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Monday, July 13 2020 @ 02:07 pm ACST

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AFLW Season Preview

Australia

The 2020 AFLW season will see the addition of four news teams in Richmond, West Coasst Eagles, St Kilda and the Gold Coast Suns. A season preview on each of the 14 teams is below.

Adelaide Crows:

The Crows finished the 2019 AFLW season, as the premiers for the second time in three years. However, premiership glory was bitter sweet with superstar player Erin Phillips rupturing her ACL in the third quarter of the Grand Final. Phillips will once again lead the Crows in the 2020 NAB AFL Women's Competition. Phillips has officially been ruled out for the start of the season and Chelsea Randall did her ACL in practice and will miss the whole season. With these two injuries, Anne Hatchard has probably become the most vital player for the Crows this season. For coach, Matthew Clarke in his second season, he will probably need to make a few positional changes to fill the strong void left by Phillips and Randall who lead them well on and off the field. Rhiannon Metcalf will most likely return from injury and could take over the starting ruck duties from Jess Foley who did well last year. If, Metcalf does takeover, than Foley might move into the forward line as an agile option. The Crows, also drafted promising young gun Montana McKinnon who is nearly six foot with her strength and strong marking ability. Therefore the Crows have marking options who can help Sarah Allen. The Crows forward line looks great as ever and will look to excite once again with the likes of Danielle Ponter and Stevie Lee Thompson running through there with Courtney Gum. Adelaide's defense will lack with Randall missing and the opposition forwards might feel confident as they will not have Randall stopping their every move. Expect Adelaide to be up there again in 2020, but I cannot see them winning the premiership without Randall. 

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2020 AFLW Round 1 International Broadcast

General News

AFLW season four starts in just a few hours.  If you are outside Australia and want to watch on TV, we have the broadcast schedule for you below. 
   
Fox Soccer Plus in the USA, ABC Australia in Asia/Pacific and India, as well as Sky Sports in NZ will be broadcasting matches this week so please check local guides. 

As always we recommend the AFANA website for all the most current and detailed information for the broadcast of AFL/AFLW in North America 

Fans can also subscribe to Watch AFL  to stream matches outside Australia.

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AFLW 4.0 Player Previews: Tarni White

Australia

Today’s AFLW 4.0 feature is on St Kilda’s women’s player Tarni White.

White’s dream of playing in the AFLW was put on hold, as about a year and a half ago she ruptured her ACL.

“I was really worried, but at the same time when I was up in Queensland, I was around amazing physios and sports trainers in the Brisbane Lions Academy,” she said.

“And they were just amazing, so they helped me in my rehab, and I was actually playing my first game back in 12 months, which was really big because I was told at the start it was 18 months and when it was pushed forward.”

Image Source: St Kilda Football Club 

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Sheedy’s Californian Dreamin’



If the legendary Kevin Sheedy can get his dream, Greater Western Sydney (GWS) might well play a premiership match in California as early as next year. ‘Sheeds’ will draw on the talents of the other two clubs where he became a legend – Essendon or Richmond – to be the Giants’ opponent.

There would be no better innovator in AFL circles to make this happen. It was through Sheedy’s vision and determination that we now have the ANZAC Day match between his beloved Bombers and Collingwood, as well as the round as a whole now. He was also the driving force behind Dreamtine at the G showpiece between Essendon and Richmond and more recently the Country Round between Essendon and Geelong.

The following link to a story on the 7 News website looks deeper into his American Dream: https://7news.com.au/sport/afl/gws-gi...a-c-676121

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Choosing Isn’t Fair – AFLW v Ladies Football

Europe

 

In an article by Emma Duffy at THE 42, the argument about whether elite sportswomen in Ireland should be free to choose to play in both Australia for the AFLW and back home in Ireland gathers momentum.

The following article looks at the different sides to an emotive argument. It is also an argument that does not have a definitive answer, as individual women will want to choose their own directions rather than a “one size fits all” approach.

'Telling players they have to choose isn't fair' - Aussie Rules agent hits back at Mayo ladies boss' comments

12 of the 18 Irishwomen preparing for AFLW action are managed by CrossCoders – and its co-founder Jason Hill has responded to Peter Leahy’s claims.

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Thirteen Goal Waratah Quarter Sinks Wanderers

Australia
At half time, nobody could see it coming. By three-quarter time, still nothing. But a thirteen-goal final term by Waratah over Wanderers turned a tight match for three quarters into a 75-point win.

Just before three-quarter time, less than a goal separated the teams in match where any lead was little more than a goal. Waratah say their turnaround was just an increase in intensity, but it had to be more. Waratah kicked 14 unanswered goals from late in the third term until well into the final.

The win gives Waratah a mathematical chance at finals, but little more.

Round 15 results saw the Tiwi Bombers down the Darwin Buffaloes, Nightcliff defeat Southern Districts and St Mary’s were comfortable winners over Palmerston.
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AFLW 4.0 Player Previews: Niamh Kelly

Australia

Today’s AFLW 4.0 feature is on West Coast Eagles women’s Irish Mayo player Niamh Kelly.

Kelly signed alongside older sister Grace as rookies ahead of the Eagles inaugural AFLW season.

Image Source: West Coast Eagles Football Club

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China Game On For Now – AFL

Asia

 

Jennifer Phelan from the www.afl.com.au website reports that the scheduled match in China later this year will still go ahead as planned, despite the outbreak of the Coronavirus – for now. Jennifer’s original story can be found at: https://www.afl.com.au/news/368057/china-game-to-go-ahead-as-planned-but-afl-monitoring-situation 

THE AFL is preparing to proceed with its May match in Shanghai but will seek advice from the Australian government and the World Health Organisation after the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus. 

St Kilda is fixtured to face Port Adelaide at Adelaide Arena at Jiangwan Stadium, on May 31, with the League expecting the game to go ahead.  

"The AFL will take advice from the Australian government and World Health Organisation regarding any safety precautions related to the coronavirus," a statement said. 

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OPINION: Why an AFLW game in the USA makes sense

North America

Peter Holden of Women's Australian Rules Football Radio tells us why he thinks the AFLW should take the elitel level game to the USA.

Back on June 24th last year, Jake Niall of The Age broke a story that the GWS Giants, with the support of financial backers, had floated the idea to Tourism Australia about an AFL (men’s) match for premiership points being played in the United States of America.

The Giants saw the opportunity to plant a flag in the USA, much the same way Port Adelaide had done in China with its games against the Gold Coast and St Kilda respectively. 

In the article, GWS Giants Chief Executive said of the proposal “There's significant enough interest from investors and supporters, locally and in the US, to explore the possibility.”

 

 

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National University League – Round Three

Europe
The third round of the National University League was played last weekend in Cardiff, hosted by the South wales Universities team. By the end of the day, the South Wales women had booked their place in the grand final. They will not play in the final round, enjoying the bye.

In the men’s competition, University of Birmingham have almost certainly achieved the same, undefeated with two games to play. They can still lose top spot should things turn pear shaped in the final round, but that is not a high likelihood.

According to the National University League Facebook page:

Another round of the 2019/20 NUL season is in the books and it's set up an exciting Round 4 in Cambridge.
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French Season Returns After Break

Europe
The winter break for footy is almost over in France with premiership matches set to return as well as some key “friendlies” and tournaments to see out the season. The back end of the season will also get busy with any rescheduled matches to be slotted in where there are gaps available.

Round 4 will be played across the weekends of 8th February and 15th February, with matches scheduled in Toulouse, Lyon and Bordeaux. As it stands, all team are still in the finals race with four rounds remaining, meaning upcoming matches have a great deal riding on them.

At the end of the third round, many teams had not played all scheduled matches. The Paris Cockatoos lead the ladder with eight points from their two wins. The Paris Cockerels (6) and ALFA Lions (5) follow behind. However, some teams have played only once to date and have some extra points to potentially bank in coming weeks.
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Another Irish Hawk?

Europe

Marc McGowan reports on the www.afl.com.au website that Hawthorn may make a decision on recruiting a third Irish player for the 2020 season. With Conor Glass and Conor Nash already on their books, the Hawks would join Essendon with three Irish talents.

HAWTHORN could add a third Irishman to its AFL list, with the Hawks flying teenage rugby prodigy Fionn O'Hara to Australia for a closer look at him. 

They already have Irish products Conor Nash (19 senior games) and Conor Glass (17) under contract, and both have earned promotion from Category B rookie status to the primary list. 

 

O'Hara, like Nash previously, plays underage rugby for powerhouse club Leinster and was a strong performer for an Ireland under-18 team against Italy's equivalent in November.

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