Time will almost certainly prove that the selection of the Maroochydore Multi Sports Complex on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland for the 2020 International Cup will be an inspired choice. Take it from me, a coach who steered his teams to two spectacular losses at the venue in 2017.
This venue has the capacity to not only host the IC20 but also take the tournament into a future of even greater growth.
Since 2002, the six editions of the International Cup have been hosted by Melbourne – not unreasonably, as the city is the spiritual home of Australian Football and a magnet for followers of the game. Royal Park and a number of suburban and country venues showcased the international teams over the years, as did iconic venues such as the MCG. Games have been played in Sydney also.
At the mid-way point of the second National University League season, the University of Birmingham teams have placed themselves well for a tilt at the title. After a bye in the opening round, the Birmingham men’s team recorded two wins in their home fixture whilst the women’s team won one of their games and were unlucky to lose narrowly.
University of Cambridge still hold top spot in the men’s draw, a game ahead of Birmingham. The women’s draw has seen a huge performance from the South Wales Universities team, winning three of their four matches to date. With Cardiff the venue for the third round matches, the South Wales women’s team is in a great position to get more wins and set up a genuine crack at the title.
No matter how you look at it, the Nightcliff Tigers have enjoyed a brilliant 2019 and as teams enjoy their festive season summer break, the Tigers boast not only a premiership but top spot to see out the calendar year.
Back in March, the Tigers held off a determined Southern Districts to claim the 2018/19 NTFL Premier League title. After their Round 11 clash, the Tigers go to the break two games clear at the top of the ladder. Their only loss was to the currently second-placed St Mary’s. It has been an impressive year from the Tigers.
In fact, the Tigers only lost two matches for the calendar year, the other being a one-point loss to the Tiwi Bombers in January.
When matches resume early next year, clubs will have been planning their journey to the finals, and uppermost in their planning will be Nightcliff.
Since the CNFA competition commenced in 2008, Paris teams have played in every grand final. The Paris Cockerels have been to the big dance nine times for five flags and four runners-up. The Cockatoos have a neat 50/50 split with two grand finals for one flag.
As the CNFA season has reached its winter break, the chances of yet another grand final appearance for Paris Cocks teams is extremely high. After three rounds, with four more from February when the competition recommences, the Paris Cockatoos hold top spot from their stablemates, the Cockerels.
In their last match prior to the winter break, the Cockatoos were far too good for the Cockerels, downing their rivals 115 to 59. It will set up a second half of the season with the Cockatoos the team to catch and beat for the 2019/2020 season.
The 2020 USAFL Nationals tournament will head west, moving to Ontario, California – located between Los Angeles and San Bernadino. It marks a move across the country after this year’s event was played in Bradenton-Sarasota. Florida.
It will be the second time since 2009 that the event has been played in California after the 2017 tournament was held in San Diego.
The following statement from the www.usafl.com website details the announcement.
“The USAFL Executive Board is excited to announce that the 2020 USAFL National Championships will be held on the doorsteps of Los Angeles in Ontario, California the weekend of October 10 and 11.”
“Today many men in my area consider me a leader which is very rare for people in my area. Many of the men who were against me once are now proud of me.”
And, in that passage alone, the inspiring story of Karishma Ali can be seen coming to life. This young woman graced Australian footy fields back in 2017 as part of the inaugural Pakistan Shaheens women’s team at the IC17 tournament in Melbourne. Since then, Karishma has not only been a driving force for the game back home in Pakistan – both for women and the game as a whole – and significantly become a world role model for women of all ages.
Since those days, Karishma has had her clothing paraded on the catwalks of Milan, met with British royalty and been a youth and women’s advocate within Pakistan envoys to China and the United States. This is heady stuff, and rather amazing for a young woman who was also named as one of the Forbes 30 Under 30 success stories.
(Karishma in action for the Pakistan Shaheens at IC17)
Marc McGowan from the www.afl.com.au website reports on another emerging Irish talent from last week’s AFL Europe Talent Combine in Dublin. It was also the first ever women’s combine and showcased some exceptional talent, with a number of women testing looking towards a potential career in the AFLW in coming seasons.
A LITHUANIAN-born footballer could be the next successful Irish AFL export.
Ireland's James Madden (Brisbane) and Ross McQuillan (Essendon) springboarded standout AFL Europe Combine testing results into spots on an AFL list the past two years.
And now it might be Deividas Uosis' turn.
The 19-year-old's parents emigrated to Ireland when he was four in search of better work opportunities, and he's played basketball, soccer and Gaelic football since.
Back in 2014, the Doha Kangaroos were set to be “the next big thing”. Fresh from taking the 2013/13 season premiership after downing the Dubai Dragons, the ‘Roos had the Middle East football world at their feet. Dreams of going “back to back” were tempered by a greater ideal – a dynasty growing with sustained success.
However, the script changed. Off and on field changes occurred which made it difficult for the Kangaroos to maintain momentum.
Then along came the Qatar Blockade in June 2017 – ostensibly seeing other nearby Middle East nations cutting links (across many fronts, including travel) with the nation. The political arguments can be discussed elsewhere, but the impact saw the Doha Kangaroos having to pull out of the AFL Middle East competition and effectively losing much of the traction built around their maiden premiership.
The following story is from the point of view of two young men in South Africa. It is not the story of AFL South Africa, nor is it necessarily true of others across the nation. It is following on from their own personal journeys, documented previously on World Footy News.
Back in my days as a tour guide, stopping at Halls Creek in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia was a step back in time to learn of aboriginal culture, gold mining, droving, explorers and other tales associated with the remoteness of a town that is almost 3000 kilometres from its own capital city, Perth. For a while it was synonymous with the Wolf Creek horror movie based on the nearby attraction, but now it is developing a new and very different reputation.
Michael Whiting from www.afl.com.au reports on the incredible success coming out of one remote Western Australian town. With the recruitment of Jy Farrar at last week’s AFL Draft, the small outback town is again in the spotlight and making people wonder what is in the water up there.
Jy Farrar did not have to look far for inspiration to believe one day he could make it to the AFL
When his name was read out by Gold Coast with pick No.60 at last week's NAB AFL Draft, Farrar added to the Halls Creek production line that dominates the League.
The Scottish city of Stirling is not a place that rears its head in conversations about football – until now. Almost equidistant between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Stirling has just been announced as the venue for the next AFL Europe Euro Cup in 2020.
The city is far more famous for Stirling Castle, and William Wallace’s defeat of the English. However, for one glorious weekend next June, Stirling will entertain the cream of European Australian Football.
The club does not boast its own club in the AFL Scotland SARFL league, but that may well change after hosting the premier nine per side tournament. Converted fans and curious onlookers will descend on Stirling and if all goes to plan a whole new batch of recruits, administrators, sponsors and fans will work to ensure the game remains in the city long after the event is over.