The following is a press release from AFLNT about this weekend’s Michael Long Cup, being played in Darwin. This competition is a major part of the development process for Northern Territory junior footballers, and gives an opportunity for young players to bring their talents to a greater stage.
Being part of the Long Cup is a goal for many of our remote and city based juniors, and as part of Round 4 of the TIO NTFL this weekend more than 300 talented 13 year olds will participate in the annual event.
The Long Cup is the most significant junior talent event on AFLNT’s calendar, providing Under 14 players from all over the Northern Territory the opportunity to compete against the most outstanding players from the age-group.
The Northern Territory and Northern Queensland have featured prominently in the AFL Premiership 2015 fixture released today. Whilst Alice Springs has lost an NAB Challenge match, it has retained a premiership fixture. Meanwhile, Darwin and Cairns will again host their now traditional AFL fixtures in July.
Last year the people of Alice Springs were treated to two AFL matches. The Melbourne Demons hosted Geelong in the NAB Challenge before a premiership match between Melbourne and Port Adelaide later in the season. For 2015, the Demons will again play host to Port Adelaide, this time for premiership points on the 30th May at TIO Traeger Park.
This provides another tremendous opportunity for the people of Alice Springs, and all across central Australia, to watch an AFL Premiership match. Over 5000spectators attended last year’s premiership match and the AFLNT would be hoping to increase that number in 2015.
The North Queensland city of Townsville will host its third NAB Challenge AFL fixture in 2015. With the release today of the AFL’s 2015 NAB Challenge fixture, the people of Townsville and across North Queensland will look forward to the match at Tony Ireland Stadium on Sunday 1st March.
In 2015 it will be the Geelong Cats making the trek north to meet the Gold Coast Suns. The inaugural match in 2013 saw the North Melbourne Kangaroos make the journey, whilst in 2014 it was the Brisbane Lions that visited with a one off Queensland derby.
For the Gold Coast Suns it strengthens their connections to North Queensland. As well as having played AFL Premiership matches in Cairns since 2011 (and a VFL match in 2010), the NAB Challenge matches in Townsville have been a welcome addition to the roster of high performance football played in the region.
St Kilda and Carlton will play in Wellington in the opening game on Anzac Day next year, which marks the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli.
The match will start at 1.10pm local time (11.10am AEST), meaning it will coincide with the Anzac Day marches that take place in each capital city around Australia.
It will be the first of five matches to be played on Anzac Day next year, which falls on a Saturday, and comes with the agreement of the Victorian RSL after discussions with the AFL.
As our two countries look ahead and unite for such an important day, we acknowledge the historical significance of the Australian and New Zealand relationship,” Saints CEO Matt Finnis said.
“This game gives our supporters a time to remember in a place they will never forget.
St Kilda is set to be further entrenched as New Zealand’s AFL team of choice, with the club to hold its High Performance Training Camp and AFL Australia Post Community Camps in the country.
With NZ born Shane Savage on their mainlist and Joe Baker-Thomas and Giovanni Mountain-Silberry both on AFL International Scholarships with the Saints they are really endeavouring to position themselves as NZ's number one team to support.
The Saints playing list will be spread over Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch for three days as part of the AFL Australia Post Community Camp from December 1-3 before the squad meets in Queenstown to complete its High Performance training camp.
The Irish Independent newspaper reported last week that the deal to sign Pearce Hanley’s brother, Cian, will still go ahead. The likelihood is that paperwork will be lodged before the end of this month after in-principal agreements had been put in place back in September.
According to the newspaper, “Mayo minor star Cian Hanley looks set to join his brother Pearce at the Brisbane Lions. The teenager is expected to join the Aussie Rules club as an international rookie despite suffering a serious knee ligament injury in Mayo's All-Ireland minor semi-final defeat to Kerry 11 days ago.”
“Lion’s Football Manager, Dean Warren, said the injury was a setback but did not alter Brisbane’s plans to bring Cian to Australia on an International Rookie contract when the players return from their annual leave.”
The second annual AFL Europe Algarve 9’s tournament was again held in Vilamoura, Portugal, on the weekend. The Algarve is the region in the far south of Portugal, on the Atlantic Ocean, and is a tourism mecca with some stunning coastal scenery. It is also a new home for Australian Rules football after holding the 9’s event for the past two years.
Last year’s winners, The Flying Dutchmen, the Netherlands (DAFA) national team returned to the scene of last year’s success hoping for back to back titles. But it wasn’t to be. This year the team from Portugal took the honours.
Kernahandles (Lisbon Dockers) 147 d Flying Dutchmen 52
The Irish Independent newspaper reports that Kildare product, Sean Hurley, will join the club for the 2015 season. Almost buried under the activity of Free Agency and Trade Week, the news is welcomed by the Dockers’ community.
According to the Independent, “Kildare footballer Sean Hurley is the latest footballer to try his luck Down Under by signing for AFL side Fremantle. Kildare manager Jason Ryan confirmed that the Johnstownbridge player will not be part of the senior panel next season.”
“Hurley made his debut for the Lilywhites in 2011 and participated in the draft combine two years ago. He had a trial with the Dockers at the end of 2013 but is now hoping it will be a case of second time lucky.”
The Madrid Bears Australian Football Club has hosted an international match over the weekend with the Manchester Mosquitoes headed south for a visit to Spain. The match was played at the Rugby fields at the Autonomous University of Madrid (AUM – Universidad Autonoma de Madrid).
For the Madrid team, the opportunity for some of their players to play another competitive match so soon after the Euro Cup in London would be invaluable for the game’s progress in the country. For the Mozzies, they would still be riding on the crest of a wave after winning the AFLCNE premiership just a couple of months ago.
On the day it was the Manchester Mosquitoes that were far too accomplished for their Spanish rivals.
Final Score: Manchester Mosquitoes 17 12 114 d Madrid Bears AFC 2 7 19
The Farum Cats have played off in ten of the past eleven Grand Finals in the Danish Australian Football League, for seven premierships, including the last four in a row – the last three of which have not included a single Australian player in the team. One of the club's founders, Ian Hill, takes a look at the history of the club and how their domination of the league has come about.
The Farum Australian Football club was first formed in the 1994-1995 DAFL off-season. Jim Campion and I had been playing for a few years with Copenhagen-based clubs in the league which was at the time mostly all about the three big-city teams based in the Danish capital. Farum is a regional town of 20,000 people located 20 kilometres north-west of central Copenhagen. Jim was living there (still does) and I was working there and living 12 kms further west in a small village called Slagslunde (still do). The commute to Copenhagen for training and games was not unreasonable, but in that off-season, Jim and I thought we would have a go at starting a new club in Farum (the actual reason behind it all is another story in itself).
The team was originally called the Farum Lions. There was a soccer team in Farum wearing red, yellow and blue at the time. That, and the FFC logo amounted to a synergy which led us to select the Fitzroy jumper and emblem, ignoring the fact that the AFL Lions were in their death throes at the time.
The Footy players from Bengal had not yet gotten over the festive spirit when they were served up another delightful treat. They got some true Aussie Footy flavour as 4 of the finest Footy players from Essendon Football Club of the AFL came down to have a joint training session with the players at Bongaon, West Bengal. The training was a part of the club’s ‘Embracing India’ initiative and true to its name, Joe Daniher, Dyson Heppell, Zach Merrett and David Zaharakis embraced the occasion in style.
Around 200 enthusiastic players from Bongaon, Kolkata, Howrah and Khardah turned up for the chance of a lifetime. Some had made a 10hr long round-trip to attend the training and their efforts did not go in vain. A few players had even made the trip from Ranchi, Jharkhand to grab this opportunity. The players were put through their paces Aussie style, and their skills with the Footy impressed even the professionals. “I was really surprised how many young boys and girls turned out for the AFL India super clinic," Daniher said."They had some pretty impressive skills. Zacka and I took them through a few drills and they didn't miss a beat, we might have even met the next Dyson Heppell or Jobe Watson today."
Kevin McSorley, Development Officer for Australian Rules Football League Ireland (ARFLI), has taken the game of Australian Rules football and transformed it from simply a sport to a subject of study, opening the game up to a legion of students. The club he has established in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland, has used the Start-up Club Program (SCP) grant to attract interest (and recruitment) to the game through an entirely different medium – education.
“The NRC Eagles are the college team of North Regional College, a technical college for students aged 16 plus. The team had competed in the Fitzpatrick Cup but my direction is focused more on skill development and game understanding than competition as the other similar teams in Ireland, such as DCU and UCC Bombers, are university teams meaning my students in the 16-20 year old bracket (mostly 16-18 years old) would be competing against much older players.”