AFL PNG has appointed Peter Cates from Adelaide, as the new national operations manager. This appointment will certainly strengthen efforts and programmes already in place with junior development to develop a locally sourced PNG player to the AFL.
The next major step in South Africa's rapidly unfolding football journey may well be led by the AFL clubs themselves. After the developmental South African youth team played their final tour match, in Perth last week, the AFL held a dinner at which they unveiled plans for powerhouse clubs West Coast, Fremantle and Collingwood to become heavily involved with fast-tracking the game in South Africa.
The GAA may have put the International Rules series into deep freeze, but former GAA stars in the AFL are running hot in pre-season training. We have a look at the form of the O'hAilpin brothers (and point you to a great documentary on the family), and draw attention to several recent media reports on the other members of the Irish invasion.
We recently reported on the first two matches of South Africa’s developmental squad played against the QANTAS Kickstart Indigenous Youth Team in Jabiru and Darwin. Here we present a more in-depth look at those games, including photos, and a wrap up of the third and final match.
Footy in China is continuing to be developed in several locations, with Tom Mattessi filling an AYAD position in Tianjin, near Beijing, having good success getting locals involved in the sport. A big difficulty must be that most Chinese would never had heard of Aussie Rules. Encouragingly Mattessi has made some inroads there, with a local television station running a good piece on his program.
2007 marks the 10th anniversary of USFooty. Originally construed as the United States Australian Football Association it was later renamed the United States Australian Football League and given the appellation USFooty. This article looks at some of the people who have made footy in the US what it is today.
With the steady growth of Aussie Rules it was difficult, over the course of a year, to keep track of all the international level matches that were played across the world. There were a surprisingly good number played in 2006 given the understandable drop off after 2005, an International Cup year. Here we'll make a list of all the internationals we could find, which should help towards considering how the various nations faired in 2006.
Late last year we reported on a proposed new league by Aussie Rules UK to be run in British population centres away from London. The ARUK league was designed to use smaller player numbers and groupings in smaller regions. This aimed to address some of the complaints levelled at the British Australian Rules Football League, but it appeared it would also be run partially in competition with the BARFL's Regional League. Some of the teams listed by ARUK were indeed BARFL sides so the UK Australian Football scene was clearly in for an interesting off-season as clubs faced a big decision. It has been two months since we last looked at this issue so WFN contacted the existing and proposed new clubs to ask them how their preparations for 2007 have been going and which league they intend playing in. We've also discussed some of the problems faced by regional clubs in the past, how the BARFL has or hasn't dealt with such issues, and how planning for the inaugural ARUK season is progressing.
Matt McBriar started out in Melbourne playing Aussie Rules footy. His long kicking ability was spotted in a long kicking competition in Melbourne and through contacts including former Melbourne and West Coast AFL footballer Darren Bennett he made his way from Old Brighton in the VAFA to college gridiron football in Hawaii. He's now reached the very top - punting in the Pro Bowl.
The South African development squad again put in a solid showing against the QANTAS Kickstart Indigenous Youth Team last night at TIO Stadium in Darwin in front of a growing crowd heading in for the Essendon versus Indigenous All-Stars main event. The late game was telecast across Australia on ABC2, the second station of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation via its digital broadcasting. During the telecast South African coach Mtutu Hlomela was interviewed and the AFL's General Manager of National and International Development, David Matthews, also gave his thoughts on increasing assistance and the potential for one of Aussie Rules' most exciting development zones. Matthews also talks about the possible International Cup 2008 sides and the balance between International Rules and Australian Football.
The South African developmental footy squad touring Australia touched down in Darwin, Northern Territory last Sunday 4th February. After a busy Monday it was off to Jabiru to play their first game game of the tour, against the Indigenous Youth Squad. The visitors proved competitive in losing by 30 points and would be reasonably satisfied with their first hit-out. Two more matches are scheduled, one in Darwin and the other in Perth - full details follow.