Sarah Black reports on the www.afl.com.au website about the impact that Greater Western Sydney AFLW player, Cora Staunton, has had on the women’s game in terms of more Irish women chasing an AFLW dream.
The 2019 AFL Women's season will see five Irish born-and-bred players, including Staunton, on club lists.
It's a noticeable increase from the two in 2018, one of whom, expat and now-delisted Demon Laura Duryea, played her football in Melbourne before being drafted.
The four new recruits come from a Gaelic football background, with Sarah Rowe (Collingwood rookie), Ailish Considine (Adelaide rookie), Yvonne Bonner (GWS rookie) and Aisling McCarthy (Western Bulldogs' senior list), moving from across the world to play AFLW.
As a kid in the Aussie Rules playing states of Australia, from the first time you pick up a footy and kick it around the yard you are on the path to AFL football. From the youngest ages, Auskick programs, junior clubs, representative football, school football and later academies and combines create a path to the big time. The pathways are clear and ready.
Not so in Ireland. At least not as directly for Australian Football. The equivalent local pathways can take young Irish kids on a journey to club, county and country Gaelic football. But whilst on that journey, many kids – girls and boys – might learn of an opportunity to head to Australia and try AFL. Be the next Jim Stynes or Tadgh Kennelly. At this point. Careers do a complete right angled turn and Irish clubs face the prospect of losing their talent to another code – albeit related.
A first round falter from the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes has been redeemed after the team enjoyed victory on the weekend over the Bordeaux Bombers. After losing their opening round match to the Paris Cockatoos, the Coyotes needed a win to stay up and about – and they got it against a determined and committed Bombers team.
Playing at home, the Coyotes had an advantage. Yet, the Bombers never let the game get right way from them. In the end the Coyotes were too good, winning 100-63.
The 37-point win sees the Coyotes right back in the mix for finals action. Whilst the finals series is a long way away, there are only five matches left for them before finals – like all teams – and every win is vital. With both Paris teams likely to be finals bound and at least one of the Stade Toulousain teams challenging, the Coyotes may find themselves in a battle royale with both the ALFA Lions and the fast-improving Bayonne Toreadors for a finals spot.
AFL England has announced the Transatlantic Trophy on their www.aflengland.org website. Following is their story detailing the clashes which feature both men’s and women’s matches.
AFL England is delighted to unveil the Transatlantic Trophy in a new reciprocal arrangement with USAFL, the national governing body for Australian rules football in the United States of America.
Under the new arrangement, both the USA men’s and women’s national teams – USA Revolution and USA Freedom, respectively – will visit Great Britain in August 2021 for matches against the Bulldogs and Swans.
These matches are tentatively scheduled for the 21st August 2021, with the USA expected to play warm-up games in the week prior.
Denmark’s Odense Lions have grown admirably since their introduction to the DAFL in 2014. Whilst yet to taste to joy of a premiership, the club has taken huge strides. Their men’s team recently tasted victory in the Lions Cup and the growth of their women’s team has been a huge success story.
Now, the club is scouring the world looking for potential players who can take the club closer to their ultimate goals of success on the field. The following invitation from the club hopes to get some experienced talent to the club – and they are prepared to go to great lengths to get players to Odense – targeting Australian’s looking for a new challenge, but certainly open to anyone from anywhere who can take the club forward.
According to club founder, Morten Mose, “We have been growing and building our club since 2013. A lot have happened since we had our first session with ten people on a small grass field outside of Odense. We have moved to a central location, 50+ members, busses to games, biggest club in Scandinavia and have both a men and women’s team.”
I am sure this is not what Bizet had in mind when he wrote Carmen, but it was the first thing that floated through my mind when receiving the result of the Bayonne Toreadors first home match when they downed the ALFA Lions on the weekend for their first win in the CNFA premiership. After pushing last season’s finalists – the Paris Cockatoos – to 20 points in the debut match in round one, this time the Toreadors went one better.
Already, the Toreadors have sent a shiver up the spine of the competition. Entering their maiden season, the Toreadors had been quietly bubbling away preparing for a good while. To those in the know, their instant success isn’t a surprise. However, many have been caught by surprise by the skill and intent of the league’s newest team.
AFL England is investing in the future of the game by looking at the greater development of junior football across England. Reporting on their www.aflengland.org website, AFL England is looking at schools and existing or potential clubs to grow interest and develop talent.
AFL England is launching a consultation on a national junior program which is set to be launched in the Spring of 2019. Under the new program, the number of junior clubs in England could grow to 12, including clubs in London, Liverpool, Reading and Bristol. The consultation aims to discover where there is the most interest in junior Australian rules football.
The consultation form is available here [see direct link below] and we would invite people to share it with friends, families, schools and anyone who you think might be interested in getting involved in the Junior program.
The young Sligo player trialled with the club in August and impressed according to North’s GM of Football Cameron Joyce.
“Red was invited to Arden Street and we were really happy with his ability and character,” Joyce said.
Image: Instagram @red_og_murphy
“Our recruiters, and in particular our Pro Scout Nick Byrne, have stayed in touch with him and his family over the past few months and we are really happy to have signed him as a Category-B rookie on our list.”
The Irishman is an emerging player in his homeland and has been on the AFL scouting radar for a few years. In 2017 Okunbor was invited to attend the AFL Academy Camp in Florida and the AFL National Combine in Melbourne.