At the recent National Diversity Championships in Townsville, I was allowed access to the Northern Territory Kickstart teams coach’s bench during their Preliminary Final against the Victoria/Tasmania team. It was a match of two well performed teams, and the winner would go on to play the Western Australia juggernaut in the Grand Final. There was a lot riding on the match, but their coaches were generous in letting me have a close up view of what happens inside that inner sanctum of coaching.
Northern Territory coach, Shannon Motlop, knows a thing or two (or three) about footy. After a 54 game career at the North Melbourne Kangaroos, including an AFL premiership in 1999 with them, he went on to be recruited by the Melbourne Demons as a replacement for Troy Broadbridge who tragically died in the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. Stints playing and coaching across country Victoria added to his repertoire of practice.
The AFL is pleased to announce the 2016 Boomerangs and World Team squads to compete at the 2016 NAB AFL Under-16 Championships on the Gold Coast in July.
Selected by AFL Club recruiters following the 2016 AFL National Diversity Championships held in Townsville, the respective squads of 30 young men has been chosen based on school attendance, leadership skills, and football ability.
If you are from "over east" then you probably just don't get it. But for Western Australians "The Derby" is their Aussie rules Christmas Day. With that in mind the West Coast Eagles have a good list of venues to watch the match around the world.
Venues are available in Cambodia, China, Denmark, Dubai, England, Greece, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Thailand, USA, Vietnam and Zambia. Follow this link for more details.
The Kickstart and All Nations Cups move into their finals series today in Townsville. After three days of round robin matches where each side played each other once, the teams now have the chance to move through to tomorrow’s grand finals by winning their semi-finals and later preliminary finals today.
Once again the Western Australia Kickstart team has excelled across the tournament. Having won all five championships since this format began, the boys from the west a geared again to retain their title once again. Whilst many teams have held them for a half, the highly drilled, committed and enormously talented Sandgropers have found the extra gears to pull away and remain undefeated. The Northern Territory team has also been impressive, as have the Victoria/Tasmania and South Australia teams. The fact that all teams have snagged a win along the way says much for the national spread of talent.
The opening day of competition got under way today at the U15 Kickstart and All Nations Cup with last year’s title holders in each competition getting off to impressive starts. Western Australia has won the Kickstart title for the past five years, and began today winning both of their matches. The reigning All Nations winners Queensland also had the perfect start winning both of their opening matches played today.
On a beautiful day in Townsville the cream of Under 15 indigenous and multicultural talent took to the fields for their respective teams. The crowds were treated to some of the most scintillating football imaginable as players displayed a combination of team discipline and outrageous individual skills.
Under the lights on a beautiful, mild Townsville night, the 2016 National Diversity Championships got under way with an opening ceremony at Tony Ireland Stadium. With a cooling light breeze to welcome the event, an enthusiastic crowd, many having travelled from all points of the nation, watched on as the cream of national indigenous and multicultural talent marched onto the field.
With MC for the night, Ms Beth Kempe, welcoming firstly the umpires and then the Kickstart and All Nations Under 15 players to Townsville, the assembled competitors and spectators were treated to a small but focused program of speakers and local entertainment.
Following on from the national anthem, Randall Ross, elder of the local Bindil people, gave the welcome to country on behalf of both the Bindil and Wulgurukaba people on who’s lands the tournament is taking place.
The AFL today announced three Women’s Exhibition Matches will be television broadcast in 2016. Matches will be broadcast by FOX SPORTS and will be aired live nationally. All three matches will be made available live on afl.com.au and the AFL Live App on mobile and tablet.
Footy in tropical North Queensland has been growing solidly now for many years and AFL Cairns will welcome their newest addition, and most compelling piece of recent evidence of that growth, on the weekend when they see the Pyramid Power club run out in a reserve grade match for the first time.
One of the best measures of growth is the ability of a code to not only sustain numbers, but tap new player markets and increase participation in the game. AFL Cairns has worked hard to ensure that junior growth has translated into growth at the senior club levels as well. Pyramid Power is a club that has followed that model as it moves from the sphere of junior football to the ranks of senior adult football.
The club commenced in 2005, almost as a phoenix of past district clubs the Babinda Magpies and the Centrals Aloomba Bulldogs. By the 1980’s both of those entities had vanished leaving a football void in the vast areas south of Cairns from Gordonvale to Innisfail, west to the Atherton Tablelands and east to the aboriginal community of Yarrabah.
In excerpts from the media release from the AFL, the push has already begun to attract the biggest and best crowd possible for the annual AFL Premiership Match in the Tropical North Queensland city. The match this year will be a highlight of the Round 17 fixture, being played in Cairns on Saturday 16th July. Already this match is shaping as a super contest. After the first round of the 2016 AFL season, the Bulldogs sit atop the ladder after hammering Fremantle, whilst the Suns are third after doing the same to Essendon. Whilst things will change, both clubs seem set for bigger and better seasons…and a tropical battle could be a highlight of the season.
In Cairns with player Roarke Smith to help launch tickets going on sale, Western Bulldogs CEO David Stevenson said the club was looking forward to hosting a match at Cazalys Stadium for a third consecutive year.
“The Club is proud to return to Cairns for the third consecutive year to showcase AFL football in North Queensland.
The 2016 National Diversity Championships get under way at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville next Sunday 3rd April. The tournament will again feature both the U15 Kickstart and the U15 All Nations Cup. Each year the event attracts the best indigenous and multicultural talent from across Australia, with all players vying to impress on their journey towards AFL stardom.
Past players that have come through this important component of the AFL talent pathway over the years include current players Steve May (Gold Coast Suns), Curtly Hampton (Adelaide), Callum Ah Chee (Gold Coast), Jade Gresham (St Kilda), Jay Kennedy-Harris (Melbourne), Karl Amon (Port Adelaide), Jarman Impey (Port Adelaide), Jake Long (Essendon) and a host of others across the AFL.
AFL Queensland Regional Manager, Kathleen Newman, stated in 2013 when Townsville last hosted the event that “there is every chance spectators will see the next Cyril Rioli, Lewis Jetta, or Chris Yarran, running around.”