The Greater Western Sydney GIANTS are pleased to announce their first AFL match in Canberra against the Western Bulldogs this Saturday will be played for the Prime Minister’s Cup.
GIANTS Chief Executive David Matthews said the GIANTS’ first match in Canberra each year would be played for the Prime Minister’s Cup and celebrate the contribution of Australian football to the nation’s capital.
“The GIANTS are delighted to be part of something we hope will become an iconic event for Canberra and I want to sincerely thank the Prime Minister Julia Gillard for supporting this concept,” Matthews said.
Western Australia have won back to back titles in the National Indigenous U15 Kickstart Championships, held again on the Gold Coast this week. After a slow start to the Championships with a one point loss to South Australia on day one, the team from the West won all remaining games and finished off with a convincing win over South Australia today by 20 goals.
The full score was Western Australia 23.16.154 to South Australia 3.7.25. Best on Ground in today’s Grand Final was awarded to Darnell Morrison from WA.
The St Kilda Football Club will host the 2012 Australian Defence Force AFL Carnival at Moorabbin Oval next week. The ADF Carnival will see service men and women from the Army, Navy and Air Force play a round-robin competition for their respective titles.
Chief Executive Officer of the Saints, Michael Nettlefold said it was an honour for the Club to host the ADF at its traditional home ground, Moorabbin.
The fifth AFL Unity Cup, which brings together particular and mixed multicultural footy teams from all around Australia, came to Holland Park ovals in Kensington, a few torpedo punts away from North Melbourne’s Arden St ground, on the last Sunday in March, the month which celebrates Harmony Day around Australia.
This festival of footy and community festival was started originally by Essendon. Supported by the AFL Multicultural Program and the Australian Federal Police, it featured teams from Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne. The teams played under 18 footy in the AFL 9s format – 9 a side played on a small oval marked out on the artificial turf ground at Holland Park and smaller grounds on the adjacent ovals.
In this game, contests are for the football rather than tackling contests as it is a game of limited contact and with several varied rules. The result was exciting and skilful contests.
The AFL has emphasised the national presence of Australian Football by launching its campaign for the 2012 Toyota AFL Premiership Season, titled Australia’s Game, alongside a truly iconic Australian song, AC/DC’s ‘IT’S A LONG WAY TO THE TOP (IF YOU WANNA ROCK ‘N’ ROLL)’ .
In an unprecedented first, the AC/DC rock anthem has been made available for the AFL’s national campaign, enabling the country’s only indigenous football code to capture the spirit of Australia’s Game.
Chief Executive Andrew Demetriou said the AFL was pleased to be able to use of one of Australia’s most famous rock and roll songs.
“The Australia’s Game campaign celebrates the AFL’s coming of age as an 18-team national competition with the arrival of the Greater Western Sydney Giants and aspires to reflect the diverse and inclusive nature of Australian Football,” Mr Demetriou said.
The Harmony Cup is back in 2012, with 8 teams representing Melbourne's multicultural communities competing this Sunday, March 18th.
This year's comp will see the return of regulars Israel, Turkey, Greece and Albania, along with first-timers Ireland. Rounding out the field will be composite sides representing Team Africa and Team Harmony, plus an Australian indigenous team. Each team will play three matches (2 x 20 minute halves) under the banner of their country of origin and in their full national colours.
Team Africa features players from countries including Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Africa, Botswana, Egypt and Kenya. Team Harmony will feature players from a number of backgrounds, including five members of New Zealand's 2011 International Cup side.
Albania will be captained by former Melbourne Demons star Adem Yze, while Mick Finn, who starred in the Irish side at the last two International Cups, will be captaining Ireland.
Organised by Aussie Rules International, the Cup will be held at Ransford & McAlister Ovals at Royal Park North, the same venue which hosted the bulk of the Melbourne leg of the 2011 International Cup. Entry is free, and the day will feature food, music and cultural performances besides the footy.
The two teams ranked first and second at the conclusion of the preliminary round of matches will play each other in the Grand Final. The winner will be awarded the 2012 Harmony Cup by footy Legend Ron Barassi.
The AFL and Australia Post today announced 10 AFL players as this year’s Multicultural Ambassadors as part of the Australia Post Community Inclusion Partnership.
As Multicultural Ambassadors, Nic Natanui, Leigh Montagna, Bachar Houli, Joel Wilkinson, David Rodan, Harry O’Brien, Israel Folau, Karmichael Hunt, Majak Daw and Ahmed Saad represent some of the many diverse backgrounds in football and will encourage individuals and groups to unite through their love of the game.
Speaking at the launch today, AFL Chief Executive Officer Andrew Demetriou said the AFL was proud to partner with Australia Post, an organisation which also values the importance of connecting people and communities, including multicultural communities.
The Richmond Tigers Football Club has launched the Indian Tigers Supporter Group; an initiative to introduce Indians in Australia to footy whilst growing the club's supporter base.
The Indian Tigers Membership, which is free, entitles eligible applicants to:
-Entry to any three home games in Melbourne
-A personalised 2012 membership card, stickers and lanyard
-A unique inner sanctum experience at the Round 3 clash at the club, before the game at the MCG
-Personalised communication from the club
-Priority access to finals tickets in weeks 1-3 if Richmond is participating
The announcement further supports Richmond's commitment to the Indian community. Earlier in the week the club expressed a desire to play an exhibition match in India.
At worldfootynews.com we make an effort not to make too much of the sometimes rabid Aussie Rules versus soccer versus Rugby League debate that so often rages in Australia, especially on sports forums. But we do acknowledge that there is a battle for the hearts and minds of the sporting public. So back in 2009 we took particular note of a scathing attack on footy by Clive Palmer, one of Australia's richest men and owner of the Gold Coast United soccer club.
When most codes argue that there is room for all and they just want a slice of the action, Palmer ridiculed attempts to establish an AFL club on the Gold Coast, despite a healthy and growing local competition. Palmer stated in 2009 that "The biggest loser's going to be GC17 and Australian rules itself. I give them three years they'll be gone (by 2014)". See Football codes continue to position themselves and Palmer sets the bar low for Gold Coast.
So we watched with interest to see whether his soccer club would indeed outperform the Aussie Rules club, and whether the AFL's efforts would succeed.
The soccer club, Gold Coast United, then set about seasons 2010/11 and 2011/12 recording average home crowds of a miniscule 3,900 and 3,400 per game, respectively. In contrast, GC17, launched as the Gold Coast Suns, averaged around 18,000 per game (for matches at their new stadium in Carrara) in their debut 2011 season. That's 4 or 5 AFL supporters for every one A League supporter. Surely a demonstrative win for footy.
But Palmer was also at war with his side's fans, then their coach, and constantly with the FFA. In terms of viability it seems the club only continued to exist due to his largesse, and now to complete the debacle they have had their licence terminated by the FFA.
A stunning tale of failure for the club whose owner predicted that the AFL would be the big loser on the Gold Coast. Aussie Rules 1 - soccer nil.
Merry Christmas to all our international footy news followers out there - and as kids across the world are hopefully getting a footy in their stocking, our gift to you today is this video from 1979 - "Up there Cazaly."