The Malaysian Warriors will kick off an Auskick program for kids aged 5-12 in Kuala Lumpur this weekend, with a clinic organised for every Saturday from now until the end of October. The clinics will be held at different locations, including the Australian International School Malaysia (AISM), Warriors' home ground Alice Smith School Equine Park and Warriors' training ground Kelab Alam.
The clinics on August 25th and September 8th will be held before Malaysian Warriors matches, giving kids an opportunity to see some real-life senior footy action. The program, which is receiving materials through the AFL's Auskick department, has 20 kids registered as interested so far, with the cost for the program at 50 Ringgit for the season.
In recent articles on the relationship between the AFL (Australia) and GAA (Ireland) regarding International Rules and the so-called "poaching" of young Gaelic football players from Ireland, we've suggested that the one piece of leverage the GAA has to restrict the flow of players has been the International Rules series. As the AFL is keen to maintain it, they've been prepared to at least put an age limit on the recruitment of young Irishmen to AFL clubs via the draft or international rookie list. Whereas young potential recruits from outside of Australia can be added to a club's international rookie list from 15 years old, for Ireland the minimum is 18, and full entry to the AFL at 19.
The AFL and GAA are set to meet in Melbourne in October, and if the International Rules ban is extended there are suggestions that the age restrictions put in place to satisfy the GAA could be removed - this would most likely result in an even greater level of poaching and reduce AFL-GAA relations to a new low. It seems the relationship between the two sporting bodies is more finely balanced than ever before - will the GAA be conciliatory to restore the IR series and maintain its leverage with the AFL, or will they maintain a hardline stance and risk an escalation of the player drain?
Melbourne newspaper the Sunday Herald Sun today reported that AFL clubs Carlton and Fremantle are currently set to play a match in South Africa next February, possibly as a NAB Cup fixture. The proposed venue for the match wasn't mentioned, although the article did mention that the clubs will take community camps in their affiliated South African development regions.
The under 17s match between Canada and the USA is yet another historic first for the Ironbank International Challenge weekend of footy in Vancouver. It will be the first junior representative team that Canada has put on the park, and probably for the US too (with the possible exception of the Barassi Youth Tournament several years ago). The young men will line up for a full contact international game of Aussie Rules. We have a look at where the players come from and how the organisers see the game in the greater scheme of developing footy in North America. Of course being the first such match there will be issues to be sorted - the US are a bit short on numbers so some of the Canadian kids face the prospect of lining up for the "enemy" - not an easy thing for a coach to explain. Still, it will be a great step forward for the game in North America and will hopefully demonstrate the value of investing in junior development. Just the very occurrence of the match on the same card as the men's and women's matches should be food for thought for the wider AFL Canada and USAFL communities.
This weekend sees an incredible list of firsts as Australian Football in North American shows further signs of maturity. Besides Canada and the United States men's squads again doing battle for the 49th Parallel Cup (and playing a further exhibition match the following day), the two day event will feature the debut of the two countries' national womens and juniors squads. The tournament is being staged as part of the annual BC Footy Cup in Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada), and will include a visit from Japan's Tsunami squad joining in with the Victoria Lions (Can) in the club competition featuring Seattle (US) combined with Portland (US), Vancouver (Can), Burnaby (Can) and Alberta (Can). We talk to the Northwind coach and review their team's matches leading up to the event, as well as speak with the Nippon AFL's Andy Carne. The tournament will take place at UBC's 3,500 seat Thunderbird Stadium, perhaps the premier venue for Aussie Rules in North America. Article by Chris Adams and Brett Northey, and updated with US Revolution (men's) squad
The second edition of the EU Cup is just under seven weeks away, with eleven teams currently on the schedule to take part. The tournament will be held at the Hamburg Stadtpark on Saturday September 15th, with a conference of competing to be held the following day. The Czech Lions, Spain Bulls and Finland Ice Breakers will be making their EU Cup debut, with eight of the ten teams from the 2005 cup returning - Catalonia, Austria, Belgium, the England Dragonslayers, Germany, France, Sweden and the Flying Dutchmen.
The EU Cup is the largest event for the newer teams around Europe, some of whom are hping to be at a level of development where they can mount an IC side as early as next year. The EU Cup 2007 Organising Committee is currently working hard to ensure the tournament will be a fun, enjoyable experience and a great weekend of footy for all who attend. The Welsh Red Dragons were originally slated to take part as the twelfth side, but have been forced to withdraw, leaving one more spot available for any interested country.
The first ever match by the Canadian and United States women's Australian Football teams takes place on Saturday 4th August 2007 in Vancouver. Is this the first international match, country versus country, of women's Australian Football - let us know if you can think of any others? If it is, there would be some historic symmetry - the first ever men's international cricket match is reported to have been between Canada and the US, in 1844, despite neither being amongst the leading cricket nations today. The respective coaches of the Canada and US women's footy teams gave us a preview of their sides before the historic match.
It seems that as previously reported here Brendan Murphy will be coming out to check out the Brisbane Lion’s facilities (as Martin Clarke did at Collingwood 13 months ago) after a visit from Gabby Allen recently and confirmed by Brisbane’s Michael Bowers yesterday. Also yesterday it was confirmed in many Irish papers including the Mayo News (Hanley hits for Oz) that Pierce Hanley has been offered a two year contract to join the Brisbane Lions.
File footage of a Binatangs squad from a previous year
The twenty five young AFL players returned home to PNG last week after an exciting and successful inaugural tour to Queensland for the Queensland Under Fourteen State Championships. The PNG Binatangs won 2 and lost 2 matches, a great result for a side that hadn't played together as a team until their first match of the tour, and was touring to a foreign land for the first time.
National Operations Manager Peter Cates said "The boys that were part of the U14 Binatangs were selected at last years Junior National Championships and have been undergoing training under local AFLPNG supervision in their provinces, until they came together as a squad, just prior to flying to Australia".
The Bournemouth Demons have defeated Sussex in Aussie Rules UK's first Southern Division grand final. The nine-a-side competition featured six teams competing over 10 rounds, with Sussex knocking over Southampton in the preliminary final to advance through to the decider where the Demons were too good, winning by a convincing 53 points.
Yes, it's time for WFN to put out another request for assistance. With the steady ebb and flow of work and life commitments of our volunteer reporters we are currently in need of help covering two countries and one continent.
Our writers are all volunteers who have a passion for seeing Aussie Rules grow internationally. At the end of the day we're only a very small piece of the puzzle, but feedback from leagues, clubs and fans is that WFN helps that community achieve its goals, so getting involved this way is a chance to help with the cause even if you aren't based in any of the place we have vacancies for. In fact your location isn't particularly important - being based in the given country or region is helpful but not a realistic requirement for the job. More important are reasonable writing skills, a love of footy and the willingness to get involved.
Our main area in need is Asia, covering such growing areas as Japan, China and many more. Language skills relevant to those countries would be a huge plus but again, not a requirement, and we have plenty of English speaking contacts. We also require people to write on Canada and Ireland.
In all cases we will give you support, provide plenty of contacts, and no particular computer skills are required - we'll show you how to upload your stories through a relatively simply web page. So if you have an interest in supporting international footy and getting a behind-the-scenes view on the game's growth, then consider volunteering to write for WFN. Contact Brett here for more information, or visit our About Us page to see our current structure.
Big Sav Rocca is interviewed on Philadelphia Eagles TV as he finishes his first three days of training camp. Rocca has been in full-time training for the punting job at Philadelphia for the last 5 months and is hoping that his stronger leg is going to win him the position over veteran Dirk Johnson. Although Sav is now bidding for a spot in the United States' NFL, his background as an Aussie Rules star can only help raise the profile of the sport in America - as evidenced by Sav's interview which extensively discusses his career.