As the 2018 season arrives for the AFLCNE (Australian Football League Central and Northern England), a new dawn rises on a reshaped league. The competition will see just five teams do battle with Sheffield Thunder and the Tyne Tees Tigers missing from the roster. It leaves just five teams to battle out the new season – but those five will make it a battle royale.
This weekend sees the start of the 2018 home and away season. The Huddersfield Rams are hosting the first two matches. The Rams take on the Nottingham Scorpions in the opening match, followed by the Wolverhampton Wolverines up against the Merseyside Saints. Last year’s premiers – the Manchester Mozzies – have the opening round bye.
The season shapes as a fascinating battle, in part because of mathematics. Five teams don’t fit into a final four come finals time which will make for a huge contest – a little like musical chairs – where one team misses out. This will mean that every game is valuable, percentage paramount and a run to the finish that will see teams going all out.
Footy has arrived for 2018 across England and Wales, commencing this weekend. AFL England has released the following press release to fire up the footy-loving public ahead of the first matches for the season proper.
London and Central & Northern England Leagues Kick Off This Weekend
April 26, 2018 – AFL England are looking forward to the start of the 2018 season ahead of the
opening weekend of fixtures. Both the AFL London and Central & Northern England leagues have
their first round of fixtures this weekend, ahead of an exciting ten rounds of competition.
Here are the defending premiers in each division, and their 2017 Grand Final results:
The 2018 AFL National Diversity Championships wrapped up last week in Blacktown, Sydney, with Western Australia and Victoria taking home the silverware. The U15 Kickstart indigenous team from Western Australia won their eighth consecutive title to remain the only state team to have ever won the competition since its inception. Victoria held on in a dramatic All-Nations final for multicultural teams.
The Kickstart Championships came into being back in 2011 as an elite pathway for under 15 indigenous players from across Australia. With exposure to elite coaching, support and facilities, the competition augmented the national Under 16 championships. Western Australia has been the dominant force since the inception of the carnival in 2011, and last week’s result continued a proud tradition.
The All-Nations competition is an opportunity for players from diverse multicultural backgrounds to bring their talents to a state level and after humble beginnings as a modified game for players, it is now a fully-fledged competition in its own right.
Australian teams took the victory honours in both the men’s and women’s matches on ANZAC Day at Villers-Bretonneux in the 10th incarnation of ANZAC Cup matches. AFL Europe’s Facebook page contains many pictures from the day s well as the following brief overview.
“Things started bright and early this morning for our Australian Spirit and French National sides with players attending the Villers-Bretonneux Dawn Service along with thousands of others to pay their respects on the 100th anniversary of the 2nd Battle of Villers-Bretonneux.”
“Following the service the teams completed the traditional march through the town before arriving back at Stadium Timmerman to begin the 10th Annual Anzac Cup matches.”
“Both the men's and women's matches were hard fought from the first bounce but eventually saw the Australian Spirit sides pull away to take home both trophies. Thanks again to O'Neills Sportswear for providing the incredible matching team kits for the Australian and French sides.”
Whilst there are still some games and last minute fiddling to go, the four finalists for the 2017/18 CNFA season are locked in. Recent victories for both Paris Cocks teams (the Cockerels and Cockatoos) have not only given them sufficient breathing space to guarantee finals, the have also ensured that reigning title holders – the ALFA Lions – will not get a chance to defend their title.
The Parisian duo will be joined by the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes and Toulouse Hawks in the battle for this season’s premiership honours.
The result is a glowing endorsement for the decisions in recent years to split the Cocks into two teams, with the Cockatoos already enjoying premiership success, as well as the Toulouse Hawks. After taking a back seat last season to help get the Toulouse-based Aviators under way, the Hawks have returned to their dominant best this season. Now there are three Paris teams (counting the Coyotes) and two in Toulouse – all but one of them will contest this season’s finals.
To date, the Bogota Bullants had been seen as the team to beat for the inaugural CAFL title in Colombia. But the DC Aguilas changed that yesterday with a powerful display against the previously undefeated Bullants, leading early and going on to record a powerful 54-point victory. It sets the scene for a huge finish to the season.
According to the Bogota Bulldogs, “with the Bogota Craft Beer Tours Bullants wanting to continue their undefeated run and the Gourmet Burger Bar Aguilas having made it out of their last match brutal victors [against the Bombers], both sides had a lot to prove coming into this showdown.”
“After the first half had kept things relatively even at 33-41 to the Aguilas, the flood gates opened in the third quarter. After a crucial injury to Bullants captain James, and Aguilas benefiting from a full bench, Sam Miller led the charge, scoring a number of unanswered goals. The midfield opened up and the Aguilas were able to control the play. The Bullants tried their best to even up the play in the fourth quarter, but by then the Aguilas were able to hold their dominant lead at 55-109.”
Bharat Football Club representing India were a class above the Sri Lankan Lions as they won by 92 points today in the inaugural Anzac Day cup clash played at Fortheringham Reserve in Dandenong in Melbourne's South East. A formal ANZAC commemoration pre-match including the last post was held before teams headed out for the match under overcast skies.
Westpac stadium in Wellington has hosted a big day of footy with the AFL NZ team taking on the highly talented AFL AIS Academy squad. The curtain raiser was the NZ girls against the touring Mornington Peninsula Junior Football League girls side in a follow up to their Sunday morning first instalment.
Following on from their 4.9.33 to 1.0.6 win on Sunday morning - the NZ Youth Girls backed up with a 3.6.24 to 1.6.12 win.
The senior AFL NZ line up included a number of familiar faces from the IC17 squad along with some new comers. Debutant Dean Staunton scored the first behind for the Hawks.
The Osaka Dingoes hosted their second IMPACT Anzac Day Cup Tournament at Izumi Sports Village in the wider Osaka Region on Saturday, 21 April 2018.
Beautiful sunshine welcomed the Tokyo Goannas and a merged team of Tokyo Bay Suns, R246 Lions and Senshu Powers, all Kanto based clubs.The maximum temperature hit 26 degrees and that was too warm for playing footy.
The Osaka Dingoes President Matt Gale, made an opening ceremony speech honouring the Anzacs who served their country with pride and dignity. The speech was interpreted into Japanese by Yoshi Imagawa.
The following is a media release from AFL Northern Territory announcing selections in the national Kickstart and World teams from the recent Diversity Championships in Sydney.
AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) is pleased to announce that seven young Territorians were named in Flying Boomerangs and World Team squads to play two exhibition matches at the 2017 NAB AFL Under-16 Championships on the Gold Coast in July.
Selected by AFL Club recruiters following the 2018 AFL National Male Diversity Championships held in Blacktown, the respective squads of 25 young men has been chosen based on school attendance, leadership skills, and football ability.
The AFL Flying Boomerangs program is a personal development and leadership program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men aged 14-16 years old, supported by Rio Tinto. Meanwhile the World Team is made up of the best upcoming AFL multicultural players from across the nation.
After the Easter weekend break, the final two rounds of AFL New Zealand certainly did not disappoint. Despite an upset (courtesy of the Western Crows) that derailed their hopes of an undefeated season, the Central Giants finished off as the recipients of the 2018 AFLNZ premiership.
Round 8 Recap
The Southern Saints took on the Northern Suns at QBE Stadium in the first game of the day. This north-south rivalry has been hotly contested all year, and the Round 8 edition was no exception.