You know you are finally cracking the veneer of the American sporting market when you have the attention of the New York Times. On the eve of the USAFL Nationals in Racine, Wisconsin, that is just what is happening with journalist S B Tang getting Collingwood’s American Pie onto the sports pages of one of the biggest and widely read newspapers in the United States.
Listen up, Australia! The AFL Grand Final has passed. The Eagles are premiers. Most followers of the game are currently watching Facebook feeds or websites to see which player is being traded to which club. Most of the Australian population waits for next September for the next biggest day of the year.
The more enlightened footy follower, however, knows that this weekend is arguably the biggest weekend for footy seen for many years. Just like the planets aligned earlier this year and Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and Venus were visible in the same sky on the same night, this weekend sees that rarest alignment – the biggest carnivals for AFL Europe, AFL Asia and the USAFL have aligned this weekend.
AFL Asia 2018 iflix Asian Championships & Inaugural AFLW Asian Championships
Article Courtesy AFL Asia
The AFL season may be over, however it’s the business end of the football season in Asia, with the AFL Asia’s 2018 iflix Asian Championships & Inaugural AFLW Asian Championships taking place at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Resort in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this Saturday, October 13th.
This year’s biggest ever ‘Asian Champs’ will see 5 Division 1 Men’s Teams, 12 Division 2 Men’s Teams and 4 Women’s Teams fighting it out for the ultimate glory in Asian Football. The AFL Asia’s showcase event is expecting over 500 participants from 13 different countries to attend, including approximately 100 females, which is an outstanding result.
Only 4 days remain before 350 players from 15 nations descend on Cork, Ireland, and the first ball is bounced at one of the world’s premier international football spectacles, with AFL Europe’s Euro Cup 2018 earmarked to be the best in the events eleven-year history.
The city on the southwest coast of Ireland will play host to 64 matches on the day at the Cork Institute of Technology sports facilities, as Europe’s premier national teams face off in the nine-a-side format chasing the title of champions of Europe.
That crown currently belongs to England in both men’s and women’s divisions after their Dragonslayers (men’s team) & Vixens (women’s team) both took the spoils in Bordeaux at the 2017 edition of the tournament.
Lions from across Europe descended on Denmark last weekend with the second instalment of the Lions Cup. The tournament was created and commenced in Lyon, France, in 2017, with the tournament decided by for and against results. The North London Lions were deemed inaugural winners. Last weekend it was the Odense Lions from Denmark taking the title.
The tournament saw the host team, Odense Lions, the North London Lions and the ALFA Lions from France competing in a three-way round-robin. Odense won both of its matches on the day to take the cup ahead of the North London Lions in second place and the ALFA Lions third.
One of the more interesting teams headed to Ireland for this weekend’s Euro Cup in Cork is the newest Australian Football entity in Israel, the Tel Aviv Cheetahs. Whilst they are a genuine new team on the world stage, based in a city not known or its connection to the game, in truth, they are a phoenix rising.
The team that runs out in Cork to do battle with the best teams Europe has to offer owes much of its existence to the Peace Team, formed in 2008, and more recently their incarnation as the Jerusalem Peace Lions. But make no mistake - this team from Tel aviv is itsown entity, grown out of its own grit, sweat and determination.
After having performed admirably at the 2017 Euro Cup in Bordeaux, France, where they managed to finish in 11th place overall with an historic win against Sweden, the Lions returned to Israel to a period of change. With key players leaving Jerusalem to travel elsewhere on life paths, some relocated to Tel Aviv and, inevitably, a footy got kicked in a park somewhere. From there, the Tel Aviv Cheetahs came to life.
The USAFL's National Championships will see seven divisions of men's and women's footy in Racine, Wisconsin over the coming weekend, October 13-14 at the SCORe Complex.
This year's tournament features 45 teams spanning seven divisions, representing nearly forty clubs across the USA and Canada. Two women's divisions, four men's divisions and one men's reserves division.
Everyone will be out to hunt down Golden Gate who took out the 2017 titles in both the Men's and Women's Division 1. And those divisions are very strong with six stand alone clubs in each all eager to take that title.
And now for something completely different....Footy has long inspired song writers to try and capture the games essence and put it to words accompanied by an appropriate tune. None bigger than the likes of Up There Cazaly and One Day in September.
Adam Western contacted us this week to share his take on the footy anthem. His song had it's humble beginnings "in the garage of the drummers house(as all good songs do)."
"We had been at the local football in Albany that day (coastal town on the south coast of Western Australia) and the umpires had been particularly disappointing ,we were jamming away making up lyrics about the game and came up with the song Holding The ball".
"We think it has a chance of becoming the seminal anthem for our game , as the term "holding the Ball" or just simply "ball" is surely the most commonly used term a spectator uses whilst watching our great game.Think about it when you watch the game, It really is the catch cry of the game" Western told us.
Rumour has it that the West Coast Eagles Josh Kennedy and Jarrod Schofield are listed among high profile fans of the song.
Euro Cup 2018 – German girls ready for tournament debut
Fresh from a highly competitive AFLG season, the vast progression of the game in Germany will be on show in Cork this October as the German Eagles women make their maiden voyage to a Euro Cup competition, heading to Ireland alongside their 2017 bronze-medal winning male counterparts.
Leading the side as the inaugural female skipper, Ioanna Kopasaki, who says that the lack of experience is going to be no barrier to her side’s performance, and if anything, can allow the Eagles to be at their best without any burden of expectations.
Last Saturday, Austria came alive to the sounds of footy with the 2018 Austrian Challenge at Rugby Donau Park in Vienna. The Vienna Galahs hosted the Styrian DownUnderdogs. The following report from Austria, provided by the DownUnderdogs, looks at the game.
Last Saturday saw the first game between two clubs from Austria since 2013. The Vienna Galahs, a phoenix club from the old Vienna Kangaroos, invited the Dogs from Graz to fight for the 2018 Austrian Challenge trophy. On a early sunny afternoon, the two teams had a warm-up session together and kicked off almost on time.
The new NTFL season got under way this weekend with a set of relatively close games. Southern Districts Crocs got their flag defence off to a solid start, whilst last season’s wooden-spooners, the Palmerston Magpies, grabbed a huge first round win. The Nightcliff Tigers and Wanderers also got the season off to a flyer with first up wins.
Darwin’s TIO Stadium played host to a triple-header to kick off the season, whilst the Palmerston Magpies played host to Waratah at Asbuild Oval.
In a perfect start to their season, the Palmerston Magpies held on in a low scoring match. Bounding out of the blocks with a four goal to nil opening quarter, the Magpies had Waratah under pressure from the outset. Despite a second quarter comeback by Waratah, the Magpies still held sway at the main break. The second half was more even, but Waratah just couldn’t bridge the gap, despite keeping the Magpies goalless in the final quarter. Palmerston held on to win by three goals.