Like everyone else, World Footy News is deeply saddened by the massive disaster resulting from the earthquake and tsunamis in the Asia region, with well over 100,000 people confirmed dead. We take this moment to urge anyone who has not already made a donation and can afford to, to do so through agencies such as the Red Cross, United Nations or any other agency you think is appropriate.
The seedings for the 2005 International Cup have been released. It is to be held in Melbourne in August. The same 11 countries that competed in 2002 are expected to return, plus Spain making their first appearance.
Ethiopian Goaner Tutlan has made his debut for St Marys in the Northern Territory AFL reserves. Playing against Southern Districts, the 196cm tall footy-convert kicked four goals from full forward, in his team's big win. His exceptional leap is said to be one of his greatest assets, but coaching staff are keen for him put on a lot more muscle. World Footy News will give updates on the African during the season.
It could be argued that many Australian football supporters know little of the true history of the game, and perhaps not many ponder its future. Most focus only on their own club, perhaps occasionally looking into its past, but rarely the bigger picture of the sport. There are lessons from the past, and the remarkable spread of the game overseas in some ways parallel its movement across Australia over many decades. Some would have us believe that the game has only ever been seriously played in the south east corner of Australia - they do a great injustice to many other major leagues, but also to their own sport, which has a rich and colourful tradition that spans well over a century across its native land. Similarly we need to recognise the emerging markets for footy in North America, Europe, Asia, the Pacific and other untapped regions. Opportunities should not be missed and left for later. If we seek lessons from the past, we might ensure the game's future, which some would argue is less than secure. The following article explores the historic beginnings of Australian Rules football through to the emergence of the AFL and the sport's growth around the world.
The Essendon Football Club have been true to their word to stick with Ethiopian hopeful Goaner Tutlan, and have organised for him to spend a season learning Aussie Rules in Darwin, in Australia's Northern Territory.
World Footy News has closed its third poll. The question asked was "What net effect do you think International Rules Football has on Aussie Rules internationally?" The results are now in on what our readers think of the Gaelic football / Australian football hybrid.
The Chicago Metro AFL will get a boost next year from the on- and off-field experience of Darren McCumber from QAFL club Labrador. In return, Chicago local Jeremy Morgan will take to the field for Labrador for season 2005.
On 21st November, the Japan AFL Grand Final was held. In a repeat of the 2003 season finale, it was the Tokyo Goannas, the primarily expatriate Australian club, up against the University-based Samurai. The Uni boys provided most of the players who recently toured Australia (see previous stories), and have shown much improved form in 2004.
As reported recently on World Footy News, former Ethiopian refugee Tutlan Goaner was trialling with AFL club Essendon, in the hope of securing an international rookie listing. The Bombers passed on the tall but light-weight footy convert, in a move that sparked some criticism that the attention around Goaner was a publicity stunt. It certainly showed that the Australian media has a thirst for stories with an international flavour.