Riley Beveridge reports on the www.afl.com.au website the deal that will see the Port Adelaide Power and St Kilda commit to China for another three years. With new teams and leagues continuing to grow across Asia, the news will be welcomed as the centrepiece to future Asian development from grass roots to elite levels.
PORT Adelaide has struck a deal to take on St Kilda in its annual China clash from 2019 and beyond, with the two sides confirming a three-year agreement on Thursday.
Gold Coast had been Port Adelaide's opponents in Shanghai over the past two seasons, with the first home and away game played on Chinese soil back in the 2017 campaign.
However, the Saints will replace the Suns in 'hosting' a match at Shanghai's Jiangwan Stadium, which has a capacity of around 11,000 people for AFL matches.
Next year's match will be played on a Sunday in round 11, with the AFL confirming that the two sides will again have the bye the following week as they return to Australia.
The opening round of footy in Germany (AFLG) got underway on the weekend. The Berlin Crocs hosted the round robin that saw them up against the Rheinland Lions and the newly renamed Zuffenhausen Giants (formerly known as the Württemberg Giants).
Zuffenhausen, like Württemberg, is a part of suburban Stuttgart with the base for the club now in the north of the city (Zuffenhausen) rather than the east (Württemberg).
After going down to the Hamburg Dockers in last season’s AFLG Grand Final, the Crocs were determined to get their year off to the best possible start. They succeeded with big wins over both teams. Already the Crocs have made it clear they want to exorcise the demons of 2018’s premiership defeat.
From the earliest days of Australian Rules football in India, one young man has dedicated his time beyond expectations to help grow the game. Sumesh Sawant (also known to some as Sumesh Bond) has been involved as a player, coach, official, teacher and so many other roles and he is only 24 years old.
When I spoke to him a few years ago, Sumesh said he fell in love with the game when introduced to is as a teenager, mainly because of the athleticism and strong body contact involved. He also loved learning the skills, but especially loved the team aspects of the game, and has made many of his friends today from his involvement in the game.
Whilst there are times where the unification of all footy parties in India could be questioned, there is no questioning Sumesh’s commitment to the game. He has been a constant conduit between the kids and players from many sectors of Indian communities and the organisations running the game. His own infectious enthusiasm has been spread to others, helping grow the game in India.
(Picture: Sumesh with then AFL India President Sudip Chakraborty in 2013)
History was made last week in Bogota when the first ever women's footy match was played in South America. In a prelude to the opening AFL Colombia match between the Bogota Bombers and Bogota Bullants, each team fielded a first ever women's team.
For the record, the game was a thriller with the Bombers holding on to defeat the Bullants by two points. The final score saw the Bombers 2 6 18 defeat the Bullants 2 4 16. The following link shows the first women's goal kicked in South America.
In a match that was well off the radar with attention across Europe firmly turned towards the Champions League in Amsterdam, the Zagreb Hawks from Croatia extended their hand to the Bulgarian city of Sofia.
After an 800-mile journey from Croatia, through Serbia and into Bulgaria, the Hawks got the chance to play a match against the Sofia Magpies. Rather than fly, the team travelled cross-country in two vans for the historic occasion.
The Sofia Magpies are the lynchpin of the AFL Bulgaria brand. Already the club has a strong connection to the Port Adelaide Magpies in the SANFL, and by extension the Port Adelaide Power, with the Magpies donating a set of the traditional “prison stripes” Port Adelaide jumpers for the Sofia team to play in.
Nik Constantinou has a dream. He wants to be a punter in American football, and is well on the road to that dream.
We see a great deal written about the journey other “cross coders” have made in leaving their homes overseas to try their hand at Australian Rules football after having played a range of sports including Gaelic Football, soccer, basketball and many more. We have also read about the drive to do so and the reasons behind the attraction.
But we rarely, by comparison, read about the motivation of Australians who do the reverse: leave behind a life in Australian Rules football to go to the United States of America to give punting a go in American Football (Gridiron – maybe NFL).
Nik has shared some of his insights into a journey he has commenced to chase a relatively new dream – but a dream just the same.
The AFL Europe Champions League tournament was played this weekend in Amsterdam. The West Clare Waves from Ireland continued their dominance, winning back-to-back titles in the women’s draw.
In the men’s draw it was a changing of the guard as the West London Wildcats were usurped by the host nation’s Amsterdam Devils. The Wildcats have been the only previous winner of the men’s draw, winning all four previous events staged since 2015. Now the Amsterdam Devils are champions and the toast of the Netherlands Aussie Rules community.
The 2019 Champions League featured 23 teams (15 men’s and 8 women’s teams – an increase on the 2018 teams) and was played with seeded groupings.
In the men’s draw, the Amsterdam Devils downed the Belfast Redbacks whilst the West Clare Waves defeated the Wandsworth Demons.
Now that the pre-season action of the Rebel Shield, Leprechaun Cup and this weekend’s AFL Europe Champions League in Amsterdam are done, the eyes of Ireland will turn to the new AFL Ireland domestic seasons.
The draw for the 2019 men’s season was released this week. In a revamp of the competition, each round will return to two venues with two home teams, replacing the more recent format of small round robins hosted by clubs across Ireland.
The release of the women’s 2019 season draw will follow soon.
The new AFL Colombia season has begun and the flagless Bogotá Bombers got away to a perfect start, downing the Bogotá Bullants by 15 points to draw first blood for 2019. The following report comes from the Bogotá Bulldogs/AFL Colombia.
The 2019 CAFL season opened on Saturday with the Bogotá Bombers emerging 15-point victors from a tightly contested clash with reigning premiers, the Bogotá Bullants.
The contest began as a scrappy affair, neither side making the most of their chances, and a tug of war in midfield. CAFL debutante Angela Toro and Fernando León led the way for the Bombers, while last year’s league Best and Fairest winner (check this) Yesid Gonzalez and Dominic Fuentes matched them for touches. The Bombers struggled to a narrow seven-point lead at the first break, having kicked a wasteful 2.4 to 1.3, the Bullants’ lone goal coming from a lovely left-foot snap by Camilo Vinasco.
Round 3 of the 2019 AFL Season kicks off tonight (Melbourne time) at the Adelaide Oval with Adelaide hosting Geelong. US viewers will be able to see Mason Cox, now able to play since his rough conduct charge was downgraded to a fine. His Magpies will play the West Coast Eaqles at the MCG at 04:00am Saturday morning EDT.
The full international broadcast schedule for the round can be seen below.
In addition to the TV networks you can also subscribe to the Watch AFL service that will give you live access to all the matches and more (outside Australia only).
The AFL Tribunal will sit tomorrow night, Tuesday April 2 5pm (Melbourne local time), to hear the charge laid against Collingwood’s Mason Cox.
Mason Cox, was charged with engaging in Rough Conduct against Dylan Grimes, Richmond during the fourth quarter of the Round Two match between Richmond and Collingwood, played at the MCG on Thursday night March 28, 2019.