The inaugural "Wild West Shootout" 9-a-side tournament was held in Las Vegas on 16th April. As often happens with such events, a few last minute changes were necessary and the final set-up was 7 teams. The Mojave Greens, the Tucson Javelinas, and the OC Crush were combined into one side for the day. That still provided a healthy competition for a tournament in its first hit out, in a city where the game isn't played at all.
The Australian Football League has confirmed the draw for the 2005 Australian Football International Cup. The grounds and timetable for matches has also been released. As reported earlier, the grand final is to be played at the MCG, and the series also includes a round of matches at a country venue, Wangaratta, about 235 km northeast of Melbourne. Hopefully with such a unique event and some local promotion, a big crowd will turn out for the regional matches.
The US television deal for the broadcast of local USAFL matches has created much excitement but also scepticism. The USAFL have issued a statement that they accept there may be teething problems with the ASTN deal in its first year, but they remain confident that it will be a great step forward for the game in America. The release follows.
The Melbourne Age reports (note this may require an account at some point) the Brisbane Lions as having taken on Gerard Sholly, former Collingwood recruiting manager to assist with taking on a rookie from Gaelic football in Ireland.
On April 8th and 9th, the AFL's Collingwood Magpies
held open tryouts in association with the Denver Bulldogs, the reigning
3-in-a-row USAFL champions. James Waddell, officially representing
Collingwood, put a group of hopefuls through a series of athletic tests,
with the results forwarded to the club for examination. Waddell would
like this to be just the first of many trials, with the aim of finding
young American recruits to take to Australia on scholarships, with a
view to AFL careers.
You know Aussie rules is back for the year in Britain when the annual ANZAC Cup is played. This year the tournament returned to Clapham Common in London. On Saturday 16th April in the most perfect weather conditions the West London Wildcats made it back-to-back on last year, defeating the Wandsworth Demons by 13 points, 3-2 to 2-1, to take the 2005 VB ANZAC Cup.
While worldfootynews.com focuses on Aussie Rules outside of Australia, in compiling the statistics on player numbers around the world, it would be remiss of us not to examine the numbers in the game's traditional homeland. Fortunately, such a mammoth task is performed independently, with consultants Street Ryan and Associates hired by the AFL to examine the game each year. Here we present a snapshot of those numbers, in the same format as our survey of other countries.
As the only new side at this year's International Cup, Los Toros de España are arousing a bit of interest - and things are looking good from the Bulls' camp. A match televised on national TV, a theme song recorded and played on radio (complete with 'Making Of' documentary on TV's Telemadrid), the Bulls are working overtime to get some attention at home.