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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    The 2016 AFL NAB Challenge series kicks off this Thursday night with reigning premiers Hawthorn playing wooden spooners Carlton in Launceston. 

    Please see below for the local and international broadcast schedule.  Note that all programming is subject to change and may occur without notice at the whim of the broadcast networks. Please check local guides for confirmation.

     

    GAME DATE TIMESLOT MATCH VENUE STATE LOCAL TIME EDT/EST CDT/CST WST GMT NETWORK SD/HD
    1 Thursday February 18 Night Hawthorn vs. Carlton Aurora Stadium TAS 19:10 19:10/18:10 18:40/17:40 16:10 08:10 FOX HD
    2 Friday February 19 Night Fremantle vs. Richmond Rushton Park WA 16:10 19:10/18:10 18:40/17:40 16:10 08:10 FOX HD
    3 Saturday February 20 Day St Kilda vs. North Melbourne Norms Minns Oval VIC 14:05 14:05/13:05 13:35/12:35 11:05 03:05 FOX HD
    4 Saturday February 20 Twilight Sydney Swans vs. Port Adelaide Blacktown Sportspark NSW 16:40 16:40/15:40 16:10/15:10 13:40 05:40 FOX HD
    5 Sunday February 21 Day Adelaide Crows vs. West Coast Eagles Unley Oval SA 13:35 14:05/13:05 13:35/12:35 11:05 03:05 FOX HD
    6 Sunday February 21 Twilight Brisbane Lions vs. Gold Coast SUNS Moreton Bay Complex QLD 15:40 16:40/15:40 16:10/15:10 13:40 05:40 FOX HD

     

    TERRITORY/NETWORK GAME 1 GAME 2 GAME 3 GAME 4 GAME 5 GAME 6
    TELEVISION            
    AUSTRALIA PLUS            
    Asia - 19/2 @ 16:00 HKT (Live) - 20/2 @ 13:30 HKT (Live) - 21/2 @ 13:30 HKT (Live)
    Pacific - 19/2 @ 20:00 Fiji (Live) - 20/2 @ 17:30 Fiji (Live) - 21/2 @ 17:30 Fiji (Live)
    India - 19/2 @ 13:30 IND (Live) - 20/2 @ 11:00 IND (Live) - 21/2 @ 11:00 IND (Live)
    ESPN - BT SPORT            
    UK & Ireland 18/2 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 19/2 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 20/2 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 20/2 @ 05:30 GMT (Live) 21/2 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 21/2 @ 05:30 GMT (Live)
    ESPN            
    Caribbean - - - - - -
    FOX SPORTS 2            
    USA - - - - - -
    FOX SOCCER PLUS            
    USA 18/2 @ 03:00 ET (Live) 19/2 @ 03:00 ET (Live) 19/2 @ 22:00 ET (Live) 20/2 @ 00:30 ET (Live) 20/2 @ 22:00 ET (Live) 21/2 @ 00:30 ET (Live)
    ORBIT SHOWTIME NETWORK            
    Middle East 18/2 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 19/2 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 20/2 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 20/2 @ 05:30 GMT (Live) 21/2 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 21/2 @ 05:30 GMT (Live)
    OTLSM - Boats & Cruises            
    Worldwide (excl. Aust) 18/2 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 19/2 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 20/2 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 20/2 @ 05:30 GMT (Live) 21/2 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 21/2 @ 05:30 GMT (Live)
    RDS            
    Quebec - - - - - -
    RDS 2            
    Quebec - - - - - -
    SKY SPORTS            
    New Zealand - - - - - -
    SUPER SPORT            
    Africa - - - - - -
    TSN 2            
    Canada - - - - - -
    TVNZ            
    New Zealand 18/2 @ 21:00 NZDT (Live) 19/2 @ 21:00 NZDT (Live) - 20/2 @ 18:30 NZDT (Live) 21/2 @ 16:00 NZDT (Live) -
    CLARO SPORTS            
    Latin America - - - - - -
    WATCHAFL.AFL.COM.AU            
    Worldwide (excl. Aust) 18/2 @ 08:10 GMT (Live) 19/2 @ 08:10 GMT (Live) 20/2 @ 03:05 GMT (Live) 20/2 @ 05:40 GMT (Live) 21/2 @ 03:05 GMT (Live) 21/2 @ 05:40 GMT (Live)

      ...


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    If Ian Mitchell has anything to do with it, Australian Rules football will become the premier football code across England. The Wolverhampton Wolverines president, and captain of the England Dragonslayers national team has lived a double life, combining his senior development roles with a wonderful junior program that might yet become the blueprint for future schools development across Europe.

    In a recent interview, Ian detailed the his journey in school footy – past, present and future – and it makes for a fascinating story of determination and vision.

    “Sometimes, when going about daily life it can be too easy to carry on from day-to-day without ever stopping to reflect on what is happening. Writing this has given me that opportunity and it makes me realise I should do it far more often than I currently do.”


    “Firstly, I am lucky that the school I work at, the head teacher and the department of which I am a part, value the use of sport to enrich students' lives. (Check us out through @BrownhillsPE on Twitter!) I am even luckier that they allow me the opportunity to enrich student’s lives using a minority sport. Once the students have got their heads around the game then I can honestly count on one hand the amount of students who have genuinely not enjoyed an experience of Aussie Rules. That is not to say all who have tried it continue to play; that remains an ongoing goal of mine - to raise the percentage of those who join local clubs.”

    “Let me get one thing clear from the off; if it was down to me then soccer wouldn't be taught in curriculum time. All those who wish to play football can do so at lunch, after school practice and matches or for the thousands of local teams at evenings and weekends. In my opinion, schools should take students out of their comfort zone by getting them involved in 'new' sports, teaching them to transfer skills they have learnt in rugby and football and apply them in an unfamiliar setting. That is what I try to do at my secondary school.”

    “I have tried numerous ways of introducing the game. Simply using the 'we're going to try something different for a few weeks' approach has worked often enough. As has 'there's a game I think you'd love, combining kicking the ball and the physicality of rugby.' I have not long finished teaching a unit of work called 'football from around the world' which encompasses Gaelic football, American football and the game I came to love around ten years ago now, Australian Rules football.”

    “Ten years ago I spent the now-seemingly obligatory year in Australia for many young British graduates. It was there, sat in the sun watching Adelaide Crows at AAMI stadium (through tickets purchased via a friend) that I was engrossed in this sporting spectacle of athleticism, agility and skill that I fell in love with footy. Despite the Crows going down with a last-gasp goal to lose by two points to West Coast, I was an avid fan from that point on. I barely missed a game on TV all season as I moved around the country. It probably helped that the Crows had an excellent side at that time (think Riccuito et al).”

    “To cut a long (and frankly boring story) short, I returned home and promptly fell out of love with my first love - soccer. A quick Google search led to me joining an Aussie Rules club in Birmingham; approximately a two-hour round trip from my Wolverhampton home. A year on and I had started a team up in Wolverhanpton, the Wolverines (http://www.wolverhamptonwolverinesarfc.com), who are still going strong seven years later.”

    “Many of these players are ex-students of mine and some have become exceptional young players, going on to represent England, Great Britain, the European Legion v the AIS and even the World XVIII in the National State Champs held in Blacktown, New South Wales a few years ago. To me that is what teaching is about; providing opportunities for young people and then when they take them then the pride is indescribable. I have been so lucky in that playing footy has allowed me to do things I never thought possible such as captaining my country. I want other young people to have that opportunity.”

    “The programmes through which I have taught footy at Brownhills School and its surrounding primaries have been varied but equally rewarding. I count myself extremely fortunate in that my role at school has seen me working not only with secondary school students day-in day-out but also with primary school students on a weekly basis.”

    “For a while I ran an after school primary school/secondary school club where one young lad religiously wore his Collingwood jumper every week - yes, they get everywhere - even Walsall! We also hosted a primary footy festival that was entirely coached and umpired by secondary school students, many of whom by this time were playing for the Wolverines. Two years ago I wrote a specification for Australian Rules football that was accepted by an exam board so that our students were able to be formally assessed in the sport, ultimately counting towards their final GCSE PE qualification. For two years I spent six weeks at a time in local primary schools, teaching skills-based sessions to students from age 6 upwards.”

    “I am currently delivering a lunchtime session to enthusiastic and keen younger students (many of whom experienced footy at primary school) having recently finished the previously mentioned 'football from around the world' unit with older students. I also have a different primary school visit my school every Friday and they get an Aussie Rules taster session that will culminate in another primary school footy festival this summer.”

    “The future of footy in schools is up in the air currently with the GCSE PE curriculum being narrowed down meaning the choice of sports has diminished. I am going to propose that in my school we teach footy in place of soccer, certainly to the younger year groups.”

    “As long as I get to keep seeing primary school students then I will keep introducing them to Aussie Rules. I can't think of a better way to learn all the basic fundamental motor skills as well as a little bit of cross-curricular knowledge with little games based around Australia, its flag, geography and history.”

    “My club are currently in the process of setting up some taster sessions with local schools to try and widen our player-base. This coupled with the AFL Europe equipment grant means that I hope more schools in the Midlands will soon be playing footy more regularly.”

    “My footy future in the immediate term is exposing as many students as possible to the game but this has its limits and they are predominantly my school and its feeder schools. With my role as Junior Development Coordinator for AFL England I am hoping to establish some regional tournaments amongst active schools that may feed into an U16 national team taking on their Scottish counterparts later this year. I'd also like to develop a basic coaching course that teachers and sports coaches can take to give them the knowledge to introduce footy in their settings. With AFL Europe currently running a ball/equipment grant programme then this feels like the perfect time.”

    “My ultimate dream is to start a company/business that goes around schools introducing Aussie Rules to primary and secondary schools; both students and staff alike. I would love this to be backed by the AFL but I'm unsure as to whether Europe is a priority development area for them currently. My next step in that case would be to weigh up my options in terms of funding, starting up a business and gaining a sufficient client base - I still have a mortgage to pay after all!”

    “It's important to say that there are other teachers replicating these kinds of models up and down the UK, don't for one minute think that this is a one-man band. Some of the work I do has been inspired from what I have heard from teachers at the Huddersfield Rams or up in Scotland and the Kingdom Kangaroos. There is fantastic work being done in London at primary schools and newly-established Auskick/junior clubs such as the Clapham Cubs. This really forms the basis of my last goal; to link up all the good work happening around the country so that we have a joined up, cohesive approach to footy in the UK that can produce the next generation of footy players.”

    “Whatever the future holds, I will still gain as much pride in lining up next to two ex-students for GB in Dublin as I do watching a primary school student master the hand pass for the first time or take their first mark. That's not to mention everything in-between - students or ex-students debuting for my club, older students coaching, leading and officiating younger students or simply a student telling me in the corridors that they caught a bit of the footy on TV over the weekend and were gripped.”

    To find out more about Ian’s work, you may contact him via the Wolverhampton Wolverines website at: https://www.facebook.com/Wolverhampto...045241891/



    Left: Ian Mitchell has already experienced personal and team success, but perhaps the greatest reward is yet to c ...

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    The AFL General Meeting on March 17 will receive two nominations with strong AFL Club experience to replace retiring Commissioners.

    The AFL Commission meeting on Monday accepted the recommendations of the Nominations Sub-Committee to nominate Andrew Newbold and Gabrielle Trainor to the AFL Commission to replace Chris Langford and Sam Mostyn (pictured left at the IC11 opening event).

    The Nominations Committee was chaired by AFL Commission Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick and included AFL Commissioner Richard Goyder, along with the President of the Richmond Football Club, Peggy O’Neal and the Chairman of the Port Adelaide Football Club, David Koch.
    Andrew Newbold has recently stepped down from serving as President of the Hawthorn Football Club, and has had a very successful commercial career as a lawyer, manager and entrepreneur. Andrew has a deep understanding of the AFL and its role in the Australian social and corporate arenas, and extensive experience in the corporate sector. Andrew is currently a Director of Bryson Funds Management PTY LTD, RealAs, and Sports Education Development Australia.

    He was a Director of Hawthorn FC for 13 years and was appointed President in 2012. During his term as President, the club won three Premierships and played in four successive Toyota AFL Grand Finals, had four years of collective club profit and signed off on plans for a new home and development at Dingley.

    Gabrielle Trainor is a former lawyer, journalist, public sector executive and consultant in public policy, government relations and issues management. She has more than 20 years’ experience as a non-executive director in entities such as in urban development, major projects, transport and infrastructure.

    She is a director of two ANZ Banking Group subsidiary boards, of Infrastructure Australia, the Barangaroo Delivery Authority and Clarius Group. She chairs Barnardo’s Australia and the National Film and Sound Archive and has a number of other appointments including on the board of trustees of Western Sydney University and Business Events Sydney. She sits on the board of agenda-setting indigenous organisation Cape York Partnership and chairs the Aurora Education Foundation for indigenous students.

    Gabrielle was appointed as an inaugural Director of the Greater Western Sydney Giants FC in 2011 and chaired the Giants’ Integrity Committee. She has lifelong experience in football, ranging from volunteering for the Willoughby Wildcats in the Sydney AFL juniors competition to sitting on the AFL Commission NSW/ACT, where she championed the movement to better integrate the Sydney Women’s AFL with the Commission.

    Her grandfather, Frank, and father, Tony, were Presidents of North Melbourne for a total of 22 years.

    Other AFL Commissioners with AFL club board experience include Mr Goyder (Fremantle), Jason Ball (Sydney) and Mike Fitzpatrick (Carlton).

    Mr Newbold is the first former AFL Club President or Chairman to join the AFL Commission since Bob Hammond (Adelaide FC) in 2001.

    AFL Chairman, Mike Fitzpatrick said the two candidates were outstanding, bringing recent club board experience, and a depth of corporate, Government and not-for-profit leadership over many years.

    “I only recently became aware Andrew might be available to join the AFL Commission as part of regular discussions on key issues within the game that our Commission has with all club leaders. In the last few weeks, I was able to convince him to put his name forward.

    “Gabrielle is such a capable person, and she has great passion for the game. With her experience as an AFL Commissioner (NSW/ACT) for ten years, and as a director at an expansion club, Greater Western Sydney, she has done the hard yards as a volunteer.

    “We are delighted to have two extremely strong candidates, both with current club board experience. Andrew and Gabrielle will bring great insight and new energy to the Commission, and we look forward to their contributions,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

    Mr Fitzpatrick also thanked the two retiring Commissioners for their long and very exemplary service to the AFL.

    Sam Mostyn was the AFL’s first woman Director, who joined the AFL Commission in 2005.

    Sam has been a strong advocate for the AFL’s Respect and Responsibility policies and indigenous programs. She has been a driving force in the development of a national women’s league and participation for women and girls playing at all levels of the game, as well as bringing high-level legal, business and corporate knowledge to the role.

    “Sam has been a trail blazer in her role. Her ten years of commitment to the AFL Commission has made the AFL a better, stronger and more community-minded organisation, and she will leave an indelible stamp on the game,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

    Chris Langford, decorated premiership player and captain of the Hawthorn Football Club, twice All-Australian, AFL Life Member and member of the Australian Football Hall of Fame, and successful businessman, will retire after serving more than 16 years with the AFL Commission.

    “Chris has been a great servant of the game, and he bought a player’s sensibility as well as great intelligence to the AFL Commission. In addition, his real estate knowledge has been of great value as we worked through stadium and training and administration deals. He will be greatly missed and our game is much better for his long service at the top of the code,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

    The Commission will farewell the two retiring Commissioners at the March AGM ...

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    AFL Media Release

    The AFL today announced former Sydney Swans star Tadhg Kennelly will assume the role of head coach of the Allies, which will compete in Division 1 of the 2016 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.

    The Allies, comprising players from NSW/ACT, Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory, will join Vic Metro, Vic Country, Western Australia and South Australia in Division 1 of the 2016 Championships.

    The five teams will play four matches each during June in 2016

     

    A veteran of 197 AFL games, Kennelly was an integral part of the Sydney Swans’ premiership team in 2005, becoming the first Irish-born player in the modern era to be part of an AFL Grand Final winning side.

    The highly talented defender began his coaching career while still playing with Swans, taking up a role with the Club’s Academy.

    Since his retirement, Kennelly has assumed a range of coaching roles, including head coach of the NSW/ACT Rams and NSW/ACT Under-16 and Under-18 Academies, and acting as an assistant to Alistair Clarkson with the Virgin Australia International Rules side.

    The inclusion of the Allies in Division One of the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships will provide an opportunity for Australia’s best talent to go head-to-head and press their claims for selection in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft.

    AFL Talent Manager Kevin Sheehan said the AFL was thrilled to appoint Kennelly, who would oversee the best players from Queensland, NSW/ACT, Tasmania and Northern Territory.

    It’s a wonderful step forward for our the national talent programs to see the very best players selected from Division 2 come together under the banner of the Allies and test themselves against elite Under-18 players in Victoria (Metro and Country), Western Australia and South Australia.

    “Tadhg has proven himself in the role of NSW/ACT Under-16 and Under-18 coach as a great developer of young talent and he will be ably supported by Adrian Fletcher (Queensland Under-18), Adam Sanders (Tasmanian Under-18) and Andrew Hodges (Northern Territory Under-18).

    “NAB AFL Academy coach Brenton Sanderson and AFL Talent Football Manager Mick Ablett will head up the selection of the Allies, along with state and AFL club personnel.”

    The Allies Squad will be selected following the completion of Division 2 of the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships in May.

    The NAB AFL Under-18 Championships is part of the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, which supports grassroots players and football communities, and helps young Australians fulfil their dream of playing in the AFL. 
      ...


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    As reported by Peter Ryan at the www.afl.com.au website, the number of teams for next year’s inaugural national women’s competition is likely to now be eight, with Victorian clubs fighting hard for just four licences and the other four going to clubs in Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. Clubs have already been lobbying hard and this will continue now as the reality of the 2017 season gets closer.

     

    EIGHT women's teams aligned with AFL clubs could form the new women's national competition planned for 2017.

     

     

    The AFL is considering running a national competition in February and March next year that includes four teams from Victoria and one each from Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.

     

    Such is the growth in interest in the game and apparent depth of talent the AFL is considering revising the initial concept of including six teams in the inaugural competition.

     

    The initiative will follow on from 10 exhibition games in 2016 that will begin and end with games between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs with teams representing Fremantle, West Coast, GWS Giants, the Sydney Swans, Northern Territory, Tasmania and South Australian All Stars teams participating.

     

    Round one of this year's exhibition games will include players training in state academies while round two consists of state representative matches featuring the best players from around the country.

     

    Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs are considered favourites to be given two of the four Victorian spots for the 2017 national competition, although the other eight Victorian clubs have staked a claim while competition remains fierce for spots potentially available in other states.

     

    The competition could run for seven rounds and finals, with players drawn from around the country.

     

    Whether the competition is aligned with the NAB Challenge played by the men and how a draft might operate remains to be determined but enthusiasm for the concept has the AFL buoyed.

     

    Player payments would also need to be determined as the finer detail of the concept is realised.

     

    AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said on Friday no one would have imagined 12 months ago that AFL clubs would be competing fiercely to have a presence in a new women's competition.

     

    "There's a revolution going on," McLachlan said. 

     

    While much of the detail was still to be determined and the AFL Commission needs to consider the concept, a decision on the competition's make-up is expected by May.

     

    McLachlan said the AFL was open to the national women's game looking slightly different to the men's game, with 16-a-side and shorter games a possibility.

     

    Commercial interest in the proposed competition is understood to be strong with last year's game in August between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs alerting broadcasters and sponsors to the audience.

     

    The AFL is keen for its national women's competition to be held before respective state league competitions begin so players can be involved in both competitions.

     

    The number of women participating in AFL has increased significantly since 2010, although the base at that time was relatively small.

     

    2016 Women's Matches

     

    Round One

    March 6 Melbourne v Western Bulldogs, Craigieburn

    April 2 SANFL All Stars, Adelaide Oval

    April 9 Sydney Swans v GWS Giants, SCG

    April 9 West Coast v Fremantle, Domain Stadium, Perth

    April 10 Northern Territory v Tasmania, St Kilda

    April 16 Brisbane Lions v Gold Coast, Gabba

     

    Round Two

    May 22 Melbourne v Queensland, MCG

    June 5 Western Bulldogs v Western Australia, Etihad Stadium

    June 5 South Australia v NSW, Adelaide Oval

     

    Round Three – Hampson-Hardeman Cup

    September 3 Melbourne v Western Bulldogs (venue TBC)

     

     

    Original article can be found at: http://www.afl.com.au/news/2016-02-19/eight-womens-teams-set-for-national-comp ...


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    Since the resumption of the CNFA competition in France after the winter break, a couple of the strongest clubs have come out and made some powerful statements. With four rounds to go, along with the remaining Round Five clash between the ALFA Lions and the Strasbourg Kangourous, the time is here for some serious muscle flexing.

    In the first re-scheduled match after the break, the Bordeaux Bombers took the points against the Strasbourg Kangourous, giving them a boost to claw their way from the bottom reaches of the ladder.

    In the other re-scheduled Round Three match, reigning premiers the Paris Cockerels travelled to Lyon and came away with a 110 point victory over the ALFA Lions, immediately catapulting them into second place on the ladder. The final score saw them down the Lions 131 to 21.


    This weekend’s matches saw the Toulouse Hawks clash with Paris Cockatoos at home and come away with a very handy 20 point win to position themselves well for finals action. Final scores saw the Hawks down the Cockatoos 99 to 79.

    The Perpignan Tigers continued their wonderful re-emergence as a legitimate finals chance, and possibly the most improved team in the country, with a strong win against the Bordeaux Bombers. Their 41 point win saw them hold onto fourth place on the ladder. The final scores saw the Tigers 118 defeat the Bombers 77.

    The ASP Perpignan Tigers have a tough run coming up with the Cockerels (away), Hawks (away) and Coyotes (home) before meeting the Lions at home in the final round. To see finals they would need to beat the Lions as largely expected, but also claim a scalp of the of the other three teams at least. It will be a very big test, but certainly worth watching.

    The ladder stands:

    1. Coyotes (12)
    2. Cockerels (10)
    3. Cockatoos (10)
    4. Tigers (9)
    5. Hawks (8)
    6. Bombers (7)
    7. Kangourous (6)
    8. Lions (2)

    The remaining match in Round Five will see two teams absolutely desperate for a win. The Lions need the win to have a chance of escaping the wooden spoon, but the Kangourous can either drop into wooden spoon territory with a loss or still sit in finals contention with a win. It makes for a fascinating match in what is shaping as a close CNFA seaso ...

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  • 02/20/16--15:45: Racism. It Stops With Me
  •  

    The following story from the Essendon Football Club website details the club’s support for the “Racism. It Stops With Me” campaign. Heading the push on behalf of the club is Cairns born Bomber, Courtney Dempsey, who played junior football here in the northern city for Manunda Hawks.

     

    As a coach of another Cairns-based club which has 92% indigenous players, I also strongly support this initiative. Having coached from Under 14 to Under 18 age groups at the Pyramid Power club, and though schools since 2001, I have personally seen, and been directly involved in, the  ugly, damaging side of racism. Not all people are racist. The overwhelming majority of supporters at local level are people with the knowledge of, and acceptance of difference. But the damage done by a bigoted minority can be devastating, and I have sadly dealt with this personally and do not want to again.

     

     

    Thank you to the Essendon Football Club for this article.

     

    Essendon Football Club is proud to have joined forces with more than 315 of Australia’s leading businesses, sporting bodies and NGO’s to support the ‘Racism. It Stops With Me’ campaign.

     

    Essendon Football Club CEO, Xavier Campbell, said the Club has a long-standing commitment to stamp out racism.

     

    “Any form of racism is unacceptable. Cultural diversity is central to our national identity, however the reality is that racism still exists and too many people experience prejudice, discrimination and racism on a regular basis.

     

    “Tackling racism is by no means a simple task, and as we have seen recently in the AFL community we still have a long way to go, but hopefully in taking a public stance against it, we can also encourage others to do so.”

     

    Essendon Indigenous star Courtenay Dempsey, who was racially vilified on social media last year, is supporting the campaign.

     

    "Racism shouldn't be happening in this day and age. People need to understand the impact it can have on the individuals involved,” Dempsey said.

     

    "I was deeply disappointed by the events of last year and it was really upsetting for my family and friends. We are all human beings and we have feelings.

     

    “”We need to continually educate people in our society about racism and promote understanding and respect. I’m glad I can be part of this campaign and that the Club has decided to join the initiative.”

     

    The national ‘Racism. It Stops With Me’ campaign, led by the Australian Human Rights Commission as a key initiative of the National Anti-Racism Strategy launched in 2012, aims to ensure more Australians recognise that racism is unacceptable in our community.

     

    Race Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Tim Soutphommasane, said he welcomed the Club’s support for the national initiative.

     

    "It is great to see Essendon playing a leading role in the campaign against racism," Dr Soutphommasane said.

     

    "Essendon players and supporters are sending a powerful message that it's not OK to be racist."

     

    Courtenay Dempsey said he was looking forward to the opportunity to contributing to the fight against racial discrimination and the Club’s long-standing commitment to embracing diversity.

     

    “Racism ultimately works against our goal of building a fair and inclusive community. It is our priority to be a leader in promoting understanding and respect, so I’m glad I can be part of this step towards the Club achieving this.”

     

    In my own role as an Australia Post Multicultural Community Ambassador here in Cairns I am trying to spread the message that Australian Rules football is a game for all to embrace. Racism cuts across the impact of this message and everything that can be done to eradicate racism should be. Our game is growing across many multicultural markets – the weekend’s NAB Challenge matches featured players from indigenous, African, European and American markets. For that to continue, racism must be addressed and removed to a point where it can no longer damage.

     

    Original article can be viewed at: www.essendonfc.com.au/news/2016-02-19/racism-it-stops-with-me

     

    ...


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    With six games already played in this season’s NAB Challenge, plenty of debutants, rookies and peripheral list players from AFL clubs have had their first hit outs of the new season. Their hope would be to string together enough game time to impress selectors between now and Round 1.

    Many of those players are the international contingent – players that have either come to the game from overseas, or were born overseas and adopted our game – the international and multicultural players by AFL definitions.

    A quick look through the performances to date sees some heartening performances.

    (Image - Rueben William (Brisbane Lions) and Mabior Chol (Richmond Tigers) pre-draft in Queensland colours - Courtesy AFLQ)

    The opening match of the competition saw Hawthorn select young New Zealander, Kurt Heatherley. One of the Hawks vying for a regular defensive position since the retirement of Brian Lake, Kurt managed five possessions and a couple of decent tackles in his match time. His teammate, Shem Tatupu, also from New Zealand, was in the original squad of 29, but missed the final cut. He is sure to get a chance throughout the remainder of the pre-season series.

    Carlton played two of their Irish talents in the experienced Zach Tuohy and Ciaran Byrne. Both were amongst the action with Tuohy solid again in the club’s revamped defence.

    Saturday’s clash between Fremantle and Richmond might have been a ten goal stroll for the Dockers, but the Tigers came up with one huge winner. Sudanese rookie, Mabior Chol, impressed in his first senior game. His seemingly modest five possessions included three marks, one of which was a strong pack mark, and his goal showed skills that defied his height and showed his true athleticism. Tiger fans are already salivating at the thought of how good Chol might be. In another quirk on the Tiger’s list, young Oleg Markov, born in Belarus with an Olympian father, played his first game for the Tiges.

    One of the highlights of the North Melbourne/St Kilda match was watching Jason Holmes (USA-St Kilda) contest the ruck duals with Majak Daw (Sudan – North Melbourne). Both were getting to ridiculous heights off the ground at ruck duals. Daw had more opportunities around the ground with nine possessions and 23 hitouts, but Holmes did not look out of place with a game high 26 hitouts.

    Sydney Swan, Aliir Aliir (Sudan) missed the final cut for the game against Port Adelaide after being named in the original squad of 29. In a sign of things to come, however, Sydney are likely to give him a chance in their remaining games.

    West Coast decided to give Irish rookie, Paddy Brophy, a chance in their clash against the Adelaide Crows. In a besieged defence, Brophy found things tough against a rampant Adelaide. But his four possessions suggested that he was making progress learning to tempo of the game.

    The Brisbane Lions would be well pleased with the debut of young Rueben William (Sudan). After playing just a half of the game, William managed six possessions and a couple of telling tackles as he proved he might yet be a valuable pickup for the Lions.

    Coming NAB Challenge matches over the next couple of weeks might yet see debuts or opportunities for other international/Multicultural players such as Mason Cox (USA – Collingwood), Padraigh Lucey (Ireland – Geelong), Gach Nyuon (Sudan – Essendon) and more already mentioned.

    But the first few days of the competition has certainly been a great showcase of future international/multicultural talent, pointing the way for the future of AFL football.
    ...

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    The drafts were completed and the excitement mounted - the first 'AFLNZ premiership' season is now 2 rounds in. The first week kicked off after the final additions to squads were made including NZ Hawks players Matt Van Wijk (Waikato) and Sean Butler (Coromandel) both joining the Central Giants.

    Round 1 - QBE Stadium (Albany/Auckland)

    Game 1 Gls Bhd Ttl
    Southern Saints 9 8 62
    Central Giants 8 2 50
    Game 2 Gls Bhd Ttl
    Western Crows 12 11 83
    Northern Suns 6 6 42

    The round 1 team of the week included somewhat familiar names for followers of NZ footy such as Liam Ackland, James Bowden and David Rattenbury. As team captain, Rattenbury (Giants) was also joined by captains James Kusel (Suns) and Michael Boyce (Saints). Each week a 'Team of the Week' is selected as well as a rising star.Rnd 1 rising star:William Warbrick (Western Crows). William is a teenager who was introduced to Australian Football by his Rugby League coach just last August with an eye to the 10 week youth competition late last year. Since October he has been playing AFL having previously had a multi sport background in athletics, Rugby Union and League. In Round 1 he was regarded not just rising star but also player of the day for the Crows.

    Round 2 - QBE Stadium

    Game 1 Gls Bhd Ttl
    Western Crows 9 11 65
    Central Giants 7 11 53
    Game 2 Gls Bhd Ttl
    Southern Saints 13 6 84
    Northern Suns 7 12 54 ...

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    After 18 slogging rounds, the 2015/16 NTFL season will enter the finals series next weekend with all finalists decided. In the opening match of the finals series, Darwin Buffaloes will play against the Nightcliff Tigers in the Elimination Final at TIO Stadium, followed by the Qualifying Final between last year’s two grand finalists, St Mary’s Saints and Wanderers Eagles. Ladder positions did not change after the final round, though there were still heaps of thrills.

    The Friday night match between Wanderers and Nightcliff would have a bearing on the shape off the top five should Tigers lose. As it turned out, the Tigers were never going to give their place away and recorded a terrific 10 point win over Wanderers in an upset. They led at every change and the margin floated around the two to three goal mark at each break. The Tigers’ finals charge has been exciting with plenty of new talent leading the way. They will not be a pushover next weekend. For Wanderers, the loss was a reminder that any slip in concentration can be costly, especially with the finals here. They are still seeking back to back glory, and have had an outstanding second half of the season, but now the stakes are higher.

    Final Score: Nightcliff Tigers 14 13 97 d Wanderers Eagles 12 15 87


    The Waratah Warriors’ season from hell finally finished with a 155 point trouncing to the hands of the St Mary’s Saints. Tah’s coach, Tim Weatherald, held the reins for the last time as St Mary’s unleashed a 10 goal first quarter blitz, and things never really got better. Waratah can now go through the processes needed to resurrect themselves for next season. Saints, however, whilst happy with the pre-finals tune up, now have to play a much sterner opponent next weekend in the Qualifying Final. Wanderers are waiting.

    Final Score: St Mary’s Saints 26 19 175 d Waratah Warriors 3 2 20

    Palmerston’s finals chances were dashed on the Friday night when Nightcliff upset Wanderers to hold on to fifth place. That didn’t stop the Magpies from giving their all as if finals were still an option. The Tiwi Bombers played with spirit also and held a handy two goal lead going into three-quarter time. But a withering nine goal final quarter from Palmerston showed the resolve in the club – finish on the best possible note. Both teams can now rebuild for next season.

    Final Score: Palmerston Magpies 23 8 146 d Tiwi Bombers 18 14 122

    The match of the round was arguably the clash between the Southern Districts Crocs and the Darwin Buffaloes. In a match which went right down to the wire – a fitting way to end a season with a myriad of close results – the Crocs held of a determined Buffaloes team by just three points. The lead was narrow at every change as the Buffaloes chased their big scalp heading into the finals. But Crocs spoiled the party to finish clear minor premiers and earn the rest next weekend.

    Final Scores: Southern Districts Crocs 7 13 55 d Darwin Buffaloes 8 4 52

    Details of finals matches next Saturday 27th February are:

    TIO Stadium – 4.30pm – Elimination Final – Darwin Buffaloes (4th) v Nightcliff Tigers (5th)

    TIO Stadium - 7.00pm – Qualifying Final – St Mary’s Saints (2nd) v Wanderers Eagles (3r ...

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    Week 2 of the 2016 AFL NAB Challenge series kicks off this Thursday night with the GWS GIANTS hosting the Western Bulldogs at Manuka Oval in Canberra. 

    Please see below for the local and international broadcast schedule.  Note that all programming is subject to change and may occur without notice at the whim of the broadcast networks. Please check local guides for confirmation.

    GAME DATE TIMESLOT MATCH VENUE STATE LOCAL TIME LOCALNETWORK SD/HD
    1 Thursday February 25 Night GWS GIANTS vs. Western Bulldogs StarTrack Oval ACT 19:10 FOX HD
    2 Friday February 26 Night Geelong Cats vs. Collingwood Simonds Stadium VIC 19:10 FOX HD
    3 Saturday February 27 Day Port Adelaide vs. Melbourne Playford Alive Oval SA 13:35 FOX HD
    4 Saturday February 27 Twilight Richmond vs. Hawthorn Holm Park Reserve VIC 16:40 FOX HD
    5 Sunday February 28 Day Carlton vs. Essendon Ikon Park VIC 14:05 FOX HD
    6 Sunday February 28 Twilight Fremantle vs. Adelaide Crows Sounness Park WA 13:40 FOX HD

     

     

    ...
    TV TERRITORY/NETWORK GAME 1 GAME 2 GAME 3 GAME 4 GAME 5 GAME 6
    AUSTRALIA PLUS            
    Asia - 26/2 @ 16:00 HKT (Live) - 27/2 @ 13:30 HKT (Live) 28/2 @ 11:00 HKT (Live) -
    Pacific - 26/2 @ 20:00 Fiji (Live) - 27/2 @ 17:30 Fiji (Live) 28/2 @ 15:00 Fiji (Live) -
    India - 26/2 @ 13:30 IND (Live) - 27/2 @ 11:00 IND (Live) 28/2 @ 08:30 IND (Live) -
    ESPN - BT SPORT            
    UK & Ireland 25/2 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 26/2 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 27/2 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 27/2 @ 05:30 GMT (Live) 28/2 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 28/2 @ 05:30 GMT (Live)
    FOX SOCCER PLUS            
    USA 25/2 @ 03:00 ET (Live) 26/2 @ 03:00 ET (Live) 26/2 @ 22:00 ET (Live) 27/2 @ 00:30 ET (Live) 27/2 @ 22:00 ET (Live) 28/2 @ 00:30 ET (Live)
    ORBIT SHOWTIME NETWORK            
    Middle East 25/2 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 26/2 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 27/2 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 27/2 @ 05:30 GMT (Live) 28/2 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 28/2 @ 05:30 GMT (Live)
    OTLSM - Boats & Cruises            
    Worldwide (excl. Aust) 25/2 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 26/2 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 27/2 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 27/2 @ 05:30 GMT (Live) 28/2 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 28/2 @ 05:30 GMT (Live)
    TVNZ            
    New Zealand 25/2 @ 21:00 NZDT (Live) 26/2 @ 21:00 NZDT (Live) - 27/2 @ 18:30 NZDT (Live) 28/2 @ 16:00 NZDT (Live) -
    ONLINE WATCHAFL.AFL.COM.AU            
    Worldwide (excl. Aust) 25/2 @ 08:10 GMT (Live) 26/2 @ 08:10 GMT (Live) 27/2 @ 03:05 GMT (Live) 27/2 @ 05:40 GMT (Live) 28/2 @ 03:05 GMT (Live) 28/2 @ 05:40 GMT (Live)

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  • 02/26/16--04:25: Mason Makes His Mark

  • A huge performance by Collingwood’s American forward, Mason Cox, has Magpie fans salivating and commentators speculating that he should be a certainty to line up in the team’s Round One match. His NAB Challenge performance against Geelong tonight saw his with seven possessions, four marks, including two excellent contested marks, and topped off with two goals.

    What the statistics don’t tell you is how much of an absolute menace Cox was in the Collingwood forward Line. His ability to bust open packs with big leaps led directly to two more goals, and his hulking 211cm and 110kg frame put shivers through the cats’ defence. Even more impressive was that Cox spent much of the game matched up against premiership Cat, Harry Taylor.


    Cox debuted at the NAB Challenge in 2015 as a genuine rookie – barely having learned the skills of the game. But his journey since recruitment has been astounding, and tonight’s effort was just reward for his dedication and determination.

    Cox is the first of the international contingent to be on display in this weekend’s rounds of the NAB Challenge. Carlton will potentially have three internationals in their clash against Essendon on Sunday with Irish duo, Ciaran Byrne and Zach Tuohy selected, as well as another American import, Matt Korchek. Whilst the final run on team is yet to be finalised, all are in the initial squad. It would be an amazing journey for Korchek also should he make the cut. It is his second season linked to the Blues, after having come from a college basketball background in Arizona with the Wildcats. At 208cm, Korchek is also a huge player who may be used in a similar way to Cox at Collingwood.

    Richmond has named star Sudanese rookie, Mabior Chol, for his second game when he plays against Hawthorn. After an exciting debut last weekend for the Tigers, Chol may again have a chance to shine. Oleg Markov, born in Belorus, is also on thee Tigers’ list for the match. Hawthorn has also named New Zealand prospect, Shem Kalvin-Tatupu. Cut from last weekend’s final list, Tatupu is a highly likely starter this time. His New Zealand team mate, Kurt Heatherley, will sit out this gam ...

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    Callum Twomey from the www.afl.com.au website reports that the AFL has reviewed many of its regulations surrounding the recruitment of players from across America. In light of the continued positive progress of players like Jason Holmes at St Kilda, Mason Cox at Collingwood and others such as Matt Korchek and Alex Aurrachio who are looking to advance further this year, the AFL may have seen even greater opportunities for clubs to sign American talent.

     

    MORE American athletes could enter the AFL system after the League lifted its upper age limit on international scholarship holders.

     

     

    Under past rules, clubs have only been able to sign international athletes to scholarships under the age of 22, which has been a restriction particularly for recruiters scouting the US for talent.

     

    Generally the AFL searches for athletes in America who have not been selected in the NBA or NFL drafts, and who are in their early 20s.

     

    The removal of an upper age limit means clubs will be free to sign the prospects who are later into their sporting lives but keen to move to Australia to pursue an AFL career.

     

    The change was among a handful of revised rules detailed to clubs on Thursday regarding international and three-year unregistered rookies, and international scholarship holders.

     

    Clubs will now be able to list an international or player who has not been registered with a football club for three years any time between November 1 and June 30.

     

    Previously they have only been able to list an international rookie between November 1 and the date of the NAB AFL Rookie Draft, which generally falls in early December.

     

    The athletes will also have a greater opportunity to build their skills, with the AFL allowing an international or three-year unregistered player to be relocated, play and train at a non-AFL club once an AFL club has committed to list the player.

     

    League representatives will head to Florida in April for its international draft combine to search for possible AFL players, with three Americans presently on AFL lists.

     

     

    The story can be found at: http://www.afl.com.au/news/2016-02-25/more-us-athletes-on-the-way-afl-relaxes-international-recruitment-rules ...


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    With the final home and away match now completed in the AFL Middle East competition for the 2015/16 season, attention will now turn to the Grand Final, to be players at Seven’s Stadium in Dubai on March on Friday 11th March.

    The final match saw the Abu Dhabi Falcons host the Dubai Dragons. The Falcons’ remote finals chances had been ended last round, so the game was about pride and building for next season. For the Dragons it was a chance to tune up ready for their premiership tilt in two weeks’ time.

    The Dragons had little trouble in downing a game Falcon’s outfit, eventually running out winners by 51 points. The final score saw the Dubai Dragons 18 8 116 defeat the Abu Dhabi Falcons 9 11 65.


    The result sees the Dragons through to the grand final, undefeated across their four matches this season. They will meet the BM Bulls in a replay of last year’s grand final. History favours the Dragons. In their meeting this season, the Dragons defeated the Bulls by eight goals. Of course, history also says that the Dragons defeated the Bulls for last year’s flag.

    But the BM Bulls are a different outfit to last year – their debut season. It was a remarkable effort to reach the big dance in their first season – even more remarkable that they will have reached consecutive grand finals in their first two seasons in the league. The Bulls will be determined to rewrite the history books and win their first flag to go with the pre-season cup that they won back in October.

    But it is hard to go past the Dubai Dragons claiming their fourth AFLME premiership, having won previously in 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2014/15 to be the most successful club in the competition.


    ...

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    Cairns, in Far North Queensland, has long been a source of AFL footballers that made the journey south to play the game at the highest level. But with today’s signing by the Essendon Football Club of Cairns product, Sam Michael, the connection has reached a new level.

    Rarely have two Cairns based players donned the same colours. The Gold Coast Suns have seen Lewis Moss, Rex Liddy and Jarrod Harbrow wear their colours in 2011 when Harbrow joined the club, but soon after both Liddy and Moss were delisted, so the Cairns link faltered.

    Other players from Cairns have graced AFL club lists in recent times with players such as Charlie Dixon (Port Adelaide) still playing, Peter Yagmoor (Collingwood) having reached the highest level before being delisted and there are plenty more waiting in the wings for their big chance.


    However, Essendon this week signed former Brisbane Lion, and ex-Cairns juniors player, Sam Michael. He became the club’s tenth “top-up” player for the 2016 season and has the chance to join another former Cairns-based junior in Courtenay Dempsey at the club. This gives Cairns a strong link to the Bombers with two of its former junior stars on the same AFL club list.

    To extend the link further, both Dempsey and Michael played junior football for the same junior club, Cairns Hawks. Neither were born in Cairns, with Dempsey born in Mt Isa and Michael born in Brisbane. But both had moved to Cairns at an age where they discovered the game and played through junior ranks until their talent saw them move to Brisbane clubs – Dempsey to the Kedron Bears and Michael to the Redland Bombers – from where they were drafted to Essendon and Brisbane respectively.

    Michael’s signing to the Bombers sees the start of a very tropical connection, but with much talent to be found in the Cairns junior competitions, Essendon might just spend a little more time in the Far North Queensland city looking to unearth yet another tropical gem from up north.

    Both players have been named in Essendon’s NAB Challenge squad for their first match of the season against Carlton today. For Michael the game presents another opportunity to succeed at an AFL club and he will be extremely hungry to do so.

    And the footy lovers in Cairns will watch on in silent appreciation of two Cairns products plying their trade on the big stag ...

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    The following is a snippet from the AFL Japan website.

    AFL Scholarship Player Shoki Mukotaka from Senshu Powers Club flew from Narita Airport on 25th February to Melbourne to practice and train with Box Hill North Football Club. He will 'live' and train at the club for three weeks until 18th March.

    The scholarship program also has the players homestay with members of the club so as to experience life in Australia.

    "In Australia stay is homestay in the house of team-mate, has become a program that also experience life in Australia."

    The AFL Japan Scholarship has run for a number of years now and several Samurai players previously participated in the Scholarship.

    Genki Tanaka being one such scholarship holder who spent a season in Melbourne playing at Box Hill North also studying English and acquiring AFL qualifications and accreditations in coaching and umpiring.

    Sohei Yoshida also spent five weeks at Box Hill North prior to the 2014 International Cup ...

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    The 2016 AFL Asia season got underway in Yangon City, Myanmar.

    After a hard fought game with scores tied at half time the visiting Jakarta Bintangs out lasted the hosts the Myanmar Fighting Cocks by a score of 63-53 yesterday in the inaugural Cocks Plate Contest, held on the “Hen House” pitch at Star City.

    Despite a raucous crowd chanting tai kyet – or “Fighting cocks!” – for most of the game, the home team faltered in the fourth quarter, giving way in their own end to allow three goals in the last 15 minutes.

    The Jakarta team started fast and scored in the opening minute after Myanmar’s All-Asia ruckman Conor Smith was outjumped by a much smaller, local Indonesian player. But the Cocks battled back with two goals from the ageless wonder Julian Clark, whose sticky hands enabled him to mark two kicks. At halftime, the sides were level, 5-3-33 to 5-3-33.





    Before the match, the Cocks held an AusKick training day for children from Yangon orphanage Grace Home. Roughly 30 kids showed up for a morning of “learning” Australian Rules Football. The ensuing mass of kicking and laughter was only paused for a free lunch provided by 50th Street Grill and a chance to watch the big men play during the afternoon.

    Grace Home director Amarylla Myatt sat with a collection of younger children during the game, and together their chants of tai kyet kept the Myanmar players in high spirits.

    “AusKick went fantastically well – the kids loved the experience of running around the fresh, green area and trying a new sport,” Henry Cox, Fighting Cocks President said after the game.

    Cox also noted the 3798 kilometres (2360 miles) the Jakarta team travelled to make the match.

    “I’d like to thank the Bintangs for making the fairly massive effort to get here,” he said. “We’re pretty starved for footy in this part of the world, so we really appreciate you getting here.”

    Full story from the Myanmar Times:

    The Cocks’ next game will be in Phnom Penh on July 16 against the Cambodia Eagles ...

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    Anyone believing that the Nightcliff Tigers’ great form leading up to the finals would come unstuck as they simply made up the numbers was shocked on Saturday when they downed the Darwin Buffaloes in the NTFL Elimination Final.

    The Tigers won four of their last five home and away games to finish with a wet sail. But many felt that the Darwin Buffaloes’ time had come after some years in a football wilderness and their progression deeper into the finals would come at the expense of Nightcliff.



    But in a tight game where the Buffaloes led at quarter time, Nightcliff managed to gain back the ascendency and trade blows with the Buffaloes to the final siren. With the Buffaloes getting to within a goal minutes before the final siren, the game was a wonderful final, but as with all elimination matches, Nightcliff proceed to next weekend’s semi-final whilst the Buffaloes can now look towards next season.

    Final Score: Nightcliff Tigers 13 10 88 d Darwin Buffaloes 12 8 80

    Prior to the finals matches starting, many scribes had a script that would see Buffaloes and Saints see victory, based largely on ladder position. But Wanderers certainly didn’t read the script and continued their own charge towards defending their premiership title, downing St Mary’s by 10 points in the Qualifying Final.

    Wanderers, like Nightcliff, had produced an impressive run towards the finals. Since the mid-season break, where they were in legitimate danger of missing the finals, Wanderers put together a final seven rounds of five wins a draw and one loss. That form was then taken onto TIO Stadium on Saturday night as they got away to a 16 point half time lead against Saints before holding sway in a tight second half.

    For Saints, which finished second on ten home and away ladder, the loss is a dangerous hiccup. They must now face a resurgent Tigers outfit in their fight to challenge further for another flag. Wanderers, on the other hand, will meet the Southern Districts Crocs in the second semi-final in a game which provides the double chance instead of sudden death.

    Final Score: Wanderers Eagles 10 6 66 d St Mary’s Saints 7 14 56

    Details have not yet been finalised, but next weekend’s finals are most likely to be played again at TIO Stadium in the 4.30pm and 7.00pm timeslots on Saturday night.

    First Semi-Final – St Mary’s Saints v Nightcliff Tigers

    Second Semi-Final – Southern Districts Crocs v Wanderers Eagl ...

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    Anyone believing that the Nightcliff Tigers’ great form leading up to the finals would come unstuck as they simply made up the numbers was shocked on Saturday when they downed the Darwin Buffaloes in the NTFL Elimination Final.

    The Tigers won four of their last five home and away games to finish with a wet sail. But many felt that the Darwin Buffaloes’ time had come after some years in a football wilderness and their progression deeper into the finals would come at the expense of Nightcliff.


    But in a tight game where the Buffaloes led at quarter time, Nightcliff managed to gain back the ascendency and trade blows with the Buffaloes to the final siren. With the Buffaloes getting to within a goal minutes before the final siren, the game was a wonderful final, but as with all elimination matches, Nightcliff proceed to next weekend’s semi-final whilst the Buffaloes can now look towards next season.

    Final Score: Nightcliff Tigers 13 10 88 d Darwin Buffaloes 12 8 80

    Prior to the finals matches starting, many scribes had a script that would see Buffaloes and Saints see victory, based largely on ladder position. But Wanderers certainly didn’t read the script and continued their own charge towards defending their premiership title, downing St Mary’s by 10 points in the Qualifying Final.

    Wanderers, like Nightcliff, had produced an impressive run towards the finals. Since the mid-season break, where they were in legitimate danger of missing the finals, Wanderers put together a final seven rounds of five wins a draw and one loss. That form was then taken onto TIO Stadium on Saturday night as they got away to a 16 point half time lead against Saints before holding sway in a tight second half.

    For Saints, which finished second on ten home and away ladder, the loss is a dangerous hiccup. They must now face a resurgent Tigers outfit in their fight to challenge further for another flag. Wanderers, on the other hand, will meet the Southern Districts Crocs in the second semi-final in a game which provides the double chance instead of sudden death.

    Final Score: Wanderers Eagles 10 6 66 d St Mary’s Saints 7 14 56

    Details have not yet been finalised, but next weekend’s finals are most likely to be played again at TIO Stadium in the 4.30pm and 7.00pm timeslots on Saturday night.

    First Semi-Final – St Mary’s Saints v Nightcliff Tigers
    Second Semi-Final – Southern Districts Crocs v Wanderers Eagl ...

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    The Lyon based ALFA Lions in the French CNFA competition have taken a step towards leaving the cellar and avoiding this year’s wooden spoon. In the process they have made the battle for the wooden spoon just as exciting as the battles for finals spots.

    Their weekend victory over the Strasbourg Kangourous might yet be a valuable result as the Lions still have winnable games between now and the end of the home and away draw.

    The final score saw the ALFA Lions 120 defeat the Strasbourg Kangourous 73.

    There are four rounds remaining, but with the nature of the draw the teams still locked in the battle for the wooden spoon have different amounts of games left.


    The Bordeaux Bombers are still in the mix, but largely safe. They have a tough draw from here meeting top sides, Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes and Toulouse Hawks, so their match against the ALFA Lions in Round Eight becomes vital for both sides.

    The Strasbourg Kangourous have the toughest draw with their two remaining games being against the two Paris teams, the Cockerels and Cockatoos. Not an enviable run home for the Strasbourg team.

    But the ALFA Lions have tough but possibly winnable games to come against the Paris Cockatoos at home before meeting both the Bordeaux Bombers and the Perpignan Tigers away. Just one win from those games might be enough to see the Lions avoid the spoon.

    The win this weekend for the Lions has certainly added more spice to the run home for all CNFA teams, with all remaining games having a story of their own. It might also mark a change of fortune for the Lyon club. ...

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