The 2017 instalment of the Tyne Tees Cup was played out in Newcastle this weekend. The tournament has been a great success since its inception a few years back, and this year was no exception with teams coming from Scotland (Kingdom Kangaroos) and London (Wimbledon Hawks women’s team) as well as a combined AFLCNE team with representatives from the Huddersfield Rams, Wolverhampton Wolverines, Nottingham Scorpions and Sheffield Thunder.
The men’s competition featured a round robin style format. Across the day, Round One saw the Kingdom Kangaroos down the Tyne Tees Tigers. Round Two then saw the AFLCNE combined team defeat the Kangaroos. The AFLCNE team then prevailed against the Tyne Tees Tigers, setting up a final against the Kangaroos.
One has to have some respect for those who write the draw for the AFL Middle East competition. Far from being a simple Team A v Team B and repeat competition, the Middle East throws up a unique set of challenges to have teams play matches once, much less for a whole season.
But the fact that they do so every year is evidence of the passion with which the people involved in the AFL Middle East competition operate.
Whilst four of the teams are located within the United Arab Emirates – the Dubai Dragons, Dubai Dingoes and the Multiplex Bulls are each based in Dubai and the Abu Dhabi Falcons are located 140 kilometres to the south-west. If it were just those four clubs thing might be relatively easy – but there is more.
It was only a few months ago – May to be exact – that the ALFA Lions became the toast of their home city of Lyon and French footy in general. Their success after just four years in the national competition was the stuff of legends and as the new season approaches they are ready once again to chase the ultimate prize.
The Coupe de France tournament commences in Paris this weekend and the Lions will be there. But a quick chat with the Lions’ crew puts this tournament into perspective for this club and their aims this year. “The Coupe de France takes place in Paris this weekend. This is good to start the season with this event as we can meet everyone and create a nice atmosphere for all the year.”
“There are six teams this year. Two teams from Paris, Cergy Pontoise, Toulouse, Bordeaux and us. It will be a really open [competition] as it often is at the start of the season. We know that teams like Bordeaux and Toulouse are becoming stronger this year.”
With the off-season done and dusted it is time for the teams of the CNFA national Australian Rules football competition to dust of the cobwebs completely and play some tough, hard footy. That commences this weekend with the Coupe de France getting under way. Six teams will hit the playing fields in Paris with the two local clubs – the Paris Cockerels and Paris Cockatoos – joined by near neighbour the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes.
Also journeying to the competition are the Toulouse Hawks, the Bordeaux Bombers and the reigning CNFA premiers, the ALFA Lions.
Like all pre-season competitions, the Coupe de France provides the opportunity for clubs to put new skills and tactics into place as well as gaining experience for players new to the game – as well as those who will just benefit from being under match conditions again.
The 2017 AFL Preliminary Finals kick off tonight at the Adelaide Oval with Adelaide hosting Geelong. Tomorrow afternoon Melbourne time, Richmond will host GWS. 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.
The VFLW is arguably the best competition for women in Australia outside the newly formed AFLW. This weekend their Grand Final will be played from midday at Etihad Stadium. The match will be shown live in Melbourne Channel 7 from 11.30am and covered on RSN Digital radio by the Girls Play Footy team from 11am.
Just over a month since the International Cup Grand Final Ireland’s Laura Corrigan-Duryea will represent Diamond Creek in the match, who on form should be overwhelming favourites in the match. Corrigan-Duryea and Irish Banshees team mate Clara Fitzpatrick both were on the winning side two week’s ago when they convincingly defeated the Darebin Falcons in the Qualifying Final at Piranha Park, Coburg.
Uncharacteristically for myself I'll get straight to the point. The AFL has a once in a generation opportunity to significantly boost world footy whilst at the same time add depth and colour to the AFLW, with a not unreasonable chance of even greater benefits down the track in terms of international representation for Australia's female footballers, all for virtually no cost.
The simple change - allow and encourage AFLW sides to add international rookies with no penalty to the number of players already on their lists.
The possible outcome - a pool of internationals ready to: boost the standard and colour of the AFLW, to promote the sport back home, to prove a semi-pro pathway exists, to one day provide opposition that will allow Australian women the chance to pull on an Australian jumper to play a true Aussie Rules international (a potentially alluring but difficult to quantify enhancement to AFLW).
The signs are that this opportunity will not be taken.
Below the case for the small but significant change is argued, including here and in part two we show the support by people from across the football spectrum, from the GWS Giants to a current AFLW player to an international captain and others involved in the game outside Australia.
With all due respect to the powers that be, this is a rallying cry to those that love the game, whether it involve male or female players.
Clubs and fans are the big winners with the release of the 2017/18 TIO NTFL Premier League fixture being announced by AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) today.
For the first time in the League’s history, there are 11 games scheduled for Friday night, with the majority scheduled at TIO Stadium, and a further three scheduled on the Thursday night and Friday afternoon of the Australia Day long weekend.
Clubs with a home ground will also enjoy one extra game on familiar turf with the disbursement of home games upped from five to six this season. The Tiwi Bombers will play two of their home games at Tracy Village, in recognition of the partnership forged between the two teams.
Night games in Rounds 1 and 2 of the 18 Home and Away rounds have been relocated away from TIO Stadium, as the final pieces of the refurbished light towers and change rooms are installed in time for the commencement of Round 3.
According to Marc McGowan at the www.afl.com.au website, the next Irish jet might be one David Clifford – a player who is turning heads in both Gaelic and AFL circles. But whether or not he considers trying Australian Football as a career option is up in the air.
IRELAND'S potential next great AFL export will perform in front of 80,000-plus fans on one of Gaelic football's biggest stages on Sunday.
Kerry's David Clifford, considered the Irish game's brightest talent in many years, will lead his county into battle against Derry as it chases an historic fourth-straight All-Ireland minor football championship.
The 18-year-old was at the heart of a war of words in May between former Gaelic star-turned-Sydney premiership defender Tadgh Kennelly and Kerry legend Tomàs Ó Sé.
Russian and Finnish football have added a new competition to their respective football calendars with the development of the Baltic Cup – this year played in St. Petersburg. The tournament featured teams from the Russian city playing against the Helsinki Heatseekers club representing Finland.
In a four-team draw, the St. Petersburg club fielded their Russian champions, the Cats, as well as a second team – the Northern Tigers which are a local club playing as part of the local St. Petersburg competition. They also added some played to the Leaders Rugby Club for a fourth team as did the Heatseekers. The tournament was played as a nine per side competition.
The Helsinki Heatseekers, fresh from having defeated the Vaasa Wombats to take the Finnish (FAFL) premiership two weeks ago, made the journey to the Russian city for the event. The St. Petersburg Cats also won the Russian Championship for 2017 with the Lazy Koalas unable to make the journey from Moscow to compete, therefore forfeiting the final leg of the Russian Championship to the Cats.
The Greater Glasgow Giants have etched their names in the AFL Scotland/SARFL history books by downing the Kingdom Kangaroos last month in the 2017 grand-final. The final scores saw the Giants win the match 18 9 117 to 11 13 79 by 38 points to win their first SARFL flag after three attempts.
The result either way would have made history, with the Kingdom Kangaroos also chasing their maiden premiership playing in their first SARFL grand-final. But the day belonged to the Giants, as they added their club name to the premiership honour roll.
The match started with anything but a Giants win on the cards. The Kangaroos stormed away to an early 40 to 9. By half-time, however, the Giants had clawed their way back to be on level terms at the main break, both teams locked on 49 points.