The AFL and Australia Post are pleased to announce the 2017 Australia Post AFL Multicultural Player Ambassadors which will include 19 AFL and AFLW players.
Female footballers Sabrina Frederick-Traub (Brisbane Lions), Darcy Vescio (Carlton), Helen Roden (Collingwood) and Akec Makur Chuot (Fremantle) will be joined in promoting some of the many diverse backgrounds in Australia’s game by Dayne Zorko (Brisbane Lions), Dyson Heppell (Essendon), David Zaharakis (Essendon), and Jake Kolodjashnij (Geelong), Adam Saad (Gold Coast SUNS), Tom Nicholls (Gold Coast SUNS), Stephen Coniglio (GWS GIANTS), Christian Salem (Melbourne), Majak Daw (North Melbourne), Jimmy Toumpas (Port Adelaide), Bachar Houli (Richmond), Aliir Aliir (Sydney Swans), Nic Naitanui (West Coast), Lin Jong (Western Bulldogs) and Jason Johannisen (Western Bulldogs).
When you think of sports in New Zealand, your mind generally goes to rugby union. The All-Blacks, the country’s national team, are the winningest team in any sport anywhere in the world. But Australia’s Oceanic neighbor is home to a small-but-growing community of Aussie rules footballers.
Footy was introduced to New Zealand in 1868, but the majority of the original clubs were eventually pressured or convinced into switching to soccer or rugby rules. Aussie rules was not seen as a sport that had staying power among Kiwis, and the game didn’t catch on for many decades.
On March 4th the annual West Midlands Charity Shield tournament took place, hosted by Wolverhampton Wolverines. Men’s and women’s teams battled it out to claim the first silverware of the season, all to aid the ‘Balls to Cancer’ charity – designed to raise money to battle Testicular Cancer in men.
According to the AFLCNE website, “as well as last year’s champions the Wolverines, [the day] will see the University of Birmingham (men’s and women’s), Huddersfield Rams, West London Wildcats and last year’s AFLCNE grand finalists Nottingham Scorpions (men’s and women’s) eager to make an early mark and give us a taste of what to expect this season.”
After having finished their 2016/17 season with the Palmerston Magpies, former Essendon players, Courtenay Dempsey and Alwyn Davey, have answered the call to assist the Cairns City Lions in the AFL Cairns competition. Both will line up for the Lions this weekend in the Lions’ round one fixture.
For Dempsey, the chance to play again in the AFL Cairns competition is a homecoming. A Cairns boy, born in Mt Isa and growing up in Cairns’ southern suburbs, Courtenay played junior football with the Cairns Hawks. Dempsey’s precocious talents were identified early on and his pathway took him via the Kenmore Bears club in Brisbane before being drafted by Essendon in 2005 where he went on to play 133 AFL games as a Bomber.
The 2017 Senior competition kicked off with 3 games. The Hon. Minister for Sports attended the opening and tossed the coin to launch the first game. The Opening round was sponsored by Capelle & Partners and Australian Aid.
Bulldogs vs Kangaroos
The first was the Grand Final replay between the Bulldogs and the Kangaroos. After a tight first quarter, the Bulldogs stepped up a gear in the 2nd and 3rd quarters with their star players in Niga Haulangi, Patrick Agadio, Deiri Cook and Nanitten Temaki leading the charge. Donatello Moses was lively up forward but it was Jose Uepa who normally play defence who was unstoppable in the forward line bagging a personal best of 6 goals. For the Roos, Mikey Hiram won plenty of the ball and he was supported by Jarmen Pole and Charles Dagiaro.
The dangerous Bronco Deidenang was their only shining light up forward kicking 7 goals. Recruit Skaga Dowabobo also performed well and held his own against Bulldogs ruckman Lennox Agege. In the end, the Dogs had more options and more winners across the ground running out comfortable winners by 38 points.
To the winners – congratulations! The Dubai Dragons are the deserved AFL Middle East Premiers for the 2016/17 season. They have built up across the season in preparation for the biggest day of all. In the process they have re-written history (again!) and set the bar for success to a height that may or may not be reached again. Nothing should take away the sheer joy of the Dragon’s success this year, and will not.
But, for a moment, spare a thought for the gallant Multiplex Bulls. For the third consecutive season they have been beaten in the grand final by the Dubai Dragons. Three times they have felt the heartache of a premiership defeat – more if you count their debut season loss to the Dragons in the pre-season cup. They will be hurting – all the more for the fact that the final margin was just six points. So near, yet so far. Justifiably, there will be some Bulls wondering if they can ever win a flag. But they can, and they will. Later.
The smallest island nation in the world, Nauru has a notable and sizable presence in the international Aussie rules community. With 680 registered junior and senior players out of a population of roughly 10,000, Nauru has the highest participation rate of any country in the world (30-35%).
That’s pretty impressive for a nation that is less than a century old and covers less than 10 square miles.
Nauru is a tiny phosphate rock island in the central Pacific, located just south of the Equator in the vicinity of several archipelago-nations, including the Solomon Islands, the Marshall Islands, Vanuatu and Kiribati.
They have been the titans of the AFL Middle East competition for the past three seasons – the Dubai Dragons and the Multiplex Bulls. Since arriving to the competition for the 2014/15 season, the Bulls haven’t missed a grand final. The Dragons are after an extraordinary five flags in six seasons. They have truly been the gladiators of the competition and tomorrow they meet again in the AFL Middle East Grand Final.
For the record, here are some stats that will matter. The teams have met in two premiership season grand finals – both won by the Dragons. They also met in two pre-season grand finals, with a win apiece. The Dragons hold the edge in total win/loss results. But, significantly, it was the Bulls that reigned supreme last time the two teams met – downing the Dragons by 34 points after a huge eight goal to one second half.
The European Crusaders team is on a mission. Slava Belov, the founder of the St Petersburg Cats in Russia, is also part of the management team for the European Crusaders for the upcoming IC17 tournament in Melbourne later this year. He is seeking players for the team and is scouring the world in pursuit of those who want to be a part of the honour and excitement.
According to Slava, “we are now gathering players for the Crusaders team for IC17. We want to give a shout to Europeans in Australia or elsewhere in the world who could possibly join the squad with the question “[are you] interested in heading to the AFL International Cup with the European Crusaders IC17?”
The Irish Banshees women’s team has had its initial list of selected players announced. More players will be added to the list in coming months, but for now the squad as it stands has been announced. Following is a release from the ARFLI Facebook page detailing selections to date.
The management and coaching staff of the Banshees are delighted to announce the updated list of Irish and U.K. based players who have earned their seats on the plane to Melbourne for IC17.
Despite the dubious reference to a Seinfeld episode, the Cairns Stingers AFL Masters team certainly were masters of Watson’s Oval in Cairns today. Hosting a North Queensland carnival today, attended by players from the Cairns based team as well as players from arch-rivals Townsville, Whitsundays, Charters Towers, Port Douglas and even from Mt Isa, the Stingers held aloft the trophy at the end of a fun day for the more “elderly” or maybe “slightly age challenged” members of the playing fraternity across North Queensland.
Frankly, these guys put others to shame. With the threat of tropical downpours, and humidity you could probably swim in, the Masters players defied conditions and played some good, hard footy.
A tropical low to the north-east of Darwin has seen the postponement of the remaining NTFL games scheduled for this weekend. Prior to the rain and cyclone warning, the Nightcliff Tigers 3 13 31 had defeated the Southern District Crocs 2 7 19 in very wet conditions. But the second semi-final between St Mary’s and Wanderers, as well as other divisions across the weekend will be rescheduled, throwing the NTFL finals series into disarray.
The AFLNT released the following statement in response to the warning of the potential cyclone.
TIO NTFL Games Postponed
AFL Northern Territory wishes to advise the Bureau of Meteorology has issued a cyclone warning and therefore the following games have been postponed: