Chris Johnson certainly experienced the highs and lows of football as a player. Drafted by the Fitzroy Lions in 1993, he went on to play for the club until their demise in 1996 – experiencing some of the leanest times of any VFL/AFL club. His move to the Brisbane Bears at the end of the 1996 season coincided with the rise of a new entity – the Brisbane Lions.
He went on to become a celebrated and decorated legend of the club, playing in three premierships, being an All-Australian selection as well as a member of the Indigenous Team Of The Century. He briefly co-captained the Brisbane Lions and in 2005 was co-captain with Andrew McLeod in the Australian International Rules team.
With a resume as hard-earned and impressive as that it seems only natural that his experience and philosophies be passed on to new generations of indigenous and multicultural players. At the 2017 National AFL Male Kickstart & All Nations Championships in Blacktown, that is exactly what he is doing.
On a beautiful, sunny day at the Blacktown International Sportspark in western Sydney, the sirens have blown and the football is well and truly under way. It marks the business end of a long process for those U15 boys who have made it to the final selection to represent their state’s Kickstart or All Nations teams. Now, all of the training and hard work pays off.
The tournament commenced with an opening ceremony at the Rooty Hill RSL. All players entered the function room during the Smoking Ceremony, performed by Uncle Greg Simms. Councillor Brad Bunting offered the official welcome from Blacktown City Council on behalf of Mayor Stephen Bali before Sam Graham, CEO of AFL NSW/ACT welcomed all to such a prestigious event for New South Wales. Narelle Long, AFL Championship manager also welcomed the layers, officials and supporters.
Last night I sat in the comfort of home watching a thrilling game between Collingwood and Sydney. I don’t support either, but was grateful that I could turn on the television and (with the power of two remote controls) watch a genuine thriller. To live in a world where every AFL game can be live in the home is, to many, normal.
But it wasn’t always that way.
I am a product (proudly) of 1961. Hawthorn won their first flag, probably not directly because of me. It started something of a trend, with the Hawks winning far too many since. Geelong took out the “consolation” night series, Roos got the spoon and Carlton got the Brownlow & Coleman (John James & Tom Carroll). Meanwhile, I did little more than crawl around the floor making gurgling sounds (still do, occasionally!).
Teams from across England and Scotland have assembled ready for this year’s Haggis Cup, this year being played at the West Of Scotland Rugby Club in Glasgow. Fifteen teams across men’s and women’s competitions have arrived ready for what promises to be a huge, exciting tournament.
The women’s competition will see host city, Glasgow, represented by both local clubs – the Glasgow Sharks and the Greater Glasgow Giants – as well as two teams from the Wandsworth Demons and a single team from the Wimbledon Hawks representing AFL London. The Nottingham Scorpions women’s team will be there flying the flag for the AFLCNE. The Wimbledon Hawks are on a high, having just been crowned women’s champions at last weekend’s AFL Europe Champions League tournament in Amsterdam.
Round 3 of the 2017 AFL Season kicks of in Sydney tonight where the Sydney Swans host Collingwood at the SCG.
The full international broadcast schedule can be seen below.
In addition to the TV networks you can also subscribe to the Watch AFL service that will give you live access to all the matches and more (outside Australia only). You can access that service by clicking on the link here or the Watch AFL banner below and paying the subscription fee.
The National Diversity Championships kicks off this weekend in Sydney, comprising both the Kickstart Championship for indigenous U15 players and the All Nations Championship for multicultural heritage players. World Footy News will be at the event all week, reporting on many facets of this event with progress updates, interviews and informative articles.
MEDIA RELEASE FROM THE AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE
The AFL wishes to advise the annual Under 15 AFL National Male Diversity Championships will begin this Saturday April 8 at Blacktown International Sports Park in Blacktown, the traditional land of the Darug people.
Currently in its fourth year, the AFL National Male Diversity Championships has been developed to provide a supported talented player pathway that compliments the NAB AFL Under 16 Championships and exposes Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural players, coaches, umpires, doctors, and trainers to an elite AFL Program environment.
The beautiful capital city of the Czech Republic, Prague, has played host to a three team tournament featuring the city’s own Prague Dragons, the Dresden Wolves from Germany and England’s University of Birmingham Lions. Back in September, the city hosted the final round of the Central European Australian Football league competition, and now they have followed up with another great promotion for the game in the nation.
According to Martin Hák, PR manager for the event, “the main takeaway [from the tournament] is that it was a great day for everybody and the fans saw quite some quality football too.”
“The weather was beautiful, the organisation perfect (including an outstanding barbecue), the referee was delighted by the spirit and fairness on the field and others were outraged by the extraordinary cultural program (Birmingham's Got Talent).”
Aussie rules has developed rapidly in the country of Canada in the past decade or so, buoyed by a wave of Aussie ex-pats who live and work in the large cities of Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa, among others. There are several leagues currently operating, most notably in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, and British Columbia.
The AFL brought the game to Canada officially in the late 1980s, when exhibition matches were held in both Vancouver and Toronto. In fact, the 1987 Vancouver-based match between Sydney Swans and the Melbourne Demons drew a record crowd of over 32,000 – which, to this day, is the largest crowd ever to see a footy match outside of Australia.
The following article from the AFL Europe website gives a comprehensive review of last weekend’s AFL Europe Champions League tournament held in Amsterdam. Congratulations go again to the West London Wildcats, winning their third title by downing hosts, the Amsterdam Devils – and still the only winners of the event since its inception. The Wimbledon Hawks women’s team took their first title, downing the Odense Lionesses in the women’s final.
Champion teams from throughout Europe converged on Amsterdam over the weekend to contest the 3rd annual AFL Europe Champions League.
With 24 teams (19 men’s, 5 women’s), 16 umpires, countless volunteers, 5 pitches and 60 matches across the day it was always going to be a massive tournament for all involved.
The following article by Molly Halberstadt and Ryan Cartwright, posted on the USAFL website, looks at the recent Arctic Cup played in Iceland. The article gives a great insight into the event, including the results and also the overall “uniqueness” of what is hoped to be a permanent footballing fixture for years to come.
"Who thought footy would bring me to f***ing Icelandω" says a chilly Ross Levesque, bitterly surveying his drenched apparel against a backdrop of rugged rocky terrain and steep dark hills rising in the distance.
But it wasn't strictly footy that brought him to Iceland - rather, his brother Jay, whom Ross introduced to footy in 2003 and who is now a USA Revolution veteran, was the larger factor for Ross' short trip. The two faced off in the Arctic Cup, with Ross playing for a combination Swedish/Icelandic team and Jay for the Baltimore Washington Eagles.
Round4kickedoffonSaturday with the Magpies unbeaten run ended by the previously winless Kangaroos. On Sunday the Hawks and Dogs ended their clash with scores level and the Hawks wishing they had kicked a little straighter. For all the details read on.
BOMBERS TOO STRONG FOR THE CATS
A strong start from the Bombers kicking 6 straight goals in the first quarter to set up their win. Kaison Tatum was in devastating form in the first quarter taking strong contested marks and kicking 3 majors. Tango Hubert continued his recent good form for the Bombers competing strongly in the forwards, both in the air and on the ground. To the Cats credit they fought back hard after their slow start and kept close to the Bombers eventually going down by 22 points.