The AFL has announced the top 50 female players in Australia as part of the Women's Draft which precedes the "Women's AFL" exhibition game. The game will be played as a curtain raiser to the Women’s Round AFL game between Melbourne FC and Western Bulldogs at the MCG on the 29th of June.
The two AFL Clubs were given the opportunity to select the players from the draft to represent them in the curtain raiser. Also selected were two of Australia’s top female coaches: Michelle Cowan has been appointed coach of the Melbourne FC women’s team, and Peta Searle has been appointed coach of the Western Bulldogs women’s team.
Unsurprisingly, players from the VWFL dominated the selection, with powerhouse Darebin Falcons notching up nothing short of 10 players on the list, 3 of whom where named in the top 10.
A spokesperson from Darebin Falcons told us, “The girls certainly did their club proud. It was a successful night for Darebin, but more importantly for women's football as a whole. It’s fantastic to see these women receiving a reward for their effort.”
Across town, Melbourne University’s team had 6 players selected, whilst in Western Australia, Coastal Titans managed 4 players on the list and Swan Districs had two players named in the top 10.
Representatives from New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia also found their way into the top 50, echoing the promising results from the recent Youth Girls National Championships, and showing that the gap between the two top states and their closest rivals is slowly closing.
Read the full story for the full list of the top 50 female players, their home clubs and the AFL team they have been selected to play for.
On Wednesday, May the 15th, the AFL will select the top 50 female players in Australia, with AFL chief executive officer Andrew Demetriou calling out the names of the top 10 players.
Friends and family of the nominees will be invited to attend the draft at simultaneous presentations in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, which will be linked up by video conferencing.
The draft and the game are both initiatives of the Melbourne Football Club, main sponsor of Australia’s top women’s league, the VWFL, and the Melbourne sector of the draft will be conducted in the club’s boardroom.
From the draft, the two teams that will represent the Melbourne and Western Bulldogs Football Clubs during the inaugural AFL Women’s Exhibition game will be selected. The women’s teams will face off at the MGC as a curtain raiser to the AFL game played by the two clubs during AFL Women’s Round on Saturday June 29.
The Tiwi Islands off the coast of Darwin in the Northern Territory are famed for the Tiwi Bombers Football Club, whose number includes many first rate Indigenous players. However it is not just the men who are skilled with the football, as the Tiwi Bombers have long had a Youth Girls side to develop the female talent too. On the back of this, two of the Tiwi Islands female players, Gladys Puruntatameri and J-Lee Puautjimi, have been “loaned” to Melbourne’s Diamond Creek Football Club, in the southern state of Victoria, to train and play in Australia’s top women’s football league: the VWFL.
This unusual player transfer is part of the Tapalinga (Shining Star) Award, a leadership program created by Diamond Creek WFC and the Northern Territory based Starwin Management. As well as being allowed to play in the VWFL for up to five games this season, the award also includes three visits to Melbourne. The first excursion was from April 4-15 and included playing two games of football for the Creekers, visits to three AFL clubs, tickets to an AFL match and entry into a Melbourne International Comedy Festival show.
“Football has a long history in the community of Wadeye that dates back to the start of the Mission in June of 1935. The families of Wadeye had their own traditional sport that involved throwing a man-made paperbark ball covered in kangaroo hide. However when the Mission arrived, Father Docherty (or Yile Ngala as he is referred to by the locals) and some indigenous men from Darwin, introduced the football and the art of kicking. From that point on AFL has been the game of choice for everyone in the community.”
This introduction to the footballing heritage of the Wadeye community is provided by Katrina Bushby, the Club Development Manager at the Wadeye Magic Football Club, in one of the many remote parts of the Northern Territory. Katrina’s keen insight into the development of the game is a great starting point for one of the more remarkable footy stories in Australia.
Wadeye, formerly known as Port Keats, is in the far north-west corner of the Northern Territory on the western boundary of the Daly River Reserve, near Hyland Bay. It is 230 kilometres by air from Darwin, and further by road – assuming the roads are open, as they are often cut by flooding during the “wet” season.
After 4 years at the North Melbourne FC, 22-year old Sudanese-Australian Majak Daw has finally been selected to make his debut for the Kangaroos against the Brisbane Lions this Sunday.
Daw has created plenty of media attention over the past few years, for both the right and wrong reasons. His freakish athletic ability saw videos of him in action in the VFL go viral, although initially his raw ability needed polishing to get up to AFL standard. Some off-field issues also saw his commitment to playing AFL football questioned by the club.
Kangaroos coach Brad Scott told The Age newspaper yesterday that it is the esteem in which those same teammates now hold him that indicates he is ready for the big stage.
''He's earned the respect of his teammates through his hard work,'' Scott said on Thursday.
''And to be completely honest with you, and Majak will be the first to tell you, his teammates probably didn't have the greatest respect for him because, initially, he didn't know how to work. This pre-season, all the boys have an enormous respect for what Maj has done.''
World Footy News wish Majak well for Sunday, and look forward to emulating some of the success in the AFL that Sudanese basketballers have already achieved in Australia and the US.
At the beginning of April, and almost buried amid the rash of local, state and national representative carnivals played over the recent school holidays, was the trip undertaken by the Cairns Lions U17 representative team. This annual pilgrimage to Victoria sees these boys try out their skills and talents against southern representative teams.
The games are a part of the Victoria Challenge program, designed to expose players from leagues far removed from the epicentre of the game to the increased standard and tempo of more developed competitions. AFL Cairns has supported the project for a number of years, in the past having played against the Essendon District League and Geelong College.
This year the team from the north played against the Ballarat Football League team and also the Riddell District team.
After having seen the successful National U15 Kickstart Championships played last week in Townsville, the focus of junior representative football remains in North Queensland. This weekend in Airlie Beach, the North Queensland U16 Championships will commence. The following is an article from AFL Queensland which gives an insight into this important addition to the Queensland representative scene.
The following media release from the AFLNT details their partnership with beyondblue to tackle depression and anxiety in the Northern Territory.
AFLNT HAS THE ‘BALLS’ TO TACKLE DEPRESSION & ANXIETY
AFL Northern Territory will join forces with beyondblue in tackling depression and anxiety in the Northern Territory for a further three years following an extension of the partnership agreed this week.
“We as the lead sport in the NT have a duty and a responsibility to assist organizations such as beyondblue in order to combat the many issues that we face in day to day life,” said AFLNT CEO Tony Frawley.
On Monday 8th April the northern city of Townsville will again become a major hub of football action as it hosts the 2013 indigenous Kickstart Championships.
As stated by Kathleen Newman, Townsville regional Manager for AFL Queensland, “These championships, held from 8-12 April, [will] bring together around 150 of the most talented indigenous players from around the country and is sure to showcase some very exciting football. There is every chance spectators will see the next Cyril Rioli, Lewis Jetta, or Chris Yarran, running around.”
The matches will take place at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville, and is yet another feather in the cap for Australian football in the city as it vies to become a major destination of choice for the AFL. As Kathleen says, “This is a big event for Townsville and is the third part of our already successful ‘Festival of Football’.
The AFL has announced that a women’s game will feature as a curtain raiser to the 29th June (Round 14) clash between Melbourne and Western Bulldogs at the MGC.
The two teams will wear the geurnseys of the AFL clubs and the players will be selected from across the Australian Women’s leagues, the All Australian team and the 2012 high performance squad, by means of the first ever women’s draft. The draft will take place in early May and will be managed by the AFL.
The women’s match was requested by Melbourne Football club who have had a major part in developing the women’s game and raising the level of the game played across Australia through their sponsorship of the VWFL, whose Premiers Division is currently Australia’s top women’s league.
"We wanted to showcase the best female players the game has to offer as well as sending a message to all girls that they may one day be able to represent the AFL club they support in a women's competition,” Melbourne’s chief executive Cameron Schwab said. "This game is an important step towards the idea of an elite level female competition. Other sports have successfully developed elite female competitions and our sport should be no different.”