The Blagnac Aviators are the newest Australian Rules football club in France, playing their first CNFA season across 2016/17. They performed creditably, winning two matches and avoiding the wooden spoon in their maiden season. But now they have gone a step further, taking out the 2017 Coupe Du Sud (Cup of the South) in a tri-series against both the Toulouse Hawks and Bordeaux Bombers.
On top of that effort, the Aviators managed to go through the tournament at the Stade Sordelo in Toulouse undefeated across their matches to be thoroughly deserving victors. Playing in the final against their Toulouse siblings – the Hawks – Blagnac were comprehensive, downing their rivals by 26 points (Aviators 35 d Hawks 9).
After the inaugural clash between the Santiago Saints and Bogota Bulldogs held in Colombia last September, the teams have been itching for another chance to clash. Last time, playing in The Andes Cup, it was the new kids on the block, the Bogota Bulldogs, that took the honours, downing the Santiago Saints by 46 points. See story Bogotá Bulldogs Down Santiago Saints In Colombia.
On July 22nd the second instalment of this South American footy rivalry gets under way when the Chilean based Saints host the Bulldogs. It will be an enormous boost to the game in Chile. The Santiago Saints have lived in a semi-hiatus for many years, unable to play much more than internal scratch matches due to the lack of another team on the continent.
April 12th is a national day in Russia. It is called Cosmonautics Day and celebrates the anniversary of Russian cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, who was the first man into space, circling the Earth for almost two hours on April 12th 1961.
As a major day of Russian celebration, AFL Russia has for many years played either a match or tournament, under the banner of the Gagarin Cup, as a major Australian Rules football event in Moscow.
In recent years the event has become a part of the overall Russian football season where the two major national teams – the Lazy Koalas from Moscow and the St Petersburg – play each other for the honour of the Gagarin Cup.
An international Auskicker announced as the eighth NAB AFL Auskicker of the Year Weekly Nominee
Zac Stewart from the Singapore Sharks Football Club has been announced as the eighth weekly nominee for the 2017 NAB AFL Auskicker of the Year competition.
To coincide with the Round 8 Toyota AFL Premiership Season match in Shanghai between the Gold Coast SUNS and Port Adelaide Football Club, Power fan Zac was announced during an interview with the Seven Network’s Hamish McLachlan in China.
The NAB AFL Auskicker of the Year competition calls for 2017 registered participants of the program, both in Australia and internationally, to enter for the chance to become one of 22 weekly nominees.
It has been a big build up in the football media all week to this historic match in China for Premiership points. Early in the week much of the media seemed negative, possibly because of Rodney Eade’s post-match comments last week when asked about the game.
As the week has gone on though the sentiment has gradually turned supportive of the match and the acceptance that the potential that China offers should be given a go.
Unlike previous matches in Wellington, this overseas match was shown on free to air TV in Australia and late in the week the deal was secured for the match to be shown live in China on various networks (with Mandarin language commentary).
Along with the debut of an AFL regular season match in China - there is also a lot of grass roots Asian footy going on to take advantage of this match as a chance to get together. The AFL Asia Shanghai Cup conducted yesterday - Saturday May 13th - took place at the Wellington College International Shanghai. Many of the players competing Saturday will likely attend the Port v Gold Coast clash today. One of the competing sides is the Vietnam Swans. And while for many people there is a view of expats dominating AFL in Asia - the Swans are among the growing band of footy outposts that are working at developing local footballers; and for the first time the Swans were captained by a Vietnamese local in Nguyen Quang Vinh.
The AFL is pleased to confirm Chinese television networks, CCTV, Shanghai TV and Guangzhou TV, will broadcast Sunday’s Round 8 Toyota AFL Premiership Season match at Jiangwan Stadium into mainland China, in addition to the Australia Plus Channel being available for pick up across China via satellite.
AFL General Manager of Clubs Travis Auld announced today the three free-to-air Chinese television networks will broadcast Sunday’s historic match between the Gold Coast SUNS and Port Adelaide Football Clubs.
“I’m pleased to confirm that CCTV, Shanghai TV and Guangzhou TV, all free-to-air networks in China, will broadcast Sunday’s Round 8 match from Shanghai,” Mr Auld said.
WATCH AFL are offering a SHANGHAI 2017 FREE PASS (for viewers outside Australia only):
This details are
24-hour free pass which runs from 00:01AM - 11:59PM AEST Sunday 14th May
Free pass period covers three matches being played that day - Richmond vs Fremantle, Port Adelaide vs Gold Coast and North Melbourne vs Sydney - plus users can access all previous 2017 matches and FOX FOOTY content
Users only need to sign up with their email to access the free pass, no credit cards or commitments are required
Previous cancelled subscribers can also access the free pass
Tom Wills, the man credited with founding Australian rules football, will be recognised during Saturday’s Powercor Country Festival match between Essendon and Geelong, with the player adjudged best on ground receiving the Tom Wills Award.
Wills was born in 1835 and grew up various regional areas on family owned properties. A great cricketer in his day, Wills is credited with co-writing the original rules of Australian rules football. Wills pushed for the establishment of a football code, and famously on 10 July 1858 his letter to Bells’ Life sports paper was the catalyst for the formation of the game we now know as Australian rules.
After just six games of Australian football, Irishman Mark O'Connor will make his AFL debut for Geelong at the MCG on Saturday.
After being a very promising GAA football talent in Ireland and playing for County Kerry, O'Connor was invited to the AFL Europe combine in Dublin. Impressive in the testing there he was invited to Melbourne where he was hot property at the AFL Combine in Melbourne last October.
Being an international rookie prospect he was in the position of fielding a number of offers before he finally chose Geelong. He joined fellow Irish recruit Zac Tuohy who had just been traded from Carlton. An impressive pre-season and good early from in the VFL have seen the Geelong selectors back the raw Irish talent for his accelerated AFL debut.
On Saturday there is some chance he will run out on the MCG and be matched against another Irishman in Conor McKenna who had a similar journey via the AFL Europe combine before ending up at Essendon.