Due to the uncertainty around international travel, the AFL has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 AFL International Cup.
The event, which was to be held on the Sunshine Coast, was initially postponed from this year to July/August 2021.
After significant consideration and consultation with AFL International affiliates, the forecasted restrictions on international travel and the uncertainty around team availability have led to this decision.
The AFL International Cup remains an important part of developing the game overseas and mid next year They will review the ability to stage the AFL International Cup on the Sunshine Coast in 2022 or 2023.
Hawthorn defender Conor Glass has made the decision to return home to Ireland, calling time on his AFL career.
Glass will return to his hometown, Maghera, where he will continue his university studies and recommence his Gaelic football career playing for County Derry.
He joins long time cross-coder in Pearce Hanley and medium termer Conor McKenna who have previously announced their retirement. The global Covid-19 has no doubt played some part in all these departures with the separation from family and friends from home who previously could visit and break up the homesickness but also with the Irish communities within their adopted homes.
In was in late March 2018 when Cairns hosted its last AFL match. On the day, Tropical Cyclone Nora kindly dumped monsoonal rain over the Cairns region, turning Cazalys into a fairly decent outdoor swimming pool.
After years of declining attendances at the Cairns venue for AFL Premiership matches, a decision was made to host a Round 1 match in March (instead of the usually dry August). It was a calculated gamble to try and produce an excited and enthusiastic crowd to appease the AFL, boosting numbers again to secure a future for these matches in Cairns. Sadly, the weather intervened.
Only 3722 people braved the conditions that night, and subsequently the AFL did not grant another game in 2019 to Cairns. Instead, fierce southern rival Townsville hosted their first AFL Premiership match. Those in the footy industry in Cairns were shattered and some believed that the damage done might see a 10-year wait for the city to host another match.
For those unaware, I have made the decision for a variety of family and personal reasons to step aside from my role writing for World Footy News. After eight years in the role, I needed to move on to a more family-based lifestyle. However, footy goes on - just look at how the AFL is still finding ways to keep running despite the ongoing threats associated with COVID-19. Footy worldwide is in a period of low activity, but that will change.
Likewise, World Footy News will continue to adapt to the changing world around it. Whilst personnel and content may change, the roles of the website - to help promote Australian Football as it grows across the world through positive reporting - will remain. The website has always attempted to do what no others have done - try and cover the game at a global level, opening up as many connections as possible to ensure the footy world remain aware of how the game is growing and where.
Many websites report on their own parts of the world, but only World Footy News has continued to write original stories, or share those of others.
The AFL community is stunned by the announcement today that Essendon’s Irish speedster, Conor McKenna, has tested positive to the coronavirus. Details are still sketchy, with further medical investigation and contact research to occur, but AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan announced today that tomorrow’s Essendon v Melbourne match will be postponed.
The precaution is in line with the AFL’s COVID-19 protocols, with a postponement decision meaning that the match can potentially be played mid-week later in the season. Shorter quarters were brought in by the AFL to lessen the playing load on players in the event that postponements did occur, which is now the case.
Initial fears that McKenna brought the disease with him from overseas, after returning home to Ireland just a few weeks ago, have been allayed somewhat. McLachlan stated that McKenna tested negative last Wednesday, showed a “low grade irregularity” on Friday and a positive this morning. This would indicate that he may have contracted the disease since returning to Australia.
The following is an extract from an AFL Europe story by James Brosnan at www.afleurope.org looking at the development and future of the Waterland Eagles – the newest AFL Netherlands team. It is a part of AFL Europe’s “Newest Team In Town” column looking at up and coming clubs across Europe.
THE Waterland Eagles are back training following the COVID-19 lockdown and hoping to go one better when the AFL Netherlands season commences later this year.
The Eagles finished their debut season in the grand final of the Dutch competition, losing to current European Champions, the Amsterdam Devils.
The Eagles were full of enthusiasm heading into their second competitive season as a club and have been encouraged by three weeks of training post lockdown according to Eagles president, Neil Cooke.
For decades, the AFL’s 18 clubs have survived due to two key factors – television rights and supporter membership. The Perpignan Tigers in southern France have opted to take a leaf from the AFL’s book and attract their own members.
This is a first in France where a club has turned to its own supporters to become members of the club and help support the club financially.
As noted by the club, traditional sponsorship for clubs has become very difficult in COVID-19 times. Businesses all over the world, and certainly in France, are doing things tough. Many are simply unable to operate at all and with no revenue they don’t have the ability to set aside funds for sponsoring. Other businesses have put off staff and trimmed back every possible cost to try and remain viable.
Since the arrival of the most recent coronavirus, Australian Football (also known as Aussie Rules) has captured the imagination of sport fans worldwide, particularly in the United States of America. With their own sporting codes on indefinite hiatus until the threats of COVID-19 disappear, cable and television networks have been showing our unique Australian game.
The audiences have been growing exponentially and a look through Twitter reveals a large amount of people raving about the game – its hardness, its skills and its speed. New fans are even seeking advice on what is the best AFL club to support. One pattern, however, in all of this feedback has been the amount of times people have been asking for an explanation of the rules and how the game works – the logic behind everything that lights up the screen once the ball is bounced.
Having been involved in most facets of the game myself for over 50 years, I felt it might be of value for me to have a stab at “Explaining Aussie Rules”.
I doubt that there has ever been a Round 2 of a season that has carried such a weight of expectation, whether that be at the highest level of the AFL, or the suburban juniors anywhere around the world. Yet, Collingwood and Richmond have played in one of the most, dare I say, important matches in many, many years.
Pitting two great traditional clubs against each other certainly raised the excitement. The canned applause was for the most art innocuous, although at times the crowd appeared to be cheering the wrong thing. That’s technology! The mere spectacle of a game – a live game - returning to the lounge-rooms across the world raised spirits.
However, more important that any of the above, arguably, is the fact that the ‘Pies and Tige’s are the catalyst for a new footy beginning. The fact that they both entered the field of battle tonight heralds what will come.