It seems like just a few weeks ago when the DC Aguilas defeated the Bogota Bullants to win the inaugural AFL Colombia premiership. In fact, it was. However, the format for the first season of competition in Colombia sees two mini seasons within the one calendar year, and part two is about to get under way.
The competitions in Colombia are very heavily built around the growth of the national team – the Bogota Bulldogs. The first season (completed just a month ago) saw the drafting of local and ex-pat talent to the three local clubs (Aguilas, Bullants and Bombers) to form a national competition where players could develop and the best would be selected to represent the nation in the Bogota Bulldogs team.
The Bulldogs will fight to retain The Andes Cup against the Santiago Saints from Chile mid-way through this next season. There is also the chance to play in an 18 per side match at season’s end and possibly play in another yet to be defined international match, so performances across this second AFL Colombia season will be important.
Our AFL Asia correspondent Yoshi reviews the IMPACT Invitational Cup Tournament held last weekend in Osaka.
On Saturday, July 7th, the Osaka Dingoes created club history by hosting two international teams as well as 2 Tokyo based AFL clubs for our first ever IMPACT Invitational Cup Tournament held at the Canadian Academy in Kobe. It was the first time for the club to invite international footy clubs.
It had rained heavily in the Kansai Region the previous two days before the tournament and travel chaos occurred the day before causing train and bus services to be cancelled. Even I got a weather warning about the landslides around my apartment on Thursday night. An evacuation order was made by the Kyoto City Council that sent me to a nearby former primary school building for a sleepover.
Both the England Dragonslayers and Vixens have named their squads for October’s 2018 Euro Cup in Cork. Following an intensive selection, both sides will be looking to retain the titles they won last year in Bordeaux, and have named squads bursting with talent ahead of the tournament later this year.
England Dragonslayers captain Matt Whiteley says that there are “match winners in every position” in the squad. “After coming through two selection events the squad is made up of a good blend of experience and newcomers,” he continued. “Every player has a massive part to play in the retention of the Euro Cup.”
With just two rounds left to play before the AFL London finals begin, the West London Wildcats have announced their intentions to capture the flag. Their two goal win against the Wandsworth Demons sees them now sitting on top of the ladder, but with a significant psychological advantage.
It has been a tight contest for much of the year between the Wildcats, Demons and to a lesser degree the North London Lions. But, as the business end of the season has approached, the Lions have fallen off the pace somewhat, leaving the Demons out in front just ahead of the Wildcats. Now that has changed.
In terms of ladder position, the Demons will probably reclaim top spot, with their remaining matches against the Swans and Hawks likely wins. The Wildcats play the Swans before a bye. However, ladder position means little in big matches – form does.
After a great weekend for the Galway Magpies in Belfast, they now sit in second place on the AFL Ireland ladder. As a result of enjoying two wins for the day against the Leeside Lions and South Dublin Swans, the Magpies have joined the Lions on three wins for the year, but have just inched ahead of for and against. It puts the Magpies in a great position to fight for second place after the final rounds of matches are completed.
The Magpies turned their season around dramatically after downing the Swans by 20 points before taking on the Lions and inflicting a 70-point hiding on the reigning premiers.
It was also a huge day for the host team, the Belfast Redbacks. Having won both of their matches on the day, the Redbacks now sit undefeated for the season with seven wins. Finals are always a different beast, but the Redbacks have displayed an air of invincibility this season and will enter the final round and finals series as raging hot favourites for the 2018 flag.
Just a couple of rounds ago the Nottingham Scorpions had forfeited a match and were sitting in second last position on the AFLCNE ladder. Fast forward to last weekend and, courtesy of a forfeit by the Merseyside Saints and a tough win the week before against the highly fancied Wolverhampton Wolverines, the Scorpions are looking set to be the Manchester Mozzies biggest obstacle.
According to the AFLCNE, “with two rounds to go Manchester have won the minor premiership and look on course to retain the flag. However, with Nottingham strengthening their ranks recently they [the Mozzies] may not have it all their own way.”
Should they get through to the grand-final, the Scorpions would set up a third consecutive clash for premiership honours. After defeating the Wolverines two weeks ago in a tight battle by just 11-points, the Scorpions have reaffirmed their standing as the most likely challenger – though the race is far from over.
It was a day to remember in Northern France on Saturday, when the inaugural Robert MacTier Cup took place in Péronne to mark 100 years since soldiers liberated the town from German occupation in 1918.
On a weekend that meant much more than just a football contest to all involved, players, officials and supporters embraced the friendly community to honour the heroics that took place in the small town all those years ago.
Arriving on Friday, many players took the bus from London crossing the French border before arriving in Péronne for the jumper presentation at the local Town Hall.
PNG young gun Hewago Paul 'Ace' Oea was recently signed by the Gold Coast Suns to an International Scholarship giving the club first rights to sign the footy prodigy at the 2019 AFL Draft. The AFL Academy listed Oea starred for PNG at the 2017 International Cup and was named best on ground in the Grand Final at the MCG.
The following video is from the Gold Coast Suns telling of Ace's time at the club so far.
It may have read a 64-point defeat on paper, but the weekend’s loss for the West Lothian Eagles against the powerhouse Glasgow Sharks could be their most telling sign of improvement. In their second last developmental game of their inaugural season, they achieved a competitive double – preventing the previously rampant Sharks from posting a cricket score and managing to find enough avenues to goal to have 21 scoring shots.
Often, a late season match against a premiership favourite for a team with no finals prospects has crime scene written all over it. However, the Eagles have plenty to play for and were determined not to be intimidated by the Sharks. When the dust settles at season’s end and the review of the Eagles’ development year begins, their competitiveness against all teams will be a key factor in their future.
They can rightfully go into their final match in two weeks’ time against the Tyne Tees Tigers with a very real prospect of finishing the season with a win.
This weekend in London, the annual London Pride Parade takes place and AFL London and its teams will be there in all the colours of the symbolic rainbow to celebrate. The clubs themselves have outdone themselves this year with a dazzling array of jumpers and club logos which represent the league’s and the club’s commitment to the LGBT community. The following article from AFL England at www.aflengland.orgdetails the event from the AFL London perspective. An exciting assortment of club logos can be found at the end of this article.
Each June, LGBT Pride Month attracts millions of participants around the world. AFL England wants to recognise and celebrate the part that LGBT people play in the footy community, both in England and around the world.
This year, AFL London will become the first AFL league to march in a pride parade, as they take part in the Pride in London festival on July 7th, with the weekend also being marked by a special ‘Rainbow Round’ of fixtures in the capital.