Brian Dixon is about to begin an ambitious new Aussie Rules crusade across the world. The former Melbourne Football Club champion and founder of the well known Life. Be in it. campaign in Australia has been a driving force in getting footy in South Africa recognised and supported. South Africa remains his number one focus but through his other sporting contacts he has begun exploring options in China, Argentina, India, the Philippines and Cuba. WFN had a chat to Dixon about his work and any useful contacts we could provide.
WFN is run by volunteers to aid the development of international footy. Unfortunately we are struggling to cope with technical issues that have dogged the site for several months. This is significantly detracting from the time that can be spent on articles and some of the behind the scenes assistance we provide to the footy community. WFN has reached a crucial point where it will be difficult to move forward without help. We therefore are looking for a volunteer to assist with the technical side of running the site. Areas of particular need are basic skills in PHP, cPanel and Geeklog. There aren't major demands on time, but our volunteer writers do not have the additional time to become familiar with these areas, so someone competent with any or all of those features would be most welcome. The time commitment would really only be a few hours per month. Please contact us by clicking on my name at the start of this article, and help us continue to keep WFN running.
Former AFL player Ben Graham is just beginning his second year in the NFL, playing American football. Remarkably on September 6, at a Captain's Day function held by his club, the New York Jets, he was named as one of their six captains for the upcoming season.
This opinion piece expands the argument that I made in a letter to The Age and an earlier piece (Show Me the Money!). It is not that I think the AFL should stop funding Queensland and start funding the USA with the money it saves. I actually believe the development of footy in Queensland should be a top AFL priority. What I'm saying is if it's worthwhile for the AFL to spend $10m (Australian) in Queensland then surely it's worthwhile to spend $0.5m in the US.
The 7th Annual Asian Championships of Australian Football, held on the 26th of August at Cibubur, just outside of Jakarta, have been hailed a great success by all involved and once again raised the bar on the standard of footy played.
As promised, the tournament produced high quality footy and evenly matched teams with the Singapore Wombats the standouts and eventual Grand Final winners, downing the Bali Geckos in a rematch of last year's Asian Champs Grand Final, 9.5.59 to 3.8.26 - Read on for Grand Final and Ladder results.
The 2008 International Cup is just two years away, assuming it will again be held in August. This may seem like a long time but for each country planning on attending their thoughts should already have turned to raising the necessary funds and providing their squads with a quality schedule that will see them playing well come the big tournament. It remains to be seen which nations will show and whether the AFL will be able to significantly subsidise travel, but the hard-working volunteers across the various leagues will no doubt be doing their sums on the basis that they will have to foot the whole bill. We talk to some of the likely attendees, discuss their early preparations, and perhaps foolishly make some early predictions.
In the BARFL Premiership Grand Final played on Saturday, September 2nd, the West London Wildcats slaughtered the Wimbledon Hawks 18.11.119 to 2.6.18. In the London Conference Grand Final the Shepherds Bush Raiders defeated the Clapham Demons in a low-scoring affair, 5.11.41 to 4.3.27.
Results and photos to come, for more details see barfl.co.uk.
This Saturday 2nd September 2006, all roads lead to Clapham Common in London for the Grand Finals of the London BARFL Premiership and Conference competitions. The BARFL Premiership teams must have 50% players EU passport holders whilst the Conference teams can have more expat Aussies.
Aussie Rules UK is pleased to announce that the AFL's Auskick program will begin in London next month. The first Auskick centre will kick off on Saturday 9 September at Clapham Common. Parents can register their children online via the aussierulesuk.com website.
In Finland's third appearance of their first season, with the addition of 3 "experienced" Stockholm recruits they managed an upset first victory against a 24-man mixed squad of the Stockholm Royals and Dynamite, who as always put up a great fight. The game was played in Helsinki, 26th August, 12pm at a full sized Myllypuro oval, to a good "sausages sold out" crowd who gathered for the Footy and then the Rugby which followed.
Whereas once the Asia region was seen by the international footy community as being a bunch of expats having a kick in the park, it is now gaining recognition as an area of real growth potential for the sport.
Editor: Thanks to regular reader Sean for this report on Asian footy in Australian media.