Peter Dye, coach of the Victorian team at the 2017 Kickstart Championships, has a skilled team around him. Apart from his assistant coach Dylan Harvey, and team manager Jack Henty, he is also surrounded by some seriously experienced firepower. Former AFL players in Aaron Davey (Melbourne), Chris Johnston (Brisbane, Fitzroy) and David Rodan (Richmond, Port Adelaide, Melbourne) bring many hundreds of game’s experience to the coaching bench.
The two coaching components come together – the formal and the additional – to prepare the Victorians for their next match: a clash with the NSW/ ACT team. It soon becomes apparent that these boys cannot have too many coaches and too much advice. They are fortunate, and they will respond by bringing every coach’s wishes or instructions to life.
Pre-game and the coach re-addresses the pillars around which the team’s game plans will hinge. Effort is broken down into clearer, more measureable pieces. Work rate, tackling, communication and being first to the ball are the themes that will galvanise these boys once the siren blows. Focus is also placed on the one percenters – the small actions on which great success grows.
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.
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 Northern Territory Football League’s resident powerhouse, the St Mary’s Saints, have won last weekend’s NTFL Grand Final, downing the Wanderers Eagles by 54 points to claim their 31st flag. In a game where the “The Green Machine” was at almost unbackable odds to claim the title, they withstood a brave fight by the Wanderers to coast away in the final quarter.
Just two goals separated the teams at the first break and by half time St Mary’s only held a 16 point lead. Whilst not strolling away with a cavalcade of goals, the Saint defence had kept Wanderers to just two goals for the half.
The AFL has tapped Chris Hemsworth to star in the new “I’d like To See That” television commercial, which premiered at the 2017 Toyota AFL Premiership Season Launch event in Melbourne last night.
In the commercial, Hemsworth talks about the romance of the underdog, the physicality of the game, the characters – including Marcus “the Bont” Bontempelli – and the passion that is Australian Football.
The campaign has been revived to appeal to both new and traditional fans of AFL.
For the fourth consecutive year the St Mary’s Saints and Wanderers Eagles will contest the NTFL Grand Final. It will be the fifth time the two have played off in the big dance since the introduction of the Premier League for the 2010/11 season, and the sixth time in the past ten seasons, meeting also in the 2008/09 decider. They have been, without doubt, the best performed teams of the past decade.
But for all that longer term data, the gulf between the two on paper for the 2016/17 season is enormous. Rarely can a favourite be so clear cut based purely on results to date. St Mary’s have enjoyed a phenomenal season, whilst Wanderers have won critical matches to earn their place without ever looking capable of downing the Saints.
After having finished their 2016/17 season with the Palmerston Magpies, former Essendon players, Courtenay Dempsey and Alwyn Davey, have answered the call to assist the Cairns City Lions in the AFL Cairns competition. Both will line up for the Lions this weekend in the Lions’ round one fixture.
For Dempsey, the chance to play again in the AFL Cairns competition is a homecoming. A Cairns boy, born in Mt Isa and growing up in Cairns’ southern suburbs, Courtenay played junior football with the Cairns Hawks. Dempsey’s precocious talents were identified early on and his pathway took him via the Kenmore Bears club in Brisbane before being drafted by Essendon in 2005 where he went on to play 133 AFL games as a Bomber.
Despite the dubious reference to a Seinfeld episode, the Cairns Stingers AFL Masters team certainly were masters of Watson’s Oval in Cairns today. Hosting a North Queensland carnival today, attended by players from the Cairns based team as well as players from arch-rivals Townsville, Whitsundays, Charters Towers, Port Douglas and even from Mt Isa, the Stingers held aloft the trophy at the end of a fun day for the more “elderly” or maybe “slightly age challenged” members of the playing fraternity across North Queensland.
Frankly, these guys put others to shame. With the threat of tropical downpours, and humidity you could probably swim in, the Masters players defied conditions and played some good, hard footy.
A tropical low to the north-east of Darwin has seen the postponement of the remaining NTFL games scheduled for this weekend. Prior to the rain and cyclone warning, the Nightcliff Tigers 3 13 31 had defeated the Southern District Crocs 2 7 19 in very wet conditions. But the second semi-final between St Mary’s and Wanderers, as well as other divisions across the weekend will be rescheduled, throwing the NTFL finals series into disarray.
The AFLNT released the following statement in response to the warning of the potential cyclone.
TIO NTFL Games Postponed
AFL Northern Territory wishes to advise the Bureau of Meteorology has issued a cyclone warning and therefore the following games have been postponed:
The North Queensland city of Mackay finally got to host its highly anticipated AFL match, almost a year after having had a scheduled match between St Kilda and Brisbane washed out. Instead, Harrup Park, Mackay’s AFL centrepiece, was bathed in sunshine and warm, tropical conditions to see the Gold Coast Suns take on the Essendon Bombers.
Local organisers would have been thrilled to bits to see a healthy crowd pour through the gates (official attendance not yet released) and get behind the game – an important clash in terms of keeping football of the highest level in northern parts of Queensland as well as helping grow the game at grassroots level through local clubs, schools and even just a kick in the park.