195cm ruckman/forward Joel Amartey has this week added to the list of AFL prospects from an African family background, being taken by the Sydney Swans at #28 in this year's rookie draft.
The Ghanaian-Australian Amartey impressed with the Sandringham Dragons in this year's TAC Cup competition, and will join former schoolmate Oliver Florent at the Swans, both Florent and Amartey having attended Mentone Grammar School together.
Florent is also from a multicultural background, his father being the late Mauritian-Australian tennis star Andrew Florent.
To see a highlight reel of Amartey's performance in the TAC Under 18s competition, click here.
AFL London player Jess Edwards has made the journey from playing her first footy with the Wandsworth Demons, (returned home to play in Adelaide in 2017) and now has been selected to play in the Collingwood VFL team in 2018. Tash Gunawardana interviewed Edwards after her selection and asked about her footy career so far.
How does it feel to be given the opportunity to be selected to play in the VFLW for Collingwood?
I am feeling very excited and eager to get started with the new opportunity.
Following just a year after Jack Bowes made his way to the Gold Coast Suns from Cairns, fellow Cairns Saints product Jacob Heron has taken the same route – pre-selected prior to today’s Rookie Draft as category B Rookie. Whilst it might not sound quite so glamourous as Bowes’ selection in the top ten of the 2016 draft, make no mistake – Heron is the equal of Bowes and will find his way to the Gold Coast Suns senior list very quickly.
Like Bowes, Heron is a player that I have coached against. Thankfully, not as often. His pace is electrifying, especially when he reaches open space. His skills, from the point of view of an opposition coach, are flabbergasting. Dangerous on both sides of the body, Heron could change a game – and often did.
But there is more to Jacob that simply football skills. This is a young man who lived and breathed the game. Off field you could see him throughout his junior career helping his club as an umpire, water boy, whatever was needed. His involvement in the game was total.
The West Coast Eagles have swooped and selected Northern Territory ruckman, Tony Olango, with their second pick, #27 overall, at today's AFL Rookie Draft. The young giant - of Kenyan and Sudanese descent - missed selection in 2016, but will now head west as an Eagle.
Marc McGowan, from the www.afl.com.au website looked at another Northern Territory talent ahead of this afternoon’s AFL Rookie Draft. With the Brisbane Lions selecting Territorian, Zac Bailey, at pick #15 at last week’s national draft, big ruckman Tony Olango (of Kenyan and Sudanese descent) was one of a group of other players hoping for another chance to get onto an AFL club list today.
INTRIGUING Kenyan-born Sudanese talent Tony Olango's AFL future rests in the hands of two clubs at opposite ends of Australia.
AFL.com.au understands West Coast and Geelong are both considering recruiting the 201cm jack-in-the-box ruckman in Monday's NAB AFL Rookie Draft.
Even curious onlookers love it when a horse stays with the rest of the field for most of the race, then bursts free coming into the home straight and races away to victory. The footy equivalent is no less exciting – euphoric for the victor and shattering for the team that has been trampled. Saints did it to Palmerston last weekend, and this weekend it was Nightcliff running over the top of the Tiwi Bombers.
Nightliff Tigers stayed close enough to the Bombers for the first three quarter of their match at TIO Stadium on Saturday night. The Bombers held a narrow eleven-point lead at the final change and would have hoped to at least hold their ground in the final quarter. But, the Tigers had other ideas and after kicking six goals in three quarters, unleashed another six in the final term of a low scoring match to claim a come from behind 13 point victory. The win keeps Nightcliff in second place, but the loss stings for the Bombers, leaving them outside the top five.
The ALFA Lions have had a rocky start to their title defence so far, losing their opening games of the season. The Toulouse Hawks spent last season assisting in the development of their cross-town rivals. Yet both of these teams threw off the various monkeys from their backs yesterday to record big wins and set up their seasons in a positive – and slightly worrying way. Two of the leagues heavy hitters are back in town.
The Toulouse derby between the Hawks and Aviators was always going to be a test for both teams. The Hawks were determined to recapture the title of Toulouse’s best whilst the Aviatiors were equally determined to show how far they have grown in just over a year.
When young Zac Bailey galloped out of a centre clearance for the Allies, in their clash with the Vic Metro team at the Under 18 National Championships earlier this year, he changed the game and ensured an upset Allies win. He may have hoped for, but couldn’t know, that he had also turned on the neon sign that alerted recruiters to his talent and potential. Not only did he gain All-Australian U18 selection, he also lit the pathway lights to draft day.
It was, therefore, little surprise to those who know him that Bailey was selected by the Brisbane Lions at last night’s NAB Rising Stars Draft at pick 15. The journey had reached a new destination, and young Zac now has a dream come true – an AFL career. The junior from Southern Districts Crocs in the NTFL had followed past Territorians to the highest level of the game.
The Dubai Dragons have taken out the latest Dubai derby, downing the Dubai Dingoes by 68 points at Dubai Sports City. The Dragons were relentless, leading and extending their advantage at every break and never looking like allowing the Dingoes back into the match.
Even though the first quarter saw just two goals to one in favour of the Dragons, the real story was in the poor kicking by the Dragons – eleven scoring shots to one showed more clearly where the match might be headed. By the final change the Dragons had put the game to rest with a 47 point lead, going on then to a comfortable victory. Darcy O’Sullivan kicked three goals for the Dragons whilst Jess Mcguirk kicked three for the Dingoes.
Final Scores: Dubai Dragons 13 24 102 d Dubai Dingoes 5 4 34
The 2017 AFL Oceania Cup will be returning to Fiji on December 4th.
A total of four countries will be competing at the event, which is one of the most significant summer footy tournaments in the world. AFL Fiji has experienced rapid growth within the past few years, highlighted by the men’s national team (the Tribe) finishing sixth earlier this year at the International Cup. The Fiji Vonu, the women’s team, finished fifth.
A country with no shortage of raw athletes, Fiji has recently become home to an AFL girls’ developmental academy, as well as a rapidly-growing Under-15s program, known as the Junior Tribe.
As draft time approaches the thoughts turn to which players clubs will pursue. In an increasingly competitive drafting world, teams are less cavalier about taking risks on project players that might just clog up lists. Many clubs have signed international players to their lists – but not all.
North Melbourne is one club - Melbourne is another. There are others. This is not finger waving at all. There are perfectly valid reasons why clubs have not pursued this line of recruiting at this time and have steered in a different direction.
But history tells us that there are gems. Jim Stynes (Melbourne) won a Brownlow Medal. Tadgh Kennelly and Mike Pyke (both Sydney Swans) won premierships. Zac Tuohy (Geelong) and Pearce Hanley (Gold Coast) are fast approaching 150 AFL games. Conor McKenna (Essendon) was touted by talent guru, Kevin Sheehan, as potentially the best Irish player of all.
The 2017 Nathan Blakey Memorial Movember Cup has been won by the University of Birmingham Lions, downing the London-based visitors – the Wandsworth Demons. In a tight final, after a great day of round matches featuring teams from the AFLCNE as well as the University of Birmingham teams and the Demons, it was the Lions that held on by eight points.
According to the Lion’s own social media information, “yesterday was a big day for the club. One big trophy for the cabinet and, importantly, three teams put forward in one of the biggest cup competitions in Aussie Rules in Great Britain.”
“The Mens' 1s got off to a strong start, beating the Mozzies by five goals to three. Big shout out to Toby Webster for doing a fantastic job marking Great Britain Australian Rules Football forward, alumni and club legend Andy Walkden out of the game. In the second game, we went down to a different Mozzies team that, after a close first half, pulled away in the second through their quality and strength all over the park.”
Carlton has today announced they have signed talented Irish youngster Cillian McDaid as an international rookie. The signing does not come as a big surprise as the story has been doing the rounds in the Irish press in the past couple of weeks.
The 20-year-old Gaelic footballer from Galway in Ireland has been signed on the two-year minimum deal for International rookies..
McDaid was one of four Irishmen to trial in Florida earlier this year with the NAB academy tour of the United States.
Stephen Silvagni said the Blues were “very pleased Cillian has agreed to join Carlton, and we think he is an exciting young prospect for our club,”
“We have followed Cillian’s progress closely throughout the year and he uses the ball incredibly well. He is a determined young man of terrific character and we feel he will be a good cultural fit for our playing group too.