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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    The following article by Michelangelo Rucci in the Adelaide Advertiser looks at the continuing search for an AFL home for Port Adelaide in shanghai, China. The original story can be found at: 

    PORT Adelaide’s home in China is now down to two prospective venues in Shanghai — either a 1930s open “colosseum” or a modern 15,000-seat concrete bowl.


    And Power president David Koch is now preferring the 1935 Jiangwan Stadium that hosted the 2010 AFL exhibition match between Melbourne and Brisbane.


    “I would not have said that when I first entered this stadium but I can now see this place has a lot of potential — it allows us to grow if are to be here in China for at least the next 10 years, as we are planning to be,” Koch told The Advertiser today when the Power board arrived in Shanghai for its “China Strategy” sessions.

    The 40,000-seat Shanghai Stadium promoted by the Power during its China tour in April is now off the agenda.

    “Too big, too expensive (to cover the athletics track with grass),” Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas said.

    The 15,000-seat Yuanshen Stadium — that also has an athletics track around its soccer pitch — was expected to be Port Adelaide’s nomination to the AFL Commission as the venue for the first AFL premiership game played in the northern hemisphere, next season.

    But today’s tour has put Jiangwan Stadium — the original Shanghai Stadium built in the 1930s — on the Power’s preferred list. The vast field — 330 metres by 175 — was opened in 1935 as the largest stadium in east Asia. It is now used as a golf driving range and by amateur soccer teams.

    “None of the venues we have seen is perfect, as you’d expect when AFL is not played here,” Koch said. “But this one (Jiangwan Stadium) has a lot of potential.

     “We can put corporate boxes at each end, behind each goal. The stadium is close to public transport and the hub of Shanghai city.

    “The money we spend here would be a long-term investment. We would get far better value for every dollar we put into improving this ground. We would give China a home for Australian football — for Auskick events to a national tournament between south and north China teams. This ground has far more potential — and I would not have said that half-an-hour ago.”

    The AFL Commission next month will rule on venue, timing and teams for the historic match in China. “And the commission is extremely excited about this game,” Koch said.

    Port Adelaide defender Tom Jonas had the same view after a kick-and-catch session with the Power’s Chinese recruit Chen Shaoliang who also toured the venue today.


    “It would be super-exciting to play here in the first AFL game for premiership points,” Jonas said. ...

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    The Wandsworth Demons have temporarily reclaimed top spot on the AFL London ladder with a comprehensive thrashing of the Wimbledon Hawks. In the only Premiership Division game played last weekend due to the split round, the Demons flexed their muscle to down the Hawks by 136 points.

    The final score saw the Wandsworth Demons 22 18 150 defeat the Wimbledon Hawks 2 2 14.

    It was a timely statement by the Demons after losing top spot the previous round when they were downed by the West London Wildcats. Whilst the Wildcats will most likely claim top spot back again next weekend, the Demons needed to keep the pressure on and themselves stay in the race for the minor premiership.

    Whilst the loss would be somewhat discouraging for the Hawks, they still hold fourth place on the ladder ahead of the Putney Magpies and London Swans. The round will be completed next weekend when the West London Wildcats clash with the London Swans and the North London Lions meet the Putney Magpies.

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    Every week in football there are the thrashings when a mismatch of teams occurs. Often it is top of the table versus cellar dweller (though it can be any team versus any other on any given day) and usually comes about when one team is undermanned or overwhelmed. An occasional hiding can be cast aside and used as motivation to change. More regular thrashings can lead to a variety of confidence related issues which can send a club into the doldrums for lengthy periods.

    Often people speak of mercy rules (especially in junior grades) and prefer that these kind of results “are never spoken of again lest they be bad for football.” Maybe that is true and valid.

    By the Nunawading Lions in suburban Melbourne have endured a season that could well have been played inside Dante’s Inferno, such has been the hellish nature of 2016 scorelines. Yet this club is leading the way in resilience in a way that very few clubs have done before.

     Before leaping to the good news and positivism, their season should first be looked at in cold, hard statistics (which clearly do not tell a whole story). They currently sit at the bottom of the Eastern Football League Fourth Division ladder without a win after ten rounds. Than in itself in not unusual, but their for and against of 113 to 2597 points gives them a percentage of just 4.35%. Now that is low. 

    In context, here are the losing margins across ten games: 224, 329, 202, 250, 305, 271, 280, 212, 237 and their most recent match was their closest result with a 174 point loss. This set of numbers must have some people asking just how a club can survive

    Well, this is where the story really unfolds. Recently, AFL legend Kevin Sheedy went down to the club to run a training session to lift spirits. According to some the person who was most uplifted was Sheedy himself when he saw the Lions’ spirit in action as these guys continued to just give all they had.

    An article in the Whitehorse Leader newspaper by Glenn Fisher best summarises the spirit of the Lions:

    Its reserves team might have been belted by more than 400 points on Saturday, but Nunawading Football Club is far from beaten.

    In fact, the Nunawading Lions are in great shape and in high spirits, according to new club president Wayne Devene.

    The reserves lost 63.26 (404) to 0.0 (0) against Ferntree Gully on Saturday, leaving them rooted to the bottom of the table with a percentage of just 2.81 after four games.

    Two weeks ago the seniors conceded a league record 350 points.

    But Devene and the rest of his committee aren’t worried.

    “Any publicity is fine by us,” Devene said.

    “We know it will be a struggle on the field this year, but we don’t mind taking the piss out of ourselves.”

    The Lions may have had their struggles fielding senior and reserves teams in the Eastern Football League Division 4 this season, but gate takings are up on last year, former players are returning to get involved and the financial crisis recently facing the club is quickly being rectified.

    Devene, 40, who is also reserves coach and played in Round 1, said 67 players were on the Lions’ list, including more than 15 who hadn’t played since juniors and Nathaneal Boyle, who had never played the game.

    Six players have also come out of retirement to fill spots in the reserves, including 46-year-old Andrew ‘Fizzer’ Ferlazzo and club games record holder John Krikas, who has added two more to his record tally of 310.

    “It’s the opposite of sombre, it’s actually exciting at the club at the moment,” Devene said.

    “We’ve got a couple of sponsors and our Roaring Lion Fund is up to $7500, so we expect to be well on track financially by the end of this year,” he said.

    “We’re all still learning, not just the players but the new committee.

    “It will be a long process, but to see generations of former players returning to the club is wonderful.”


    So inspired by their courage under seemingly overwhelming odds, my own club, Pyramid Power in Cairns, have reached out to the Lions as a Brother Club. Bit by bit other clubs are becoming aware and standing by the Lions.

    The Nunawading Lions, far from being a team on the verge of extinction, are leading the way for other clubs with a resilient, determined stance to say that results don’t matter any more or less than simply making you stronger. Their story should indeed be an inspiration to all clubs, in all codes, across the world.

    The Lions will survive this period, and as others rise to the challenge and stand by them, the club will grow stronger. It may not be financially yet, nor on the field, but those things will come. But one day soon the Nunawading Lions will look back on this era as one that defined their club for all the right reasons.

    If you are able to, you can find the Lions on Facebook at: – send them a message of support and stand beside them as they inspire so many with their courage under fire.




    Image: Nunawading Lions (Source: Ian Currie, New Corps Australia) ...

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    No matches were played in the AFLCNE competition last weekend due to the selections for the England Dragonslayers national team for the upcoming Euro Cup in Lisbon, Portugal. The AFLCNE is well represented with ten players selected either in the main squad or as reserves.


    The list as posted by AFL England on their website is: (AFLCNE players in bold type)

    Matt Whiteley (captain) (Huddersfield Rams)

    Ross Denton (North London Lions)

    Cameron Cope (Wolverhampton Wolverines)


    Alex Overton (Huddersfield Rams)


    Chris Britton (Manchester Mosquitoes)

    Luke Booth (Huddersfield Rams)

    Ian Mitchell (Wolverhampton Wolverines)

    Andrew Walkden (Manchester Mosquitoes)

    Myles Hudson (Wimbledon Hawks)

    Alastair McKinnell (Surrey Stags)

    Jason Hill (Wimbledon Hawks)

    Alex Watson (Wandsworth Demons)

    David Hastie (Wimbledon Hawks)

    Chris Cooney (Wandsworth Demons)

    David Jordan (Wandsworth Demons)



    Reserves: George Dibble (Wolverhampton Wolverines), Anthony Brannigan (Tyne Tees Tigers), Simon Vardy (Sheffield Thunder), Tim Atkins (Reading Roos).



    The updated ladder for the AFLCNE can be found below. The next round of matches is the Lightning Round, hosted by the Merseyside Saints.


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    The Paris Cockatoos have created all kinds of history in the CNFA Grand Final in Bordeaux, France, when they defeated the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes by 20 points – 110 to 90. Not only did they win their first ever premiership, but they did it in their very first season as a club, ostensibly having grown out of the bigger “brothers”, the Paris Cockerels, only last year.

    Regardless of how the Cockatoos arrived on the French football scene, it is a remarkable achievement in any sport to reach the highest level of success in an inaugural season. Credit must go to the Cockatoos, the Paris Cockerels and the CNFA for having the foresight to develop another club in Paris, and to do it so well that the new entity was blessed with the talent and belief to go all the way.

    In a tight match from the outset, the Cockatoos and the Coyotes threw themselves relentlessly at each other and it was not until the final 10 or so minutes of the match that the Cockatoos were able to get enough of a break to hold the unlucky Coyotes at bay until the final siren.

    The result is a potential windfall for the CNFA. With many new clubs developing, such as the Brittany Griffins and the new Blagnac Aviators in Toulouse, and others at varying stages of development, the success of the Cockatoos in their first season send a message of belief to any new club – success is possible.

    For the Coyotes it will be a bitter pill to swallow as all Grand Final losses are. But with their first Grand Final experience behind them the Coyotes can now grow from the experience and set their sights on next season confident in the knowledge that they are good enough to get that far and with an ounce of luck can go further.

    But for now the Paris Cockatoos are the toast of the Australian Rules football world in France and they have now earned the right to revel in the occasion for a while before getting back to the reality of preparing for a brand new season later this yea ...

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    The Merseyside Saints have been on a very steep learning curve in 2016, their inaugural season within the AFLCNE (Australian Football League Central & Northern England). The club was expecting defeats – heavy ones – and that has played out as expected. They also had a dream that maybe, just maybe, they might get their first win also. That, too, has played out to a myriad of emotions during the Lightning Round hosted by the Saints last weekend.

    Their 11 point win over the Tyne Tees Tigers – 5 15 45 to 5 4 34 – will go down in club and league history as a day when the Saints proved to all and sundry that they belong.

    Merseyside Saints President, Will Sykes, happily shared his and the club’s emotions. “ The feeling throughout the club was one of anticipation at first after the final whistle as despite extremely tired legs we knew we had had the better of it the second half but had missed several easy chances in front of goal.”

    “When the score was confirmed there was a host of emotions shown by all the players involved. After such a tough first season there was excitement, shock and confusion. Confusion because after coping such beatings week in, week out some weren’t sure how to react. That was quickly forgotten when the first words of the victory song, ‘Oh, When the Saints’ was belted out.”

    “The first historic win has done and will continue to do wonders for all the boys. They have battled hard all season and not forfeited any games despite being outgunned every week, so this is just reward for their efforts. They have had a taste of victory and they all love it. They can’t wait to get out on the training track to continue to improve and build on more wins.”

    There are so many words that can be used when a club withstands so much adversity and comes out the other side with victory. It is the basic premise of some of the greatest stories ever told. Words such as determination, spirit, belief, resilience, persistence, heart, courage – the list is formidable.

    But one word – relief – must be in there also. Relief that one particularly nasty and annoying monkey has been removed from the Saints’ backs. Whatever happens from here, that first victory is done and dusted. No matter what happens now, the Merseyside Saints can always state categorically:

    “We have won before and we will win again.”

    Congratulations, Merseyside Saint ...

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    Last weekend saw the Merseyside Saints host the AFLCNE Lightning Round, a round that threw up some more interesting permutations for the league as at rolls towards the 2016 finals series. There is still a battle for top spot, a battle for a finals berth and even a battle to avoid the wooden spoon. There was also an historic first win for the Merseyside Saints.

    Sitting on top of the ladder are the Manchester Mozzies. They are a game clear of the Nottingham Scorpions, but with a lesser percentage. It means their final round clash could be played for premiership favouritism. The Sheffield Thunder have crept silently up behind the Huddersfield Rams to create a battle for a finals berth. Whilst the Rams have the better run home, they cannot afford to slip up of the Thunder could sneak a surprise finals opportunity.

    The Merseyside Saints created history by winning their first match and in the process setting up an improbable but not quite impossible chance to avoid last place. A report on their first match can be found at Merseyside’s Famous Maiden Victory.


    Nottingham 9.17.71 d Sheffield 1.2.8
    Manchester 10.5.65 d Wolves 2.5.17
    Huddersfield 8.11.59 d Tyne 5.6.36
    Wolves 12.13.85 d Merseyside 0.4.4
    Manchester 9.12.66 d Sheffield 8.6.54
    Merseyside 5.15.45 d Tyne 5.4.34
    Notts 13.7.85 d Wolves 4.6.30
    Sheffield 13.5.83 d Huddersfield 7.4.46
    Wolverhampton 0.0.100 d Tyne 0.0.0 (Forfeit due to injuries)


    Manchester Mozzies 28
    Nottingham Scorpions 26
    Wolverhampton Wolverines 16
    Huddersfield Rams 12
    Sheffield Thunder 12
    Tyne Tees Tigers 6
    Merseyside Saints 2

    Next weekend’s penultimate round will see the Thunder host the Scorpions in Sheffield as well as the Tigers meeting the Mozzies. The Wolverines clash with the rams in Huddersfield whilst the Saints have a well earned bye. It is sure to be a big weekend with finals action just over two weeks away.

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    The West London Wildcats clawed their way back to the top of the ladder, leaping back above the Wandsworth Demons, in the completion of the split Round 7 fixtures. After the Demons downed the Hawks last weekend they briefly grabbed back the lead. From here it will be a fight to the finish for each side, locked together on six wins apiece and not meeting each other again before the finals.


    The circuit breaker is that both will meet third-placed North London Lions (Demons in Round 8 and Wildcats in Round 10), with both hoping the other slips up which would determine the minor premiership – although it would be interesting if the Lions won both encounters, though their percentage is far weaker.


    In the weekend matches the Wildcats thumped the London Swans by 154 points and would have won by more but for some errant kicking at goal. In the other match, the Lions downed the Magpies by 109 points in what ended up being a lopsided round (with the Demons having previously beaten the Hawks by 136 points last weekend).


    Scores: Premiership Division

    West London Wildcats 21.30 (156) vs 0.2 (2) London Swans          

    North London Lions 17.15 (117) vs 1.2 (8) Putney Magpies


    North London Lions 5.7 (37) vs 0.1 (1) South East London Giants


    North London Lions 0.50 (50) vs 0.0 (0) Putney Magpies                

    Reading Roos 26.14 (170) vs 1.4 (10) South East London Giants   


    Shepherds Bush Raiders 15.14 (104) vs 3.5 (23) London Swans                   

    North London Lions 10.5 (65) vs 3.8 (26) South East London Giants



    Round 8 sees the Wandsworth Demons take on the North London Lions in what is likely to be the match of the round. That match could yet be upstaged by a battle to avoid the wooden spoon when the London Swans tackle the Putney Magpies. The West London Wildcats will meet the Wimbledon Hawks.      


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    The following article is from the ARFLI website and looks at one particularly exciting aspect of last weekend’s Belfast Carnival, incorporating Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2016 ARFLI season. Galway won both of their matches, downing the Belfast Redbacks 9 2 56 to 5 6 36 for their first ever win in Belfast. They followed this with a tight 8 4 52 to 7 5 47 win over the South Dublin Swans. With one game to go before finals time, the Magpies sit clear second on the ladder behind the Leeside Lions.

    In other matches, the Leeside Lions survived a close call against the Redbacks, winning 4 8 32 to 4 7 31. They also defeated the Swans 10 8 68 to 4 2 26, remaining undefeated so far this season.

    Former AFL star Marty Clarke made his ARFLI debut on Saturday last at the Belfast Carnival.  Lining out for Galway Magpies he was impressive in helping the Pies to their first ever away win against the Belfast Redbacks.  Wearing his most recent Collingwood guernsey and County Down shorts he looked fit and strong.  The Pies beat the Redbacks by 17 points before overturning the South Dublin Swans by 4 points in an exciting second game.


    Clarke who started his career as a star underage Gaelic footballer for County Down first went to Collingwood in 2007 and impressed from the start.  He earned a nomination in the NAB AFL Rising Star award in just his second ever AFL game having scored three goals against Hawthorn.   At his best, Clarke was one of the AFL’s brightest young hopes.  In his debut season 2007 he helped Collingwood to finals before narrowly losing a famous Preliminary Final to Geelong.

    He returned to Ireland at the end of the 2009 season citing his desire to return home and to play Gaelic football.  In 2010 he was a star performer for County Down as they got to the All-Ireland final, a game they lost to Cork by just one point.  Clarke was recognised for his efforts with an All-Star award that year.

    Clarke returned to Collingwood at the start of preseason in October 2011 and played three more years with the Pies.  However a condition called Addison’s disease, which stops the adrenal glands from producing hormones and leads to chronic fatigue cut his AFL career short.  In total Clarke played 73 games for Collingwood over two three-year stints.

    Clark who is now a student at Queen’s University Belfast played in midfield for the Galway Magpies in Belfast and his game sense and accurate passing and goal kicking were impressive.  Clark who played Sigerson Cup Gaelic football for Queen’s University this year also hopes to resurrect his County Down GAA career in the near future.  If he is interested and available he would be an exciting addition to the Irish Warriors team for the 2017 AFL International Cup in Melbourne next August.

    The article first appeared in The Irish News:

    Picture: Alt Media Productions NI (from ARFLI website



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    Footy Book Review: JUMPING AT THE CHANCE
    From NBA Hopefuls to AFL Prospects— The Players of the American Experiment
    By Gil Griffin, with foreword by Martin Flanagan
    ISBN: 978-1-86395-851-6 • RRP $29.99
    Published by Nero Books – Available in Australian bookstores now • 288 pp Also available in ebook
    If you read reviews you will often see a review that stands out from the others. It probably goes against the trend of the other reviews. And that is because it often comes down to personal bias held by the reviewer which will not be swayed regardless of the quality of the content.  It should be stated up front of course. 
    So here I have to state that this book I am reviewing plays very much to my bias. I am extremely interested in any footy stories coming out of the US. I have closely followed the story arcs of all of the Americans covered in this book. And I love that new fans around the world, like the author Gil Griffin can not only find our game, but fall in love with it.
    I have long been frustrated by the lack of available details about the Americans that have come to AFL clubs and left quietly. Little explanation is given and they just disappear into the ether. The stories of how it went down for the likes of Shae McNamara at Collingwood (and almost at Hawthorn), Eric Wallace at North Melbourne and Alex Starling (at the Sydney Swans), and the where are they now were extremely satisfying for me.
    Gil goes into great depths to tell the story of each player, their background, their family, friends and coaches at home and how they saw the transition to this strange Aussie game unfold.   The homesickness, the long hours of learning the basic skills, the battles on cold wet suburban grounds plying their trade are told by the players themselves but also by their coaches and team mates.
    It would be easy to just focus on the centre stage stories of Jason Holmes and Mason Cox who have made their AFL debuts in the past 12 months (which he does in great detail) but Gil set out to be as comprehensive as possible. He goes back to Dwayne Armstrong and his trailblazing journey at Essendon under Kevin Sheedy. He takes us behind the scenes at the AFL’s US Combines where I felt like I was right there in the middle of the eclectic mix of athletes all vying for a trip to Australia to do something they knew very little about. 
    And the book also covers other avenues such as Miro Gladovic’s US Footy Star program that sent out three players to Australia in 2015 who ended up playing at Temora.  He reveals the story behind the program that ultimately had Brendon Kaufman signed by the Gold Coast Suns. And then there are those just decided to take matters into their own hands such as Alexander Aurrichio and Rory Smith and have both played in state leagues in Australia.
    Showing a great feel for the current state of footy in Australia Gil also details the potential for US women to be part of the upcoming 2017 women’s national league with the stories of Katie Klatt and Kim Hemenway showing just how the game can grab American athletes and see them sacrifice so much for a chance to make it in to the footy big time in Australia.
    One particular chapter really had me enthralled above the others though and it was the one I knew least about before reading this book. The chapter goes into great detail to provide a master and apprentice story of one of the US combine athletes selected to come to Australia. It tells how he came to be connected with an Australian Denis Ryan. Ryan is the President of the USAFL, and the story of how he took Marvin Baynham into his own home with his family and brought him up to speed for his AFL audition at the National Draft in Melbourne is brilliantly told (I will not spoil the ending here).
    Maybe you are someone who can just accept it at face value when someone like Mason Cox runs out for your footy club. But if you want to know what is really going on behind the scenes to make this kind of debut happen, get the full story and learn a lot more about the personalities involved, then you will get plenty out of this book.  I did. I loved reading this book and powered through it to learn so many of the answers to questions I had for a long time about a number of these players. I may be biased but the content was high quality and told in a great style. I have to say that this book was so much up my alley I felt like it was written for me. 
    From the book’s press release
    ‘Jumping at the Chance provides a great insight into what drives individuals
    to succeed … a must-read for anyone aspiring to take a chance to fulfil their
    dreams in life and sport.’—Kevin Sheehan, National and International
    Talent Manager of the AFL
    A wonderful fish-out-of water story about talented US athletes launching
    their AFL careers.
    Talented basketballers Jason Holmes, Eric Wallace, Mason Cox and Matt
    Korcheck all had decent careers in Division One of the NCAA. But with the
    NBA out of reach, the dream they shared of becoming professional athletes
    seemed destined to go unfulfilled. Then came an invitation to a three-day
    scouting combine in Redondo Beach, California, to learn to play a sport they’d
    never even heard of before: Australian Rules football.
    Fast-forward a couple of years and the four ambitious young athletes were
    signed to AFL clubs as international rookies, competing to play at the top level
    of the sport. Some have made it—including Holmes, who played his first
    senior matches for St Kilda in 2015 and Mason Cox who debuted for
    Collingwood in 2016—while others will fail. But all are taking a great leap of
    faith—in their ability as athletes, and also in their adaptability and resilience.
    A captivating book that crosses boundaries in more ways than one, Jumping at
    the Chance chronicles the AFL’s efforts to draw foreign athletes to Aussie Rules,
    and tells the colourful stories of these and other young Americans prepared to
    dream big.
    Gil Griffin lives in Playa Del Rey, California, and is a
    journalist and teacher of English and history. He has
    written for the LA Times, the Washington Post and the
    Miami Herald, as well as the AFL’s Football Record. Gil fell
    in love with footy while travelling in Australia, and is an
    avid Fremantle Dockers supporter. He is a regular
    contributor to WA Today’s footy coverage. ...

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    I sat down for a coffee and a chat with Gil Griffin author of Jumping at the chance this week on his promotional tour of Melbourne. You can hear the audio in the two parts below.


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    The following article by Nathan Schmook at looks at another AFL initiative in line with next weekend’s Multicultural Round. With the appointment of coaches from a diverse collection of multicultural backgrounds it is hoped that an even higher profile for Australian Rules football be raised within multicultural communities as well as bringing a wide range of skill sets to clubs at the highest level, filtering down to grass roots levels of the game.

    The AFL Multicultural Round commences on Thursday 7th July and encompasses AFL matches through to Sunday 10th. For details on events for the 2016 Toyota AFL Multicultural Round, go to their website at:



    THE AFL is taking on the next frontier in football diversity by launching a program to place six multicultural coaches within clubs for the rest of the season. 


    The idea, which was developed in conjunction with the AFL Coaches' Association, has been brought to life by St Kilda, Essendon, Greater Western Sydney, Carlton, the Brisbane Lions and Sydney Swans.


    The clubs have each taken on one amateur coach from community football, with the successful candidates coming from Korean, Chinese, African, Vietnamese and Middle Eastern backgrounds.


    As part of the pilot program, which will be assessed at the end of the year, the coaches will be spending one training day at their clubs during the week, as well as match days.


    AFL football operations manager Mark Evans said if the program was deemed successful by the clubs and participants it would expand significantly in 2017.


    "The big picture is the AFL's desire to make sure it is representative of all of Australia and it has a lens towards diversity," Evans told


    "The participants of the game, the officials, the coaches and the administrators all need to reflect that.


    "We think this is a great opportunity to accelerate the development of all of these people who will then inspire a new range of community to come to and enjoy our game."


    The AFL has recognised a significant gap between the number of amateur and elite-level coaches with a multicultural background and the general community.


    Only 10 per cent of community football coaches were born overseas, while 15 per cent have one parent who was born overseas.


    "The insight of coaching and umpiring and football administration at the higher end is quite difficult, because the normal pathway is that you've come from a very strong footballing background," Evans said.


    "So if we have the ability to accelerate the development of the people who are well placed, I just think that's a brilliant opportunity we shouldn't miss."


    The AFLCA has an aspirational vision for the program that it will accept 36 new coaches each year on 12-month internships.  


    CEO Mark Brayshaw said the AFL's 18 senior coaches supported the initiative as a way to increase the popularity of the game among new Australians. 


    "We have a vision that, in a few years time, at the end of each footy season 36 coaches with a multicultural background will leave the bosom of the 18 AFL clubs, go out into their communities and coach their own team," Brayshaw told


    "That's the vision, and (AFL CEO) Gillon McLachlan has made clear that's an important consideration for the AFL because of the changing demographics of the country.


    "We hope this can be an important contribution the coaches make to the overall health and well-being of our game in the long run."


    To apply for the program, applicants needed to be coaching at youth to senior level, hold a Level One AFL Coach Accreditation and to have been born, or to have at least one parent born, in a country from the Middle East, Africa or Asia.


    The multicultural criteria are consistent with the AFL’s Next Generation Academies program, which could also present a career pathway for coaches once they leave their AFL clubs. 


    "We need to create role models and a pathway for multicultural people to see themselves in the game, particularly in coaching," AFL diversity manager Ali Fahour said.


    "When you see them on TV, in the coach's box, on the bench, in the huddle, people might see themselves out there and they'll become role models for people of their background."


    All clubs at all levels of the game can participate in the 2016 Toyota AFL Multicultural Round by being involved in community events at local clubs (check with your own club or league for details), or simply acknowledging the place of multiculturalism in the game pre-match by giving a mention as players enter the field.


    By mentioning the backgrounds of Lin Jong, Majak Daw, Jason Johannisen, Conor McKenna, Mason Cox, Mike Pyke, Alex Jesaulenko, Peter Daicos, the Silvagni family and many more players from diverse multicultural backgrounds it will raise the awareness of the rich heritage the game has had historically and will have in the future.




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    Australian Rules football has just received its first international football identity on his way to the House of Representatives after Saturday’s Australian federal election. Luke Gosling, one of the key foundation members of the footy scene in Timor Leste (along with Justin Bayard), [stood] as the Labor Party candidate for the seat of Solomon.

    “Gosling spent a number of years in East Timor with the Australian Defence Force peacekeeping and development mission, after the nation achieved independence in 2002. During his time in the country he was one of a group of Australians who helped introduce the sport of Australian rules. Members of the Asian footy scene may remember him through his involvement in the early years of the Timor-Leste Crocodiles national side.” (World Footy News, 2013 – Foundation member of AFL Timor-Leste running for Australian parliament)

    The electoral division of Solomon encompasses the metropolitan areas of Darwin and surrounds. Luke and his family are Darwin residents.

    Gosling has made history in the seat of Solomon, being only the second Labour candidate to win the seat after Damien Hale in 2007. He has ousted CLP (Country Liberal Party) candidate Natasha Griggs who has held the seat since 2010. Gosling now has a great opportunity to seek positive change in his electorate and beyond.

    Hopefully, Luke might be able to re-establish some links to footy in Timor Leste and trigger a change in footy direction for those seeking to rebuild the game. You can see his previous comments on the state of the game in Timor Leste at: Timor Leste footy may rise again – All it needs is…YOU!.

    World Footy News would like to congratulate Luke on his victory and wish him all the best in his personal and political career. ...

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    With just one round remaining before the AFLCNE finals series kicks off, some of the questions from last week were answered after last weekend’s matches. The four finalists are now decided with Sheffield Thunder unable to cause an upset in their final match of the season. It means that the Mozzies, Scorpions, Wolverines and the Rams will contest the finals.

    Also decided, though it was a decision already made, was the Merseyside Saints claiming (unwantedly, but not unexpectedly) this season’s wooden spoon. They have one more match to throw caution to the wind and create a final round upset, but any unexpected miracle needed to occur on the weekend – it didn’t.

    The one enormous question still out there is which team will finish minor premiers. The Manchester Mozzies hold the spot currently after an excellent undefeated season to date. But the Nottingham Scorpions have chased them and sit one game behind the Mozzies and with a superior percentage. The pair will meet this weekend in arguably the match of the home and away season and a likely grand final preview. The winner will claim the minor premiership.

    Weekend results saw the Manchester Mozzies too strong for the Tyne Tees Tigers, winning by 168 points. The Nottingham Scorpions hammered the Sheffield Thunder by 142 points. The closest game of the round was the clash between likely third and fourth teams, with the Wolverhampton Wolverines hanging on to down the Huddersfield Rams by 20 points.


    Nottingham Scorpions 27.20.182 d Sheffield Thunder 6.4.40
    Wolverhampton Wolverines 19.15.129 d Huddersfield Rams 16.13.109
    Manchester Mozzies 29.28.202 d Tyne Tees Tigers 5.4.34
    Bye: Merseyside Saints

    The final round features the aforementioned top of the table clash between hosts Manchester Mozzies and the Nottingham Scorpions. The Tyne Tees Tigers take on the Wolverhampton Wolverines at Huddersfield whilst the Rams meet the Merseyside Saints at their home ground. Sheffield Thunder’s home and away season is now done as they have the bye However, all teams will remain active over finals time as teams compete for the premiership cup (1st to 4th) and the plate (5th to 7th).


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  • 07/04/16--16:46: Multicultural Round Overview
  • The following overview from the AFL gives some of the highlights of this coming weekend’s 2016 Toyota AFL Multicultural Round. Using and enhancing many of the initiatives from last year’s highly successful round, the AFL is planning to showcase the multicultural heritage and future of the game like never before. The following article from the website lists some of the more exciting aspects of the round.


    THE AFL's annual Multicultural Round celebrates the game's diversity and promotes inclusiveness, with the theme of 'Many Cultures, One Game'. Here's a look at what the AFL and some of the clubs are doing this weekend.


    * Matches are being broadcast in one of seven languages:


    Mandarin: Port Adelaide v Hawthorn and West Coast v North Melbourne

    Greek: Geelong v Sydney Swans

    Hindi: GWS v Collingwood and Essendon v St Kilda

    Arabic: Gold Coast v Brisbane Lions

    Vietnamese: Western Bulldogs v Richmond

    Spanish: Melbourne v Fremantle

    Italian: Carlton v Adelaide


    Audio available via the AFL App and on Match Centre on

    * Field umpires have the word for UMPIRE printed on the back of their shirts in one of the seven languages. Goal umpire flags will be orange, the colour symbolising harmony. 

     * The Sherrin match balls feature the word WELCOME printed on them in Greek, Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic, Spanish and Italian.

    * The 50-metre arcs have the word FIFTY painted on them in one of the seven languages.

    * Port Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney are wearing multicultural-themed guernseys, while Gold Coast, West Coast and the Western Bulldogs will wear themed warm-up gear. The Power's jumper features the Australian and Chinese flags on the front and players' names in Mandarin on the back. The Giants' jumper has hands interlinked on the front representing solidarity between all people, standing together and living in unity and harmony. The guernsey also features the United Nations Refugee Agency logo.

    Clubs are running culturally diverse pre-game activities and on-field entertainment, including food festivals, dancing and fireworks displays, movie screenings and giveaways. The Giants are hosting the AFL Multicultural Festival, presented by Australia Post, at Cathy Freeman Park, outside Spotless Stadium, from 11am on Saturday.


    Check club websites for information on what initiatives each AFL club is running. For local state, country and metropolitan clubs or leagues, contact the clubs directly or visit their websites.


     Image: AFL Website ( ...

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    Tony De Bolfo has named a team of International born players to have played at AFL club Carlton (with an 8 man extended bench) on the Carlton Football Club website.

     Nations represented include England, Scotland, Ireland, NZ, Sweden, Yugoslavia, PNG, the Netherlands, Lebanon, South Africa, India, Italy, Austria and Wales.  It also includes Tommy Hughes who was 'born at sea'.   Hopefully in the near future American Matt Korcheck will be added to the list. 

    You can check the full team out here ...

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    The AFL officially launched the 2016 Toyota AFL Multicultural Round today at the Female Orphan School in the Parramatta campus of Western Sydney University.

    The Toyota AFL Multicultural Round highlights the contribution different communities have made to Australian Football, while highlighting the extraordinary power the game has in uniting all people of all backgrounds.

    AFL Commissioner Gabrielle Trainor said the significance of the Female Orphan School in Western Sydney was not lost on her or the AFL.

    “The Female Orphan School was built in 1813 and its purpose was to house and look after orphaned or deserted girls,” Ms Trainor said.

    “It was the first welfare organization in New South Wales, and an early sign of the kind of society that Australians cherish – one dedicated to a fair go, with a decent social safety net.

    “A young woman called Elizabeth spent ten years at the Female Orphan School in the early 1800s, and then went on to marry Horatio Wills, and they had a son called Tom Wills – who is widely credited as helping invent the rules of Australia’s first football code – Australian Football.

    “It makes a lot of sense to launch our Multicultural Round in this place, a building steeped in the history of our nation, and connected closely to the birth of our great game.

    “A reminder for all of us unless you are indigenous, we are all migrants to this land, and that in celebrating Multicultural Round, we are in fact celebrating the strength and success of our migrant nation,” she said.

    The Toyota AFL Multicultural Round launch event was hosted by journalist Angela Pippos who led a panel discussion with New South Wales Multicultural Minister, John Ajaka, Western Sydney Hip Hop artist L-FRESH The LION and CEO of Community Hubs Australia Sonja Hood.

    AFL Ambassador and former Hawthorn player, Robert ‘Dipper’ DiPierdomenico, also hosted a Q&A session with Stephen Coniglio and Aliir Aliir.

    Thanks to Telstra, all nine matches across Round 16 of the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round will be broadcast in one of seven languages available on and the AFL Live App.

    Program of matches below (all local times):

    Thursday July 7
    Port Adelaide v Hawthorn, Adelaide Oval at 7.20pm – Mandarin
    Jamie Pi and Jinsong Li)

    Friday July 8
    Geelong Cats v Sydney Swans, Simonds Stadium at 7.50pm – Greek (Commentators: Timothy Dionyssopoulos and Nick Thodos)

    Saturday July 9
    GWS GIANTS v Collingwood, Spotless Stadium at 1.40pm – Hindi (Commentators: Manpreet Singh and Harbir Kang)

    Gold Coast SUNS v Brisbane Lions, Metrion Stadium at 4.35pm – Arabic (Commentators: Rick Kerbatieh and Wassim Rafihi)

    Western Bulldogs v Richmond, Etihad Stadium at 7.25pm – Vietnamese
    (Commentators: Diana Nguyen and Hung Huynh)

    Melbourne v Fremantle, TIO Stadium at 7.10pm, Spanish
    (Commentators: Juan Moya and Peter Pino)

    Sunday July 10
    Carlton v Adelaide Crows, MCG at 1.10pm – Italian
    (Commentators: Diego Ghiradi and Dario Castaldo)

    West Coast Eagles v North Melbourne, Domain Stadium at 1.20pm – Mandarin
    (Commentators: Jamie Pi and Euphie Rong)

    Essendon v St Kilda, Etihad Stadium at 4.40pm – Hindi
    (Commentators: Manpreet Singh and Harbir Kang)

    AFL Multicultural Festival presented by Australia Post

    On Saturday July 9 from 11am – 7pm the AFL, GWS GIANTS and Australia Post are bringing the AFL Multicultural Festival to Sydney. Celebrating the many cultures who share a passion for footy, this FREE event offers rides, food stalls, AFL clinics, henna and face painters, multicultural workshops, Bollywood dancing, PLUS Justice Crew performing LIVE!

    Happening in Cathy Freeman Park, Sydney Olympic Park (opposite the main entry to Spotless Stadium), the festival will run two hours before and after the GWS GIANTS v Collingwood match.

    Australia Post is the official community inclusion partner of the AFL.

    Australia Post CEO and Managing Director, Ahmed Fahour, said Australia Post is committed to celebrating Australia’s rich diversity and aims to build a better future for communities everywhere, every day.

    “We have a diverse workforce with 36,000 people from 136 nations. In fact, almost a quarter of our employees are from non-English speaking backgrounds. As an organisation, we are passionate about inclusion, acceptance and cultural diversity.

    “AFL is a fantastic way to bring people together and build awareness, empathy and understanding of diverse groups as well as and break down personal and social barriers. Let’s work together to accept, embrace and celebrate each other’s differences every day to create a safe, inclusive Australia for all,” Mr Fahour said.

    Highlights of the 2016 Toyota AFL Multicultural Round

    ·         The AFL Umpires will have the word ‘UMPIRE’ translated into one of six languages and printed on their uniform

    ·         Orange flags will be used by the AFL goal umpires at all matches signifying harmony

    ·         The Sherrin match balls with have the word ‘WELCOME’ printed in six different languages

    ·         Bi-lingual ’50’ on each of the 50m arcs at all of the matches across the round, correlating to the language theme for the game

    ·         Thousands of new fans and communities will experience live AFL action for the first time through the AFL MyPassport program where free tickets have been made available and supported by Australia Post.

    AFL Club Coaching Diversity Program
    The AFL and the AFL Coaches Association announced the implementation of the AFL Club Coaching Diversity Program. This program will see six clubs – Brisbane Lions, GWS GIANTS, Sydney Swans, Essendon, Carlton and St Kilda – appoint coaches with multicultural backgrounds to their football departments for the remainder of the 2016 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.

    Australia Post AFL Multicultural Player Ambassadors
    There are 17 Australia Post AFL Multicultural Player Ambassadors for season 2016, they each promote inclusiveness and the game through their individual community work.

    ·         Nic Naitanui (West Coast - Fijian) works one day per week at the WAFC supporting the ongoing development of the West Australian multicultural strategy and the Naitanui Talent Academy.  

    ·         Bachar Houli (Richmond - Lebanese) works one day per week at AFL House developing the Bachar Houli Islamic Schools Program in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, the Bachar Houli Academy nationally and Ramadan dinners.

    ·         Adam Saad (Gold Coast SUNS - Lebanese) will work on developing the Bachar Houli Islamic Schools Program in Queensland, mentor participants at the National Bachar Houli Academy and provided support to the Queensland Ramadan dinner. He is also supporting the AFL’s World Team at the NAB Under-16 National Championships as well as helping drive the Queensland multicultural strategy through key appearances at multicultural events, including the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round.  

    ·         Tom Nicholls(Gold Coast SUNS - Fijian) is supporting the Queensland multicultural strategy through key appearances at multicultural events, including Toyota AFL Multicultural Round. Tom is working with the AFL’s World Team at the NAB Under-16 National Championships.

    ·         David Zaharakis(Essendon - Greek) is continuing his work on AFL Victoria’s talent programs, mentoring young multicultural footballers and attending key multicultural events.

    ·         Paul Puopolo (Hawthorn - Italian) will assist in the management of the AFL Multicultural talent camps and National All Nations Cup, as well as attending key multicultural events.

    ·         Tom Hawkins (Geelong)is passionate about uniting diverse communities through Australian Football and is supporting the AFL multicultural strategy through key appearances at multicultural events, including Toyota AFL Multicultural Round.  

    ·         Alipate Carlile (Port Adelaide - Fijian) works one day per week with the SANFL supporting the ongoing development of the South Australian multicultural strategy, Toyota AFL Multicultural Round, Alipate Carlile Talent Academy and facilitate cultural education sessions with community football clubs.  

    ·         Jimmy Toumpas (Port Adelaide - Greek) facilitates cultural education sessions with community leagues and community football clubs as well as assisting with multicultural talent programs in South Australia.

    ·         Stephen Coniglio (GWS GIANTS - Italian) works with the New South Wales Multicultural Talent Academy, helping drive the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round, as well as being a Talent Mentor to multicultural participants in the talent pathway.

    ·         Aliir Aliir(Sydney - Sudanese) supports the New South Wales multicultural strategy through key appearances at multicultural events, including the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round.  

    ·         Lin Jong (Western Bulldogs - Taiwanese and East Timorese) works on participation programs in the Western suburbs of Melbourne including an umpiring academy focusing on the Asian community and facilitates cultural education sessions with community football clubs.

    ·         Jason Johannisen (Western Bulldogs - South African) supports the Victorian multicultural strategy through key appearances at multicultural events, including the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round.

    ·         Tendai Mzungu (Fremantle - Zimbabwean) works on the Multicultural programs in West Australia through key appearances at multicultural events, including the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round.  

    ·         Dayne Zorko (Brisbane Lions - Yugoslavian)in conjunction with his role as a NAB AFL Auskick Ambassador, supports the ongoing development of the Queensland multicultural strategy to help unite diverse communities through Australian Football and has assisted in programs including the Queensland All Nations Cup.

    ·         Darcy Vescio (Western Bulldogs Women’s Team- Chinese & Italian) supports the AFL’s female multicultural talent strategy through development programs and will also make key appearances at multicultural events, including the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round.

    ·         Sabrina Frederick-Traub (Melbourne Women’s Team - English) supports the AFL’s female multicultural talent strategy through development programs and will also make key appearances at multicultural events, including the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round.   ...

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    PNG players Hapeo Bobogi and Kelly Kaugla yesterday represented Queensland in the NAB AFL Under-16 Championships Division Two – Round Two matches played today at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast.

    Bobogi and Kaugla were selected for Queensland after playing well for the South Pacific in the Qld state championships held in April.  Since then they have played with the squad against Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns Academy teams in the build up to this tournament.

    Queensland went down to NSW/ACT by 23 points.  They will play again on Saturday at Southport AFC 10am against the Northern Territory Thunder.



    NSW/ACT                  13.11 (89)

    QUEENSLAND        9.12 (66)



    NSW/ACT: Carmody 3, Close 3, Blakey 2, Reed 2, Peatling 2, Holten

    Queensland: Ansell 3, Greenwool, Scott, Marsh, Mills, Beaman, Portelli



    NSW/ACT: Blakey, Reed, Close, Walker, Carmody, Driscoll

    Queensland: Scott, Ansell, Marango, McFadyen, Stackelberg


    TASMANIA                           16.9 (105)




    Tas: Boyd 4, Rubock 3, Thomas 2, Turner 2, Best, Kalbfell, Jubb, Dakin, Banks-Smith

    NT: Palmer 2, Blake, Cameron



    Tas: Thomas, Jones, Boyd, Gadomski, Best, Dakin, Farrow, Turner

    NT: Bailey, Green, Blake, Holt-Fitz, Quinn


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    Jason Johannisen was interviewed today after the Melbourne launch of the Multicultural Round. Jason told us of his Multicultural Ambassador role, that goal to win the game on the weekend, responds to questions about Lin Jong being seen at Collingwood and about spending time in South Africa. You can hear the audio below. ...

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