Sometimes clubs die. That is an inevitability, just like businesses closing their doors. Economics, geography, changing populations, competition and even climate can conspire to cause clubs to gradually fade away until a humane solution is proposed. Put them down. Occasionally the decision is more dramatic, but more often than not, it is a slow death.
Sometimes clubs call their own end. Other times, the pressure comes from leagues, business connections or other powers calling shots. However, it doesn’t really matter where the call comes from. Once the club is finished, a hole is left behind.
On occasions, communities find ways to fill that hole and move on. Often, however, that hole cannot adequately be plugged and the communities that surround that club suffer.
The rumoured return of Cyril Rioli for the Tiwi Bombers did not eventuate, but the club still enjoyed a successful and exciting weekend with their first win of the season. Maybe the Bombers won’t need Cyril Rioli after all.
After two losses – as it turns out, to the teams now first and second on the ladder - the Bombers set about changing things and hammered on ten first quarter goals as the St Mary’s team looked on in awe. What should have already been a match-winning lead, however, was evaporated over the next two quarters as the Saints rallied strongly and had grabbed a narrow lead by the final change, having rattled on 14 goals of their own after quarter time.
However, the Bombers rallied when they needed it most and kicked five goals to two in a strong finish to defeat St Mary’s by 8 points. The win restored some order for the Bombers, whilst at the same time bring the Saints back to earth after winning their opening two matches.
The new French footy season got under way this weekend with matches in Paris and Toulouse. Whilst two of the results were not surprising, one was down in Toulouse. On paper, the Paris Cockerels, Paris Cockatoos and Bayonne Toreadors were first round winners. However, the games had more to say than that.
The Paris Cockerels were hosting the newcomers, the Antony Blues. It is unlikely that the Blues could find a harder initiation, yet they kept the Cockerels honest all day. The final margin was 40 points, yet that does not do Antony justice.
The Cockerels led by just a point at the first break after both teams kicked five goals. By the half-time break the Cockerels led by twenty points, but still hadn’t shaken the Blues off. Going into the final term, 30 points separated the teams and the Cockerels scrapped to edge further ahead by the final siren.
In another historic first for footy in Asia, the newest footy nation, Mongolia, have already gathered enough talent and numbers to undertake a journey to Japan to play the Osaka Dingoes. The two will be playing this weekend for the prestigious “Canine Cup” in the first of what is hoped will be a long tradition of games.
It is a massive undertaking for the travelling wolves to head as a team to Japan, but there would be a groundswell of confidence that the move will not just be successful in its own right, but open the door to continued growth of the game in Mongolia. The chance to create more international “friendlies” will become more real.
The Chilean champions, the Santiago Saints, have caused an upset of sorts by downing the titleholders – the Bogota Bulldogs – to win this year’s Andes Cup. The match, played for the first time outside of either competing team’s country, was played in Lima, Peru.
The Bogota Bulldogs acknowledged the Saints’ win on their Facebook page. “A huge felicidades to the Santiago Saints AFC for winning their first Andes Cup. We were pumped to field a majority non-Australian team for the first time and to have our Wujeres play with the commitment and passion we’ve come to expect from the doggies. Let’s hope both clubs continue to grow the great game in South America and we make it a little more competitive next time.”
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.”