The winter break for footy is almost over in France with premiership matches set to return as well as some key “friendlies” and tournaments to see out the season. The back end of the season will also get busy with any rescheduled matches to be slotted in where there are gaps available.
Round 4 will be played across the weekends of 8th February and 15th February, with matches scheduled in Toulouse, Lyon and Bordeaux. As it stands, all team are still in the finals race with four rounds remaining, meaning upcoming matches have a great deal riding on them.
At the end of the third round, many teams had not played all scheduled matches. The Paris Cockatoos lead the ladder with eight points from their two wins. The Paris Cockerels (6) and ALFA Lions (5) follow behind. However, some teams have played only once to date and have some extra points to potentially bank in coming weeks.
Marc McGowan reports on the www.afl.com.au website that Hawthorn may make a decision on recruiting a third Irish player for the 2020 season. With Conor Glass and Conor Nash already on their books, the Hawks would join Essendon with three Irish talents.
HAWTHORN could add a third Irishman to its AFL list, with the Hawks flying teenage rugby prodigy Fionn O'Hara to Australia for a closer look at him.
They already have Irish products Conor Nash (19 senior games) and Conor Glass (17) under contract, and both have earned promotion from Category B rookie status to the primary list.
O'Hara, like Nash previously, plays underage rugby for powerhouse club Leinster and was a strong performer for an Ireland under-18 team against Italy's equivalent in November.
At the mid-way point of the second National University League season, the University of Birmingham teams have placed themselves well for a tilt at the title. After a bye in the opening round, the Birmingham men’s team recorded two wins in their home fixture whilst the women’s team won one of their games and were unlucky to lose narrowly.
University of Cambridge still hold top spot in the men’s draw, a game ahead of Birmingham. The women’s draw has seen a huge performance from the South Wales Universities team, winning three of their four matches to date. With Cardiff the venue for the third round matches, the South Wales women’s team is in a great position to get more wins and set up a genuine crack at the title.
Since the CNFA competition commenced in 2008, Paris teams have played in every grand final. The Paris Cockerels have been to the big dance nine times for five flags and four runners-up. The Cockatoos have a neat 50/50 split with two grand finals for one flag.
As the CNFA season has reached its winter break, the chances of yet another grand final appearance for Paris Cocks teams is extremely high. After three rounds, with four more from February when the competition recommences, the Paris Cockatoos hold top spot from their stablemates, the Cockerels.
In their last match prior to the winter break, the Cockatoos were far too good for the Cockerels, downing their rivals 115 to 59. It will set up a second half of the season with the Cockatoos the team to catch and beat for the 2019/2020 season.
Marc McGowan from the www.afl.com.au website reports on another emerging Irish talent from last week’s AFL Europe Talent Combine in Dublin. It was also the first ever women’s combine and showcased some exceptional talent, with a number of women testing looking towards a potential career in the AFLW in coming seasons.
A LITHUANIAN-born footballer could be the next successful Irish AFL export.
Ireland's James Madden (Brisbane) and Ross McQuillan (Essendon) springboarded standout AFL Europe Combine testing results into spots on an AFL list the past two years.
And now it might be Deividas Uosis' turn.
The 19-year-old's parents emigrated to Ireland when he was four in search of better work opportunities, and he's played basketball, soccer and Gaelic football since.
The Scottish city of Stirling is not a place that rears its head in conversations about football – until now. Almost equidistant between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Stirling has just been announced as the venue for the next AFL Europe Euro Cup in 2020.
The city is far more famous for Stirling Castle, and William Wallace’s defeat of the English. However, for one glorious weekend next June, Stirling will entertain the cream of European Australian Football.
The club does not boast its own club in the AFL Scotland SARFL league, but that may well change after hosting the premier nine per side tournament. Converted fans and curious onlookers will descend on Stirling and if all goes to plan a whole new batch of recruits, administrators, sponsors and fans will work to ensure the game remains in the city long after the event is over.
Maybe the teams are not at their fullest strength and maybe playing for an off-season cup isn’t quite as intense as a premiership season. However, make no mistake – all players who represented their teams at last weekend’s Movember Cup in Manchester were there to firstly raise money for cancer and secondly – compete, maybe even win.
After all of the pool matches were done and dusted, and the finals played, the Wandsworth Demons from AFL London had taken out the men’s cup whilst the more local Nottingham Scorpions took out the women’s title.
The hosts, the Manchester Mozzies, were runners-up in both men’s and women’s competitions.