In a Grand Final re-match from last season, the perennial Auckland AFL champions, University Blues, squared off against last year’s opponent, the Waitakere Magpies. Despite many years in the AAFL competition Waitakere had yet to win a flag but with the Club supplying a large contingent to the Senior NZ Hawks in recent years it has only been a matter of time.
These were 2010’s top two teams. One win each during this season’s regular rounds, plus a better for and against percentage, gave Waitakere top spot on the ladder and bragging rights over Uni entering the finals. However when both teams met again in the semi finals the Blues won very well and deservedly went straight through to the grand final, the Magpies had to pick themselves up to play against North Shore in the preliminary final in a week. A great win over North Shores Tigers saw the Waitakere Magpies through to another grand final against the foe.
The AFL today announced the creation of a state-league based knockout competition from 2011 onwards -- the FOXTEL Cup -- which will showcase the quality of state league football across the country.
AFL General Manager National and International Development David Matthews said the AFL had now concluded all arrangements for the new competition, in partnership with FOX SPORTS, which will bring 16 teams from the various state leagues across the country to play in a unique knockout competition which will be televised exclusively by FOX SPORTS and supported by naming rights sponsor FOXTEL.
RICHMOND coach Damien ‘Dimma’ Hardwick looked at his playing list last week as he decided who would play for the Tiges at Alice Springs against the Indigenous All Stars (later cancelled due to cyclone Yasi), and there was one player he really wanted to let loose.
As recently covered on WFN, two of PNG’s young champs are international rookie listed by the Tigers, and have been training at Punt Road. Gideon Simon and Nathan Malbak, a pair of 16-year-olds, were with the Tigers for just a week. So impressive had Simon been that Hardwick felt he was ready to mix it with some of the league's best.
Of the potential new sides at the 2011 International Cup, the newest to footy in general are the Swiss, with the newly-formed AFL Switzerland working hard to find enough sponsorship to make it to the tournament.
A few previous unsuccessful attempts to start teams in Lucerne and Geneva aside, footy has only been played in Switzerland since 2010, when the club in Lugano was created to compete in the inaugural AFL Italia premiership season. Team Switzerland, drawn from the Lugano squad, made its debut at the 2010 Euro Cup.
Switzerland's second club, to be based in the country's largest city Zurich, will hold its first training session at the end of February under the leadership of Jono Newman. Newman spoke to WFN about the national team's chances Down Under in August.
LEFT: Switzerland at the 2010 Euro Cup in Parabiago, Italy. Photo courtesy of Daniela Scalia.
The AFL Europe this week announced that the 2011 9-a-side Euro Cup has been awarded to the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
This will be the first time the cup has been held in Ireland, and the Australian Rules Football League of Ireland believe it will serve as something of a preview to the next full-field European Championships, to be held in Dublin in 2013.
The ARFLI, although a powerhouse of European footy, are relative newcomers to the Euro Cup, not sending an official side until 2010. Prior to this, the Irish Exiles, drawn from Irishmen playing in other leagues around Europe, competed at the 2009 tournament.
Formerly known as the EU Cup, the Euro Cup is the biggest annual event on the European footy calendar, and is the main opportunity to get a large section of the community together.
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33 men's and women's teams have been nominated for the 2011 Australian Football International Cup, to be staged in Sydney and Melbourne in August.
The long list of possible newcomers in the men's competition is Indonesia, Italy, France, Vanuatu, Iceland, Fiji, East Timor, Croatia, Switzerland and depending on definition, Tonga, which competed in the multi-cultural section in 2008. At this stage all previous competing nations have nominated, except Spain (2005).
For the first time there will be a women's tournament, possibly featuring Ireland, PNG, USA, Italy, Canada and a combined Multicultural & Indigenous team.
The European Legion will be composed mainly of U-21 Players from the various European Leagues with a limited number of U-23 players to add senior experience. The team will be coached by former Melbourne Player and AFL Europe Commissioner Glenn Lovett. For those interested in having players considered for selection or for players interested in finding out the selection criteria you can e-mail email@example.com.