On the eve of the new AFLW season, we have quite an Irish flavor across the competition this season. We know all about 11 time All-Ireland start Cora Staunton who will be back in the GWS Giants colors, and this year we will also get to marvel at the magic from Mayo in Sarah Rowe.
A former junior soccer star, and later Mayo Gaelic player, she came across towards during our winter footy season and was almost shopped around to various clubs, to find a fit and find a club that may appreciate the talent she had to offer. Collingwood Magpies has become her home away from home.
It's exciting knowing that this time tomorrow AFLW 3.0 will be back and it sure is great to have football back for 2019!
If the first two seasons of the AFLW are anything to go by as far as the growth of women’s sport and crowd attendances, then AFLW 3.0 will be biggest and best season yet with the inclusion of two new AFLW teams and the new conference format. The Lions will be out to prove themselves after being the team to beat in the first two seasons, as they made the grand final for two consecutive years but did not come away with the premiership, so will AFLW 3.0 be the season they finally finish the season on a high as AFLW premiers.
Image Source: AFL Women's
The Western Bulldogs will be the hunted this season after an incredible grand final upset win over the Lions, but the question is can the Dogs win back to back or will another team make history and win their first AFLW premiershipω In AFLW 3.0 the inclusion of North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos and the Geelong Cats is massive. There is a lot of speculation that North Melbourne will provide headaches for the rest of the competition due to the amount of stars they have picked up from other clubs in the AFLW expansion including former Western Bulldogs captain and premiership player Emma Kearney and classy Lions trio Kaitlyn Ashmore, Brittany Gibson and Tahlia Randall.
Since the inaugural AFLW season, Emma Zielke has been a household name at the Brisbane Lions with her leadership and star talent.
Zielke captained the Lions in the first two seasons after she was signed as a priority access player in August 2016 before the inaugural AFLW season in 2017. “It was one of the best memories so far, I was extremely grateful and excited for the opportunity.”
Zielke handed over the captaincy to Leah Kaslar for AFLW 3.0.
“Leah is a great leader, being the Vice Captain the past two seasons I have leant on her in both seasons,” Zielke said. “I know she will be great, she gives it her all every time she steps out on the track and is fearless. I look forward to running out behind her this season!”
In recent years, the Fitzpatrick Cup has been owned by Cork’s UCC Bombers. Not only have they had some home ground advantage, they have simply been the best team – men’s and women’s. This year, travelling to Oxford, will challenge their domination, but according to this report from www.afleurope.org the Bombers and Crusaders are up for that challenge.
From AFL Europe: UCC aiming to win Fitzpatrick Cup again.
Looking to win the Fitzpatrick Cup again, UCC knows they will be facing tough competition with this year’s edition of the tournament being played on English soil.
The UCC men’s side is looking to record a three-peat, while the women’s side, the UCC Crusaders, are looking to win their fourth Fitzpatrick Cup in a row.
The AFLW is finally back for it's third season and it promises to be the best season of the AFLW yet with two new teams North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos and Geelong Cats making history and joining the competition. First match of the season will commence this Saturday at the cattery and this match will be a history breaking match for the Geelong Cats, a team playing their first ever AFLW match.
Round 1 extended team lists have been released below
Geelong Cats vs Collingwood, Saturday 2nd February 6:45pm at GMBHA Stadium
Angus Boyle from http://www.afleurope.org takes a look at the upcoming Fitzpatrick Cup to be held in Oxford. From humble beginnings, the Fitzpatrick Cup has grown in size, scope and importance and the 2019 edition is sure to be a huge affair to get the 2019 season in motion.
The first major AFL Europe tournament for 2019 will see five universities from Ireland and England battle it out on Saturday 2nd of February for the Fitzpatrick Cup. Premiers in the men’s divison back in 2015 and 2016, Birmingham University are looking to take both the men’s and women’s Cup back to the Midlands.
Both sides have been in impressive form recently, with the men still unbeaten and both teams on top of their respective National Universities League competions.
The men’s side currently have a big percentage, showing their attacking prowess and they are confident of maintaining that 100% win record.
Gaelic star Ailish Considine’s dream of playing in the AFLW has truly become a reality.
Considine signed with the Adelaide Crows as a rookie and as the club's first International women’s player at the end of 2018.
“It’s a pretty amazing feeling to be honest. Being able to be a part of history in such a great club is special,” Considine said.
“Still don’t have words to describe it. When I signed the contract I didn’t even read it I was so excited! It didn’t feel like real life! Probably one of the best days of my life so far, it’s a dream come true. I’m so grateful for the opportunity.”
After the off-season, footy is back in town this weekend with the much-anticipated return of the AFLW competition. Round 1 will see the debut matches for both Geelong and North Melbourne. It also sees the Western Bulldogs step onto the fields of battle to defend their 2018 premiership title.
As the women's game continues to grow, the footballing community cannot wait to see the women warriors take the field. This includes younger women and girls who dream themselves of playing for their club on the way to a career at the top.
Below is the AFLW promotional video released this week.
It is a forlorn hope for St Mary’s. Two games out of the top five and a poor percentage with just three games to play means that the Saints can’t reach the NTFL Premier League finals. There just aren’t enough miracles left to make it happen. However, they can raise merry hell over the final three rounds, and they started last weekend against the Darwin Buffaloes.
Snapping a four game losing streak, the incentive was there for the Saints. If finals aren’t going to happen, let’s make life difficult for those in the running. Their victory over the Buffaloes saw them come from behind at the main break and kick eleven goals to two in the second half to run out 37 point winners. The loss for the Buffaloes may not see them miss finals, but it will give them the shakes, knowing they are far from invincible.
Gab Pound has called Carlton home since 2017 when she made her debut in Round 1 against Collingwood.
“You couldn’t describe it, it was just an insane feeling it was very surreal and emotional,” Pound said. “I’m getting emotional thinking about it right now.”
“It was amazing to not only play AFL but women’s sport I think, we were given a massive platform and people were interested in it. A filled up Ikon Park and we never expected that so pretty insane to get that amount of people coming and watching. It was a magical night and yes it was pretty insane.”
Image Source: Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images AsiaPac
The dust has barely settled on the fourth round of the AFL Middle East season and already the two grand finalists are as good as confirmed again. The Dubai Dragons and Multiplex Bulls will meet each other again, barring an unforeseeable event of monolithic proportions.
The gulf between the top two and bottom two teams has expanded even further. It isn’t as wide as the Great Rift Valley, but it is worryingly enormous.
The Dragons and Bulls enjoyed huge wins at the expense of the Dingoes and Falcons, and in so doing have created a two game buffer between second and third place with two games to play. The Dragons cannot miss the grand final, still undefeated after four rounds. The Falcons cannot get there unless they win the preliminary final – winless after four rounds. The only mathematical change is for the Dingoes to defeat the Bulls in the final round by about 28 goals and win next round over the Falcons. Half of that equation is possible.
The inaugural National University League season is yet to be completed and already the concept has grown further. AFL England have announced on their website www.aflengland.org that an All-Star team from the NUL will take on an Irish universities team. Following is the article detailing the event.
AFL England is delighted to announce that a team representing the National University League will take on an Irish Universities team this year as university football continues to grow across Great Britain and Ireland.
The International University Test Matches will take place on April 20th in Dublin, and feature both Men’s and Women’s fixtures.
The NUL All-Stars team will be selected from some of the best players in the National University League’s inaugural season. More details about the selection process for the All-Stars will be [announced later].