Following on from our story several days ago International players invited to AFL Camp, we now present the complete list of players attending the AFL camp. The camp is run in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Sport which gives scholarships for talented juniors. The AIS targets the best players coming out of the AFL Under-16 National Schoolboys' Championship each year. As such the Australian players will generally be younger than the internationals invited this year, although countries such as PNG will be sending boys of similar age. It appears although invitations for 15 players were sent, only 7 are attending the camp.
Luke Matias is a 22 year old Englishman from Nottingham in the Midlands who represented his country at the 2005 Australian Football International Cup. He also recently completed a Business Enterprise degree at Manchester University, but has now found himself devoting his time to preseason training with Port Melbourne in the Victorian Football League. Whichever footy team he is with, Luke is renowned for his biceps, and has earnt the nickname "Crusher" - as the profiles on the Nottingham Scorpions and British Bulldogs websites show. Natural leadership qualities have often seen him in captaincy positions no matter what sport he has played. We spoke with Luke about how he came to play footy, what inspires him and where he'd like to go in the game.
The AFL website currently features stories advertising a short term development officer position in South Africa through Australian Volunteers International (although the ad indicates New Zealanders are also eligible) and a story describing three Multicultural Development Positions to ensure the game's continued spread amongst Melbourne's diverse community. All positions close shortly.
Samurais Michito Sakaki and Tsuyoshi Kase are heading Down Under in the hope that they may be able to cut a swathe through the opposition and make it as professionals in Australia's national game. The following article is by Ryann Connell and appeared in Japanese paper The Mainichi Shimbunon November 23, 2005.
Our understanding is that the two Japanese players have been assisted in travelling to Australia with sponsorship from QANTAS, Robert Walters and members of the Japan AFL. Kase and Sakaki are pictured in action for Japan at the recent 2005 International Cup in Melbourne.
The Milwaukee Bombers, a member of the USAFL competing in the MAAFL, are looking for an Australian player to play for them in the 2006 North American summer. No doubt this will be one of many in a growing exchange of Australian Football players in the years ahead as footy continues to internationalise. The following is a release from Milwaukee.
The annual Australian Football League's AIS Camp sees elite young players from around Australia invited to attend a training camp in which they are put through athletic and skill tests under the watchful eye of AFL scouts. In a tremendous breakthrough for international Australian Football, 15 players from outside Australia have been invited, the first time this has occurred.
Scott Reid is well known in international footy circles for having been involved in the early days in Samoa and more recently being a key player in the development of AFL PNG. After much thought Scott has accepted a job in Australia but is confident he leaves Australian Football in good hands in Papua New Guinea.
Two key issues for developing Aussie Rules around the world is ground availability and getting players involved in helping their clubs and administrators, not just turning up to play - a luxury not really available to new sports. Recently the Humber College ground used for Ontario Australian Football League finals got an upgrade, with players providing the extra manpower to assist the City of Toronto Parks in completing the job.
AFL club Hawthorn will be conducting a training camp in New Zealand for their players in December, following on from a similar program by Port Adelaide in 2004. The NZAFL have issued a Press Release saying that the Hawks will also be taking time out to conduct clinics for the South Island's Aussie Rules league, the Canterbury AFL, based around Christchurch.
Australian football continues to be developed
amongst children at an increasing rate in South Africa, in particular the
Northwest Province. Recently a Roadshow was completed in which "11
communities were visited, about 700 kids were reached and about 50 community
volunteers were involved in the training sessions and trained to take
up football on their own". The game has recently been introduced into
the villages of Morokweng, Schweizer-Reneke and Dithakong, which are all
in the Bophirima region of NW Province. From a personal point of view,
when World Footy News has been under pressure lately, it was also very
pleasing to see one of our writers (Jake Anson) and one of his mates
involved in the "Aussies on the Road" program, in which AFL South Africa gives
Australian tourists a unique look at the country whilst the visitors help
teach children Aussie Rules. It reminds us of some of the good things
that we can assist with, makes some of the sacrifices worthwhile, and makes it clear that we should continue the site for the good of football.
Jake spent a couple of days with the program whilst on holiday and we'll
no doubt get some great reports from him in the next few weeks or
Australian co-captain and Brisbane Lions veteran, Chris Johnson, made a heart felt apology for his widely condemned actions of the Second Test in Melbourne. However it did not help him escape a 5 week International Test ban that means he cannot play till at least 2008. Rule changes are also likely to decrease the chance of similar incidents.
AFL club Carlton has moved Setanta O'hAilpin to
their senior list for the 2006 season. After two years on the Blues'
international rookie list, the former hurling star recruited from Ireland
has been given his big chance. He joins Sydney's Tadhg Kennelly as the
two Irishmen on AFL senior lists. All three of the O'hAilpin brothers
are currently doing pre-season training with Carlton.