The AFL has announced the fixture for the 2011 AFL NAB Cup, the pre-season tournament leading into the main season. As expected the AFL have made some major changes to allow 18 teams to compete and possibly aimed at combating waning interest in the pre-season tournament.
The Cup will see the debut at AFL level of 17th team the Gold Coast Suns, whilst the 18th club, currently known as Greater Western Sydney, will also debut, although their full AFL arrival is not until 2012. Sadly for Australian fans, the historic debut of both clubs will only be available on pay television station Foxtel - something likely to be an increasing occurrence under the next TV rights agreement and likely relaxation of anti-siphoning laws by the Federal Government.
AFL Chief Operating Officer Gillon McLachlan announced the six divisions for round one of the revised 2011 competition, where the AFL’s 18 clubs will be placed in six pools.
There's an expectation in Australian football that with the right encouragement there will be quite a few AFL players coming from Australia's growing ethnically African community. Such players are likely to provide role models for further recruits, including directly from Africa itself, such as up and coming South African players.
Another increasing trend is for AFL clubs to recognise that there is mature talent in the state leagues and that not being drafted as an 18 year old should not be the end of a player's AFL career prospects. This has been encouraged by recent successes including the stellar form in 2010 of Michael Barlow at Fremantle, and the good form of James Podsiadly at Geelong, both having been plucked from the VFL. Of course the WA and SA clubs have long kept a closer eye on their local leagues, Adelaide in particular using the rookie list with SANFL players to excellent effect for many years and more recently Fremantle loading up on WAFL and VFL players (all these players are open to all clubs but some seem to focus more closely on them).
Tendai Mzungu meets both the above criteria. The 24 year old had an excellent WAFL season for the Perth Demons and has been signed by Fremantle via a trade week deal with the new Gold Coast club (whose entry rules allowed them to pre-list some players and on-trade them for a draft pick). The "dashing defender" can be seen below in action on two Youtube clips. It appears he has a mixed background, with some Eastern African heritage. Apparently he has was born in Melbourne to a Zimbabwean father and Perth mother, and although playing Aussie Rules for a long time, didn't even nominate for the AFL Draft until he was 22, according to Meet Freo's draft dodger.
Further to our story David Rodan Cup 2010 run and won, AFL Asia Pacific manager Andrew Cadzow has advised that even more players than anticipated turned up to the Fijian tournament, with 130 players spread across 8 teams. Cadzow predicts, "They will be strong at the Oceania Cup (youth) and look very likely to be in a good position for a senior squad (for the International Cup) next year". In fact as many as 168 boys registered, from across 29 schools, with the event supported by the Rodan family, Sportsworld, Coca-Cola, the Fiji Police Band, and numerous locals who helped out such as providing lunch for all the players.
Below are photos by Dallas Swinstead, by permission of the Fiji Times, and Dylan Wolfgramm, with thanks to Dr Robert Wolfgramm.
Mick Malthouse, coach of the Australian International Rules team knew that the long arms of Essendon full back Dustin Fletcher would make the difference when it came to defending the goal net against a six pointer. The ageless footballer known at Essendon as Mr Gadget and now well into his 30s only let one 'under' goal through after a brilliant running move by Bernard Brogan in the last quarter.
Fletcher challenged the GAA team's scoring capacity in the first Test at Limerick, Australia winning 47 to 40, while other myths remain unchallenged. Another key aspect was Ireland's inability to clear the ball from defence, with Mick Malthouse's side applying a full defensive press, the modern day flood now popular with several AFL clubs. As a result, many Australian scores were quickly followed by more.
The following is a 2010 update on Aussie Rules progress in Otago, in the south of New Zealand's south island, one of football's frontier regions. Courtesy of Nathan Rose.
Greetings from the deep south!
The Otago Aussie Rules scene has experienced steady growth since its inception in late 2007. Our biggest challenge is in finding opposition – as the Otago ‘Riot’ is the only organised team based in Dunedin, our guys are forced to do a lot of travel to get a game. We are currently exploring options for regular football, including inclusion in the Canterbury AFL, or forming new teams in Dunedin, as the current situation means we only play on occasional weekends against willing opponents on an ad-hoc basis – although, as any of the players will tell you, the road trips are a lot of fun!
The 2010 David Rodan Cup for Secondary Schools took place on Saturday October 23. http://FijiLive.com reports that the ‘Hawks’ squad won the event. However, as per the link the Grand Final score is written as Tigers 48-12 Hawks. However I’m assuming that to be a typo.
The NZAFL Championships are to be held in Christchurch on today, October 23rd and tomorrow October 24th at Westminster Park. Auckland, Canterbury, Waikato and Wellington will be competing for the Senior Championship whilst the Victorian Amateur (VAFA) U18’s will head over from Australia to play two games against the NZ Hawks U20 side.
Read on for information on the draw and the competing Leagues.
Toronto, CANADA (October 2, 2010): After joining the league in 2006, the Central Blues who compete in the Ontario Australian Football League (OAFL) have won the club's first OAFL Premiership in 2010. In front of a large crowd who enjoyed the OAFL beer tent and catering the Blues defeated a gutsy and determined Toronto Dingos outfit in the OAFL Grand Final played on Saturday 2 October 2010. The past three OAFL grand finals have been dominated by two clubs in the Toronto Eagles and Etobicoke Kangaroos with the Eagles winning two out of the three deciders, so it was a refreshing change to see two different clubs lining up in the biggest game of the season. The Blues, which were established by Bruce Parker and Rob Chapman in 2006 basing their club uniform on the revered Carlton Blues Football Club in the AFL, had played in the past two seasons before reaching its first grand final in 2010.
In an encouraging sign for the Blues their reserves team also featured on the big day, taking on Quebec in the Division 2 grand final.
The Convicts are back on tour again, departing Australia on Tuesday 19th October heading to South America for the first time. The Convicts concept involves bringing together a group of Australian footballers keen to play some footy overseas while paying their way to have a holiday as well.
The tour involves three matches: in Chile against the Santiago Saints, in Argentina and finally in Sao Paulo in Brasil. worldfootynews.com caught up with Adrian Barraza who is involved with Aussie Rules in Chile, to ask him how the year has gone so far and what impact the Convicts tour might have.
The 2010 David Rodan Cup secondary schools footy tournament will get underway later this week in Fiji. David Rodan has more than just his name associated with this tournament, and is working hard in Fiji currently, including generating a fair level of pre-tournament news coverage.
The Dubai Heat continue to build on their reputation as a powerhouse football club, winning their third consecutive Asian Championships. Dubai overcame Singapore in the final, with Hong Kong too strong for Indonesia in the third place playoff. Whilst every team present bar Macau managed to win at least one match, ultimately the previous winners of the tournament who were again participating (Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong) remained in a class of their own.
A fast finishing Melbourne yesterday defeated Brisbane in the Shanghai Showdown. The Dees trailed by as much as 29 points in the final term, but managed to win the match with the last kick of the game, off the boot of Liam Jurrah. This took his tally to five goals and helped earn him Best on Ground.
The match was played out in front of 7,000 fans at Jiangwan Stadium, less than a quarter of the stadium's capacity, and the empty seats were clearly evident on television. An AFL report prior to the match suggested a possible television audience of 30 million. If that many tuned in for the contest it would be less than 3 percent of China's population but more than Australia's whole population. The AFL Grand Final draws around 2.5 million viewers in Australia (12% of population); to reach a total number that is twelve times that amount for a first match on Chinese soil would be quite impressive.
Overall the AFL was happy with the experiment, with David Matthews quoted saying, "Today’s match was a fantastic exhibition of Australian Football in front of a very enthusiastic and big crowd which exceeded our expectations. There’s no doubt we would play another game in China and we will work with our partners and AFL clubs to make that happen.”
Melbourne 12.12 (84) defeated Brisbane Lions 11.13 (79)