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Tuesday, September 23 2014 @ 05:48 PM ACST

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Brownlow Medal – Pearce Hanley’s stocks continue to rise

Australia
Measuring a player’s value solely on their Brownlow Medal votes is a highly inaccurate science and not entirely fair on players. But they can be used as a form of comparison over time, and in this area Brisbane Lions player Pearce Hanley is moving along a career path which has similarities to Jim Stynes.

Pearce Hanley polled nine votes at last night’s prestigious Brownlow Medal count. The award is given to the best and fairest player in the AFL based on the issuing of votes by the field umpires on a 3, 2, 1 basis for each game. Last night it was West Coast Eagles player, Matt Priddis, who won the award on 26 votes from Gary Ablett (22 votes) and Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin (22 votes) in equal second place. Fremantle star Nat Fyfe polled 25 votes but was ineligible to win due to being suspended by the tribunal during the season.

Pearce was a long way back in the field, but he has now polled 21 votes in his career, all over the past three seasons.
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AFL Cape York House in Cairns making dreams a reality

Australia

 

The following article by Paul Daley in The Guardian newspaper looks closely at the work done by Rick Hanlon and his team at AFL Cape York House in Cairns. Having been associated with Rick and his work since 2005, and coached a number of the kids now at Cape York House, I have a strong interest in its future as an establishment that can change the lives of young indigenous and non-indigenous people by developing not only the footballer but also the person.
 
In a recent interview of my own with Rick he discussed the hope that AFL Cape York House would grow beyond the indigenous student base it currently has and take on a more multicultural makeup in coming years, further developing the game and of course an even wider audience of young men.
 
This year saw the maiden season in the AFL Cairns competition for the Cape York Eagles, the teams for which the AFL Cape York House boys play. In their first season the Under 15 team won the premiership beating Pyramid Power. The Under 17 Colts team also reached the Grand Final going down to Port Douglas.
 
The following extract from Paul Daley’s article gives an insight into Rick Hanlon and the history and future of AFL Cape York House. 
 
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AFL Middle East – New teams, new dreams

Middle East

 

The new season for AFL Middle East is fast approaching with all clubs currently in pre-season training and making their plans for their assaults on the 2014/15 premiership. Last year the Doha kangaroos bought change and hope to all clubs when they defeated the Dubai Dragons for their maiden flag, and as a result all teams now know that anyone can win.

 

The new season starts with the Pre-Season Cup to be held in Dubai on Friday October 17th, before Round One kicks off in the first week of November. The season will see five rounds played either side of the Christmas/New Year break, with the Grand Final scheduled for March 20th in Dubai.

 

 

Matt Burn, General Manager at AFL Middle East, has provided an overview of all teams in their preparation for the new season.

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BM Bulls to change AFL Middle East landscape

Middle East
The new AFL Middle East season will return to a six team competition with the addition of a new club, the BM Bulls. For the past few seasons the Middle East competition has run with just the five clubs since the Bahrain Blues pulled out prior to the start off the 2012/13 season.

This will mean the Bulls will join existing clubs the Abu Dhabi Falcons, Doha Kangaroos, Dubai Dingoes, Dubai Dragons and Muscat Magpies.

According the Matt Burn, General Manager – Football Operations at AFL Middle East, “[BM Bulls are the] new team introduced to the competition for season 2014/15. The league was approached by Andy Campbell who said they had a full squad who were looking to start their own side in the competition. The league and all five clubs agreed that it would be good to introduce a sixth team to the competition. The Bulls are backed by Brookfield Multiplex [hence the BM] and 95% of the players are all employed by the business. They are the unknown side for 2014/15, so watch this space!”
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Norway’s Kenguru Cup comes to a dramatic close for 2014

Europe
The Norwegian Australian Rules football season came to a close earlier this month with the grand- final of the nation’s Kenguru Cup. This year, Oslo East proudly claimed the title back after the Ås Battlers won in 2013. But this season went down to the wire, not only on the big stage of the grand-final, but also in the final round of matches.

The final round of matches certainly provided the perfect excitement level. Going into the day, Oslo East were clear minor premiers, finishing three games ahead of the field. But the excitement would come in the battle between the Ås Battlers and Oslo West to see who would meet East in the grand- final. Mathematically, Oslo West could get there if they won both games on the day.

The Oslo derby remained hard fought as West tried valiantly to stay in the grand-final race, but they went down in the end by 19 points. Final score saw Oslo East 7 5 47 d Oslo West 3 10 28.
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Kiwi Kurt defending VFL title with Hawks

Oceania

Officially joining Hawthorn's list this season Kiwi Kurt Heatherley has at times looked close to selection for an AFL debut.  Particularly during periods where Hawthorn's defensive stocks were worn thin by injury and suspension.  But this has looked further away as the season wore on and Hawthorn gradually got their best defenders back on the park.

Heatherley has persisted in defence playing 13 matches this season with the Hawk's VFL affilliate side the Box Hill Hawks.  Box Hill won the 2013 VFL Premiership and now find themselves in Sunday's Grand Final against Footscray at Etihad Stadium.  Most of the attention in Box Hill's team selection has been on Cyril Rioli who will test his suspect hamstring in the VFL Grand Final (if Hawthorn defeat Port Adelaide on Saturday afternoon) with hopes of making it through and then playing in the AFL Grand Final the following week.  But our attention is well and truly on the selection of Heatherley who has been named on the half back flank.  

This selection alone is a huge reward for the young Kiwi who relocated as a schoolboy to Australia to pursue his AFL career.  It is also a huge credit to the talent identification and development pathways of AFLNZ. But to win a VFL premiership in his first season of senior football would be an even bigger acheivement and hopefully a tasty entree to an AFL debut in 2015.

 

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2014 Axios Euro Cup boasts record team numbers

Europe
Afl Europe has proudly announced that a record 21 teams are confirmed for the 2014 Axios Euro Cup to be held in London on October 4th at the London Irish Rugby Club. With confirmations now in from competing clubs, the day will feature 16 men’s teams and 5 women’s teams.

This is a huge increase on the 14 teams which attended last year’s event in Bordeaux, France.

For the 2014 event the men’s teams from England, Austria, Croatia, Spain, Norway, Italy, Ireland, France, Catalunya and the European Crusaders are returning to re-engage in battle from last year. Their numbers are boosted with the inclusion of the Scottish Clansmen, Flying Dutchmen from the Netherlands, The German Black Eagles, Welsh Dragons, Swedish Elks and Denmark Vikings.

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Football Australien – New Championnat de France almost here

Europe
The new 2014/15 season of the CNFA competition in France is almost here with the season to kick off in fine style. The Perpignan Tigers have re-joined the Championship League and they open the season with their clash against the Cergy Pontoise Coyotes at their home ground on October 11th.

The inclusion of Perpignan for the new season will see eight teams competing each round, cutting out the need for a bye, and showing the growth of the game in France as Perpignan have generated enough local interest to be a viable team again.

The other clubs going around again this season ate the already mentioned Coyotes as well as reigning premiers the Toulouse Hawks, their grand final opponents Paris Cockerels, the Bordeaux Bombers, Strasbourg Kangaroos, Montpellier Fire Sharks and the Lyon based ALFA Lions.
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PNG connections continue to grow in Cairns

Australia
Elliott Takolu (left) had held a dream for a very long time. Having fallen in love with the game of Australian Rules football back in his home city of Lae in Papua New Guinea, Elliott always wanted to get to Australia and try his luck.

After many failed attempts to get to Australia, usually through visa issues, Elliott finally made it this year. Even though he arrived well into the new season, he joined AFL Cairns club, the South Cairns Cutters. Living with a host family, Lance and Sue Dixon, Elliott finally played out his dream.

Cutters’ president Steven Begg was high in praise for Elliott’s commitment to the game and the club, as well acknowledging him as a fine young man. Steven was impressed in equal parts by Elliott’s attitude and application to his footy as well as his work off the field helping club and family in any way he could. It is this combination of ground-breaker and role model which Elliott will take back to Lae and use to inspire others to make the jump.
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Port signs reality TV Recruit

Australia

Port Adelaide tonight selected South Australia's Johann Wagner as the inaugural winner of Fox8’s ‘The Recruit’, guaranteeing him a place on the club’s rookie list for the 2015 Toyota AFL Premiership Season as a Category B player.

The Australian Pay TV channel Fox8 show had two potential international recruits Padraig Lucey (who featured for Ireland at IC14) and Mark Cisco (an Ameican who had previously tested at AFL combines) who performed well but did not make the final three.  

Wagner was selected at a special NAB AFL Draft meeting held in Melbourne tonight.

The winner was determined following a voting process involving all clubs ranking the final three Recruits - Queensland’s Bradie Foster, Victoria’s Chris Moreland and Wagner.

Left: Padraig Lucey.

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International Broadcast Schedule 2014 AFL Preliminary Finals

General News

Sydney host North Melbourne and Hawthorn play Port Adelaide at the MCG in this week's Preliminary finals with the winners headed for the Grand Final and the losers heading to the offseason.

The international broadcast details for both matches and highlights packages can be seen below.

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Geelong Cats sign Irish prospect Padraig Lucey

Europe
Irish Australian Rules footballer Padraig Lucey has been snapped up by Geelong for two years as an international rookie. As part of the Ireland Warriors men’s team at this year’s International Cup in Melbourne last month, Padraig has managed to catch the attention of recruiters in a couple of ways.

Not only has he been a contestant on the FOX 8 television show The Recruit, he has also come from a successful International Cup performance for Ireland. In his five games, Padraig booted 14 goals, including impressive bags of five against highly fancied Nauru and a huge six goals against France. He also featured amongst the best players for Ireland in many matches.

According to the Herald Sun article by Adam Baldwin, “Geelong’s ruck crisis is set to see it turn to an Irishman who was last week delisted from a reality television series.
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