The AFL's figures are maybe less conservative than these early estimates, as the WFN estimates used the criteria of players needing to take part in at least four matches during that year to be counted. However the current International AFL figures indicate a growing base of 34,845 players outside Australia, which represents outstanding growth over WFN's estimate of 26,183 in 2004.
worldfootynews.com has unveiled its new World Footy Atlas. The new Atlas makes use of Google Maps and displays a small icon at each club or league location. Users can click on the icon to bring up the organisation's web address (if available), and the map automatically centres on the location too. You can use the zoom feature at the left of the map to have a look at the clubrooms or ground they generally play at, toggling between map, satellite image or hybrid of both. Please note a "feature" of the Google Maps is that to do a large zoom step and keep the map centred it is best to keep the info bubble open.
Of course, any such tool is only as good as the data in it, so we welcome (and need) submissions from Australia and around the world. We need your Australian Football club or league's name, web address and location (such as clubrooms, headquarters or usual field for playing or training).
Location should be in latitude and longitude, to 4 decimal places. You can use the map to find your location - when you are satisfied you're centred over it, use the coordinate readout below the map. Google Earth is another method - under Tools / Options / 3D View set the "Show Lat/Long" to Decimal Degrees. Send your information to us by email or login to WFN and add a comment to this story, and we will periodically update our database. Note that currently we are only displaying locations that also have associated websites, but if you do not have a website for the organisation you can still submit the details as we will build an equivalent database allowing that also.
Initially we have mainly entered some Australian clubs and some from the BARFL as their website provided the initial inspiration and their website administrator kindly provided some initial data. Over time we hope this will become a great tool for seeing the spread of Australian Football across the world.
Update 10 Dec 2007 - Our Atlas has been tested and should work under Internet Explorer 7, Firefox and Safari. It is not fully compatible with Internet Explorer 6.
The Thailand Tigers Australian Football Club recently conducted a workshop for the Thailand Institute of Physical Education (IPE Bangkok campus) about the game of Aussie Rules. Attended by around 70 students, the workshop was a great introduction to the game, and included the history, the skills and rules, and the people involved in the Australian Football League.
An important highlight was the current growth of the game in Asia, particularly in Thailand, and the potential for expansion into the Thai sporting community beyond the traditional playing base of expat Australians.
This report courtesy of the Tigers' president Ryan Collett.
Ireland's Green Machine made the trek to Denmark this weekend, hoping to regain some prestige after last week recording their first-ever loss to the Great Britain Bulldogs - the first time they've failed to defeat any European national team.
This week saw a much tighter contest in the Danish city of Århus, with the Irish running out 70-50 winners. The Danes reportedly led the inside-50s all game, but struggled to convert and were ultimately unable to peg back a three-goal lead Ireland had built in the first quarter.
As reported earlier, AFL great Kevin Sheedy along with players from Northwind, the National Canadian Australian Football team, its Head Coach Mark Block and the team's General Manager Martin Walter opened the Toronto market on Friday. Also pictured are members of the Convicts side to play Canada this weekend. Sheedy is on a North American tour checking out footy development and will be a guest at the US Nationals next week - although it isn't his first visit to the annual event.
Kevin Sheedy, the multiple premiership AFL player and former coach of the Essendon Football Club is to open the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday October 5th.
AFL great Kevin Sheedy along with players from Northwind, the National Canadian Australian Football Team, its Head Coach Mark Block and the team's General Manager Martin Walter as well as Team sponsors will ring the bell to open the Toronto Stock Exchange this coming Friday morning Oct 5th 2007 at 9.30 am in downtown Toronto, Canada.
Kevin Sheedy is currently in Toronto to get a first-hand look at the development of Australian Football in Canada.
This Saturday, October 6th, the Ontario Australian Football League will showcase its best two teams in the 2007 OAFL Grand Final. Special OAFL guest, AFL legend Kevin Sheedy will also be present at the event as he is currently in Toronto to get a first-hand look at the development of Australian Football in Canada.
The day will begin with an exhibition match between the Canadian National Team, The Northwind and the touring "Convicts" Australian Football team. This game is sure to be an entertaining curtain raiser and will showcase some of the OAFL's best players.
The two teams vying for the 2007 OAFL Premiership are the Toronto Eagles and the Etobicoke Kangaroos. Both clubs have had fantastic seasons, with both finishing on top of the OAFL ladder with 13 wins and 1 loss in the regular season. The Etobicoke Kangaroos are looking for their first championship and are 0-1 in Grand Finals since coming into the league in 2003 while the Toronto Eagles are looking for their 11th OAFL premiership since the leagues inception in 1989. Details follow.
After missing out on Brendan Murphy the club will be relieved to have secured Hanley’s services. Murphy was reportedly convinced by Tadgh Kennelly to join the Swans after earlier looking to be heading to Brisbane. Rounding out the trio of new Irish blood on AFL rookie lists in 2008 will be Kevin Dyas, who is reported to have accepted Collingwood's contract offer after being given a period to return home and consider the offer as previously reported.
All three will be pre-listed in the rookie draft and start on their new club's rookie list in 2008.
Sports Without Borders is a new non-profit organisation supporting young people from migrant or refugee communities in Melbourne to get involved in sporting clubs. Backed by groups including the Victorian Institute of Sport, Swinburne University and the Victorian Multicultural Commission, SWB has been part of a wider push for Australian rules football among young Victorians from non-English speaking backgrounds.
Sudanese cousins Ring and Akon Mawlen recently received a cheque to help them continue their footy careers at the Albion Football Club in Melbourne's western suburbs, Akon having played in an under 12s premiership side this year for the club. The presentation marked the start of a partnership between SWB and AFL Foundation, the full story can be found on the AFL website.
The British Bulldogs defeated the Irish Warriors by ten goals in Dublin last weekend, the first Aussie Rules test match ever held in Ireland showing both a markedly improving Bulldogs squad and a Green Machine slipping from its heyday of International Cup glory in 2002.
With both sides looking towards next year's International Cup, the balance of power in the British Isles could be moving eastwards. The Bulldogs destroyed all comers in the Manchester tournament held a few weeks ago, and still have a match to come this year against the ARUK England Dragonslayers. Ireland conversely hasn't put a national team on the pitch since last year, although they'll be straight back into it this weekend with a match against Denmark in Århus.
In danger of being lost amongst the many firsts in the BC Footy weekend back in August in which Canada and the United States went head-to-head in men's, women's and under 17's boys Australian Football, was the annual BC Footy Cup. The club competition saw a combined Seattle/Portland side travel up from the US to take on the local Vancouver Cougars and Burnaby Eagles and Alberta's Kangaroos. But the individual journeys across North America were surpassed by the Nippon AFL side that took part in the Cup, with members of the Tsunami squad making the long trip from Japan.