Back in 1978, the crowd at Kardinia Park in Geelong held its collective breath as North Melbourne’s Keith Greig fearlessly ran at a high ball on the wing. Coming the other way was Geelong’s Ray Card. Greig never wavered or looked at anything but the ball. Card saw trouble coming and changed to a side on shirtfront – hammering Greig and knocking him senseless.
Back then it was considered a brave act by all parties. Today, the same move would result in suspension (consider Shane Mumford’s hit a few years back against Geelong’s Mitch Duncan…some eerie similarities).
In different eras, each represents the brutality of our game. Whilst the rules that define what constitutes legal and illegal tackles have changed, the ferociousness of players and courage have not.
What made the Greig/Card hit more memorable was that it headlined football media just three years after the tragic hit at the Western Oval in 1975 when Footscray’s Neil Sachse was left a quadlaplegic after a horror collision with Fitzroy’s Kevin O’Keefe.
A smidgen or a glimpse of some Good News for Footy?
Trawling Footy websites to see how teams ,clubs, leagues and nations are coping with or surviving the shut down of sport and footy because of the Covid 19 pandemic and have come across a couple of situations where planning for a reopening of footy is being seriously considered.
AFL Japanare looking to restart with the following matches scheduled for late September - Eastern Hawks v Tokyo Goannas and Senshu Powers v Tokyo Bay Suns.
No actual date is set as yet as an early September start may be on the cards if health authorities lift restrictions in August or earlier. AFL Japan have ruled out an August start as they feel hot weather/temperature may impact too severely thru lack of training.
AFL Vietnam are about to start training in June with sessions in Hanoi on Saturdays, 10am at Phuc Xa Football Field and in Saigon also on Saturdays, 10am at Salo Fields, District 2. AFL Vietnam also indicate that initial planning is underway for several events later in the second half of the year.
Take part in our poll at the bottom of this story and on the website's side panel to gauge interest in whether the AFL should move towards a night grand final. The story below looks at the concept based on Eddie McGuire's beliefs.
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire added further fuel to to fire concerning the AFL moving towards a night grand final. The argument has been emotive for a number of years now without any firm decision being reached. However, McGuire today suggested that the AFL might be forced to consider the change in light of the season postponement due to COVID-19. With the MCG being booked already to accommodate cricket fixtures, and the cricketing powers at state and national level unwilling to budge, McGuire believes we could see an "historic" end to this season.
McGuire told radio station Triple M, “If everything goes according to plan I think we’ll have a night Grand Final this year.”
“I think we’ll have the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on the Friday night, I think we’ll have the holiday on the Friday, then Saturday will be the Cox Plate and Saturday night will be the Grand Final.
“I think for AFL football, Channel 7 and Fox Footy would be very, very keen to get as much viewership as possible on the Grand Final given the restrictions that have happened so far this year.”
As the 2020 AFL Premiership season prepares to explode to life again after the coronavirus postponements on field, the mechanisms of the game that go unseen off field for most of the time are also gearing up for action.
Such is the case for the team of AFL Multicultural Community Ambassadors across Australia.
In 2013, the AFL initiated a program to have everyday people from all walks of life, and all manner of cultural backgrounds, head out into communities all over the country to espouse the virtues of Australian Football. Whether at junior or senior level, male or female, schools or clubs or anywhere else in the spectrum of community, volunteers will find innovative ways to involve and immerse children and adults in our great game.
Callum Twomey and Mitch Cleary from the www.afl.com.au have reported on the return of the various Irish players acros the AFL who went home during the COVID-19 shutdown and have returned for Round 2 next month.
Whilst Essendon’s Conor McKenna returned last week, players from Collingwood, Brisbane, Essendon and GWS arrive back in Australia this weekend.
The remaining six players in Ireland will return to Australia this weekend to resume their AFL careers after winning visa approval to re-enter the country.
Collingwood pair Mark Keane and Anton Tohill, Essendon duo Cian McBride and Ross McQuillan, Brisbane's James Madden and Greater Western Sydney's Callum Brown are all set to jet back to Australia on Saturday.
Ahead of the 2019 AFL Draft, the son of club champion Dustin Fletcher was being touted as a chance to be drafted by Essendon. Having been closely watched by the club since his childhood, and particularly during his time at the Calder Cannons, Mason Fletcher was seen as a walk up draft selection under the Father-Son criteria.
After siting out the 2018 AFL draft due to injuries, it was anticipated that Fletcher would follow his decorated father and grand-father by joining the Bombers. However, he turned his back on the AFL before the 2019 draft to work with ProKick and set up a college pathway as a punter in the USA’s NFL.
Whilst Fletcher has not yet reached the NFL, his chances are greatly enhanced by gaining a college scholarship. Fletcher announced last week that he was "over the moon to announce I have accepted a full scholarship to study and play football for the University of Cincinnati."
Peter Leahy, a leading Gaelic Football manager with the Mayo inter-county women’s team has drawn a line in the stand regarding players having to choose between their Gaelic Football careers in Ireland or an AFLW career in Australia.
Earlier this year, Emma Duffy from The 42 website wrote an article which highlighted this same battle between codes (see Choosing Isn’t Fair – AFLW v Ladies Football) and there is no end in sight. The following article by Marc McGowan at the www.afl.com.au website looks again at this issue, four months on. The stalemate continues, with Peter Leahy not backing down on the issue and AFLW clubs, along with CrossCoders still pursuing more women to come and play in Australia.
ONE OF the leading managers in Gaelic women's football is threatening not to select Irish players if they choose to pursue an AFLW career.
The slightly eccentric KSI is a British YouTube "influencer" and musician. He has over 21 million followers, of which 2.4 million have tuned in to his review of "AFL" football where he rates it a 9.6 out of 10 for toughness. His video clip focuses on 10 minutes worth of some of the toughest tackles and hits of recent years. The massive following of the clip has introduced the game to an even wider audience, mainly across Britain and Europe - something invaluable for the game, which is why the risque (though funny) clip is worth watching.
WARNING: This clip does contain occasional profane language, some racial overtones (though contextually relevant) and some extreme overacting...but, its worth it.
Over the years there have been many studies and articles that dealt with why girls and young women give away their football. Often men write these articles and often the women that write them are not active in sport themselves. These are no less relevant or important but it is rare to find an account from the eyes of a young woman still involved in playing, yet questioning her own desire to continue.
A young woman playing soccer writes the following story. MarvaMSK’s (the name on her WordPress article) story is as relevant to Australian Football as it is her own code of choice. With the AFL postponing the AFL Premiership season on the same day they cancelled the remainder of the AFLW season, questions were raised as to the priorities of the AFL when it came to women’s football. Some believe that the AFL may have inadvertently devalued the women’s game through that decision-making process (suggestions that if the men’s season can be postponed, why couldn’t the women’s seasonω).
In many ways, girls and women face the challenge of questioning their place in the game, and this article goes a long way to understanding that questioning process.
There is no roaring yet, but certainly a very low growl coming from the south of France. It is the growl of the Perpignan Tigers, a team which has found it difficult in recent years to keep their team on the playing fields of the CNFA, but a team that has also never stopped trying.
France, as a nation, is facing the unenviable task of being one of the nations hardest hit by the impact of COVID-19. Along with their neighbours, Spain and Italy, France has seen unprecedented pandemic cases and tragic loss of life. In this environment, football rightly remains a low priority.
However, pending France’s ability to contain COVID-19 and the ability of the population to prevail and regroup, the 2020/21 CNFA season will likely go ahead as planned around October – still five months away. With that in mind, most clubs still have an eye on being prepared for what lies beyond the darkness of the coronavirus tragedy.
In a few short years, the Bogota Bulldogs have both added to the sporting mosaic of Colombia as well as providing an international Australian Football competition and rivalry in South America along with the Santiago Saints in Chile. Some may see the game in Colombia as an exotic outpost for the game, others just another sport. Then there are those (like me) who see football in Colombia as an important frontier in the natural expansion of our game.
In these COVID-19 times, where the world waits for footy to resume again across the world, we have two film clips briefly showcasing the game in Bogota. The 2018 Grand Final between the DC Aguilas and Bogota Bullants, as well as the Fossil Cup of 2019 between the Bogota Bulldogs representing South America against the Austin Crows from Texas representing North America. Both were historic occasions and recently released to the club's YouTube channel.
2018 CAFL (Colombia Australian Football League) Grand Final - DC Aguilas v Bogota Bullants
Callum Twomey reports on the www.afl.com.au website that Essendon’s Conor McKenna and a host of other Irish players who returned back to their home country during the AFL shutdown are returning ready for Round 2.
ESSENDON speedster Conor McKenna will arrive back in Melbourne on Saturday for what could be his last season in the AFL facing a complicated race to be ready for round two.
McKenna, like Essendon's other two Irishmen Cian McBride and Ross McQuillan, headed back to their homeland in March after the season was suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
He is due back in Australia on Saturday evening but then has to enter a strict 14-day quarantine period like other overseas travellers returning to the country.