Italian Alessandro Ciampa has been working hard to start Aussie Rules in the Italian province of Campania since late last year. It seems that there have now been officers delegated to the neighbouring provinces of Lazio and Molise and the number of squads has grown to four - Polosportiva Napoli, San Giorgio Dragons, Salerno Fishmongers and the Barra Fighters.
With the much-discussed ASTN television deal slowly taking form, metro leagues kicking off around the United States, leagues forming reforming in new shapes and sizes and the US Revolution and Canadian Northwind planning for their assault on the International Cup, 2005 could be a big year for footy in North America.
WFN takes a look at some of the major developments.
Every year, a number of people take the initiative and start having a kick in their previously footy-foreign area. Some plan clubs, others plan leagues, some have huge plans of conquering the world. Sometimes these gather momentum and take flight - but sometimes they don't...
WFN takes a look at a few of the clubs and leagues that never quite made it, as well as some who haven't made it yet, but have never given up.
In a match showcasing one of the most heavily modified forms of footy seen to date, the San Diego Lions defeated the Orange County Bombers in a curtain-raiser to the LA Avengers match at the Staples Centre, Los Angeles, on February 20th. The game was a big hit with fans and the Bombers have been invited back for more displays at Avengers games in future.
In the final match of the Convicts' successful tour of South Africa, the Aussies played the national side in Eldorado Park in Soweto, the famous town/suburb outside Johannesburg. The Australians came out all guns blazing, finishing the game in the first quarter, before the match settled into a more even tussle.
The AFL website has gone through major redesign. Of extra interest to world footy news readers will be the section under Game Develoment / International Leagues - it's now much easier to find, even if it hasn't been expanded in some time!
After first going online in July/August of 2004, World Footy News has built up to an average of about 200 hits a day. Some times of year have been busier than others, depending on how much is going on out there in footy land - but overall, stats suggest that a core readership is developing of regulars who check by a couple of times a week.
One interesting statistic is where some of the readers seem to be coming from...
With a a squad containing fifteen players between the ages of 17 and 22, the New Zealand Falcons will be one of the younger squads on display in Melbourne this August. In addition, most of them either play in the Australian Capital Territory AFL or the AFL Queensland or have toured Australia multiple times, playing against Queensland under18s representative sides.
The US Revolution are hoping for a strong showing at the International Cup in August, and one man hoping to give them every chance of bringing home the cup is professional strength and fitness coach Troy Anderson.
World Footy News speaks with Anderson to give some insight into how the Revolution are shaping up.
The votes are in - North Melbourne and St Kilda are the AFL sides with the greatest amount of support among the readers of World Footy News. There was some considerable distance between these two and third-place Collingwood. The Brisbane Lions finished last, one vote behind those who professed not to follow any team in the AFL.
The Brussels Saints were newcomers to the European scene for 2004, with an impressive mix of experienced footballers and new recruits from a rugby background taking out the Central European AFL championship.
Luke White reviews their 2004 season and tells more about their plans for 2005.