Michael Gallus was asked if there was one word that could describe his recent trip to the footballing heartlands of Pakistan. He answered, “simply extraordinary!” Sadly, for Michael, that’s two words, so he doesn’t win that lovely lounge suite. However, he did win the hearts of Pakistan communities across the country, and he won many converts to our great game.
Michael has just returned from a monumental promotion of Australian football on behalf of the AFL. As previously reported by World Footy News (see Operation: Pakistan), Michael accepted the invitation from AFL Pakistan and gained assistance from Simon Highfield, the Development Manager for AFL Asia, to tour the nation and work with local people to identify ways that game could be further developed.
The St Petersburg Cats have added another trophy to their ever-growing cabinet by taking out this year’s first ever Baltic Cup to be played in Tallinn, Estonia. The event saw teams from Russia, Finland, Sweden and Poland compete for the honour of being the best Baltic team.
The Cats and the Russian Bears headed to Tallin to meet the Helsinki Heatseekers from Finland, Norrtälje Dockers from Sweden and the newly formed Polish Devils. In the end, after 10 round matches, it was the Cats team which took the title from the Dockers, benefitting from the tie-breaker clause which said that if two teams tied in top spot, the victor would be whichever team won from their earlier encounter.
An audacious question from the Essendon Football Club during the second day of Trade Week could see Collingwood's cult hero, Mason Cox, change his American Pie stripes for a Bomber sash. News today from AFL House revealed that Essendon had asked the question of Collingwood as to whether a deal could be cut involving a future draft pick.
Essendon is on the hunt for tall forward players to replace the likely departure of their own hero, Joe Daniher, who may be on his way to the Sydney Swans. Essendon has a shortage of ruckmen and faces losing their best key forward in Daniher. It seems logical that Cox be asked about as he has played both roles in his 58-game (71 goal) career with the Pies.
The move isn't being wholly embraced by Bomber fans, though that won't be in the minds of Essendon recruiters.
In reality, it is probably too early to claim a resurgence after a single round of football. Nevetheless, after the opening NTFL Round on the weekend, three teams signalled that they are seeking bigger and better things out of the 2019/20 season. Whilst the Nightcliff Tigers started well in their bid to defend its premiership title, St Mary’s, wanderers and the Darwin Buffaloes all took steps to rectify last season.
In the season opener, the Darwin Buffaloes trounced the Tiwi Bombers. After finishing fifth last season with just eight wins (and only twice reaching 100 points in a match) the Darwin Buffaloes limped to the end of the season with successive hidings from Waratah. The Tiwi Bombers reached the Preliminary Final. So, their 113-point caning of the Bombers was as much an upset as a statement.
The Farum Cats have brought to an end the Odense Lions fairy-tale by taking out the DAFL 2019 premiership. Whilst going into the match as firm favourites, the Cats lived up to the hype across the match before running out 76-point winners.
Any hope of a Lion upset was snuffed out early with the Cats kicking five unanswered goals for the opening term. Whilst the Lions kicked two of their own in the second quarter to outscore the Farum team, it wasn’t enough to significantly bridge the gap as the Cats went to the main break still 28 points ahead.
The premiership quarter proved to be just that as the Cats virtually sealed the game, kicking six goals to one and going into the final term with an even 10 goal lead. The final quarter would see the Lions play for pride and the Cats play for dominance.
They saved their best game of the year for last, but the Oslo Crows won the 2019 Kenguru Cup downing the As Battlers. In doing so, the Crows have defended their title from last year and raised the stakes ahead of the 2020 season for the Battlers to keep searching for a premiership winning formula.
In our World Footy News match preview (see: Kenguru Cup Grand Final This Weekend), the case was hinted that the Crows had turned a slow start to the season around and were showing good form. A narrow loss in their Round 3 clash was followed by their first win over the Battlers in Round 4. That change in form held true and the Crows were too good come the final.
For the past few years we have been looking at the player of an international background who has polled the most Brownlow Medal votes and awarding them the “title” of winning the International Brownlow. This year, Richmond’s Mabior Chol and Western Bulldog Jason Johannisen polled a vote each to take the “award”.
Last year, Johannisen tied with Sydney’s Aliir Aliir and Collingwood’s Mason Cox. Previous “winners” have included Jim Stynes, Tadgh Kennelly and Pearce Hanley.
Chol, a refugee from Sudan as a child and now at Richmond, polled his vote in the Round 15 clash against St Kilda. That day he enjoyed 16 possessions – 13 kicks and 3 handballs – as well as 7 hitouts. But, most telling were his three goals which helped his Tigers to a 33-point win over the Saints. His 2 tackles and 8 contested possessions made it a breakout game for Chol and was recognised by the umpires.
Thirty-five players and officials from the Boe Lions’ 2019 AFL Premiership winning squad will be flown to Brisbane free-of-charge by the Republic of Nauru Government, Minister for Sport Hon. Maverick Eoe announced yesterday (Tuesday).
Minister Eoe said the Government’s gesture was a fitting reward for the Boe Lions’ “hard work and sweat” in over-coming Panzer in Saturday’s Grand Final at Linkbelt Oval.
It has been a massive year for the Norrtälje Dockers in the Stockholm Australian Football Federation (SAFF), culminating in a second premiership for the club. Downing the Södermalm Blues in the Grand Final was the icing on a pretty impressive cake in 2019.
The city hosted the 2019 Euro Cup back in June, and impressed the entire European footy community with a well-run tournament – a massive undertaking for any city. However, all that energy expended on the event made no difference to the Dockers’ charge to a Grand Final berth, nor did the team run out of breath on the big day, proving too strong for the Blues by 42 points.
The following excerpt from the http://www.afleurope.org website sets the scene across the season for both teams in the lead-up to the big match:
The AFL Norway Kenguru Cup comes to its conclusion this weekend in Voldsløkka Idrettspark (Oslo) when the As Battlers take on the Oslo Crows in the hope of reclaiming the title. Having won the minor premiership after the four rounds of the Kenguru Cup, the Battlers go into the Grand Final as favourites, but nothing is certain.
Across the four rounds this season, the Battlers won the opening two matches comfortably, setting up a feeling that Oslo would have to improve dramatically. But, they did. Round three saw the Crows get out to a 15-point lead over the Battlers before being run down. Then in Round 4, the Crows held on for a 3-point win in a very tight battle.
It suggests that whilst the Battlers still deserve slight favouritism this weekend, without doubt the Oslo Crows are coming for them. Form is a great thing and as it stands, the Crows are in arguably their best form for the season.
The first full season of the new AFL Switzerland competition has finished in emphatic fashion after the Geneva Jets put their opponents to the sword by a whopping 180 points in the inaugural Grand Final. The match, played at the Centre sportif de Vessy in Geneva, capped off a grand season for AFL Switzerland.
The match itself saw the Jets assume control of the match early and never relinquish that advantage. The score line suggests a very lopsided match, and in some way, it was. However, the score doesn’t reflect the efforts of the Basel Dragons – the losing grand finalists – as they tried all they could to stem the flow of scoring from the Jets.
Basel has defeated Geneva earlier in the season, proving they would be a worthy challenger. However, the longer the season went, the better the Jets got, and come Grand Final day the Jets had peaked. In the end, the scoreline saw the Geneva Jets 32 19 211 defeat the Basel Dragons 4 7 31.