The Arafura Games are underway in Darwin, capital of Australia's Northern Territory. As discussed previously, the games have a proud history in international Australian Rules football. The Japanese Samurai are using the tournament to fine tune their play before the Australian Football International Cup in August. The first round of matches were played today.
Gaelic football and Aussie rules are about evenly matched as developing codes in Asia, and there have been regular compromise or International Rules matches between Gaelic and Aussie Rules clubs in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. If anything Gaelic football has taken a bit of a lead in recent years, despite there being less Irish than Aussie expats in the region.
AFL South Africa has held the first of three training camps to select their national squad for the 2005 Australian Football International Cup. The top players will also be fine tuning their skills as the Buffaloes search for their first win in international competition.
James Brunmeier, of University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and the Milwaukee Bombers, started playing Aussie Rules in 2003. Since then he has rapidly developed as a player, making the US Revolution national squad and winning the 2005 Macquarie University Australian Football Scholarship to attend Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.
On June 11th, 2005, Denmark and Sweden will clash for Scandinavian footy's bragging rights. The Swedish and Danish national sides have only met once before, in 1997, and the rivalry is set to become one of the hottest in international footy.
"Toros de España", themesong of the Spanish Bulls by group The Homeless Bones, is now available from World Footy News by clicking here. The Homeless Bones are happy for anyone to download the song, but would appreciate you dropping them a line (particularly anyone with connections to potential sponsors!) at firstname.lastname@example.org
The recent airing in Australia (March 2005) of the FOXFooty documentary filmed at the 2004 US Nationals was long-awaited. Tiffany Cherry's 30 minute review of the game in the US included interviews with several key people in US Footy and the AFL, including Kevin Sheedy and AFL General Manager of Game Development, David Matthews. For the benefit of those unable to see the documentary, a review is given here.
The 1st Contact 2005 BARFL Premiership kicks off on Saturday (today) with the first round matches and a new major sponsor. The highlight of the round is a replay of the 2004 BARFL Grand Final between the West London Wildcats and the Wimbledon Hawks. In other premiership games, Reading Kangaroos play their inaugural Premiership match against last year’s new comers the Putney Magpies. The final match is between the Sussex Swans and Wandsworth Demons.
Irishman Setanta O'hAilpin today (Saturday May 7, 2004) debuted for Carlton at the MCG. Setanta was elevated onto the senior list during the week and was named as an emergency, but came into the team to play Richmond as Chambers withdrew late.
AFL Canada's fundraising and publicity machine is in full swing for the International Cup. Recently Canada's Sportsworld TV show featured an interview with coach Greg Everett and former Sydney Swan Tony Morwood, which can be viewed on the Northwind webpage. Their fundraising includes a golf day in which an Audi car will be won.
With just three months until the International Cup in Melbourne, there has been some confusion amongst countries over the squad sizes allowed. The 2002 Cup saw 30 players each, but some sides couldn't field fit teams by the end of the tournament. An extension to 35 players was argued for, and apparently some countries thought they had secured it.