Andrew McGrath has been named the number one draft pick at tonight’s NAB AFL Draft, and in one of a number of quirks for the night, McGrath was born in Canada. He still holds Canadian citizenship and even speaks with a slight Canadian accent when conversing with Canadian friends and family.
The Bombers’ newest addition, and first ever number one draft selection, was born in Mississauga, near Toronto, and moved with his father’s new job to Australia when he was five. He took up footy in Melbourne largely because most other boys at school did also. The rest, as they say, is history.
Canada has proudly watched the career of Sydney Swans’ premiership ruckman, Mike Pyke, from a distance. But now they can claim a potential superstar, with McGrath effectively holding the honour now of the best young player in Australia, drafted as the first selection nationally.
Geelong's delisted International rookie Padraig Lucey looks like staying in Australia into next year whatever happens. He could be taken by another AFL club or even relisted by the Cats. But even if that doesn't happen, Geelong's VFL coach Shane O'Bree expects he will stay.
In the Geelong Advertiser O'Bree said “As far as I know he’s loved his time in Australia, and especially Geelong, and he’s pretty keen to continue his AFL career...and if it’s not at AFL level it will be at the highest possible level, which is VFL.”
Tom Morris from Fox Sports reports that Essendon will be looking closely at gambling on an untried American footballer as a Category B rookie, and could know very soon as they prepare for their selections at this week’s national draft. It would be one of the first times Essendon has travelled down the American road for potential recruits, hoping they can find another Jason Holmes.
ESSENDON is poised to take a punt on little known American football player Travis Wilson.
Wilson, who was a quarterback with scrambling ability for the University of Utah Utes in the US college system for four years, has attracted interest from the Bombers despite having never travelled to Australia, let alone Melbourne.
It has been agreed that Australia will host Ireland in a two-test Virgin Australia International Rules Series to be played in Australia in November next year.
The return to a two-match series in 2017, to be played over the weekends of November 11 and 18 at venues still to be confirmed, comes on the back of successful one-off Virgin Australia Tests in Perth in 2014 and Dublin last year that reinvigorated the series.
The GAA and the AFL have also agreed in principle to play a two-Test series back in Ireland in 2019.
It was very disappointing for international footy followers at the end of the AFL Women's draft when no international players (by IC rules at least) were selected. Kate Shierlaw and Lauren Spark were on the lists which was some vindication of the footy played in London, but they were still Aussie women.
So it would come down to the free agency period, and fortunately there would be an international foot in the door. Firstly Collingwood added Canadian Kendra Heil to their list. Perhaps missing out on the draft as she missed most of the 2016 season due to a serious ACL injury, Heil was also close to being drafted in 2015 (when there were just the two women's teams for the exhibition match).
AFL Canada yesterday announced they will be sending their men's and women's development teams to Europe in 2017. The women's development team the Midnight Suns competed in the 2014 International Cup alongside their official team the Northern Lights.
But 2017 will see them compete against the Irish Banshees and the Great Britain Swans who will both be warming up for IC17. A fourth team made up of the best players from the four AFL London women's clubs will also compete.
The men's development team has previously only played matches against the USA as part of the 49th Parallel Cup in the past. But they will play for the first time outside North America against the Irish Warriors, the Great Britain Bulldogs and a fourth team yet to be named.
Games are set to be played on the 19th-21st of May 2017; with games being played on the Friday night, Saturday and Sunday.
Cardwell sits midway between the northern Queensland cities of Cairns and Townsville. Both suffer from, and tolerate, the November heat but the grass doesn’t. Completely brown, devoid of life and feeling like sandpaper, the surface of the Cardwell oval was a challenge in itself.
The football gods must have been in a benevolent mood, however, providing occasional light showers and cloud cover to make the temperature and conditions agreeable.
First up was the feature match – the championship match of AFL Masters Over 35’s season, playing for the highly coveted Cardwell Cup. The Cairns Stingers took the field against the Townsville Sharks. The rivalry is always intense between these two cities – whether playing footy, backgammon or chess – but with the ageing teams determined to relive yesteryear, this game was serious.
The following article comes from Alex Andryushin as he reports on the final leg of the AFL Russia Unity Day Cup, taken out this year by the St Petersburg Cats. Such has been the growth of the game in Russia that St Petersburg can now truly mount a case for a long term rivalry. Also, having two teams again in Moscow sees the game developing further in the national capital.
On a freezing day of November 4th, three Russian teams played the final tournament of 2016 – Unity Day Cup – on the Moscow State University pitch. It was a home ground for two capital city teams – “Slavyane” & “Lazy Koalas” - and the third one came from Saint-Petersburg – “St.Petersburg Cats”. It was a snowy day with -2°C on the thermometer, but the competitors were ready for such unpleasant weather.
The Perpignan Tigers leapt into second place on the CNFA ladder in France after a solid win against the Bordeaux Bombers on the weekend. The Bombers got away to a good start before being worn down by the Tigers. They held a 14 point lead at the first break before the Tigers came back and took a four point lead to the break. The game was up for grabs by three-quarter time with the Tigers up by 10 points, but they held firm in the final quarter to win by 34 points.
Final Score: Perpignan Tigers 112 d Bordeaux Bombers 78
In the other game over the weekend, the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes leaped back to the top of the table with their third win of the season. This time they remained undefeated with a big win over the Toulouse Hawks. The Coyotes dominated early and continued to pull away, recording a 99 point win over the still winless Hawks.
On Friday November 11th the New York Magpies will take on the New York GAA’s All American team in a Charity International Rules Game at Gaelic Park. Gates open at 7pm, with the game starting at 7.30pm.
The match will see the superb athleticism of Gaelic Football meeting the physical brutality of Australian Rules Football.