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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    Some of the international rookies or players of international origin on AFL team lists took to the field again over the weekend as the NAB Challenge matches continued. Once again there was a mixture of early excitement, breakout games and missed opportunities.

    Perhaps the biggest mover was Collingwood’s Mason Cox who played his best game for the Magpies in their clash with Geelong. In what might yet be a breakout performance for the American recruit, Cox amassed seven quality possessions which yielded two goals as well as four marks, most of which were solid contested grabs. The performance has many people suggesting that Coz could well line up in Round One for the ‘Pies.

    The Carlton/Essendon game saw a show of Irish talent across both teams. Zach Tuohy was amongst Carlton’s best, picking up a cool 18 possessions off half back and driving his team inside the forward 50 on many occasions. His Irish teammate, Ciaran Byrne, was also heavily involved across his limited game time with a handy nine possessions, but possibly more valuable was his constant defensive pressure whenever near the ball.


    Essendon’s Irish rookie, Conor McKenna, had little game time but still managed seven useful disposals as well as impacting in a couple of heavy bumps, showing he isn’t afraid of the physical side of footy.

    Richmond rookie, Mabior Chol, followed up his eye catching debut last weekend with a quieter performance against the Hawks. His four possessions and seven hitouts meant he had s small influence in the game, but of greater value was the additional game time he received in readiness for the season start. Oleg Markov had limited game time for a quiet return of two possessions.

    Hawthorn opted not to play New Zealander Shem Kalvin-Tatupu for the second successive week. Along with New Zealand teammate, Kurt Heatherley, their last chance for a pre-season hitout will be the Hawks’ final NAB Challenge match against North Melbourne on 12th Marc ...

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    Week 3 of the 2016 NAB Challenge starts tomorrow night when the West Coast Eagles take on the Gold Coast SUNS at HBF Arena in Joondalup, Western Australia.

    This week sees regional and suburban football grounds host pre-season matches for the last time before the fourth and final week of the 2016 NAB Challenge sees matches staged at metropolitan venues to maximise team preparations ahead of the Toyota AFL Premiership Season.

    The first of the 2016 Women’s Exhibition Series matches will occur on Sunday March 6 at Highgate Recreation Reserve in Craigieburn when the Western Bulldogs play Melbourne at 5:10pm EDT. The match will be broadcast live on Crocmedia via www.afl.com.au and is a non-ticketed event, meaning fans can stay in the venue following the NAB Challenge match or gain FREE entry at the conclusion of that match.

    GAME DATE TIMESLOT MATCH VENUE STATE LOCAL TIME GMT NETWORK
    1 3/02/2016 Night West Coast Eagles vs. Gold Coast SUNS HBF Arena WA 16:10 08:10 FOX FOOTY
    2 4/02/2016 Night Sydney Swans vs. GWS GIANTS Drummoyne Oval NSW 19:10 08:10 FOX FOOTY
    3 5/02/2016 Day Essendon vs. Geelong Cats Deakin Reserve VIC 14:05 03:05 FOX FOOTY
    4 5/02/2016 Twilight North Melbourne vs. Collingwood Robertson Oval NSW 16:40 05:40 FOX FOOTY
    5 6/02/2016 Day Western Bulldogs vs. Melbourne Highgate Reserve VIC 14:05 03:05 FOX FOOTY
    6 6/02/2016 Twilight Brisbane Lions vs. St Kilda Harrup Park QLD 15:40 05:40 FOX FOOTY

     

     

    ...
    TERRITORY/NETWORK GAME 1 GAME 2 GAME 3 GAME 4 GAME 5 GAME 6
    AUSTRALIA PLUS            
    Asia - 4/3 @ 16:00 HKT (Live) - 5/3 @ 13:30 HKT (Live) - 6/3 @ 13:30 HKT (Live)
    Pacific - 4/3 @ 20:00 Fiji (Live) - 5/3 @ 17:30 Fiji (Live) - 6/3 @ 17:30 Fiji (Live)
    India - 4/3 @ 13:30 IND (Live) - 5/3 @ 11:00 IND (Live) - 6/3 @ 11:00 IND (Live)
    ESPN - BT SPORT            
    UK & Ireland 3/3 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 4/3 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 5/3 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 5/3 @ 05:30 GMT (Live) 7/3 @ 13:00 GMT (Delay) 7/3 @ 15:00 GMT (Delay)
    FOX SOCCER PLUS            
    USA 3/3 @ 03:00 ET (Live) 4/3 @ 03:00 ET (Live) 4/3 @ 22:00 ET (Live) 5/3 @ 00:30 ET (Live) 5/3@ 22:00 ET (Live) 6/3@ 00:30 ET (Live)
    ORBIT SHOWTIME NETWORK            
    Middle East 3/3 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 4/3 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 5/3 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 5/3 @ 05:30 GMT (Live) 6/3@ 03:00 GMT (Live) 6/3 @ 05:30 GMT (Live)
    OTLSM - Boats & Cruises            
    Worldwide (excl. Aust) 3/3 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 4/3 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 5/3 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 5/3 @ 05:30 GMT (Live) 6/3 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 6/3 @ 05:30 GMT (Live)
    TVNZ            
    New Zealand 3/3 @ 21:00 NZDT (Live) 4/3 @ 21:00 NZDT (Live) - 5/3 @ 18:30 NZDT (Live) - 6/3 @ 18:30 NZDT (Live)
    WATCHAFL.AFL.COM.AU            
    Worldwide (excl. Aust) 3/3 @ 08:10 GMT (Live) 4/3 @ 08:10 GMT (Live) 5/3 @ 03:05 GMT (Live) 5/3 @ 05:40 GMT (Live) 6/3@ 03:05 GMT (Live) 6/3@ 05:40 GMT (Live)

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    Gold Coast Suns list manager Scott Clayton last year hinted on finding new talent outside the draft and trading system in the USA (see audio below). Speaking after the trade period and prior to the National Draft Clayton was asked about looking at talent from other sports, he admitted that the Suns have not been much focussed on looking at other sports but said “We’ll start to look for a ruckman out of the US, which seems to be a pretty good idea at the moment”.
     

     
    Today on the Fox Sports website  it was revealed that the Gold Coast Suns have trialled two NFL footballers from the US.
    The article says that the Suns are likely to sign Brandon Kaufman, a wide receiver who was previously signed as a free agent with the Buffalo Bills in the NFL in 2013.
     
    Kaufman and a second potential recruit John Peters (who is on the Cincinatti Bengals practice squad) were trained for three weeks by the Kick Builders US talent program in Denver in 2015 with the aim of getting them onto an AFL list.  Kick Builders have been working with the Gold Coast Suns to improve kicking since early 2014.
     
    Kaufman can be seen in action at the 2013 NFL Draft combine at the link here.
     
    ...

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    The North Queensland city of Mackay is ready for their inaugural AFL NAB Challenge match with a sell-out crowd predicted to watch the Brisbane Lions take on St Kilda. The game will be played at the Harrup Park Country Club. General Manager of Harrup Park, Michael Jones, is quoted on the AFL Mackay website as saying “this is the first AFL NAB Challenge match for the region and there is real buzz and excitement around it.”

    Mackay scored the game after northern neighbour, Townsville, had hosted NAB Challenge games featuring the Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast Suns, North Melbourne and Geelong in recent years. Combined with the regular AFL premiership matches in Cairns of recent seasons, Townsville had been a source of big league AFL matches for North Queenslanders. This year Mackay takes over the role and has the entire city excited.

    (Picture: St Kilda's David Armitage, formerly from Mackay - St Kilda FC)

    Plenty of pre-match and post-match activities are planned, including opportunities to meet players and gather autographs, watch training sessions and even have a kick on the ground after the game.

    Adding spice to the game is the appearance of local Mackay product, and now one of St Kilda’s most experienced and valuable players, David Armitage. Born on Mackay, and playing juniors for the Eastern Swans, Armitage was drafted to the Saints in 2006 after a period with Brisbane club Morningside. His return to his place of birth will be a huge attraction for fans of the game in Mackay.

    Of course, the Brisbane Lions also have their own connection as one of the two Queensland-based AFL clubs (along with the Gold Coast Suns) creating the opportunity for North Queensland fans to embrace the club parochially, as Queenslander are noted for their devotion to their state-based teams.

    Despite recent wet weather across North Queensland, it is now Mackay’s turn to shine, and the people at AFL Mackay, Harrup Park and the city in general are absolutely ready to do just tha ...

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    In a fairy tale of sorts, with eerie similarities to last season’s finals race, Wanderers have continued their charge through the second half of the NTFL season with a strong win over minor premiers Southern Districts Crocs to be the first team into this season’s grand final.

    Built on the back of a remarkable run of games since the mid-season break, Wanderers now get to rest their weary bodies as the Crocs take on St Mary’s in next weekend’s Preliminary Final. When play resumed in January after the festive season break, Wanderers were a distinct chance of missing finals, whilst Southern Districts and St Mary’s appeared destined to fight out the grand final. Now one of them will miss out – a surprise in itself.

    Wanderers were not shy about their intentions and hit the Crocs hard in the first quarter to take a handy two goal lead. From there they extended the lead at every break, though perhaps their final quarter was the best. Whilst kicking just three themselves, Wanderers held Crocs goalless for the quarter, totally snuffing out and hope of a Croc revival.



    With seven wins and a draw from their last nine games, including two finals, Wanderers have the momentum to go back to back, having timed their run seemingly to perfection.

    Final Score: Wanderers Eagles 14 12 96 d Southern Districts Crocs 6 8 44

    St Mary’s got back on track in their finals campaign, after last weekend’s loss to Wanderers, by downing a spirited Nightcliff Tigers in the First Semi Final. After a tight first half where the young Tigers’ outfit kept pressure on the Saints, the third quarter became the pivotal stanza. St Mary’s rattled on five goals to one to take a commanding 31 point lead into the final break. Only one goal was kicked from 14 scoring shots in the last quarter as pressure built, but the Tigers couldn’t get back into the game, going down by 40 points.

    Whilst Nightcliff can now plan for next season as their young list made great leaps this season, St Mary’s now face the daunting prospect of meeting Crocs next week for passage into the grand final. It is sure to be a tough, spirited and physical game as neither team will want their season to end next week.

    Final Score: St Mary’s Saints 13 14 92 d Nightcliff Tigers 6 16 52

    The Preliminary Final between Southern District and St Mary’s will be played at TIO Stadium next Saturday with times to be confirmed later this wee ...

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    The Toulouse Hawks recorded a powerful 59 point win over the Bordeaux Bombers in their Round Six match in Bordeaux. Backing up from a solid win against the Paris Cockatoos last start, their win against Bordeaux sees the hawks take top spot on 16 points, two points ahead of the now second placed Cockatoos.

    The Hawks downed the Bombers 126 – 67, giving them a share of premiership favouritism whilst consigning the Bombers to a prolonged battle to avoid the wooden spoon.

    In the other match for the round, The Paris Cockatoos handed the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes a hiding which saw the Coyotes fall from top spot. The Cockatoos defeated the Coyotes 106 to 10 and laid claim on second place, at least until next weekend.


    The final match of Round Six will see the reigning premiers, the Paris Cockerels, take on the vastly improved Perpignan Tigers in Paris. The Tigers have huge incentive to pull off a win against the odds, having been passed by the Toulouse Hawks in recent weeks to now sit in fifth place and just out of finals position with three rounds to go.

    ...

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    With just five matches played over the course of the third weekend of NAB Challenge games there was less international talent on show. Maybe the tempo went up a notch, or opposition teams had put their homework into the internationals, but overall it was a quieter output across the board.

    The washout of the Mackay match between the Lions and the Saints robbed fans of seeing the likes of Pearce Hanley (Brisbane) and Jason Holmes (St Kilda). A massive 200mm of rain, courtesy of ex-Tropical Cyclone Winston, fell leading up to the game forcing the AFL to abandon the match.

    Perhaps the North Melbourne coaches had already put homework into Collingwood’s Mason Cox. After an impressive debut, Cox was quieter this weekend, though hardly inactive. He still managed to hurl his massive frame about Collingwood’s forward zone to collect five possessions, a couple of marks, four hitouts and five tackles to give the Kangaroos’ defenders enough anxious moments.


    North’s Majak Daw was kept quiet with limited game time. His return saw three handpasses and six hitouts, but little influence on the game.

    In a match where little else went right for the Bombers, Irish rookie Conor McKenna managed arguably his best game for the club. Quite apart from giving cheek to all and sundry Geelong players, he also triggered a number of forward moves, and some dash out of the defensive 50, for the Bombers. Finding the 40 degree Shepparton heat a foreign condition for football, McKenna still managed eleven possessions and a couple of handy tackles. Whilst not hitting the scoreboard himself, McKenna managed a couple of score assists, including two possessions in the one passage of play leading to a Bomber score. The performance hasn’t done any harm to his chances of another senior match in the not-too-distant future.

    Next weekend’s matches in the NAB Challenge present a final chance to fine tune performances leading up to Round One. There is a chance that internationals at Richmond, Sydney, Carlton, Collingwood, North Melbourne and Hawthorn may get their chance to shine before the season proper gets under wa ...

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    2015 presented some serious challenges to AFL Vanuatu - more specifically, the weather - with Cyclone Pam ravaging the archipelago some 53 weeks ago. With ni-Vanuatu leaders such as Kilip Andrew (drawing on his experiences playing footy in Australia with Olinda-Ferny Creek and taking on an AFL Development officer role in 2016) and Robin Jacob (who in early 2015 took the highly uncommon path of sitting the AFL coaching course at Etihad stadium in Feb) able to lead from the front the season was resurrected and with guidance from a new committee headed by president David Beauchamp; now AFL Vanuatu is preparing for a very busy 2016.

    New programs include: • New Senior competition with new teams • New Pikinini kik program • New School competition for Under 12 and Under 15 teams, involving Schools from Port Vila and all of Efate.

    Senior Competition

    Utran (left) has returned to the field after a couple of years absence.

    The 2015 Season was the most successful season of AFL in Vanuatu. The highlights of the AFL Football Festival included the local Grand Final between Malapoa College and Seveners AFL teams with Malapoa Winning the Premiership; also an exhibition game involving Concordia college from Adelaide (South Australia) and the National AFL team “The Volcanoes”.

    In Season 2016 there are a number of new teams preparing to play in the Season commencing in July. Any person wanting to form a new team or play for and existing club should contact AFL Vanuatu.

    New School Competition

    In 2016 AFL Vanuatu will be conducting a new School competition and all Schools in Efate will be Invited to participate. In April there will be training for School teachers who are Interested in having AFL programs at their School. AFL Vanuatu staff will be working with Schools and teachers to allow Pikinini of all ages of to participate and enjoy AFL programs.

    Saturday Pikinini kik

    FREE Pikinini Kik will commence on Saturday March 26th. Pikinini Kik teaches the Skills of AFL in an organised and fun environment and helps Pikinini with being fit and healthy. This program is available for Pikinini ages 5 – 14 years. More details are on the AFL Vanuatu facebook page and Website www.aflvanuatu.com.

    For more information contact AFL Vanuatu Program Manager – Nancy Patterson - 7762032. ...


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    Week 4 of the 2016 NAB Challenge starts Thursday night (Melbourne time) when the Richmond host Port Adelaide at Etihad Stadium. Footy returns to the city in the final round with 5 matches at Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, two matches at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast and two matches at Domain Stadium in Perth.

     

     

    The international schedule can be seen below.  Please check local guides as all telecasts are subject to change.

     

    GAME DATE TIMESLOT MATCH   VENUE STATE LOCAL TIME GMT NETWORK
    1 Thursday March 10 Night Richmond vs. Port Adelaide   Etihad Stadium VIC 19:10 08:10 FOX FOOTY
    2 Friday March 11 Twilight Carlton vs. Sydney Swans   Etihad Stadium VIC 17:50 06:50 FOX FOOTY
    3 Friday March 11 Night Gold Coast SUNS vs. Adelaide Crows   Metricon Stadium QLD 19:40 09:40 FOX FOOTY
    4 Saturday March 12 Day Collingwood vs. Western Bulldogs   Etihad Stadium VIC 13:10 02:10 FOX FOOTY
    5 Saturday March 12 Twilight Fremantle vs. Geelong Cats   Domain Stadium WA 13:10 05:10 FOX FOOTY
    6 Saturday March 12 Night Hawthorn vs. North Melbourne   Etihad Stadium VIC 19:10 08:10 FOX FOOTY
    7 Sunday March 13 Day Brisbane Lions vs. GWS GIANTS   Metricon Stadium QLD 12:10 02:10 FOX FOOTY
    8 Sunday March 13 Twilight Melbourne vs. St Kilda   Etihad Stadium VIC 16:10 05:10 FOX FOOTY
    9 Sunday March 13 Night West Coast Eagles vs. Essendon   Domain Stadium WA 16:10 08:10 FOX FOOTY

     

    TERRITORY/NETWORK (TV) GAME 1 GAME 2 GAME 3 GAME 4 GAME 5 GAME 6 GAME 7 GAME 8 GAME 9
    AUSTRALIA PLUS                  
    Asia - 11/3 @ 14:30 HKT (Live) - - 12/3 @ 13:00 HKT (Live) 12/3 @ 16:00 HKT (Live) 12/3 @ 10:00 HKT (Live) 12/3 @ 13:00 HKT (Live) -
    Pacific - 11/3 @ 18:30 Fiji (Live) - - 12/3 @ 17:00 Fiji (Live) 12/3 @ 20:00 Fiji (Live) 12/3 @ 14:00 Fiji (Live) 12/3 @ 17:00 Fiji (Live) -
    India - 11/3 @ 12:00 IND (Live) - - 12/3 @ 10:30 IND (Live) 12/3 @ 13:30 IND (Live) 12/3 @ 07:30 IND (Live) 12/3 @ 10:30 IND (Live) -
    ESPN - BT SPORT                  
    UK & Ireland 10/3 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 11/3 @ 06:30 GMT (Live) 11/3 @ 09:30 GMT (Live) 16/3 @ 06:00 GMT (Delay) 12/3 @ 05:00 GMT (Live) 12/3 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 14/3 @ 03:30 GMT (Delay) 13/3 @ 05:00 GMT (Live) 13/3 @ 08:00 GMT (Live)
    FOX SOCCER PLUS                  
    USA 10/3 @ 03:00 ET (Live) 11/3 @ 01:30 ET (Live) 11/3 @ 04:30 ET (Live) 11/3 @ 21:00 ET (Live) 11/3 @ 24:00 ET (Live) 12/3 @ 03:00 ET (Live) 12/3 @ 21:00 ET (Live) 12/3 @ 24:00 ET (Live) 13/3 @ 04:00 ET (Live)
    ORBIT SHOWTIME NETWORK                  
    Middle East 10/3 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 11/3 @ 06:30 GMT (Live) 11/3 @ 09:30 GMT (Live) 12/3 @ 02:00 GMT (Live) 12/3 @ 05:00 GMT (Live) 12/3 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 13/3 @ 02:00 GMT (Live) 13/3 @ 05:00 GMT (Live) 13/3 @ 08:00 GMT (Live)
    OTLSM - Boats & Cruises                  
    Worldwide (excl. Aust) 10/3 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 11/3 @ 06:30 GMT (Live) 11/3 @ 09:30 GMT (Live) 12/3 @ 02:00 GMT (Live) 12/3 @ 05:00 GMT (Live) 12/3 @ 08:00 GMT (Live) 13/3 @ 02:00 GMT (Live) 13/3 @ 05:00 GMT (Live) 13/3 @ 08:00 GMT (Live)
    TVNZ                  
    New Zealand 10/3 @ 21:00 NZDT (Live) 11/3 @ 19:00 NZDT (Live) - - - 12/3 @ 21:00 NZDT (Live) 13/3 @ 15:00 NZDT (Live) - -
    CLARO SPORTS                  
    Latin America - - - - - - - - -
    WATCHAFL.AFL.COM.AU (ONLINE)                  
    Worldwide (excl. Aust) 12/3 @ 08:10 GMT (Live) 11/3 @ 06:50 GMT (Live) 11/3 @ 09:40 GMT (Live) 12/3 @ 02:10 GMT (Live) 12/3 @ 05:10 GMT (Live) 12/3 @ 08:10 GMT (Live) 13/3 @ 02:10 GMT (Live) 13/3 @ 05:10 GMT (Live) 13/3 @ 08:10 GMT (Live)

      ...


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    By Matt Zurbo this originally appeared on The Footy Almanac website here.  A great reference for those nights you only have few get to training.
     

    Training for Four

    Two on two. That’s a match!

    Warm Up

    Try a random warm-up. Handball however you want to in a thirty meter radius to each other, at the on-coming, over shoulders, deliberately at ankles, hard at the gut of someone passing, soft to the person running by. Try to fan wherever possible, it’s the new craze. That mean run by in the same diction the ball handler received it, fanning across the oval. None of it more than half to ¾ pace. Get puffing. Stretch a bit. Do the same with kicking. Stretch more. Ready to go.

    *******************

    1. The Fan

    Many variations of the Fan. Try this, or invent your own. The Diamond. All facing down the ground in a diamond, staring on the back flank. Player at tip has ball, all others take off. Player with ball handballs towards player running on inside of corridor, player from behind sprints to get in on the corridor side of them, player who did not get it on the their side runs across to get off them from in front, player who started the drill has pushed across to get it off them. Four quick handballs in the same direction. Fanning to the middle of the ground. Set up, go again. Repeat length of ground, shoot when in range.

    *******************

    1. The Release

    Three players in triangle. Forth about twenty meters back. Three players fire of rapid, in close handballs, as soon as forth player is sprinting by wide, wide handball goes out. Lone player, now with ball, pushes on (three HARD steps) until twenty meters away. Two of the three join lone player, forming another triangle. New left behind player. Repeat.

    Sometimes pivot and deliver, sometimes you are facing the wide receiver. It is all about learning timing. Not being mechanical. Do not plan who the one who fires the handball out. When wide player is in the slot, deliver.

    *******************

    1. The Greg Williams.

    Maybe I’m dating myself, but I have never, ever seen a better handballer. A tougher in and under. Williams was a C.H.A.M.P.I.O.N, even if he did play for Carlton.

    Two teams of two. A&C, B&D. A and B stand beside each other. One of the others throws the ball in at their ankles. They compete. TRY TO KEEP YOUR FEET. Each teammate crabs the edge of the contest, trying to stay chest on with their teammate, so when it gets fired out, bang, they are there. Throw it straight back in at ankles. First to get it out to teammate three times win. A and B swap with B and D, who are now the competitors.

    Drill is about fighting for ball and firing it off from pack quick. But also, for the receiver to not just watch, but to talk and crab and make sure they are front and centre.

    *******************

    1. The Craig Bradley. Haha!

    Most younger crew won’t remember who he was. A brilliant, brilliant outside runner on the receiving end of Greg Williams handballs. Not the bravest but brave in pain barriers. He ran like nobody before him. Was vital to Carlton.

    Anyways…

    Similar to the Greg Williams. A and B stand ready to compete for ankle ball. But this time only C is front and centre, and D is twenty back, crabbing. D learns to time their run, depending on contest. In the twist and turn of A and B competing and C edging to be front and centre to it, all players must be smart. If the ball comes out on the other side to C, D sees it about to happen and runs for the long release handball. If A or B win it defensive side to goal hopefully they will handball long to running D, ignoring C in close.

    Drill teaches competing, release, timing and OPTIONS.

    Again, first to three, then swap roles.

    *******************

    1. Kicking Warm-Up

    Again, Fanning, it’s the buzz!

    Four players thirty apart.

    1. Spot kick five laps to left.
    2. Spot kick five laps to right.
    3. Kick ball high, mark, push back, turn, spot kick to next player, three laps
    4. Four way Yo-yo, three laps (see Training for Two)
    5. Four way lead away. (see Training for Three)

    If you’re well drilled should only take about five-seven minutes yet get heaps of touches and be well warm.

    *******************

    Drill 1. Downhill Skiing.

    All four start on goal line. Player with ball switches, and you’re all away working down ground. For drill’s sake, whoever gets marks ball stops until nearest player stands mark. Then, play on, or go back and chip, or whatever, as other teammates dictate. Handball is play on, mark is to be held up with a man on the mark.

    Work way down ground.

    Too often chip goes to back pocket, then nobody is moving. With this it is follow-up, follow-up, follow-up. You are the next chip wide. You are the next chip over the top. You are the next switch wide. You are the next handball. You deliver and say, “Right, where do I push to next?”

    Also, with the next closest standing the mark, you learn attack/defend/attack/defend, all the way down the ground.

    Once you get good, if you are fit, as a coach, you adapt the drill.

    “Okay, only kick or chip it to someone who is running AT you.” Even if it is from the side or you have to push up and double back. Very hard.

    You set standards.

    “Okay, our aim is to make it down to the other 50, have a shot. Then do the same on the way back. Each time the ball hits the ground we have to start again, though.”

    Decisions, decisions, decisions. I fucking love them!

    *******************

    Drill 2. And Release

    Two competitors, one handball release, and a switch.

    The handball release throws the ball at the feet of the competitors. They have to get it to the switch. They can use the release player if they want. The release player will be on the side of whoever gives it to them.

    The key to this drill is, as soon as the ball is thrown at the feet of the competitors. The switch player gets on their bike. Be wide sometimes, be in for the long handball. Be behind the play, be forward of it. Be in the middle for the line-breaking spot kick. Be back and across for the switch kick. Work!

    The idea of being somewhere different each time is, the competitors will learn to spot the player who is free, rather than just go through routines.

    The release player is the quarterback. They are the one doing all the talking/encouraging.

    Teams must be predictable to each other. You learn there is always a release player out back, to quickly spot a switch or chip into the corridor.

    Five goes for the competitors, then switch roles with the two outside players.

    Great drill for on-ballers and half back flankers.

    *******************

    Drill 3. Ebb and Go.

    Goals time. Full back, leader on left, leader on right, drifter in middle.

    Player on left leads hard for kickout. Drifter works across to them, so they get the ball off them, WHILE RUNNING GOALWARD, three HARD steps, and shoot. Then take off for player on right. Player on right leads hard. By this time fullback has gathered ball and kicks to lead. Drifter repeats for player on right. Gets handball or chip of player on right while running goalward, three hard steps, shoots, pushes back to left. Five shots. Rhythm, running through the ball, kicking goals on the run while tired. So often you will get the first two or three and miss the rest. When you have had your five shots, everybody rotate.
    Drifter is almost working to a figure eight.

    P.S. Fullback, mark at full stretch, run through goal line, take off! Three hard steps, steady, really drill the pass so the leader doesn’t have to break stride. Push back hard without turning your back to the play. Be well ready for shot. Good workout. Practice good habits.

     

    Drill 3 Variation Ebb and Go.

    Fullback has ball, three players are spread out around 40 from goal. All lead in any direction. Fullback kicks to player of choice. If marked flat footed or on back foot, must chip or handball to someone on front foot for goal. So once you have done your lead and it didn’t go to you, you must immediately push to where the ball is, so you can get it. Always, three hard steps, run through ball and goal.

    If you can mark the ball from kickout moving forward, run through it, continue on and kick goal.

    The full back should be mixing up their kicks. If it has gone long, a good one is one of the other leads then runs in for the chip to thirty out, and the player in between charges to get the handball off them, for running goal.

    Full back, if kicked long, and player marked outside fifty, should occasionally take off as if full forward for lead and mark.

    *******************

    Drill 4. Four to one.

    All four players about 40 out. Throw ball up. It’s on. All four against each other. As soon as you kick a goal, you are out. Breather. The other three must then repeat. Then two. Winners and losers. Competitive natures. Football.

    If the ball goes out of bounds or for a point, play is started again from 40.

    *******************

    Drill 5. Easiest Kick In Football.

    Even with kick-out strategies there will be players leading left and right. The easiest kick in football is if you have led to the right and it has gone to the left. Almost always the middle will now be empty. If you turn and go, at, say 45 degrees towards the middle of the ground, there will almost always be an uncontested chip into the corridor and your team is away. Ideally there would then be running backmen, ball-carriers streaming by you if you could not take off yourself. Suddenly, the ball is in the forward line before they have had a chance to defensively set up.

    So, for this drill: Fullback, player leading left, one leading right, for deep pocket kick-out. Player in middle reads play to stand on mark of left player or right, depending on which one the fullback kicked to. The player who was not kicked to sprints to top on centre square for easy chip.

    Set-up again, repeat.

    *******************

    Easiest Kick In Football II

    Once you have the hang of this, expand. Adapt.

    One player leads to left. On right, one leads short, one leads long. Think like footballers. If ball goes left, two on right take off towards middle of ground. Player on left now has short chip and long centre of ground options.

    OR only one of you take off for middle, the other stay for the switch.

    Player on left, once they have switched, runs for player in middle, gets handball off running into forward half.
    Always think two kicks ahead.

    If player on left goes to longer option, closer option then runs to get handball on way through.

    IF ball gets kicked to short lead on right, long lead keeps running down the ground while player on left runs into middle for chip. Player with ball chips, runs, gets handball back and delivers to third player, now in attacking half.

    IF ball gets kicked to long lead on right, they can turn and go

    OR prop and chip to player on left who has now pushed into middle for chip. Player who was the short right lead runs through to get handball off and drive into forward line.

    Each time the ball passes the middle, jog back, kick ball to fullback and go again.

    Once you are good at this, the fullback can then also be an option. If the kick is deep to left or right pocket the fullback can then sprint into corridor for chip, to link up long switch. OR mark and give back to player running through for one-two and switch.
    Small groups so often only practice goal kicking. I have no idea why.

    *******************

    Drill Whatever. CMS; Contested Mark and Spread.

    One player has the ball fifty away. Kicks it 45 to contested mark. Player A and B move into flight of ball and compete.

    As much a I don’t like cones, set up three for this drill. One for kicker, one for starting point for A and B, one for kicker to aim at. Only the burliest full forward gets to stand and deliver. The rest of us have to run to the flight of the ball.

    Player C roves, starting from side and moves forward or back of the contest as the flight of the ball requires. Basic, established rules apply.

    If a mark is taken, Player C spreads, receives handball or the chip wide, gets ball and puts in three hard steps, delivers a 30 meter chip to ball kicker, everybody jogs back to their spot.

    If a mark is taken while Player C is front and centre, C gets the handball, and the two markers, A and B, spread for Player C (no u-turns) to handball back to one of them, who runs for three hard steps, steadies, and kicks to kicker.

    If mark is taken on front foot, keep running with it and deliver it yourself.

    If ball is not marked, all three improvise, working on basic principles. No u-turns. Spread wide. Run across or behind player who gets ball on back foot, play on if you get ball on front foot.

    The point is, once the ball is contested, it should become reflex that your job is not done. Big marking players have to learn to do more than just mark. They must land ready to be further involved.
    Once one of the two contesting markers has three marks, swap.

    Lastly, once you have done this for a few weeks, adapt. When three down contested end get control of the all, kicker then does hard lead – out wide, at player coming at him, whatever – so when the ball comes back it is a sharp chip to a player on the move. All four of you then jog back to your positions.

    *******************

    Drill Another -Two On Goal

    Set up two sets of goals in middle of ground, about 50 apart. Two versus two, but, really, one-on-one with each team having a player out back. If you can’t get through, fire a handball out back to teammate who kicks a goal. Reload. First to five goals wins.

    Teaches, to both always have, and always look for, release player out back.

    And kick goals.

    *******************

    The Wind Down.

    Goal kicking, as you wish. Just goof around having shots for five or ten minutes. Although, if ball doesn’t go to you, try and push over and stand on mark, put light pressure on as they play on. Even if only for every second or third shot.

    Jog. Stretch.

    Rehydrate, eat a carb.

    Beer (if you are of legal drinking age).

    Next time - we skip five - and go to Training for Six. ...


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  • 03/11/16--15:05: Dragons Dance In Dubai

  • The Dubai Dragons have further etched their name into the history books of the AFL Middle East, downing the BM Bulls for the second year running to win the premiership.

    The remarkable win sees the Dragons with four titles in the past five seasons, broken only by the Doha Kangaroos win against the Dragons in 2013/14. This if the fourt flag for the Dubai Dragons after winning back to back titles in 2011/12 and 2012/13 and now going back to back again with titles in 2014/15 and now 2015/16.

    For the BM Bulls it is a tough pill to swallow, going down in consecutive grand finals, but they are sure to bounce back strongly next season based on their incredible growth and success in just two seasons.

    Full match report to foll ...

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    Power Park in Gordonvale, Far North Queensland, always reverberates to the sounds of kids squealing, shouting and laughing whenever training or matches are taking place. Being one of the most picturesque football grounds in Australia with Walsh’s Pyramid towering behind the southern goal posts, watching over the town like some benevolent parent, it’s as if the kids are trying to impress and the majestic “mountain” smiles down on their happiness.

    That’s on a normal day.

    But when, as happened last Sunday, you add in a legend of AFL football, Adam Goodes, those squeals of delight find a higher octave – a louder and more raucous level of happiness, fun and joy.


    Adam Goodes needs little, if any, introduction to football followers. Even non-followers are aware of his stature in the game, and in the pantheon of Australian sporting legends.

    A dual Brownlow Medallist (the AFL’s highest individual honour), dual Sydney Swans premiership player, Indigenous Team Of The Century player and 2014 Australian Of The Year, Goodes boasts an incredible array of achievements. Beyond the football field, Goodes has also been a tremendous role model to footballers everywhere, most particularly amongst indigenous kids.

    His visit to the Pyramid Power football club in Gordonvale was part of a joint Toyota/AFL promotion, with the club being the recipients of an inspirational prize. A club which began in 2005 and boasts an indigenous player base in excess of 90%, Pyramid Power could have no better visitor to inspire the kids and bring together the community it serves.

    When his clinics began (immediately after a match between Pyramid Power Under 15’s and the other mainly indigenous club The Eagles which went Power’s way by a solitary point) a herd of kids ran to the northern goals to be with their hero as Goodes led kicking drills.

    When it was time to move to the centre of the field for the next set of drills, the herd followed and swelled further. Goodes’ magnetism was electric as kids went where their hero went. Goodes was a veritable “pied piper” and the kids responded accordingly.

    Goodes spared nothing. He chatted to kids and adults alike, posed for the ubiquitous “selfies”, commented on the footy match prior, calling it exciting to watch, remarked at the beauty of the location and even kicked a few extra footies around for the kids (or adults) who wanted more.

    Adam Goodes seemed to enjoy himself at Power Park, Gordonvale, and will leave with some happy memories. But local footy, and particularly Pyramid Power and the Gordonvale district, left with both a tremendous boost for the game and a glowing endorsement for what has been achieved locally in AFL by one of the greatest players to ever pull on a footy boot.

    Perhaps the greatest legacy, however, is that an indigenous leader and role model took a club’s indigenous kids under his wing for a day and validated everything they have achieved and love.

    This wasn’t just a good day for footy in Gordonvale. It was a great day.


    [Image2_l ...

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    Power Park in Gordonvale, Far North Queensland, always reverberates to the sounds of kids squealing, shouting and laughing whenever training or matches are taking place. Being one of the most picturesque football grounds in Australia with Walsh’s Pyramid towering behind the southern goal posts, watching over the town like some benevolent parent, it’s as if the kids are trying to impress and the majestic “mountain” smiles down on their happiness.

    That’s on a normal day.

    But when, as happened last Sunday, you add in a legend of AFL football, Adam Goodes, those squeals of delight find a higher octave – a louder and more raucous level of happiness, fun and joy.


    Adam Goodes needs little, if any, introduction to football followers. Even non-followers are aware of his stature in the game, and in the pantheon of Australian sporting legends.

    A dual Brownlow Medallist (the AFL’s highest individual honour), dual Sydney Swans premiership player, Indigenous Team Of The Century player and 2014 Australian Of The Year, Goodes boasts an incredible array of achievements. Beyond the football field, Goodes has also been a tremendous role model to footballers everywhere, most particularly amongst indigenous kids.

    His visit to the Pyramid Power football club in Gordonvale was part of a joint Toyota/AFL promotion, with the club being the recipients of an inspirational prize. A club which began in 2005 and boasts an indigenous player base in excess of 90%, Pyramid Power could have no better visitor to inspire the kids and bring together the community it serves.

    When his clinics began (immediately after a match between Pyramid Power Under 15’s and the other mainly indigenous club The Eagles which went Power’s way by a solitary point) a herd of kids ran to the northern goals to be with their hero as Goodes led kicking drills.

    When it was time to move to the centre of the field for the next set of drills, the herd followed and swelled further. Goodes’ magnetism was electric as kids went where their hero went. Goodes was a veritable “pied piper” and the kids responded accordingly.

    Goodes spared nothing. He chatted to kids and adults alike, posed for the ubiquitous “selfies”, commented on the footy match prior, calling it exciting to watch, remarked at the beauty of the location and even kicked a few extra footies around for the kids (or adults) who wanted more.

    Adam Goodes seemed to enjoy himself at Power Park, Gordonvale, and will leave with some happy memories. But local footy, and particularly Pyramid Power and the Gordonvale district, left with both a tremendous boost for the game and a glowing endorsement for what has been achieved locally in AFL by one of the greatest players to ever pull on a footy boot.

    Perhaps the greatest legacy, however, is that an indigenous leader and role model took a club’s indigenous kids under his wing for a day and validated everything they have achieved and love.

    This wasn’t just a good day for footy in Gordonvale. It was a great day.




    Left: Adam Goodes with Walsh's Pyramid in background.
    Pictures Courtesy: Sam Davis, Northern Beaches News (Cai ...

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    Power Park in Gordonvale, Far North Queensland, always reverberates to the sounds of kids squealing, shouting and laughing whenever training or matches are taking place. Being one of the most picturesque football grounds in Australia with Walsh’s Pyramid towering behind the southern goal posts, watching over the town like some benevolent parent, it’s as if the kids are trying to impress and the majestic “mountain” smiles down on their happiness.

    That’s on a normal day.

    But when, as happened last Sunday, you add in a legend of AFL football, Adam Goodes, those squeals of delight find a higher octave – a louder and more raucous level of happiness, fun and joy.

    (Picture: Adam Goodes with Power fans)


    Adam Goodes needs little, if any, introduction to football followers. Even non-followers are aware of his stature in the game, and in the pantheon of Australian sporting legends.

    A dual Brownlow Medallist (the AFL’s highest individual honour), dual Sydney Swans premiership player, Indigenous Team Of The Century player and 2014 Australian Of The Year, Goodes boasts an incredible array of achievements. Beyond the football field, Goodes has also been a tremendous role model to footballers everywhere, most particularly amongst indigenous kids.

    His visit to the Pyramid Power football club in Gordonvale was part of a joint Toyota/AFL promotion, with the club being the recipients of an inspirational prize. A club which began in 2005 and boasts an indigenous player base in excess of 90%, Pyramid Power could have no better visitor to inspire the kids and bring together the community it serves.

    When his clinics began (immediately after a match between Pyramid Power Under 15’s and the other mainly indigenous club The Eagles which went Power’s way by a solitary point) a herd of kids ran to the northern goals to be with their hero as Goodes led kicking drills.

    When it was time to move to the centre of the field for the next set of drills, the herd followed and swelled further. Goodes’ magnetism was electric as kids went where their hero went. Goodes was a veritable “pied piper” and the kids responded accordingly.

    Goodes spared nothing. He chatted to kids and adults alike, posed for the ubiquitous “selfies”, commented on the footy match prior, calling it exciting to watch, remarked at the beauty of the location and even kicked a few extra footies around for the kids (or adults) who wanted more.

    Adam Goodes seemed to enjoy himself at Power Park, Gordonvale, and will leave with some happy memories. But local footy, and particularly Pyramid Power and the Gordonvale district, left with both a tremendous boost for the game and a glowing endorsement for what has been achieved locally in AFL by one of the greatest players to ever pull on a footy boot.

    Perhaps the greatest legacy, however, is that an indigenous leader and role model took a club’s indigenous kids under his wing for a day and validated everything they have achieved and love.

    This wasn’t just a good day for footy in Gordonvale. It was a great day.




    (Picture: Adam Goodes with Walsh's Pyramid in background - Courtesy: Sam Davis - Northern Beaches N ...

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  • 03/12/16--15:01: Paris Cockerels Crowing

  • The Paris Cockerels surge to the CNFA finals continued on the weekend with a massive win against the visiting Perpignan Tigers. The win sees the Cockerels sitting just slightly adrift of the Toulouse Hawks and level with their club "brothers" the Paris Cockatoos. With just three rounds left to play in the CNFA season the Cockerels flexed their muscle and sent shivers through the rest of the league as they signalled their intent to go "back to back" and take this year's flag.

    The final score saw the Paris Cockerels 198 d Perpignan Tigers 11

    For the Tigers, the loss was harsh. But they are still sitting in fifth place and have a chance of eking out another win to challenge for finals. Failing that, the Tigers are still enjoying their best season yet despite the weekend's result.
    Round 7 will get underway on April 9th when the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes host the Bordeaux Bombers and the Paris Cockatoos travel to Lyon to meet the ALFA Lions.

    The round will finish on April 16th when the Toulouse Hawks host the Perpignan Tigers and the Strasbourg Kangourous are scheduled to host the Paris Cocker ...

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    With the NAB Challenge coming to a close this weekend, most teams chose to use the hit-outs as a chance to play closer to full strength teams. As a result less international players were on show across the weekend’s matches.

    Richmond’s Sudanese rookie Mabior Chol gathered another five possessions with his 87% game time in the team’s torrid encounter with Port Adelaide. Chol enjoyed his NAB Challenge, exciting Tiger fans and showing enough skill to suggest a useful AFL career is ahead of him. He still has much to learn but the signs are promising and his efforts to date will see him debut sooner rather than later.

    Zach Tuohy (pictured) was his usual assured self in the Carlton defence against the Sydney Swans. His 24 possessions at an 83% disposal efficiency, including 6 rebounds from the defensive 50, showed he will again be a key part of the Blues’ defence this season.


    Pearce Hanley’s 15 possessions and six tackles were a sound return for the Irish star. But his efficiency was just over 50% suggesting he is still a little underdone leading into Round One. The Lions went down to the Giants. Young Sudanese rookie, Rueben William, did not play.

    Jason Holmes managed less than half a game In St Kilda’s loss to the Melbourne Demons, yet still managed 21 hitouts (second only to Melbourne’s Max Gawn). Holmes is certainly still improving as a ruckman and needs only to have a greater impact around the ground to be a greater concern to opposition teams.

    Essendon were once again on the receiving end of a belting, but Irish rookie Conor McKenna again managed to get into the action with nine possessions and a tackle in his 60% game time. However, his disposal efficiency still needs work with barely half of his possessions finding their target.

    All teams have next weekend off ahead of the Easter Round One. Most clubs will still have intra club matches whilst some may run around again in VFL matches in the lead-up to the season proper which commences with the Richmond v Carlton on Thursday 24th March.



    (Picture: http://www.afl.com.au ...

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    As the saying goes, the more things change the more they stay the same. Such is the case with the NTFL season. Despite Southern Districts dominating the home and away season, their Preliminary Final loss to St Mary’s will see the Saints and Wanderers play off in their third consecutive Grand Final.

    Over the three seasons other teams have peaked, only to drop off at the business end of the season. The 2015/16 season saw a rejuvenated Darwin Buffaloes, a rampant young Nightcliff Tigers and the Crocs throw their hats into the ring to change the status quo and kick off their own dynasty. But at the end the perennial Saints and the fast finishing Eagles kept the balance the same.

    In 2014 St Mary’s won by 21 points. In 2015 it was Wanderers turning the tables to down the Saints by 34 points. This latest rivalry will be decided as a “best of three” on Saturday night at TIO Stadium as the best performed teams of the past three years meet again.


    St Mary’s blitzed Southern Districts by 74 points in the Preliminary Final. In a surprise result, the Saints got the advantage early and just never let go. The harder they strangled the further the Crocs capitulated. The teams had met twice this season, both matches won by the Crocs by 69 points and 21 points. But finals are a different game, and Saints are arguably the best at understanding what finals wins take. In fact, St Mary’s won every quarter, never giving the Crocs a chance to reset their own compass.

    Final Score: St Mary’s Saints 19 13 127 d Southern District Crocs 7 11 53

    The emphatic fashion of the Saints’ win should install them as premiership favourites, but the season results tell a different story. Whilst Saints did defeat Wanderers by 36 points back in Round 9, it was Wanderers that held on twice in thrillers in Round 1 and again in Round 12 to win both games by just three points.

    Their most recent encounter was two weeks ago in the Qualifying Final when the Wanderers again held firm to win by 10 points.

    It sets up another fascinating Grand Final, and in a season littered with results by less than a goal it would be a fitting end to the season if this one went right down to the wire. Let’s see if the history gods take any notice of that prediction. ...

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    Women Debut In South China AFL

    South China Australian Rules Football League (SCAFL) welcomed their first female players in the recent Round#2 tournament in Macau on the weekend.

    Played at the Macau International School two ladies played for the first time in this competition, one as a guest and the other very likely to become a regular player.

    The first of the two ladies playing on the day was Jess Cole from Melbourne Australia, (more of her story later).

    The second was Katie Klatt from Sacremento, California, USA. "Katie was keen to maximise her day out and played almost continuously for 4 hours in 6 of the 8 games. This is a massive feat and a testimony to her level of cardio’ fitness. Back in the USA Katie plays in the Sacramento AFL league in 18-a-side format and 12-a-side format games. Katie is also Vice Captain of the USA women’s AFL representative side the USA Freedom team which will be going to the World Cup of Aussie rules, IC17 in Melbourne Australia next August."

    World Footy News readers will recall that earlier this year (Throwing a Klatt among the big guns, Tuesday, February 2nd. 2016) Katie flew to Australia and attended a talent search combine in Sydney to seek out talented lady players from all sporting backgrounds that may be good enough to play at the professional stage in Australia. To her credit after only playing the sport for two years, the gifted athlete was selected to enter the AFL Academy to train with Australia’s best sports women to train for 2017’s new Women’s National AFL League.

    “The thing I was most looking forward to for my Hong Kong trip was a day of Footy.” said Katie. ” I wasn’t too sure if I’d get to play but it was really cool of everyone to welcome us girls onto the field, and then to show us how to have a good time in HK!”

    The President of AFL Asia interviewed Katie and Jess on the day said “It was great to see the ladies playing in the SCAFL today. Both Katie and Jess, were hard at the ball laying tackles and bumps, and showed some great ball skills. We look forward to seeing more of them and other ladies that want to come out and try the game.”

    Jess Cole, who until recently moved to Hong Kong played in Melbourne suburbs for the MVP Easybeats community focused “Pub Footy League”. There she played full size (18-a-side) games in mixed men’s and ladies teams. She was welcomed by the Kowloon Cobras and played alongside the men and fellow lady on the day.

    Meanwhile Katie is hopefully one of the lucky ladies looking to take up the sport professionally in the Women's AFL in 2017.

    "Look out for her on the TV soon."

    More of this story and pictures at AFL Asia website! ...


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  • 03/14/16--15:35: Seattle Snapshot
  • All around the world Australian Football clubs are looking with anticipation towards playing the upcoming season and what could be more appropriate than the Seattle Grizzles coming out of hibernation.

    Officially, the maiden event of the year was an Ausball tournamount to attract both newcomers and provide a hit-out for the regular members. The setting was a picturesque Magnuson Park sports field adjacent to Puget Sound, the waterway that dominates the Seattle topography. Hitting the track for the first time on synthethetic grass was a welcome experience compared to most under-developed pitches that seem to prevail for Australian football clubs overseas.

    Coach Matt Wood was "content" with the numbers attending but I think they were very good considering that whilst driving infamous I5 to the game my wife and I discussed the likelihood of the event being cancelled due to the cold and rain. Just from simple observation of the warmup, the assembled group seemed to be proficient and Matt Wood informed me that the Grizzlies have three players in the Revolution, the national team and hoped to do well at the nationals which are the pinnacle event on the USAFL calendar.


    The Grizzlies had already been divided into three teams with a local Gaels team making a fourth. The rain stopped and sky slowly lightened so after a brief discussion about the rules the games began.


    The Grizzlies with superior height were able to dominate for the first stanza but as the Gaels became accustomed to the requirements the tables turned.
    Though Australian Football and was new to most of the Gaels the rules and style of Gaelic Football suited their style of play whereas some of the more established Grizzlies were frustrated at first by the lack of normal freedoms.

    The two big rules of Ausball (or maybe it was Seattle Rules): a two hand touch substituting for a tackle and a three second possession rule encourage basic play rather than the flashy play.


    Talking to Matt Muller, a veteran of he club, the Grizzlies are in a reasonably good position. The percentage of Australians in the roster has dropped from 60% to about 10% which is better from a long-term view and the economy of Seattle is quite vibrant.


    The expansion of the British Columbia League has meant slightly less interaction with the Canadian teams but they are focussing more on their metro league and the production of a competitive team for the U.S. Nationals.

    ...


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    Shem Tatupu has advised Hawthorn that his interests lie away from Aussie rules footy. Coming to the club full time two years ago after a period as an international scholarship holder, Tatupu struggled with injury for quite some time.

    The second half of last season brought great hope however and he finished the year strongly with VFL runners up Box Hill playing as a stay at home key forward. But after a solid preseason that seemed to see his game sense and mobility continue to improve, he has called it quits after failing to gain a start in the senior team in the preseason competition.

    On the Hawthorn website Hawthorn GM – Football Operations Chris Fagan said the club understood and accepted Tatupu’s decision. “This has been a tough decision for Shem to make. We have been really impressed with the way in which he has applied himself over the past two years and he has made some positive progress,” said Fagan.

    “However, after much consultation with the club, Shem has decided that the passion for AFL football is no longer there. “Shem was a highly regarded rugby league and union player growing up and he is going to explore his opportunities in that area. “There is no doubt Shem is a talented athlete and all at Hawthorn Football Club wish him well for the future.”

     

    After a period where Hawthorn put in a lot of serious time and effort into developing and unearthing talent in NZ, only Kurt Heatherley remains as the product of that work. He is on the senior list in 2016, but does not look a walk up start for the senior team this season and his debut may still be a way off. ...


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