It was only late 2016 that the Bogotá Bulldogs became South America’s second permanent Australian Rules football team. In just a short time, the club has become the continent’s champion team, winning back-to-back Andes Cups against the Chilean footy stalwarts, the Santiago Saints. To some that might be seen as job done, but not the Bulldogs. Rather than be content with international titles, footy in Bogotá, Colombia, is about to have its first permanent league.
Bogotá Bulldogs’ president, Patrick Smallwood, states, “this year we have decided to put on a 9’s footy league in Bogotá over two seasons. The club will hold a draft night and try to split players evenly between the three sides. The teams are the Bogotá Bombers, the Bogotá Bullants and the D.C Aguilas.”
Tash Gunawardana interviewed Carlton young gun Bridie Kennedy ahead of the Blues and Pies opening clash of the second AFLW season this Friday the 2nd of February. Good luck to Kennedy on her first season with the Navy Blues.
When did you start playing Australian Rules?
I started playing when I was 15. My best friend convinced me to start playing.
Image Left Source: vfl.com.au
Did you play any other sports growing up?
I feel like I played every sport growing up. Basketball, netball, cricket, gymnastics and even did some horse riding. I found my fit when I started playing football.
Robert Louis Stevenson didn’t ever write about St Mary’s, though one of his most famous books – The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde - fairly aptly describes the Green Machine this season. Supporters would be bouncing from delirium to despair as the Saints have gone from has-beens to supermen multiple times across the season. Three losses to start the season before two wins, a loss then three wins, three losses and now three wins.
So far, every time they fall to bits they bounce back. Every time they get on a roll, they crash. With three rounds remaining, fans must be wondering which Saints team will play out the final three rounds. However, maybe this is why they have won 32 flags since 1952 – they simply don’t understand when they are done. Nevertheless, after downing Buffaloes on the weekend, and nabbing third place on the ladder, Saints need to understand quickly to secure a finals double chance and another chance at glory.
Tash Gunawardana interviewed the Western Bulldogs AFLW team's No. 19 draft pick Daria Bannister ahead of this week's opening round of the AFLW season.
When did you make the switch from Netball to AFL and why did you make this change?
I transitioned from netball to football in 2017. I played both sports for a year but with both being played on the weekend it became too hard so I decided to focus purely on football in 2017. I made the choice to play football because I loved the freedom and physicality of the game. I am a competitive person and I love the game style of football, the one on one aspect and the full team game. I have made some life-long friendships with people all over the country since taking up football and it has given me so many opportunities so far, I think I definitely made the right choice.
Last year you finished year 12, so have you chosen to do further study yet or will you just focus on your football career for now?
I received an email a week or so ago to say I have been accepted to study Nutritional Science at Deakin University, but I have decided to defer my studies for 2 years so that I can focus on football and then hopefully do some travelling in the off-season.
Scotland’s newest Australian football club, the West Lothian Eagles, has been granted the opportunity to compete in the SARFL, AFL Scotland’s national league, for the 2018 season on the agreement of being a developmental club. Whilst the club would be a touch disappointed that they did not receive full admission for 2018, they have received a great opportunity to build throughout 2018 ready for possible full inclusion in 2019.
In many ways, their fate is in their own hands. Given a set of criteria by AFL Scotland, the club has already agreed to the opportunity and immediately implemented goals and targets around issues such as player numbers and retention, non-playing personnel, financial stability and all other aspects of club operation.
The Tyne Tees Tigers, formerly a part of the AFLCNE competition, based across northern and central England, have made a monumental decision to leave that league and travel north to be a part of the AFL Scotland league, SARFL. Whilst on face value the question might be raised as to why a club in England would join a league in Scotland – geography justifies the decision. Based in Newcastle, in the north of England, the Tigers are closer to the Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow than most of their former AFLCNE opposition.
According to Tyne Tees Tigers club president, Phil Martin, “we took the decision to change leagues based on travel involved. With the exception of the Huddersfield Rams, all the AFLCNE clubs are a greater distance from us than the SARFL clubs. Historically, due to this, we have always had a solid link to the Scottish clubs with strong representation at Tyne Cup over the years, with the pre-season Bawbag Cup between the Kingdom Kangaroos and ourselves (and last year included the Eagles as well) and also with pre-season friendlies. The time felt right to take the step [to join SARFL].”
It has been a while since the Muscat Magpies, from Oman in the Middle East, have taken to the field. In fact, it was during the 2014/15 season that the club formally announced that it would cease playing in the AFL Middle East competition. Since then they have left the door open for a return and slowly worked towards a possible return. Last week, the club hosted the Multiplex Bulls in an International Rules match – a step towards something bigger down the track. The following article from Alex Broun at Sport 360 looks at the game.
The first ever International Rules match was played in Muscat with the Multiplex Bulls taking on GAA Oman in an exhibition match.
Hosted by the Sultan’s School, Seeb, 20 Bulls players made the trip from Dubai to play the landmark match, which is a hybrid of Gaelic football and Australian Rules, on Friday.
Tash Gunawardana continues her series of interviews with AFLW players. We are now just 11 days out from the start of the 2018 AFLW season. Today's interview features Melbourne Football Club's Jasmine Grierson.
What is it like to play with players such as Daisy Pearce, Karen Paxman and Elise O’Dea and what have you learnt from each of these players?
I have loved every second of being able to train and play alongside these girls, every session is an opportunity to learn and develop into a better footballer. The way they prepare, train and live football is a true credit to the elite players they are. Not only on the field, but from role models to friends they bring so much knowledge and genuine care to the relationships in our team.
What does Irish teammate Laura Duryea bring to the Melbourne Demons?
‘Irish’ brings so much enthusiasm and energy to every session. Experience and wisdom to the backline but also lots of laughs off the field.
When a Darwin thunderstorm rolls into town, the electricity generated can provide some of nature’s most spectacular light shows. When those storms roll in over TIO Stadium on match night it can have an entirely different outcome. On Friday night, that is just what happened when an electrical storm hit the stadium, taking out light towers and causing the cancellation of further matches.
The washout affected earlier division matches, but perhaps the biggest impact was the decision to split the four points between Southern Districts Crocs and Nightcliff Tigers. Whilst nothing can be done about nature’s fury, the weather took away the chance to watch first v second on the ladder in what might have been a grand final rehearsal. Significantly, however, Crocs remain three games clear of Tigers with four rounds to go before finals.
We welcome Yoshihiro Imagawa to our writing staff. Yoshi is a huge St Kilda FC fan and has been a regular contributor to The Footy Almanac the past few years and is now assisting AFL Asia and AFL Japan to get their footy news out to the world.
On Friday, AFL Asia announced proudly and with delight that Hayley Leary had been appointed as AFL Asia AFLW Promotion and Development Officer for the 2018 season. Grown up in Melbourne and currently based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Hayley participated in the AFL Asia 2016 Asian Championship AFLW Exhibition match in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
Her great experience in playing footy in the exhibition match drove her in co-founding the Malaysian Warriors Women's team in 2017. On Saturday, 20 January, the Malaysian women club will be playing against the Cambodia Apsaras in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Two bright young talents from the USAFL’s Los Angeles Dragons are taking their talents across the Pacific: both Gabriel Martin del Campo and Sam Murphy will be competing in local Aussie rules leagues in the 2018 season.
A member of the US Revolution squad, Martin del Campo (pictured left) primarily plays in the midfield or half-forward line and will be taking his talents to suburban Melbourne. Born and raised in Southern California, Martin del Campo leaves on January 19th and will play with the Black Rock Football Club, who compete in the Southern Football League’s Division 3. In addition to Aussie rules, Martin del Campo also played rugby union and soccer in his younger years. He is a physical and versatile player who excels on the disposals and clearances.