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Friday, June 23 2017 @ 07:40 PM ACST

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Croatian Converts hope to bring Footy to the Balkans

Europe

Kolja Koracak first encountered Aussie Rules in the USA, playing two seasons in the Arizona AFL. On returning to his homeland of Croatia, he started looking for ways to spread the word and get a regular fix of his new favourite sport.

Sash Herceg arrived in Perth in 1996, a recent immigrant from the city of Split on Croatia's Adriatic coast. After a few years of watching Australia's own football code, he decided to give it a go, playing senior football for West Coast Cowan in Perth and the Fitzroy Reds in Melbourne.

WFN recently caught up with the two to talk about plans for bringing the game back to Croatia.

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Wildcats and Raiders win 2004 BARFL titles

EuropeThe 2004 British Australian Rules Football League Premiership and Conference titles were won last weekend, with the West London Wildcats taking out the London Premiership, and the Shepherds Bush Raiders winning the London Conference. It was a big result for the Wildcats, as both winning teams are part of the West London club.
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Kookaburras go double back-to-back premiers

North AmericaThe Atlanta Kooaburras have cemented their club as legends of the South Eastern Australian Football League in the United States, winning an incredible four premierships in a row.
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Foundation US football club to re-form in Louisville

North AmericaThe first ever game of Australian Rules football played in the United States, at least in the "modern era", was between the Cincinnati Dockers and Louisville Cats, in 1996. In less than a decade the sport has spread to all corners of the country, with thousands of players competing. Alas Louisville went into recess a couple of years ago, but plans are underway to re-form this historic club.
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Football codes battle for Gold Coast

General NewsWorld Footy News is aimed primarily at the game outside of Australia, but the expansion of Australian Rules within the country plays an important role in the likely future of the sport.
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Interview with US Footy's Scott Hunt on Yahoo Sport

North AmericaRaising the profile in America of Aussie Rules is an important job for US Footy, and getting an interview on Yahoo Sport is a good result.
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Vietnamese to export the code back home

Asia

When the Multicultural Cup was staged earlier this year, a Lebanese side took the field in connection with efforts by Lebanese-Melburnians who were setting up the structures for an Aussie Rules competition in Lebanon. The Croatian side in attendance also had links to compatriots hoping to foster their new homeland's number one code in the old country. Now the Vietnamese are getting in on the act.

In part two of WFN's feature on development in Japan and Vietnam, we caught up with Vietnam captain Tri Thoi.

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2004 US National Collegiate Invitational

North AmericaAustralian Rules football continues to grow steadily in the United States. Unlike many top American sports, Aussie Rules does not have a strong college presence. However several colleges have taken on the game, and September sees an exciting new phase for the sport, with the Inaugural Collegiate Invitational. This may well be the springboard needed to accelerate football's growth in universities throughout the US.
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AFL to host 2005 International Cup

International Cup 2005The AFL will host the 2005 International Cup in Melbourne, Australia. It is hoped that all the countries that attended in 2002 will return, and possibly some new ones.
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Auckland league gets set for the 2004 season

OceaniaArguably New Zealand's strongest league, the new Auckland AFL season is about to get underway.
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Results from 2004 US Western Regionals

North AmericaThe results are in from the second leg of the US Western Regionals, held in San Diego on August 14 and 15.
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Samurai offer a Glimpse of Footy's Future

Asia

On August 18th the All-Japan Samurai met the Melbourne Vietnamese at Box Hill North's Elgar Park. The Samurai ran out comfortable 13.13 to 6.8 victors in a match marked by some impressive skills from a Japanese squad much improved from the side that travelled to the 2002 cup and some explosive pace from both sides.

In part one of our two-part feature on Aussie Rules development in the two nations, WFN's Aaron Richard talks with Samurai Coach Troy Beard.

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