Such a glittering array of international cities could potentially play host to International Rules matches if Alastair Clarkson’s push gathers any steam. If “The Big Apple’ can be considered a potential host city, as well as Boston, then other cities across Ireland and Northern Ireland, such as Belfast and Cork, could equally be considered. The Australian coach has ignited discussion about the future International Rules venues, but the debate is as young as the renewed interest in the game. The following is an excerpt from an article on the afl.com website, written by Alex Malcolm.
(Left: Australian Coach, Alastair Clarkson)
Following the success of the one-off Virgin Australia International Rules Test in Perth, the concept is ready to be unleashed on New York or Boston, Alastair Clarkson says.
Australia's victorious coach was adamant the series was well enough established to warrant taking the concept to the United States as early as next year.
Australia won the Cormac Mc Anallen Trophy in front of a sellout Patterson’s Oval by a 10 point margin. It was a welcome and highly successful return to International Rules football in Perth leading to unanimous calls for the competition to return to a two game series. Both the Australian and Irish contingent suggested it would be more satisfying and also fairer on the visiting team. Calls for the game to be taken to New York and Boston were greeted with enthusiasm by the Aussies but with less enthusiasm by the Irish.
The game had all the trappings associated with an international contest. On a somewhat balmy evening the towering lights of Subiaco highlighted the colour of the twilight game. Many Aussies joined the Irish fans in the pre-game buildup to provide a party atmosphere perhaps primed by the Irish Festival outside the ground. It was a complete success judging by the length of the queues for food and drink. The large crowd outside the ground streamed in late oblivious to the band Pseudo Echo playing inside.
There was a great deal to like in tonight’s International Rules test match between Australia and Ireland in Perth. The 10 point result would have pleased Australians, as would the huge Paterson’s Stadium crowd. No doubt the Irish fans, whilst disappointed by the result, would have seen something special in the team’s comeback and some outstanding individual performances.
But, from my vantage point I saw one outstanding aspect. Is Dustin Fletcher a new national sporting legend?
To put this question in some sort of perspective, Fletcher was not Australia’s best player tonight. Luke Hodge and Sam Mitchell were outstanding, as was Nick Reiwoldt. Conor McManus was Ireland’s best, but I did like some of the work from David Moran and Mattie Donnelly as well as former AFL player Colm Begley.
After an entertaining season in Christchurch in which all four Clubs recoded a win in the 9 rounds, the Mid Canterbury Eagles (2 wins) played the Eastern Blues (7 wins) in the Preliminary Final. It would have been a real surprise if had not been the Eastern Blues victorious, ready to challenge the Christchurch Bulldogs (8 wins) for the 2014 Flag.
Though the Canterbury finals were affected by player unavailability due to University examinations the Blues v Bulldogs Grand Final was a fitting end of season spectacle. The Blues hit the game in peak form with 2014 International Cup players Logan Toomer, Dan Benny and the hirsute Jared Court to the fore in the Preliminary. Another to star was the brilliant James Bowden, one of NZ’s flashier and more exciting players at the inaugural International Cup in 2002, who is still a very fine footballer.
Anyone who watched the Port Adelaide Power team in 2014 was left admiring their impressive ability to run out games. The Power were never dead in the water in any game, as their renowned ability to surge home left their rivals grasping at thin air.
Ask anyone why the club has improved so dramatically in just two years and two factors keep recurring: fitness coach Darren Burgess and their fitness camps to Dubai.
According to the Port Adelaide website “consolidation of the Power’s already strong fitness platform will be the focus of Darren Burgess and his high performance team this summer.
Port Adelaide will begin its preparations for season 2015 in earnest on Monday 17 November, when its 1-4 year playing group hits the track for a three-kilometre time trial. Among that group will be members of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 draft classes.
The University Blues will take on the Mt Roskill Saints at Colin Maiden Park from 2.00 on Sunday while the North Shore Tigers will be looking to avenge their one point loss last weekend with a rematch against the Waitakere Magpies, at Parrs Park from 2.00 on Sunday.
In round 10 of the AAFL the major contest of the round was between the Magpies and the Tigers, who sat 2nd and 3rd on the ladder going into the match. With home advantage for the semi final at stake, the Magpies were strong in the first quarter, taking an early lead. The Tigers piled on the defensive pressure, and with the wind advantage took a four point lead at half time. Only one goal came for each team over a slow grinding 3rd quarter, and the Tigers had 3 points and the wind going into the final quarter. However, the Magpies pulled off an incredible performance in the final quarter, kicking 4 goals into the teeth of the wind to snatch a 1 point win.
Wellington’s competition (WAFL) has continued to show progress this year. This is measurable through the number of junior footballers now coming from the Hawks Cup and playing in the local League. It is also apparent through the four Clubs all winning at least one game in the 6 round regular season and the weakest of the Clubs, the Wellington City Saints, seeing out the season and gaining numbers as it went along.
With no Preliminary Final the Hutt Valley Eagles finished third with 2 wins whilst the North City Demons with 3 wins will play against the undefeated Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs this weekend. Another measurable factor is the close result of the Wellington Rep side against Auckland in October and the excitement already evident about hosting the National Provincial championships in early December.
The North City Demons have a wealth of teenagers with many having played for NZ at underage level. These include Waylon Baker, Dylan Absalom, Sam Green, Alex Awatere, Lewis Gill, Jack Green and Hugo Phillips.
It’s been an exciting year for GIANTS community clubs around the globe. Nearly 20 clubs across Australia and the world wore the GIANTS colours in 2014.
For a club that’s only been in the AFL for three years this is a fantastic achievement and we want to spread the GIANTS name across the world.
The South East London GIANTS made the AFL London Grand Final for the first time but lost in a close match. The Zaprude GIANTS in Croatia came fourth in the CEAFL league which includes Croatian and Austrian teams while they came third in the Croatian National League.
Earlier this year, Jeremy Cameron’s home club of Dartmoor in south-west Victoria changed their name from the Swans to the GIANTS. It was an instant success with the senior side completing an undefeated season and winning the South West District Football League Grand Final.
Saturday night sees Australia host Ireland at Patersons Stadium in Perth for the one off International Rules Test for 2014. The match will start at 5.45pm Perth time and can be viewed on Australian television on the 7 Network. International Broadcast details can be seen below.
The AFL today announced the locations for the 2014/2015 Australia Post AFL Community Camps, with St Kilda Football Club to kick off the first camp in December on the Mornington Peninsula and then overseas in New Zealand.
More than 800 AFL players will take the game to regional and rural communities around Australia and New Zealand in the lead up to the 2015 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
AFL General Manager People Customer and Community, Dorothy Hisgrove said the Australia Post AFL Community Camps were about players giving back to the community and sharing with fans their passion for Australia’s Game.
A Victorian selection (mostly VFL players with some VAFA players thrown in) played the Irish International Rules team in a warm up for Ireland ahead of their Test match against Australia in Perth this coming weekend.
While the Australian team got together in Sydney to train with the round ball, the Irish made the most of the unseasonal cool wet conditions at Sandringham (a suburb of Melbourne). While there was a contest provided by the Victorians the Irish experience with the round ball allowed them to get plenty of scoring of practice including 9 goals in the net.
The newest team in the AFL Middle East competition, the BM Bulls, have added a new entry into their history books by winning their first official premiership match. In just a few short weeks of competition the Bulls have already impressed with their competitiveness, and are now adding victories.
In their outing at the Sevens Stadium in Dubai last week the BM Bulls were too good for their opponents, the Abu Dhabi Falcons. The final score saw a 28 point win to the new kids on the block, with a final score: