The recent airing in Australia (March 2005) of the FOXFooty documentary filmed at the 2004 US Nationals was long-awaited. Tiffany Cherry's 30 minute review of the game in the US included interviews with several key people in US Footy and the AFL, including Kevin Sheedy and AFL General Manager of Game Development, David Matthews. For the benefit of those unable to see the documentary, a review is given here.
The 1st Contact 2005 BARFL Premiership kicks off on Saturday (today) with the first round matches and a new major sponsor. The highlight of the round is a replay of the 2004 BARFL Grand Final between the West London Wildcats and the Wimbledon Hawks. In other premiership games, Reading Kangaroos play their inaugural Premiership match against last year’s new comers the Putney Magpies. The final match is between the Sussex Swans and Wandsworth Demons.
Irishman Setanta O'hAilpin today (Saturday May 7, 2004) debuted for Carlton at the MCG. Setanta was elevated onto the senior list during the week and was named as an emergency, but came into the team to play Richmond as Chambers withdrew late.
AFL Canada's fundraising and publicity machine is in full swing for the International Cup. Recently Canada's Sportsworld TV show featured an interview with coach Greg Everett and former Sydney Swan Tony Morwood, which can be viewed on the Northwind webpage. Their fundraising includes a golf day in which an Audi car will be won.
With just three months until the International Cup in Melbourne, there has been some confusion amongst countries over the squad sizes allowed. The 2002 Cup saw 30 players each, but some sides couldn't field fit teams by the end of the tournament. An extension to 35 players was argued for, and apparently some countries thought they had secured it.
Carlton's Irish recruit Setanta O'hAilpin continues his development with Carlton's VFL feeder club the Northern Bullants. In our last update he'd had an impressive pre-season and opening match. That form has continued.
AFL Papua New Guinea's recent success at Under 16 level in the Australia Post Queensland Country Championships follows on from a good showing for their Under 18s in selection trial matches in February.
Early reports are that the United States East-West All-Star event went well, with the East winning the All-American match and the West winning the All-Stars. Critically, tournament hosts Dallas were in talks with the All-Sport Television Network's filming crew immediately before the weekend, indicating the broadcast of matches is on track.
The USAFL's three year deal with ASTN is the source of huge excitement and potential for the game, but several aspects have concerned respected people in the game. So all concerned watch with baited breath, hoping everything continues well and local US footy begins appearing on screens across the US.
The World Footy Census 2004 has, hopefully, answered the common question, of just how many players there are playing Aussie Rules in various countries around the world. It can also stand as an historic record of where the game has progressed to, and can be used as a measuring stick in the years and decades to come. It took 5 months to gather all the results from across 34 Australian Rules playing nations. Here we present all the results summarised and the countries ranked by total player numbers.
Footy in the USA is taking a much more structured look these days with the consolidation of teams into regional leagues. None more so than the Mid American Australian Football League (MAAFL) with its seven teams fighting it out for the coveted Premiership Trophy. The emergence of the Eastern Australian Football League (EAFL) in 2005 is testament to the success of the MAAFL over the previous years and the general acceptance that there is a solid place for stand alone inter city games of Aussie Rules thoughout the US (i.e. a home and away season, not just tournaments and metro). Here is review of what the clubs have been up to in the off-season and what lies ahead.