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.
In this, the second results article in the World Footy Census 2004 series, we look at the European nations. The region has great potential with so many countries close to each other, but it also faces many challenges. The development of Australian Football can be seen at many levels in Europe.
It looks likely that a deal will be done soon to get the 2005 AFL season back on North American TV screens. FOX appeared to have dropped it altogether, but negotiations are said to be nearing completion that will give the coverage a stay of execution. The following report is courtesy of AFANA.
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.