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Monday, August 19 2019 @ 11:29 pm ACST

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From Australian Rules Footy To American Football

North America
Earlier this year we reported on the journey of a young Melbournian, Nik Constantinou, and his dreams of following in the footsteps of past VFL/AFL stars like “Diamond” Jim Tilbrook, Saverio Rocca and Ben Graham to play American football. See Reverse Psychology Worth A Punt.

Whilst Nik is far from the only Australian to try and crack the American market, that doesn’t lessen his prodigious talent and potential – something that the Texas A & M University has noticed. Next week he will head to College Station campus located close to the Texan cities of Houston and Austin.

It is the same stomping ground of a player who now has a cult following at Collingwood – Mason Cox.

Nik has spent many years working towards an opportunity to head to the United States and try his hand within the college system and hopefully get to the NFL. That would be a very big deal for the former tall key position player from Aberfeldie in the Essendon District Football League.
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Umpire Makes Correct Call

General NewsWorld Footy News specialises in reporting on the game internationally and in less publicised areas. However, this special moment must be universal. At the end of yesterday's clash between Carlton and Adelaide at the MCG, boundary umpire Dillon Tee proposed to field umpire Eleni Glouftsis. If you thought that Dillon's proposal was a good umpiring call, Elini's answer "yes" was just as good.

A heartwarming footy story, played out in front of almost 40,000 fans at the home of Australian Rules football.



Video Credit: Fox Footy & AFL
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Let the River Run - Western Regional Preview

North America

As footy in the United States closes in on the 2019 USAFL Nationals in Sarasota – Bradenton, Florida in October, the Western Regionals tournament will be held this weekend in Salem, Oregon. The following article by Brian Barrish for the USAFL looks at the tournament in detail, particularly the teams involved in each division. For more information, visit the website at: https://usafl.com/

For centuries prior to Lewis and Clark happening upon the Williamette Valley, the area around Salem was referred to by the Kalapuya people as Chim-i-ki-ti, which means "meeting or resting place". 

Three years after the USAFL’s travelling midsummer roadshow came to said meeting place, it comes again to the Oregonian capital.  As it did in 2016, it will be the climax of what has, heretofore, been a memorable tour for those of us who have had the privilege to go to each of the stops on the Regional Championship series.

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Chinese Expat Hoping To Use 'Power of Sport' To Grow The Game

Asia

Adam Curley reports on the www.afl.com.au website about the story of Chinese ex-pat Matt Ma and his own journey in footy and how he hopes to impact the future of Chinese descent players in AFL circles. 

MATT MA won't be the game's first Brownlow medallist of Chinese heritage. 

He won't even play first grade for his club side. 

However, Ma, originally from the city of Liaoyang in China, is determined to play a key role in growing the game he's fallen in love with since he arrived in Australia.  

Ma is part of the Hurstville Dragons Auskick Program, which has been run in conjunction with the Swans in Sydney's south this year.

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Essendon In Box Seat To Sign “Next Conor McKenna”

Europe

The following article from Marc McGowan at www.afl.com.au looks at the potential signing of another Irish jet in Ross McQuillan. McKenna, already enjoying possibly his best season in the red and black has also had a hand in helping lure the Irish young gun to Tullamarine. 

AFL.com.au revealed last week that the Bombers and Tigers were both keen to recruit McQuillan, the most promising prospect from last year's AFL Europe Combine.

It is believed Essendon will bring the 20-year-old from Country Armagh to Australia again in the near future and his preference is to play in the red and black, alongside countryman Conor McKenna. 

Ireland's McQuillan, Luke Towey, Ronan Devereux and Peadar Mogan spent time with the Bombers, Richmond, North Melbourne, Carlton and Collingwood in April.

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The Yankee Progress Report

Australia

It’s late July, which means it’s crunch time for footy teams all across Australia. As for the growing handful of American expats playing local footy in Melbourne and beyond, it’s also a chance to cement a spot in a side heading into the postseason.

As mentioned previously here on WFN, the number of Americans having a go has greatly increased, particularly in the women’s game. The Western Bulldogs recently made history by signing Dani Marshall from the Arizona Lady Hawks, making her the first US player to make it onto an AFLW list. Marshall, a versatile athlete, had a recent audition with the Bulldogs’ VFLW side in between a stint at Aberfeldie in the Essendon District Football League.

Meanwhile, the Darebin Falcons women’s team has gained a new American: Valerie Barber-Axthelm, who arrived in June. Ever since the 2017 International Cup, the former Seattle Grizzly had long hoped to pursue footy opportunities in Australia, and when her husband got approved for a visa to study for his PhD at the University of Melbourne, she decided to have a crack. A hard-working defender, Barber-Axthelm has been able to carve out a niche for the Falcons’ D1 side, which is currently standing at second on the ladder with a 9-2 record.

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Adam Goodes’ Story A Wake-Up Call

General News
Like many others last week, I watched the documentary film “The Final Quarter” which looked in detail via media accounts at the treatment of former Sydney Swans’ player Adam Goodes. The response to the documentary – through media and football (and many non-football) public has been described by some as polarising.

In truth, it appears that the overwhelming majority of watchers were upset and dismayed at what occurred during Goodes’ final playing years (demonising, booing, racist remarks and actions), yet a small minority still wish to lay the blame squarely at Goodes’ own feet.

To detail events, and the show itself, would be too large an article. It is best for schools, clubs or workplaces to contact the film makers directly to access a copy (https://thefinalquarterfilm.com.au/ ) or keep an eye out on Foxtel for repeats of the show.
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Six Of The Best – Mozzies Take AFLCNE Flag

Europe
In recent years, write-ups about the run of Manchester premierships has always had a thinly veiled subtext that suggested that they might be reaching the end of their run of success. Well, if that’s true, it hasn’t happened yet. On the weekend, the Manchester Mozzies claimed their sixth successive AFLCNE premiership.

If they weren’t already in rarefied air worldwide after five flags, six in a row takes them to an even higher place.

The Mozzies downed a gallant Wolverhampton Wolverines team – themselves playing in their maiden grand-final. Despite the best that the Wolverines could throw, the Mozzies won comfortably by 52 points. According to the club, however, the game was much closer than the scoreboard suggested.
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Conor McKenna's Party Trick

EuropeWith Irish footballers making more and more of an impact on our game of Aussie Rules football, it stands to reason that maybe the cross-pollination of skills might go both ways. It is expected that the Irish players learn and develop the necessary skills to play the game. But Essendon's Conor McKenna might well have introduced a new skills to the game, familiar to fellow Irish players, but possibly a skill of the future that others may employ.

The "solo" in this clip, performed by McKenna on Friday night in Adelaide as the Bombers downed the Adelaide Crows, brought the football world to their collective feet.

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Tigers Take St Petersburg

Europe
The Northern Tigers have taken out the St Petersburg Cup in Russian this weekend, outlasting both the Moscow Bears and the Baltic Hawks. The opening two matches featured the Baltic Hawks playing both the Tigers and the Bears before the final match that featured the intercity rivalry – St Petersburg up against Moscow.

The first match saw the Hawks take on the Bears. The Baltic team held a narrow three point lead at half time. Things were still tight in the second half but the Hawks held on to win by seven points. Martin Sorokhan kicked two goals for the Hawks, whilst Daniel Demain and Brad Lougheed kicked two apiece for the Bears.

Baltic Hawks 5 8 38 d Moscow Bears 4 7 31

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All Tied Up In Newcastle



The SARFL match of the round this weekend featuring the Tyne Tees Tigers and Kingdom Kangaroos has resulted in a draw at the Tigers’ home ground in Newcastle.

It was a tight match all day in Newcastle, with little separating the teams at each break. The Tigers got away to a four point break by the first change, but by half time the Kangaroos had bounced back to hold a five point lead. It would all come down to whichever team could take advantage of the second half.

A three goal third quarter from the Tigers saw them go into the final break with an eight point buffer, but the Kangaroos were made of stern stuff and would fight back.
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St Petersburg Cup Returns in Russia

Europe
In recent years footy has continued to gather momentum in Russia. Due in no small part to the growth in St Petersburg, Moscow is also growing. Not only are there now three teams to compete in the next St Petersburg Cup next weekend, the national team had a terrific Euro Cup – their best yet.

Despite losing all of their pool games, the Russian Bears caught fire in the finals. They downed both Israel and Czech Republic in the finals matches before going down in a tough game to Scotland to finish in overall 10th places – a wonderful achievement.

That performance may not have happened if not for the improvement in competitions, recruitment and overall development of the game across the two Russian cities.
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