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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    The beautiful capital city of the Czech Republic, Prague, has played host to a three team tournament featuring the city’s own Prague Dragons, the Dresden Wolves from Germany and England’s University of Birmingham Lions. Back in September, the city hosted the final round of the Central European Australian Football league competition, and now they have followed up with another great promotion for the game in the nation.

    According to Martin Hák, PR manager for the event, “the main takeaway [from the tournament] is that it was a great day for everybody and the fans saw quite some quality football too.”

    “The weather was beautiful, the organisation perfect (including an outstanding barbecue), the referee was delighted by the spirit and fairness on the field and others were outraged by the extraordinary cultural program (Birmingham's Got Talent).”

    The tournament saw a three way round-robin format of games. The results saw:

    Birmingham Lions 5 6 36 vs. Prague Dragons 7 9 51

    Birmingham Lions 9 9 63 vs. Dresden Wolves 6 2 38

    Prague Dragons 7 8 50 vs. Dresden Wolves 4 2 26

    It was a significant result for the Prague Dragons, building both belief and interest. Martin Hák stated that “what we know from experience is that events such as this are the only effective way to get people interested in the game.”

    “I mean, we can do many things to bring people to the training [sessions]or increase their awareness about the sport but they all cost energy [which is valuable] but miss that feeling that only real game can provide.”

    “On the other hand, with tournaments like this, we enhance both: the interest of the public and the motivation of the players. We can see it in the numbers too. Usually some 10-20% more people come to training sessions before and after the matches including a few newcomers.”

    “Plus the real games are crucial for transforming newbies or those interested into core players. That might not seem much but for us these numbers are vital. Moreover, we enjoy it and thus it comes “for free”. I expect the very same effects in Dresden. We can say that our encounters are traditional and they are always the ‘something’ both teams are looking for in the season.”

    The past eight months has seen the Prague Dragons performing well on and off the field and firmly placing the city and the nation back on the European footy map. The Dresden Wolves, whilst a little undermanned, would have taken great strides from the tournament, as would the Birmingham crew – not just the Lions’ university based squad, but also the momentum to possibly resurrect the Birmingham Bears in the AFLCNE.

    It is hoped that this tournament can continue and grow into the future and become a bigger and more prominent part of the Australian Rules football landscape – and Prague becoming a showpiece of the game in Eastern Europe with their well performed Dragons.
    ...

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    The National Diversity Championships kicks off this weekend in Sydney, comprising both the Kickstart Championship for indigenous U15 players and the All Nations Championship for multicultural heritage players. World Footy News will be at the event all week, reporting on many facets of this event with progress updates, interviews and informative articles.

    MEDIA RELEASE FROM THE AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE

    The AFL wishes to advise the annual Under 15 AFL National Male Diversity Championships will begin this Saturday April 8 at Blacktown International Sports Park in Blacktown, the traditional land of the Darug people.

    Currently in its fourth year, the AFL National Male Diversity Championships has been developed to provide a supported talented player pathway that compliments the NAB AFL Under 16 Championships and exposes Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural players, coaches, umpires, doctors, and trainers to an elite AFL Program environment.

     Supported by Australia Post and Rio Tinto, the Championships will feature over 300 young Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural AFL players across 13 teams representing all States and Territories. 

    Games will be officiated by twelve umpires who represent the National Diversity Umpiring Academy, selected from state academies based on high performance while coaches leading the squads are members of the Diversity Coaching Academy 

    AFL General Manager Game Development, Andrew Dillon, said the Championships is an exciting event, combining the Kickstart and All Nations carnivals and providing the AFL with another opportunity not only to highlight Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural footballers but also to showcase the diverse talent from across the country. 

    “The National Diversity Championships are a key component of the AFL’s Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural strategy and we are proud to see the Championships continue to grow each year,” Mr Dillon said. 

    “AFL club recruiters will again attend the Championships, offering our players the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of the best talent scouts in the game. 

    “The week isn’t only about the players, we also provide an upskilling opportunity for our umpires and coaches through a series of education sessions. 

    “The Diversity Academies are one of a number initiatives to provide pathway opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds to embrace umpiring and coaching and hopefully either reach the elite level one day or umpire or coach at State or community football levels. 

    “We look forward to visiting Blacktown for what promises to be another exciting Championships and we thank the Blacktown City Council for their support of our programs,” Mr Dillon said. 

    The Championships will form the basis for selection to compete in the Boomerangs and World Teams at the NAB AFL Under 16 Championships. 

    The selection panel features the following AFL and AFL club personnel; Shaun Hart (Port Adelaide), Barry Prendergast (North Melbourne), Ashley Drake (Brisbane Lions), Jarrod Meers (Adelaide Crows), Mathew Stokes (AFL).

    All media are invited to attend the opening ceremony at Rooty Hill RSL, Rooty Hill on Saturday April 8, commencing at 6.30pm local time. AFL Head of Multicultural & Indigenous Partnerships & Programs, Ali Fahour, will be available for interview at the Opening Ceremony. 

    Rio Tinto is the principal partner to all of the AFL’s Indigenous Programs while Australia Post is the principal partner to all of the AFL’s Multicultural Programs. 

    The Blacktown City Council is proud to support the 2017 AFL National Male Diversity Championships. ...


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    Round 3 of the 2017 AFL Season kicks of in Sydney tonight where the Sydney Swans host Collingwood at the SCG.

    The full international broadcast schedule can be seen below.

    In addition to the TV networks you can also subscribe to the Watch AFL service that will give you live access to all the matches and more (outside Australia only).  You can access that service by clicking on the link here or the  Watch AFL banner below and paying the subscription fee.

     

    MATCH DATE TIMESLOT MATCH VENUE LOCAL TIME GMT
    1 7-Apr Night Sydney Swans vs. Collingwood SCG 19:50 09:50
    2 8-Apr Day North Melbourne vs. GWS GIANTS Blundstone Arena 13:45 03:45
    3 8-Apr Day Richmond vs. West Coast Eagles MCG 14:10 04:10
    4 8-Apr Twilight Geelong Cats vs. Melbourne Etihad Stadium 16:35 06:35
    6 8-Apr Night Port Adelaide vs. Adelaide Crows Adelaide Oval 19:10 09:40
    5 8-Apr Night Fremantle vs. Western Bulldogs Domain Stadium 17:40 09:40
    7 9-Apr Early St Kilda vs. Brisbane Lions Etihad Stadium 13:10 03:10
    8 9-Apr Day Carlton vs. Essendon MCG 15:20 05:20
    9 9-Apr Twilight Gold Coast SUNS vs. Hawthorn Metricon Stadium 16:40 06:40

     

     

    ...
    TERRITORY/NETWORK MATCH 1 MATCH 2 MATCH 3 MATCH 4 MATCH 5 MATCH 6 MATCH 7 MATCH 8 MATCH 9 HIGHLIGHTS
    AUSTRALIA PLUS                    
    Asia 7/4 @ 17:30 HKT 8/4 @ 11:30 HKT - 8/4 @ 14:30 HKT 8/4 @ 17:30 HKT - 9/4 @ 11:00 HKT - 9/4 @ 14:30 HKT 13/4 @ 18:00 HKT
    Pacific 7/4 @ 21:30 Fiji 8/4 @ 15:30 Fiji - 8/4 @ 18:30 Fiji 8/4 @ 21:30 Fiji - 9/4 @ 15:00 Fiji - 9/4 @ 18:30 Fiji 13/4 @ 14:30 Fiji
    India 7/4 @ 15:00 IND 8/4 @ 09:00 IND - 8/4 @ 12:00 IND 8/4 @ 15:00 IND - 9/4 @ 08:30 IND - 9/4 @ 12:00 IND 13/4 @ 08:00 IND
    CCTV5                    
    China - - - - TBC - - - - -
    ECONET                    
    Africa 7/4 @ 11:30 CAT (Live) - 8/4 @ 06:00 CAT (Live) - 8/4 @ 11:30 CAT (Live) - - - 9/4 @ 08:30 CAT (Live) 12/4 @ 21:15 CAT
    ESPN - BT SPORT                    
    UK & Ireland 7/4 @ 10:30 BST (Live) - 8/4 @ 05:00 BST (Live) - 8/4 @ 10:30 BST (Live) - 9/4 @ 04:00 BST (Live) - 9/4 @ 07:30 BST (Live) 11/4 @ 16:00 BST
    FOX SPORTS 2                    
    USA - 7/4 @ 23:30 ET (Live) - - - - - - - -
    FOX SOCCER PLUS                    
    USA 7/4 @ 05:30 ET (Live) - - 8/4 @ 02:30 ET (Live) - - - - 9/4 @ 02:30 ET (Live) -
    ORBIT SHOWTIME NETWORK                    
    Middle East 7/4 @ 09:30 GMT (Live) - - 8/4 @ 06:30 GMT (Live) 8/4 @ 09:30 GMT (Live) - - 9/4 @ 05:00 GMT (Live) - 10/4 @ 15:00 GMT
    GEE - BOATS & CRUISES                    
    Worldwide (excl. Aust.) 7/4 @ 09:30 GMT (Live) 8/4 @ 03:30 GMT (Live) - 8/4 @ 06:30 GMT (Live) 8/4 @ 09:30 GMT (Live) - 9/4 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 9/4 @ 05:00 GMT (Live) - Yes
    SKY SPORTS                    
    New Zealand - - - - - - - 10/4 @ 24:00 NZT (Delay) - 11/4 @ 18:30 NZT
    TSN2                    
    Canada 7/4 @ 5:30 ET (Live) - - - 10/4 @ 13:00 ET (Delay) - - - - Yes
    TVNZ                    
    New Zealand 7/4 @ 23:15 NZT (Delay) - 9/4 @ 12:30 NZT (Delay) - 8/4 @ 21:30 NZT (Live) - 9/4 @ 15:00 NZT (Live) 10/4 @ 01:15 (Delay) 10/4 @ 11:35 (Delay) 12/4 @ 16:05 NZT
    VIASAT                    
    Russia 7/4 @ 12:30 MSK (Live) - 8/4 @ 07:00 MSK (Live) - - - - - 9/4 @ 09:30 MSK (Live) 10/4 @ 16:00 MSK
    WATCHAFL.AFL.COM.AU                    
    Worldwide (excl. Aust) 7/4 @ 09:50 GMT (Live) 8/4 @ 03:45 GMT (Live) 8/4 @ 04:10 GMT (Live) 8/4 @ 06:35 GMT (Live) 8/4 @ 09:40 GMT (Live) 8/4 @ 09:40 GMT (Live) 9/4 @ 03:10 GMT (Live) 9/4 @ 05:20 GMT (Live) 9/4 @ 06:40 GMT (Live) -

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    Teams from across England and Scotland have assembled ready for this year’s Haggis Cup, this year being played at the West Of Scotland Rugby Club in Glasgow. Fifteen teams across men’s and women’s competitions have arrived ready for what promises to be a huge, exciting tournament.

    The women’s competition will see host city, Glasgow, represented by both local clubs – the Glasgow Sharks and the Greater Glasgow Giants – as well as two teams from the Wandsworth Demons and a single team from the Wimbledon Hawks representing AFL London. The Nottingham Scorpions women’s team will be there flying the flag for the AFLCNE. The Wimbledon Hawks are on a high, having just been crowned women’s champions at last weekend’s AFL Europe Champions League tournament in Amsterdam.


    In the men’s draw, all Scottish teams – the Glasgow Sharks (two teams), Greater Glasgow Giants, Edinburgh Bloods and Kingdom Kangaroos – will be there along with AFL London club the Wandsworth Demons (two teams) and AFLCNE clubs, the Tyne Tees Tigers, Wolverhampton Wolverines and Huddersfield Rams.

    The Haggis Cup has become a very important fixture on the European landscape, not only bringing a rivalry at club and national levels, but also as a major pre-season tournament as clubs prepare for the opening of their respective new seasons. Whilst 2017 sees teams from England and Scotland only, last year also saw teams from the Netherlands (Amstersdam Devils) and Ireland (Leeside Lions) competing

    The format will see a draw of group matches to determine placing and semi-finalists. The women’s final will be held at 4.00pm, followed by the Men’s final at 4.30pm. All matches are two ten minute halves.

    Last year it was the Wimbledon Hawks taking the title, downing the Greater Glasgow Giants in the final. In the women’s final, the Saltires defeated the Wolves.

    AFL Scotland will be posting updates from all matches on their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/AFLScotland/ ...

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    Last night I sat in the comfort of home watching a thrilling game between Collingwood and Sydney. I don’t support either, but was grateful that I could turn on the television and (with the power of two remote controls) watch a genuine thriller. To live in a world where every AFL game can be live in the home is, to many, normal.

    But it wasn’t always that way.

    I am a product (proudly) of 1961. Hawthorn won their first flag, probably not directly because of me. It started something of a trend, with the Hawks winning far too many since. Geelong took out the “consolation” night series, Roos got the spoon and Carlton got the Brownlow & Coleman (John James & Tom Carroll). Meanwhile, I did little more than crawl around the floor making gurgling sounds (still do, occasionally!).

    It took a while before footy got a hold, but once it did, it stuck. I remember Dad being apoplectic after listening to our beloved ‘Dons go down to the Blues in the grand final. By then I was old enough to take in the game and I loved Barry Davis. I even had a small poster for my wall.

    I was too young to play myself, so I had to invent ways to live this game in between Saturday night replays. Being inventive by nature, I found solutions.

    The most obvious was the back yard. The main supports of the paling fence were the goals. The back fence and the back porch were the boundary lines (loosely). The wheelbarrow was the opposition defender and the lemon tree made a fairly useful opposition centreman (usually from Collingwood) that I could baulk around at will. The old leather footy took a shellacking as I ran uncontested all match around every possible opponent (trees, the car, Mum) and won every match I played…and, of course, I kicked every winning goal.

    Then it was time to go inside for the night, but I wasn’t satisfied.

    Tetley Tea once had bird cards inside their packets. The names of these birds would become the players in my imaginary football league – The Birdsville Football League – and the great teams of the era grew. The Finches were my team, but they had stiff opposition from the Parrots, the Rosellas, the Wrens, the Sea-Birds, Water-Birds, Cockatoos and Assorted Ones (the Assorted Twos joined the league later after I got new cards). For years the Finches (fittingly red and black..!!) dominated the competition.

    Being an avid collector of footy cards, I would also make teams on the floor of cards. I remember my Essendon team saw Geoff Prior at full back, Don McKenzie went into the ruck, Barry Davis was on one wing, John Williams on the other (because I liked him and wanted him on my field) and Geoff Blethyn at full forward. Sometimes I would change them, but usually that group would “kick” the little red coloured Cuisenaire rod from one to the other. Essendon always won.

    Equally as simply, I could make teams out of blocks…red, blue, red…yellow, white, yellow…blue, white, blue…and so on. They all had heads made from the smaller sized block. There were no black blocks so I couldn’t make little Essendon men, so my team were the yellow, white and yellows. Almost predictably, they also won.

    In school, most of these methods were unable to be replicated. A slightly more devious game had to be played, so I copied other boys (it really wasn’t a girl thing then). I would take a hexagonal HB pencil. On each face I would make a set of holes with another pencil. One side would have one hole, the next had two and so on until I had one to six. I would the roll the pencil on my desk out of sight of the teacher. First roll was my team’s goals, second was points. Next roll was the opponent’s goals, next points. That was the first quarter done. The process was completed until each team had their four quarters competed.

    I would often make complete seasons over a week or so. Experts at this game could learn to manipulate the movement of the pencil, so, again, Essendon did pretty well over the years.

    Finally, Saturday would come around and we would tune into the various Melbourne radio stations – most games had their own station. We would listen to whichever one had the Essendon game. All games were done by around 5pm and then we would wait to watch the footy replay around dinner time. Then the process of my own games – whichever one I was into at the time - would recommence for another week.

    The world was a simpler place and enjoyment didn’t have to cost money. I could spend hours amusing myself with footy. Later I joined a local team – the Clayton Magpies – and life headed in other directions. My games became real. Later still, footy would be played on Sundays, South Melbourne went to Sydney. Television ratings began to matter. World Of Sport got cancelled. Evening replays were replaced by live action – or at least delayed telecasts. The world changed.

    Today I have footy twenty-four seven. I am an expert now with remote controls rather than pencils, blocks and footy cards. So many times I hear how good it is to watch footy nowadays…a veritable smorgasboard of live action. People try to convince me that to live footy is easier than ever in 2017.

    Oh! How I lament what they missed when they grew up. Footy today is simply different. It isn’t better, and I have the pencils to prove i ...

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    On a beautiful, sunny day at the Blacktown International Sportspark in western Sydney, the sirens have blown and the football is well and truly under way. It marks the business end of a long process for those U15 boys who have made it to the final selection to represent their state’s Kickstart or All Nations teams. Now, all of the training and hard work pays off.

    The tournament commenced with an opening ceremony at the Rooty Hill RSL. All players entered the function room during the Smoking Ceremony, performed by Uncle Greg Simms. Councillor Brad Bunting offered the official welcome from Blacktown City Council on behalf of Mayor Stephen Bali before Sam Graham, CEO of AFL NSW/ACT welcomed all to such a prestigious event for New South Wales. Narelle Long, AFL Championship manager also welcomed the layers, officials and supporters.


    The audience were also entertained by the Lucky African Dance and Drum Group before retiring to prepare for the matches on Sunday.

    The morning session provided plenty of highlights and excitement, with many great passages of play thrilling the crowd. Scores from the morning session were:

    Kickstart -

    South Australia 6 2 38 d Victoria 3 1 19
    Northern Territory 3 6 24 d Tasmania 2 3 15
    Western Australia 11 5 71 d NSW/ACT 1 1 7
    South Australia 9 2 56 d Queensland 1 1 7

    All Nations –

    NSW/ACT 5 1 31 d Northern Territory 2 2 14
    South Australia 2 5 17 d Western Australia 2 3 15
    Tasmania 8 8 56 d Queensland 1 2 8
    Victoria 5 8 38 d NSW/ACT 3 6 24

    The extended break after the morning session saw the first of the education sessions for players. Former Brisbane Lions premiership player, Chris Johnston, spoke of the high expectations placed on young players hoping to forge AFL careers at the highest level. Was joined by former Geelong premiership player, Mathew Stokes, who reiterated the personality characteristics that prospective players ideally require to succeed on their football journeys.

    Another former Brisbane Lions premiership player, and now Director of Academies at Port Adelaide, Shaun Hart, spoke of the actual playing attributes that recruiters and selectors are looking for in conjunction with the emotional and social attributes those recruiters value. These presentations are an invaluable component of the event, allowing players to understand the importance of off-field expectations as well as the more obvious physical skills.

    The afternoon match results saw:

    Kickstart –

    Northern Territory 9 4 58 d Victoria 3 4 22
    Western Australia 4 7 31 d Tasmania 2 2 14
    NSW/ACT 9 6 60 d Queensland 2 4 16

    All Nations –

    Northern Territory 3 5 23 d Queensland 2 3 15
    South Australia 10 5 65 d NSW/ACT 1 2 8
    Western Australia 10 6 66 v Victoria 1 2 8

    Day Two is sure to provide just as much endeavour and entertainment as the Blacktown International Sportspark – in the heartland of the Greater Western Sydney Giants supporter base – hosts the cream of indigenous and multicultural Under 15 talent from across Australi ...

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    Chris Johnson certainly experienced the highs and lows of football as a player. Drafted by the Fitzroy Lions in 1993, he went on to play for the club until their demise in 1996 – experiencing some of the leanest times of any VFL/AFL club. His move to the Brisbane Bears at the end of the 1996 season coincided with the rise of a new entity – the Brisbane Lions.

    He went on to become a celebrated and decorated legend of the club, playing in three premierships, being an All-Australian selection as well as a member of the Indigenous Team Of The Century. He briefly co-captained the Brisbane Lions and in 2005 was co-captain with Andrew McLeod in the Australian International Rules team.

    With a resume as hard-earned and impressive as that it seems only natural that his experience and philosophes be passed on to new generations of indigenous and multicultural players. At the 2017 National AFL Male Kickstart & All Nations Championships in Blacktown, that is exactly what he is doing.

    Johnson’s words of wisdom resounded amongst the young warriors as they learned what is required of the modern day AFL footballer.

    “For some of you this is your first, or maybe second, maybe third [tournament] but you will be identified by certain people sitting on the outskirts of this room and unfortunately they are going to put things next to your names, and this is the cutthroat [nature] of football.”

    “They’re either going to say you’re good in this area in terms of playing and they are going to come and have a chat to you. Sometimes they are going to say you are not so good in some other areas in terms of not being able to hold a conversation.”

    “So, what you’re are going to realise is that football is not just all about your talent. It is about being able to talk to each other [and] talk to adults to and relate to them. So you are being judged by everything you do at the moment.”

    “You need to get these guys [the recruiters] to know your name. At the moment you are just numbers. You are number such and such from Victoria, or number such and such from WA, or number such and such from Queensland.”

    In a sobering reality check for these potential stars of the future, Johnson made them understand that these next few days presented an opportunity for players to make recruiters replace the numbers with a name and become noticed for what they could do, on and off the field.

    Johnson illustrated the talent pathways ahead for the gathered players, with potential selection in the Flying Boomerangs or World teams after this carnival. From there he opened their eyes to the idea of their names being passed on to TAC Cup clubs for those considered good enough to trial. But he also pointed out that reaching that level was high level – where players who had been dominant at their own club level would now be on an even footing with others. No more could they believe they were the gun midfielder, but might have to come to terms with tasks as defenders, forwards or bench players.

    He went further to highlight opportunities at NAB Academies with the chance to travel overseas and represent AFL football “the right way”. Johnson pointed then to the national, state and colt combines across the country and then the big one – the possibility of being drafted to an AFL club.

    He mentioned Individual Development Plans, psych reports and chats with people about their childhoods – all daunting prospects for the young men sharing this journey.

    But Johnson’s final word was the most compelling of all – especially coming from a man of great stature in the game. “Be true to yourself and get the best out of yourself that is possible.”

    Without doubt, Johnson captured the hearts, minds and imaginations of all young players present. True to his word, he shared a mountain of experience and information with a new generation of players – and maybe the next Chris Johnson was sitting in that audience today.
    ...

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    Peter Dye, coach of the Victorian team at the 2017 Kickstart Championships, has a skilled team around him. Apart from his assistant coach Dylan Harvey, and team manager Jack Henty, he is also surrounded by some seriously experienced firepower. Former AFL players in Aaron Davey (Melbourne), Chris Johnston (Brisbane, Fitzroy) and David Rodan (Richmond, Port Adelaide, Melbourne) bring many hundreds of game’s experience to the coaching bench.

    The two coaching components come together – the formal and the additional – to prepare the Victorians for their next match: a clash with the NSW/ ACT team. It soon becomes apparent that these boys cannot have too many coaches and too much advice. They are fortunate, and they will respond by bringing every coach’s wishes or instructions to life.

    Pre-game and the coach re-addresses the pillars around which the team’s game plans will hinge. Effort is broken down into clearer, more measureable pieces. Work rate, tackling, communication and being first to the ball are the themes that will galvanise these boys once the siren blows. Focus is also placed on the one percenters – the small actions on which great success grows.

    The coach also reiterates the message that the most important factors that will influence the game will be attitude and effort – the skills will look after themselves. He stresses other themes in between warmups – talk to each other, back each other up, be aware of the match situation, get the matchups right and when facing into the wind they have to be in front for the ball that drops short. None of this is rocket science, and have been heard many times before. But they are the messages that need to be refreshed and brought back to the forefront of a player’s thinking.

    One last message is to impact the ball – punch, don’t tap. Then the talking is done and it’s match time…the team heads down the race and onto the field.

    The match has started and the bench is generally quiet. The occasional mutterings of “c’mon, c’mon” can be heard, but most of the time is spent watching the game itself unfold. Inside a minute and Victoria snag their first goal. From the next bounce the coaches start to become increasingly more involved. “Good mark!”, “Man up, Vics!”and other advice is yelled spasmodically from the bench.

    On the sideline, Aaron sees some errors. He turns to those on the interchange bench and coaches on the run by explaining to those boys what went wrong and how they can avoid that pitfall when they return to the action. It is good coaching. As players come off, one or the other of the mentoring team give quiet, reassuring instructions about positioning, options and anything else that might make the player even more effective. All throughout the game the one percenters are mentioned and applauded – time and time again.
    Chris sees things from the sideline and calls out “play the percentages”. He mentions this to the other coaches also – shared information. The pre-determined team instructions about best options, angles, spaces and lines are those percentages. Inside the final minute of the half and the coaches, via the runner, nearby players and loud voices combine to get one more message – “Don’t let them score.”

    Coach Peter uses the half time break to reinforce positive messages. His messages are not talent related. They all reaffirm the themes of effort and attitude. He suggests that it is a good feeling to go in at half time a couple of goals in front. He reminds the team that they did well into the wind and now have to remain disciplined and follow the game plan.

    David prowls the boundary and bench, reminding players to stay warm and moving ready to go back onto the field. Before long the clock ticks into the final few minutes and the team enjoys a five goal lead. Time to manage players – some can rest now as they have done their jobs. Others get another chance to get amongst the action. The coaching team make mention of the second and third efforts. The bench goes quiet now inside the final minute.

    The siren sounds and the Victorian boys have won convincingly 8 3 51 to NSW/ACT 3 1 19. It was a very good team effort and the coaches get to every player and congratulate or reassure them.

    A team photo and a powerful rendition of the team song and then it’s back to the rooms to have the rest they have earned and think about the next match.

    And the coaching team can take a deep, collective breath and look ahead to their next challenge. ...

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    The AFL today announced the venues for the Grand Final's for both the men's and women's divisions at the 2017 AFL International Cup to be held in Melbourne from August 5th.

    The previous men's final was played at the MCG in 2014 with PNG defeating Ireland. The women's final was played earlier that day with Canada defeating Ireland at Punt Road oval. Details of competing nations and schedules are still being finalised and should be known in the coming weeks.

    The full announcement follows.

    MEDIA RELEASE FROM THE AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE

     

    2017 AFL International Cup Grand Finals venues confirmed

     

    The AFL confirmed today that the 2017 AFL International Cup men’s and women’s grand finals will be played as curtain-raisers to Round 22 AFL matches.

     

    The men’s grand final will be played prior to the Collingwood-Geelong Cats match at the MCG while the women’s grand final will be prior to the Carlton-Hawthorn match at Etihad Stadium.

     

    AFL Head of Community & International Development Grant Williams said playing both grand finals at AFL venues would give greater exposure to the competition.

     

    “We are so pleased to have secured both the MCG and Etihad Stadium to conclude this year’s International Cup,” he said.

     

    “Planning is in full-swing at AFL House and amongst the international football community.

     

    “We anticipate the fixtures will be released in early July.”

     

    The AFL also revealed the IC17 artwork today on the competition website (aflic17.com.au), Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Also see below.

     

    The sixth International Cup will be held in Melbourne from Saturday August 5 to Saturday August 19, 2017. The carnival will include both men’s and women’s competitions.

     

    The AFL International Cup is played every three years. No expatriate Australians are eligible to play. Teams comprise solely of amateurs who must be nationals of the country they represent.

     

    In 2014 there were 25 teams (18 men’s and seven women’s teams) that represented 18 different nations. Papua New Guinea won the men’s final while Canada won the women’s final.

      ...


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     A huge round of footy in Nauru on the weekend saw the top of the table clash decided by a goal and the other two matches by five points.  The Magpies cemented top spot with their 6 point win over the Bombers with Kenneth Oppenheimer kicking three goals for the winners.  Both sides will play off again next week, this time in the Qualifying final for a spot in the Grand Final.

    FRIDAY APRIL 7, 2017
    CATS SCRATCH DOGS IN A THRILLER
    It was a tight and tough contest from the outset as players went in hard. The contest was tough as both teams tried hard to gain control but nothing could separate them going into the last quarter. Going with a slight breeze in the last quarter, it was the Cats that won most of the ball and kept the game in their half for most of the quarter.

    But despite winning more possessions in the last, the Cats squandered their opportunities frequently missing easy shots at goal. The Bulldogs were more accurate and with young player Blame Maaki kicking 2 goals in the last quarter, they remained dangerously close.

    In the dying minutes Cats dangerman Shawn Kemp Maaki slotted a goal from a tight angle to take the lead and they held on to win by 5 points in a thriller.

    CATS     2.2 3.5 5.5 8.11.59
    BULLDOGS 1.1 3.3 5.5 8. 6.54

    GOALS
    Cats: Wilmos Deiye 2, Pilo Dagiaro 2, Trent Depaune, George Dowiyogo, Peter Hiram, Shawn Kemp Maaki
    Bulldogs: Blame Maaki 3, Aykers Daniel 2, Anvickson Jeremiah, Nanniten Temaki, Donatello Moses
    BEST
    Cats: Tiana Waidabu, Shawn Kemp Maaki, Otto Adam, Wilmos Deiye, Greigor Uera, Pilo Dagiaro
    Bulldogs: Angus Cook, Anvickson Jeremiah, Kenzo Mobit, Patrick Agadio, Niga Haulangi, Aykers Daniel
    INJURIES – Nil REPORTS – Nil
    Umpires: Jaxon & Nicholas

    SATURDAY, APRIL 8, 2017
    KANGAROOS EDGE OUT THE HAWKS
    With both teams missing out on the finals next week, the players were playing for team pride and selections for the upcoming Nauru Chiefs tour. Young Hawk star Darnel Diema again led the way for the Hawks with a game high of 26 disposals and 4 marks. He was assisted by the skillful Darby Rodiben who picked up 15 disposals most of them contested. Hawk ruckman Jencke dominated the ruck winning 20 hitouts. For the Roos, their skipper Charles Dagiaro was again outstanding with 21 disposals and 7 clearances. His ability to read the ruck enabled the Roos to win possession giving alot of opportunities to their forward line to kick goals. Marcus Detenamo and Bronco Deidenang kicked 3 goals each for the Roos with young Roo Kualumpa Tannang chimed in with 2 goals. In the last quarter, the teams went goal for goal and if the Hawks had kicked straight, they would have won taken the points, but it was not to be as the Roos held on edging out the Hawks by 5 points.
     

    KANGAROOS 1.1 4.2 9.5 13. 6.84
    HAWKS     2.4 3.6 7.8 11.13.79
     

    GOALS
    Kangaroos: Marcus Paul Detenamo 3, Bronco Deidenang 3, Deamo Baguga 2, Kualumpa Tannang 2, Jenson Thoma, Jarmen Pole, Charles Dagiaro
    Hawks: Issel Daniel 3, Abwit Aliklik 2, Zackeanu Deidenang 2, Mumu Dowabobo, Renack Mau, Darby Rodiben, Cazaly Jeremiah
    BEST
    Kangaroos: Tanga Rupert, Greco Tom, Marcus Paul Detenamo, Jarmen Pole, Shenko Canon, Charles Dagiaro
    Hawks: Darnel Diema, Oquan Cook, Darby Rodiben, Issel Daniel, Zackeanu Deidenang, Abwit Aliklik
    INJURIES – Nil REPORTS – Jeremiah Kam (ankle)
    Umpires: Rudeen & Nicholas

    TOP OF TABLE CLASH LIVED UP TO EXPECTATIONS
    Many expected the top of the table clash to be a tight and entertaining contest and they were not disappointed. The game was played at a frantic pace in the 1st quarter and it was the Magpies who gained the ascendancy and skipped away to a 4 goal lead at the 1st break. In the second the Magpies maintained their lead, controlling and winning the contests in the middle and around the ground. In the 3rd the Bombers made a charge with consecutive goals to Bremoki, Tipung and German but the Magpies responded with goals from Kenneth and Daiga to maintain a 4 goals lead heading into the last quarter. In the last Kaison fired up the Bombers with strong contested marks and 2 quick goals to build momentum for his team. Bremoki added another goal to cut the margin to one goal with 10 minutes left on the clock.
     

    The teams then battled it out right to the end. They traded goals. Magpies would goal to stretch the margin to 2 goals but the Bombers would hit right back. It was a tough and fantastic contest, as both teams went in hard. In the end it was the Magpies who held on desperately to score a memorable 6 point win.
     

    MAGPIES 5.4 9.4 12.5 14.9.93
    BOMBERS 1.1 4.2  8.7 13.9.87
     

    GOALS
    Magpies: Kenneth Oppenheimer 3, Bagewa Detudamo 2, Dave Mwaredaga 2, Jayco Ageidu 2, Richmond Spanner, Reed Dageago, Aaron Canon, Iverson Star, Daiga Deireragea
    Bombers: Tipung Kamtaura 3, Bremoki Maaki 2, Kaison Tatum 2, Khyde Menke, Cornelius Taneara, Daniel Daniel, German Grundler, Tango Hubert, Agir Amwano
     

    BEST
    Magpies: Dave Mwaredaga, Mallinson Batsiua, Buddy Detageouwa, Kenneth Oppenheimer, Bagewa Detudamo, Richmond Spanner
    Bombers: Rassie Deireragea, Robroy Grundler, Johnny Dagiaro, Agir Amwano, Kaison Tatum, Tango Hubert
    INJURIES – Nil REPORTS – Kash Dongobir (Bombers) reported for spitting on Richmond Spanner (Magpies). Guilty, suspended 3 weeks.
    Umpires: Jaxon & Brian

    LEADING GOALKICKERS
    Bronco Deidenang (Kangaroos) 20
    Jamie Tagamoun (Hawks) 12
    Kenneth Oppenheimer (Magpies) 11
    Issel Daniel (Hawks) 11
    Khyde Menke (Bombers) 11
    Aykers Daniel (Bulldogs) 11
    Jayco Ageidu (Magpies) 10
    Richmond Spanner (Magpies) 10
    Marcus Detenamo (Bombers) 9
    Tango Hubert (Bombers) 9
    Yoshi Harris (Magpies) 9
    Snuka Adire (Bulldogs) 8
    Kaison Tatum (Bombers) 8
    Bremoki Maaki (Bombers) 8
    Trent Depaune (Cats) 8
    Shawn Kemp Maaki (Cats) 7
    Reed Dageago (Magpies) 7
    Joeson Kanimea (Kangaroos) 7

    CONGRATULATIONS BRONCO DEIDENANG (KANGAROOS) TOP GOALKICKER 2017

    LADDER
    1 MAGPIES  16
    2 BOMBERS  12
    3 CATS     12
    4 BULLDOGS 10
    5 KANGAROOS 8
    6 HAWKS     2

    NEXT WEEK

    SATURDAY 15, APRIL 2017
    9.00AM ELIMINATION FINAL
    CATS VS BULLDOGS
    * WINNER ADVANCES TO PRELIMINARY FINAL AND PLAY AGAINST LOSER
    OF QUALIFYING FINAL; LOSER IS ELIMINATED.
    11.00AM QUALIFYING FINAL
    MAGPIES VS BOMBERS
    * WINNER ADVANCES TO GRAND FINAL. LOSER PLAYS WINNER OF THE
    ELIMINATION FINAL IN THE PRELIMINARY FINAL.
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

      ...


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    Micky O, as he if commonly referred to, has had an incredible journey in AFL football and is in a unique position to share his vast experience with the next generations of footballers. At the 2017 National AFL Male Kickstart and All Nations Championships Michael did exactly that when asked to motivate the boys with a talk about his background.

     

    The following story is taken from a transcript of his presentation to the players during the championships. Not a pin drop could be heard as Michael entranced his audience.

     

     

    I’m originally from Adelaide and moved to Sydney as a 17-year old to play footy with the Swans. I’m from a little place called Salisbury in Adelaide where I spent a lot of time at the Central Districts footy club. I guess the journey to get to Sydney has been a pretty tough one.

     I can remember an incident playing when I was 16, just turned 17, when I was playing for Centrals and it was half time [in] a final and the coach pulled me aside in front of everyone and said “Michael O’Loughlin, you’ve been the worst player on the ground. You’ve been shithouse.” – and there may be some coaches here who have maybe used that language – and he said “you will never play league football here in South Australia.” That was his words.

     

    And you can imagine me, just turned 17, how do I feel about thatω [It was] half time of a final and I went out in the second half and played absolutely terribly again. Luckily for us we had a double chance.

     

    I went to training on Tuesday at Centrals and I walked into the room with my bag and footy boots and what not and a couple of my friends and my cousins actually said “what are you doing hereω” I said “What do you meanω We’ve got another game on Saturday [and] we’re going to win this game and get to the grand final.” They said “the coach absolutely just shamed you out, called you everything under the sun. Why are you hereω” I said “well, I’m a part of the team and I think we can win thi game – I’ll train hard and if I get picked, great, and if I don’t, so be it. I’m not going to let a coach tell me that I’m no good because I reckon I’ve got something to offer.”

     

    So, anyway, I played Saturday and I played a pretty good game – we lost [and] we were out of the finals.

     

    Fat forward about a month later, I got a couple of phone calls from AFL clubs to say “Hey, we’re interested in you – we’ve been watching you since you were 15, we’d love to com and have a chat with you.”

     

    So, one of the last clubs to come was the Sydney Swans – I’m thinking Carlton was the other club, Melbourne and the Brisbane Bears as it was then. My name ended up getting read out at the draft by Sydney.

     

    I got picked up at the airport and I got talking to the recruiting manager who picked me up and I sort of scratched my head, and all I had in my backpack – all the other boys had luggage and I had this backpack, poor little black fella from Salisbury – and all I had was a pair of socks, jocks and footy boots, a pair of jeans and a jumper. That’s all I had. The Swans had to take me shopping to buy me stuff.

     

    But I sat there and spoke to the recruiting manager and I said “can I ask you a questionω” and he said “Yeah.” [I said] “Why did you draft meω” He said “Oh, Michael, we think you’ve got some talent. You’ve got to work harder and do a lot of other things to be a better player.” And then the one thing that really, really clicked was – little did I know that that recruiter was in the huddle when the coach went off at me about a month before that and he heard the coach call me this, this and this and he said you’ll never play league footy in South Australia, “and what surprised us is that you actually went to training, you played and you played really well.” He said “that told us a lot about you.”

     

    “We knewa you had got some real talent, but you showed you has some resilience and showed some toughness and showed some shit.”

     

    And that’s a really big lesson and I hope it resonates with a lot of you guys. No I think back to those days  when the coach got stuck into me.

     

    Not only that game but a few games and I thought that coach had it in for me and I was probably a frustrating player to coach. But if I had given up and not turned up at training, you know whatω The Swans wouldn’t have picked me and other clubs wouldn’t have come and knocked on the door either. So I think about going through tough times – your out of form or struggling with injury – [and] I always think about that day when the coach tore me to shreds and I say “OK, I think I’ve got something here. I reckon I’m an OK player. I’ve continued to rain and get picked and obviously play.

     

    And I think about that coach and he was actually right. I never did play league footy in South Australia – I only played 300 AFL games instead.

     

    So the whole point is you are going to have so many doors shut on you and so many people tell you you’re no good – only one person can change that, and that’s you guys.

     

    And I guess the other point is you’ve got to keep improving – doing the same things over and over again. Guys, it’s not rocket science. You will dictate where you are going to finish, whether you play AFL football, play ocal football, raise a family, go out and get a job, all those kind of things. You dictate that.

     

    Now, you can point the blame on a lot of other people but ultimately only you guys have a say in where your life ends up.

     

    Michael O’Loughlin’s speech was an inspiration to all of the players present at the championships. But his messages go far beyond that group of young men. His observations are a valuable lesson for anyone trying to chase their dreams and have an eye open on the pitfalls of the journey and how to face and defeat them.

     

     

     

     

     

      ...


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    One of the most endearing images from the 2017 National AFL Male Kickstart & All Nations Championships was former Port Adelaide Power premiership coach, Mark Williams, standing beside a young African player on the All Nations oval after a match stepping him through the basics of how to kick. As this story is being typed he is doing it again with a young Queensland indigenous player.

    In a decorated career spanning playing days in the SANFL (West Adelaide & Port Adelaide) and VFL (Collingwood & Brisbane Bears) and a variety coaching, assistant coaching and his most recent specialist coaching role in the AFL with Richmond (Head Development Coach), Mark knows the coaching game backwards, forwards and sideways. The son of the “father of Port Adelaide” – Fos Williams – Mark holds one of the finest pedigrees in football. It is that pedigree he is bringing to the championships, coaching the coaches and watching over the players.


    Mark is also very quick to point out that that he was also a premiership player with the Windsor Zillmere team in Queensland and a Queensland state player – adding to his impressive list of achievements.

    But his key role at the championships has been to help educate the coaches of the state teams and monitor their progress as coaches at the event. He is the key selector of coaches from this event to go on and coach the Flying Boomerangs and World teams.

    In a series of education sessions held each day of the event, Mark has imparted his knowledge on a range of footballing subjects – general and technical.

    On the subject of how coaches can communicate better with their players, Mark cited (and elicited from the coaches) the use of more specific instructions being given, delegating more to assistant coaches and support staff, using specific examples to reinforce messages and referring directly to statistics to drive home messages (examples being tackles, turnovers, contested marks and many more).

    Moving into other facets of how a coach can be more effective, Mark spoke of motivating players, using an arm around a shoulder to show care and connection with a player, the importance of having a game plan and ensuring that all players understand the requirements and breaking into line groups (midfielders, forwards, defenders) to unite player groups with common messages.

    He gave examples of messages such as tall players in the middle, never let the ball get behind for defenders, move ball to corridor and forwards should never be outmarked but he emphasised that these expectations can only be met if they are communicated correctly and accurately by the coach to the players.

    Mark then looked at the importance of coaches analysing KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) to make informed decisions about players, matchups at stoppages, match trends and more. An understanding of the strengths and weaknesses through these indicators can address needs for forwards, midfielders, defenders and highlight effectiveness at stoppages, engagement of support from other players in contests and tactical moves such as guarding of space and the effectiveness of sweepers.

    During one session, Mark ran through the basics of how to teach a player to kick – the most fundamental skill in the game. He reiterated to the coaches that technique and mechanics of kicking has to be explicitly taught and not be a matter of chance as a player develops.

    During one of the sessions, Mark was joined by Sudanese born Sydney Swans player, Aliir Aliir. As he interviewed Aliir about his journey to footy, his adjustments to the game, which player has helped him the most (key defender Heath Grundy) and the best advice he has received (from Michael O’Loughlin to always take the game on) – Mark also asked the assembled coaches how would they get a person who just walked into the club for a look – such as another Sudanese player without a footy background – to give the game a go. He emphasised that a big part of that answer was a positive sell from the coach to make the potential layer believe they can play.

    The one indisputable aspect of the sessions with Mark Williams was that every coach came out just that little bit better, wiser, prepared and motivated. And that was largely Mark’s purpose – to use his vast array of experience and successes to prepare the next generations of coaches both at carnival of this nature and beyond – or simply at the most basic grassroots levels of the game.
    ...

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    Round 4 of the 2017 AFL Season kicks of in Perth tonight where the West Coast Eagles host the Sydney Swans at Domain Stadium.  Tomorrow night the first Good Friday match will take place between North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium.

    The full international broadcast schedule can be seen below.

    In addition to the TV networks you can also subscribe to the Watch AFL service that will give you live access to all the matches and more (outside Australia only).  You can access that service by clicking on the link here or the  Watch AFL banner below and paying the subscription fee.

     

    MATCH DATE TIMESLOT MATCH VENUE LOCAL TIME GMT
    1 13-Apr Night West Coast Eagles vs. Sydney Swans Domain Stadium 18:10 10:10
    2 14-Apr Twilight North Melbourne vs. Western Bulldogs Etihad Stadium 16:20 04:20
    3 15-Apr Day Melbourne vs. Fremantle MCG 13:45 03:45
    4 15-Apr Twilight GWS GIANTS vs. Port Adelaide UNSW Canberra Oval 16:35 06:35
    5 15-Apr Night Carlton vs. Gold Coast SUNS Etihad Stadium 19:25 09:25
    6 15-Apr Night Adelaide Crows vs. Essendon Adelaide Oval 19:10 09:40
    7 16-Apr Day Collingwood vs. St Kilda Etihad Stadium 15:20 05:20
    8 16-Apr Twilight Brisbane Lions vs. Richmond The Gabba 16:40 06:40
    9 17-Apr Day Hawthorn vs. Geelong Cats MCG 15:20 05:20

     

     

    ...
    TERRITORY/NETWORK MATCH 1 MATCH 2 MATCH 3 MATCH 4 MATCH 5 MATCH 6 MATCH 7 MATCH 8 MATCH 9 HIGHLIGHTS
    AUSTRALIA PLUS                    
    Asia 13/4 @ 18:00 HKT (Live) 14/4 @ 14:00 HKT (Live) 15/4 @ 11:30 HKT (Live) 15/4 @ 14:30 HKT (Live) - 15/4 @ 17:30 HKT (Live) 16/4 @ 13:00 HKT (Live) - - 20/4 @ 10:30 HKT
    Pacific 13/4 @ 22:00 Fiji (Live) 14/4 @ 18:00 Fiji (Live) 15/4 @ 15:30 Fiji (Live) 15/4 @ 18:30 Fiji (Live) - 15/4 @ 21:30 Fiji (Live) 16/4 @ 17:00 Fiji (Live) - - 20/4 @ 14:30 Fiji
    India 13/4 @ 15:30 IND (Live) 14/4 @ 11:30 IND (Live) 15/4 @ 09:00 IND (Live) 15/4 @ 12:00 IND (Live) - 15/4 @ 15:00 IND (Live) 16/4 @ 10:30 IND (Live) - - 20/4 @ 08:00 IND
    CCTV5                    
    China TBC - - - - - - - TBC -
    ECONET                    
    Africa 13/4 @ 12:00 CAT (Live) 14/4 @ 8:10 CAT (Live) 15/4 @ 5:30 CAT (Live) - - - 16/4 @ 7:10 CAT (Live) - 17/4 @ 7:10 CAT (Live) 19/4 @ 18:00 CAT
    ESPN - BT SPORT                    
    UK & Ireland 13/4 @ 11:00 BST (Live) 14/4 @ 07:00 BST (Live) 15/4 @ 04:30 BST (Live) - - - 16/4 @ 06:00 BST (Live) - 17/4 @ 06:00 BST (Live) 18/4 @ 19:30 BST
    FOX SPORTS 2                    
    USA - - 14/4 @ 23:30 ET (Live) - - - - - - -
    FOX SOCCER PLUS                    
    USA 13/4 @ 06:00 ET (Live) 14/4 @ 02:00 ET (Live) - - - - - - 17/4 @ 01:00 ET (Live) -
    ORBIT SHOWTIME NETWORK                    
    Middle East 13/4 @ 13:00 AST (Live) 14/4 @ 09:00 AST (Live) - - - - 16/4 @ 08:00 AST (Live) - 17/4 @ 08:00 AST (Live) 17/4 @ 15:00 GMT
    GEE - BOATS & CRUISES                    
    Worldwide (excl. Aust.) 13/4 @ 10:00 GMT (Live) 14/4 @ 04:00 GMT (Live) 15/4 @ 03:30 GMT (Live) 15/4 @ 06:30 GMT (Live) 15/4 @ 09:00 GMT (Live) - 16/4 @ 05:00 GMT (Live) - 17/4 @ 05:00 GMT (Live) Yes
    SKY SPORTS                    
    New Zealand - - - - - - - - 17/4 @ 24:00 NZT (Delay) 18/4 @ 18:30 NZT
    TSN2                    
    Canada 13/4 @ 06:00 ET (Live) - - - - - - - 17/4 @ 13:30 ET (Delay) Yes
    TVNZ                    
    New Zealand 14/4 @ 00:15 NZT (Delay) 15/4 @ 00:05 NZT (Delay) 15/4 @ 15:30 NZT (Live) - - 16/4 @ 15:30 NZT (Delay) 17/4 @ 00:05 NZT (Delay) - 18/4 @ 00:35 NZT (Delay) 19/4 @ 16:05 NZT
    VIASAT                    
    Russia 13/4 @ 13:00 MSK (Live) 14/4 @ 09:00 MSK (Live) - - - - 16/4 @ 08:00 MSK (Live) - 17/4 @ 08:00 MSK (Live) 18/4 @ 16:00 MSK
    WATCHAFL.AFL.COM.AU                    
    Worldwide (excl. Aust) 13/4 @ 10:10 GMT (Live) 14/4 @ 04:20 GMT (Live) 15/4 @ 03:45 GMT (Live) 15/4 @ 06:35 GMT (Live) 15/4 @ 09:25 GMT (Live) 15/4 @ 09:40 GMT (Live) 16/4 @ 05:20 GMT (Live) 16/4 @ 06:40 GMT (Live) 17/4 @ 05:20 GMT (Live)  

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    Media Release From The Australian Football League

    The AFL is pleased to announce the 2017 Boomerangs and World Team squads to compete at the 2017 NAB AFL Under-16 Championships on the Gold Coast in July.

    Selected by AFL Club recruiters following the 2017 AFL National Male Diversity Championships held in Blacktown, the respective squads of 25 young men has been chosen based on school attendance, leadership skills, and football ability. 

     

    The AFL Flying Boomerangs program is a personal development and leadership program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men aged 14-16 years old, supported by Rio Tinto. Meanwhile the World Team is made up of the best upcoming AFL multicultural players from across the nation.

     AFL General Manager Game Development, Andrew Dillon, said the Rio Tinto AFL Flying Boomerangs and World Team programs are a great opportunity for the best rising Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural talent in the nation to develop on and off the field.

    “The Boomerangs and World Team squads have been selected by AFL Club recruiters following their impressive performances at the 2017 AFL National Diversity Championships in Blacktown this week. 

    “These are more than just programs, we are now preparing the next generation of young leaders and footballers with the skills, qualities, and experiences to become positive role models amongst their own families and within their broader communities.

    “Over the past few years we have seen the Diversity Championships grow into a genuine elite talent pathway and we look forward to witnessing the next stage of development for these players, coaches, and umpires,” Mr Dillon said. 

    Rio Tinto Managing Director, Joanne Farrell, said: “The AFL National Diversity Championships are a brilliant showcase for the diverse culture of Indigenous and multicultural communities from across the country. We are thrilled to support this amazing program.” 

    “Flying Boomerangs is more than a football program, it’s a chance for our future Indigenous players to embrace their heritage on Australia’s biggest sporting stage.” 

    2017 Rio Tinto Flying Boomerangs squad:

    Kevin Canendo (QLD), Kynan Kenny (SA), Aiden Holland (SA), Callum Saunders (SA), Sage Tapner (VIC), Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (VIC), Wil Dwyer (VIC), Deekyn Smith (VIC), Kobi George (VIC), Joel Jeffery (NT), Brodie Lake (NT), Tyrrell Lui (NT), Anthony Rose (NT), Clarence Baird (NT), Roy George (WA), Tyreese Bynder (WA), Jordon Kickett (WA), Zek Bolton (WA), Michael Mallard (WA), Isiah Winder (WA), Reece Gerrand (WA), Ira Jetta (WA), Tyler Brockman (WA), Wesley Clarke (NSW/ACT), David Wyman (NSW/ACT).

    2017 World Team squad:

    Alex Davies (QLD), Josh Blair (QLD), Marcell Hawash (QLD), Clay Daley (QLD), William Hayley (TAS), Jayden Applebee (TAS), Oliver Burrows-Cheng (TAS), Ajay Hem (SA), Diing Akur (SA), George Heintze (SA), Lam Simon (SA), Ruben Carreno (SA), Nixzon Santillo (SA), Siddarth Rajesh (VIC), Regan Uwandu (VIC), Compton Fiafua (VIC), Joey Keam (VIC), Chris Walker (WA), Brendan Walker (WA), Manfred Pati (WA), Joel Western (WA), Keanu Haddow (WA), Timothy Organ (NSW/ACT), Jamie Murphy (NSW/ACT), James Rene (NSW/ACT).

     

    Rio Tinto is the principal partner to all of the AFL’s Indigenous Programs. Rio Tinto is one of Australia’s largest employers of Indigenous people, employing some 1600 Aboriginal men and women across the nation.

    Australia Post is the principal partner to all of the AFL’s Multicultural Programs.

     

      ...


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    The 2017 Kickstart and All Nations Championships gave a unique ability to sit in a coaches box of an elite junior competition and listen to what coaches and the off field crew discuss before, during and after a game. There is insight her for any coaches. World Footy News thanks the Victorian All Nations team for allowing us to be front and centre during a game.

    Jamie Pi knew that he had a talented team of players under his guidance. Results might not have yet validated that, but results aren’t everything. Sometimes it is the process and the journey that gets people’s attention. It was certainly the criteria that Jamie and his coaching team were most interested in.

    The Victorian All Nations team was playing against South Australia in the final match of the day. It was a chance for the team to honour their game style and the instructions given by the coaches. The set of goals was written on a whiteboard and would be reviewed as the match went on.

    Before the game the players were given their instructions by Jamie and his team. Team Manager and Assistant Coach, Junior Oneone, was giving advice and encouragement along with Victorian Kickstart coach, Peter Dye, and the omnipresent, ubiquitous David Rodan – the team’s Project Manager.


    Between them they stressed the basics: If kicking out of defence and no options available, go straight down the boundary, defenders not to allow the ball to get behind them, take the game on, compete harder for marking contests and be desperate – manic – with tackles, spoils and one percenters. Across the first half that is exactly what the players did.

    At half time the line coaches addressed their groups – mids, forwards and defenders. All coaches pointed back to the pre-game instructions and reiterated the need to honour the game plan and game style. If they held their nerve, and stuck fast to the plans, they could win this. Before re-entering the fray, Jamie reminded the players to stay focused on their own game and not be put off by their opposition.

    The second half required different tactics to counter an unpredictable breeze. But the players raised the bar and held back a desperate South Australian outfit by being even more desperate – and accountable. The arm wrestle was broken when the Croweaters goaled, but then the Vics fought back after a period of dominance to kick two quick goals – a great reward for effort.

    The coaching team had instructed the players to not worry about the boundary line, the scoreboard or anything else other than beating their opponent. It was sage advice as the final siren rang with the scores tied. It wasn’t a win, but Jamie Pi was proud of the team and said so – adding that every player contributed to the result.

    After the game in the relative comfort of the change rooms, the coaches lifted the whiteboard which highlighted the pre-match goals – and every one of them had a tick next to it – testament to a group of players that heeded advice and did all in their power to honour those goals.

    To read the first installment of this story - the match featuring the Victorian Kickstart team - go to: http://www.worldfootynews.com/article...0203952461 ...

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    The 2017 National AFL Male Kickstart & All Nations Championships have been completed at the Blacktown International Sportspark at Rooty Hill in Sydney’s west. For the second consecutive year the mighty Western Australian teams have won both titles. For the Kickstart program the result sees the state remain the only winners of the Kickstart Championships since its inception.

    On a beautiful, sunny morning, the All Nations Grand Final kicked off. South Australia had performed well in the early stages of the carnival and were rated as a strong chance to upset the team from the west. Early signs were good as they held a narrow lead during the first half to go in tightly locked at half time.


    The second half remained tight with barely any breathing room for either side. Western Australia kicked a couple of clutch goals, however, to steady and hold the South Australians at bay and take the championship.

    Final Scores: Western Australia 3 6 24 d South Australia 2 4 16

    The Kickstart final saw the Tasmanian team – their first time as a stand-alone entity at these championships – take on the Western Australia behemoth. They were going into the match as massive underdogs, but they had nothing to lose.

    However, Western Australia had other ideas and played their trademark attacking brand of football, strangling the Tassie game plan and relentlessly charging into their Forward 50. By half-time the game was almost won – the WA boys hammering on 12 scoring shots to 2 to hold a 35 point lead.

    Little changed in the second half as the Western Australian team continued to pour on the pressure. Each time Tasmania appeared to get a break, the boys from the West found another way to shut Tassie down. By the final siren, the Western Australian team had moved out to a big 67 point win.

    Final Scores: Western Australia 11 8 74 d Tasmania 1 1 7

    That wrapped up an excellent tournament which showcased some of the finest young indigenous and multicultural talent in Australia at Under 15 age. So many past players at this tournament have gone on to forge AFL careers and there is no doubt that the top players at this championship are destined for the same level of success. In an elite junior championship, with some of the finest coaches, support staff, recruiters and guest speakers available to them, all players will have benefitted enormously from this experience.

    But for the time being, coaches will look at the pros and cons of the championships and look to the next crop of talent for 2018 – and possibly come up with a way to defeat the dominant Western Australian team ...

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  • 04/15/17--15:52: Umpiring Into The Future
  •  

    The recent 2017 AFL National Male Kickstart & All Nations Championships were not just a place for players to show their wares. It was also an environment where young umpires were able to continue their development journeys. During the course of the championships, David Rodan – former Richmond, Port Adelaide and Melbourne footballer and current AFL goal umpire – spent time speaking to the boys to tell them of umpiring pathways. Also, Mathew Nichols, a current AFL umpire with almost 300 AFL games experience, spent the event teaching and mentoring the new breed.

    Both were willing to speak to World Footy News and talk about the opportunities for umpires, and how important this tournament was to the development of umpires. 

     

    David Rodan:David, you played in an elite environment as a player and you have also witnessed first-hand elite level umpiring. How does that prepare you to help grow our new batch of young umpiresω

     I think it’s [the Diversity Championships] a fantastic program that hasn’t been sold enough in multicultural communities as well as it could be. So I guess by me doing this and having a crack at AFL [umpiring] and trying to umpire at AFL level then hopefully I can see indigenous kids and they can see me and se umpiring is an option as well.

    I think at the moment they see playing as the only option, but there are so many options in footy as well – there is working at clubs, coaching and assisting at clubs and umpiring. Of those I think that umpiring is best suited to multicultural communities, purely because of the capacity to earn some money. 

    I have a nephew as well that did it [umpiring] last year when he was 15. Once he got his umpiring accreditation he was able to do two or three games a weekend and could earn up $200 to $250 a week and help support his family. So, I’ve got an uncle and an aunty that love me at the moment, but I told them that in the end it is the opportunities that the AFL offer. That gives you a bit of a case study. 

    So after that I said OK I’ve got to round this up, so by me umpiring [and being seen by young people] as well as having many academies that I’m starting up in Victoria, there’s plenty of kids that can really get into it [umpiring]. They can get fit, there is no better way to learn the game and understand the rules and officiate and also when they support their families it is special for them and the AFL brand becomes important to them because it’s a brand that is [helping] support their families.  

    How important are carnival like this to give young umpires a goω 

    I think the fantastic thing is, and why I love this program in particular – the diversity championships – is that you can grow in all areas. You’ve got the player development, the coaches who want to get to A grade level and then you’ve got the umpires. I mean, the umpires are doing the same thing out there as the players – they’re trying to do their best and they’ve got a fantastic mentor in Matty Nichols and that’s priceless for these guys. 

    Some of the stories I get by phone or email from players and parents are appreciating what this program has done – not just the talent side of things but also the cultural side of things. I think that sometimes in the community, in talent programs and any programs anybody runs, [that] they can forget that [community] element – [so at these championships] they get that connection and it brings them closer to the game.  [The game] is just a vehicle really for inclusion and integration to help in our community now and later on. 

    This [the championships] is a beautiful sight – I don’t think many programs have seen so many cultures in one place.

     

    Mathew Nichols:How important is it for these young umpires to get to carnivals like this to develop their skillsω

    It’s very important. They get the opportunity to umpire multiple games each day and in terms of what umpires are doing, actually doing it. It is one of the [best] ways for them to learn. It is a concentrated week with lots of footy and we see a marked improvement in the guys throughout the course of the week.  

    To their credit, when we ask them to do something they do it. They want to learn and they’re keen to try field, boundary or goal umpiring so I think that’s terrific. 

    The other part [of the carnival’s benefit] is that they are coming away and living away from home for a week and meeting new people. They are also having to be self-sufficient in terms of making sure their laundry is done and being in a certain place at a certain time and looking after themselves from a dietary and recovering after each of these games, so I think it’s a huge week and a great opportunity and these kids are really doing well. 

    I spoke last year to the head of umpiring development, Adan Davis, and he was looking at the growth in umpiring and with future plans looked towards an increase in umpires. Has this growth occurredω 

    It’s actually growing and that’s terrific. Generally, the issues historically haven’t been getting [recruiting] people, but in retaining them. But pleasingly in the past two to three years the numbers have really increased and we are seeing a lot more females getting involved in umpiring. We are seeing more people from diverse and multicultural backgrounds also being involved in umpiring and this carnival is a reminder of some of those people joining the umpiring ranks. We continue to encourage anyone who wants to give [umpiring] a go and be a part of the game as an opportunity. 

    Whatever level they get up to is up to them in a lot of respects, but there are definitely opportunities with carnivals like this one, the AFL Women’s league and the different things that are going on in footy – there is more footy being played so we need more umpires to meet that demand, so anybody wanting to give it a go would be encouraged to try.

      ...


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  • 04/15/17--21:25: Pride Of Lions


  • The ALFA Lions from Lyon in France have achieved something that even their most hardened supporters find absolutely amazing – thy have reached the 2016/17 CNFA Grand Final against the Paris Cockatoos. Undefeated all season, this pride of Lions played their first finals match against the Paris Cockerels and won their way into the big one.

    It speaks volumes for the effort and dedication of the Lyon team that created this club only a few years ago and have already climbed to within breathing distance of a premiership. Back in the early 2013/2014 season, when the club first played in league matches, one of their founders, Charles Bernigaud made the proclamation “but we are an ambitious team, be aware of this.” What followed was two wooden spoons and a sixth placing, yet that ambition has shown itself clearly this season.


    What makes this more remarkable is that a Lions premiership this season would complete one of the most remarkable turnarounds in football. After taking last season’s wooden spoon, they could yet be premiers – within the space of one season.

    But the Paris Cockatoos are in no mood for the Lions rewriting history. They have a history of their own to write. Winning their way into the Grand Final also, the Cockatoos are determined to go back to back and prove that last year’s premiership was no fluke. Whilst they are certainly the younger sibling of the league’s most successful club – the Paris Cockerels – they are still an entity of their own, determined to develop in their own right and form their own success story.

    Their victory over the luckless Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes was an upset when looked at against the form of both teams all season – but it was well earned as well as being emphatic, winning by 38 points. After reaching the finals in the 2014/2015 season, and losing last year’s Grand Final to the Cockatoos by 20 points, many felt that the time for a Coyotes flag. But that will now have to wait another season as they return to the drawing board and recalibrate for next season.

    Final Scores (semi-finals):
    ALFA Lions 82 d Paris Cockerels 59
    Paris Cockatoos 102 d Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes 64

    The Grand Final has all the ingredients for a classic. One team undefeated all year yet in their first Grand Final ever against a team that played their first ever last year – and won.

    The Grand Final between the ALFA Lions and the Paris Cockatoos will be played at the Stade Jean Bouin in Paris on April 30t ...

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    If there was one thing that was learned last week being witness to the 2017 AFL National Male Kickstart & All Nations Championships it was that the multicultural game is growing in numbers and standards. The future of the game’s growth both in Australia most likely overseas could get a huge boost as the multicultural carnivals drive growth.

    This claim is highlighted rather dramatically by the growth since the 2015 carnival in Cairns. At that event the team numbers were smaller, as was the playing field. Fifteen players a side played on a makeshift mini-field within the larger Cazaly’s Stadium. It looked very much like the set up for junior matches.

    Fast forward to 2017 and the All-Nations competition (made from teams where player’s ancestry of themselves or their parents was having been born overseas) and teams played 16 per side, no wings and on a full sized oval. Not only that, but the standards of play were a far cry from the tournament in Cairns.


    The players in the All Nations teams were eligible for selection in the World team – the best players from the All Nations championship. Whilst the title “World” team could be argued as the wrong choice of title, the players couldn’t care less. They were proud to rise to the challenge of being selected in a national team made up of other kids from a variety of cultural backgrounds. The name didn’t matter to them…pride and desire did.

    A look at the cultural origins of each player at the tournament gives a staggering 50 or so backgrounds. Whilst there will be a couple missed that were not listed in official programs, the breakdown looks like:

    Australia: Australia, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander
    Asia: India, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Pakistan, Indonesia, Burma/Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Laos, China, Cambodia, Korea, Vietnam, East Timor
    Europe: England, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Poland, Italy, Serbia, Austria, Germany, Greece, Russia, Spain, Portugal,
    Americas: USA, Chile, Brazil, Canada
    Africa/Middle East: Liberia, Lebanon, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mauritius
    Oceania: New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji

    With so many different cultural backgrounds, it stands to reason that there will be many of these young men who will take their experience in the game back to their cultural communities. If this leads to an increased interest in that community, then growth will occur (and has occurred), with many African communities embracing the game on the back of successful graduates going on to play at the highest level (Aliir Aliir, Majak Daw, Reuben William, Mabior Chol of the present lists).

    When enough success follows the initial interest within Australian communities, it doesn’t take long for that interest to gradually spread to communities across the world – the International Cups are a good example of that extension where overseas cultural communities have got behind national teams, some of which contain graduates from elite junior tournaments.

    But some may argue that there is a disconnect between a young Australian lad and their generational cultural background – the idea that culture means less and less over generations. Of the boys interviewed over the recent All nations event, unerringly these boys were not only proud of their cultural heritage, but were conscious of working within their own communities to grow the game further.

    The connection between “international” and “multicultural” Australian football is small and in some ways yet to be fully proven. But on the evidence present at the recent championships the symbiotic relationship between the two is drawing closer and closer – and that is something wonderful for the game.


    ...

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     Just 110 days out from the next International Cup in Melbourne, the GB Bulldogs have named their final group of players to be chosen to represent Great Britain.  

    Earlier in the year a preliminary squad was named. Coach Thomas told the AFL England website after that announcement "I believe the Bulldogs will surprise a lot of onlookers" (the full interview can be seen here).

    The final 30 man squad as seen below, was today released on the AFL England website.

    "In association with Principal Ltd, OPRO and STA Travel the GB Bulldogs are proud to announce our final 30 man squad for AFL International Cup 2017 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia this August:"

    Ross Ashman – Manly Warringah Giants
    Luke Booth – Huddersfield Rams Australian Football Club – Vice Captain
    Chris Britton – Manchester Mosquitoes
    Marc Cashman – Wimbledon Hawks
    Andrew Cochran – Manchester Mosquitoes
    Jack Coughlan – North London Lions
    Adam Coxsell – Caulfield Bears
    Ross Denton – North London Lions
    George Dibble – Wolverhampton Wolverines Australian Rules Football Club
    Ryan Floyd – Fitzroy Football Club
    David Hastie – Wimbledon Hawks
    Jason Edward Hill – Wimbledon Hawks
    Douglas Houston – UTS Bats And Shamrocks Football Club
    Myles Hudson – Wimbledon Hawks
    Mark Ireland – Sheffield Thunder
    Mini Alex Markham – Caulfield Bears
    Luke Matias – Caulfield Grammarians Football Club
    Dominic Mitchell – Powerhouse FC
    Luke Murchie – Caulfield Bears

    Alex Overton – Huddersfield Rams Australian Football Club
    Owain Ryland – South Cardiff Panthers
    Ryan Spivey – Sussex Swans Australian Rules Football Club
    Michael Sharp – North London Lions
    James Talbot – North London Lions
    Andy Walkden – Manchester Mosquitoes
    Sean Walton – Caulfield Bears – Vice Captain
    Matt Warwick – West London Wildcats
    Alex Watson – The Wandsworth Demons
    Sam Willatt – Sandringham Zebras
    Will Worthington – The Onkaparinga Valley Football Club – Captain

    Get around the boys selected and support our Bulldogs as we look to bring home the AFL International Cup
    The hard work starts now!

    #BackTheBulldogs #SupportTheSwans #RoadToIC17 ...


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