, to give footys to kids. It took less than an hour after arrival to see these kids running amok on the local rugby fields, chasing each other across the parched, brown grass and kicking the ball in all directions with a puff and a giggle. One of the images that stayed with me was the kids leaving our gathering, still kicking the ball – their new prized possession – down the street towards home.

















    Visits to schools here in Far North Queensland have included such delights as Bellenden Ker State School and Radiant Life College in Innisfail. The kids at Radiant Life has an absolute ball when we turned up with a bag of footys and our Pyramid Power bus replete with coloured disco lights and synchronised music. They’d never seen the likes of this before and will always remember the day Aussie Rules came to their school. Whether it be small clinics, scratch matches or just an unorchestrated chaos of footys, legs, arms and the occasional dog, the resounding image is one of unadulterated happiness and beaming kids.

    As a Multicultural Community Ambassador last year I was fortunate enough to visit a number of secondary schools across our region. Talks at places like Peace Lutheran College in Redlynch, Mount St Bernards College in Herberton, St Augustine’s College in Cairns, Djarragun Indigenous College in Gordonvale and AFL Cape York House saw an older audience listen to the merits of a multicultural footy future and lapped up the information, leading to repeat performance this year.

    Whilst this might all sound too easy on paper, all of this has been achieved in a heartland of Rugby League. It has taken imagination, determination and an attitude to live outside the box to make it happen. As our driver, Jim, pointed out that day, we had lost the box years ago.

    With more than 15 years of school footy, and countless training sessions, behind me, I have proudly watched primary school age kids either further develop their junior skills above and beyond their local team, or as is the case with many, try the game for the first time through school programs – reluctant to take the plunge initially at a club level, but eager to try out the game.

    Again, the results have been overwhelmingly positive, and not just for footy. Often the relationships made and the disciplines learned have transferred to the classroom and to home and helped children grow beyond the footy field.

    Auskick programs or similar are erupting world-wide, and so are local clubs and organisations. More recently I have been watching developments with the Clapham Cubs junior program in London, whilst Ian Mitchell and his crew have embarked on a school program in Wolverhampton which is having profound results in engaging kids with the game.

    Recent conversations with the Santiago Saints in Chile have seen the foundation laid for a home-grown version of Auskick for Chilean kids. The Södermalm Blues in Sweden have had great success in developing a junior program, and the rise of Danish footy has been on the back of a faith in the development of juniors. There are wonderful examples right across Europe.

    Footy in Kenya, through the work of people like Don Cruttenden, is being gown almost wholly on the back of school kids. Mike McFarlane, in Vancouver, Canada, has grown the North Delta Juniors into a solid junior competition. The growth of the game in India is heavily reliant on the uptake of younger people. The same with South Africa with AFL Footywild investing heavily in youth.Examples litter all continents and most countries where the game is played. But this is not about listing (or not mentioning) leagues or clubs already involved. It is about extending the opportunities to more and more people who might be able to find a way to make a difference.

    I am not trying to preach to the converted – those who already give their all for the growth of the game. It is a challenge to ask whether or not we have gone as far as we can go. If the answer is yes, then footy will plateau and eventually fall away as things stagnate. If the answer is that we can find more hands, even for a small period of time, then across the world we can continue to grow.

    Footy matches can be played with as few as one player. I know this to be an incontrovertible fact when, as a kid, I was all 20 players for both teams as I dodged and swerved around the lemon tree, wheelbarrow, deckchair and car to kick goals and win games. Sometimes one became two when my brother joined in – GAME ON!

    Often all that is needed is a footy and a caring hand to help. Those two items are probably the most valuable assets to any club wanting to develop a youth interest. It is remarkable how many times that is all I have had at my disposal – yet it has netted smiles and giggles.

    Not all clubs have the personnel or resources to be able to develop and/or maintain juniors. That is a realistic fiscal fact. It is often enough to simply keep a club afloat at all. But where opportunity exists, the gradual assessing, creating, developing and ongoing of junior based footy should be embraced. The future of your own local footy league is not with the now…it is squarely with the future. We simply facilitate the change.

    The greatest fears of parents – cost, competition and injury – can be allayed through a sensible and careful approach to try and offer time for free (not always easy, but also not impossible), keeping expectations of success to a modest and achievable level based on fun rather than results, and a program of modified rules to gradually teach skills before contact and injury.

    If all of this effort nets just one potential player of the future, then it was worth it. But worth far, far more is the idea that a child has a fantastic time, laughs, smiles and comes back again – maybe with a friend. Then you have the nucleus of a future based on youth.

    If you have time one day, kick or handpass a ball to a five year old. Watch the smile when they catch it, and the giggle when they drop it and run to retrieve it. There is nothing quite like it.

    Our game depends on it.




    Picture Credits: Top Left (Yarrabah Kids - Brett Kennerley), Top Right (Hope Vale Kids - Brett Kennerley), Bottom Left (Radiant Life, Innisfail - Wesley H ...

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    NZ imports Kurt Heatherley and Shem Tatupu (pictured) have been named in Hawthorn's 29-man squad to take on Carlton in the opening match of the 2016 NAB Challenge pre-season series on Thursday night at Aurora Stadium in Launceston.

    Tatupu finished the 2015 season strongly for Box Hill in the VFL and if he plays it will be his first NAB Challenge match and an important step towards making his AFL debut for the Hawks. Track watchers at Waverley have noted the big man's form on the track showing great improvement from previous seasons.

    Heatherley who has been upgraded to the senior list for 2016 played his first match in the preseason competition for the Hawks in 2014. He too will be looking to put his case to the selectors to make his senior debut this year.

    Carlton will be looking to improve this season after being wooden spooners in 2015. Irishmen Zach Tuohy and Ciaran Byrne have been named in the Blues 29-man squad. Ciaran Sheehan (Ire) and new ruck prospeck Matt Korchek (USA) have not been named.

    SQUADS (To be reduced to a team of 26 for the match)

    HAWTHORN

    3. Jordan Lewis 
    4. Billy Hartung
    5. Sam Mitchell
    6. Josh Gibson
    7. Ben McEvoy 
    8. Taylor Duryea
    10. Bradley Hill
    11. Brendan Whitecross
    13. Jonathan O'Rourke
    14. Grant Birchall
    15. Luke Hodge
    16. Isaac Smith
    17. Angus Litherland
    20. Dallas Willsmore
    21. James Sicily
    22. Luke Breust
    23. Tim O'Brien
    24. Ben Stratton
    25. Ryan Schoenmakers
    28. Paul Puopolo
    30. Kaiden Brand
    31. Zac Webster
    32. Jack Fitzpatrick
    34. Kurt Heatherley
    41. Daniel Howe
    42. Teia Miles
    43. Marc Pittonet
    46. Lachlan Langford
    47. Shem-Kalvin Tatupu

    CARLTON

    3. Marc Murphy
    4. Bryce Gibbs
    6. Kade Simpson
    8. Matthew Kreuzer
    10. Harry McKay
    11. Sam Kerridge
    12. Blaine Boekhorst
    13. Jed Lamb
    14. Liam Jones
    15. Sam Docherty
    17. Sam Rowe
    22. Jason Tutt
    23. Jacob Weitering
    24. Mark Whiley
    30. Charlie Curnow
    31. Matthew Dick
    32. Nick Graham
    33. Andrejs Everitt
    34. Andrew Phillips
    35. Ed Curnow
    37. Daniel Gorringe
    38. Ciaran Byrne
    39. Dale Thomas
    40. Michael Jamison
    41. Levi Casboult
    42. Zach Tuohy
    43. Simon White
    45. Andrew Gallucci
    46. Matthew Wright ...


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