The Robert Walters scholarship for young Japanese players provides Japanese lads with a well rounded football education. In addition to playing a season with Box Hill North, the scholarship winner spends his time improving his English and studying for AFL qualifications in coaching and umpiring.
This year's winner Hiroyuki Shiba, quit his job to concentrate on footy, and has just arrived in Australia to push himself along even further. This report courtesy of Troy Beard.
In this, the second results article in the World Footy Census 2004 series, we look at the European nations. The region has great potential with so many countries close to each other, but it also faces many challenges. The development of Australian Football can be seen at many levels in Europe.
It looks likely that a deal will be done soon to get the 2005 AFL season back on North American TV screens. FOX appeared to have dropped it altogether, but negotiations are said to be nearing completion that will give the coverage a stay of execution. The following report is courtesy of AFANA.
Italian Alessandro Ciampa has been working hard to start Aussie Rules in the Italian province of Campania since late last year. It seems that there have now been officers delegated to the neighbouring provinces of Lazio and Molise and the number of squads has grown to four - Polosportiva Napoli, San Giorgio Dragons, Salerno Fishmongers and the Barra Fighters.
With the much-discussed ASTN television deal slowly taking form, metro leagues kicking off around the United States, leagues forming reforming in new shapes and sizes and the US Revolution and Canadian Northwind planning for their assault on the International Cup, 2005 could be a big year for footy in North America.
WFN takes a look at some of the major developments.
Every year, a number of people take the initiative and start having a kick in their previously footy-foreign area. Some plan clubs, others plan leagues, some have huge plans of conquering the world. Sometimes these gather momentum and take flight - but sometimes they don't...
WFN takes a look at a few of the clubs and leagues that never quite made it, as well as some who haven't made it yet, but have never given up.
In a match showcasing one of the most heavily modified forms of footy seen to date, the San Diego Lions defeated the Orange County Bombers in a curtain-raiser to the LA Avengers match at the Staples Centre, Los Angeles, on February 20th. The game was a big hit with fans and the Bombers have been invited back for more displays at Avengers games in future.
In the final match of the Convicts' successful tour of South Africa, the Aussies played the national side in Eldorado Park in Soweto, the famous town/suburb outside Johannesburg. The Australians came out all guns blazing, finishing the game in the first quarter, before the match settled into a more even tussle.
The AFL website has gone through major redesign. Of extra interest to world footy news readers will be the section under Game Develoment / International Leagues - it's now much easier to find, even if it hasn't been expanded in some time!