The BARFL's British Bulldogs continued their domination of all that come before them this year with a massive 146-point win over the ARUK combined England and Wales Dragons. The game was played 14-a-side as the Dragons suffered some last-minute withdrawals, with the Bulldogs again showing the form that saw them hammer the Irish in Dublin running out 23.28.166 to 2.8.20 winners.
The Bulldogs are now looking forward to next year's International Cup, where they will have the chance to show how much they've really come against the heavyweights PNG, New Zealand and the US.
For the ARUK sides, the next hitout will be a match between the England Dragonslayers and Wales Red Dragons on November 3rd in Cardiff.
The Denver Bulldogs won the 2007 Coopers USFooty National Championship, defeating San Diego Lions by just 6 points. It was a beautiful day for footy in Louisville's Champions Park - bright and sunny with little breeze and very warm for mid-October in the mid-West. The pitch was flat but dusty as Kentucky's blue grass hasn't seen water in a very long time.
TORONTO, Ontario: The Toronto Eagles have created AFL Canada history winning their 11th title beating the Etobicoke Kangaroos 12.10 (82) to 3.6 (24) in the Ontario Football League Grand Final on Saturday 6th October.
The Toronto Eagles finished equal top in the regular season standings finishing with a 13-win, one-loss record, and confirmed their rating as the best team in the OAFL with the historic win over the Etobicoke Kangaroos.
"Both teams were exception all year, though I feel that our finals experience came through today” Eagles Captain Troy Marsh said.
The Eagles 58-point win was totally unexpected as a tight contest between the league’s premier teams was to be on the cards. The Eagles dominated the match, outscoring the Kangaroos 5.5 (35) to 1.5 (11) in the first half, before kicking four goals in the third quarter to head into the final break with a 42-point lead.
The Eagles were on top in every aspect of the contest, with their defense — which has been the best in the competition all season — keeping Etobicoke to their lowest score of the year.
"It has been such an exciting year to be able to coach such a talented team," Coach Mark Block said.
"It's not easy to win back to back, but we did it and we did it well."
Eagle Tasos Dimacakos was named Man of the Match. Dimacakos, who has been the Eagles' best defender all year, began the season in super hot form and was selected in this year’s OAFL All-star team.
(Louisville, KY) Day 1 of the USFooty National Championships was a fabulous sunny day with a light breeze. Hot pies and cold beers were selling like hotcakes at the City of Louisville Champions Park. The day saw 4 fields hosting 4 men's divisions and 1 women's division.
The 2 and 0 winners on the first day of round robin play in Division 1 were the top 2 seeds from each group. In Group 1, the San Diego Lions won their two games in fairly convincing fashion. Golden Gate came pretty close, but Chicago couldn't stay with the 2006 Champions. The New York Magpies were able to hold off Chicago in a very closely fought game. The New York Mapgies had a easier time against the Golden Gate Roos. The Denver Bulldogs easily accounted for the OC Bombers and although they started slower against Boston they were able to win in the end. The Baltimore Washington Eagles had harder time against both the Demons and the Bombers and were behind the Bombers at the half, but they finished both games in convincing fashion.
Day 1 games set up two great "semi-finals" on Sunday with San Diego taking on New York and Baltimore Washington taking on Denver. San Diego looked like the class outfit that they have been all year. New York was a little lucky to beat Chicago. In Group 2, BWE and Denver set things up for a classic USFooty encounter. Denver looked very impressive led by new USFooty President Rich Mann. Their backline of Jim Baldwin and Tom Ellis came to play as did Matt Daniuski who was like a freight train leading out from full forward. The Eagles were up and down all day. Dwayne Marshall was a huge asset in the forward pocket with some beautiful goals. Dennis Ryan and Chris Carroll went in for the hard ball all day.
In Division 2, the Minnesota Freeze have been a revelation taking two wins in their group. The Freeze's B-side also took 2 wins in Division 4. Atlanta and Seattle also finished the day with 2 wins setting up some great games in Division 2.
OC Bomber stalwart, Chris Olson, whilst disappointed with his club's two losses, summed up the day perfectly saying "I just love this game". The tournament continues today.
At the USFooty Admin Conference held in Louisville, Kentucky on Friday, Joshua Goodstein of the Fort Lauderdale Fighting Squids presented an update on the International Cricket and Footy stadium being built in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The stadium will be ready later this year and the Fighting Squids are planning a major tournament at the site in April or May next year.
Here are some stats:
* Seating for 25,000 (8,000 covered).
* Private suites and announcement facilities.
* Fully-lit oval in the main stadium.
* 2 additional (non-Stadium) full-size ovals with lighting.
* Main stadium oval measures over 170m diameter.
* ICC sanctioned facility.
* Wired for TV broadcast.
* Digital scoreboards and the newest in announcement and broadcast technologies.
* Full service concessions.
* Will play host to international and local Australian Rules Football events as early as 2008-2009.
The idea of a purpose-built footy stadium with two more fields in the facility had football administrators from across the US dreaming of the possibilities and looking forward to having a kick. The lit fields allow the possibility of night games which will help reduce congestion during the USFooty National Tournament Championship.
Back in 2004 the Australian Football League, in conjuction with state leagues, launched Recreational Football, or Rec Footy. Essentially it is non-contact football, played on a smaller field with eight players per side. "Tackles" are made through pulling flags from the player with the ball - a similar concept to flag football in the US, and in the same vein as a touch replacing a tackle in touch football (touch Rugby) in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The new game gives the opportunity for people to play a form of Australian Football over summer in a social setting, without the physical load of traditional Aussie Rules. The game has the potential to fill a crucial hole in the market which allows sports such as soccer and touch football to draw players away from footy. I've written before of the effect touch football has in Australia of introducing the skills and interest in Rugby Union and League to future fathers, mothers and their children. Australian Football clearly needed an equivalent, so as the 2007/08 season approaches it's timely to see how this new sport is going, based on statistics from the AFL's 2006 census. And it's also timely to remind prospective players, those with footy backgrounds and those without but who had always wanted to try the game themselves, males and females, young and not so young, to contact their local associations to find or make a team and launch their Rec Footy experience.
The Jakarta Bintangs are well known to International footy fans, but also kicking the sherrin in the Indonesian capital are the Jakarta Bulldogs, an under 18s side formed in late 2006 by students from the British International School (BIS) in Jakarta.
The driving force for the side were two teenagers from South Australia, who recruited schoolmates to form the team - most of whom had no idea what Australian rules football was. Consequently, the team sports players from all over the globe, including Finnish, New Zealander, British and local Indonesians. Their first match was against West Java AFL team the Pancawati Eagles on November 24th, a fixture which saw the Bulldogs go down to the Eagles 74-70. Since then, the Bulldogs have maintained an unbeaten run through '07, defeating the West Java AFL's Depok Garudas, the Jakarta Bintangs' reserve team and last weekend a team of junior Indonesian rugby players.
The match on Saturday October 6th was held at the halftime break of the senior match between the Jakarta Bintangs and the International Sports Club Indonesia (ICSI). The Bintangs vs ICSI match has been an annual fixture for some years, played as half-footy-half-rugby - or "fugby".
The Bulldogs took on the ICSI junior rugby players confident in the knowledge that the ICSI boys had little to no idea about Aussie Rules, and piled on 5 goals in the first half while holding the ICSI side goalless. The second half saw the Bulldogs loan ICSI a few players, evening up the match but still seeing the Bulldogs run out 5.6.36 to 0.3.3 winners.
For more information on the Jakarta Bulldogs, visit their website.
Australian Football in Europe has been relatively slow to develop. The United Kingdom has seen its fair share of the game over the last one hundred years, so it is no surprise a number of solid leagues have been established. Denmark then took to the game in the 1990s and has made slow by steady progress since, bringing in southern Sweden at the same time. Ireland were the obvious next choice to flex their footy muscle, but after them, there was a period where few leagues developed and a number of nations were stuck in the one-country-one-club situation.
There are signs this limitation is starting to be thrown off, and at the same time there are an increasing number of internationals being played. Clearly it's high time Europe was able to crown its own champion nation, but any undisputed mechanism to achieve that is far from settled.
The New Zealand National Provincial Championships were played in Wellington at Martin Luckie Park on Saturday the 29th and 30th of September. Auckland continued their dominance at Representative level and were successful in taking out the title for the third successive time. According to NZAFL CEO Rob Vanstam "Every one of the six games played on the weekend was in the balance at some stage. The big improvers were Waikato and although yet to find their first NPC victory, they gained the respect of all competitors." For more from the NZAFL CEO see Auckland Takes Triple Crown, or read on.
At the recent BARFL AGM there were several interesting changes in personnel. President Remon Gazal stood down as he is returning to Australia, and long time committee member Donald Eastwood did not stand for re-election. Also departing is Chris O'Neil. Taking on the top job is Sam Percy of the Wandsworth Demons - reprising a role he held for three years from 2002 to 2004. Other notable changes were the addition of Kat Conner from the Manchester cliub, and Glen Ocsko, who readers may recall was the author the UK Footy plan discussed in UK Footy unity plan being debated and BARFL respond to UK Footy plan. The other committee members are Daniel Bussau (Treasurer), Martin Smith and Luke Shaw. Comments from the new President suggest that the mood is now right to push through significant structural changes.