The AFL funds quite a number of countries to pursue Aussie Rules programs. However the level of that funding is often a source of debate, with most countries naturally wanting more. The Age writer Caroline Wilson wrote an interesting article on August 14th about the future for South Africa and gave a breakdown of the major funding targets.
Danish side Farum are well-known for having the biggest juniors competition in Europe, maintaining a strong partnership arrangement with Geelong College and their senior side now reaping the benefits of a large contingent of highly-skilled young Danish players.
The Farum Cup is the annual lightning premiership for the club's junior players, this year held on August 28th with children in the age range 9-12 years playing.
The New York Magpies sealed top spot, and with it the Eastern AFL premiership, defeating the Florida Redbacks in Sarasota, Florida. This closes the first ever-season of the EAFL, WFN's Troy Thompson giving a season review.
The 2005 AFL Grand Final is fast approaching, with four teams from four states still in the running - West Coast (WA), Adelaide (SA), Sydney (NSW) and St Kilda (Vic). A great tradition around the world is for Aussies to get together for Grand Final parties at pubs and clubs - anywhere that has a telecast of the game.
If venues or clubs would like to send us a very short piece of information on any such event they're having we'll put up a summary next week.
After their successful tour of South Africa in February 2005, the Convicts are set to do it all again in South America in February 2006. The Convicts Tour will feature two matches in Buenos Aires against the Argentine national team in what will be the first ever match between Australian and South American teams. The tour also includes sightseeing in Chile, Uruguay and Brazil, including a visit to Rio de Janeiro.
The Australian Football League Germany grew to 5 clubs in 2004 with the commencement of the Düsseldorf Lions, and in that year over 120 players pulled on the boots in the course of the season. This year they're on track for as many as 150 having played at least one match and have at least two potential new clubs for the coming seasons. However, despite having more players actually playing than Spain (who attended the International Cup) and Sweden (who've started playing internationals against Denmark), the Germans have generally kept to themselves, with only 'scratch' national teams having played any outside opposition.
World Footy News spoke with German footy pioneer Malte Schudlich about how the scene is developing in this relatively reclusive footy nation.
The new boys in US footy, the Bakersfield Barbarians, are all set to have their first match, with the Orange County Bombers and a rejuvenated Inland Empire set to travel to the Californian city in October for some matches.
In the BARFL London Premiership Grand Final held last Saturday, September 3rd, the West London Wildcats overcame a three-goal defecit at the last break to the defeat the Wimbledon Hawks by seven points, 9.14.68 to 9.7.61.
In the Conference Grand Final, the Shepherds Bush Raiders hung on for a three-point win against the Clapham Demons, 11.12.78 to 11.9.75.
The Australian is Australia's major national newspaper and on 18th August 2005 ran a story previewing the Round 21 AFL match between Sydney and the Kangaroos. The first half focused on the non-Victorian domination of recent AFL grand finals, but of interest on the international front was a discussion of Aussie Rules as an important potential product in promoting "Brand Australia", and was put in the context of the upcoming match in Los Angeles between the two sides.
The Ontario AFL, one of the biggest leagues in the world, outside of Australia, is gearing up for the 2005 finals. Toronto Downtown Dingos will be favourites to go all the way having finished top with just one loss. The league has also announced its major awards and all-star team.