A battle may be looming in Britain as the long standing league the BARFL (website down at time of writing - a bad omen?) appear set to be challenged by the relatively new organisation on the scene, Aussie Rules UK, in regions outside of London. In an interesting twist last month the founder of ARUK successfully ran for a position on the BARFL Committee before resigning the following day to pursue plans for a new league in 2007 with hints of a significant sponsor. Not surprisingly both sides have different opinions on how this has all unfolded and whether the existing Regional League will be affected. Is there to be a battle or something completely different...
A quick note to say that the link to our World Footy Wiki has been removed due to problems when WFN changed host provider (no perjorative implied towards the provider, more an issue regarding our lack of technical support). We also feel that wikipedia has become such a major source of information that it is better that clubs and leagues maintain their information there. As such, links to countries on our World Footy Atlas to our internal wiki have been re-directed to wikipedia sites. Where an equivalent is not available a stub (a simple initial page) will be created. Our thanks to all who contributed to our wiki and if anyone feels there is significant information worth retrieving please let us know and we will try to extract it for use in wikipedia.
Despite being 150 years old and played in every Australian state and territory for a century, some readers may be surprised to find that there are places in Australia that Australian rules football has not, until very recently, reached. While the game continues to grow overseas, on Australia's own soil there are still remote areas where the code is has never been played. The game starts fresh in these areas similarly to the way it starts overseas. And with a little assistance, it is thriving. Following our story on footy in the Tiwi Islands we investigate the progress that the code is making in regions where rugby league has been well established for decades and Australian rules is very much considered - a foreign game. It is afterall, a very big country ....
Football on the Tiwi Islands is one of the biggest success stories for the sport of Aussie Rules. The history of the sport on the island also tells the story of how difficult, yet eventually rewarding it can be to find pathways to the elite level, a path that countries like South Africa and Papua New Guinea may one day follow. The Tiwi Islands may be officially part of Australia's Northern Territory, but the 2,600 indigenous inhabitants of Bathurst and Melville Islands 80 kilometres north of Darwin consider themselves simply "Tiwis", distinct from Indigenous Australians. With the isolation from the mainland, Tiwis developed a unique culture, they speak Tiwi, have their own government and proudly wave their own flag. But since 1942, an important part of their culture has also been the sport of Australian rules football.
Earlier this year, WFN ran a story on a a young Muslim, Bachar Houli and his aspirations to become the AFL's first high-profile Muslim footballer. For those that aren't aware, the draft took place last Saturday and Houli was fortunate enough to have been selected by Essendon with pick 42.
Just a quick note to let readers know that we have recently added "ClustrMaps" to our site, in the right hand column, under Geo Stats. This third-party software produces a nice snapshot of where across the world people are viewing worldfootynews.com
In the West, the Middle East is never far from front page news. Unfortunately, in the world of Aussie Rules, it has been quite the contrary. There have been attempts to set up competitions in Lebanon, Israel and Turkey, but ultimately, they either haven't yet come to fruition, or they are on hiatus. Furthermore, the recent tension in the area is unlikely to have done a great deal to help proceedings. Yet almost unnoticed, the United Arab Emirates, renowned for its rapid city construction levels and more tolerant way of life (at least from a Western perspective), has produced a team in the city of Dubai.
The footy scene in France is hoping to soon affiliate with the polysports association Leo Lagrange in an effort to improve the profile of Australian Rules football and give itself a channel to receiving funding through government channels.
The move comes as the French footy clubs debate the best way forward for the sport in France, with Strasbourg pulling out of the AFLG after a tough first year and options for regional leagues in and around France up for discussion.
Mal Michael, Papua New Guinea's most celebrated AFL footballer retired last month, but the effects on footy in PNG are yet to be known. Early signs are that he will spread his time between Melbourne and his country of birth.
Australian punter Ben Graham has continued his excellent form for the New York Jets in the NFL, averaging 44.3 yards, slightly above the league average - a top result in his first full season. A longest kick of 69 yards is another impressive result. Two more long kicks weren't counted in his stats due to team penalties.
The 2006 Canadian footy season was marked by progress in some areas and setbacks in others. Two clubs, with players from five sides competed at the US Nationals. Several clubs had difficulty fielding a side, others folded, but there was some expansion with at least two full clubs starting play next year. However, this still leaves AFL Canada with fewer sides than at the end of last year.