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Monday, December 17 2018 @ 11:04 am ACDT

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Australian Rules Football Comes To Hawaii

Ryan Finnerty reports on Hawaii Public Radio about the development of an Australian Rules football club in Hawaii. In the wake of the recent USAFL Nationals in Racine, and the current Mason Cox mania, a Hawaiian football club is further proof of the increasing uptake of the game across the United States. Follow the link below for an audio interview detailing the club and its journey.

The interview is contextualised by the following introduction on the http://www.hawaiipublicradio.org/ website.

What do you get when you combine American football, rugby, soccer, and a few other sports into oneω A little game called Australian Rules Football. It’s one of the most popular, and rough, sports from the Land Down Under.

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Okunbar signed, O'Connor elevated at Geelong

Europe

Geelong has now officially signed Gaelic footballer Stefan Okunbor as a Category B Rookie for the next two seasons, after it was reported almost two weeks ago that the move was happening. 

The Irishman is an emerging player in his homeland and has been on the AFL scouting radar for a few years. In 2017 Okunbor was invited to attend the AFL Academy Camp in Florida and the AFL National Combine in Melbourne.

Image: sportsjoe.ie

The 20-year-old then returned home to Ireland to work on his game, playing for home club Na Gaeil in Tralee, University of Limerick and Kerry U20’s at inter-county level.

 

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Nightcliff Tigers Maul Tiwi Bombers

Australia
Two games separate the top four from the bottom four teams after Round 4 of the NTFL season in Darwin last weekend. The Nightcliff Tigers, Southern Districts Crocs and Darwin Buffaloes each enjoyed big wins, whilst Waratah were too good in the end for a plucky Wanderers team.

A big seven-goal opening term by the Tigers set the tone for their clash against the Bombers at Tiwi Oval. From there, the Tigers extended their lead all day – except for a brief Bomber resurgence in the third term. Aided by a big 10-goal haul from Trent Melville, the Tigers ran out 47-point winners in front of the Tiwi crowd. Dion Munkara kicked five goals for the home team.

Waratah kept their season momentum going with a four goal win over Wanderers. Not much separated the teams all day, but Waratah were able to kick goals at crucial times to keep expanding their lead by degrees. The win sees Waratah with three victories from four starts and in a good position to consolidate their place in the top five. Former New York Magpie ruckman, Alex Aurrichio, played his fourth game for the club since arriving from the Northern Blues, kicking a goal.
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Truck Of The Irish: 'Takeover' Continues With Record Number

Marc McGowan from the www.afl.com.au website reports on the growing number of Irish footballers signed or about to be for the 2019 season. Following is an extract from the story. 

AN UNPRECEDENTED number of Irishmen are set to compete in the AFL next year if North Melbourne's bid to lure a prospect from a small county is successful. 

Red Óg Murphy, a forward from Sligo, is that player. 

Óg is the Irish equivalent of 'junior', for the uninitiated, but you can already take a pretty accurate stab at what his nickname will be in Australia. 

 

He could follow countrymen James Madden (Brisbane), Mark Keane and Anton Tohill (Collingwood), Stefan Okunbor (Geelong) and Callum Brown (Greater Western Sydney) into the League in 2019.

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Bullants Down Bombers For AFL Colombia Premiership

South America
The Bogota Bullants have downed the Bogota Bombers in yesterday’s AFL Colombia Grand Final to win the second competition premiership. The Bullants were too good for the Bombers and ran out comprehensive winners by 49 points with the final score seeing the Bullants 132 defeating the Bombers 83.

Earlier this year, the DC Aguilas won the inaugural AFL Colombia premiership. The Bullants have now claimed the second Colombian flag, making their own impact on Colombian footy.

More to come.
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Stade Toulousian Taste Opening Victory



The 2018/19 CNFA Leo Lagrange season kicked off in France this weekend. Last weekend’s scheduled clash between the ALFA Lions and Perpignan Tigers did not proceed, leaving this weekend’s games as the season start on field.

With matches played in both Paris and Bordeaux, there were some significant results for a new-look CNFA. The reimagining of the former Toulouse Hawks and Blagnac Aviators saw the new entity – Stade Toulousain – take the field to win against the Bordeaux Bombers. New team, the Bayonne Toreadors, pushed the Paris Cockerels in their debut match and the Paris defeated the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes convincingly.

In Bordeaux, the Toulousain team kicked away to a handy 20-point lead in the opening quarter against the home team. The same margin separated the teams by the main break with the Bombers determined to stay in touch and they crept to within 10 points by the final change. But the Stade Toulousain team unleashed a huge final quarter to run out eventual 37-point winners.

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Croatians To Take On Norwood

Will Taylor from the AFL Europe website www.afleurope.org reports on the upcoming clash between Norwood and both the Croatian Knights men’s and Croatian Queens women’s teams. Not only does this present as a unique pre-season opportunity for the Redlegs, it is also another great step in the development of Croatian teams – fast-tracking the development of the national women’s team. 

In a first for footy in Europe, South Australian National Football League (SANFL) side the Norwood Football Club will play the Croatian men’s and women’s national teams in a friendly fixtures this weekend in Biograd na Moru. 

 

The Redlegs have made their way over to Croatia to start their pre-season training camp that will involve a fixtures against the Croatian Knights  and Croatian Queens this Sunday.

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Bombers Into AFL Colombia Grand Final

South America
The Bogota Bombers have reached their first AFL Colombia Grand Final, downing the DC Aguilas to meet the Bogota Bullants in the big dance. The Aguilas won the inaugural AFL Colombia premiership earlier this year. Their format sees two mini seasons per year, giving the Bombers and Bullants their chance to join the honour roll. From the mighty pen of AFL Colombia, here is the match report.

What a cracker of a game we had last Saturday.

Coming up to the start of the match, you could feel the tension, as both teams weren't ready to be knocked out of the competition.

The Gourmet Burger Bar Bogota D.C. Aguilas looked confident, arriving with a full team that included a full strength Captain Paddy Smallwood, Denny transplant Will Keech, Colombian breakout and new Bogota Bulldogs Torres Sergio and the return of the DC Rockett from his travels abroad.
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Aisling McCarthy Becomes A Bulldog

Europe
With AFLW clubs finalising their lists today in the wake of Tuesday’s draft, Irish talent, Aisling McCarthy has been snared by the Western Bulldogs with pick 23 in the draft. She is one of four Irish women to be placed on AFLW team lists after the recent national and rookie drafts.

Aisling was a graduate of the Western Bulldogs’ Cross-Code graduate program and was a part of the Cross-Code program held last month in Melbourne for women from across the world to try out for list spots. The Western Bulldogs were impressed by Aisling’s talent and potential and did not hesitate to draft her on Tuesday.

The 22-year old Tipperary native came to Australia earlier in September to try her luck and has already achieved her primary goal. Her selection continues a gradual exodus of Irish talent to the AFLW as more women realise they can live a dream.
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GWS sign 18 year old Irish rookie Callum Brown

Europe

The GIANTS have welcomed Irish recruit Callum Brown (in the red and white left)to the club as a rookie for the 2019 season.

Brown is an up-and-coming Gaelic Football star in his home country and is a tall, skillful and athletic prospect.

The 18-year-old was identified by the GIANTS’ Irish scouting program in July 2017 and undertook a 12-month trial process with the club.

He flew to Australia in August to spend two weeks training with the GIANTS under the eye of coach Leon Cameron.

Brown is the second Irish international signing in the club's short history after Setanta Ó hAilpín played two injury ridden year's with the club at the end of his career.  Also currently on the club's list is Aidan Corr who was born in Northern Ireland but has lived in Australia since he was three.

Image: irishnews.com

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Saints-Power In China Locked In For Three Years

 

Riley Beveridge from the sww.afl.com.au website reports that Port Adelaide has a new partner in China for the next three years. After talk and speculation since the Gold Coast Suns withdrew from future agreements, St Kilda has formally been announced as the new opponent for the Power in Shanghai, commencing next season. 

PORT Adelaide has struck a deal to take on St Kilda in its annual China clash from 2019 and beyond, with the two sides confirming a three-year agreement on Thursday.

Gold Coast had been Port Adelaide's opponents in Shanghai over the past two seasons, with the first home and away game played on Chinese soil back in the 2017 campaign. 

However, the Saints will replace the Suns in 'hosting' a match at Shanghai's Jiangwan Stadium, which has a capacity of around 11,000 people for AFL matches.

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Nic Nat Inspires Local Team In Israel

In the afterglow of the recent Euro Cup in Cork, Ireland, where the Tel Aviv Cheetahs competed brilliantly and even won an important game, the club has been inspired by a young titan of the game – Nic Naitanui. Will Taylor and Ashley Browne report on the www.afl.com.au website about his vivit to inspire the Cheetahs whilst in Israel. 

INJURED West Coast star Nic Naitanui worked closely with his fellow ruckmen leading up to the Eagles' premiership and his coaching journey has now taken a more exotic turn, this time to Israel. 

Naitanui spent Monday night on a bumpy soccer field, conducting training for the Tel Aviv Cheetahs, who play in the AFL Europe competition.  

Naitanui is in Israel on holiday, and has spent the week travelling through all parts of the country, from the Galilee region in the north, down to Beersheva and the Dead Sea in the south.

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