Tash Gunawardana interviewed AFLW player Kate Shierlaw who played one season in AFL London for the Wimbledon Hawks and now plays for Carlton in the AFLW after being rookie selected in the inaugural 2017 AFLW season.
What made you choose Women’s footy over Women’s basketball?
I have always been obsessed with footy but never saw a pathway for women. The footy opportunity was a very lucky one for me and just being in the right place at the right time over in London. Basketball has provided me with a very good grounding for footy and it wasn’t about choosing one over the other, more about the opportunity that was presented to be able to play a sport I love at the highest level.
Ryan Davidson has reported from Dublin for the www.afl.com.au website on the impressive performances of the talented players on show at the Euro Combine held in the Irish capital. Considered a catchment for potential future AFL players, recruiters from Geelong and Essendon were present.
AFL Recruiters have been impressed by several tall prospects on show at the European Combine in Dublin.
Twenty-three of Ireland's best underage Gaelic footballers converged on University College to be put through their paces by former Collingwood defender and AFL Europe specialist coach Marty Clarke and AFL international talent manager Kevin Sheehan.
The Bordeaux Bombers played host to the Paris Cockatoos yesterday in their Round 4 encounter, and between them they played a game for the ages. In one of the tightest CNFA games seen for a long time, the Cockatoos held on after an incredibly tight game by just one point – to whoops of delight from exhausted Cockatoos and broken hearts (but not spirits) from the Bombers.
At the first change, just a goal separated the teams (Bombers 15, Cockatoos 21) whilst the second quarter saw the Bombers claw ahead to take the same advantage to the half time break (Bombers 29, Cockatoos 23). The Cockatoos came out in the third quarter and in a dour struggle managed to gain enough advantage to lead by just five points at the final change (Bombers 42, Cockatoos 47).
AFL London player Jess Edwards has made the journey from playing her first footy with the Wandsworth Demons, (returned home to play in Adelaide in 2017) and now has been selected to play in the Collingwood VFL team in 2018. Tash Gunawardana interviewed Edwards after her selection and asked about her footy career so far.
How does it feel to be given the opportunity to be selected to play in the VFLW for Collingwood?
I am feeling very excited and eager to get started with the new opportunity.
The ALFA Lions have had a rocky start to their title defence so far, losing their opening games of the season. The Toulouse Hawks spent last season assisting in the development of their cross-town rivals. Yet both of these teams threw off the various monkeys from their backs yesterday to record big wins and set up their seasons in a positive – and slightly worrying way. Two of the leagues heavy hitters are back in town.
The Toulouse derby between the Hawks and Aviators was always going to be a test for both teams. The Hawks were determined to recapture the title of Toulouse’s best whilst the Aviatiors were equally determined to show how far they have grown in just over a year.
The 2017 Nathan Blakey Memorial Movember Cup has been won by the University of Birmingham Lions, downing the London-based visitors – the Wandsworth Demons. In a tight final, after a great day of round matches featuring teams from the AFLCNE as well as the University of Birmingham teams and the Demons, it was the Lions that held on by eight points.
According to the Lion’s own social media information, “yesterday was a big day for the club. One big trophy for the cabinet and, importantly, three teams put forward in one of the biggest cup competitions in Aussie Rules in Great Britain.”
“The Mens' 1s got off to a strong start, beating the Mozzies by five goals to three. Big shout out to Toby Webster for doing a fantastic job marking Great Britain Australian Rules Football forward, alumni and club legend Andy Walkden out of the game. In the second game, we went down to a different Mozzies team that, after a close first half, pulled away in the second through their quality and strength all over the park.”
Carlton has today announced they have signed talented Irish youngster Cillian McDaid as an international rookie. The signing does not come as a big surprise as the story has been doing the rounds in the Irish press in the past couple of weeks.
The 20-year-old Gaelic footballer from Galway in Ireland has been signed on the two-year minimum deal for International rookies..
McDaid was one of four Irishmen to trial in Florida earlier this year with the NAB academy tour of the United States.
Stephen Silvagni said the Blues were “very pleased Cillian has agreed to join Carlton, and we think he is an exciting young prospect for our club,”
“We have followed Cillian’s progress closely throughout the year and he uses the ball incredibly well. He is a determined young man of terrific character and we feel he will be a good cultural fit for our playing group too.
The Nathan Blakey Movember Cup will enter its seventh season in Manchester on Sunday. The event honours former high-flying Mozzie, Nathan Blakey, who passed away in 2011 after a battle with cancer. The event is designed to raise funds for and awareness of men’s health, specifically cancers. The event is run in conjunction with the Movember Foundation and will feature plenty of men with moustaches. Women are under no such obligation, but will also be playing for the cause.
This year’s event will feature two round robin divisions with finals decided by pool winners. Pool A will feature the Manchester Mozzies, Wolverhampton Wolverines, Glasgow Giants from Scotland and one of two University of Birmingham teams. Pool B will include the Nottingham Scorpions, Huddersfield Rams, Wandsworth demons from London and the second University Of Birmingham team. There will also be two combined women’s teams playing across the day.
It was just a fraction over two years ago that the Strasbourg Kangourous won their last CNFA match – a 123-point walloping of the Perpignan Tigers. They didn’t win another match that season and their final outing saw them walloped themselves by the Paris Cockatoos by a nasty 118 points. The club did not field a team in the 2016/17 season and it was anyone’s guess when or if they might return.
Well, the Kangourous are back, and their victory on the weekend against a combination of German teams – the Freiburg Taipans, Stuttgart Emus and Dresden Wolves (a team that, amazingly, travelled 600 kilometres to play) – suggests the team is well on the path back to CNFA status.
Played in Strasbourg, a French city 400 kilometres east of Paris and almost on the Rhine River where it marks the French German border, the city is relatively close to both Stuttgart and Freiburg. It makes geographical sense for the Kangourous to have a closer football connection with these two nearby teams – Stuttgart around 150 kilometres away and Friedburg just 90 kilometres away.
The Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes have come from the clouds to defeat the Paris Cockatoos in their home clash in Pontoise. The match was a double header hosted by the Coyotes, with the Paris Cockerels downing the Bordeaux Bombers in the other match.
Early in the match, the Cockatoos jumped the Coyotes and led by 20 points at the first break. From then the Coyotes kept creeping back into the game, but still trailed by two points at the final change. But a powerful final quarter, and a defensively brilliant effort to keep the Cockatoos to a solitary behind, saw the Coyotes run out 19 point winners.
The win keeps the Coyotes well in finals contention, though the Cockatoos now have won one of their two games to date and need to find some consistency headed deeper into the season.