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."
The AFL today announced the 2012 North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) season fixture has been finalised in the following press release.
Now in its second year, NEAFL is expanding to a 19 team competition with the introduction of the Sydney Hills Eagles and Sydney University to the Eastern Conference. The Northern Conference will remain at ten teams for next season.
To kick off the year on March 24 will be the highly anticipated curtain-raiser match between the UWS GIANTS and the Sydney Swans in the Eastern Conference. In the Northern Conference, the inaugural NEAFL Grand Finalists NT Thunder and Morningside will officially launch the new season.
The AFL tthis week announced the fixture for the 2012 FOXTEL Cup -- the knockout competition introduced this year to showcase the quality of state league football across the country.
AFL General Manager National and International Development Andrew Dillon said the AFL had been delighted with the success of this year's inaugural competition, won by Williamstown, and said the 16 teams had now been confirmed for next year's tournament.
VWFL coaching legend Peta Searle has confirmed that she has been offered the assistant coaching position at VFL premier club Port Melbourne.
Searle was described as “ecstatic” following the announcement of the decision, and said her appointment to the role was a statement to the Australian Football world that women were just as capable of coaching in the top levels of the game. She added she was trying to be the best coach she could be, and was not thinking too much about the gender issue: everyone, male and female, had to earn their stripes and respect, and that she believed she had the knowledge and skills to coach men.