Tonga has re-advertised its Development Officer position. It offers a unique opportunity to experience life in the Pacific whilst supporting football and helping Tonga prepare for its first International Cup. The successful applicant will work closely with TAFA staff and assist them in implementing a variety of new initiatives, such as programs for women and those with disabilities.
Applicants need to be familiar with Australian football in either a playing or coaching capacity. They need to be motivated, sensitive to differences in culture and competent with computers and the internet. They should also have some skills in sports administration.
The position is for twelve months and begins in March '08. More information can be found here on the TAFA website.
About five months ago Mick Hassett and Marty Staples got together for a kick of the footy in Vientiane, capital of Laos. Since then, the "Lao Elephants" have grown to around 10-15 regular participants at weekly training sessions, with players from Laos, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Norway and the UK.
Armed with plans for a pink jumper featuring a grey elephant logo (an idea which some say may rival Sweden's Landskrona Bulldozers strip for original design), the Elephants are planning their debut international match against neighbours the Vietnam Swans later this year. The Swans played host to a few of the Elephants earlier this year, with seven Laos players joining the Vietnam team for last month's Asian Championships.
Regular readers will recall that the Manchester Mosquitoes were set to host the 2007 Brit Cup, the annual event for British and other EU players to compete purely against each other, but due to flooding the tournament was transferred to London. Kat Conner, the Mozzies' President, explained at the time that the club lost money over the loss of the event after they had gone to great lengths to ensure facilities were in place. Other clubs understand the effort that goes into such preparations and shared Manchester's disappointment. At the time Manchester and at least one other group expressed a hope that something could be arranged later in the season, and this is it.
The club is hosting a carnival from 12 noon on 8th September in Manchester at Turn Moss. Conner explained that the carnival is open to all Aussie Rules team from across the country (and no doubt any from further afield), with entries needed by COB 24th August. So far they have teams from Wales, Scotland, Reading, the British Bulldogs national squad and of course the Mozzies themselves. "It's a 12 a side comp with teams of 18 (6 on the bench), max 8 Aussies per team".
More information will appear on www.manchesteraussierules.com in the next few weeks. Note also that in our Brit Cup story we reported some suggested improvements to the tournament from Wales' Bryce Stone, and said we'd bring you a full report later. Bryce has decided that although those suggestions were meant to be constructive it's probably best to keep them out of the public arena and we will respect that decision.
G'day. Just thought I would make my first post / story. I know I am not overseas, so this is from Australia. I'd like to chat about my local Auskick clinic in Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne.
The historic weekend at Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver BC saw the US Freedom take on the Canadian Eagles in what we think is a first for footy - a women's Australian Football international. The weekend actually saw two games between the squads with the Freedom easily taking both matches. Saturday's 2 x 20min game saw the Freedom win 7.7 (49) to 0.0 (0), while Sunday's 4x15min game saw the Freedom go 14.13 (97) to 0.0 (0). For one of the founders of US Women's footy, Kathryn Hogg, it was a great weekend. "It was a big milestone for US Women's footy and for all women's footy in North America. One thing that I am proud of is that with our small pool of players, we were able to get 23 women to commit to playing. Three of them were unable to make the trip due to injuries - Denielle David from Milwaukee, Pernille Christensen from Atlanta, and Karla Mascerena-Pack from Arizona".
Story is now updated with interview with Canada's women's coach Jake Anson.
As we mentioned in Cup dates proposed as AFL ponders divisions, the AFL is considering inviting several teams from Melbourne's ethnic minorities to participate in the 2008 International Cup. The theory behind the proposal is that it will give footy a higher profile amongst these groups and help fast track their involvement in Aussie Rules. In other recent discussions, WFN put up the idea of having a women's competition too, but we've been advised it won't be on the cards for next year. One concern that has emerged, in terms of promotion, is the timing of the Cup so soon after the Beijing Olympics.
The AFL has effectively launched the count down to the start of the celebration of 150 years of Australian Football. Although a range of versions of football had existed for a long time prior, the match between Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College, 149 years ago this week, is widely regarded as the first recorded game of the sport. The 150 will therefore come up in 2008 and AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou has revealed a sample of the celebratory events that will unfold across the year. He has also announced Kevin Sheedy as the AFL's official ambassador for the concept, regardless of whether he takes up a coaching position next year. But were a couple of things missing?
In an historic day for Canadian and International football, the Canadian Northwind
beat the US Revolution 45 to 32 on Saturday August 4. The 49th Parallel
Cup game was played on the spectacular Thunderbird Stadium on the UBC Campus in
Vancouver BC, in perfect conditions for footy. This was the Northwind's
first ever victory in International football over the Revolution and the
Canadian leadership was excited to have the win during a football carnival that
saw around 2500 people come through the Thunderbird Stadium gates to watch
non-stop footy over the two days.
The weekend saw two internationals
between the Northwind and the Revolution as well as the first two Women's Footy
Internationals between the Canadian National Team and the US Freedom, U17
Northwind against the U17 Revolution, and local teams competing in the BC Footy
The Finland Ice Breakers played a 9-a-side friendly against Sweden last weekend, and although the Finns went down 151-55, the game created a fair amount of interest in the western town of Halikko (population 9,491) and drew a crowd of around 150 enthusiastic locals. The game also featured the first time a 100% Finnish team has taken the pitch in the Ice Breakers jumper, albeit only for the first quarter, with over 30 Finnish players now on the lists of the two Finnish footy clubs so far.
World Footy News spoke with Finland AFL president Izzy Barker about the game and plans for Finnish footy, including next year's Finnish domestic league and the International Cup.
In the second match of the 2007 Northern European tri-nations, Denmark has thumped Germany by 174 points at Farum, 27.14.176 to 0.2.2, with the Germans unable to register a goal against their northern neighbours for the second year running. Nevertheless it was a much improved effort by Germany, who refused a Danish request that they play some Australians in order to make the game more competitive. The German team, although missing 10 of the 24 players who made up the squad that defeated Sweden in Berlin, is rated as having improved greatly this year under coach David Mudge, and should continue to make steps forward in the future.
The Paul Kelly Cup is a football tournament open to Primary Schools in New South Wales and the ACT. It is recognised as one of the landmark school sports competitions in Australia, therefore it is no surprise that many AFL players drafted from Sydney, such as the Swans’ Kieran Jack, can trace their interest in the game back to the Cup. For those unfamiliar with Jack, he is the son of Rugby League legend Garry, who represented New South Wales in 17 State of Origin matches and two years ago was named amongst the best 25 players to ever pull on a Blues guernsey.
The 2007 Cup was recently completed with the very multicultural Belmore North Primary School beating Holbrook and St. Patrick's Primary Schools in the final. By being declared champions, the small school (around 300 students) had effectively outperformed 880 other schools. Belmore North is based in Sydney’s southwest and formerly played Rugby League. They took up football “because the concept of the Paul Kelly Cup was so good”. Their team was made up of children who can trace their roots to countries like Lebanon, Samoa, America and Sierra Leone (there were actually no Anglo-Australians in the team), all were relatively new to the sport, and everyone had played their first football match in the past eighteen months. The team even included a student who is recovering from cancer. Such a competition can only be a positive for footy's push into NSW.
The AFL has confirmed that next year's exhibition match in Dubai will go ahead, with February 8 penciled in as the likely date. Victorian powerhouse Collingwood will face off against the Adelaide Crows. Of all 16 AFL clubs, Adelaide has the most members, which this year topped the 50,000 mark for the second time. Both clubs have business interests in the Middle East, through Emirates and Toyota. The news comes soon after the announcement that Carlton will play Fremantle in South Africa, also set for early 2008. The games are part of an increased commitment by the AFL to develop football outside of Australia, with Tokyo and Los Angeles suggested as locations for future games. Unfortunately, poor timing looks to have ended the annual London match.