The 2005 US Western Regionals, a main focus of the season for US clubs not part of the MAAFL or EAFL, has seen the Denver Bulldogs again stamp their authority on American Aussie Rules footy. They've also released footage of their demonstration game at an Arena Football League match.
World Footy News doesn't focus heavily on the Australian Football League because as the premier competition in Aussie Rules, it receives a great deal of coverage already - much more than all the other leagues outside of Australia put together. But we also encourage all our readers to have an interest in the game's top professional league, so here we offer a review of the season at the halfway point.
The Ontario Australian Football League in Canada's east has been that country's stronghold of Aussie Rules for the past 17 years. Based on the playing numbers and teams, it appears as though that region has stabilised for now. What is encouraging is the continued work to expand the number of clubs in the fledgling footy provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.
The German city of Cologne will this weekend host its first match of Australian Football, with the Düsseldorf Lions moving their home match against the Frankfurt Redbacks to the nearby city for demonstration purposes.
International footy is still searching for its first home-grown recruit
to make it to the AFL, the undisputed premier Aussie Rules league in
the world. We're also yet to see such a footballer make it to the second
best league in the world. But what is that league? The top three
contenders would clearly be the state competitions of Victoria, South
Australia and Western Australia. For our international readers to
understand better what sits beneath AFL level, we look at the matches which see
the best non-AFL players from each league come together to play
traditional interstate footy, with one match each year, giving a 2 year cycle
of matches. On the line is bragging rights for the winners to claim
theirs to be the best comp outside of the AFL.
World Footy News now has a front page link to Ian Hill's Footy Record, a site dedicated to collecting and collating results from clubs and leagues around the globe.
The software, designed specifically for Australian football scores and named after the traditional at-the-ground fan's magazine in Australian football, is a way of keeping track of league records, useful for anyone looking for a collection point to keep history for prosperity.
In the few short years that Aussie Rules has been played in the United States, one thing has been consistent - change. Each season sees new formulas tried to speed the spread of the game, or at least consolidate the impressive gains so far. 2005 has seen the emergence of the Eastern AFL (possibly described as a merger of the NEAFL and SEAFL, or an expansion of the NEAFL). The East coast will be hoping this new league can go on to rival the successful Mid-American AFL (MAAFL). But for many of the western US sides, a two part regional tournament will be their focus in 2005, with trips to Denver and Canada on the cards.
The Japanese have finished the Arafura Games with a stronger showing despite going down to the Northern Territory Indigenous Development Squad by 53 points in the Gold medal playoff. The Samurai return home with a Silver medal and invaluable match practice together as a team, against quality opposition, on a full sized oval.
The Clare Crows find themselves after three rounds of the ARFLI competition on top of the ladder. This is the first time in the club's short history that they find themselves in this lofty position at any stage of a season.