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Independent News and Views from the International Aussie Rules Community

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    South America is one massive continent. It absolutely dwarfs Australia in size – and Europe for that matter. The Andes Mountains which run the entire west coast of the continent run for around 7000 kilometres alone. The distance by road from Bogota in Colombia and Santiago in Chile is around 6000 kilometres. This is where the footy kicks in. On July 22nd the Bogota Bulldogs will travel that distance to Santiago for the final instalment of the Andes Cup for 2017 – though probably not by road.

    Australian Rules football in South America has long been championed by the Santiago Saints in Chile. They have remained the only permanent team for many years, crying out for company. With the arrival of the Bogota Bulldogs the game has a great chance to grow even further.

    In a press release for local newspapers in Chile, the Santiago Saints report that “AFL football is back for the second instalment of Latin America's newest rivalry. This Saturday, the 22nd of July, teams from Chile and Colombia will go head to head for the Andes Cup in the leafy surrounds of Lo Barnachea in Santiago, 2pm local time. The Bogota Bulldogs will be hoping to retain the Cup after its comprehensive victory in the inaugural clash in Bogota in September 2016. By contrast, the Santiago Saints are desperate to reclaim the mantle as the powerhouse of Latin American footy, back in more familiar conditions closer to sea level.”


    “The Chilean team known locally as Los Santos, will be hoping to draw a strong crowd as per the opener last year against the Bulldogs, and to replicate the community atmosphere that was on display in Bogota.”

    “The festivities are scheduled to commence at 1pm, with free entry to the ground in Lo Barnachea, one of Santiago's more affluent areas, with snow-capped mountain peaks providing a stunning backdrop for players and spectators alike.”

    “Local expat and favourite son of the Saints, Jimbo, of Jimbo's Meat Pies fame, will be on hand to provide a uniquely Australian flavour at the ground, with his freshly baked pies likely to be hot property among the punters in the early stages.”

    “The Saints, who were founded by Australian expats in 2008, are looking to field up to half of its outfit with Chilean players against Bogota. Gone are the days when the club relied heavily on its Australian players to make up the numbers in this traditionally soccer obsessed nation. The club, headed by president Patricio Saavedra and ex Footscray star and ambassador of Los Santos, Jose Romero, are confident that the game will help boost exposure of AFL football to the wider community in Santiago. The Saints hope to lobby the AFL for further support in growing the game in Chile, to pave the way for the Chilean male and female stars of the future.”

    For the Bulldogs, the game represents a huge opportunity, as outlined by the club spokesperson.

    “The Bulldogs have had a great preparation leading up to the game and even with a few key players unavailable there is a great spirit among the Doggies and we are confident of putting in a solid performance in Chile. We are determined to retain the Los Andes Cup on tour and we are grateful to the Saints for the invitation.”

    “This year the club has flourished with new players coming down to training every week. As a club, we have really pulled together with more experienced players all contributing in different roles within the club to grow the sport and develop less experienced newcomers. Our proudest achievement is certainly our first Colombian on-baller, 23 year-old Andrés Romero. He has improved his game immensely by taking on board tips and coaching from the senior players and we are thrilled to see him have the chance to play in Santiago.”

    “Beyond the Andes Cup, the Bulldogs are in talks with the Houston Lonestars and hoping to schedule a visit and a match at the end of this year in Bogota and from there, broaden the experience of the players. In 2018 we are looking to develop intra-club matches and a format for a proper season, and hopefully a visit to Texas as well.”

    “Colombia has a lot of natural talent and the Bulldogs will be running an introductory training program with University Rosario and are in negotiations to develop a permanent home ground and facilities on their north Bogota campus. As the establishment of a strong Rugby Union competition in Colombia has shown us, the key to growing the sport is to develop local players and get the Colombian youth involved.”

    “We are working hard on fund raising programs and we are in talks with potential club sponsors to inject some much needed capital into the development process. The Australian club members, many of whom are residents and earn their living in Colombia, find a certain satisfaction in introducing our great game to our adopted country and the players feel extremely proud and fortunate to be able to represent Colombia on an international stage.”

    In many respects this could be the biggest match staged in South America, if only for the fact that the potential for growth as a result of the match could be felt across the entire South American continent. In the past there have been varying levels of interest and involvement in Australian Rules football in countries like Argentina, Brazil, and even Mexico. It would be a great credit to both the Saints and the Bulldogs if their Andes Cup could become the catalyst for future growth.

    But for now the Bogota Bulldogs have a title to defend, and the Santiago Saints a title to usurp. The action takes place next Saturday, 22nd July, in Santiago, Chil ...

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    The 2017 International Cup launch is set to be held at Government House in Melbourne on Saturday August 5th.  Presumably to be hosted by the Victorian Governor Linda Dessau(and former AFL Commissioner pictured left with Sam Mostyn and Mike Fitzpatrick), the competing men's and women's teams will be welcomed to Melbourne and the tournament deemed to be officially underway.

    The AFL also noted this evening that "The much anticipated fixture will be released in the next few days."

     

    We are speculating that following the welcome, teams will walk to the MCG and take part in a parade of nations prior to the Essendon vs Carlton match.  In 2014 the International Cup teams paraded prior to the Hawthorn vs Melbourne  match at the MCG.

    The launch follows on from the successful 2014 launch at Federation Square and 2011 at Sydney's Luna Park. ...


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    The International Cup for 2017 (IC17) is just around the corner and with it will come the finest players from nations across the globe competing to be the best nation outside of Australia. Canada has long been one of the most consistent nations at the event, and one of their greatest AFL exports, Mike Pyke, was even a part of the Sydney Swans 2012 premiership team – and has the premiership medal to prove it. He also played 110 games for the Swans at the highest level of AFL football.

    Andrew McGrath wasn’t recruited from Canada, unlike Pyke. Yet he is Canadian. His junior football was here in Australia and was recruited to the Essendon club from the TAC Cup team, the Sandringham Dragons.

    But his impact has been remarkable for a young man who has only just turned 19. In his 15 games for Essendon to date he has averaged just under 20 disposals per game, three tackles per game and four marks. But it has been the manner in which he has achieved this, with an uncanny sense of timing and control, which has already drawn comparisons to past Essendon and Port Adelaide great, and 1993 Brownlow Medallist Gavin Wanganeen.

     Hamish McLachlan’s article in the Herald Sun newspaper has seen an in depth interview with Essendon’s #1 draft pick from 2016 – Andrew McGrath. Whilst much was made at the time of McGrath’s Canadian background, many have been largely unaware of just how Canadian he is and how lucky Essendon were to recruit him – and not just beating other teams to select him. 

    Following is an extract from the article. To read the article in full, go to: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/hamish-mclachlan-chats-to-andrew-mcgrath-on-the-pressure-of-being-the-afls-number-1-draft-pick/news-story/0fe406b2cdf1518153fabbb80cef580f 

     ANDREW McGrath seems like the type of guy you’d be delighted your daughter married, and having two girls of my own, I know that’s saying something!

    Mature, thoughtful, clever, gifted, humble and modest. School captain, vice-captain of footy, captain of athletics and a national champion.

    Oh, and he was also a choir boy.

    He went number one pick in the 2016 AFL Draft, and in his first year of football, he has met every expectation, and then some.

    We spoke about his early years in Canada, how you actually pronounce his last name, the choice between football and athletics, reinvigorating the school choir, the pressure of being drafted at one, the Bombers chances of winning the last game of the season, and Lord of the Dance.

    HM: You’re the first number one draft pick from Canada. I dare say, probably the last.

    AM: Maybe, well, probably. It’s pretty unlikely to happen again when you say it like that, but the game’s growing. It is exciting, and it’s a pretty big honour to be the first one. Hopefully I can inspire another footballer in Canada to do the same thing. I think I’ll be the only one for a while though!

    HM: Were you actually an Australian citizen when you were draftedω

    AM: No, I wasn’t, I think everyone assumed I was though. I’m now in the process of becoming a dual citizen.

    HM: Was there any issue with getting drafted as a Canadianω

    AM: No, none at all luckily. My family and I spoke with my managers, Robbie and Paul, and they scoped it out and said it was all good.

    HM: Some house keeping. “Mc-Gra- r” is how I thought it was pronounced. Wrongω

    AM: To my family back home, it would be wrong. They pronounce it “Mc-Gra- th” but it’s all dependant on the accent you say it with. If you say it with my parents’ accent, the Canadian accent, it’s 100% Mc-Gra- th, but here in Australia we say Mc-Gra- r.

    HM: So how do you introduce yourselfω

    AM: Usually, with Mc-Gra- r. The Australian way.

    Andrew McGrath with his Sandringham Dragons teammates on draft night.

    HM: So if I’m commentating you, what would you ratherω

    AM: (laughs)…..This is great….I get options…..umm, stay with “Mc-Gra- r”, the Australian way. I speak with an Australian accent now, so I’ve adopted it as my last name! If I’m back home and speaking in my Canadian accent, I’ll say it the Canadian way.

    HM: Do you bring out a Canadian accent when you go homeω

    AM: I do actually. A few people at the club are a bit surprised that it’s stuck, but my brother, my sister and I can still do our Canadian accents, as well as our Australian accents. We flick the switch when we’re talking to our parents, and when we’re talking to our mates. They find that pretty interesting.

    During the International Cup many players will be showcased, and it is always possible for an international player to make their way to an AFL team list. Canada are already proud of Mike Pyke and will also embrace Andrew McGrath…and maybe they will have another future star on their list waiting to show their wares in Melbourne next month.

    Picture Courtesy: Zimbio ...


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    In a battle befitting first versus second on the ladder – and very possibly a grand final preview – the Edinburgh Bloods ensured they would play finals by bringing down the previously undefeated Greater Glasgow Giants. In a season that has seen many games go down to the wire, the Bloods held their nerve to claim a 110 to 102 victory.

    The Giants had already claimed the first finals berth due to their previously undefeated reign at the top of the SARFL ladder. It was a game which the Giants could probably afford to lose in some respects – better a loss now and galvanise for finals – but they would still be disappointed at giving the Bloods a psychological edge so close to finals time.


    The result means that the Kingdom Kangaroos and the Glasgow Sharks will now fight for the only remaining finals spot, though not against each other. The Kingdom Kangaroos must host a rebounding Giants and will be looking to win…or at worst, not lose by a big margin. The Sharks play the following week and would need to defeat the Bloods by a significant margin (and hope for a Kangaroos defeat next weekend) to jump into the preliminary final. It will make for an exciting final two weeks of the home and away season.

    The Edinburgh Bloods would have been very aware of the ramifications of a loss and played to ensure they could pull of the upset victory and secure finals. The game was described on the Bloods’ Facebook page as follows: “The Bloods secured a finals spot with a 110-102 victory over the Giants. A brilliant 2nd quarter for us followed by a disastrous 3rd quarter meant an exciting final period of the game. In the end we did enough to get the win. Many thanks to the Giants for another close game played in fantastic, fair spirits.”

    The season is now at the business end with all teams to play one more match before finals. All teams have plenty to play for and all are still in with varying chances of playing finals. Buckle up, it’s going to be a fast finish.

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    It’s official: Chris Scott, the premiership coach of the Geelong Cats, will be the new coach of the Australian team for the 2017 International Rules Series against Ireland, as appointed by the AFL’s general manager of football operations, Andrew Dillon.

    Scott said that he was honored to be named the team’s coach following Alastair Clarkson’s prior decision not to return for a third IRS.

    The 41-year-old Scott is well-versed in international rules football; as a member of the Brisbane Lions, he played on the 2001 IRS team alongside Melbourne Demons legend Garry Lyon and also previously served as an assistant to Clarkson for the past two years of the series (2014 and 2015).

    Scott is currently in his seventh season as the Cats’ head coach, compiling a career record of 113-41-2, including a flag in 2011. Additionally, Scott’s twin brother -- North Melbourne coach Brad Scott -- will be assisting him, as will Fremantle coach Ross Lyon.

    As per usual, the Australian side for the IRS will be entirely comprised of players from the All-Australian squad, to be announced shortly before the AFL Finals begin in September. The venues for the IRS will also be revealed for the two test matches that will be played after the AFL Grand Final. ...


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    The AFL has put out the call for interested parties that would like to call International Cup matches.  The commentary will accompany the streaming vision from International Cup matches.  In 2014 the matches went out without commentary and it is hoped that the commentary will add another dimension for viewers around the world.

    Interested individuals can submit expressions of interest to participate as a commentator for this year’s event by emailing kirstie.fitzgerald@afl.com.au by close of business Melbourne time tomorrow 19th July.

    The AFL says this is a great opportunity to gain some commentary experience at an AFL event, one which will look great on any resume. It is a volunteer role and will require some previous experience calling football matches. ...


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    The AFL today announced the final list of nations set to compete in the International Cup.  The competition will be split into two men's divisions before the tournament with 10 teams in Division 1 and 8 teams in Division 2.  New comers to the International Cup will be Germany, Sri Lanka and Croatia in the men's competition.  In the women's competition Great Britain, Pakistan and the European Crusaders combine team will make their debuts. 

    Making a welcome return to the competition after missing the 2014 International Cup are the PNG Flames women's team.

    Teams that played in the 2014 International Cup men's competition that have not been able to get a team to the 2017 iteration are Tonga, Sweden and Finland.  It was mooted at one stage that either a combined team of Denmark, Sweden, Finland and even Norway and Iceland might be an option, or a men's European Crusaders team - but neither of these were able to be assembled and funded. 

    Also the USA Liberty and Canada Midnight Suns teams that made up the numbers at IC14 will not compete in the cup this time around (though the USA Liberty team will travel to Australia and play a number of games against local sides).

    The women's competition will have 8 teams competing for the first time. 

    The competing nations/teams are as follows

     

    ...


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    The AFL today released the 2017 International Cup fixture.

    The 2017 AFL International Cup will be played in Melbourne from August 5 to 19 with 18 men’s teams and eight women’s teams competing.

    Men’s teams: Canada, China, Croatia, Fiji, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Nauru, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Sri Lanka, USA.

    New men’s teams for IC17: Croatia, Germany, Sri Lanka.

    Women’s teams: Canada, European Crusaders, Fiji, Great Britain, Ireland, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, USA.

    New women’s teams for IC17: Great Britain, European Crusaders (a combined team with women from Britain, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland and Sweden), Pakistan, Papua New Guinea.

    For the first time the men’s fixture will be played across two divisions. Division One will play four matches against other teams within the division and will then be ranked from one to 10 with grand finals to follow between the top two placed teams on the ladder, the third and fourth placed teams and so on.

    The men’s Division Two and the women’s competition will see teams split into two pools of four with each team playing matches against the three opponents in their pool before competing in semi-finals and grand finals based on finishing positions within the pool.

    Head of Community & International Development, Grant Williams said that the AFL was looking forward to welcoming the players, coaches and officials from the 18 men’s teams and eight women’s teams to Melbourne to participate in the International Cup.

    “The men’s divisional structure has been created based on past performances in an attempt to produce a competition that is as even as possible and to provide the best development opportunity for all teams and players,”.

    “We are also thrilled to have eight women’s teams competing in 2017.”

    “The International Cup is about bringing people together and is an opportunity to promote our great game and support its growth within the international community.”

    The women’s grand final is to be played at Etihad Stadium as a curtain-raiser to the Round 22 clash between Carlton and Hawthorn. While the men’s grand final is to be played at the MCG as a curtain-raiser to the Round 22 match between Collingwood and the Geelong Cats.

    The majority of the matches will be played at Royal Park in Parkville with the Community Round to be played as curtain-raisers to local suburban, amateur and country matches. For the first time the International Cup has introduced a School Round on Wednesday August 9 with games to be played in suburban and country schools.

    Fixtured are located here: http://www.afl.com.au/internationalcup 

    The 2017 AFL International Cup marks the sixth edition of the competition.

    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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    The AFL today confirmed that the men's competition for the International Cup will be split into two divisions.  The top 10 finishing nations from IC14 (with Tonga not competing) have been automatically placed in Division 1 and the balance of teams will compete in Division 2.

    It is hoped that the two division setup will avoid the massively one sided affairs between nations early in their development and the highly experienced nations that we expect to finish near the top of the final standings.  This should produce more competition for the top sides and give the lower ranked sides more competitive matches that will hopefully ultimately aid their development rather than crush their spirit.

    In the past it seemed that all nations wanted to be in the top division believing they were a realistic chance at the title, but it is understood that this time around more nations understand the vast gap between themselves and the top tier and have been happy with the decision to compete for the Division 2 title this time around.

    The women's competition will remain as one division with eight teams competing for the title.  It is hoped that in 2020 there will be enough numbers for a similar 2 division split.

     

      ...


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    The Division 1 men's fixture is below

    Men's Division 1 - AFL IC17 Competition Structure

    • One pool of 10 teams
    • Canada, Fiji, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, USA
    • After 4 group matches teams are ranked on a ladder from 1 - 10
    • Grand Finals are 1 v 2, 3 v 4, 5 v 6, 7 v 8, 9 v 10:

    ...


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    The Men's Division 2 Fixture can be seen below

    Men's Division 2 - AFL IC17 Competition Structure
     •Two pools of 4 teams
     •Pool A - China, Croatia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka
     •Pool B - Germany, India, Japan, Pakistan
     •After 3 group matches - semi finals: Pool A winner v Pool B 2nd place, Pool B winner v Pool A 2nd place, Pool A 3rd place v Pool B  4th place, Pool B 3rd place v Pool A 4th place
     •Winner of Semi Finals play each other (1 v 2, 5 v 6) and losers play each other (3 v 4, 7 v 8)
     

    ...


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  • 07/18/17--03:35: IC17 Women's Fixture
  • The 2017 International Cup Women's fixture can be seen below

    Women's Division 1 - AFL IC17 Competition Structure

    • Two pools of 4 teams
    • Pool A - Canada, Fiji, Great Britain, Pakistan
    • Pool B - European Crusaders, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, USA
    • After 3 group matches - semi finals: Pool A winner v Pool B 2nd place, Pool B winner v Pool A 2nd place, Pool A 3rd place v Pool B 4th place, Pool B 3rd place v Pool A 4th place
    • Winner of Semi Finals play each other (11 v 12, 15 v 16) and losers play each other (13 v 14, 17 v 18)

    ...


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    In the first of our 2017 International Cup previews we welcome the European Crusaders women's team who will make their International Cup debut.  A combine of players from across Europe they will have their work cut out for them.  The Crusader's concept is a great vehicle to allow players that otherwise might never get to experience the International Cup for their own nation be part of this great tournament. 

    Europe and Australia Football

    Australian football has been played regularly in many parts of Europe since the late 1980s when leagues formed in England and Denmark. These first leagues led to the first international game between two European teams was played in 1994 between Great Britain and Denmark.  Football matches have been played much earlier by Australian troops during war time and also between students at Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England.  As more cities and countries formed teams and leagues precursor bodies to today's AFL Europe formed and a number of tournaments held. 

    In 2005 at the first International Cup European teams from Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark competed.  Since then many more teams and countries have continued to develop the game.

    Women have played footy in Europe since around 2010. Some women played alongside men in matches across Europe. The first women's division at the International Cup saw Ireland compete and win the tournament as the sole European representative.  While some players in the team made the journey from Ireland, a number of Irish women on that team had only ever played the game in Australia. 

    Since then the game has been more regularly played in smaller side formats as well as full 18-a-side formats in a number of countries across Europe including Ireland, Great Britain, France, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark and Italy.  The European Crusaders concept was first used for men's footy to provide the opportunity for players in smaller nations to compete in International tournaments.  This has successfully transferred to women's footy and the European Crusaders will be making their debut in the Women's Division at the 2017 International Cup.

    European Crusaders, AFL Europe’s special project

    The European Crusaders women team was created in 2012 for the Euro Cup in Edinburgh, a 9-a-side competition, which they won in 2013 against France in Bordeaux. From the start the Crusaders were always hoping to compete one day in the International Cup. Thanks to their iron will, they gathered enough players in London in August 2016 to play the European Championship, an 18-a-side competition.

    In November, some of the girls, who played in the European Championship and who are involved in the French League, decided to take the lead and started looking for European players all over Europe and Australia. In December, they also launched a crowdfunding campaign on MAKEACHAMP to reduce the costs and so recrute more players.

    In January, Paul Ritchie, an ex Melbourne firefighter who organized the Anzac Run and the Tour of Duty, joined the Crusaders to help them come to Australia. It was a game changer as he managed to get all the girls to be billing out by the very generous inhabitants of Wellington Crescent and Parade in East Melbourne.

    He also found a sponsor, Caine Real Estate, who agreed to pay for the Crusaders entire equipment. Paul’s massive help allowed the others to focus on recruitment and so in May the Crusaders had enough girls to compete in the IC17.

    The Team

    The Crusaders are Croatian, Danish, English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish and Scottish. They usually play against each other in European competitions but for three weeks they will be teammates. Despite their different languages, cultures and countries, they will hold high European values and spirit. Stronger Together!

    They will be coached by Graham Andrews, an Australian who use to coach the Paris Cockerels.  Of their chances Andrews says "While we will be starting a bit behind some of the other teams, coming from many countries, I'm confident we will quickly overcome this with a few good training sessions. We'll go out to win every game, with our first goal being to make the finals in our first outing. Go Crusaders!"

    Players to watch

    Coline Duquet (France) : Coline first started footy when she studied in Sydney in 2013. When she came back to France she started playing for the French women’s team and the Paris Cockerelles. She has been showing very good skills and amazing leadership.

    Amanda King (Sweden) : A strong and dominant Ruck, has set a name for herself in the USA. One to watch at IC17, she creates a strong midfield with her slick tap outs and great communication to drive the ball forward!

    Name Nationality Club
    Naïma AIT EL MOUDEN French Paris Cockerelles (France)
    Marine ASSEMAT French ALFA Lions (France)
    Ana BARISIC Croatian ZKAN Zagreb Panthers (Croatia)
    Mathilde COMBES French Paris Cockerelles (France)
    Coline DUQUET French Paris Cockerelles (France)
    Linn GARDELL Swedish Port Malmö Lynx (Sweden)
    Emilie GIANCARLI French Bordeaux Bombers (France)
    Catherine GILES Canadian Paris Cockerelles (France)
    Amanda KING Swedish Boston Demons (USA)
    Joanne MOURADIAN British Paris Cockerelles (France)
    Claire PEREZ French Paris Cockerelles (France)
    Anne PILLE French Paris Cockerelles (France)
    Hélène PITTET French Toulouse Hawks (France)
    Bérengère PORTAL French Paris Cockerelles (France)
    Camille PORTAL French Bordeaux Bombers (France)
    Frances FINN Irish Perth Angels (Australia)
    Rachel FOX Irish Perth Angels (Australia)
    Denise HECKMANN German Melbourne (Australia)
    Leila MORGENROTH Irish Perth Angels (Australia)
    Cassandra PITTARD Greek Sydney (Australia)
    Anna QUAGLIERI Italian Melbourne Uni (Australia)
    Dagmara RATINSKI Polish Perth Angels (Australia)
    Isabella ROSITANO Italian Adelaide (Australia)
    Lucy THOMPSON British Sydney (Australia)
    Rachel URQUHART British South Melbourne Districts (Australia)
    Charline WOOD German Newtown Breakaways (Australia)

    *There may be some late additions to this squad - we will add them once announced.

    Form Guide and The Bottom Line (By Editor Troy Thompson)

    The Crusaders went winless and seemed to be short on numbers at last August's European Championships in London.  They were easily defeated by both the GB Swans and the Irish Banshees.  We expect the IC team to be much stronger than the one that showed up in London, but the will also come up against a stronger Irish team here.  This is really the only 18-a-side form-line we have for the Crusaders.

    The Crusaders play Papua New Guinea in Round 1 of the Cup.  PNG are an unknown quantity.  Though they competed in the 2011 International Cup for the first time, they did not make it to the 2014 International Cup.  We do know that they have a history of playing the game a similar amount of time to the Europeans but precisely what their team make up is remains unknown.  We feel that the Crusaders may have an advantage with the inclusion of the experienced Australian based players giving them the edge over PNG.

    In Round 2 the Crusaders take on Ireland, we favour the Irish here, they are experienced campaigners with a good number of players experienced in both Europe and Australia.

    The final match before the finals will be against the USA.  Again we think the Crusaders will be up against it in terms of experience and will go into this match as underdogs. 

    While a semi-final is a possibility if they can knock off Ireland or the USA, we expect the Crusaders to finish third in their pool and could finish the tournament as high as fifth which would be a great effort in their first International Cup outing.  ...


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  • 07/18/17--18:30: IC17 Preview: China
  • China returns for their fourth consecutive International Cup with a mix of youth & experience that reflects their progress across the past decade of the Chinese national team’s existence. With several players with Australian experience and momentum building amongst a core group of players who’ve recently played competitive international matches, China are a chance to be a major competitor in the Men’s Division 2 of this year’s International Cup.
     

    The Country and Australian Football

    The People's Republic of China (PRC) is the most populous state in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. The PRC exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four directly administered municipalities (Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing and the capital city- Beijing), as well as two special administrative regions (SARs) – Hong Kong and Macau

    Pictured Right GuangDong AFL teams December 2016 (Credit: Zhang Hao, AFL China / Guangzhou Scorpions)Link (chi.) pictures and names of Guangzhou reps

    An AFL development officer has been based in China almost continuously since 2006, with recent local development being largely based around schools and universities in Guangdong province (mainly through the Guangdong AFL & South China AFL) The past five years has also seen further consolidation of clubs in the major cities and the expansion of AFL Asia has seen more opportunities for competitive matches across the region. The success and impressive crowd turnout of the Port Adelaide v Gold Coast match in Shanghai in May further exposed the potential for expanding the game into China, it seems likely an AFL match will be played annually in Shanghai for the next three years, providing ongoing opportunities to leverage local development.

    Port Adelaide Football Club have once again come through as a host and major sponsor of Team China, the boys will be visiting Adelaide before travelling to Melbourne for tournament matches.

    The Team

    This is without doubt China’s strongest ever team. The nucleus of the team are university students based in Guangzhou, who have been getting regular training and match exposure in the GDAFL & SCAFL respectfully, these players have also had recent national representation and tour experience in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2017 All Asia Cup) & Shanghai (AFL Match ‘Curtain Closer’ v Asian Lions), this has raised the standard considerably; together with at least 8 Australian based players (including Port Adelaide recruit Chen Shaoliang & Chinese footy Stalwart Jiaming ‘Jamie’ Pi) it makes for a balanced team on paper.

    Coach will be Bill Poly, who previously coached many of the players in Guangzhou. Zhang Hao (an important leader on field and off field) will be returning for his 4th tournament and will be co-captain along with Chen Shao Liang.

    The team will be fit and will aim to exploit this against their opposition, with an average height of 177cm, they will be aiming to keep possession of the ball and utilise their pace.

    Pictured Above: Australian Masters Team v China in Guangzhou, Sunday 16th July, The Australian Masters are currently completing a 10 day tour of China and India (Credit: Zhang Hao, AFL China / Guangzhou Scorpions)
    Players to Watch

    Chen Shaoliang returns from injury to be a mobile target for the team, Deng Xiao Yu and Liu Zhao Rui will be important to the team structure.  Yu Chao Xiang & Jiaming Pi are ball getters and crucial link up players. Chen Shu Kai will be playing as a ruckman and will be prominent as well.

    Bottom Line
    For the pool matches, China face Croatia, Indonesia & Sri Lanka, their performance first up against Croatia is an important one, it’s likely to be a physically challenging match, getting a win unscathed could set them up for a high placing. China will take confidence from the fact that they narrowly lost to Indonesia in the All Asia Cup in Ho Chi Minh City last year and Sri Lanka are tournament debutants so China will think of these as winnable games. The match against Indonesia in Digger’s Rest as part of the Community Round, is shaping as a really close and high pressure contest, potentially one of the highlights of the tournament.


    Squad list

    1

    ZHANG

    HAO ©

    Guangzhou Scorpions

    2

    LIN

    WENLIANG

    GZ SCORPIONS

    3

    WANG

    RONGFENG

    GZ SCORPIONS

    5

    DING

    GUANQUN

    Old Ignatians Football Club

    6

    PI

    JIAMING

    Keysborough Football Netball Club

    7

    YU

    ENDA

    DUBAI DINGOS

    8

    QIU

    XIAOSHAN

    GZ SCORPIONS

    9

    LIN

    DIANYU

    HUIZHOU HAWKS

    10

    HUANG

    JIANGLONG

    GZ SCORPIONS

    11

    XIE

    WEIYAN

    GZ SCORPIONS

    12

    NIE

    SENHUA

    GZ SCORPIONS

    13

    ZHUANG

    HUANGANG

    GZ SCORPIONS

    15

    DENG

    XIAOYU

    GZ SCORPIONS

    16

    CHEN

    SHAOLIANG ©

    Port Adelaide

    17

    WU

    XINGZHEN

    GZ SCORPIONS

    18

    YU

    CHAOXIANG

    GZ SCORPIONS

    19

    ZHENG

    JIANXING

    GZ SCORPIONS

    20

    CHEN

    SHU KAI (VC)

    GZ SCORPIONS

    21

    CHEN

    ZIBANG

    GZ SCORPIONS

    22

    LIU

    ZHAORUI

    IMMANUEL COLLEGE

    23

    LIN

    HONGHUI

    DONGGUAN BLUES

    24

    CHEN

    ZHUSHEN

    SHANGHAI

    TIGERS

    25

    CHEN

    ZIWEI

    GZ SCORPIONS

    26

    CHEN

    JIANGTIAN

    GZ SCORPIONS

    27

    YANG

    MING

    La Trobe University Amateur Football Club

    28

    CHEN

    LONG

    Wandella Football Club

    29

    YANG

    YANG

    Springvale District Football Club

    30

    QIU

    HAO

    Springvale District Football Club

    31

    CHUENG

    BRIAN

    PHOS Camden Football Club *

    32

    WEI

    DEAN

    Mt Barker Barkaroos *

     

    *Participation TBC

      ...


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    Round 18 of the 2017 AFL Season kicks off tomorrow night at the Adelaide Oval with the Adelaide Crows hosting Geelong.  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 STATE LOCAL TIME GMT
    1 21-Jul Night Adelaide Crows vs. Geelong Cats Adelaide Oval SA 19:20 09:50
    2 22-Jul Day Essendon vs. North Melbourne Etihad Stadium VIC 13:45 03:45
    3 22-Jul Day Melbourne vs. Port Adelaide MCG VIC 13:40 04:10
    4 22-Jul Twilight Western Bulldogs vs. Gold Coast SUNS Cazalys Stadium QLD 16:35 06:35
    5 22-Jul Night Sydney Swans vs. St Kilda SCG NSW 19:25 09:25
    6 22-Jul Night Fremantle vs. Hawthorn Domain Stadium WA 17:40 09:40
    7 23-Jul Early Richmond vs. GWS GIANTS MCG VIC 13:10 03:10
    8 23-Jul Day Collingwood vs. West Coast Eagles Etihad Stadium VIC 15:20 05:20
    9 23-Jul Twilight Brisbane Lions vs. Carlton The Gabba QLD 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 21/7 @ 17:30 HKT (Live) 22/7 @ 11:30 HKT (Live) - 22/7 @ 14:30 HKT (Live) - 22/7 @ 17:30 HKT (Live) 23/7 @ 11:00 HKT (Live) - 23/7 @ 14:30 HKT (Live) 27/7 @ 10:30 HKT
    Pacific 21/7 @ 21:30 FIJI (Live) 22/7 @ 15:30 FIJI (Live) - 22/7 @ 18:30 FIJI (Live) - 22/7 @ 21:30 FIJI (Live) 23/7 @ 15:00 FIJI (Live) - 23/7 @ 18:30 FIJI (Live) 27/7 @ 14:30 FIJI
    India 21/7 @ 15:00 IND (Live) 22/7 @ 09:00 IND (Live) - 22/7 @ 12:00 IND (Live) - 22/7 @ 15:00 IND (Live) 23/7 @ 08:30 IND (Live) - 23/7 @ 12:00 IND (Live) 27/7 @ 08:00 INDIA
    ECONET                    
    Africa 21/7 @ 11:50 CAT (Live) - - - 22/7 @ 11:25 CAT (Live) - - - 23/7 @ 08:40 CAT (Live) 26/7 @ 19:30 CAT
    ESPN – BT SPORT                    
    UK & Ireland 21/7 @ 10:30 BST (Live) 22/7 @ 04:30 BST (Live) - - 22/7 @ 10:00 BST (Live) - 23/7 @ 04:00 BST (Live) - 23/7 @ 07:30 BST (Live) 25/7 @ 19:30 BST
    FOX SPORTS 2                    
    USA - 21/7 @ 23:30 ET (Live) - - - - - - - -
    FOX SOCCER PLUS                    
    USA 21/7 @ 05:30 ET (Live) - - - 22/7 @ 05:00 ET (Live) - 22/7 @ 23:00 ET (Live) - - 25/7 @ 21:30 ET
    GZTV                    
    China - 22/7 @ 11:45 CST (Live) - - - - - - - 26/7 @ 20:30 CST
    ORBIT SHOWTIME NETWORK                    
    Middle East 21/7 @ 12:30 AST (Live) 22/7 @ 06:30 AST (Live) - - - - 23/7 @ 06:00 AST (Live) 23/7 @ 08:00 AST (Live) - 24/7 @ 19:00 AST
    GEE - BOATS & CRUISES                    
    Worldwide (excl. Aust.) 21/7 @ 09:30 GMT (Live) 22/7 @ 03:30 GMT (Live) 22/7 @ 04:00 GMT (Live) 22/7 @ 06:30 GMT (Live) 22/7 @ 09:00 GMT (Live) 22/7 @ 09:30 GMT (Live) 23/7 @ 03:00 GMT (Live) 23/7 @ 05:00 GMT (Live) 23/7 @ 06:30 GMT (Live) Yes
    SKY SPORTS                    
    New Zealand - - - - - - 24/7 @ 24:00 NZT (Delay) - - -
    TSN2                    
    Canada 21/7 @ 13:00 ET (Delay) 21/7 @ 23:30 ET (Live) - - - - - - - Yes
    TVNZ                    
    New Zealand 21/7 @ 23:55 NZT (Delay) 22/7 @ 15:30 NZT (Live) - - - 22/7 @ 21:30 NZT (Live) 23/7 @ 15:00 NZT (Live) 24/7 @ 00:35 NZT (Delay) 24/7 @ 10:45 NZT (Delay) 26/7 @ 13:15 NZT
    VIASAT                    
    Russia 21/7 @ 09:30 MSK (Live) 22/7 @ 3:30 MSK (Live) - - 22/7 @ 12 MSK (Live) - 23/7 @ 06:00 MSK (Live) - 23/7 @ 09:30 MSK (Live) 25/7 @ 14:00 MSK
    WATCHAFL.AFL.COM.AU                    
    Worldwide (excl. Aust) 21/7 @ 09:50 GMT (Live) 22/7 @ 03:45 GMT (Live) 22/7 @ 04:10 GMT (Live) 22/7 @ 06:35 GMT (Live) 22/7 @ 09:25 GMT (Live) 22/7 @ 09:40 GMT (Live) 23/7 @ 03:10 GMT (Live) 23/7 @ 05:20 GMT (Live) 23/7 @ 06:40 GMT (Live) -
    ...

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    Canada's Northern Lights are currently the women’s Australian Football International Cup champions having defeated Ireland in the 2014 International Cup.. They are ranked 2nd outright behind Australia and must be considered favourites for the IC17 title.

    The Northern Lights won in 2014 Melbourne when Canada, like the U.S.A, took two women's teams to the International Cup. Canada’s second team the Midnight Suns finished 4th behind the U.S.A.’s first team, the Freedom. That shows the depth of talent in Canadian women’s football.

    Canada boasts 9 women's football clubs nationwide. Youth girls development programs operate in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. The national team, formed in 2007, is known as the "Northern Lights" but they were formerly known as the "Eagles". The Eagles first competed in women's international football matches during 2007, when they lost twice to the USA Freedom.

    In 2011 the national women's team competed in the inaugural women's division of the Australian Football International Cup, where they came second to Ireland.

    In 2014 the Northern lights became International Cup champions when they reversed the result and defeated the Irish Banshees at the AFL International Cup.

    In 2015 the Northern Lights continued their dominance and defeated the USA Freedom to win the annual 49th Parallel Cup. (Ed. Not without controversy which may or may not be forgotten going into this tournament)

     

     The Country and Australian Football.

    One of the world's largest countries by area, Canada in many ways shares a lot in common with Australia. Both are a mixture of productive and sparse inhospitable lands and both have a relatively small population living around the their country’s extremities.  Even climates are similar in being extreme in places if in opposite temperature directions. Both countries have moved on from events of original European colonization over indigenous populations and whilst both have strong friendship with the USA and are both heavily influenced by the U.S.A., both countries would consider themselves more attuned to the modern Commonwealth in outlook.

    In 2008 Edmonton formed the Emu’s women’s team with the men’s team, the Wombats, being formed in the following year of 2009. The Emus compete against two teams from Calgary in the AFWL, the Alberta Women’s Football league. Calgary’s singular women’s football team is known as the Kookaburras. In B.C., Vancouver has two women’s teams in the Vixens and the Wildcats.

    AFL Quebec has three 18-a-side women’s teams. These teams are known as the Quebec Saints, Montreal Angels and Ottawa Lady Swans respectively whilst the women’s league consists of four clubs, the NDG Devils and the Plateau Eagles from Montreal and the Carleton Warriors and Rideau Shamrocks from Ottawa.
     

    2012 saw the AFL Ontario women's division double in size to 6 teams competing, Broadview, Grand River, High Park, Hamilton, Etobicoke and Central Blues. More recent expansion has been out West.

    Strengths and Weaknesses.

    The Northern Lights are preparing solidly in defence of the world title. At the end of   2016 Team Canada had an inter-provincial tournament  with players representing either Western or Eastern Canada with a view to national selection.


    In May 2017 The Midnight Suns sent a development team to the U.K. to play against the Great Britain Swans, Irish Banshees and London All-stars. Aimee Legault went along as a playing assistant coach.
     

    In June 2017 in the annual Kelowna Cup, a combined Vancouver Vixen/Wildcat team contested a combined Alberta Calgary/Edmonton team in women’s football.

    It would be hard to find any weaknesses to the Canadian team that is better prepared than their 2014 championship team. The time gap of three years is arguably too big for a “premiership hangover” and complacency is the only possibility. Other teams have improved greatly but probably not so much at the top.

    Players to Watch

    Vivian Nguyen - 2016 Best & Fairest, Ottawa Swans and  Runner Up, AFL Quebec. Former rugby player.
    Caroline Ireland – dangerous forward for the Calgary Kookaburras.
    Charnelle Willis - Since 2014, Charnelle has stayed in Australia to travel and play. Last season, she played with the UTS Shamrocks in Sydney and they the division 1 Grand Final. Currently with the North Cairns Tigers.
    Erin Regan – strong ex-rugby player from the Vancouver Vixens.

    All players and full profiles can be seen here http://websites.sportstg.com/club_info.cgi?c=1-7259-119893-0-0&sID=394692

    Form Guide and Bottom Line.

    Canada has a proven team in the Northern Lights and depth in the Midnight Suns (who recently competed in London). They have experience joined by an influx of new competitive players  provided by the boom in women’s football in Western Canada. They have been preparing well for a long time and they should be improved upon 2014 and all the better for 2017.

    Who is Canada’s main opposition ?

    2. Ireland will again be the main opposition with strong performances in Europe.
    3. The USA will be a definite improver but probably not enough to close the gap.
    4. PNG could be a surprise (with a big increase in participation) in their return to women’s international football.
    5. Fiji is another country that has had a large increase in participation and should be an improver.
    6. Britain have prepared well and they also could be a surprise if they make it to international competition. ...


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    Conor Glass is set to become the first Irish International rookie to play for Hawthorn. Following on from New Zealander Kurt Heatherley becoming the Hawk's first International recruit to play in the AFL, Glass will run out for the Hawks against Fremantle on Saturday night Melbourne time (Live on ESPN - BT Sport Saturday @ 10:00am BST).

    While it may seem a quick turn around since coming to the club around this time last year he has been associated with the club for some years.  Glass took until mid last year to come full time to Hawthorn after being drafted in 2015, but had been out to take part in Hawthorn's preseasons as a minor in 2014 and 2015 after being identified as an AFL prospect while playing minor GAA for Watty Grahams as a schoolboy in Ireland.

    Ironically last year Glass debuted in the Box Hill Hawk's VFL Development league team, a competition that is now set to be scrapped.  He made his VFL senior debut with Box Hill this year and has played 12 matches so far this season, impressing most as a tall runner off the half back line.

    On Hawthorn's website today they saidIn last week’s VFL win over North Ballarat, Glass gathered 19 disposals, eight marks and laid two tackles while playing off half back, in an effort that impressed Coach Chris Newman.

    “He is really starting to take the game on,” said Newman. 

    “His run and carry and ability to draw an opposition player to release someone else is elite, and he took four marks from the opposition’s boot which means he’s getting in good areas behind the ball.”

    Glass' timing has been ideal with the Hawk's decline from a highly successful era opening the door for his debut.

    ...


    0 0
  • 07/20/17--04:39: IC17 Preview: USA Revolution
  • Introduction to the Revolution

    The US Revolution squad has officially been named for the 2017 edition of the Australian Football International Cup, which will be held August 5-19 in Melbourne.

    'Revos' head coach Tom Ellis selected the starting squad after months of deliberation, which included a notable camp in Dallas, Texas within the past two months.

    The Revos’ list is deliberately a “mix of old and new” according to Ellis, and many other players who didn’t make the list for the IC will be able to represent the US during their 2018 tour of Europe. Some of the talented newcomers include Donald Lee (Los Angeles Dragons) and John Freeman (Nashville Kangaroos), who will be looking to make big impacts in their IC debuts.

    The Golden Gate Roos produced the most 'Revo' players in 2017 (five), followed by the Des Moines Roosters with three. The reigning USAFL premiers, Austin, are sending two players to the IC as well.

    Two more Revo players - Buddy Spohn (Orange County Bombers) and David Restrepo (Houston Lonestars) - have prior playing experience at the amateur level in Melbourne.

    History of Footy in the US

    The United States Australian Football League (USAFL) is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017, currently boasting over 30 active men’s teams and 13 women’s teams. The Denver Bulldogs have won the most USAFL premierships (eight), and the Austin Crows grabbed the most recent flag in 2016.

    While the vast majority of USAFL clubs were founded by Australian expatriates, at least half of all club's playing lists must be composed of American nationals. In the same spirit, as the country’s national footy team, the US Revolution is composed entirely of American-born players.

    The women’s national team was established in 2007. They toured Australia in 2009 and secured their first appearance at the women’s edition of the International Cup in 2011.

    History at the IC

    The Revos have competed at every IC since the inaugural 2002 edition, and their best result was a third-place finish in 2005.

    2002 2005 2008 2011 20145th  3rd  7th  4th  8th

    Here are the Revos’ all-time records against IC opponents:

    Canada        2-0China         1-0
    Denmark       1-0
    Fiji          1-0
    Finland       1-0
    Great Britain 1-0
    Ireland       2-1
    Japan         1-0
    Nauru         0-2
    New Zealand   0-4
    Peace Team    1-0
    PNG           0-2Samoa         1-0South Africa  3-1Spain         1-0

    IC Returnees from 2014

    ● Ben Carpenter-Nwanyanwu, Austin Crows
    ● Bryan Dragus, Golden Gate Roos
    ● Brent Fisher, Minnesota Freeze
    ● Kyle Johnson, Golden Gate Roos
    ● Jay Levesque, Baltimore Washington Eagles
    ● Mark McClure, Columbus Jackaroos
    ● Ryan McGettigan, Philadelphia Hawks
    ● Bobby Sears, Houston Lonestars
    ● Saleh Tyebjee, Sacramento Suns
    ● Jason Wilhelm, Arizona Hawks (formerly Chicago Swans)

    IC Newcomers
    ● Max DePina, Seattle Grizzlies
    ● Caleb Dougherty, Des Moines Roosters
    ● David Franco, Golden Gate Roos
    ● John Freeman, Nashville Kangaroos
    ● Ryan Garthright, Denver Bulldogs
    ● William Gleason, Minnesota Freeze
    ● David Grzesiak, Dallas Magpies
    ● Erik Hanson, North Carolina Tigers
    ● Dustin Jones, St. Petersburg Saints
    ● Ben Judge, Des Moines Roosters
    ● Jeff Kraemer, Chicago Swans
    ● Donald Lee, Los Angeles Dragons
    ● Tim Lindfelt, Golden Gate Roos
    ● Michael Linehan, Austin Crows
    ● Daniel Livy, Golden Gate Roos
    ● Hamilton May, Des Moines Roosters
    ● Michael Murphy, New York Magpies
    ● David Restrepo, Houston Lonestars
    ● Clyde Simpson, Columbus Jackaroos
    ● Buddy Spohn, Orange County Bombers

    Coaches
    Head Coach—Tom Ellis
    Assistant Coaches—Jason Becker, Dan Sarbacker, Kyle Strenski, Jimmy House
    Manager—B.J. Gambaro
    Assistant Manager—Brad Anderson

    Schedule Overview
     

    Competing in Division 1, the Revos will face off against Canada in the opening round, to be held at Royal Park - McAlister Oval on the afternoon of August 6th.

    Round Two will see the US clash with the South Africa Lions, a competitive team that the Revos have had success against in previous years. That game will be held at the historic campus of Wesley College, Melbourne, on August 9th.

    In Round Three on August 12th, the Revos will face their biggest challenge yet in Papua New Guinea, the reigning IC premiers, in what promises to be an exciting matchup at Ransford Oval.

    Round Four's match will be against a new IC opponent in France at McAlister Oval.  In 2014 France was in Division 2 and this would be a game we would expect the US to win.

    The IC Finals will commence on Friday, August 18th at Royal Park, with one game at McAlister Oval and three more at Ransford Oval, while the IC Grand Final will be held as an AFL curtain-raiser at the home of footy itself — the MCG — on the 19th.

    Bottom Line

    This year’s Revos looks like a balanced and athletic side, with a good mix of promising young talent and hardy veterans. The team is hoping to at least secure a top-five finish for the first time since 2011. In all, only 10 out of 30 Revo players return from the 2014 IC squad that won three out of five matches, including emphatic victories over Finland, Canada, and Fiji. While it may appear that Coach Ellis is taking a gamble by putting in so many newcomers at this year’s IC, players and coaches alike are extremely confident that the approach will pay off.

    The Revos have been able to compete and win against experienced IC teams in the past, posting all-time winning records against South Africa and Ireland, among others. But the US needs to prove that they can get past historic powerhouses (such as Papua New Guinea) in order to have a shot at the IC Grand Final.

    USA Revolution — IC Schedule
    ● Round 1: US vs. Canada (Royal Park - McAlister Oval), August 6th @ 1 PM
    ● Round 2: US vs. South Africa (Wesley College), August 9th @ 12:30 PM
    ● Round 3: US vs. Papua New Guinea (Montrose), August 12th @ 12 PM
    ● Round 4: US vs. France (Royal Park - McAlister Oval), August 15th @ 9:30 AM
      ...


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    The South African team has been announced for the upcoming International Cup (IC17) in Melbourne next month. The national team has been a consistently well performed team at past International Cups, finishing 4th at the last event in 2014, 5th in 2011 and an all-time best performance of 3rd back in 2008. This new squad will be going all out to better those results and set a new benchmark for South African footy.

    The team has a tough draw in the Division 1 pool. They open their tournament against Great Britain, then meet the USA and Fiji before a blockbuster clash against reigning champions Papua New Guinea before the finals.

    The squad is:


    1. Vuyisile Sokoyi-Blue Birds FC
    2. Atang Moshoeshoe-Blue Birds FC
    3. Denmark Baloyi-Warriors FC
    4. Ncedo Tywaku- Blue Birds FC
    5. Xolisa Dutyulwa-Blue Birds FC
    6. Aubrey Velele -Blue Birds FC (Vice-Captain)
    7. Thimna Bartman-Blue Birds FC
    8. Banini Sekori-Wild Cats FC
    9. Asanda Funda-Divines FC
    10. Steven Matshane-Wild Cats FC
    11. Jabu Mngomezulu-Divines FC
    12. Emmanuel Mtomboti-Divines FC
    13. Xolani Xaba-Hurricanes FC
    14. Thato Manoto-Wild Cats FC
    15. Kealeboga Mmasa-Wild Cats FC
    16. Benefit Baloyi- Warriors FC
    17. Luzuko Mlonyeni-Divines FC
    18. Karabo Marokoane-Platinum FC
    19. Msizi Mkhize-Hurricanes FC
    20. Tshoboko Moagi -Warriors FC (Captain)
    21. Scelo Tenza-Hurricanes FC
    22. Mandilakhe Lungile-Divines FC
    23. Godfrey Molohlanyi-Wild Cats FC
    24. Uzenzile Gotyana-Wild Cats FC
    25. Thembinkosi Zwane-Hurricanes FC
    26. Malibongwe Mlamli-Divines FC

    The team’s Head Coach will be Benjamin Motuba. Tshoboko Boagi from the Warriors Football Club will be captain and Aubrey Velele from the Blue Birds Football Club will be vice-captain.

    The players selected in the squad are representing the AFL South Africa clubs with 6 players coming from the Blue Birds FC, 3 from Warriors FC, 6 from Divines FC, 6 from Wild Cats FC, 4 from Hurricanes FC and 1 from Platinum FC.

    South African footballer, Godfrey Molohlanyi, is one of many players to keep an eye on and is featured in a previous World Footy News article: South Africa’s Godfrey Making Waves ...

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    The Manchester Mozzies, Nottingham Scorpions, Wolverhampton Wolverines and Huddersfield Rams have reached the finals of the AFLCNE competition in England after last weekend’s final round – the Lightning Premiership played in Nottingham. The Mozzies were minor premiers again and will be favourites for yet another flag, but the other teams can also smell glory and will most certainly reach for the stars from here.

    The Tyne Tees Tigers were unlucky not to reach the finals. They needed to effectively win two more matches than the Rams on the day to pass them, and started well by downing the Rams in their first match of the day to draw level on the season’s ladder. But from there both teams struggled to match the league’s big guns, with the Tigers missing finals action by percentage only.


    It is a huge stride, however, for the Tigers to have had their best season in the league to date and continue their improvement. They also have the chance now to win the Plate for the best team outside the finals when they play the winner of the Sheffield Thunder v Merseyside Saints clash. The Tigers certainly have a fine piece of silverware to play for and will use the opportunity to salve their disappointment at missing the finals.

    The semi-finals take place this weekend with the host team the Manchester Mozzies up against Huddersfield Rams whilst the Nottingham Scorpions will play against the Wolverhampton Wolverines in the other semi-final. The winners of each will go on to contest the 2017 Grand Final on July 29th.

    It is difficult to see the Manchester Mozzies not reaching the Grand Final once again. If they go on and win the 2017 flag it will be four in a row and six flags in eight years. But the Nottingham Scorpions, the team the Mozzies defeated for last year’s premiership, will be keen to add another flag to their collection. The Wolverines and Rams will also see this season as a golden opportunity to seek maiden flags.

    Results of last weekend’s Lightning Round at Nottingham saw:

    Scorpions 17 12 114 d Thunder 4 6 30
    Scorpions 14 19 93 d Tigers 1 4 10
    Wolverines 17 11 113 d Thunder 2 1 13
    Wolverines 18 10 18 d Tigers 1 4 10
    Wolverines d Rams (Forfeit)
    Mozzies 11 6 72 d Rams 4 11 35 (Forfeit result with scores a result of unofficial “friendly”)
    Mozzies 22 7 139 d Thunder 0 4 4 (Forfeit result with scores a result of unofficial “friendly”)
    Tigers 9 13 67 d Rams 5 10 40

    ...

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