Janet Boyle has written this inspirational story for The Sunday Post in Scotland which looks at the journey Ashley Palmer has taken from near death to a desire to one day play again. Once again, it is the courage of people like Ashley that put all forms of football back into perspective. Janet’s story at www.sundaypost.com tells of a young man who, despite what he had endured, still loves his West Lothian Eagles club and team mates.
Linlithgow sports fanatic determined to return to action after fighting back from horror car smash
When talented young sportsman Ashley Palmer suffered a serious brain injury in a car crash, his family feared his life was effectively over.
Left in a coma for six weeks, doctors feared he might not pull through.
Even as he regained consciousness, he was unable to speak.
Back in the 2010/11 season, the Nightcliff Tigers claimed the wooden spoon. With just three wins for the season and some horrible score-lines, the Tigers as a club knew things had to change. And they did. Since then they have been a perennial finalist but their next premiership has eluded them – possibly until this year.
On Saturday the tigers mauled the Tiwi Bombers in their semi-final. Not only does that see the Tigers through to the 2018/19 grand-final, they have also earned outright favouritism after dismantling the Bombers by 90 points on the weekend and having hammered the Southern Districts Crocs, also by 90 points, in the final home and away round.
For either of those teams to win grand-final day, it would take a massive form turnaround, and it is hard to see the Nightcliff crew relinquishing their dominance.
AFLW matches in Blacktown, Fremantle and Werribee capped off Round 5 of the AFLW all with consequences for the finals and setting the scene for a big finish in the final two home and away rounds.
Melbourne look to have ended GWS’s chances of playing in the 2019 AFLW finals with a big win over the Giants at Blacktown.
An even first quarter with the Giants looking dangerous up forward and Bonner and Bernardi looking dangerous. But the Demons drew away in the second quarter and continued to outplay the Giants around the ground.
Jack Banister from The Guardian has written an amazing story which plumbs the depths of how important football is to the people of the Tiwi Islands, north of Darwin. Built around the Tiwi Bombers club, playing in the NTFL, the story shows how sport can transcend into something far greater and noble than a mere contest. Sport has the capacity to change people and their lives in profound and far-reaching ways.
There is no word for suicide
The words are scrawled across the bottom of a whiteboard in the Tiwi Bombers’ changing rooms at Norbuilt Oval, 30km south of Darwin. The underdogs are preparing to play the second-placed Southern Crocs.
Overhead, rusty fans aren’t coping with the heavy January air. The benches creak, the showers leak. A small speaker pumps out upbeat saltwater R&B by a seven-piece outfit called B2M, which stands for Bathurst to Melville, the two main islands that make up the Tiwis.
The French footy season recommenced yesterday when the Paris Cockatoos made the journey south to meet the Bayonne Toreadors in the opening match of Round 5 of the CNFA Leo Lagrange competition.
Going into the round, both teams were in the mix for possible finals football, so a win to either team would be hugely valuable. After the Round 4 matches had been completed, all teams were still in the race for finals if they could find consistency over the remaining five rounds. A win in this match would certainly strengthen that team’s claims.
The Toreadors had already proven themselves to be highly competitive, with their maiden win against the ALFA Lions in Round 2 following their impressive debut match when they pushed the Paris Cockerels to a 20-point result.
The final round of the AFL Middle East 2018/19 season played out almost exactly as many predicted, with the Multiplex Bulls and Dubai Dragons winning their game comfortably to finish one and two. The Abu Dhabi Falcons lost, but still find themselves in the Preliminary Final, whilst the Dubai Dingoes will commence planning for next season.
Percentage was going to be the biggest determining factor of the weekend as top spot – and the transit straight to the grand final – would probably go to the biggest winner of the round. Bottom spot was more hinging on massive upsets but nevertheless went down to the final sirens.
In the opening match at Sevens Stadium in Dubai, The Dragons got off to the flyer they wanted in very ordinary weather conditions – wet and dusty. A five goal to nil opening stanza immediately chased away any upset result. The Falcons kicked two second quarter goals, but that would be it for them as they went goalless in the second half. Defensively, the game was different. The Dragons still managed to score and increase their lead, but never really cutting loose for a cricket score.
Lia Timson is Deputy Foreign Editor at Fairfax Media. The following story from Lia at www.theage.com.au looks at how the “Santiago Saints get their kicks in very Aussie way”. Her story brings the Santiago Saints back into the international spotlight after playing an almost secondary role to the Bogota Bulldogs in recent years as Colombian footy has grown.
This story also touches on the mechanics of a club behind the scenes and how they develop and exist many miles from the Australian Rules football heartland in Australia – how the ex-pat Aussies drive the game with the help of people from all over the world and locally in Santiago.
Santiago: What’s uniquely Australian but becomes global as soon as a bunch of Aussies get together on the other side of the world?
If you said AFL, welcome to the Chilean capital, where Australian rules is proudly played by expats from all states Down Under, as well as from France, the United States and Colombia. Locals join in too.
On a purely win/loss basis, the final round of the AFL Middle East season won’t have too many surprises. Based on season form (and barring remarkable upsets), the Multiplex Bulls should be too good for the Dubai Dingoes and the Dubai Dragons are unlikely to drop their game against the Abu Dhabi Falcons despite a narrow result last meeting.
The devil is in the numbers. If the Dragons absolutely hammer the Falcons, and the Bulls only just get home against the Dingoes, it is possible for the Dragons to grab the minor premiership and avoid an elimination final ahead of a possible grand final.
The Bulls hold a 6.5% lead over the Dragons on for and against, and will be keep to retain that and take the minor premiership.
The Abu Dhabi Falcons need only put in a serviceable performance in their match and either score an upset win or at least mitigate the scoreboard damage to play finals. What they don’t need is to fall apart at this hurdle and be wiped off Sevens Stadium by a cricket score.
Club founder, Elliott Takolu, is proud of his footy team. The Salamander Power club is based in Lae, north of the Papua New Guinea capital city of Port Moresby, and operates within its own small league – AFL Lae - well out of the glare of the rest of the football world.
Whilst it is known to some that footy is played as far and wide as Iceland, Chile, Myanmar, Uganda and many other exotic, far flung nations, this club which is close to Australia’s doorstep is almost anonymous.
Elliott tells the story by saying that “the club had been formed in 2008, fielding only Under 12, 13 and 15 boys. In 2009 and 2010 we decided to field Under 16 girls. Seeing interest grow from kids and youths we decided to field our senior men team in 2012.”
(Picture: Elliott and his 2012 Salamander Power premiership team)