After the off-season, footy is back in town this weekend with the much-anticipated return of the AFLW competition. Round 1 will see the debut matches for both Geelong and North Melbourne. It also sees the Western Bulldogs step onto the fields of battle to defend their 2018 premiership title.
As the women's game continues to grow, the footballing community cannot wait to see the women warriors take the field. This includes younger women and girls who dream themselves of playing for their club on the way to a career at the top.
Below is the AFLW promotional video released this week.
It is a forlorn hope for St Mary’s. Two games out of the top five and a poor percentage with just three games to play means that the Saints can’t reach the NTFL Premier League finals. There just aren’t enough miracles left to make it happen. However, they can raise merry hell over the final three rounds, and they started last weekend against the Darwin Buffaloes.
Snapping a four game losing streak, the incentive was there for the Saints. If finals aren’t going to happen, let’s make life difficult for those in the running. Their victory over the Buffaloes saw them come from behind at the main break and kick eleven goals to two in the second half to run out 37 point winners. The loss for the Buffaloes may not see them miss finals, but it will give them the shakes, knowing they are far from invincible.
Gab Pound has called Carlton home since 2017 when she made her debut in Round 1 against Collingwood.
“You couldn’t describe it, it was just an insane feeling it was very surreal and emotional,” Pound said. “I’m getting emotional thinking about it right now.”
“It was amazing to not only play AFL but women’s sport I think, we were given a massive platform and people were interested in it. A filled up Ikon Park and we never expected that so pretty insane to get that amount of people coming and watching. It was a magical night and yes it was pretty insane.”
Image Source: Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images AsiaPac
The dust has barely settled on the fourth round of the AFL Middle East season and already the two grand finalists are as good as confirmed again. The Dubai Dragons and Multiplex Bulls will meet each other again, barring an unforeseeable event of monolithic proportions.
The gulf between the top two and bottom two teams has expanded even further. It isn’t as wide as the Great Rift Valley, but it is worryingly enormous.
The Dragons and Bulls enjoyed huge wins at the expense of the Dingoes and Falcons, and in so doing have created a two game buffer between second and third place with two games to play. The Dragons cannot miss the grand final, still undefeated after four rounds. The Falcons cannot get there unless they win the preliminary final – winless after four rounds. The only mathematical change is for the Dingoes to defeat the Bulls in the final round by about 28 goals and win next round over the Falcons. Half of that equation is possible.
The inaugural National University League season is yet to be completed and already the concept has grown further. AFL England have announced on their website www.aflengland.org that an All-Star team from the NUL will take on an Irish universities team. Following is the article detailing the event.
AFL England is delighted to announce that a team representing the National University League will take on an Irish Universities team this year as university football continues to grow across Great Britain and Ireland.
The International University Test Matches will take place on April 20th in Dublin, and feature both Men’s and Women’s fixtures.
The NUL All-Stars team will be selected from some of the best players in the National University League’s inaugural season. More details about the selection process for the All-Stars will be [announced later].
Fremantle Dockers AFLW best and fairest winner Ebony Antonio is primed and raring to go as the 2019 AFLW season is almost upon us.
Antonio debuted for the Dockers in Round 1, 2017 against the Western Bulldogs and it was a surreal feeling for her. “It’s hard to describe that feeling but yes I guess it was quite overwhelming,” Antonio said.
Image Source: Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images AsiaPac
In a rare opportunity to chat with a club president of a club from New Guinea, a fascinating account of growth and regrowth emerges. In the process, West Eagles boss, Alois Melua, gives us a small window into how a club operates in the shadow of other stronger codes in Port Moresby.
Alois started playing Australian Rules football in 2010. He played for several clubs in Port Moresby, starting with the Uni Tigers -the club managed by his late cousin and key figure in local PNG footy, Peter Meli. In 2017, Alois was with the Koboni club and joined the Eagles in 2018.
The club’s past shows a journey with highs and lows. “The West Eagles club started way back in the late 80s and has been one of the prominent clubs in history of AFL in Port Moresby and around the country as well. The club had won several grand ﬁnals in the Port Moresby AFL competition and also produce many talented and skilful players who have represented the country playing for PNG Mosquitos Team.”
Last year, the Hawaiian sports scene was expanded to include a new Australian football club (see:Australian Rules Football Comes To Hawaii). Since then, men and women have been meeting at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki to have a kick, develop skills and enjoy the social side of a footy team.
But now the club has taken the step to officially brand itself. They have now called themselves the Hawai’I Eagles Australian Rules Football Club.
Whilst competition is still a while away, with options for competition being looked at, the club is still moving in the right direction. Club founder, Dallas McCulloch, announced on the club’s Facebook page that the club “are hosting our first inner club match which is also the first United States Australian Football League sanctioned event in Hawai'i. We welcome pros and newcomers who have never played footy too, so come have a kick!.”
They have been nothing if not patient, but the West Lothian Eagles in Scotland’s SARFL competition have only a few months to go before they hit the field as a fully-fledged team in the national competition. Commencing with scratch matches across 2017, progressing to five non-competitive SARFL matches in 2018 and now moving to full competition for 2019, the Eagle’s journey continues.
With the release of the 2019 SARFL fixture, the Eagles can see what their future will throw at them. It begins with an historic opening home match against the Tyne Tees Tigers. Both teams were new to the competition last season, but the Tigers had full competitive status. This time, both will be ready for a match that offers four points to the winner.
The last time the teams met, the Eagles had a day to forget in Newcastle, going down by 139 points. However, 2019 is a different story. This time the Eagles are the hosts and they are also a season wiser and will be two pre-season’s stronger.
The National University League got back into gear last weekend. The following report comes from the www.afl.england.org website, detailing the results and the implications ahead of the final round next month.
Birmingham turned up the heat on home soil as they won all four of their games to jump to the top of both the Men’s and Women’s division.
After a bye in Round 2, the two sides jumped straight back into the fray as the men’s team kept up their unbeaten record.
A total of seven individual goal-kickers saw them see of the Universities of South Wales (UoSW) team, and they followed that up by soundly beating Cambridge. Four goals from James Williams and three for Ciaran Jeanes across the round helping their side secure a spot in the inaugural NUL Men’s Grand Final with a round to spare.
After having enjoyed their winter break, the AFL Middle East teams return to the field on Friday for their Australia Day round. With three rounds remaining, all teams can book a place in finals if they can win all remaining games and it starts Friday at the Dubai Sports City with a double-header. The Multiplex Bulls will meet the Abu Dhabi Falcons whilst the Dubai Dragons play the Dubai Dingoes.
The Bulls sit in second place with two wins. Another win against the Falcons will almost certainly ensure them a grand final berth. But it won’t be easy. The Falcons sit on the bottom of the ladder winless, yet have played far better than that position suggests. Should they upset the Bulls it will give them momentum to win all remaining games. The Bulls start favourites, yet the Falcons will be determined to turn their season around.
After bringing down the reigning premiers, the Tiwi Bombers will be reassessing their goals for the 2019 season. Their victory against the Southern Districts Crocs proved that they have the “A” game capable of reaching finals and causing havoc when they get there. But ahead is a period of developing consistency and belief – mixed with hard work – to finish the season well. Nevertheless, they now sit in fourth place and finals are theirs to lose.
Travelling to the Crocs home ground, and trailing at half time, the Bombers were up against it. But four unanswered third quarter goals saw the Bombers grab the lead and were good enough to increase that in the last quarter to win by 22 points. The loss was costly, though not terminal, for the Crocs as they lost their third game from their past four starts and need to regroup, answer the wake-up call and re-establish their premiership credentials.