It may not be Aussie rules, but wherever Gaelic footy grows it seems to benefit interest and player numbers in Aussie footy. One just has to look at Tadhg Kennelly and Jim Stynes as champion Aussie rules stars who played only Gaelic football til the end of their schooldays.
In the wake of the marvellously hard fought and stirring victory by the Sydney Swans at the AFL Grand Final, the following story from The Australian on Grand Final day is illuminating. Sean Fagan, a primarily Rugby historian whose main book is about the split between Rugby Union and Rugby League - "The Rugby Rebellion - the divide of league and union", writes how Australian football almost became the dominant code in the Harbour City by 1905.
The special relationship between the Geelong Cats of the AFL and the Farum Cats of the Danish Australian Football League will really show signs of bearing fruit with the visit of Geelong stars Tim Callan and Jimmy Bartel to Denmark and Sweden for the first week of October.
The Canadians were unlucky with a tough draw at the 2005 International Cup, but they fought hard in every match. They also presented very professionally and that includes capturing some video of the event, including the PNG Ole Ole.
Ireland's Green Machine will travel to London to take on the British Bulldogs in the curtain-raiser for this year's AFL game at Brit Oval on the 8th October. The AFL match features AFL grand finalists West Coast Eagles taking their Western Australian rivalry to London against the Fremantle Dockers. In the many years of AFL exhibition games at the Oval this is the first time there will be a curtain-raiser involving local footy.
The Skåne Grand Final between Port Malmö Maulers vs Lund Magpies will be on Saturday September 24th at Limhamnsfältet, Malmö at 14:30. There will be a curtain-raiser before this at 13:00 between the Helsingborg West Raptors and debutante Göteborg Beserkers. The Beserkers were formed in 2003, but are yet to play a match against outside opposition.
The 2005 Mid American Australian Football League season is over with first-time Premiers the Dallas Magpies taking the title after going through the season undefeated. Dallas in their third year in the MAAFL thrived this year with some excellent recruiting drives, a strong administration and certainly some great leadership on the field. Their qualities of play a fine example to the marked increase in skill and fitness of players throughout the league. Runners Up this year were the Chicago Swans, or was it the CAFA? (Chicago Australian Football Assoc.) - more on that later.
As the Sydney Swans prepare to do battle with the West Coast Eagles in the 2005 AFL Grand Final, the decisions of coach Paul Roos will be vital to the success of the New South Wales team. Even more important to any side is the preparation put in over the preceding year or more. Players from the United States AFL are well aware of just how good Roos is, and how meticulous his planning will be. Before his move to the coaching helm of Sydney, the former AFL great spent some time in the US and coached the national side to victory over Canada. The following article was written by Roos himself back in 1999, summarising his time in the US. It was submitted by respected US Revolution player Tom Ellis. Paul Roos time spent in the US is still spoken of glowingly by those that met him.
With the Sydney Swans taking on the West Coast Eagles in the 2005 AFL Grand Final, it's quite possible that the Swans will be the "most supported" team in Australian football history. Naturally they'll have the large New South Wales support base, and other states such as South Australia seem happy to get behind the Sydney team, but the prevailing mood in Victoria is also to back them against the West. This comes from the club's history as formerly South Melbourne, and also the theory that a Sydney win would be "good for the game" in developing the NSW market. So all-in-all there will be unprecedented Aussie support for one of the Grand Final sides over the other. But there will also be a lot of support for the Swans from further afield, with reports that there is big interest in the match from Ireland with Sydney's Irishman Tadhg Kennelly fast becoming a star in both countries.
The Singapore Wombats won the 2005 Asian Championships, the second win for the Wombats in six years. The Wombats fought off a fit and determined Bali Geckos in the Grand Final with the final score Singapore 7.3 (45) to Bali 2.4 (16), watched by over 700 onlookers. The Championship Cup was presented by His Excellency, Australian Ambassador Tony Hely.
Nine teams participated in the 2005 Championships - the Hong Kong Dragons, Singapore Wombats, Malaysian Warriors, Thailand Tigers, Jakarta Bintangs, Bali Geckos, China/Shanghai Tigers, Japan Goannas and the Philippine Eagles.
One of the AFL's richest and most-successful clubs, the Collingwood Magpies, have confirmed that they will embark upon an ambitious pre-season training camp at Northern Arizona University in a bid to be more competitive in 2006.