In somewhat of a breakthrough for Australian football in New Zealand, the Kiwis have been invited to attend the 2006 Australian Country Championships. With Papua New Guinea and NZ both close neighbours of Australia, they are both benefiting from increased interaction with Aussie leagues. PNG has so far pursued a juniors pathway with AFL Queensland, and NZ now take a significant step towards their goal of being recognised as a football peer to the Australian states. As the championships pit region against region, the Kiwis will also bring some of their best Australian players, provided they are now based in New Zealand.
2005 will go down in history as the year Scotland probably had its first Australian rules Grand Final (unless the famous, though widely thought to be fictitious competition referred to be C.C.Mullen in his 1958 'History of Australian Football' actually existed), as the Edinburgh Bloods convincingly defeated the Glasgow Sharks 83-13 on a typical Scottish autumn day.
This was actually the SARFL's second season, with the Bloods also winning last year's competition though a Grand Final was not held. This report courtesy of Eddie McAvinchey of the SARFL.
During the second International Cup, staged in
Melbourne in August, World Footy News spoke with New Zealand AFL General
Manager Rob Malone. Originally from Western Australia, where he played for West Perth in the WAFL (he also had a short stint at St Kilda), Malone has a
professional background in football administration, including Football Manager at West Perth and General Manager at Claremont. During the train trip to Wangaratta we
discussed the quality of the Kiwi team and the challenges facing the game.
Their following game against Samoa confirmed for this author that
Malone's rating of his squad was on the mark, as the Falcons demolished what
was an otherwise competitive unit, before completing the tournament
undefeated. Below is a transcript of the interview and a link to the
audio, however the latter is relatively poor quality due to background
noise levels on the train. We'll bring you further exciting news about NZ
footy in the next few days.
After all the preparation and build up to the big day, the Bakersfield club, US Footy's latest side, made their match debut. Other "local" Californian clubs joined them for their big day. This report from San Diego's Mike Russell (who travelled out and played on the day) with extra reporting by Brett Northey.
The Munich Roos handed out an 82-point drubbing to the Frankfurt Redbacks in the 2005 AFLG grand final played at the Frankurter Ostpark last Saturday, October 29. After having played the preliminary final against Hamburg earlier that day, the Redbacks managed just four behinds for the match, the Kangaroos' lineup with a large contingent of experienced Australians proving almost watertight in defence.
UPDATE - In response to this article, WFN has received some feedback claiming that Hamburg actually won the preliminary final over Frankfurt 13-10, but were disqualified. WFN is investigating the matter and will post an update when confusion has been cleared.
Australia dusted up the Irish in more ways than one with a second emphatic victory in the second and final Test of the 2005 series in Melbourne. After a fabulous display of fast skillful International Rules football in Perth, the second Test was marred by a melee and plenty of scuffles after Australian and Brisbane Lions player, Chris Johnson, delivered a "coat hanger" tackle on Irish and Tyrone player Philip Jordan.
Following the first test of the International Rules series in front of 39,000 at Subiaco in Perth, the second game will be played at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne on 28th October.
The big win by the Australian team in the first test may have taken some of the sting out of the series, seeing the match slip back a couple of timeslots in NSW, QLD and the ACT, but this time around the game will get expanded coverage overseas.
Here are some of the TV and Radio broadcast times:
Australia (free to air)
Melbourne (live Friday 28th October @ 8:30 EST - Channel 9)
Perth (live Friday 28th October @ 8:30 EST - Channel 9)
Adelaide (live Friday 28th October @ 8:30 EST - Channel 9)
At half-time in the AFL Challenge match between West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers at the Brit Oval in London earlier this month, it was time for the Lions and Crows to take the field. That was the Thamesbridge College Lions and the Kew College Crows. Also featured were juniors from Carshalton College and other schools.
As part of the development of the FootyWiki - WFN is giving readers a sneak preview of the World Footy Atlas. The Atlas links into the FootyWiki, the World Footy Community's version of the Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
Visit the Atlas here to check out how it's working so far. Currently the maps are mainly at continent level (except North America), but as our writers and programmers have time, the level of detail will be extended hopefully to national level in countries with larger numbers of clubs.
Once in the Wiki, if your club's (or anyone else's club's) information needs expansion or updating - read the User's Guide and add anything you think is relevant!
After three successful years overseeing the continued rise of footy in the United States as USAFL President, Mark Wheeler has moved into the position of Australian Liasion, with Robert Oliver taking over the reigns of US footy.
The Czech AFL are hosting the first-ever Prague Cup on November the 5th - with an open invitation for all teams and players from across Europe to come for a great end-of-season trip to one of Europe's top tourist destinations.