The AFL and Australia Post today announced its Multicultural Program will expand to 18 player ambassadors in 2016 and for the first time will include two female players.
Female footballers Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Darcy Vescio will be joined in promoting some of the many diverse backgrounds in Australia’s Game by Brisbane Lions Vice Captain Dayne Zorko, Geelong’s Tom Hawkins, Fremantle’s Tendai Mzundu, Gold Coast SUNS players Adam Saad and Tom Nicholls, Sydney Swan Aliir Aliir and Western Bulldogs player Jason Johannisen.
The new additions in 2016 join existing Australia Post AFL Multicultural Player Ambassadors David Zaharakis (Essendon), Stephen Coniglio (GWS GIANTS), Paul Puopolo (Hawthorn), Shem Tatupu (Hawthorn), Alipate Carlile (Port Adelaide), Jimmy Toumpas (Port Adelaide), Bachar Houli (Richmond), Nic Naitanui (West Coast) and Lin Jong (Western Bulldogs).
Last year Wanderers pulled off the fairy-tale finish that clubs dream of. From sitting outside the top five to premiers in just a matter of weeks was a remarkable footy story. But lightning rarely strikes the same place twice, and as the NTFL season went to the recent summer break, Wanderers again sat outside the top five and had to rely on another barnstorming finish to see finals action.
Last week they took out the second placed St Mary’s, squeaking home by just three points. This weekend they took yet another step towards the unlikely when they brought down the relentless Nightcliff Tigers by just two points. The pair of post-break wins has Wanderers right back in the action, but more importantly they are back in form. They are also back into the top five, leapfrogging both the Tiwi Bombers and Darwin Buffaloes.
Final Score: Wanderers Eagles 15 7 97 d Nightcliff Tigers 14 11 95
Whilst it is clear that events today will have a devastating impact on the Essendon Football Club in the wake of the CAS/WADA decision to ban players for the 2016 season after a guilty verdict was reached on the use of illegal supplements at the club in 2012, the Bombers will not be the only club hit hard. Port Adelaide, St Kilda, Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs each have former Essendon players that they have recruited post-2012 who will also be banned. Additionally, clubs around metropolitan, country and interstate leagues will be impacted.
One of these is the Palmerston Magpies club in Darwin playing in the NTFL. Former Bombers, Alwyn Davey and Leroy Jetta have been instrumental in helping the Magpies rise to become a potential finalist in 2016. Both are part of the original "Essendon 34" and face lengthy sanctions that will see them miss the remainder of the 2015 /16 season as well as most of the 2016/17 season.
To make matters worse for Palmerston, Alwyn Davey is their playing coach, meaning that the club loses more than just his playing skills, but his direction on and off field as well.
Essendon players have been found guilty in the Court of Arbitration for Sport for their part in the use of banned substance Thymosin Beta-4 after nearly three years of investigations and hearings. It looks as though the 34 players who were at the time of the alleged offences with Essendon are going to be forced to miss the 2016 season. There is suspected to be civil actions and other possible legal avenues to be investigated which means that the saga may drag out longer yet.
Essendon Football Club have released the following statement
Regrettably we can confirm the Court of Arbitration for Sport has found 34 past and present players guilty of committing an anti-doping rule violation. As a result, the players - including 12 currently listed with Essendon - have been suspended for the 2016 season. The Club is currently digesting the decision and we will provide a further update later today.
The Tiwi Bombers’ charge to the NTFL finals gathered even more momentum as the competition returned after the Christmas/New year break. Their big win over Waratah was one highlight of a round which produced two upsets and left the competition tight for finals action just six rounds from finals time.
Waratah led their game against the Bombers at quarter time, and even by half time were down by just 29 points. But the Tiwi Bombers went on a rampage after the main break kicking 17 goals to just one to run out 130 point victors against the hapless Waratah crew. The win strengthened Tiwi’s position in the top five, giving them their sixth win, but also a huge percentage which will be very important as the log jam for finals spot continues in coming weeks.
Final Score: Tiwi Bombers 27 16 178 d Waratah Warriors 7 6 48
There are certainly some advantages to be found playing footy from October to March, or thereabouts. Whilst other leagues have wound down and turned their attention to cricket, tennis or anything else other than footy, those leagues whose seasons commence later get to have the immediate Christmas/New Year period, and more, to regroup or reassess.
A case in point is the NTFL (Northern Territory Football League). Their season begins in October and runs through until March. They are currently in the midst of a three week break where festivities can be enjoyed, but also injuries can be eased and plans can be re-developed.
According to the NT News, bottom placed Waratah has a new goal. Their coach, Tim Weatherald, has set a new goal of winning four of their remaining seven matches after a winless season to date. They will be rested and will have new plans in place, so they can finish an otherwise disappointing season on a high ready for next season. Article: http://www.ntnews.com.au/sport/local-...bedfe62b0b
In the final round of NTFL matches in Darwin prior to the Christmas/New Year break, the young Nightcliff Tigers took positive steps to the future, the Tiwi Bombers enhanced their finals prospects whist the top two teams, Saints and Crocs, pulled a little further ahead of the competition.
The Nightcliff Tigers have taken a youth development approach this season as they look towards a long term success, and their latest debutant, Isiah Farrell-Nelson, proved that the results are worthwhile. His six goal haul on debut contributed greatly to the Tigers’ big 134 point thrashing of the Waratah Warriors. The win sees Nightcliff jump into the top five, joining the Tiwi Bombers, Palmerston Magpies and Wanderers Eagles on five wins. Waratah’s horrid season continued, though they can take heart from the Nightcliff youth project as they build towards next season.
Final Score: Nightcliff Tigers 24 18 162 d Waratah Warriors 4 4 28
The AFL is currently gathering the momentum to place women’s footy on the national stage with the upcoming granting of licences to clubs to hold an AFL women’s national league. Whilst this is a wonderful step forward for women’s footy, and certainly validates and celebrates the incredible work done in Australia and overseas to grow the women’s game, the AFL is oddly behind many smaller national and international leagues in the development of women’s footy.
Even though the AFL’s endorsement of women’s footy opened the gates for people to develop the game, it is those leagues that have in reality sown and tended the crops to the point where the AFL must pursue highest level competition to complete the talent pathways already laid down.
An example of how the women’s game has been taken to places not dreamed of even just five years ago is the Pyramid Power club near Cairns in Far North Queensland. The year 2015 saw them enter an all-girls Under 13 team in a boy’s competition – girls taking on the boys head on in a scheduled competition. This may not be the first such team, though it is hard to find documentation of many others. But it is a huge step forward for women’s footy as younger girls are being exposed to the competitive aspects of team footy in an environment long dominated by boys.
As the need for top level athletic talent for the upcoming 2017 Women's national league becomes more obvious the AFL today released the following announcement that will aim to find talent from other sports in Australia. As yet there are no announcements about talent from outside Australia being included.
AFL Media Release
The AFL is pleased to announce a female talent search campaign will be held throughout Australia in early 2016.
The campaign is designed to give female athletes who are currently active in other sports the opportunity to test their football fitness and skills.