Nick Bowen from the www.afl.com.au website reports that Essendon’s legendary coach has taken the initiative to push for his club to pursue an AFL match in India. With former head of football in India, Sudip Chakraborty, now at the club, there is a real possibility that the club could link with another to bring a match to the nation sooner rather than later.
KEVIN Sheedy will lead a contingent of Essendon officials to India as the Bombers seek to tap into the growing Indian community around the club and, longer term, eye hosting an AFL game on the subcontinent.
The Bombers' party will fly to Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, where they will attend the Indian AFL national championships, after which Sheedy will select the team that will represent India at the International Cup in Melbourne from August 5.
With less than a year to go until the next International Cup in Melbourne, nations are already making provisions to assemble lists and support personnel ready for the event. The GB Bulldogs provisional first list has just been released. Whilst predominantly made up of players in the AFL London and AFL Central & Northern England competitions, the list is also represented by players from Wales and Scotland.
Also featured are players now playing overseas in the Netherlands and Australia. Included in the list is Sam Willatt who will bring his experience to the squad after having been a part of the AFL’s Western Bulldogs/Footscray (VFL) powerhouse, with both winning flags.
But what about the rest of the world? If the Rest of the World were to play against any of the teams above, what is the best team they could muster? We have determined eligibility along the line of the International Cup eligibility rules and we have named the 2016 World Team (so this does not include foreign born but Australian raised players).
Irishman Pearce Hanley has been named captain of the 2016 team despite what was perhaps a below par year by his standards at the Brisbane Lions. He will of course hope to return to form in 2017 with his new club the Gold Coast Suns.
As with the International Cup the coach can be Australian but should have a strong link with international football. This year we have selected the coaches of the Indonesian Garudas that won the Indochina cup against China and Indochina in Vietnam.
In addition to those currently on AFL lists (including International Scholarships) we have named the o'hAilpin brothers who have dominated for a third year running in the Ovens and Murray Football League (and were formerly on AFL lists). Mick Finn the Irish International Cup captain continued his great form for Heidelberg in the Northern Football League in their premiership season and again has been selected. Also among the emergencies named are AFL Europe players Mikkel Kjoege, Sam Willatt and Josip Habljak who all made state league lists in Australia in 2016.
This team is intended to be an annual announcement, you can see last year's team here.
In a move which will see our great game reach more casual Chinese viewers than simply the attendance at the game, the AFL is negotiating with local Chinese broadcasters. It is hoped that the Gold Coast versus Port Adelaide match might attract an even larger market which, in turn, gives greater opportunities to grow the game in China. The following article from Matt Thompson at www.afl.com.au looks at this development for the historic game next season.
CHINESE broadcasters are in talks with the AFL to telecast next year's premiership season game in Shanghai to the local population.
Gold Coast and Port Adelaide will face off at the Jiangwan Sports Centre in round eight on Sunday May 14 in the first home and away game to be played in Asia.
The fortunes of the Irish men’s and women’s squads for the upcoming IC17 tournament in Melbourne next August are already on the rise with their announcement last month of the men’s Warriors squad. Selectors and team officials will continue to fine tune the squad over coming months in preparation. The women’s Irish Banshees squad will be announced in due course.
The Irish Warriors management team have today named an extended Ireland based training squad for the 2017 AFL International Cup. More players may be added in the weeks ahead depending on performance in the Winter Championship and arrangements are also being made for UK and Australia based players to train and have trials and these will be announced in the coming weeks.
After debuts by India at IC08 and then Pakistan at IC14 their Sri Lankan neighbours could be next to make their International Cup debut. A talent search and fundraising effort to bring a team from Sri Lanka to compete in the 2017 AFL International Cup is underway.
The organisers were recently interviewed on Channel 31 in Melbourne on the Sri Lankan Morning Show. They have conducted clinics in Sri Lanka to find the talent to fill out their team and have been assisted by players from Essendon (Courtenay Dempsey) and Carlton (Ed Curnow, Harry McKay and Jesse Glass-McCasker).
It took until their second match in the CNFA competition, but the league’s newest team, the Blagnac Aviators have tasted their first victory in the national league downing their Toulouse neighbours, the Toulouse Hawks, in the inaugural Toulouse Derby.
Whilst it is fair to say that the former CNFA powerhouse, Toulouse, have done much to ensure that their fellow city team succeeded quickly, nothing can take away the fact that Blagnac have already proved themselves capable of big things quickly in their own right. In their first game this season against the improved Bordeaux Bombers, the Aviators were competitive going down by 40 points.
With this victory, the Aviators now know that they belong at this level of competition and can build for this season and into the future with confidence. Their victory was also brave given a high injury toll, suggesting depth on their playing list.
Final Score: Blagnac Aviators 93 d Toulouse Hawks 68
Matthew Agius has reported on the Port Adelaide Power website, www.portadelaidefc.com.au , that a recent visit to China has the club better prepared and well placed ahead of the historic match against the Gold Coast Suns in Round 8 next season.
Successful China trip has Power well-placed for historic game
WHETHER it was Ken Hinkley taking on former world No. 1 table tennis champion Wang Liquin, presenting Australia’s game to a congregation of China’s leading media or educating Shanghai schools about Australian Football, Port Adelaide’s promotional tour last week was warmly received according to club CEO Keith Thomas.
Throughout November the AFL celebrated cultural diversity with a series of films focusing on the journey's of players from multicultural backgrounds. The following clip looks at the journey of Reuben William from the Brisbane Lions - a fascinating insight into how a kid born in Sudan has challenged himself to succeed at the highest level of Australian Rules football.
Michael Whiting from the www.afl.com.au website reports that Ireland’s most successful current AFL player, Pearce Hanley, has adjusted well to his new life with the Gold Coast Suns after being traded from the Brisbane Lions at the end of the 2016 season. The following report sheds light on Hanley’s decline at the Lions and his new lease of life down on the Gold Coast.
'Rejuvenated' Hanley confident of finding best form at Suns
EVEN before he's played a game, it's clear to see Pearce Hanley is a new man since moving to Gold Coast.
In his final season at the Brisbane Lions, Hanley was frustrated on-field and up-tight off it.
He'd been with the Lions for nine seasons after being recruited from Ireland – something he's eternally grateful for – but the club and player had fallen out of love.
An AFL Evolution is coming in 2017 when the AFL and the AFL Players’ Association release an exciting new video game featuring the best male players from the Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
AFL Evolution is currently in production with AFL licensee Tru Blu Entertainment and in conjunction with Wicked Witch Software. It will be available on next generation consoles PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC Steam.
Due for release in the first half of 2017, AFL General Manager Commercial Operations Darren Birch acknowledged the importance of video games as a tool to enhance entertainment for fans.