In the afterglow of the recent Euro Cup in Cork, Ireland, where the Tel Aviv Cheetahs competed brilliantly and even won an important game, the club has been inspired by a young titan of the game – Nic Naitanui. Will Taylor and Ashley Browne report on the www.afl.com.au website about his vivit to inspire the Cheetahs whilst in Israel.
INJURED West Coast star Nic Naitanui worked closely with his fellow ruckmen leading up to the Eagles' premiership and his coaching journey has now taken a more exotic turn, this time to Israel.
Naitanui spent Monday night on a bumpy soccer field, conducting training for the Tel Aviv Cheetahs, who play in the AFL Europe competition.
Naitanui is in Israel on holiday, and has spent the week travelling through all parts of the country, from the Galilee region in the north, down to Beersheva and the Dead Sea in the south.
In a wonderful example of the power of our game across the world, the Essendon Football Club's theme song "See The Bombers Fly Up" has been updated and rearranged by Ugandan artist, Coopy Bly. Below is the stunning result - a stirring rendition of a song well known across Australian Rules football communities.
Waratah have come from behind to snatch a thrilling win against the Nightcliff Tigers in the Round 3 action of the NTFL. Their win finished off a big round of footy in Darwin with St Mary’s snaring their first win of the season, Southern Districts Crocs holding off a gallant Tiwi Bombers and the Darwin Buffaloes too good for the Palmerston Magpies.
In the Sunday match, however, the Tigers led Waratah almost all day. Going into the match, Nightcliff were slight favourites after an undefeated start to the season. All was on track until three-quarter time with the Tigers still 20 points ahead. But Waratah came out onto the field full of fire and closed the gap. Waratah were down by less than a goal with less than five minutes to play, but a crumbed goal in the goal-square put Waratah ahead. Only moments later, Waratah kicked another to seal the game, and their second win of the season.
As if Meghan Markle, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex, hadn't already won over crowds across Australia on her Royal Tour to the country, her prowess with an Australian Rules football has won her a new legion of fans.
Travelling to Melbourne today, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex attended a function at Government House. Whilst there, the Duchess was given the opportunity to show her style with the oval ball. Without any time to rehearse, Meghan Markle showed a great ability to handpass.
Pictures from The Australian newspaper show a solid command of technique. Not only has she impressed those in attendance, but Australian Football followers across the world have embraced the Duchess. Being an American and marrying into the British royal family, the Duchess of Sussex might yet be a wonderful, if unsuspecting, ambassador for the game.
Last weekend’s NTFL matches tossed up four big wins for Round 2, with the Darwin Buffaloes, Southern Districts Crocs, Waratah and Nightcliff on the winners list and each building early percentage buffers. At the other end of the scale, both St Mary’s and the Tiwi Bombers lost their second matches of the season and have already put themselves under pressure.
The Darwin Buffaloes kicked seven final quarter goals to one against Wanderers to run away with their match at TIO Stadium. Trailing by the first change, the Buffaloes fought back to lead by two goals at the main break. That momentum carried into the second half as the Buffaloes charged away to a strong 52-point victory. Star recruit – former North Melbourne and Port Adelaide player, Lindsay Thomas - kicked three goals for the Buffaloes.
The Austin Crows and San Francisco Iron Maidens sit atop the USAFL footy tree at the end of 2018 taking out the the Division 1 Men's and Women's Divisions respectively.
Both teams know the feeling of holding the cup well, with this being the 3rd year out of four that Austin have taken out the competition and the third (or back to back to back) title for the San Francisco Iron Maidens.
The Crows easily accounted for the New York Magpies in the Semi Final to line up their shot against the 2017 Champions the Golden Gate Roos. Golden Gate narrowly saw off the LA Dragons in their semi final but could not overcome the Crows who ran out five point winnners. Austin Crwos 4.6 30 defeated Golden Gate Roos 4.1 25.
It was a chilly, breezy, but sunny day in Racine Wisonsin. Five divisions of men's footy and two divisions of women's footy was played in good conditions.
In the Men's Division 1 Pool A was dominated by last year's champions Golden Gate and Pool B was dominated by 2015 and 2016 Champions the Austin Crows. Golden Gate will take on last year's runners up in their semi final tomorrow, while Austin will face the New York Magpies.
Australian Football Sri Lanka continues to build on their dream to establish the game of Australian Football in Sri Lanka. Following on from their previous visits to Sri Lanka where they ran clinics and formed a representative squad ahead of the 2017 International Cup, and again visiting later in 2017, the Fonseka brothers are back in Sri Lanka.
Accompanying them on the AFSL Annual Tour 2018 is the Essendon Football Cub captain Dyson Heppell and his brother, Essendon's 2018 VFL Best and Fairest winner Aaron Heppell. The tour is sponsored by AFSL.
The crew spent the past few days finding their feet on the ground in Sri Lanka where they will spend 2 weeks networking with strategic individuals and organisations, promoting Australian Football and running clinics to help introduce the game to the locals.
Below we hear the thoughts of the Heppells on the tour so far.
After an exciting day out in Cork, Ireland, the Euro Cup is done and dusted with the Denmark Vikings once again taking out the Men’s Division whilst the Irish Banshees won the women’s title. Both teams have now claimed their third titles with Denmark winning their first title since their back-to back tournaments in 2014/5. The Irish Banshees also won the women’s title in 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal and in London in 2014.
The Denmark Vikings won their way through the round matches and finals to meet the Irish Warriors in the final. They defeated last year’s winners, the England Dragonslayers, in the semi-final before defeating the Warriors by 14 points in the final.
The Irish Banshees and England Vixens had little trouble advancing to the women’s final with big semi-final wins, but the Banshees were far too good for 2017 winners, the England Vixens, taking the final by a commanding 25 points.
The Indonesia Volcanoes have claimed the Division 1 AFL Asian Championships in Kuala Lumpar by 16 points over the Philippine Eagles. In the inaugural women’s competition at the Asian Champs, the Vietnam Swans have downed the Hong Kong Dragons in a thrilling final to win the title by just two points.
The Division 2 title was won comprehensively by the ODG PNG Muruks, downing the Thailand Tigers in the final by 70 points 12 5 77 to 1 1 7.
Despite the presence of rain at various stages, the tournament was a huge success – the largest in terms of teams and player numbers to date. According to AFL Asia, "Weather as it does in Asia during this time of the year didn’t have much of a bearing on the overall scheme of things. However, it must be stated when the heavens opened in the Division 2 Final the PNG Muruks we’re playing with a dry ball, whilst the Thailand Tigers were playing with a wet footy. The PNG Muruks put on an absolute show in their grand final."
Sam Nichols reports on the Vice Media website about the growth of the game in North America – specifically the New York Magpies as a microcosm of the challenges facing the growth of the game as a whole. As the USAFL Nationals kick off in Racine, Wisconsin this weekend, this excellent story marks a good time to reflect on the journey of one club as an example of the journeys of others.
With just under 2000 registered players and 42 clubs, Australian Rules has taken a foothold in America without fans or money.
At a public park in Brooklyn, parallel to the East River, the New York Magpies—the city’s only Aussie Rules team—gear up to train, just like they do every Monday evening.
“There’s usually more people at training,” Shane Lowry, a longtime player and recently appointed coach, tells me. “We had a big weekend of footy in Philly, so I reckon a lot of people are tired.”