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Monday, October 22 2018 @ 11:30 am ACDT

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Several Clubs Circling Irish Draft Prospects

Europe

 Ryan Davidson from the www.afl.com.au website has reported on the eye-catching performances of a couple of potential Irish recruits after they impressed at last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine. Held at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne (formerly Etihad Stadium), the Irish lads held their own and more up against the best of the prospective AFL draft prospects for 2018.

IRISH prospects Anton Tohill and Mark Keane believe they've shown enough to deserve a spot on an AFL list, and several clubs are interested in signing the promising duo. 

After impressing at the Dublin Combine last December and at the AFL Academy's camp in Florida in January, the youngsters earned an invitation to this week's NAB AFL Draft Combine, and they didn't disappoint.

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Territory Explores Potential Bid For AFL Team

Australia

Marc McGowan from the www.afl.com.au website reports on the decision by the AFLNT to explore the potential of being host to an AFL team. Whilst Tasmania is the logical and emotional next step for a club to be developed or relocated, the Northern Territory is a passionate home to the NTFL, the Northern Thunder in the NEAFL and a continual pipeline of amazing talent. 

THE NORTHERN Territory is preparing to explore whether it could realistically be home to an AFL club. 

AFLNT chief executive Stuart Totham and NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner met with AFL chief executive Gill McLachlan in Melbourne this week to discuss the plan. 

The Territory has produced a number of great AFL footballers, including Norm Smith medallists Andrew McLeod, Michael Long, Maurice Rioli and Cyril 'Junior Boy' Rioli, and Nathan Buckley.

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2018 AFL Grand Final - International Broadcast Schedule

FOX SPORTS Australia Pty Ltd

 2018 AFL Grand Final day is here.  The Grand Final kicks off today at 2.30pm Melbourne time with the West Coast Ealges taking on Collingwood at the MCG. 

The full broadcast schedule for the day including Match Day, the Pre-match entertainment and post match Highlights show can be seen below.  Note what is shown in each region varies.

In addition to the TV networks you can also subscribe to the Watch AFL service that will give you live access to all the matches and more (outside Australia only).

You can access that service by clicking on the link here or the Watch AFL promo shot on the left to register and by then paying the subscription fee.

Right now Watch AFL is offering The Finals Series Pass providing instant access and goes through to the 30th November 2018. This includes the Grand Final..

This pass includes all AFL Premiership season matches live and on replay, the Finals Series plus access to FOX FOOTY content.

 

 

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Star In Stripes: US Reacts To Big Pies' Performance

North America

 

Marc McGowan reports on the www.afl.com.au website about the reaction in the United States to the extraordinary success of Texan, Mason Cox, ahead of his AFL Grand Final appearance tomorrow. Cox has already captured the imagination of Australians, but as the AFL’s biggest game of the year draws closer, Americans are realising the magnitude of his achievements.

AMERICAN Mason Cox's extraordinary Australian football journey to Saturday's AFL Grand Final is finally gaining traction in the Collingwood giant's home country.   

The United States media's relative lack of interest until now pales in comparison to the fanfare the 211cm forward has long received in Australia.

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China Reds Ready For Asian Champs

Asia
As part of the lead-up to the AFL Asian Championships in Kuala Lumpar next month, World Footy News will be presenting information and backgrounds on some of the teams headed to the event. This article features player profiles courtesy of veteran Chinese national footballer, Zhang Hao.

The following profiles are or the eight Chinese nationals who will be playing for the Reds next month as the Chinese team prepares to take on the best in Asia and flex some muscle. The game is expanding at an exciting rate through the clubs based in Beijing (Bombers), Shanghai (Tigers) and the teams of the SCAFL (South China Australian Football League) centred around Guangzhou (Guangdong Province), Hong Kong and Macau.
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CrossCoders' Bonner snapped up by GWS Giants

Europe
Gaelic Football star Yvonne Bonner is the second CrossCoders athlete signed up today.  She has joined the GIANTS as a rookie signing for the 2019 AFL Women’s season.
 
Bonner, from Donegal in Northwest Ireland, is set to follow in the footsteps of Cora Staunton by becoming the second Irishwoman to sign for the GIANTS AFLW team.
 
The 31-year-old, who has been nominated for her second All-Star award, is hoping to have the same impact as Staunton, who lit up the competition with her attacking flair and unique kicking style in 2018.
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CrossCoders' Irish Ailish to have a craic with the Crows

Europe

In a pleasing development from yesterday's CrossCoders storyAdelaide has secured its first international women’s player with Irish recruit Ailish Considine signing on as a rookie for the 2019 season.

Considine is a talented Gaelic football player with Clare and Kilmihil, in the country’s mid-west region, and is also part of AFL Ireland Women’s West Clare Waves team.

The 26-year-old is also skilled at Camogie, the female version of the Irish sport of hurling.

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Asian Champs Heading To Kuala Lumpar

Asia
Kuala Lumpar is preparing for the upcoming AFL Iflix Asian Championships on Saturday 13th October. With the release of the draw this week, large scale of the event becomes clearer. Teams from across the length and breadth of Asia will be there, and training for the travelling squads is in full flight.

According to the event hosts, “the Malaysian Warriors Australian Rules Football Club warmly welcome competing teams, family, friends and spectators to the 19th AFL Asian Championships, Kuala Lumpur! This year’s event is set to be the largest Asian Championships in the history of the tournament with a record 22 teams registered to participate including the inaugural AFLW Championships.”

“As Australian Rules football continues to grow across the region we’re excited to be hosting this year’s Championships and look forward to a huge weekend of Aussie Rules at its Asian finest.”
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Kurt Heatherley delisted from Hawthorn

Oceania

The first Oceania graduate to crack it for a senior AFL match and senior listing - Kiwi Kurt Heatherley - has not been offered a contract for 2019 by the Hawthorn Football Club. Kurt came through the AFL Oceania and South Pacific pathway before relocating from New Zealand to Melbourne and completing his schooling at Caulfield Grammar.

Five years ago as an 18 year old he accepted an International scholarship offer from Hawthorn and as reported at the time by Emma Quayle (the Age) he was set to become one of the most (internationally) travelled AFL players.

Prior to the 2016 season Kurt was upgraded to the Hawks senior list, and in round 20 of 2016 made his senior debut against Melbourne at the famous MCG in front of a tick under 39,000 fans. In 2017 a further 4 games followed - twice versus Collingwood (over 50K each time) and a trip to Tasmania for a draw against the Giants at York Park in Launceston; before a last senior hit out against Geelong in a 3 pt loss in Round 17 of 2017 in front of 70K at the MCG.

Injuries hampered his progress, this year with a only 2 VFL games prior to June and unfortunately after a solid stretch through winter he succumbed to a hamstring injury in August that ruled him out of the successful Box Hawks finals campaign.

Highlights included his debut against Melbourne and first win Round 15 2017.

After beginning his time at the Hawks during their golden era of the 2013-15 three-peat; in more recent times other players have moved ahead of him in the Hawthorn backline. Hopefully though he might find another home in the AFL and wouldn't be a bad fit at a number of clubs.

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Blue becomes local hero in Irish Gaelic game

Europe

 

Riley Beveridge from the www.afl.com.au website filed the following story looking at the success of Carlton’s Irish import, Ciaran Byrne. Usually stories about Irish footballers trace their journey from Ireland to the AFL. However, Byrne has reversed the trend, returning to Ireland to play in a local match.

CARLTON defender Ciaran Byrne has returned to Ireland and become a hero in his local county, starring in a surprise appearance for his boyhood Gaelic side over the weekend.

Byrne suited up alongside his older brother Declan for his home club St Mochta, helping it defeat Mattock Rangers to reach the Louth Village team's Intermediate Championship final.

The 23-year-old came on as a second-half substitute, making his first Gaelic appearance since joining Carlton as a Category B rookie from County Louth at the end of 2013.

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CrossCoders bring women's international talent to AFLW

General News
The past two evenings I got to see a great initiative that will hopefully change the way the AFL and their recruiters think about women playing Australian football and other sports overseas when it comes to filling out their lists.  They have decided that this opportunity cannot be ignored and have delivered these athletes from across the world on a plate for AFLW list consideration. 
 
It is a very professionally run setup both in terms of personnel and facilities and looks to be just the first iteration of what hopefully will be a successful program for years to come.
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Solna Axemen Take SAFF Title In Sweden

Europe
The Solna Axemen have made amends for last season’s grand final defeat by taking out the 2018 SAFF (Stockholm Australian Football federation) premiership last weekend. In a great day for the club, the Axemen defeated the Norrtälje Dockers by 33 points in a comprehensive victory.

In a landmark day for the club, the pain of last year’s grand final defeat to the Södermalm Blues was erased. Whatever pledges were made in the darker hours of 2017, were kept by a team with a mission. The final score on the day saw the Solna Axemen 10 7 67 defeat the Norrtälje Dockers 5 4 34.

It was the seventh SAFF Premiership flag for the Solna Axemen since their inception in 2006, enhancing their status as the most successful SAFF club since competition started in 2004. It was also the first flag for the Solna team since 2014.
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