Aussie Rules has grown steadily in the US since first getting off the ground in 1996. It is easy to overlook how recently the game has been recently in that country. The sport's current strength is individual clubs scattered around the US, but increasingly the clubs are developing social reduced player number "metro" leagues to support the game. Now it appears the next step in growth could be in the college system, the corner-stone of US professional sport.
Salt Lake City, in Utah, has made some attempts at getting an Aussie Rules side together since 2003 but so far there has been no resulting game time. With a recent Arizona influence, hopes are up not only for a full side but also a metro league.
Australian Rules is alive and well in Asia with four international matches played in May. The results are a good form guide in the run up to the Asian Champs in September, with current title holder Hong Kong showing impressive form.
Two well known internationals trying to make their
way at the highest level of footy are Carlton's Irish recruits Setanta
and Aisake O'hAilpin. The elder brother Setanta has received plenty of
press and recently played his first game for the Blues, promoted from
their VFL feeder club the Northern Bullants. But less is known about
Aisake. The pair were recently interviewed on Carlton's Blues Club
Corner radio show and the audio is available online.
The long awaited exhibition match between the AFL's North Melbourne and an undetermined AFL side, now planned for the 2006 Australia Week Festival in Los Angeles, California, appears to be firming. Several aborted attempts have been made in recent years to get this off the ground, but a story this week in the Herald Sun suggests the match is increasingly likely to go ahead.
One of the big stories of international Aussie Rules in 2004 was the news that the USAFL had signed a three year broadcast deal with new company All Sports Television Network. The agreement involved ASTN recording and broadcasting selected US Footy matches on free to air television in the United States. There had been an expectation that the All-Star East versus West games in Dallas in May would have been telecast by now, and the delay is causing considerable disquiet in the US Australian football community. World Footy News discussed the current situation with the USAFL's Scott Hunt.
On the 26th of May AFL Germany club the Hamburg Dockers played a friendly exhibition match against the HMAS ANZAC Slayers football team. The game was played hard and tough, but in a friendly spirit, with the ANZAC Slayers running out eventual winners, 6.15.51 to 4.6.30.
Saturday's international between Denmark and Sweden in Farum ended in a thrilling draw when an extraordinary after-the-siren goal from Dane, Jesper Gjørup levelled the scores for the first time since the four minute mark of the first quarter. The game had just about everything - except of course a winner and a loser. The following is a full match report and includes a link to some video of the game.
The 2005 Australian Football International Cup is getting close, and there are increasing numbers of small pieces in the Australian media regarding the tournament. Amongst the stories locals may have seen was a short article in the AFL Record.