The Leeside Lions were crowned Premiers of the Australian Rules Football League of Ireland (ARFLI) on Saturday last following their victory over the reigning premiers, the South Dublin Swans. The final score in the Grand Final played in Durrow, County Laois saw the Lions 9.13.67 comfortably win over the Swans 2.7.19.
The Cork Side lined out with four Australians in their playing squad compared to fourteen in the match day squad of the Swans. The league’s rule that 50% of the players on-field at any time must be non-Australian meant that the Swans Irish players and one German were tested physically as they had to play much of the game without a rest while the Lions were able to rotate players freely - including local star Teu Ó hAilpín, the brother of AFL club Carlton's champion import Setanta.
The Cologne-based Rheinland Lions have broken through for their first-ever flag in the AFL Germany, with a triumphant 48-point win over German powerhouses the Munich Kangaroos at the 2007 AFLG Grand Final carnival - final scores Rheinland 13.7.85 to Munich 5.7.37. The win not only marked the first premiership for the Lions, it was the first for a team with a majority of German players on the pitch.
In the playoff for third prize, the Hamburg Dockers comfortably accounted for the Frankfurt Redbacks 8.12.60 to 2.6.18. The third match for the day saw German wooden-spooners the Berlin Crocs join with the Flying Dutchmen of Amsterdam for win in a friendly match against the Rheinland reserves team.
The Baltimore Washington Eagles (4) took their hard running game to New York and defeated the Magpies (3) 11.11 (77) to 4.8 (32). The win puts the Eagles in the box seat for the Eastern Australian Football League title and a high seed in the USFooty National Championship Tournament. The Eagles finish their regular season next week against the Philadelphia Hawks and New York host their arch rivals the Boston Demons (8).
The AFL Papua New Guinea, who oversee PNG’s junior programmes, and the AFLPNG Rules Council, who oversee the senior competitions, have announced their representative weekends for September. From these competitions the national squads will be formed to take part in the Queensland State Championships 2008 at junior level and for the International Cup 2008 at senior level.
We're pleased to announce the winners of our Footy Darts packages (see Footy Darts - chance to win for your club). An Ultimate Footy Pack will soon be on the way to the Denver Bulldogs in Colorado, USA and the North Delta Junior AFL in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, courtesy of Dale Wilson from Sports Darts. Read on to hear more about their entries.
As young Gaelic stars continue to be drawn into the front end of the AFL system, aging veterans are moving out the other end and on to the NFL retirement plan circuit as punters. Sav Rocca today confirmed that he had been successful in making the final 53-man roster for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. This sets the stage for Rocca’s arrival in the first NFL game of the year to be heralded in the media across the U.S as the oldest rookie ever to take the field.
In the second part of our preview of the 2007 EU Cup and emerging nations of European Aussie Rules, we spoke to Germany's Malte Schudlich and Austria's Ben Chick. The 5 teams of the AFLG and the Vienna Kangaroos in the capital of Austria give a total six teams in the German-speaking areas of Europe, with at least one more on the cards for 2008.
Update - The report now also has an interview with England Dragonslayers' coach Rob Fielder.
Natasha Puautjimi from Bathurst Island (off the northern coast of Australia) become the first girl to unanimously win a best & fairest in an Australian rules football league when she beat more than 170 boys in her under 13s division in the Yarra Valley Football League in Melbourne's northern suburbs to take the league's best trophy. The gutsy and highly talented footballer polled 27 out of a possible 30 votes, and over 12 votes more than her nearest competitor.
The Nationalist in Ireland this morning reported that Brendan Murphy has returned from a trial with the Sydney Swans and will return to Sydney in November. It seems that the Swans will win the race to sign Murphy after it earlier seemed that Brisbane were the front runners to obtain his services.
As we reported some weeks ago it was expected he would be checking out the Brisbane setup (Lions in first for Irish Talents), and we also speculated that other clubs may try to sign up players already targeted by the Lions.
With news of Murphy today and Kevin Dyas yesterday coming to Melbourne to trial with the Magpies, the sentiment out of Ireland is one of disappointment for the Gaelic game and the poaching by Australian clubs, but support and well wishes for the individuals to go well in their new professional pursuits.
This year's European autumn will see the biggest season of test matches across northern Europe for a few years, with a few big clashes which will give a few indications of where teams stand leading up to neat year's IC. Heading the card are matches between the big three of European footy - the Irish Warriors hosting the Great Britain Bulldogs in Dublin, then travelling to the Danish city Århus to take on the Denmark Vikings.
Add to this the EU Cup, this year's Sweden-Denmark match and matches between the Scottish Puffins, the England (ARUK) Dragonslayers and newcomers the Welsh Red Dragons and possibly the biggest story of the whole schedule - an 18-a-side match on October 13th between the BARFL's Bulldogs and the ARUK's Dragonslayers. The stage is set for an encounter where both sides have a lot of respect on the line.
UPDATE - Our sources in Scotland tell us that while they have been talking to the guys in Wales about a game, this is not yet confirmed. Reports from ARUK that the Dragonslayers are to play Scotland it seems are also premature. According to the SARFL's Eddie McAvinchey: "Both interesting games for us to have (in theory) but in practice we may not be able to organise any of them, as the SARFL season isn't finished for a few weeks and then it may be getting too late to arrange anything."
The NZ Australian Football competitions generally are played in Spring or early Summer to complement existing football codes rather than challenge them for players. Though junior development has occurred previously throughout the year it can be seen that the recent addition of NZAFL CEO Rob Vanstam has generated some momentum again after the disappointing hiatus while no CEO was in office. Read more of the growth in junior development and about preparations for the Barassi International Youth Trophy and International Cup 2008 tournaments.
Dromintee's Kevin Dyas was an integral part of his team drawing with All Ireland Club Champions Crossmaglen last week as Collingwood’s scout looked on at the Gaelic football fixture. A week later they lost to Crossmaglen and Dyas' season was over.
It now appears that Dyas is on his way to Australia for a month long trial with the Pies, just as Martin Clarke did in July 2006. It is also believed that Brisbane had been interested in Dyas and possibly also offered him a contract. Collingwood were able to keep Clarke under wraps when he came out just over a year ago, we think Dyas might get a little more attention – even if he is hidden away in the Lexus Centre.
It is unlikely that Dyas saw Martin Clarke cop the crude high hit from the Swans' Amon Buchanan on Saturday night but if he did it just might have him thinking twice about the conversion.