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Monday, April 24 2017 @ 05:21 AM ACST

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Fijian AFL Star Breaking New Ground

Oceania
David Rodan was born in Fiji and left with his family to come to Australia when he was just three years old. He has become one of a small band of Fijian descent players in the AFL, a list which includes Alipate Carlile (Formerly with Port Adelaide), Nic Naitanui (WestCoast Eagles), Aaron Hall and Tom Nicholls (both Gold Coast Suns).

But Rodan is arguably the most successful Fijian player to date. A look at his record at AFL level bears this out. He played 185 games in his career over three clubs – starting with Richmond, then Port Adelaide and finishing with Melbourne. Over this time he amassed an impressive array of achievements including back to back Morrish Medals in the TAC Cup with the Calder Cannons (2000/2001), a grand final player with Port Adelaide in 2007, twice representing Australia in International Rules teams in 2008. He kicked 131 goals across his AFL career and polled 15 Brownlow votes, six of those in the 2007 season.
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South American Football On The March

South America
A new opportunity now exists for any club looking for something exciting, challenging and very different in their footy season. Why not head to Santiago, Chile, and take up a new offer from the Santiago Saints. The club is extending the invitation to clubs from the United States, Australia or even from across Europe to consider breaking new ground.

For that matter, their newest opponents, the Bogota Bulldogs in Colombia, might be very interested in saying hello at the very least.

Patricio Saavedra, president of the Santiago Saints, is excited, as is the whole club. According to Patricio, “we are launching an invitation to any other club in America, Europe or even Australia to come to Chile and play against us during that period with the idea to start the first International Aussie Rules Football championship of South America. Members of our club are very motivated for this season.”
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Cairns Footy Icon Awarded Order of Australia Medal

Australia

Rick Hanlon is an iconic name when it comes to the development of the game of Australian Rules football in Cairns and throughout Cape York and the Torres Strait islands. His influence has been felt far and wide, and many young men and women have benefitted from his vision, energy and determination. The following article from AFLQ (AFL Queensland) looks at Rick’s background and the amazing body of work which preceded the award over many years.

Cape York Regional Manager Rick Hanlon has been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal in today’s Australia Day honours for his services to Australian Rules Football. 

Following a successful Australian Football career in Tasmania, Mr Hanlon moved to Cairns in 1998 as the AFL’s North Queensland Regional Manager before shifting his focus to the Cape York region.

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Celebrating 100 years of Wanderers and Waratah

Australia

This weekend sees an historic occasion for football in the Northern Territory when two of the founding clubs clash to celebrate 100 years of footy in the NT.  The following media release from the AFLNT details the event and its significance.

 AFLNT Media Release

This week, in Round 15 of the 2016/17 TIO NTFL season the Wanderers Football Club and Waratah Football Club both celebrate their 100 year anniversary in a historic ‘Foundation Cup’ clash at Gardens Oval at 4.00pm on Thursday.

Other planned festivities for the week include a centenary ball and the naming of respective teams of the century on Friday for Waratah and Saturday for Wanderers. 

 

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Jharkhand Crows Take Out Indian National Championships

Asia
The 5th instalment of the ARFAI National Championship has been held in Howrah Maidan, Kolkata at the Sailen Manna Stadium. The event boasted 12 teams across two divisions, with the best 200 players from across the nation representing seven Indian states.

With VFL/AFL legend, Kevin Sheedy, on hand to promote the game in India and mingle with the excited players and personnel at the event, last weekend’s tournament was a huge success.

The AFL India Facebook page stated, “What an amazing three days at the AFL India carnival - the ARFAI National Championship 2017 - the 5th edition.”

“The Jharkhand Crows - Australian Football won both the titles for both junior and senior divisions in style.”
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Mackay To Have Its Day – Finally

Australia
The North Queensland city of Mackay sits on the cusp of a day of redemption. Last season the hopes of the local community were dashed by Mother Nature when a week long deluge of rain washed out their scheduled match at Harrup Park, the epicentre of Australian Rules football in Mackay.

Locals were disappointed when the unceasing downpours washed out the highly anticipated pre-season AFL match between St Kilda – featuring local hero, David Armitage – and the Brisbane Lions.

But this year the tropical city could be on the verge of one of the most exciting and important games of the pre-season. In a little over a month’s time, the Gold Coast Suns will take on the Essendon Bombers in a match where both teams have much at stake, even if it is the JLT Community Series rather than a premiership season match. Mackay effectively replaced Townsville as the northern Queensland centre for pre-season matches, but got off to a very wet and soggy start.
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UCC Bombers To Host 2017 Fitzpatrick Cup In Cork

Europe

It is now less than two weeks until the next instalment of the Fitzpatrick Cup, this year to be played in Cork and hosted by the UCC Bombers. The www.afleurope.org website has the following comprehensive write up of the event.

The 2017 AFL Europe calendar kicks off with a bang on Saturday 4th of February with the 4th edition of the Fitzpatrick Cup being hosted by University College Cork (UCC).

The ‘Fitz’ is a relatively new addition to the AFL Europe schedule with it first being run in 2013 to tie in with the International Rules Series held in Dublin between Australia and Ireland.

 

(Picture: UCC Bombers ready to host 2017 Fitzpatrick Cup - AFL Europe)

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GB Bulldogs International Appearances List

International Cup 2017

To enhance interest in the fortunes of the GB Bulldogs team for this year’s IC17 in Melbourne, the following list has been prepared to list all players to have had the honour of representing the Great Britain team. The following list is from the www.aflengland.org website.

 

The Great Britain Bulldogs have been involved in International Competition since 2001 and we’ve been trawling through the records to put together a full list of players who have competed for the Bulldogs in that period of time. With records going back to the AFL International Cup of 2002 below are the players who have represented their nation across time

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Bulls To AFL Middle East Grand Final

Middle East
In one of the closest ever battles to reach finals in AFL Middle east history, the Multiplex Bulls are the first team guaranteed to play in this season’s decider. The competition returned from its winter break with a double header with the top four teams in battles which would possibly decide their 2016/17 fate.

The first match saw a rampant Dubai Dragons go within an ace of guaranteeing their grand final spot when they downed the Abu Dhabi Falcons. Going into the match, both teams were in the mix, but the falcons are now out of contention with just one win from three matches and a poor percentage. The Dragons would have to be incredibly unlucky to fall from second place with a big percentage boost making them very nearly safe.
Final score: Dubai Dragons 17 10 112 d Abu Dhabi Falcons 4 8 32
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2017 National Diversity Championships In Sydney

Australia
After successive years being held in the tropics of Queensland, this year’s National Diversity Championships will move to western Sydney. Blacktown will become the hub of entertainment after Townsville hosted the event in 2016 and Cairns in 2015. It is the first time the event has been in New South Wales since being held in Coffs Harbour in 2014.

According to the http://www.afl.com.au website, “the National Diversity Championships encompass the National U15 Kickstart and the National U15 All Nations Cup. The 2017 National Diversity Championships will be held in Blacktown, Sydney from Saturday 8th to Thursday 13th of April.”

“The championships provide the pathway into our Flying Boomerangs and World Team programs.”

(Picture: Western Australia took out both titles in 2016)
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Londoners Barging Their Way Into Women’s Aussie Rules Football

Europe

Naomi Ackerman has reported on the Evening Standard website the “clamour to join London teams as hard-hitting game soars in popularity”. With the inaugural AFL Women’s league competition about to kick off in Australia on February 3rd when Carlton and Collingwood play the historic opening match, women’s footy is set to explode further across Australia and the world, and this article reflects that growth with a look at the growth in the game being experienced across London.

It is not a sport for the faint-hearted — but that appears to be the attraction as London women sign up in their droves to play Aussie rules football.

The game, which involves full-body tackles and running for about nine miles in a match, has been played by men in Regent’s Park for more than 25 years but now it has soared in popularity among women who “enjoy a bit of rough and tumble”.

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Afghan Refugee, Zimra, Flying High In Toowoomba

Asia

Late last year the ABC reported about a young girl in Toowoomba who was taking Australian Rules football by storm, and in the process taking apart cultural and gender stereotypes to be an amazing role model and inspiration for all young, aspiring football players. Here is the story of Zimra, as reported by Allyson Horn for the www.abc.net.au website.

Ten-year-old Afghan refugee Zimra Hussain is tearing up football fields across south-east Queensland, her hijab flying in the wind.

Zimra and her family are part of the Hazara, a group heavily persecuted in Afghanistan by the Taliban.

They arrived in Australia in 2014.

She played her first game of football less than a year ago, as a new resident of Toowoomba on the state's Darling Downs.

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