After hearing no word for a while we were concerned whether plans for the 2011 NAB AFL Under 16 still included the World XVIII side. Happily the AFL has confirmed that indeed both the World XVIII and South Pacific will once again be international highlights for the youth championships.
The two international sides will be in Australia for less than the full tournament, resulting in them playing one less game each than the other teams in their grade, Division Two. The AFL's Peter Romaniw explained that "At this point in time they are part of the tournament by invitation, and the “traditional” states who have been involved over the past 16 or so years still wanted the opportunity to play each other, hence some of their games starting earlier. Currently the 2 new teams are allowed some concessions in relation to eligibility of players. We see that in the future they will become a permanent fixture, and therefore play all of the games".
A small group of enthusiasts are hoping to found Russia's first footy club, based in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. The current project is led by Paul Kube, who first came to Krasnoyarsk in 2007, but on that occasion was only in Russia for a year and wasn't able to get footy going beyond some kick-to-kick.
Since returning to Russia last year, he's been more successful. "We returned as a family in May of 2010, but spent the Summer settling in, and since we didn't know many people I did not start anything then either."
"But this year is the beginning of something. I have been running very informal clinics for about a month now. This has mostly been with locals and neighbours at the school soccer field. I have just persisted in inviting people every week and the numbers are slowly growing."
Kube's fledgling squad held their first training match last weekend. Although there was only a small number of players in attendance, the experience of getting a game underway has seen the members keen to grow their numbers and get some regular games happening in future. "It's still very early days here, and we will have to see if it takes off," Kube says.
For anyone who reads Russian, Paul received a write-up on a local blog here.
The rumours of Marty Clarke's return to Collingwood seem to have been flowing since he returned to Ireland after the 2009 season. Having made a meteoric rise to the senior ranks and performing admirably at senior level, he left the Australian game to return back to the GAA football that he grew up with. Had he stayed he may have been part of the 2010 AFL Premiership team.
Some thought 2011 would see his return but it was not to be. Now after persistent rumours this year it looks like Clarke will return to Australia after this weekend for a brief period in which he is likely to meet with Collingwood about returning to the professional ranks in season 2012.
With Paul Cribbin on the list already and Caolan Mooney signed to come onto the list in 2012, it would have to make those who this year have called "The Irish Experiment" in the AFL to be finished, have second thoughts.
Following Queensland, the other three Division 1 teams- South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia- have all named their teams for the 2011 Women’s National Championships which will take place in Adelaide from June 7th to 11th. The Grand Finals will take place at Gliderol Stadium, Glenelg, on the 11th.
The South Cardiff Panthers were victorious for the second year running in the Cymru Clwb Challenge which was hosted by the Bridgend Eagles at Heol-y-Cyw RFC last weekend. In a tournament featuring all the clubs who will play in the WARFL in 2011, the Panthers managed a perfect record on the day, with four wins from four games.
The winners were decided in the last round where the unbeaten Cardiff club faced off against an unbeaten Swansea Magpies team.
Unfortunately for the Magpies the Panthers were in great shape going in to the game, coming off a bye going in to the decider. Ruckman Chris James proved unbeatable in the contest, ably assisted by no less than four of his GB Bulldogs team mates. The inexperienced Magpies managed to put in a brave effort but the fitness and skill of the Panthers proved too much for them.
The Bristol Dockers made their WARFL debut in the tournament, securing third place. They proved they are not to be underestimated in the league this year, which is certain to be highly competitive.
Congratulations to Billy Hall from the Dockers who was voted Best Player for the tournament.
AFL Fiji has named a training squad for IC11, with some of their talented Under 16s currently in contention.
Although we haven't had official comfirmation yet that the Fijians will definitely make it to Australia for the 4th installment of the International Cup, the squad will be preparing with every intention of being there.
The 40-member squad consists of mainly players that have only taken up the sport in less than four months but will be cut down to a final 30-member team by June 5th. AFL Fiji development officer and acting coach Glen Butler knows his side will be inexperienced but will gain a lot from the exposure. “These countries have competed in this competition already and know what to expect. This will be the first Fijian team to compete in the AFL International Cup” says Butler.
Finally an AFL game for Nintendo Wii! Created by Wicked Witch and published by TruBlu, AFL Wii has been released ahead of schedule. And in a first for AFL games, AFL Wii will also feature an International Cup with teams from IC08.
AFL Wii boasts more teams and greater player progression than any other AFL game. Including the 2011 AFL teams and Greater Western Sydney, there are over 70 different teams to choose between and 5 different leagues. There are also bonus teams, such as the 2010 All Australian Team. You can also play in the NAB U18 National Championship.
Saturday the 21st of May saw a milestone day for Australian Rules Football in Ireland, with the contesting of the country's first ever inter-school match.
The match took place between Gaelcholáiste Mhuire A.G. and Coláiste an Phiarsigh, two all Irish-speaking schools in Cork City, in Cork Institute of Technology, Bishopstown. It came about as a result of a decision made at the league’s AGM in December to appoint Vincent Manning as a schools development officer to introduce the increasingly popular sport to a younger playing spectrum.
"A lot of work has gone into this, both on and off the training ground," said ARFLI President Ciarán O’ Hara. "After ten years of Aussie Rules in Ireland it’s great to see it finally being played by a younger generation."
Stateside Footy presents an Australian Rules Football match between the Boston Demons and New York Magpies, played on April 30, 2011 in Yonkers, N.Y. Stateside Footy is a cable access TV show produced at WCTV - Wilmington Community Television in Wilmington, MA. It features Aussie Rules Football as it is played in the U.S.A. The man behind Stateside Footy is Bill Robert and we thank Bill for submitting his video.
Stateside Footy presents another two-part episode to kick off its second season. The first part is a preview of the Boston Demons 2011 Australian Rules Football season including interviews and highlight footage. The second part presents a Women's Footy match played in Yonkers, N.Y., featuring female footballers from the Boston, New York, and Baltimore-Washington teams.
Stateside Footy is a cable access TV show produced at WCTV - Wilmington Community Television in Wilmington, MA. It features Aussie Rules Football as it is played in the U.S.A. We thank Bill Robert the man behind Stateside Footy for the video.
The CNFA have announced the French national squad who will be heading to Australia in August to make their International Cup debut. The squad is composed largely of players from the Paris Cockerels, Bordeaux Bombers and Toulouse Hawks, with the Bordeaux players coming off a premiership win last weekend with an all-France squad.
The Strasbourg Kangourous have one representative, and a contingent of French players currently playing in Canada are also making the trip. Six French nationals currently playing in Australia are listed with the squad, including the trio of Thomas Urban, Cyril Jan Mahamad and Grégoire Patack from the Toulouse Hawks, who are suiting up with the Coolangatta-Tweed Heads Blues reserve grade team this season.
Included in the squad are Wilfried Houvion and Sylvain Maylie, who were both selected to play with the European Legion against the AIS-AFL squad in London last month. Wilfried took part in the Legion match, although Sylvain was unable to make the trip to London due to work commitments.
Head Coach and Manager for the team is Cyril Talon, who is also the current CNFA President. His assistants will be Graham Andrews, who coached the Paris Cockerels over the past 3 seasons, and Luke Anderson, who coached the Montréal Saints in 2010 before moving to Singapore this year.
It took nearly 40 years to develop the first competitive team of Australian Football in India, after the very 1st exposure of the game in India in 1969, when Western Australia Football League toured India, to when the Indian Tigers participated (jumper pictured left) in the International Cup 2008 in Melbourne. The team then comprised of players mostly drawn from West Bengal and Indian residents in Melbourne.
Thereafter it has taken three more years to spread the joy outside the state of West Bengal in eastern India to the state of Kerala in southern India.
Rajeev Raj, a member of the Kerala Olympic Association and a big sports enthusiast, has taken up the responsibility to promote the game in his state. Hence 40 odd players from different sporting backgrounds are practicing the game in the city of Kozhikode, where a week long footy clinic was organised in April and it led on to the first ever Aussie Rules match played on 22nd April 2011.
The good work has been carried forward by Rajeev, who has started organising footy clinics in a few schools of the city and is looking forward to spread the game to all the districts of Kerala and have a state championship very soon.