The following article from AFL Europe reviews last week’s European Championships played at Wimbledon, London, for supremacy in the 18-per side format. The Irish Banshees were remarkable, not being scored against in any match, including the grand final. The Bulldogs were also too good for all opposition as they claimed back-to-back titles.
After three days of thrilling football, it all came down to the women’s and men’s Grand Final’s on Saturday afternoon to decide the winners of the 2019 European Championships. In the women’s final, it was the Irish Banshees against the German Eagles, while the men’s draw saw the Danish Vikings battle the Great Britain Bulldogs.
Word seeping out of Darwin suggests that a Hawthorn and, AFL and Northern Territory legend might be making a comeback…if not this weekend, maybe soon after.
Seems an inevitability, but Cyril Rioli might once again weave his magic on the football field when he possibly lines up for the Tiwi Bombers tomorrow in their NTFL Premier League match against St Marys. Only months after being announced as an assistant coach for the Bombers, the club’s winless start to the season has given rise to a possible Rioli revival.
Before his stellar career with Hawthorn, Rioli was a Tiwi Bombers junior. It has been a long journey since then, and is now coming full circle. Rioli is expected to don the #44 jumper for the Bombers
The appearance of the Polish Devils in Norrtälje, Sweden, for this year’s Euro Cup was exciting. That excitement, and a growing sense of permanence, grew further when the team arrived in Tallinn, Estonia to compete in the Baltic Cup.
This newest Polish Australian Football team is shaping as a far more resilient model than previous attempts in Poznan in 2011 (Bisons) and Bydgoszcz in 2015 (Cats) or any other forays. However, when this project is driven by Roger Scott, the man responsible to helping drive the earlier days of footy in Russia, it would be no surprise that he would be seeking big things. Roger is co-founder of AFL Polska as well as head coach of the Devils.
Marc McGowan reports on the www.afl.com.au website that Essendon will add yet another Irishman to their list for the 2020 season and beyond. Building on their success with Conor McKenna (fourth in the club’s best & fairest this year) and the exciting recruitment of another potential Irish star in Ross McQuillan last month, Essendon has been impressed by McBride and delighted to bring him to the club.
ESSENDON has won a commitment from a second Irishman, with key-position prospect Cian McBride set to be a Bomber in 2020.
McBride was a strong performer at last week's NAB AFL Draft Combine, where countryman Oisin Gallen also tested.
The budding defender is 197cm and 90kg, a strong mark, ran sub-three seconds for the 20m sprint and placed in the top five in the running vertical jump (87cm).
The 2019 season is over for the five key Northern and Central Queensland football leagues. Winners might still be partying; others might still be planning, building and devising ways to bring down the Goliaths with a slingshot next season. Here is an overview of those premiership results.
The Port Douglas Crocs have made it five flags in six seasons as their dynasty continues to grow. Already they are looking to challenge the perennially successful Cairns Saints as the league’s most successful club – a few flags to go yet, but they are well on their way. Their 34-point win over South Cairns Cutters was done the hard way. Trailing at three-quarter time, they unleashed a seven goal to one blitz to take the flag. Cutters were able to take out the reserve grade premiership whilst the North Cairns Tigers club, having endured a horrid season, saw light when their women’s team took the flag.
Seniors - Port Douglas Crocs 15 9 99 d South Cairns Cutters 9 11 65
Reserves – South Cairns Cutters 12 11 83 d Manunda Hawks 8 5 53
Women’s – North Cairns Tigers 4 11 35 d Cairns Saints 2 6 18
The winning ways of the Multiplex Bulls have continued in the Middle East with the team taking out the 2019/20 Pre-Season Cup after downing the Dubai Dingoes in the final. This follows on from the maiden AFL Middle East premiership earlier this year and sets the scene for another big year for the Bulls.
The big improver from the event were the Dubai Dingoes. After a few torrid seasons without much success, the Dingoes showed that their off-season recruiting, planning and drive has paid off. They contested the final after impressing in their two wins against eventual winners, the Bulls, and a dominant performance against the Abu Dhabi Falcons. Their only defeat was a narrow loss to the Dubai Dragons by just three points.
In a match postponed since poor weather washed out the June Grand Final date, the premiership decider for the CNFA was played two weekends ago with the reigning premiers – Paris Cockerels – taking on the Stade Toulousain team from Toulouse.
It is unusual, and totally due to climate, that a Grand Final becomes the beginning of a season, but that is almost how things have worked out with the flag now decided and Round 1 of the 2019/20 CNFA season starting next weekend.
The match was almost played in two halves. The Cockerels were favourites heading into the match, but they were shocked early. According to the AFL Europe website, Stade Toulousain came out and “started to get on top with their ball movement as they started to control the match with their physicality and long kicking game style.”
Michael Gallus was asked if there was one word that could describe his recent trip to the footballing heartlands of Pakistan. He answered, “simply extraordinary!” Sadly, for Michael, that’s two words, so he doesn’t win that lovely lounge suite. However, he did win the hearts of Pakistan communities across the country, and he won many converts to our great game.
Michael has just returned from a monumental promotion of Australian football on behalf of the AFL. As previously reported by World Footy News (see Operation: Pakistan), Michael accepted the invitation from AFL Pakistan and gained assistance from Simon Highfield, the Development Manager for AFL Asia, to tour the nation and work with local people to identify ways that game could be further developed.
The St Petersburg Cats have added another trophy to their ever-growing cabinet by taking out this year’s first ever Baltic Cup to be played in Tallinn, Estonia. The event saw teams from Russia, Finland, Sweden and Poland compete for the honour of being the best Baltic team.
The Cats and the Russian Bears headed to Tallin to meet the Helsinki Heatseekers from Finland, Norrtälje Dockers from Sweden and the newly formed Polish Devils. In the end, after 10 round matches, it was the Cats team which took the title from the Dockers, benefitting from the tie-breaker clause which said that if two teams tied in top spot, the victor would be whichever team won from their earlier encounter.
An audacious question from the Essendon Football Club during the second day of Trade Week could see Collingwood's cult hero, Mason Cox, change his American Pie stripes for a Bomber sash. News today from AFL House revealed that Essendon had asked the question of Collingwood as to whether a deal could be cut involving a future draft pick.
Essendon is on the hunt for tall forward players to replace the likely departure of their own hero, Joe Daniher, who may be on his way to the Sydney Swans. Essendon has a shortage of ruckmen and faces losing their best key forward in Daniher. It seems logical that Cox be asked about as he has played both roles in his 58-game (71 goal) career with the Pies.
The move isn't being wholly embraced by Bomber fans, though that won't be in the minds of Essendon recruiters.
In reality, it is probably too early to claim a resurgence after a single round of football. Nevetheless, after the opening NTFL Round on the weekend, three teams signalled that they are seeking bigger and better things out of the 2019/20 season. Whilst the Nightcliff Tigers started well in their bid to defend its premiership title, St Mary’s, wanderers and the Darwin Buffaloes all took steps to rectify last season.
In the season opener, the Darwin Buffaloes trounced the Tiwi Bombers. After finishing fifth last season with just eight wins (and only twice reaching 100 points in a match) the Darwin Buffaloes limped to the end of the season with successive hidings from Waratah. The Tiwi Bombers reached the Preliminary Final. So, their 113-point caning of the Bombers was as much an upset as a statement.