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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    The Glasgow Sharks downed the Edinburgh Bloods in a thrilling Preliminary Final at Linlithgow Rugby Club this weekend, sending them into the Grand Final to play against Fellow Glasgow team, the Greater Glasgow Giants. Any fears that the city could not support two Australian Football teams can be laid to rest as the historic match showcases the work of both clubs to grow and co-exist.

    In an exciting final to fight for a spot in the biggest game of the year, the Edinburgh team got quickly out of the blocks to hold a five goal lead by quarter time (Bloods 37 to Sharks 7). The Sharks, however, lifted with a big second quarter of their own to close the gap to just 13 points by half time (Bloods 47 to Sharks 34).



    The Sharks had momentum and continued their challenge of a come-from-behind win with a great third quarter, grabbing the lead and setting up a huge last quarter (Sharks 76 to Bloods 67). The final quarter was a titanic struggle as both teams threw everything at each other. Scores were level with ten minutes to go as the Bloods refused to concede, but a couple of late goals to the Sharks got them home in a thriller – Final Score: Glasgow Sharks 98 defeated Edinburgh Bloods 87.

    The scene is now set for an All-Glasgow Grand Final At the Linlithgow Rugby Fields next Saturday 13th August.

    In a season which saw the Falkirk Silverbacks forced to withdraw from the remainder of the season due largely to a crippling injury toll, the Glasgow teams, Edinburgh and the Kingdom Kangaroos have reached the business end of the year. The off season will see AFL Scotland assess the season and plan for next year with a view to assisting the Falkirk team as well as other development areas in Dundee and West Lothian to retain stability in the competition and continue the sustainable growth of the game.

    But for the time being all eyes will be on Glasgow as one of the teams of warriors from the city will hold aloft the cup and etch their name in the AFL Scotland history books ...

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    After one of the most evenly contested seasons by two clubs heading to the Grand Final, the West London Wildcats asserted their authority on Grand Final day to claim the flag they wanted so much and prove they were the best team in the AFL London competition for 2016.

    The Wildcats won every quarter as they continued to build their lead over the Wandsworth Demons, always able to find the extra gear needed to halt every Demon charge or consolidate their own good work.

    After finishing the season locked on top of the ladder, the Wildcats adjusted to the demands and pressures of grand final footy just a little better than the Demons. After leading by 12 points at Quarter Time and jumping to a 26 point lead by the main break, warning bells would have been sounding within the Demon’s camp.


    The third quarter would have to be the Demons chance to turn their fortunes, but the Wildcats resisted their challenges and moved on to a 32 point lead. The game wasn’t over but the Wildcats had all the answers. The final stanza saw them slam home four goals to two to run away to a commanding and joyful (for them) 51 point premiership victory.

    The West London Wildcats had stewed on their upset defeat at the hands of the North London Lions since last year and were determined that this year they would leave nothing to chance. They can now celebrate winning their ninth flag in style before resting and looking ahead to next season.

    The Wandsworth demons may have lost the Premiership Division flag, but their fortunes were brighter in the Conference Division where the Clapham Demons 8 2 50 downed the Shepherds Bush Raiders 7 5 47 in a thriller. Their South London Demons defeated the Reading Roos in the Social Division also with the final score 8 10 58 to 3 2 20.

    To complete a grand day, the Wimbledon Hawks women’s team downed the North London Lions to take out the Women’s Division premiership, winning comprehensively 10 5 65 to no score.

    With the AFL London season now done, attention will turn to the upcoming national teams for the Euro Cup in Portugal amongst other endeavours and all clubs will begin to make their plans for 201 ...

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    The 2016 BSP PNG Games are to be hosted in the West New Britain Province of Papua New Guinea. 22 provinces take part in 24 games – including para-sports and including AFL. Across 4 locations within the provincial capital of Kimbe. As a note, Kimbe Bay is said to host more than 60% of the coral species of the entire Indo-Pacific while Kimbe itself is the third largest port in PNG and said to be the fastest growing city in the South Pacific.

    This years tournament runs from 24th November to 10th December. The objective of the PNG Games is to provide grassroot athletes access to pathways and competition that otherwise would not be available and allows national selectors and scouts to identify raw sporting talents.

    Across PNG squads in various sports are being finalised in preparation. And when the NCD (National Capital District) mens and womens squads are announced it draws some attention - Team NCD announces AFL squad for PNG Games.

    The 30 man mens squad includes some well known names to WFN readys and International footy followers including Brendan Beno, Michael Macca, Theo Gavuri, Jason So-ong and Paul Philip. The side is being coached by Douglas Lai. For the women’s squad the coach is Casper Gelu.

    With cricket also included amongst the sports it is interesting to note the primary venue illustrations from earlier this year – with oval marked for AFL with AFL goal posts in place. The recent years inclusion of AFL in the PNG games is clearly a major step forward in the provincial development of AFL with decent ovals and illustrates the mutual benefit with cricket.

    ...

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    The first week of August saw an important progam held at the Holiday Inn in Suva, Fiji, with the AFL Fiji Staff Conference. In recent months Simon Highfield has joined as AFL Fiji’s new development officer and AFL Fiji have also received support from Australia’s Pacific Sports Partnerships Program. Once again – this December Fiji will be hosting the AFL Oceania Cup. However – last week it was the AFL Fiji staff getting upskilled – along with training from the Fiji Ministry of Health & Medical Services and the Fiji Women’s Crisis centre with an aim to inclusion of awareness messages into the AFL Fiji school and community programs.

    The sessions across the 4 days were as follows:

    Day 1 included First Aid training, importantly staff at AFL Fiji have become qualified in First Aid for the first time. This course was delivered by Andy from Handy Training Fiji.

    Day 2 so the education sessions delivered by the Ministry of Health & Medical Services Fiji and the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre. The aim of the sessions to empower AFL Fiji staff to promote awareness on healthy messages around nutrition, physical activity and issues around gender based violence.

    Day 3 focused on development covering reporting/participation, PSP programs, Youth Protection Policy, and Bulakick amongst other topics. Also Steve Wildschut from AFLQ was on hand sharing his expertise on social media, alcohol and drugs as well as respect & responsibility.

    Day 4 so Steve Wildschut and AFL South Pacific’s Ben Drew running the Level 1 Coaching Course.

    The scope of the sessions illustrates the growing professionalism around the organisation of AFL Fiji and helps build the foundations for sustainable development as well as respected reputation.

    First Aid training on Day ...

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    This is a story of commitment fulfilled by a number of parties. The most obvious one is Kurt Heatherley. Way back in 2009 we first reported the Kurt had signed with Hawthorn after being a recent convert to the Aussie game. This is significant. He learned the game in NZ. Outside Australia.
     
    AFLNZ also made a commitment and that was to grow the game on their own soil. No longer would it be a place for expats and few locals playing the Australian game. They had actively committed to growing and promoting the game locally. 
     
    They had gone hard into schools in NZ creating not just the opportunity for kids to learn the skills of the game but to play it in competition. They made sure they had quality elite programs for the best of the young talent to represent their provinces and their country. 
    And Hawthorn committed. They provided resources to the NZ programs, put their own “Hawks” stamp on the NZ national team (previously the Falcons) and followed through to scholarship list a stream of Kiwi kids that showed talent at Aussie rules.
     
    Heatherley continued to develop representing NZ and the South Pacific in footy. All the while building his Aussie rules skills. Hawthorn continued to work with him and Kurt relocated with his family to Australia where his footy education would continue for two years in school footy in Melbourne at Caulfield Grammar. 
     
    He played with Sandringham in the TAC Cup. All the while spending time at Hawthorn learning and developing his game. 
     
    In 2014 Heatherley was upgraded to International Rookie and now just one step away from the AFL. And at the end of 2015 Heatherley was officially upgraded to the senior list. But as close as he may have been it would be almost three full seasons in the VFL before his chance came on Saturday.
     
    So on Saturday the 6th of August 2016 Kurt Heatherley made history. The first born and bred player from NZ to debut in the AFL. 
     
    The first time a player from outside Australia has learnt the game domestically, progressed through the local development pathway and go on to play in the AFL. A trailblazer for all those players not just in NZ but all around the world with their own dreams of doing the same. It can be done, it has been done.
     
    Heatherley has been named as emergency the last couple of weeks. He was named emergency again this week. But on Saturday the Hawks announced he would be the late replacement for James Frawley.
     
    His selection comes after a relatively long apprenticeship in the VFL. He has played in two losing VFL Grand Finals and notched up a total of 48 VFL senior matches for Box Hill (and 3 games in the Development League). In both 2014 and 2015 he looked a chance to debut for Hawthorn but the opportunity did not come. 
     
    His form may have seemed a little down early in the year but has been very consistent in the past couple of months arguably being the most consistent player week in week out for Box Hill.  In defence his ability to read the play and go on a run off half back has been impressive and he rarely gets out bodied unless he is giving away significant height and weight.
     
    All this preparation served him well in his debut match. He started well with some early spoils and a mark.  Fellow debutant Sam Weideman initially troubled him (and there was a poor attempt to spoil Weideman’s mark that led to his first goal) and so too did Jack Watts as he was caught out of position a couple of times, but Heatherley looked at home and he flew for his marks and held them without fumbling. He seemed to have no problem linking up with the other Hawthorn backs and his disposal looked good. He was even directing traffic in the backline at various stages.
     
    Cyril Rioli’s mark in the second quarter (which will be a mark of the round contender) was taken over the pack after Heatherley hooked the ball from the forward flank to the hot spot. The spectacular mark will no doubt be a life-long memory from his debut for Heatherley.
     
     
    Heatherley, the Kiwi kid from Tauranga, NZ finished the day with 6 kicks, 5 handballs, 6 marks and two tackles. The commitment has paid off. Kurt has made it, AFLNZ and Hawthorn have made him an AFL player. 
     
    There was no Gatorade shower for Heatherley come the post-match though as Hawthorn’s 9 game winning streak came to an end with Melbourne defeating Hawthorn by 29 points.
     
     
    So will Kurt be a one game wonder? Addressing Heatherley at his jumper presentation on Friday Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson said “It’s not about playing just one game mate, plenty have played one game. We’re looking for blokes that can play in premiership sides” We hope he is right. We hope the commitment continues to pay dividends for all parties.
     
      ...

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    Ironically the week after AFL South Pacific graduate Kurt Heatherley made his senior AFL debut – a young man from Vanuatu will lead the Sydney Swans onto the field in their crucial match against St Kilda this weekend at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. Keep a look out for the Vanuatu flag.

    12 year old Charlie Helme was the pride of his year 7 class at Ecole Colardeau school in Port Vila – and when interviewed on 96 Buzz FM he admitted to being a “little bit scared” at the prospect. Read more from the Vanuatu Daily Post.

    Helme has been a participant in the Vanuatu version of Auskick – which this year saw AFL Vanuatu run a main 8 week ‘Pikinini Kik’ program earlier this year finishing up in May.

    The program was held at Kazza Field (behind Korman Stadium) every Saturday morning with more than 60 kids involved. The program wrapped up in late May with a ‘closing ceremony’. On the final day the kids were awarded certificates as well as AFL shirts and caps donated by AFL clubs in Australia. AFL Vanuatu ran the program with the help of 5 coaches – and received tremendous feedback from the parents of the participants. The program was primarily sponsored by Vanuatu Spirit, as well as supported by TNT with local manager Dan Deaken attending the final day. See Charlie below in Swans gear.

    ...

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    The French team for the Euro Cup (EC16) tournament in Lisbon, Portugal was announced today on Youtube.  Watch below.

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    Round 21 kicks off in Melbourne on Friday night with the Western Bulldogs hosting Collingwood at the Docklands Stadium. 

    If you want to know when you can see the footy on TV in your part of the world, check out the full schedule below.

    As always schedules are subject to change at the discretion of the local broadcaster so please check local guides for updates. 

     

    GAME DATE TIMESLOT MATCH VENUE STATE LOCAL TIME GMT NETWORK
    1 12-Aug Night W Bulldogs vs. Collingwood Etihad Stadium VIC 19:50 09:50 SEVEN
    2 13-Aug Day Brisbane Lions vs. Carlton The Gabba QLD 13:45 03:45 SEVEN
    3 13-Aug Day Hawthorn vs. North Melbourne MCG VIC 14:10 04:10 FOX
    4 13-Aug Twilight GWS GIANTS vs. WCE Spotless Stadium NSW 16:35 06:35 FOX
    5 13-Aug Night St Kilda vs. Sydney Swans Etihad Stadium VIC 19:25 09:25 SEVEN
    6 13-Aug Night Port Adelaide vs. Melbourne Adelaide Oval SA 19:10 09:40 FOX
    7 14-Aug Early Essendon vs. Gold Coast SUNS Etihad Stadium VIC 13:10 03:10 FOX
    8 14-Aug Day Richmond vs. Geelong Cats MCG VIC 15:20 05:20 SEVEN
    9 14-Aug Twilight Fremantle vs. Adelaide Crows Domain Stadium WA 14:40 06:40 FOX
    TERRITORY/NETWORK GAME 1 GAME 2 GAME 3 GAME 4 GAME 5 GAME 6 GAME 7 GAME 8 GAME 9 HIGHLIGHTS
    AUSTRALIA PLUS                    
    Asia 12/8 @ 17:30 HKT (Live) 13/8 @ 11:30 HKT (Live) - 13/8 @ 14:30 HKT (Live) - 13/8 @ 17:30 HKT (Live) 14/8 @ 11:00 HKT (Live) - 14/8 @ 14:30 HKT (Live) 17/8 @ 11:00 HKT
    Pacific 12/8 @ 21:30 Fiji (Live) 13/8 @ 15:30 Fiji (Live) - 13/8 @ 18:30 Fiji (Live) - 13/8 @ 21:30 Fiji (Live) 14/8 @ 15:00 Fiji (Live) - 14/8 @ 18:30 Fiji (Live) 17/8 @ 15:00 Fiji
    India 12/8 @ 15:00 IND (Live) 13/8 @ 09:00 IND (Live) - 13/8 @ 12:00 IND (Live) - 13/8 @ 15:00 IND (Live) 14/8 @ 08:30 IND (Live) - 14/8 @ 12:00 IND (Live) 17/8 @ 08:30 IND
    ESPN - BT SPORT                    
    UK & Ireland 12/8 @ 10:30 BST (Live) - 13/8 @ 05:00 BST (Live) 13/8 @ 07:30 BST (Live) 13/8 @ 10:00 BST (Live) - 14/8 @ 04:00 BST (Live) - - 16/8 @ 19:00 BST
    ESPN                    
    Caribbean - - - - 13/8 @ 05:00 ET (Live) - - - - 18/8 @ 24:00 ET
    FOX SPORTS 1                    
    USA - - - - - - - 14/8 @ 01:00 ET (Live) - -
    FOX SPORTS 2                    
    USA - - 12/8 @ 24:00 ET (Live) - - - - - - -
    FOX SOCCER PLUS                    
    USA 12/8 @ 05:30 ET (Live) - - 13/8 @ 02:30 ET (Live) - - - - - 15/8 @ 24:00 ET
    ORBIT SHOWTIME NETWORK                    
    Middle East 12/8 @ 13:30 GST (Live) - 13/8 @ 08:00 GST (Live) - - 13/8 @ 13:30 GST (Live) - 14/8 @ 09:00 GST (Live) - 16/8 @ 18:00 GST
    GEE - Boats & Cruises                    
    Worldwide (excl. Aust.) 12/8 @ 09:30 GMT (Live) 13/8 @ 03:30 GMT (Live) 13/8 @ 04:00 GMT (Live) 13/8@ 06:30 GMT (Live) 13/8 @ 09:00 GMT (Live) 13/8 @ 09:30 GMT (Live) 14/8 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 14/8 @ 05:00 GMT (Live) 14/8 @ 06:30 GMT (Live) -
    SKY SPORTS                    
    New Zealand - - - - - - - 15/8 @ 24:00 NZT (Delay) - -
    TSN2                    
    Canada - - 12/8 @ 24:00 ET (Live) 14/8 @ 01:00 ET (Delay) - - - - - -
    TVNZ                    
    New Zealand 12/8 @ 21:30 NZT (Live) - 13/8 @ 16:00 NZT (Live) - 13/8 @ 21:50 NZT (Delay) - 14/8 @ 15:00 NZT (Live) - 14/8 @ 22:35 NZT (Delay) 17/8 @ 18:00 NZT
    WATCHAFL.AFL.COM.AU                    
    Worldwide (excl. Aust) 12/8 @ 09:50 GMT (Live) 13/8 @ 03:45 GMT (Live) 13/8 @ 04:10 GMT (Live) 13/8 @ 06:35 GMT (Live) 13/8 @ 09:25 GMT (Live) 13/8 @ 09:40 GMT (Live) 14/8 @ 03:10 GMT (Live) 14/8 @ 05:20 GMT (Live) 14/8 @ 06:40 GMT (Live) -
     

    *We also recommend you check out the AFANA website if you are in North America as they tend to have the very latest information on broadcast schedules or changes. ...


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    3rd European Championships in Australian Football - 13th to 20th August 2016. London, England.
    A Preview.  

    SCHEDULE

    DAY ONE – SUNDAY 14TH AUGUST

    1pm Irish Warriors v German Eagles

    3pm Great Britain Bulldogs v Swedish Elks

     

    DAY TWO – TUESDAY 16TH AUGUST

    4pm German Eagles v Swedish Elks

    6pm Great Britain Bulldogs v Irish Warriors

     

    DAY THREE – THURSDAY 18TH AUGUST

    1.30pm Great Britain Swans v Irish Banshees

    2.15pm Irish Banshees v European Crusaders

    3pm European Crusaders v Great Britain Swans

    4pm Irish Warriors v Swedish Elks

    6pm Great Britain Bulldogs v German Eagles

     

    DAY FOUR – FRIDAY 19TH AUGUST

    11.30am Irish Banshees v European Crusaders

    12.15pm Great Britain Swans v Irish Banshees

    1pm European Crusaders v Great Britain Swans

     

    DAY FIVE – SATURDAY 20TH AUGUST

    1pm Men’s Third Place PO

    2.30pm Women’s Grand Final

    3.30pm Men’s Grand Final

     (The following team previews are based on those that appear on the AFL Europe website).
     

    Ireland Warriors

    The team itself is coming together well, blending a mix of youth and experience. With multiple International medal winners like David McElhone, Eoin O’Suilebhain and Gerard Walls mixing with some really exciting prospects like Stuart McKeating, Paul Murphy and Luke Hickey this Warriors side looks pretty formidable.
     
    The ruck duo of Gavin Murray and Dominic Joyce (Dominic back in Ireland after multiple seasons playing in rural NSW) will be ones to look out for and can be really dominate. They could dictate first use for their midfielders which is key to winning big games.
     
    The improvement shown by players like Sean Paul Henry is going to be vital for the Warriors. His natural athleticism has always had him at the forefront of opposition discussions but not his foot skills have become a focal point of his game which makes him a really exciting prospect for the Irish side.                                                                                                     
     
    Great Britain Bulldogs
     
    With a very young looking Bulldog’s squad, many of who are making their international debut, it’ll be very hard to pick who would potentially provide the difference in this tournament. The University of Birmingham keep producing high quality players and their link up with the North London Lions continues to be fruitful. Ross Denton, Jack Coughlan, Jonny Harvey, Andy Walkden, Chris Britton, George Dibble and Michael Sharp have all come through the pipeline and will be worth a watch at EC16.
     
    The London league is seeing impressive performances from the Wimbledon newbies in Myles Hudson, David Hastie, Marc Cashman and Jason Hill, while Alex Watson and David Jordan at the Wandsworth Demons are putting in highly rated performances along with West London Wildcats defender, Lewis Brackstone.               
                                                                                                                                                                                 
    The AFL CNE league continues to churn out new and young talent in Craig Degville, Andrew Cochran and Harry Duffield. More experienced players such as Owain Ryland, Andy Smith, Will Worthington and Luke Booth will be keys to bringing success, through their big tournament experience and years of service to the Bulldogs. All in all, X-Factor performances have the ability to come from the whole GB squad and we’re as excited as anyone to see who’ll shine at the AFL Europe Champs.
     
    Sweden Elks
     
    You can never go past veteran Andy Svensson. The oldest player in the team seems to get younger when he plays footy. Having played since the early 2000s he is a valued member of the team. Andy was a member of the Denmark side that defeated Great Britain back in 1996 when the Helsingborg Saints were members of the Denmark AFL. New Elks, Alex Olsson and Calle Wrang have proved in domestic footy that they can produce, whilst stalwarts Chris Martensson and Hampus Olsson will lead the team with bravado.                                                                                                             
    One of the most improved players is Buster Sund from Norrtalje. He was just 17 years old at International Cup in 2014 and gained valuably from that experience to become one of the most dominant players in the Stockholm league in the past two years.
     
    German Black Eagles
     
    The Germans are strong across the park and are blessed with the ability to play their players in any position. A few names to keep an eye out for are big bodied midfielder/defender, Florian Naumann, who can take a strong mark overhead and hits very hard. Ruben Streicher is a raw talent who plays as a tall forward or ruckman. He was named in the Euro Cup team of the tournament last year in Croatia and is only going to improve. Jakob Jung is one to watch for the opposition. He has all the attribute of a top-quality midfielder with his speed and skills, he’s also tough as nails so will be hard to stop in the Champs.      
     
    Players who have shown significant improvement for the Eagles are Jan Husken and Simon Assmus. Both will be hoping to continue their rapid develop and shake up competition.
     
    World Rankings and 3rd European Championships in Australian Football
     
    Will there be any changes in the ranks in the World Rankings?
     
    Probably not in the Men’s ranks, if the ranking scheme runs true to form (ie. higher ranked/rated nations win more often than not). As the current ranks stand, only two matches will see any change occur in the rating points. (Rating Gap less than 10.00) The current Ranks of the participating nations are: 3rd Ireland 56.68 rating points
     
    9th Great Britain 44.69 
    15th Sweden 38.53
    18th Germany 34.09
     
    Rating point exchanges resulting from Great Britain defeating Sweden on day one and Sweden winning against Germany (day two) would be not enough to bring about any change in the Ranks.
     
    However if Sweden can knock off Great Britain (they have done it before to take 3rd place at the 1st European Championships in 2010) then Great Britain would drop to 10th below Denmark and Sweden would climb above Croatia into 12th place.
     
    To be fair to Germany we should also look at what would happen if Germany were to upset Sweden, +/- 2.08 rating points would be exchanged and Sweden would fall to 18th and Germany climbing one place to 17th.
     
    A full explanation of how the World Ranking scheme works can be found at: http://www.worldfootynews.com/staticpages/index.php/World_Rankings_Criteria
     
    History in the Making: Women’s European Championships in Australian Football.
     
    Women have competed at the Euro Cup 9’s since 2010, but the 2016 edition of the European Championships showcases the continuing growth of Women’s Footy across Europe with Great Britain and European Crusaders* joining Ireland in full-field 18-a-side competition.
     
    The Irish Banshees are currently ranked 4th of only four fully Ranked Nations (Played more than 8 International Matches) with 46.81 Rating Points. As Great Britain Swans and the Crusaders debut at this level they begin their international journey with 40.00 Rating Points. It is difficult to predict how the two new teams will measure up against each other and the seasoned campaigners, Ireland, winner of International Cup 2011and Runners-Up to Canada Northern Lights at IC14.
     
    So if we assume the Higher ranked nation will win more often than not then we could expect to see the Banshees to gain enough rating points (over 2 rounds and final of this tournament) to enable them to climb above United States Freedom into third place behind Australia and Canada.
     
    Great Britain and the European Crusaders will slot in amongst the other provisionally ranked nations possibly at P1 and P4 depending on which team is more successful. Congratulations must be extended to both debutante teams as they join the International Australian Football family of nations.
     
    *European Crusaders: Team made up from players from other nations unable to field full 18-a-side teams. This team has players from France, Great Britain and Scandinavia. ...

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    Last week New Zealander Kurt Heatherley became the first player to start seriously learning Aussie Rules overseas before coming to Australia to complete his journey.  Unfortunately after his breakthrough match last week for Hawthorn he has been squeezed out of the side.  But below you can see some clips of his jumper presentation (as we showed in a previous story) prior to debut and a post-match interview.

     

      ...


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    Great Britain Bulldogs and the Irish Warriors were the big winners on Day 1 of the 2016 AFL Europe European Championships.

    Played in good conditions at Mostpur Park in London the Irish Warriors were out of the blocks early kicking 5 goals to the German Eagles 1 in the first quarter. By half time they held a 62 point lead. Only poor kicking in the third quarter prevented them extending their lead to triple figures. Germany performed better in the second half kicking 2 goals to Ireland six but were still beaten by 95 points at the final siren.

    Ireland                5.1         11.2      14.10    17.11 (113)

    Germany              1.0         1.0         2.0        3.0 (18)

    Goals:

    Ireland: P.O’Connell 4, K.McSorely 2, D. Joyce 2, R. McCloskey 2, G. Walls, E.O’Murchu, M. Bartley, C. Fitzgerald, C. O’Halloran, C. O’Lordian, L. Burns

    Germany: J. Husker 2, K. Haigh

    Best:

    Ireland: K.O’Brien, G. Murray, R. McCloskey, P. O’Connell, L. Burns, L. Hickey

    Germany: T. Thormann, J. Jung, F. Neumann, J. Orlowski, M. Priess, K. Haigh

    The second match of the day was also a one sided affair as the home team dominated.  In the first quarter the Elks did their best to hold the Bulldogs and saw them trail by just 20 points at quarter time.  But from then on the Bulldogs piled on the pain taking a 57-point half time lead out to a 118 point win.  Sweden adding their only goal in the final quarter.

    Great Britain       3.3         8.10       12.14     18.17 (125)
    Sweden                0.1         0.1         0.1         1.1 (7)
     

    Goals:

    Bulldogs: M. Cashman 6, D. Hastie 3, J. Coughlan 2, C. Cooney 2, A. Walkden, M. Kilheeney, L. Booth, A. Cochran, L. Gedney

    Elks: A. Olsson

    Best:

    Bulldogs: M. Cashman, L. Booth, J. Talbot, D. Jordan, M. Hinchey, M. Kilheeney

    Elks: A. Svensson, H. Olsson, A. Olsson, T. Persson, A. Tellstrom, K. Karlsson

    Day two on Tuesday will see Germany take on Sweden at 4pm and Great Britain and Ireland clash at 6pm.  For more see - http://www.afleurope.org/events-media/events/2016-afl-europe-championships/

    Update - full match reviews available here.

      ...


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    The German Eagles lead all day and despite a late push by the Swedish Elks ran out 28 point winners on Day 2 of the 2016 AFL Europe European Championships.  In the second match of the day the Great Britain Bulldogs were goal-less going into the last quarter but came home hard to go down to the Irish warriors by just a point. 

    Once again in good conditions at Mostpur Park in London on Tuesday afternoon the four European nations battled it out.  Up first the Eagles and the Elks battled out an arm wrestle in the first quarter before the Germans pushed out their lead and by three quarter time were out to a 33 point lead.  In the final quarter the Elks refused to give up and won the quarter but still went down to the Eagles by 28 points.

    Germany           1.6         4.6       6.12     7.14 (56)

    Sweden             1.1         2.3       2.4        4.4 (28)

    The second match of the day was always going to be a close one. With both teams coming off big wins on Day 1 this match up was going to be different.  Tight from the start it was the Warriors who nosed in front at quarter time by 9 points.  The Bulldogs failing to convert their opportunities up forward in the face of stout defence by the Warriors would continue through to 3/4 time where they were held goal-less but with 11 behinds on the board. 

    The Warriors may have felt comfortable with their four goal lead going into the last and perhaps this opened the door for the Bulldogs.  In the final term the Warriors added just the one goal, while the Bulldogs kept coming steadily adding four majors for the term.  They also added five behinds and ultimately it was this continual failure to convert that let them down, going down to the Warriors by just one point at the final siren. 

    Great Britain       0.4         0.8      0.11     4.16 (40)

    Ireland                2.1         2.1      5.5       6.5 (41)
     
    Standings after Day 2 
     
      Win Loss For Against Percentage
    Ireland 2 0 154 58 266%
    GB 1 1 165 48 344%
    Germany 1 1 74 141 52%
    Sweden 0 2 35 181 19%
     
    Day 3 on Thursday will see the first of the women's matches with the GB Swans, the Irish Banshees and the Eurpean Crusaders play each other in a round robin format.  Following these matches the undefeated Ireland take on Sweden at 4pm and Great Britain and Germany will play for the chance to play Ireland in Saturday's final at 6pm.  For more see - http://www.afleurope.org/events-media/events/2016-afl-europe-championships/

     

      ...


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    Exceptional Eagles?

    Germany has proven to be the exception to the rule (higher ranked nations wins more often than not) with their win over the Swedish Elks on day two of the European Championships yesterday. The win has seen the Black Eagles climb to 17th place in the World Rankings and bring down the Elks to 18th place with Japan and Peace Team lucky recipients of a one place rise each to 15th and 16th respectively.

    Germany and Sweden traded 2.04 Rating Points Germany now with 36.12 and Sweden 35.63.


    Sweden’s loss to Great Britain on day one also saw the Elks lose 0.86 Rating Points, the Bulldogs creeping that little bit closer to Canada at 9th Place.

    World Rankings after Day Two are:
    1. Australia
    2. Papua New Guinea 57.66 rating points
    3. Ireland   56.68
    4. New Zealand  55.09
    5. Nauru   53.30
    6. South Africa  49.63
    7. United States  47.61
    8. Canada   46.69
    9. Great Britain  45.55
    10. Denmark  43.67
    11. Tonga  41.93
    12. Croatia  40.35
    13. Fiji   40.18
    14. France  39.09
    15. Japan   37.17 
    16. Peace Team  36.46 
    17. Germany  36.12 
    18. Sweden  35.63 
    19. China   28.84
    20. Finland  27.45
    21. India   23.01

    Provisional Nations:  
    Indonesia  32.66
    Pakistan  32.35
    Timor Leste 27.40
     

    Dormant Nations: More than Four Years since last international match.
    Samoa 41.85
    Iceland 35.64

    Day Three of the championships sees the women in action with Great Britain Swans and the European Crusaders debut at full field 18-a-side footy.
     

    The World Ranking predictions outlook for the women will probably see Ireland gain enough Rating Points to climb into 3rd place above United States and the debutantes rank provisionally at P1 and P4, depending on which nation is the more successful.

    However if the German Black Eagles can repeat the “exceptional”  against Great Britain they could soar to 15th Place just a smidgen 0.04 rating points behind France, and kick the Bulldogs out of their kennel down to 11th place behind Denmark.
    . ...


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    Round 22 kicks off in Perth on Friday night with the West Coast Eagles hosting Hawthorn at Subiaco. 

    If you want to know when you can see the footy on TV in your part of the world, check out the full schedule below.

    As always schedules are subject to change at the discretion of the local broadcaster so please check local guides for updates. 

     

    GAME DATE TIMESLOT MATCH VENUE LOCAL TIME GMT Host
    1 19-Aug Night West Coast Eagles vs. Hawthorn Domain Stadium (WA) 18:10 10:10 7
    2 20-Aug Day North Melbourne vs. Sydney Swans Blundstone Arena (TAS) 13:45 03:45 7
    3 20-Aug Day Richmond vs. St Kilda MCG (VIC) 14:10 04:10 FOX
    4 20-Aug Twilight GWS GIANTS vs. Fremantle Spotless Stadium (NSW) 16:35 06:35 FOX
    5 20-Aug Night Collingwood vs. Gold Coast SUNS Etihad Stadium (VIC) 19:25 09:25 7
    6 20-Aug Night Port Adelaide vs. Adelaide Crows Adelaide Oval (SA) 19:10 09:40 FOX
    7 21-Aug Early Carlton vs. Melbourne MCG (VIC) 13:10 03:10 FOX
    8 21-Aug Day Brisbane Lions vs. Geelong Cats The Gabba (QLD) 15:20 05:20 7
    9 21-Aug Twilight Essendon vs. Western Bulldogs Etihad Stadium (VIC) 16:40 06:40 FOX
    NETWORK GAME 1 GAME 2 GAME 3 GAME 4 GAME 5 GAME 6 GAME 7 GAME 8 GAME 9 HIGHLIGHTS
    AUSTRALIA PLUS                    
    Asia 19/8 @ 18:00 HKT (Live) 20/8 @ 11:30 HKT (Live) - 20/8 @ 14:30 HKT (Live) - 20/8 @ 17:30 HKT (Live) 21/8 @ 11:00 HKT (Live) - 21/8 @ 14:30 HKT (Live) 24/8 @ 11:00 HKT
    Pacific 19/8 @ 22:00 Fiji (Live) 20/8 @ 15:30 Fiji (Live) - 20/8 @ 18:30 Fiji (Live) - 20/8 @ 21:30 Fiji (Live) 21/8 @ 15:00 Fiji (Live) - 21/8 @ 18:30 Fiji (Live) 24/8 @ 15:00 Fiji
    India 19/8 @ 15:30 IND (Live) 20/8 @ 09:00 IND (Live) - 20/8 @ 12:00 IND (Live) - 20/8 @ 15:00 IND (Live) 21/8 @ 08:30 IND (Live) - 21/8 @ 12:00 IND (Live) 24/8 @ 08:30 IND
    CCTV5                    
    China - - - - - TBC - - - -
    CLARO SPORTS                    
    Latin America 20/8 @ 08:30 CTU (Delay) - - - - - - - - -
    ESPN - BT SPORT                    
    UK & Ireland 19/7 @ 11:00 BST (Live) 20/7 @ 04:30 BST (Live) 20/7 @ 05:00 BST (Live) - - 20/7 @ 10:30 BST (Live) 21/7 @ 04:00 BST (Live) - - 23/7 @ 19:00 BST
    ESPN                    
    Caribbean - - - - - 20/8 @ 05:30 ET (Live) - - - 23/8 @ 17:00 ET
    FOX SPORTS 1                    
    USA - - - - - 20/8 @ 05:30 ET (Live) - - - -
    FOX SPORTS 2                    
    USA - 19/8 @ 23:30 ET (Live) - - - - - - - -
    FOX SOCCER PLUS                    
    USA 19/8 @ 06:00 ET (Live) - - - - - 20/8 @ 23:00 ET (Live) - - 22/8 @ 24:00 ET
    ORBIT SHOWTIME NETWORK                    
    Middle East 19/8 @ 14:00 GST (Live) 20/8 @ 07:30 GST (Live) 20/8 @ 08:00 GST (Live) - - - 21/8 @ 07:00 GST (Live) - - 23/8 @ 18:00 GST
    GEE - Boats & Cruises                    
    Worldwide (excl. Aust.) 19/8 @ 10:00 GMT (Live) 20/8 @ 03:30 GMT (Live) 20/8 @ 04:00 GMT (Live) 20/8@ 06:30 GMT (Live) 20/8 @ 09:00 GMT (Live) 20/8 @ 09:30 GMT (Live) 21/8 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 21/8 @ 05:00 GMT (Live) 21/8 @ 06:30 GMT (Live) -
    SKY SPORTS                    
    New Zealand - - - - - - - - 22/8 @ 24:00 NZT (Delay) -
    TSN2                    
    Canada 19/8 @ 06:00 ET (Live) 21/8 @ 03:00 ET (Delay) - - - - - - - -
    TVNZ                    
    New Zealand 19/8 @ 21:30 NZT (Live) 20/8 @ 21:50 NZT (Delay) 20/8 @ 16:00 NZT (Live) - - - 21/8 @ 15:00 NZT (Live) - 21/8 @ 22:35 NZT (Delay) 24/8 @ 18:00 NZT
    WATCHAFL.AFL.COM.AU                    
    Worldwide (excl. Aust) 19/8 @ 10:10 GMT (Live) 20/8 @ 03:45 GMT (Live) 20/8 @ 04:10 GMT (Live) 20/8 @ 06:35 GMT (Live) 20/8 @ 09:25 GMT (Live) 20/8 @ 09:40 GMT (Live) 21/8 @ 03:10 GMT (Live) 21/8 @ 05:20 GMT (Live) 21/8 @ 06:40 GMT (Live) -

    *We also recommend you check out the AFANA website if you are in North America as they tend to have the very latest information on broadcast schedules or changes. ...


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    The AFL today confirmed key rules for the Women’s All Star Match that will be played on Saturday, September 3, at VU Whitten Oval.

    Women’s All Star Match rules will include:

    1. Teams will play 16-a-side with six interchange players

    2. Size 4 footballs (AFL women’s exhibition matches used size 4.5 footballs)

    3. Deliberate out of bounds (AFL definition).

     

     

    AFL General Manager Game and Market Development Simon Lethlean said rules were trialled during the second round of the AFL Women’s Exhibition Series to assess their impact on reducing congestion and increasing scoring.


    “We have also consulted a number of AFL assistant coaches and opposition analysts to gain their views on the women’s games, while also considering data relating to the optimal football size for women,” he said.


    “Deakin University will assess the impact of these rules in advance of the national women’s league beginning next year and it does not necessarily mean these rules will be in place in 2017.”


    The Women’s All Star Match will bring together the top female players throughout Australia to play in the final exhibition match in 2016.


    Players will represent in the Melbourne and Western Bulldogs. Teams will be announced next week.


    The winning team will be awarded the Hampson-Hardeman Cup.


    The match will be broadcast LIVE nationally on the Seven Network in Australia from 7.10pm Saturday, September 3, at VU Whitten Oval.


    The match is proudly supported by Our Watch.


    Entry to the match will be free of charge.

     

     

      ...


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     The following reviews of each of the teams (kicking off this afternoon in London) have been sourced from AFL Europe.

    AFL Europe Championships Team Preview – Irish Banshees

    Every three years the AFL Europe Championships take place for teams to assert their dominance and claim bragging rights against their European counterparts, as well as gain valuable 18-a-side match practice in the lead up to the International Cup the following year.
     

    In the lead up to this year’s AFL Europe Championships in London we’ll be focusing on each team and previewing their chances of taking out the top prize.

    In the first of the women’s team previews we are getting to know the Irish Banshees a bit better.


     

    What’s happened since International Cup 2014?


    The Banshees last competed at International level in 2014 where we went down to Canada in the final of the International Cup in Melbourne but managed to bounce back from that disappointment to beat a very impressive England Vixens side in the final of the Euro Cup in London.


    Since 2014 a number of our key players have moved on or are unable to travel to London due to other sporting commitments which mean the Banshees side that takes to the field in London will have only 5 players who have previously experienced international football.


    On the flip side, the positives for the Banshees is that this year we have unearthed a lot of new talent and their enthusiasm and love of the game will be on display in London.


    Brendan Kelly, who is the coach of the Ulster Kookaburras has joined the coaching staff for the 2016 tournaments. Shaun Saurin who previously coached the squad to Euro Cup success is unable to travel to London due to a family wedding but is doing some preparatory work with the team in advance of London.
     
    Who’s in for AFL Europe Championships in 2016?

    At the tournament there will be a joint coaching team of Pat Leavy and Brendan Kelly. The team are in safe hands as Pat, who managed the team at IC14 and EC14 has played with the Warriors from 2003 to 2013 which included two International Cup campaigns as well as numerous Euro Cups.


    Brendan has also played in numerous Euro Cups and at IC14. He is currently a member of the Irish Warriors team competing at the Championships and he is hoping to retain the title he won in 2013.


    The management team also have a number of support staff behind them, most notable Deirdre Ní Chearaill, former Banshee international and current lady president of ARFLI who has been one of the driving forces behind resurrecting the Banshees in 2016. She will be acting as team liaison.


    The team is shaping up pretty well. We can see huge strides in each player’s development since the start of the summer. There is a good blend of youth and experience in the squad and some very exciting new players will be on show. On one hand you have multiple international medal winners like Emma Kelly, Fiona Roarty and Carolann Cassidy and on the other you have really exciting new prospects like Olivia McCann, Colleen Quinn, Claire Donnelly and Clara Fitzpatrick.


    Add in some full format experience from the AFL London league gained by Onóra Mulcahy and Linda Connolly and we think it’s a formidable team.


    We have 16 players from the Ulster Kookaburras, 1 from the Galway Magpies, 2 players from London club, the Wandsworth Demons, with the remainder coming from the Dublin Angels.
     
    AFL Europe Championships focus
    We would have liked to have had more collective training sessions in the lead up to the tournament but to counteract that we have linked in with the men’s carnival rounds in the ARFLI premiership. This has allowed the girls learn the finer points of AFL from looking at the men’s game.
    We’re looking forward to playing on a full oval as we rarely get the chance, so in particular we’ll be looking to add width and pace to our game, which will allow the players adapt their Gaelic football skills to a new game. The experience of 18 a side will be of huge benefit going into IC17.
    Our strength is definitely the quality of our footballers. All the players have played Ladies Gaelic Football to a high level in Ireland. Our weakness is probably the lack of 18 a side football in Ireland and an inability for the team to train collectively on a regular basis.
     
    Who has the X-Factor?

    Emma Kelly, Onóra Mulcahy and Fiona Roarty can really dominate, so it’s certainly worth watching out for them. As we are travelling with a relatively new squad, a number of players have really improved out of sight over the last few months so it would be unfair to single any one player out.


    That is the exciting part of a tournament, you never know which player we will be all talking about by the end of it – hopefully it will be one wearing green!
     
    Coach’s thoughts – Pat Leavy
    “We’d expect to have a fair crack at getting to the final, but we know it will be difficult. The Crusaders will have the best players from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and France, while the GB Swans are currently the benchmark in Europe. The GB women’s league is probably the best female league outside of Australia. The Vixens were excellent the last time we played them in 2014 and have improved since.
    From a Banshee point of view, how the tournament unfolds will be determined by how our players react to full format and knowing the potential in our team, I’m excited at seeing how they will develop as the tournament progresses but expect a great team performance and hopefully we will get over the line”
     
    Squad
    1. Claire Donnelly (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    2. Terri Kelly (Dublin Angels)
    3. Ciara Mone (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    4. Catherine Collins (Dublin Angels)
    5. Emma Kelly (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    6. Fiona Roarty (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    7. Carolann Cassidy (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    8. Olivia McCann (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    9. Onóra Mulcahy (Wandsworth Demons)
    10. Naomi Curtis (Dublin Angels)
    11. Mairead Walsh (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    12. Marley Bevan (Dublin Angels)
    13. Ursula Murphy (Irish Exiles AFL)
    14. Linda Connolly (Wandsworth Demons)
    15. Leona Russell (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    16. Claire Doherty (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    17. Clara Fitzpatrick (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    18. Aisling Gillespie (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    19. Edel Gray (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    20. Crea McAleer (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    21. Tracey Moloney (Irish Exiles AFL)
    22. Amy O’Donnell (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    23. Nuala O’Hagan (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    24. Colleen Quinn (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    25. Oonagh McAnespey (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    26. Niamh Mc Fadden (Ulster Kookaburra’s)
    27. Colleen Mallon (Irish Exiles AFL)
    28. Ashleigh Payne (Dublin Angels)

    Source: AFL Europe Website

    AFL Europe Championships Team Preview – GB Swans


    Every three years the AFL Europe Championships take place for teams to assert their dominance and claim bragging rights against their European counterparts, as well as gain valuable 18-a-side match practice in the lead up to the International Cup the following year.
    In the lead up to this year’s AFL Europe Championships in London we’ll be focusing on each team and previewing their chances of taking out the top prize.


    In the next preview we get to know the GB Swans a bit better.
     

    What’s happened since International Cup 2014?
    The GB Swans were established earlier this year by two England Vixens players who wanted the opportunity to play in tournaments alongside the GB Bulldogs (men’s team), including the European Championships and the International Cup. Since the formation of the team, the GB Swans have attended two events, the Champions League in Amsterdam and the AFL London Preseason Cup in Peckham. In what couldn’t have been a better start for the team, they won both tournaments, making a name for themselves as a team to beat. Charlotte Eales and Lisa Wilson, who founded the team, have been working hard to schedule selection days, prepare the team for the upcoming tournament, arrange kits and are working hard to bring in sponsorship. The management team have hugely been helped out by Jason Hill, Team Manager for the GB Bulldogs.

    Who’s in for AFL Europe Championships in 2016?
    The GB Swans are lucky to have 3 excellent coaches; Garth Nevin as Head Coach and Lauren Spark & Ian Mitchell as Assistant Coaches who bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the team. On announcement of the GB Swans forming a few months ago, the Swans received nearly 50 registrations of interest from girls across the country. After two selection days in Birmingham and Glasgow, a squad of 26 was selected for the European Championships. The girls come from a number of different teams representing England, Scotland and Wales. Unfortunately, we are yet to have a Northern Ireland girl register, but we hope to get them engaged soon! Clubs that are represented by the GB Swans are: Glasgow Sharks, Wimbledon Hawks, University of Birmingham, Greater Glasgow Giants, Wandsworth Demons, South East London Giants and North London Lions.

    AFL Europe Championships focus
    The two selection days we had in Birmingham and Glasgow were doubled up as training camps to give the coaches an idea of the skill and fitness level of the girls in order to give feedback to aid improvement before the tournament. Alongside these, many of the players selected for the EC16 team played in the AFL London Preseason Cup back in April. Many of the girls have played together before for the England Vixens and Scottish Sirens, or within their clubs, however this will be the first time for many of the girls playing together.
    With many of the girls coming from the AFL London league, there is a wealth of 18 aside experience which will be one of our strengths. However, fitness is always an issue when playing on an Oval as large as the one at Motspur Park. The girls will be looking to neaten up their skills, clean hands and kicks whilst ensuring constant pressure on and off the ball.

    Who has the X-Factor?
    Sisters Alex and Danni Saulter have had a bout of injury this season with the latter being out all season with a fractured elbow, sustained in the AFL London Preseason Cup. With both girls nearly back at full fitness they will be a force to be reckoned with; Alex in the half-back line and Danni strong in the midfield. They will both be hoping to replicate their fantastic performances in the 2015 Euro Cup where they both played for the England Vixens who took out the title.
    One of our youngest, Chloe Hall, recently moved from playing at the University of Birmingham to the South East London Giants. She has rapidly adapted to the 18 aside format and her knowledge, skill and commitment to the game has been outstanding. She will be one to watch at this tournament and in the future for GB Swans. She also stands out as she has a tomato blush as she exerts herself into the contest. A real leader and hard ball getter!

    Coaches thoughts – Garth Nevin
    “I’m not going to lie, I have set high expectations. I believe the talent we have in our team we should push very hard for the No 1 European spot. I hope that the girls send a message to the other countries competing in the International cup in 2017. We mean business. Another aim is to open the doors for the upcoming inaugural year of Women’s AFL in Australia for all GB women. The commitment these women have shown inspires me to pass on every bit of AFL knowledge I have. Whatever the result, I will be extremely proud of these ladies and honoured to be the first ever coach of the GB Swans.”
     

    Squad
    1. Beth Bailey
    2. Carolyn Baker (Glasgow Sharks)
    3. Jen Bennett (Wimbledon Hawks)
    4. Freya Blount (University of Birmingham)
    5. Lea Cobham (North London Lions)
    6. Louise Darby (Wimbledon Hawks)
    7. Charlie Eales (Wimbledon Hawks)
    8. Chloe Hall (University of Birmingham)
    9. Stacey Hughes (Glasgow Sharks)
    10. Kirsty Gray (Greater Glasgow Giants)
    11. Rose Lewis (Wandsworth Demons)
    12. Laura Mackay (University of Birmingham)
    13. Jess Milford (Wimbledon Hawks)
    14. Sophie Morris (Wolverhampton Wolverines)
    15. Rania Ramadan (North London Lions)
    16. Zoe Rowe (Greater Glasgow Giants)
    17. Alex Saulter (North London Lions)
    18. Danni Saulter (North London Lions)
    19. Caroline Sellar (Glasgow Sharks)
    20. Louise Smith (Glasgow Sharks)
    21. Ellie Sutherland (Glasgow Sharks)
    22. Lynsey Torrance (Glasgow Sharks)
    23. Laura Turner (North London Lions)
    24. Lisa Wilson (Wimbledon Hawks)
    25. Lucy Jones
    26. Laura Park (Greater Glasgow Giants)
     

    Source: AFL Europe Website
    Congratulations must be extended to all at GB Swans on them becoming a new member of the International Australian Football family of nations, and the best of luck in their endeavours into the future.


    AFL Europe Championships Team Preview – European Crusaders

    Every three years the AFL Europe Championships take place for teams to assert their dominance and claim bragging rights against their European counterparts, as well as gain valuable 18-a-side match practice in the lead up to the International Cup the following year.

    In the lead up to this year’s AFL Europe Championships in London we’ll be focusing on each team and previewing their chances of taking out the top prize.

    In this women’s team preview we learn more about the European Crusaders concept and what they are all about.

    The European Crusaders is made up of quality players drawn from nations that are unable to field a full national side, to enable these players to compete at the elite international level.

    Who’s coaching?
    Denmark Valkyries Team Manager Cyril Marsault has been recruited to coach the Crusaders during the tournament. He will get a helping hand from Maria Falkesgaard who will be a playing team manager for the Crusaders.


    How is the team shaping up?
    We have an awesome team with many good girls. The team consists of a wide variety of girls with different strengths.


    From where are the players coming from?
    We have players from more than a handful of countries, including France, Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia and Denmark.

    Pre-tournament focus?Have you had any training sessions/camps in the lead up?
    The crusaders have never played together as a team before, but all girls have a great sense of team spirit.
     

    What areas are you looking to get better in?
    We have girls of very different skill levels and therefore we would love to be better skills wise, however we now that we might have a huge challenge here.


    What are your team’s strengths and weaknesses?
    The strengths of the team are that all the girls are very committed to playing a full format tournament and that all the girls’ love playing footy. The weaknesses of the Crusaders is that we are very low in numbers and that we have never played together before.
     

    Coaches thoughts?

    Provide us an insight from the coach on how he sees the tournament unfolding?
    The Crusaders will enter the competition with less expectation on them than the national teams. The focus on fun rather than performance, and the patchwork from different countries, might come as a disadvantage, but choosing to compete with such a team shows great motivation and courage from the players, which might just be the recipe to unexpected success on the field.
     

    Who has the X-Factor/Players to watch?
    We have players from both the French and Danish national 9's teams and they are always bringing their best play for tournaments. Furthermore, we have a strong list of British and Australian girls who shows promising notes on field.
    As this team is pure superstar quality, we do not highlight any one player but the team as a whole.
     

    Who’s improved out of sight?
    We are looking forward to seeing Samara Warren play her first footy game and think this former soccer player will be a nice addition to the team.

    Adapted from AFL Europe website preview.

     

     

     

     
     
     
     

     

     

      ...


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    Girls Play Footy Podcast Previews the EC16 Women's Championships with interviews with some of the key players.  You can find more about women's footy at their site - girlsplayfooty.com/

    If you are having trouble with the embedded player try the direct link here. ...


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    The Irish Warriors and GB Bulldogs both had strong wins on Day 3 of the AFL Europe European Championships to set up a final rematch of their one point thriller from Day 1 of the tournament. In the women's competition the GB Swans are unbeaten after their first two matches.

    The GB Swans and Irish Banshees kicked off the day and after a goal-less first half the Swans prevailed by a single point kicking 2.1 to the Banshees 1.6.  The Banshees notched up a win in the second match running out winners 4.8 to the European Crusaders 0.1.  The GB Swans then finished the day on top of the table with a 55 point shut out against the Crusaders.

    Women's Round 1

    GB Swans 2.1 (13) def Irish Banshees 1.6 (12)

    Irish Banshees 4.8 (32) def European Crusaders 0.1 (1)

    GB Swans 8.7 (55) def European Crusaders 0.0 (0)

     

    Men's Round 3

    The Irish Warriors were guaranteed a place in Saturday's final going into this match and played with freedom.  The Elks were able to put up some resistance in the first and third quarters but were unable to register a major score.  The Warriors continue their unbeaten run running out 123 point winners.

    Ireland 3.2           9.8         11.10     19.14 (128)
    Sweden 0.2         0.2         0.5         0.5 (5)
     
    The Great Britain Bulldogs were quick off the mark today against the German eagles.  By half time the result seemed beyond doubt and they ran away with the match from there.  Finally winning by 116 points and keeping the Eagles goal-less they will know they have a good shot at the title on Saturday if they can improve their scoring accuracy from Day 1.   The Eagles and Elks battle it out for the bronze medal placing with the Eagles our picks to win that one.
     
    Great Britain       4.2         10.4       15.7       18.14 (121)
    Germany              0.3        0.3         0.3         0.5(5)
     
    Tomorrow (Friday) sees Day 4 of the tournament with the following women's matches.

    11.30am Irish Banshees v European Crusaders

    12.15pm Great Britain Swans v Irish Banshees

    1pm European Crusaders v Great Britain Swans

      ...

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    The following article from The Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra website looks at the success of the Glasgow Sharks on the biggest day of the Australian Rules football year in Scotland last weekend.

    Glasgow Sharks were crowned Scotland’s Australian Rules Football champions after defeating city rivals Greater Glasgow Giants at Linlithgow Rugby Club last Saturday.

    The Scottish Australian Rules Football League (SARFL) Grand Final between the city rivals was a fierce one, with the Giants having the better first quarter.

    But just like the rest of the season the Sharks were the comeback kids, meaning there were only two points in it by the end of the third quarter


    A massive goal by captain Andy Butler acted as a rallying cry for the rest of the team as the floodgates opened in the last quarter and the Sharks won by 120-77

    Winning the championship was the culmination of commitment and dedication of the whole club, none more so than head coach Stephen Connor who has not been afraid to make changes in the squad and has created a team with talent, strength and guts.

    Club president and ruckman John Mcintyre said: “This has been an exceptional year, the Giants turned up and put everything into the game.

    “But thanks to the tactics of the coach we turned it around and ran out as champions, finally breaking the dominance of the Edinburgh Bloods who we beat in the semi-final.”

    Original article at: http://www.glasgowsouthandeastwoodext...-1-4205594

    Picture: www.duncolm.co.uk ...

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    Callum Twomey from the www.afl.com.au website looks at the rise and rise of Essendon’s Irish recruit, Conor McKenna. In recent weeks, McKenna has had a chance to establish himself in the team’s line-up ahead of the return to the club of banned players for their 2017 season.

    THE MOST difficult thing Conor McKenna found when wrapping his head around the AFL code two years ago upon joining Essendon had nothing to do with kicking the Sherrin. The Irish product could do that well already, and on both feet.

     

    It wasn't the running that was required, and the physicality didn't bother him either. McKenna was already one of Gaelic football's most gifted youngsters when he left there at the end of 2014 to pursue a career with the Bombers.    

     

    The biggest change from his natural sport to his adopted one was the fact he got to have a break. "Our game back home is so free-flowing and once we're on the ground we stay on," McKenna told AFL.com.au this week.

    "The first game I played for Essendon was in the NAB Challenge at the start of last year against St Kilda and it was a big shock to me coming on and off the ground.

    "There were times I felt fine and didn't want to come off, but that was just how the rotations worked. And then some other times when I was tired I stayed on the ground, so it worked both ways. I didn't think I'd get used to it."

    There has been plenty McKenna has had to familiarise himself with in the past two years since officially joining the Bombers as an international category B rookie, and it's all happened fast.

    He joined the Bombers six months after first picking up a Sherrin, and in his first game of Australian Football (for the European legion against the AFL's national academy in London) he kicked four goals and was best afield.

    After settling in at Essendon (following a short stint at captain Jobe Watson's house), McKenna commented he hadn't moved to play in the VFL. He had his sights set on bigger things. And he had his mind set on how to get there. 

    The Bombers wanted him to spend his debut 2015 season training up as a half-back, but McKenna thought otherwise. "I insisted on playing in the forward line because I was a forward my whole career in Gaelic," the 20-year-old said. 

    "I'm happy I did that and learned the structures and plans of the forward line because I think that's the hardest place to learn and it gave me a good understanding of the game."

    Three mornings a week he and fellow Bomber Orazio Fantasia completed craft sessions with development coach Paul Corrigan, and after those handball and kicking drills were done, McKenna would head up to Corrigan's office and learn game structures. 

    McKenna was elevated to the senior list for the final two games of the year – he booted a goal with his first kick of his first game against Richmond – and spent this pre-season continuing to focus on being an attacking and pacy small forward.

    He started this year in the same place before coach John Worsfold intervened to move him into a half-back role. He's relished it of late, and picked up 22 disposals and kicked two goals.

    "I've found my feet there and it's easier to read the game from there. I've been given the licence to take the game on and if I get tackled, I get tackled. I'm pretty happy going for it," McKenna said.

    There are still things he is getting used to. Last week he was lucky not to be penalised for a deliberate rushed behind when he kicked a ball through for the Suns from nearly 20 metres out from goal in a tight fourth term. The AFL clarified that the Suns should have been awarded a free kick for McKenna's decision to boot it through, but he said it was just his first instinct.

    "I didn't really think too much about it, but I was just happy enough they called it as they did," he said.

    McKenna is out of contract at the end of this season but says he is keen to stay on and a deal to continue at Essendon is in the works. 

    "I'm keen to hang around," he said. "When I came over I wanted to play consistent AFL football at the top level and that's what I'm hoping to do. Hopefully next year I get that opportunity."  

    He caught up with Irish pair Darragh Joyce and Ray Connellan before the duo was recently signed by St Kilda, and told them they should take the plunge and pursue an AFL career. He's glad he has. 

    "A few Irish fellas text me and see how you're getting on and what it's like. There's one who is close to me who I went to school with and he's asked what I think of it and what it's been like," he said.  

    "I would encourage them all to have an opportunity if they get it. Go for it, and if you don't like it then go home. I've always said I'd hate to not take the opportunity and regret it for the rest of my life."

     

    Original story at: http://www.afl.com.au/news/2016-08-19/irish-don-finds-his-feet

    Photo: www.afl.com.au 

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