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Wednesday, October 16 2019 @ 02:05 pm ACDT

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AFL in the USA: Giants season opener could be played in America

The following story from Rob Forsaith at AAP appeared on the www.7news.com.au website this week looking at the very real prospects of an AFL match being held in the USA for premiership points – most likely in California. Should this match occur in coming seasons, it would be a massive boost to the game in the States and a huge promotional opportunity for all USAFL clubs. 

The United States might host a star-studded, stand-alone start to the AFL season if GWS's bid to play a game for premiership points in America gets off the ground. 

The Giants and the AFL are in the early stages of discussions on the prospect of taking a regular-season match to the US. 

Finding a suitable ground in a country full of rectangular stadiums is among the most challenging of several hurdles.

Officials are following with interest Philadelphia-based businessman Jignesh Pandya's $2.4-billion vision to spread cricket across his homeland, by constructing new oval stadiums in eight cities.

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AFL London Competitions Reaching Business End Of Season

Europe
With just one round to be played before the AFL London finals series begins, teams are doing their final jostling. Whilst the Men’s Conference division is still up in the air with multiple teams sharing realistic flag hopes, the Men’s Premier and Women’s Premier divisions see one team each that sits ahead of the rest.

The weekend was again special as “Pride Round” with AFL London stating on their Facebook page that “AFL London and its teams are excited for this week's Pride Round. Ensuring we're a league inclusive and welcoming of all people is very important to us.”

The matches coincided with the Pride in London parade, described by the Pride in London organisers as “Celebration, diversity, activism, a demonstration — whatever it means to you, Pride in London is back and set to be our biggest yet. Lesbian, trans, genderqueer or otherwise; wherever you identify, Pride in London is about the people, for the people. This year we’re celebrating 50 years since the birth of the modern LGBT+ rights movement.” Players from all clubs and AFL London joined the parade as a showing of solidarity and support.
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Middle East Clubs Looking Forward

Middle East
Mid-July marks the point furthest away from the footy season – the middle of the off-season. Recovery from the previous season is largely complete and the first stirrings of the new pre-season are evident. Post-mortems on the previous season are done.

It is time to be looking forward to a new season.

Each team would be quietly going through the mental exercises of what needs to be done for the new season. One thing that remains eternally true is that new seasons bring new hope, new expectations and new opportunities. Each team is at a different stage in their journey and making plans for the next step.

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Wolverines Reach Maiden Grand Final – AFLCNE

Europe
It has taken 10 years, but what a wonderful anniversary present for the Wolverhampton Wolverines. After 10 years in the AFLCNE competition, the league’s most southern club (with the Birmingham Bears on hiatus) has made it to the big dance.

It is a wonderful achievement for a club that has probably had more ups than downs along the journey without ever tasting the ultimate successes – just a darned good consistent club.

They will take on the behemoth, the Manchester Mozzies, in the Grand Final to be played at Huddersfield on 20th July. The Mozzies have come through another season undefeated and it appears a very tough task to prevent them winning an amazing sixth straight flag.
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Scandinavian Review – June/July

Europe
Plenty has been happening across the playing fields across Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. Both the Swedish (men’s 5th place and women’s 4th place overall) and Finnish (men’s 14th place overall) teams have also been to the Euro Cup, adding to the busyness. But following is an overview of leagues across Scandinavia.

FINLAND:

Round 1 of the FAFL competition took place in Helsinki during June. It featured the three FAFL teams plaing their round robin format as well as two matches involving the visiting St Petersburg Cats from Russia. The FAFL United team was made up from players across all three Finnish teams, taking on the Cats. The final game of the day was a huge hitout with the Finland Icebreakers team taking on the Cats as a practice match ahead of the Euro Cup.
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Bogota Bulldogs Women Make History

South America

The following article from Tristan Quigley appeared in The Bogota Post back in May this year and detailed the performance of the Bogota Bulldogs’ history making performance in their very first international match. 

The Bogotá Bulldogs’ women’s team pip USAFLW & AFLW Europe combined team to the post in their first international footy game. 

 

Women’s Australian Rules Football took a huge leap forward internationally over the weekend, as the Bogota Bulldogs hosted the USAFLW & AFLW Europe combined team, cruising to a 34-point victory (9.7.61 to 4.3.27) in their first ever intercontinental match. The 9’s match took place in at Los Pinos Polo Club on the outskirts of the Colombian capital and was the first ever international women’s match in the Americas.

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Redbacks & Magpies Keep Premiership Hopes High

Europe
At the end of Round 5 in the AFL Ireland Men’s competition, the Belfast Redbacks have kept their undefeated run going, whilst the Galway Magpies now seem very likely to be grand final-bound with another win to put them in clear second position a game ahead of the Leeside Lions.

Weekend results saw the Belfast Redbacks too good for the Leeside Lions down in Cork. The final result was a 40-point margin. Whilst the margin was handy for the Redbacks, it isn’t vital. However, the margin further dented the Lions percentage when they need every possible advantage to stay with the Magpies, though the two would still meet in the semi-final. The Redbacks won 88 to 48.

The Galway Magpies won their third match for the season, giving the South Dublin Swans a belting to the tune of 71 points. The win puts the Magpies in outright second position with just one round to play before finals. The final score saw the Magpies down the Swans 111 to 40.
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Norrtälje The Centre Of Swedish Footy

Europe
Not only did the Swedish city of Norrtälje just host an excellent Euro Cup for the cream of European footy, but the club from that city – the Norrtälje Dockers – sits in a two way shootout with the Södermalm Blues to take the 2019 SAFF premiership.

At the midway point of the season, the Dockers sit on top of the ladder, percentage ahead of the Blues though with a game up their sleeve pending rescheduling of a previous round match.

The Dockers and Blues have dominated the competition this season and there is little to suggest that the status quo will change ahead of finals in September. The Årsta Swans have struggled on field this season against the top two teams. The Solna Axemen have struggled to get teams on the field in one of their toughest seasons.
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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

General News
Each year football’s highest authorities make changes to rules. This is nothing new, nor is it sinister. Whether it is for safety, aesthetics of the game, improve speed of the game, selling a wholesome package to parents of kids, keeping sponsors happy or…God Forbid!...just plain common sense, rules will always be reviewed and changed.

This is NOT the fault of umpires – though they take most of the heat for doubtful decisions. This is an issue of rules and always has been. It just appears that the levels of frustration amongst fans is now higher than previous years.

But that doesn’t help the purists on the couch, at the game or even on the field when some changes just make no practical sense. To that end, here are some of my most contentious rule changes, either because I don’t personally agree, they are frustrating for spectators or they are simply useless.
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Euro Cup 2019 Tournament Review

Europe

The following extract from the AFL Europe website (www.afleurope.org ) looks back in detail at last weekend’s Euro Cup held in  Norrtajle, Sweden. To read the full article, go to: https://afleurope.org/euro-cup-2019-tournament-review/

The 2019 Euro Cup saw 16 national teams travel to Norrtajle, Sweden for Europe’s major 9-a-side competition. Under clear blue skies, 68 matches took place across five different pitches to crown the 2019 Euro Cup winners.

With over 350 players as well as coaches, team staff, volunteers, umpires, family and friends, the Norrtajlie Sportcentrum was packed out by the AFL Europe community with a great turnout from the locals.

 

It all came down to the two Grand Finals which saw England and Ireland go head to head in both the men’s and women’s finals.

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Odense Lions Surprise In Denmark

Europe
With the Danish footy season in a small mid-season recess, there is time to review what had happened in the DAFL in 2019 and what might yet happen. Leading the discussion is a revitalised Odense Lions team already on track for finals and potentially their most successful season yet.

With seven rounds down and just six to go, some patterns are already appearing. The Farum Cats hold top sport with four wins, holding off the Port Malmo Maulers and Odense Lions on three wins apiece. The Copenhagen Giants are in the top four ahead of the so far winless Aalborg Kangaroos.

The Cats are undefeated and face the prospect of keeping things that way, having asserted their dominance with big wins against their nearest rivals – the Maulers and Lions.
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Hamburg Dockers' Title Defence On Track

Europe
With just four rounds remaining in Germany’s AFLG competition, it is becoming glaringly apparent that last year’ premiers the Hamburg Dockers are primed to hold the title in 2019. Two games clear at the top of the ladder and undefeated, the Dockers appear to have all challengers covered.

With three games left – two against the Berlin Crocs and one against the Frankfurt Redbacks – it seems likely that only a huge upset from here will see them lose a game before the finals. The Dockers have downed each so far this season, though not by big margins.

The Frankfurt Redbacks held the lead for most of their match against the Dockers in Round 5 before being run down in the final quarter. Similarly, the Berlin Crocs kept the game tied up to half time before the Dockers grabbed the ascendency later in the game. Both teams have fought hard, but in the end, the Dockers had their measure.
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