The AFL Papua New Guinea, who oversee PNG’s junior programmes, and the AFLPNG Rules Council, who oversee the senior competitions, have announced their representative weekends for September. From these competitions the national squads will be formed to take part in the Queensland State Championships 2008 at junior level and for the International Cup 2008 at senior level.
We're pleased to announce the winners of our Footy Darts packages (see Footy Darts - chance to win for your club). An Ultimate Footy Pack will soon be on the way to the Denver Bulldogs in Colorado, USA and the North Delta Junior AFL in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, courtesy of Dale Wilson from Sports Darts. Read on to hear more about their entries.
As young Gaelic stars continue to be drawn into the front end of the AFL system, aging veterans are moving out the other end and on to the NFL retirement plan circuit as punters. Sav Rocca today confirmed that he had been successful in making the final 53-man roster for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. This sets the stage for Rocca’s arrival in the first NFL game of the year to be heralded in the media across the U.S as the oldest rookie ever to take the field.
In the second part of our preview of the 2007 EU Cup and emerging nations of European Aussie Rules, we spoke to Germany's Malte Schudlich and Austria's Ben Chick. The 5 teams of the AFLG and the Vienna Kangaroos in the capital of Austria give a total six teams in the German-speaking areas of Europe, with at least one more on the cards for 2008.
Update - The report now also has an interview with England Dragonslayers' coach Rob Fielder.
Natasha Puautjimi from Bathurst Island (off the northern coast of Australia) become the first girl to unanimously win a best & fairest in an Australian rules football league when she beat more than 170 boys in her under 13s division in the Yarra Valley Football League in Melbourne's northern suburbs to take the league's best trophy. The gutsy and highly talented footballer polled 27 out of a possible 30 votes, and over 12 votes more than her nearest competitor.
The Nationalist in Ireland this morning reported that Brendan Murphy has returned from a trial with the Sydney Swans and will return to Sydney in November. It seems that the Swans will win the race to sign Murphy after it earlier seemed that Brisbane were the front runners to obtain his services.
As we reported some weeks ago it was expected he would be checking out the Brisbane setup (Lions in first for Irish Talents), and we also speculated that other clubs may try to sign up players already targeted by the Lions.
With news of Murphy today and Kevin Dyas yesterday coming to Melbourne to trial with the Magpies, the sentiment out of Ireland is one of disappointment for the Gaelic game and the poaching by Australian clubs, but support and well wishes for the individuals to go well in their new professional pursuits.
This year's European autumn will see the biggest season of test matches across northern Europe for a few years, with a few big clashes which will give a few indications of where teams stand leading up to neat year's IC. Heading the card are matches between the big three of European footy - the Irish Warriors hosting the Great Britain Bulldogs in Dublin, then travelling to the Danish city Århus to take on the Denmark Vikings.
Add to this the EU Cup, this year's Sweden-Denmark match and matches between the Scottish Puffins, the England (ARUK) Dragonslayers and newcomers the Welsh Red Dragons and possibly the biggest story of the whole schedule - an 18-a-side match on October 13th between the BARFL's Bulldogs and the ARUK's Dragonslayers. The stage is set for an encounter where both sides have a lot of respect on the line.
UPDATE - Our sources in Scotland tell us that while they have been talking to the guys in Wales about a game, this is not yet confirmed. Reports from ARUK that the Dragonslayers are to play Scotland it seems are also premature. According to the SARFL's Eddie McAvinchey: "Both interesting games for us to have (in theory) but in practice we may not be able to organise any of them, as the SARFL season isn't finished for a few weeks and then it may be getting too late to arrange anything."
The NZ Australian Football competitions generally are played in Spring or early Summer to complement existing football codes rather than challenge them for players. Though junior development has occurred previously throughout the year it can be seen that the recent addition of NZAFL CEO Rob Vanstam has generated some momentum again after the disappointing hiatus while no CEO was in office. Read more of the growth in junior development and about preparations for the Barassi International Youth Trophy and International Cup 2008 tournaments.
Dromintee's Kevin Dyas was an integral part of his team drawing with All Ireland Club Champions Crossmaglen last week as Collingwood’s scout looked on at the Gaelic football fixture. A week later they lost to Crossmaglen and Dyas' season was over.
It now appears that Dyas is on his way to Australia for a month long trial with the Pies, just as Martin Clarke did in July 2006. It is also believed that Brisbane had been interested in Dyas and possibly also offered him a contract. Collingwood were able to keep Clarke under wraps when he came out just over a year ago, we think Dyas might get a little more attention – even if he is hidden away in the Lexus Centre.
It is unlikely that Dyas saw Martin Clarke cop the crude high hit from the Swans' Amon Buchanan on Saturday night but if he did it just might have him thinking twice about the conversion.
Regular readers of WFN will be well aware that South Africa is most certainly the hot spot for international Australian Football development, with good news and funding stories appearing regularly. On a footy chatboard recently someone asked the question that could be summed up as "why is South Africa so heavily favoured?" This article looks at what those reasons might be and whether lessons can be learned by other nations.
The stories and speculation as to where, when and by whom Australian rules has been played in Britain have been discussed at great length. A thriving league is said by many to have existed in the Clyde area of Scotland around World War I, although others claim the league is an urban legend. Similarly, there is much speculation as to whether footy could have gained - or maybe even did gain - a foothold around the turn of the 20th century with a touring British Lions rugby tour playing some matches under Australian rules while on tour.
Matches at Oxford and Cambridge Universities have been played for many decades, although neither institution has ever taken the sport past an annual novelty fixture or entered a side in the BARFL or ARUK.
But there was also a league - the Australian Rules Football League in England - which existed in the 1960s and 70s, supported by "Professional Australian in Britain" Rolf Harris among others. This league got a mention in the obituary of one Michael Cyril Hall, a Western Australian who died in May this year.
A couple of weeks ago at the BC Footy international weekend in Vancouver the Canadian men had their first ever win over the powerful United States team, winning the 49th Parallel Cup, before going down the next day in the keenly contested exhibition match. On the other hand the Canadian women struggled against their more experienced American counterparts, losing both matches by big margins, but the youthfulness of their squad promised better things to come. Now to the juniors and it was very positive to have the next generation of stars on display. The under 17s matches saw a large squad of young men from Canada - the Wolfpack - take on a smaller travelling party from the US.