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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    Darebin have defeated rivals Diamond Creek 14.7 (91) to 6.6 (42) in the 2013 VWFL Premiers Grand Final to end a record unbeaten season with the Susan Alberti Cup and the title of VWFL Champions.

    The remarkable feat marks the return to glory for the former VWFL powerhouse who recently suffered subsecutive grand final defeats. The game was played at Coburg City Oval in front of packed stands of fans and was also streamed live on the VWFL YouTube channel

    Grand Final day was kick started by the Premier Reserves match, which saw the up and coming Melbourne University team held to a single goal by the Eastern Devils. The final score was Eastern Devils 0.1, 2.1, 3.1, 4.3 (27) def Melbourne Uni 1.5, 1.6, 1.6, 1.7 (13)

    Following the Reserves Finals, the Premiers Final got underway. As expected of these two powerful teams, the defence was strong at either end and despite having the best goal kickers in the league, the two teams went into the first quarter break with a goal a piece and one point between them.

    In the second quarter Darebin quickly showed they had more to prove and added 5 goals to the scoreboard to the Creekers’ 2, and went back into the dressing rooms at half time with a deserved 17 point lead.

    From there on it was hard for the Creekers to break the Falcons’ momentum. Darebin added another 3 goals to the tally during the third quarter, and despite Diamond Creek’s efforts to stay in the game, they could only produce a single goal.

    In the fourth quarter, the Falcons could taste victory and were determined to swoop down on the Creekers and claim the VWFL Champions throne. Darebin dominated the oval and added a further 5 goals to their score, including a Darcy Vescio hat trick.

    Final score: Darebin 1.3, 6.3, 9.4, 14.7 (91) def Diamond Creek 1.4, 3.4, 4.6, 6.6 (42)

    Darebin: D. Vescio 3, S. Simpson 2, A. O'Connor 2, R. Privitelli 2, K. Brennan 2, J. Dal Pos 1, D. Pearce 1, J. Lange 1
    Diamond Creek: S. Cross 2, L. Brazzale 1, C. Bernardi 1, S. Chiocci 1, B. Grech 1

    Darebin: M. Hickey, D. Pearce, K. Paxman, D. Vescio, A. O'Connor, S. Hammond
    Diamond Creek: D. Haines, S. Audley, S. Cross, T. Hetherington, L. Williams, A. Barden

    Lisa Hardeman medal: Mel Hickey

    Premier Reserves

    Eastern Devils: M. Aurisch 2, S. Perkins 1, N. Rappos 1
    Melbourne Uni: R. Grounds 1

    Eastern Devils: L. Grant, L. Snart, M. White, R. Buck, N. Rappos, O. Aing
    Melbourne Uni: L. Murphy, L. Hodgkinson, M. Salafia, J. Wieselmann, R. Grounds, E. Tsiakalakis


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    Due to the extended cricket season in the UK this year, there will not be a post-season match between two AFL sides at The Oval in London for 2013. The AFL Europe are hoping for the fixture to return in 2014. ...

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  • 08/13/13--15:20: AFL Asia formed
  • New AFL Asia President - Phil Johns.Further to Shane Hendrickson's article on the Asian summit earlier this week - we have received the following press release.


    Australian Football clubs in Asia are pleased to announce AFL Asia has been formed.  The new body was created at a meeting attended by Asian football club presidents in Bangkok two weeks ago.

    AFL Asia will initially bring together 15 clubs from 11 countries in south-east and north-east Asia under the one umbrella organisation. Additional clubs are expected to join in the coming years.

     The establishment of AFL Asia is also the first step towards a formal affiliation with the Australian Football League (AFL).  AFL Asia’s newly elected President, Phil Johns (Vietnam Swans - pictured) described the development as “a game changer for Australian Football in the Asian Century”.

    AFL Asia, as the regional alliance aims to:

    • Greatly increase the visibility of footy in Asia
    • Encourage and facilitate the development of local players
    • Provide greater structure and coordination resulting in more footy
    • Use Australia’s signature sport as a vehicle to promote Australian interests
    • Provide a catalyst and ongoing interest for Asia’s growing alumni of former players
    • Attract additional resources to support the above
    “Historically Asian football clubs have been a collection of independent clubs that have achieved incredible things” said Johns.

    “For example, the Jakarta Bintangs conducts clinics in local schools four times per week for up to 100 students, while the Hong Kong Dragons and Singapore Sharks have 300 children enrolled in each of their Auskick and junior development programs.

    “Clubs also conduct special memorial matches that are played on ANZAC Day weekend in Thailand, Borneo and Vietnam.

    “For more than two decades, Australian Football in Asia has been powered by passion. By coming together it will significantly enhance our ability to drive greater outcomes.”

    Initially, there will be two geographic leagues: the preexisting SCAFL (South China AFL) and the South East Asia AFL (formerly known as the EAAFL (East Asia AFL)).

    AFL International Development Manager Tony Woods welcomed the decision by Asia’s footy clubs to form AFL Asia.

    “The AFL is very aware of footy clubs in Asia that have predominantly had expatriate Australian members. These Australians are well networked throughout the region and are passionate and committed to promoting footy across the region.
    They also have increasingly encouraged the participation of locals to play the game which is highlighted by the Singapore Wombats who have a local as captain and the Chinese development team in the SCAFL.

    “The formation of a single entity, AFL Asia, will make it easier for the AFL to engage effectively in Asia. AFL Asia opens some very exciting possibilities,” Woods said.

    On Saturday August 17 2013, the 14th Annual Australian Football Asian Championships will be contested by 13 clubs in Thailand.

    AFL Asia – Member Clubs: Bali Geckos, Borneo Bears, Cambodian Eagles, China Reds (Shanghai and Beijing), Guangzhou Scorpions, Hong Kong Dragons, Jakarta Bintangs, Macau Lightning, Malaysian Warriors, Philippine Eagles, Singapore Sharks (Auskick & Masters), Singapore Wombats (Internationals), Thailand Tigers, Timor Leste Crocs and Vietnam Swans.

    AFL Asia – Committee Members: President, Phil Johns (Vietnam Swans); Vice President and Sponsorships, Steve Morrish (Cambodian Eagles); Auskick and Youth Development, Dennis Cornwell (Singapore Sharks); Treasurer (interim), Darren Whitfield (Hong Kong Dragons) and Mark Stennett (Vietnam Swans).


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    The international broadcast schedule for the AFL Round 19 can be seen below. All times are correct at the time of publishing and WFN takes no responsibility for changes to the schedule.
    Our friends at the AFANA website have alerted us to changes coming for the US coverage with Fox Soccer Plus channel coverage moving to Fox Sports 2 (currently/previously known as FUEL channel) - for more information check in to AFANA here.

    TV- TERRITORY(NETWORK) Haw vs Coll Rich vs Carl Pt Adel vs GC Ess vs NM WCE vs Geel Bris vs GWS Melb vs Freo Syd vs St K WB vs Adel HIGHLIGHTS
    Asia (Australia Network) 16/8 @ 1830 HKT (Delay) 17/8 @ 1130 HKT (LIVE) - - 17/8 @ 1730 HKT (LIVE) - 18/8 @ 1100 HKT (LIVE) - - 20/8 @ 2230 HKT
    Pacific (Australia Network) 16/8 @ 2130 FJT (LIVE) 17/8 @ 1530 FJT (LIVE) - - 17/8 @ 2130 FJT (LIVE) - 18/8 @ 1500 FJT (LIVE) - - 20/8 @ 2200 FJT
    India (Australia Network) 16/8 @ 1600 IST (Delay) 17/8 @ 0900 IST (LIVE) - - 17/8 @ 1800 IST (Delay) - 18/8 @ 1200 IST (LIVE) - - 21/8 @ 1800 IST
    UK & Ireland (BT Sport) 16/8 @ 1030 BST (LIVE) 17/8 @ 0430 BST (LIVE) - - 17/8 @ 1030 BST (LIVE) - - 18/8 @ 0600 BST (LIVE) - 20/8 @ 1230BST
    Caribbean (ESPN) 17/8 @ 0530 EST (Delay) - - - - - - - - 21/8 @ 1500 EST
    Europe (Eurosport 2) - - - 17/8 @ 0830 CET (LIVE) - - - - - 20/8 @ 2300 CET
    UK & Ireland (Eurosport 2) - - - 20/8 @ 2200 BST (Delay) - - - - - 20/8 @ 2330 BST
    USA (Fox Soccer) 16/8 @ 0230 PDT (LIVE) 16/8 @ 2030 PDT (LIVE) - 16/8 @ 2330 PDT (LIVE) - - - - 17/8 @ 2330 PDT (LIVE) 19/8 @ 1500 PDT
    Middle East (Orbit) 16/8 @ 1230 kSA (LIVE) 17/8 @ 0630 KSA (LIVE) - 17/8 @ 0930 KSA (LIVE) 17/8 @ 1230 KSA (LIVE) - - - - 19/8 @ 2100 KSA
    Worldwide (excl Australia) (OTLSM) 16/8 @ 0950 GMT (LIVE) - - - - - - - - -
    New Zealand (SKY SPORTS) - - - - - - - 20/8 @ 0000 NZT (Delay) - 20/8 @ 1730 NZT
    New Zealand (Sommet Sports) 16/8 @2130 NZT (LIVE) 17/8 @ 1530 NZT (LIVE) 20/8 @ 0800 NZT (Delay) 17/8 @ 1830 NZT (LIVE) 17/8 @ 2130 NZT (LIVE) 22/8 @ 1630 NZT (Delay) 18/8 @ 1500 NZT (LIVE) 21/8 @ 1630 NZT(Delay) 18/8 @ 1830 NZT (LIVE) 13/8 @ 2000 NZT
    Africa (Super Sport) 16/8 @ 1130 CAT (LIVE) 17/8 @ 0530 CAT (LIVE) - 17/8 @ 0830 CAT (LIVE) - - - 18/8 @ 0700 CAT (LIVE) - 20/8 @ 2030 CAT
    Canada (TSN2) 16/8 @ 0530 USET (LIVE) 18/8 @ 1300 USET (Delay) - - - - - - -
    Latin America (VIVA SPORTS) 18/8 @ 1030 MST (Delay) - - - - - - - - -
    ONLINE - - - - - - - - - -
    Worldwide (excl. Australia) 16/8 @ 0950 GMT (LIVE) 17/8 @ 0345 GMT (LIVE) 17/8 @ 0410 GMT (LIVE) 17/8 @ 0640 GMT (LIVE) 17/8 @ 0940 GMT (LIVE) 17/8 @ 0940 GMT (LIVE) 18/8 @ 0310 GMT 18/8 @ 0520 GMT (LIVE) 18/8 @ 0640 GMT (LIVE) -

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    15 year old French exchange student Leopold Khalfi has received some local media attention after pulling on the navy blue jumper of Coolaroo in the AFL Darling Downs, a country Queensland league based around the city of Toowoomba.

    Paris native Khalfi has played two matches for the Roos since coming to Toowoomba seven weeks ago, with Coolaroo winning both.

    He has also found the French footy clubs - hopefully he will have a chance to run out with the Paris Cockerels or Cergy Coyotes sometime in the future.

    The article on Khalfi can be found in Toowoomba local newspaper The Chronicle via French Exchange Student kicks New Goal ...

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    Early last year two primary schools in Cairns, Queensland, faced off in the final of the Gold Coast Suns Cup. After a classic encounter, Freshwater State School defeated Gordonvale State School by a solitary point. After the presentations, the opposing coaches, Kristen Knight and Wesley Hull, floated the idea of a follow up.

    The result was later dubbed the “1st Annual Women In AFL Challenge” match.

    Whilst the official “Women In AFL” round is recognised nationally at the end of June, the schools could not play a game then as they were still on mid-year holidays. The decision was made to play the round in August, mid way through the school term, as a way of recognising the role of women in all aspects of Australian Rules football, whether that be as players, umpires, administrators, mothers, sisters or daughters.

    The first edition in 2012 saw the Gordonvale girls primed to reverse their loss in the previous encounter, and did so to the tune of 19 points. The challenge was born. Earlier this year the two schools met again in the Gold Coast Suns Cup. Gordonvale again held sway.

    Chapter Two was played out today at Freshwater State School on a beautiful Cairns winter afternoon, with a surprisingly good crowd there to watch proceedings. As it turned out it was the Gordonvale girls who got off to a great start in the opening term and kept going till the end. The final score of Gordonvale 9 9 63 to Freshwater 0 1 1 did not reflect the closeness of the talent on show or the level of effort shown by all girls.

    The future will now see this game as a regular celebration of Australian Rules football for women. It will assist the local Cairns AFL to generate interest in girl’s competitions and provide a more permanent stepping stone for girls to pursue a pathway in the game.

    Already boasting a strong women’s open age competition, the success of this year’s Under 16 girl’s competition provides the link for primary age girls to stay in the game through to open age without being lost to the other distractions and opportunities of the high school years.

    Today was another step in the journey towards the ongoing development of women’s footy, and the girls from Freshwater State School and Gordonvale State School can be proud of their efforts and the role they have played.


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    The AFL New Zealand U-18 Kahus – Maori for Hawks – will play their debut game against the touring Australian Youth Girls High Performance Academy team in October. The format of this first ever showdown between the two countries will be a three-match test series.

    Kahus players will be selected by a series of combine style AFL skills tests, trials, training camps and the AFL New Zealand High Performance Programme. School programmes, testing and trials were also conducted throughout June and players who impressed the coaches during these sessions will be advanced onto the High Performance Programme.

    After this, potential players will be further trained at the end of August, then after the regional Youth Girls competition in September, a final squad will be selected to represent New Zealand against Australia.

    This will be the first time for female Australian Football players to represent New Zealand and also the first time for an Australian Youth Girls team to do an international tour and represent their country on foreign soil. As well as the test series’ history making significance, it will also be a chance for the coaches to view the Kahus’ match ability ahead of the 2014 International Cup, where they plan to enter a senior women’s team.

    For more information on how to get involved in the trials or participate in the squad selection programme, please contact the AFL New Zealand High Performance Development Manager, Mick Coultard on ...

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    The 2013 Axios Euro Cup will be held in Saint-Médard-en-Jalles close to Bordeaux, the fifth biggest city in France. The organization is managed by the local team, Bordeaux Bombers, in close cooperation with the Comité National de Football Australien (the French Federation) and AFL Europe.

    On the 21st September 2013, hundreds of European players (and volunteers) will compete in a warm and friendly atmosphere. This challenge is a real opportunity for the development of the Australian football in France.

    This year, the French League has seen the victory of Toulouse Hawks in the Super League and Montpellier Sharks in the Development League. Nevertheless, following a considerable number of withdrawals caused by injuries and limited games the Comité National de Football Australien has decided to unify the two leagues.

    The seven teams (Aix-Marseille Dockers, Bordeaux Bombers, Coyotes de Cergy-Pontoise, Montpellier Fire Sharks, Paris Cockerels, Strasbourg Kangourous and Toulouse Hawks) will play only one way match. At the end of the season the four best clubs will compete for the Final.

    News clubs will be able to join the championship if they meet conditions stipulated by the CNFA.

    At the moment, French clubs are recommencing their training and launching recruiting campaigns. French Girls and Boys, the day of glory has arrived!

    For more information:

    Aix-Marseille Dockers : Jehan-Bernard Marginèdes

    Bordeaux Bombers : Fred Zohar

    Coyotes de Cergy-Pontoise : Baptiste Coulin

    Montpellier Fire Sharks : Jérôme Canonici

    Paris Cockerels : Sébastien Artus

    Strasbourg Kangourous : Marc Jund

    Toulouse Hawks : Emilien Martinez

    Comité National de Football Australien : president@football-australie ...

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    Sweden's newest team, the Lödde Chiefs, played their first game last night against the famously technicolour Landskrona Bulldozers.

    Amazingly, the team was only founded on Thursday. They fielded fifteen players for the match at Brohult IP in Helsingborg, with eight of those having not even seen a game before. Two of their other players were retired ex-Helsingborg Saints, who had only played a handful of games between them.

    The Landskrona Bulldozers were also represented by one of South Sweden's women players Kerstin Lövendahl, who reportedly took and dished out the hard tackles very well and wonders if their is any law in DAFL that would prevent her playing in the Premier League.

    The Lödde Chiefs are from the small town of Löddeköping, and have chosen their official colours as blue, green and white. If all goes according to plan, the Chiefs will field a side in the AFL Sweden South next year.

    Scores from the friendly match are available here ...

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    Additional commentary, Brett Northey

    After several informal releases, today publishes our first formal World Rankings since 18th May 2013.

    There's been plenty of movement in the lower half courtesy of two new fully ranked nations, France (16th) and Croatia (11th).

    France brought their game tally up to our minimum required eight matches with a big loss to Germany, while Croatia qualified during the recent 2013 European Championships in Dublin. Some may argue that a rank of 11th in the world flatters the Knights, possibly rightly, but their form in 9-a-side has been very impressive for some time. Hopefully we'll see them make their International Cup debut at IC14 and that should help settle them in to a spot they deserve, wherever that may be.

    In many respects EC2013 was a series of dramatic twists and turns that left us right where we started. Ireland almost came crashing down three times, but didn't. Denmark almost got past Great Britain, but didn't. The Swedes pushed their near rivals but couldn't topple them. Croatia pushed Sweden but didn't get over the line, and Great Britain nearly claimed their first major international title, only to have Ireland snatch victory with the last kick of the tournament.

    The other international since our last formal update was the now-traditional defeat of Canada by the United States, an ongoing hoodoo that seems to keep the Canadians lower in our ranks than their form against other nations suggests. Although in fact if all USA vs Canada matches were removed from our system, yes the gap between the nations' points would be closer, but their positions would be unchanged (it turns out the US would still sit a fraction above Tonga, and Canada would push up close to but not surpass Fiji, but so would Sweden due to the impact of their games being different since all other teams would shift a bit in this hypothetical scenario).

    Sadly Spain has now slipped off our rankings altogether. They were only ever provisionally ranked, having just six full-field games to their credit, but it has now been eight years since their last such match, which crosses our threshold for listing. If in future they return to full sized matches they will start from the default of zero matches and 40 points.

    World Footy News / Homes Australian Football World Rankings
    (as at end of 13th August 2013)

    Rank        Team Points Games Rank Change
    1 Australia - steady
    2 Ireland 55.15 44 steady
    3 Papua New Guinea 54.66 29 steady
    4 New Zealand 53.00 33 steady
    5 Nauru 51.17 22 steady
    6 South Africa 49.03 22 steady
    7 Great Britain 46.88 49 steady
    8 United States 46.61 37 steady
    9 Tonga 44.73 9 steady
    10 Denmark 41.60 46 +1
    11 Croatia 40.35 8 new
    12 Fiji 40.18 9 -2
    13 Sweden 37.81 29 steady
    14 Canada 37.08 37 -2
    15 Peace Team 36.46 11 -1
    16 France 36.09 8 new
    17 China 34.36 11 -1
    18 Germany 34.09 16 -3
    19 Japan 30.39 24 -2
    20 Finland 29.02 13 -2
    21 India 28.45 11 -2
    Prov. Samoa 41.85 18 dormant **
    Prov. Iceland 35.64 4 - *
    Prov. Timor-Leste 27.40 6 - *

    * Nations marked in grey with an asterisk have played less than eight (8) matches under our criteria, and currently hold provisional ranking points, but are not yet officially ranked.

    ** Countries that have not played a qualifying full field match for 8 years fall off our list altogether. Samoa must play by 05/09/2016 to stay on the l ...

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    The Masala FC has completed its first season in the VAFA's Club XVIII Division, and although the side only managed two wins for the year, the beginnings of the club's mission of exposing new players from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds has been deemed a success thus far.

    Since securing a home base in the suburb of Noble Park in Melbourne's south east and playing its first matches earlier this year, Masala has grown to a playing list of almost 50 players, with most of those being new to the code.

    The 2013 squad's largest contingent consisted of players of Indian and Sri Lankan backgrounds, but the club also included a number of Anglo-Australians and other players born in (or with both parents born in) Fiji, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Italy, Serbia, UAE, Kuwait, Afghanistan, NZ, Italy and Estonia.

    This broad range of cultures and backgrounds reflects the club's name 'Masala', a word used in numerous languages of India to mean a blend of spices, which in turn is represented by the star anise in the club's logo.

    Club officials estimate that 70% of Masala's squad had never formally played footy before. However, it was hard to put an exact figure on this, as a few required transfers from clubs they had trained with but never actually played a match, whilst others thought they required transfers from previous junior footy clubs for which records seemed to be non-existent.

    The overall mix of players was roughly 40% from Indian and/or Sri Lankan background, and 30% each of Australians and "Rest of World" players, but these figures are also hard to put exact number on, as a number of the players had mixed family heritage.

    Ash Nugent from the club's foundation committee says that as far as he can remember, 47 different players played at least one match with Masala this year, 46 of those playing more than one. "At a guess about 80% remain committed to the club, although this won't necessarily be in a playing capacity in 2014. We lost a couple due to lack of game time, however I would argue expectation goes both ways."

    "Once we reached 30 guys on the books we were very clear with all players, especially the new players, that unless you were in the best handful of players, you would only be playing every second or third week, and this is assuming you turned up to training."

    "We were allowed a bench of eight at all matches, although we used the maximum only once. This on the one hand allows more players to play each week, but can be frustrating as you're still only allowed 18 on the ground at any given time."

    "Several players had holidays throughout the year and there were a few injuries - this makes consistency difficult however it did allow us a few extra rotations."

    The club is confident that most of the squad will be back in 2014, including all of the core of better players. "We hope to not only retain the spine of the team, but to build on what is a fantastic culture at Masala."

    Masala will also be doing some targeted recruitment towards the end of the year, in preparation for preseason for 2014 kicking off in December.

    With the successes in building a playing list, Masala aim to field at least two senior sides next year, possibly moving from the more social Club XVIII competition into the league's more serious Division 4, which would require an ability to field competitive seniors and reserves each week.

    Nugent says the decision is ultimately up to the VAFA. "As a committee we are very realistic about how we might perform against stronger clubs and that a strong recruitment drive would be required. At the moment we're the only one-team-club in the VAFA and in order to be on level footing with other clubs (including off the field, such as with sponsorship) we require a Seniors and Reserves. We'd rather do the hard yards now."

    Overall, Nugent says the club has been quite happy with its relationship with the association. "We have received the level of support we would expect from the VAFA. After all, we're one of 70+ clubs!"

    "Apart from being allowed to participate as a stand alone club, we haven't received any special treatment. Same registration fees for participation, same fines for incorrectly completed paperwork and so on."

    "The other clubs have been very supportive of our participation, although in our first year this was limited on-field to Eley Park, Kew, Richmond Central, UHS-VU and of course the Dragons."

    The Dragons (officially they dropped the 'Southern' from their name this year, though they're still often referred to as the Southern Dragons) are famous in the international footy community for their pioneering work in growing participation among the Asian Australian migrant communities, although like Masala they feature players from a range of backgrounds.

    The Dragons started out as Elgar Park, essentially a single-team club in the Club XVIII loosely connected to Box Hill North, before moving to the Springvale area (home to one of Melbourne's largest South East Asian communities), moving to the Southern FL where they won the Division 3 premiership in 2011, touring to Vietnam and defeating the Swans, and this year moving back to the VAFA where they field three full sides - seniors and reserves in Division 4, and a third side in the same Club XVIII competition as Masala.

    With their clubs having similar origins and being located in close proximity, Masala and the Dragons have developed a friendly rivalry. "They've been great, and a few of us knew some of their players and committee members before Masala and the Dragons joined the VAFA. We played a practice match against them before the season and spent some time with them at the Season Launch."

    Masala has received support not only from the VAFA and various migrant communities, but also from AFL club Richmond, who supplied the Tiger-styled playing jumpers.

    "The jumpers were a huge contribution and took significant financial burden off us in our first year. Richmond also held our Jumper Presentation at the start of the year and held a training session for the team during the season. We hope to build on this in coming years," says Nugent.

    Richmond already had a subcontinental connection through supporting the India Tigers in the last International Cup. Five players from the 2011 Indian national team - William Fernandes, Trevor Banerjee, Prakash 'PK' Kailasanathan, Srirangan Giritharan and Fevin Mascarenhas - played for Masala this year.

    Whether Masala are able to help add some experience to the Indian national team next year remains to be seen. Nugent says it's a possibility, but will depend on the AFL's decisions regarding eligibility. "Most of our Indian-background players, whilst born overseas, are Aussie citizens. We also have several players of Sri Lankan origin, so I'd say more likely if it was a mixed team or if they allowed a few exceptions."

    For now, the summer will see the club build on its successes and lay the foundation for 2014. Anyone wanting to contact Masala FC can do so via

    Masala FC would like to thank its sponsors Richmond FC, Amity Property Group, McDonalds Noble Park, Bank of Queensland Dandenong and Romak Hardware Distributors.

    BELOW: The Masala FC squad from a match vs the Eley Park Sharks earlier this year.


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    Luke Gosling, one of the key foundation members of the footy scene in East Timor, is standing as the Labor Party candidate for the seat of Solomon in the 2013 Australian federal election.

    Gosling spent a number of years in East Timor with the Australian Defence Force peacekeeping and development mission, after the nation achieved independence in 2002. During his time in the country he was one of a group of Australians who helped introduce the sport of Australian rules, and corresponded with WFN in articles such as Timor-Leste Crocs enter Asian Footy.

    Members of the Asian footy scene may remember him through his involvement in the early years of the Timor-Leste Crocodiles national side.

    He now resides in Darwin with his family. The electoral division of Solomon takes in the Darwin metropolitan area, as well as some surrounding districts. It was won at the last federal election in 2010 by the Country Liberal Party, who hold the seat with a margin of 1.7 ...

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    The 14th annual Asian Championships have taken place in Thailand, with the Hong Kong Dragons taking out the coveted title for the second consecutive year. The Dragons went through undefeated and beat the Philippines Eagles in the final 4.5 (29) to 2.3 (15) at Royal Polo and Equestrian Grounds outside of Pattaya.

    This is the Dragons’ fifth title since the tournament began in 2000. The team is now tied with the Singapore Wombats for the record of most Championships.

    The first Asian Championships to be held under the AFL Asia banner proved to be a success with a record 13 teams from across the continent competing for the prize, up from nine teams the previous year.

    Other than the Dragons, Eagles and the hosting Thailand Tigers, the competing teams were the Singapore Wombats, Macau Lightning, China Reds, Jakarta Bintangs, Bali Geckos, Cambodia Eagles, Laos Elephants, Malaysian Warriors, Vietnam Swans and Japan Goannas.

    This year’s tournament shows how the game continues to grow in the region, not only with the record number of participating clubs, but with the strength from within these clubs too. The Philippines Eagles finished at the bottom of the Championship table last year with no wins, but improved to go through almost undefeated this year only to fall at the last hurdle.

    The tournament has become the pinnacle of Australian Rules football in Asia. With new structural organisation, an ever increasing number of teams and the depth within those teams, it will continue to grow as the pinnacle of Asian foo ...

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    Toronto based Northern Lights player Renee Tong has found a novel way to help raise so money to compete in next year’s International Cup: A contest where the winner is awarded $10,000 towards their athletic dream.

    The competition is being run by Canadian wellbeing and supplements company Genuine Health. Each entrant writes about their athletic dream and the $10,000 prize is awarded to the athlete with the highest number of votes. The competition ends on August 31st.

    Renee hopes that with help from the international football community she will win the competition and be able to travel to Australia to compete in the International Cup. As well as travel and accommodation costs for Australia, also hopes to use the money to travel across Canada to national competitions so she can gain more experience and become a more competitive player. The prize money will also cover the training, nutrition and physio programme she has set to lead up to IC14.

    If you would like to help Tong achieve her dream of playing for her country, please click here to vote for her and read her story here.

    More information about Tong’s aspirations and her Australian Football journey so far can be found in this article in local newspaper Inside Toronto ...

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    In the first of a series of articles looking at the preparation and prospects of the various nations competing at this year’s Axios Euro Cup in Bordeaux, we look at the story of the Croatian Knights. Josip Kravar, president of the Association of Australian Football of Croatia (AAF), gives us his insights.

     The Journey:

    “Players trained with their clubs until the beginning of June when they joined the Knights squad and 4 times a week preparation began. [Our] main focus for this year was development for a 16 per side team at the European Championship and we are satisfied with our work with young talent and our result at the European Championship. We were placed 11th on the world footy ranking, and what I can say is that we will justify that in future competitions.”

    “[There were some] new players that emerged from our collaboration with Zagreb Sports Faculty and Zagreb University. [Along with] a couple of veterans and other well-known names in AFL Europe, this will be team that will go only for a gold medal at this Euro Cup.”

    The Preparation:

    “The SANH is working really hard and with the cooperation of the Sports Faculty we brought young talented players to footy. This will go on in 2014 and we hope that we will see some new talents, maybe for AFL one day. Also we started to build our new oval in Croatia. The Sports Faculty provided us with the ground. Once it is finished, hopefully at the beginning of 2014, it will be good progress for us. We play our league with an Austrian team from Graz (4 teams in league) and it is 9 per side. We hope that we will transfer to 18 per side in the next 3 years.”

    The Squad:

    “Our full squad will be known on 15th September as our group of 35 Knights compete for 16 positions. Players to be watched are young star ruckman Josip Habljak, Ivan Ivoš at Full Forward and skipper Tomsilav Cvetko who confirmed his good season, becoming our best scorer at the European Championship. The Knights trained hard during this year with new players gaining experience at the European Championship. The rest of the players are in good shape and we will go with no [fear] from the start of tournament. We are ready to win every game and show that 9 per side is our game.”

    The Goal:

    "Our goal for 2013 at the Euro Cup is 'gold only'."

    The Final Word:

    “In next 12 months we will focus our strength to raise more numbers with new talents, build our new oval and try to find sponsors for IC 2014. SANH are proud to have the youngest and I believe most talented team in Europe at this point in time. It will be interesting to see the development of our national team during the next few years.”

    With a quarter final placing at last year’s Euro Cup in Edinburgh, and winning their match against Germany in Dublin to finish fifth at the European Championship, the Croatian Knights could be a big surprise packet in Bordeaux this year. ...

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    The red dust of the Australian outback is the best in the world. Or the worst, depending on your point of view and your direct association with it. But that dust doesn’t dull the love of footy in Lajamanu. In fact, if anything, it just brings out the best in the local footballers as they run, kick, bounce and mark with the same athleticism you would find anywhere else.

    For Lajamanu’s AFLNT Regional Development Manager, Ty Ebdon, his journey to this remote outback Northern Territory community has been a life change. The town is nestled on the northern fringes of the Tanami Desert, not far from the border with Western Australia. It is almost 900 kilometres south of Darwin, and 557 kilometres south-west of Katherine. Ty had never experienced this level of isolation before.

    From here, Ty can take up the story of Lajamanu footy.

    “I have been permanently placed here in Lajamanu since funding from FaCHsia, and the support of AFLNT, formed projects in nine remote NT communities. Originally from Tasmania, I wanted a change, and AFLNT provided me the opportunity of a change that I thought I would never do. From a golf professional in Hobart, to working in a remote community 900kms from Darwin definitely was a change, but it’s been the best experience of my life. It has been amazing. Yes, it’s isolated and hot out here in the Desert, but the opportunity to make a difference to the community through AFL is a great feeling. Especially when you see the young kids having so much fun having a kick around the dirt oval. You can’t wipe the smiles of their faces.”

    “Since arriving in February 2012, I was able to form a Junior Boys competition which runs regularly with about 40 plus kids turning up every Tuesday and Thursday to participate. The boys can’t get enough. Additionally, early in 2013 I was able to form a junior girl’s competition which plays on Wednesdays. The girls get very excited to participate in their own competition with some days seeing more than 40 girls come down to have a kick.”

    “Local Lajamanu elders started the local Lajamanu Football League in 2008, in a move to get the young men more active and to steer them away from turning to alcohol, and living a healthier lifestyle.”

    “Four teams were created to form the Kiwinyi District Football League. The four local teams were Wiyarla Tigers, Centipede Dockers, Central Magpies and Lultju Roos. In 2012 we were able to organise a fifth team to enter the competition. The Gurindji Eagles are from a nearby community approximately 100 kilometres away. Each week games would be played in Lajamanu and every second week a local team would have to travel the 100 kilometres to Kalkarindji to take on the Eagles.”

    “The Kiwinyi District Football League is the life blood of the community. For each game during the season most of the community will gather down around the oval to watch the beloved team which they support.”

    “The 2012/13 season was the first that I was involved in, with a fantastic season of 20 rounds, then a four round finals series. The grand final came down to the local Wiyarla Tigers taking on the new comers, the Gurindji Eagles (who finished on top of the ladder). In what was a fantastic showcase of their football skills, the day was a fantastic success with in excess of 600 people there to watch the game. The Gurindji Eagles outclassed the Wiyarla Tigers to win their first premiership.”

    “The grand final in my opinion was an amazing highlight of my time in Lajamanu. Not only did it showcase how talented they are, but it showed how much football means to not only the players, but their families, their children and the community as a whole. They live and breathe the game of AFL.”

    “The Lajamanu community has also been a part of the Katherine District Football League (now called the Big Rivers Football League). The team play under the community name the Lajamanu Swans. It’s a very long way to go to play a game of football, travelling nearly 600 kilometres. The first 120 kilometres is on dirt then the rest on a single lane bitumen road, with many obstacles along the way including massive holes caused by road trains, cows, horses, donkeys and not to mention kangaroos, bush turkeys and more. So to travel the 7/8 hour trip in a bus, play a game of football, and then turn around and come back, is a massive effort.”

    “In 2005 and 2008 we showed how much talent is down here with the Lajamanu Swans winning the premiership in both these years. An amazing effort considering the lengths they go to play a game of football. They were also runners up in 2004 and 2006.”

    The Lajamanu community also host the Lajamanu Sports Weekend which is run every year in May. This consists of numerous other communities coming to Lajamanu to participate in Men’s Football and Basketball and Women’s Softball and Basketball. What is scheduled to be a 3 day event can end up continuing for 5 or 6 days, due to teams getting up late each day as they were dancing all night with “battle of the bands”. This is a great spectacle and uses sport as an opportunity to not only maintain a healthy lifestyle but to have a good time and catch up with family members from all over the territory.”

    “Lajamanu has produced many quality players that have played for NTFL clubs in Darwin. But none are more recognisable than Liam Patrick (the Lajamanu Lightning Bolt) who played for the Lajamanu Swans (BRFL), Wanderers (NTFL) and now the Gold Coast Suns. If Lajamanu can produce more potential AFL players it would be an amazing achievement from a small remote community in NT. Football is their life. I get kids and young men knocking on my door every night for a football, or to pump up a ball. It’s just a game they can’t get enough of, whether it’s during the day or at night where they play the game board game in the basketball court: a game which has football rules but uses the back boards as goals for each team, so they can play footy for all hours into the night.”

    Lajamanu footy is just so adaptable. Whether it be the pounding of feet through the red dust, creating great clouds as packs chase the ball, or midnight variances on the basketball courts, the people of Lajamanu stand as tremendous lovers and followers of the greatest game of all.

    And hats off to Ty, who has managed a new life and career developing footy in one of Australia’s most remote locations.


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    In the second of our series of articles looking at the preparation and prospects of the various nations competing at this year’s Axios Euro Cup in Bordeaux, we look at the story of the Iceland Ravens. Solvi Fannar, General Manager of AFL Iceland, gives us his insights.

    The Journey:

    “In September 2012 [we] went with the rest of the boys in the national team to Edinburgh for the Euro Cup. “As for the team we will almost certainly have for this year’s Euro Cup, we will also have a couple of the girls join us, so there will likely be some Icelandic players in the Crusaders squad.”

    The Preparation:

    “This year we've been training since January, and I've been going to a local university to have [offer] introductory lessons in their gym classes. Now [almost a year later] our squad has grown significantly. ”

    “Over the past twelve months, we've managed to build a female squad here in Iceland, but as most of them are under 18, only one of them will be joining us in France. Our aim is to have a full female squad in contention by 2015. Over the next twelve months we will be looking into the possibility of starting a youth club.”

    The Squad:

    “I am extremely proud to say that there are three players from the small club in Akureyri joining the squad going to France, one of whom is female. The amount of progress we've made in a relatively short time is magnificent. I was pleasantly surprised by the interest we got for a female squad this spring, and we'll be building on that for the future.”

    The full list of players was not available at the time of writing, but Solvi has assured us that we will be the first to know. The selection of Leifur Bjarnason in last year’s All-Tournament Team certainly showed that the Icelandic playing group can produce high quality. The Goal: “This year we'll be sure to do a lot better. We aim do better this year.”

    The Final Word:

    “I feel like we disappointed ourselves last year, even though we had a lot of players with little to no experience. We could have done a lot better. Two of the games we lost were due to poor finishing of our chances.”

    After two relatively close losses in the pool games to Wales and Italy at last year’s Euro Cup, they followed this with a win against the Czech team in their semi-final for the Euro Plate. Their loss to Norway in the Plate final gave them an overall 14th place, and certainly the motivation to build on last year’s successes. A year of preparation stands them in good stead. They have come a long way since their Euro Cup debut in Croatia in 2010. ...

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    Sunday the 25th August saw the perfect window of good weather for the WA Women’s Football League Grand finals to be held. For the first time a youth girls league moved into the season proper providing a complete pathway from Auskick, Youth Girl’s league, Reserves and Women’s League.

    The WAFL has worked closely with the WAWFL to produce a vibrant league that has performed strongly at all representative levels. The WAWFL also has nine regions arranged aligned closely to those of the WAFL.

    The day started with South Fremantle holding off a sustained challenge by Peel Thunderbirds to win by the narrowest of margins, one point , 3 - 7 to 3 – 6 in the Youth Girls league. In the first contest between Swan districts and perennial powerhouse the Coastal Titans, the Titans remained in touch until halfway through the last quarter when the relentless pressure from Swans burst through and the Swans ran out convincing winners 7 - 4 to 1 – 3.

    In the league grand final it was a different story. The Titans moved the ball around as much as possible to retain possession. The first quarter was a close affair with the Titans leading 1 – 3 to the Swans 1 – 2 . With the use of a slight breeze the titans were able to advance their lead 4 -3 to 3 -3 at half time. The third quarter was a repeat of the first quarter, a tight affair with little advancement on the scoreboard.The Titans started the last quarter leading, with the scores 4 – 6 to 3 -4 and playing like they did in the second quarter - using the ball better than the Swans.

    When they kicked a goal to extend their lead to 15 points it seemed the flag was theirs to lose. The Swans then kicked a rebound goal against the general play. The crowd became very vocal. Then another Swans foray resulting in a goal saw the crowd explode. The Titans seemed to be rattled that they couldn’t contain the onslaught and the Swans punched through another goal causing the whole ground to erupt.

    Surely the Titans would roll over but there was still plenty of time on the clock. The Titans regrouped and methodically worked the ball down Lathlain Oval which is a typically large WAFL ground. Some strong marking and sheer determination saw the Swans rebound every attack to hold on to win 6 -4 to 5 – 7. This had everything you expect from a grand final and more. A great advertisement for women’s football. ...

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    I want to start by addressing all Australian football supporters.

    The AFL Commission shares your anger and frustration that the 2013 season has too often been dominated by headlines that we would rather not see – and hoped we would never see associated with our sport.

    The issues involved in the Essendon Football Club’s supplements program are deeply disturbing. The investigation undertaken over the past six months and the actions we have taken today reflect this gravity.

    A number of fundamental principles guide our code and collectively contribute to making the AFL competition successful.

    Two of these principles are absolute non-negotiables:

    The health and safety of the players, and the overall integrity of the AFL competition.

    These principles underpin our Rules and also our day-to-day decision-making.

    On behalf of the AFL Commission I want to send a clear and unequivocal message to everybody that nothing – and no-one – comes ahead of the duty of care owed to players and also the need to safeguard the fairness of our competition.

    The pursuit of on-field success can never be allowed to obscure a commitment to the principles of player welfare and competition integrity. The very essence of sport demands it.

    The AFL Commission yesterday and today dealt with the charges against the Essendon Football Club and Club officials James Hird, Danny Corcoran and Mark Thompson in relation to the Club’s supplements program in 2011 and 2012.

    To their credit, all the parties involved in today’s hearing have worked hard to resolve the matter in the overall interests of the game. The AFL and those charged considered that the best interests of the game and its supporters are served by a resolution of this matter. We can now refocus on the game and on the Finals in the coming weeks without distractions or uncertainty.

    The AFL acknowledges that neither the Essendon Football Club nor any of the individuals charged set out to implement a supplements program that would result in players being administered prohibited or potentially harmful substances.

    However, the Essendon Football Club today acknowledged it had established a supplements program that was experimental, inappropriate and inadequately vetted and controlled, and that in relation to the program:

    1. the Club failed to ensure it adequately protected the health, welfare and safety of the players;

    2. there was a risk that Essendon players could have been administered substances prohibited by the AFL Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code and any such risk is an unacceptable risk;

    3. the Essendon FC is unable now to determine whether players were administered some substances prohibited by the AFL Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code.

    By reason of these matters, it has been determined by the Commission, and the Essendon FC has agreed, that the Essendon FC breached Rule 1.6 of the AFL Rules in that it engaged in conduct that is unbecoming or likely to prejudice the interests or reputation of the Australian Football League or to bring the game into disrepute.

    In addition, the AFL Commission has found, and Hird, Thompson and Corcoran agree that in consequence of their actions Essendon FC breached AFL Player Rule 1.6.

    I want to acknowledge for the record that at the outset, the Essendon FC came forward and self-reported its concerns surrounding its supplements program.

    From that point, the Club and its officials and players co-operated fully with the AFL and ASADA in the Investigative process. Their assistance has helped to get a much clearer picture of the events at Essendon in 2011 and 2012.

    I also want to thank the AFL Integrity Unit led by Andrew Dillon and Brett Clothier for their hard work and diligence in investigating and prosecuting this complex and challenging case. In this investigation over 130 witness interviews were conducted and 13,000 documents reviewed. Using the AFL’s investigative powers, email servers, computer hard drives, back-up tapes and mobile telephones were seized and analysed. This level of forensic inquiry shows the AFL’s commitment to finding the truth and protecting the integrity of the competition.

    Finally, I want to commend ASADA and its first class investigators for their outstanding work. ASADA’s willingness to work closely with sporting bodies to protect the integrity of sport is the reason we have been able to consider this matter and take action prior to the 2013 Finals series.

    I will now detail the sanctions determined by the AFL Commission today. Each of the parties dealt with today chose to make significant admissions in relation to the conduct of the supplements program, and this was taken into account in the Commission’s determination.

    Those sanctions are:

    Essendon Football Club

    1. A fine of $2 million;

    2. The Club will forfeit its place in the 2013 AFL finals series and will not play in the 2013 AFL finals series, being deemed to have finished the 2013 Premiership Season in ninth position;

    3. The Club is prohibited from exercising, at the 2013 and 2014 National Drafts, its Round 1 and Round 2 selections;

    4. The Essendon FC, in 2014, will be granted a selection at the end of Round 1 of the National Draft prior to any compensation selections otherwise awarded under the Rules.

    For the avoidance of doubt, the Essendon FC has the ability to trade in for draft selections at any level of draft pick in the 2013 and 2014 National Drafts.

    It is important to note that Essendon FC further agrees and acknowledges that it:

    • regrets the impact and potential consequences this matter may have had on the Club’s players and on the AFL competition in general; and

    • supports the AFL Rules and recognises the need for the integrity of those Rules and the integrity of the AFL competition to be preserved by the AFL Commission.

    James Hird

    1. the AFL will impose a 12 month suspension from the AFL, backdated to commence from 25 August 2013;

    2. Hird will not work with any AFL Club in any capacity during this period.

    Danny Corcoran

    1. A six-month suspension from the AFL, effective 1 October 2013, two months of which is suspended for a period of two years;

    2. Mr Corcoran will not work with any AFL Club in any capacity during this period.

    Mark Thompson

    1. A fine of $30,000.

    More complete details in relation to these sanctions will be released to the media separately due to the level of detail.
    The AFL Commission determined that the charge against Essendon Football Club official, Dr Bruce Reid, would be adjourned until 10am on Thursday. Dr Reid is contesting the charge against him.

    In conclusion, I want to note that this matter has been a wake-up call for our sport. It has already resulted in a range of governance reforms within the Essendon FC and enhancements to the AFL Anti-Doping Code that better regulate sports science and employment arrangements in football, and that reinforce the primacy of the club doctor in all medical decisions.

    A number of significant lessons have been learned and changes made; I believe the AFL competition as a whole emerges stronger and far more resistant to the growing risks and threats that are challenging sports around the world.

    Finally, I note that the outcome reached today, in addition to the support last week from the 17 other AFL clubs and also the AFL Players’ Association, is a powerful and enduring affirmation that no single club and no individual is above our great gam ...

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    The AFL today announced the names of the players eligible for selection in the Indigenous Australian Rules team which will play in the 2013 International Rules Series in Ireland.

    Supported by Coles and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), the Indigenous Australian Rules team will play Test matches in Cavan and Dublin in October.
    Head Coach Michael O’Loughlin made the squad announcement of 33 players at a special event held at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence in Sydney.
    Representing the AFL Indigenous playing group, Hawthorn forward Lance Franklin and Sydney Swans forward Adam Goodes were in attendance.


    AFL General Manager of Football Operations Mark Evans said this year’s International Rules Series is a significant and historic event in Australia’s Game.


    “The series is a fantastic opportunity for the Indigenous All-Stars to come together as a team and to represent Australia for the first time in the International Rules series against Ireland.


    “The Indigenous Australian Rules team will be made up of a very exciting and competitive list, which will showcase our Indigenous talent and I’m confident will do Australia proud.


    “The final squad of 21 players which will travel to Ireland will be released following the Toyota AFL Grand Final Series.”


    Michael O’Loughlin will be supported by a senior coaching panel to be made up of Rodney Eade, Tadhg Kennelly, Andrew McLeod and Alan Richardson.


    In the most recent series in Ireland in 2010 Australia secured a 2-0 victory under former coach Mick Malthouse, before losing 2-0 in Australia in 2011.


    Coles is the official partner of the AFL Indigenous program, including the International Rules Series, which aims to deliver football, health, education, leadership and employment opportunities for Indigenous people.


    The partnership extends to the elite level to include the Indigenous All-Stars, celebrating cultural identity in Australia's Game and strengthening Indigenous development in Australia.


    The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) represents the 150 health services across Australia that are run by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people.


    These services are proven to be making a difference to the lives of people in their own communities - improving Aboriginal health, providing Aboriginal employment and working to close the appalling health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.


    Partnering with the AFL for the 2013 International Rules Series, NACCHO aims to spread Aboriginal health messages into communities across the country.


    Players eligible to be selected in the Indigenous Australian Rules team:






    Sydney Swans



    Gold Coast Suns









    Geelong Cats


















    Sydney Swans



    Greater Western Sydney






    West Coast Eagles









    Sydney Swans












    Gold Coast Suns



    Brisbane Lions



    Geelong Cats









    Geelong Cats



    North Melbourne



    Geelong Cats









    West Coast Eagles



    North Melbourne






    Symbolism of the Indigenous Australian Rules team guernsey:


    International Rules Indigenous Slash 

    • The diagonal waved pathways represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander journeys with the black, yellow and red representing Aboriginal and the blue and green representing Torres Strait
    • The emu tracks represent the journey of each individual player - past and present - coming together linking across the Australian landscape, uniting at a central point much like players in the All Stars

    • The circular rings represent pivotal destinations / communities

    • The dark blue represents the Australian Flag and the ocean that surrounds our continent

    • The Southern Cross reflects modern day Australia “the southern land” as reflected in many flags that have united people over time


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