Australian Rules Football has found it difficult to break into the Asian region. Although there are plenty of expatriate Aussies keen to spread the game, they have struggled to interest large numbers of locals, more so than in North America, Europe and Oceania. Japan and Indonesia are two possible exceptions. We look at their numbers, along with all the footy teams of Asia, in our latest in the World Footy Census 2004 series.
The Golden Gate AFL, based around San Fransisco / Santa Cruz, and the AFL Queensland, have entered into a sister-league relationship, much like sister-club alliances have been formed before. AFLQ continue to be a trendsetter in promoting Australian Rules football around the world. They already do a lot of work with AFL PNG and have assisted in other areas too. The reason could just be local contacts. Another explanation for their enthusiasm might be the appreciation they have for developing the game in a region where it isn't the dominant sport. It would be great to hear if other Australian leagues have similar arrangements. The following information is direct from the GGAFL site.
The International Rules series between Ireland and Australia has seen some experimentation with rules from the opposing code or the hybrid code back into the parent codes. Several of the experimental rules in the AFL's pre-season Wizard Cup over the years have reflected this. Gaelic football is also experimenting, and the current National Football League season has incorporated a number of new rules including the direct pick up of the ball off the ground (as is in International Rules). Further changes have been discussed, raising the prospect of Gaelic and Australian Rules football moving closer together.
For some reason St Kilda's tour of South Africa last year caused more attention on world Aussie Rules than just about any other event. Even the Pacific edition of Time Magazine has recently run a story.
News from the Emerald Isle for the start up of the 2005 season sees the 10-a-side competition underway with two rounds completed so far. This season's 2005 Super 10s competition has been broken up into two conferences with Cork (Leeside Lions), Clare Crows and new side West Dublin Saints competing in the southern conference and Dublin Demons, South Dublin Eagles, Mullingar and Belfast hitting it out in the Northern Conference.
The long awaited FOXFooty documentary about the 2004 US Nationals in Atlanta is due to go to air in Australia on Wednesday night, the 30th March. Tiffany Cherry interviewed players and officials, and parts of games were taped. For those that have the FOXFooty channel, the 30 minute program air times are listed below.
In the past day the World Footy News site has had the underlying software upgraded (many thanks to Tobin). This has also modified the appearance. Over the next few days there will be some more tinkering with the system. Apologies for any annoyances and please contact us if you encounter any problems that persist.
In preparation for their 2005 season to kick off in two weekends' time, the AFL Germany held a national training camp in the Hessian city of Fulda. Not put off by sub-zero temperatures and a healthy cover of snow, 25 participants came together under the guidance of Cam Jeffreys and Berlin Crocodiles coach Steve Barratt.
Plans are being made for AFL Hall of Famers John Platten, Doug Hawkins and Ron Barassi to go on a world tour in January 2006, covering Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and the Pacific Region.
While the project is still in the planning stages, the idea has been trialled as a successful fundraising venture for Australian Football in Papua New Guinea and organisers are hoping it can become a regular fixture for clubs and leagues around the world.
Each year in Thailand the ANZAC spirit is commemorated by conducting a Dawn Service at Hellfire Pass and a Memorial Service at Kanchanaburi Allied War Cemetery.
2005 marks the 90th anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli in World War 1. In honouring the ANZAC tradition, the Thailand Tigers Football Club will host an Australian Rules Commemorative Match to be played at the Kanchanaburi Sports Complex on Saturday 23 April 2005.
The Brian Clarke-led IAFC (disputed - see note below) have announced that they are to hold a 'Australian Football World Cup' in Melbourne in 2008. The IAFC have issued an announcement via a dedicated webpage, however as the Australian Football League is understood to be planning the third International Cup also to be held in Melbourne in 2008 it is as yet unclear what the political ramifications of this announcement will be.
Football playing and coaching legend Malcolm Blight has spent the past few years relaxing in Queensland, away from the pressures of the AFL. But an impromptu training session with some talented young Papua New Guinean players may have rekindled his passion for coaching. The following story courtesy of AFL-PNG and Neil Kearney, from the 9th March 2005 The Advertiser, Adelaide, South Australia.