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.”
The AFL has announced that it is to partner with Breast Cancer Network Australia to present Field of Women 2013. BCNA is an Australian charity representing women (and men) affected by breast cancer, helping to ensure that those diagnosed, and their families, get the very best treatment and support possible.
The Field of Women brings the statistics of breast cancer to life in a meaningful and visually powerful way, highlighting the personal impact of the disease for so many women across Australia and of course around the world. The event will be held in Sydney on August 10, prior to the Round 20 Sydney Swans v Collingwood match at ANZ Stadium. 15,000 people wearing pink ponchos and 125 in blue, will stand together on the field in the shape of BCNA's Pink Lady. The numbers represent the number of women and men estimated to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
As a follow up from a previous story about the prospect of the Central Australian Redtails joining the NTFL Premier League for the 2013/4 season, the AFLNT have released the following press release asking for more information. This is not necessarily a negative development. It may also mean that the Redtails have met criteria to date and now more boxes need to be ticked.
Northern Territory Football League traditional powerhouse, St Mary’s have won this season’s premiership with a come from behind 31 point victory over the Tiwi Bombers.
The premiership is the 29th for the Darwin club, putting it 6 flags clear of their nearest rivals the Darwin Buffaloes. What makes this more remarkable is that the club only entered the league in 1952. This year marked their 60th anniversary, and this premiership makes it a mathematically amazing average of almost one premiership every two years.
This remarkable effort is easier to understand when their list of notable players includes Maurice Rioli, Michael Long, Peter Burgoyne, Raphael and Xavier Clarke, Scott Chisholm, Ronnie Burns, Austin Wonaeamirri and currently Cyril Rioli.
The weather and the crowds arrived at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville on a recent weekend almost exactly as the script demanded. A crowd of 7000 paying fans as well as about 1000 kids descended on the city’s premier Australian Rules football venue for a show that had been years in dreaming and many months in arranging.
The largest city in North Queensland played host to its first ever NAB Cup game between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Gold Coast Suns. For the record North Melbourne 2.13.6 (102) defeated Gold Coast 1.11.14 (89), holding on by 13 points after having jumped out of the blocks early to lead by as much as 48 points.
Well almost the top. The AFL today announced that the man who has been at the operations helm at Hawthorn for the past eight years will replace Adrian Anderson as the AFL's General Manager, Operations. It had been suggested in various media outlets that the AFL clubs were very keen for the position to be taken up by someone who had been part of the operations of an AFL club rather than someone from outside the league. Our readers with a slant towards international football development will also be pleased to see that among Mark Evans' responsibilities at Hawthorn was the "Establishment of New South Wales, New Zealand, Ireland and U.S. recruiting pathways."
The Northern Territory Football League Grand Final will be played this weekend to finish off a fantastic season for the code with this year’s most consistent and dominant team, St Mary’s, taking on reigning premiers the Tiwi Bombers.
The following press release from the AFLNT details how the weekend of footy will unfold. The weekend will feature many Grand Finals in various grades and divisions, with the Premier League Grand Final the highlight of the weekend.
International football will hit Cairns next month when the PNG Binatangs Under 16 team arrives en route to the South Pacific Cup in Townsville.
As part of the lead up to their bigger mission in Townsville, the Papua New Guinea team has accepted the challenge of playing a combined U16/U18 team from Pyramid Power Junior AFL club in Gordonvale, 25 kilometres south of Cairns.
Pyramid Power is one of the newest clubs in the AFL Cairns Juniors, but has already been active in the world of international Australian Rules football. Their “Brother Club” project has seen them interact with clubs overseas, so this opportunity is an extension of their international dealings.
While 9 aside footy has been a crucial vehicle for Australian Football on the international front (where availability of grounds are limited and regular local comps use a more achievable team size), in Australia it’s been far less well recognised. For a time the AFL has dabbled with ‘Rec Footy’; and last year re-launched it as ‘Cadbury 9s’ (or AFL 9s). For regular followers of the game the notion of the game's ‘untouchables’ were put forward a couple of years back and people were challenged to consider what was ‘untouchable’ about the game.
An oval field?
18 aside? Or the 16 of the old VFA for a period? This discussion has been had again in recent days on Melbourne radio (SEN in particular) due in no small part to the role of the rules committee and Kevin Bartlett. What are the non-negotiable’s? There's now talk of a 'charter' as reported last Friday (by Patrick Smith - a regular guest of Bartlett on SEN) - see Visionary charter to manage evolving changes to AFL rules.