Greece have won the Australian Football Multicultural Cup for 2005, defeating traditional rivals Turkey by 14 points in the final. Eight sides, representing Melbourne's Croatian, Turkish, Greek, Vietnamese, Italian, Israeli, Lebanese and Aboriginal communities were on show, with the day held in great spirits in keeping with Harmony Day.
In good news for the many fans of Australian Rules Football outside Australia, several options for overseas fixtures are being considered for 2005 and 2006, with England, New Zealand, the US and United Arab Emirates all being mentioned.
As part of a night of celebrations for teams and individuals achieving national or international triumph in their sport, the Frankfurt Redbacks were awarded an Ehrenmedaille ('Medal of Honour') by the city of Frankfurt on February 25th.
As happens every few years, as the best formula for footy in the United States is sought, some of the major leagues have undergone a significant restructure for 2005, with the emergence of the Eastern AFL.
As the 2nd International Cup draws closer, the AFL South Africa are trying to raise funds to get their national side to the tournament in Melbourne. Several legends of the game have come together to promote the cause, and the Victorian public can get involved through a dinner to be held next week.
World Footy News has often been criticised for its informal association with Brian Clarke's IAFC. Although we have argued that the only real linkage is the display of their logo and the volunteer work done by this author, the case has obviously not been made strongly enough. And clearly this author was sympathetic to their cause. However, it is our opinion that WFN has been held back by this perception. In this editorial we wish to make the clear distinction and in fact make it clear that even those loose ties have now been cut. I have thought long and hard about whether to air our reasons, but in fairness to all our supporters, and all the people I have lobbied on behalf of Brian Clarke, I feel they deserve an explanation of how this decision has come about over the lifetime of WFN.
For many of the Australian Convicts players who toured South Africa in February, the clinics for kids was one of the highlights. Although the matches were fun, and the sightseeing impressive, the personal contact made in less-visited places was something special. After the tour many of the players also went on to visit other places in southern Africa, such as Cape Town, Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe and Zambia) and Chobe National Park in Botswana. Here we talk about the clinics, and note that the previous stories on the matches have been updated with photos.
Chicago has long been one of the stronger bases for Australian Rules Football in the USA. At times the growth of numbers there has been very encouraging, but as with many sports, politics can get in the road. A split emerged and a common way forward was not established. But in the past year there has been a convergence of ideas.
In 2003, the New Zealand Junior Falcons played and won a tournament in Canberra against Nauruan and ACT junior sides. At this tournament, a young New Zealander by the name of Jeremy Blythe was picked up by ACTAFL club the Queanbeyan Tigers. Now another New Zealander, Nathan Rose, has followed him across.
WFN talks with Rose about his background in footy, playing in Canberra and the scene in Wellington as it currently stands.
In recognition of greater involvement with the Australian Football League, Footy South Africa has been renamed AFL South Africa. It has also changed its website address. The term of current Executive Officer, Steven Harrison, also expires soon, and a replacement is sought as he wishes to return to Australia.
The Robert Walters scholarship for young Japanese players provides Japanese lads with a well rounded football education. In addition to playing a season with Box Hill North, the scholarship winner spends his time improving his English and studying for AFL qualifications in coaching and umpiring.
This year's winner Hiroyuki Shiba, quit his job to concentrate on footy, and has just arrived in Australia to push himself along even further. This report courtesy of Troy Beard.