The recent World Footy Census clearly demonstrates that the big two countries in developing Aussie Rules outside of Australia are Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. This relates to their large junior programs, with thousands of children participating. Recent AFL South Africa announcements suggest that country remains on track to join those countries in the next few years.
In potentially big news for the international development of Australian Rules football, the AFL have revealed preliminary plans to allow AFL clubs to take on young international players as apprentices. The initial discussion is being treated as a background issue by mainstream Australian media, with the high profile issue the AFL's plans to have a similar scheme in Sydney.
The Brit Cup is a mid-season carnival in the BARFL season where the clubs submit teams made up solely of "EU" (mainly born and bred British) players. This year's Cup on Saturday 18th June, was the 5th year of the concept and saw the best footy played so far.
Florida is often associated with being the first place Hurricanes hit the US coast. Of course hurricanes don’t just appear, they develop quietly hundreds of miles offshore before hitting with devastating force. The Florida Redbacks similarly have been developing quietly for some time now and strengthening to hit the USAFL with some force of their own.
The BC Cup was a huge success in Vancouver with 5 teams Vancouver Cougars, Burnaby Eagles, Victoria Lions, Seattle Grizzlies and Alberta Kangaroos (21 Calgary Roos plus 4 Red Deer Magpies) taking to the field.
The British Australian Rules Football League has named its 35 man squad for the 2005 International Cup. This follows the Brit Cup tournament, in which clubs play off fielding only their British players (hopefully more on that later). At time of writing it was also expected that The Footy Show, the top AFL variety/sports program in Australia, would film footage of a British Bulldogs training session and air it tonight (June 23rd).
This Saturday, June 25, will see the Ireland National Team play a challenge match against players from the rest of the League. In other news, local side Leeside took on a team from the HMAS ANZAC. Also previewed are the upcoming ARFLI finals.
Australian Rules football has a long and successful history in Australia. Around the world the game has been much slower to take hold, but is now clearly doing so in several countries, with over 20 others starting to show promise too. The United States is one nation where the game has gone beyond the tenuous year to year situation in which an exodus of expat Australians could see the game disappear. But behind all the growth in the last 10 years, for any given city it usually (but not always) takes a keen Aussie to get the game started. Many such fledgling clubs start brightly but what next? In some cases they will become powerhouse clubs, the foundation from which large metro leagues emerge and support strong sides competing in interstate leagues. But in other cases they will slowly fade away. In hindsight we can look back and speculate where a club went wrong, or just wonder what could have been. No one knows in advance.
World Footy News exists to help promote international Australian Rules football, raising awareness of the game's growth. We hope to help show both Australians and the rest of the world the great potential for this sport. This job is made much easier with the support of as many leagues and clubs as possible. We hope by spreading news of the respective leagues, all the nations playing footy can benefit from new ideas and fresh challenges. We're also aware that mainstream media peruse our site, so this also raises awareness with people who can assist the cause.