For those unaware, I have made the decision for a variety of family and personal reasons to step aside from my role writing for World Footy News. After eight years in the role, I needed to move on to a more family-based lifestyle. However, footy goes on - just look at how the AFL is still finding ways to keep running despite the ongoing threats associated with COVID-19. Footy worldwide is in a period of low activity, but that will change.
Likewise, World Footy News will continue to adapt to the changing world around it. Whilst personnel and content may change, the roles of the website - to help promote Australian Football as it grows across the world through positive reporting - will remain. The website has always attempted to do what no others have done - try and cover the game at a global level, opening up as many connections as possible to ensure the footy world remain aware of how the game is growing and where.
Many websites report on their own parts of the world, but only World Footy News has continued to write original stories, or share those of others.
Since the arrival of the most recent coronavirus, Australian Football (also known as Aussie Rules) has captured the imagination of sport fans worldwide, particularly in the United States of America. With their own sporting codes on indefinite hiatus until the threats of COVID-19 disappear, cable and television networks have been showing our unique Australian game.
The audiences have been growing exponentially and a look through Twitter reveals a large amount of people raving about the game – its hardness, its skills and its speed. New fans are even seeking advice on what is the best AFL club to support. One pattern, however, in all of this feedback has been the amount of times people have been asking for an explanation of the rules and how the game works – the logic behind everything that lights up the screen once the ball is bounced.
Having been involved in most facets of the game myself for over 50 years, I felt it might be of value for me to have a stab at “Explaining Aussie Rules”.
Back in 1978, the crowd at Kardinia Park in Geelong held its collective breath as North Melbourne’s Keith Greig fearlessly ran at a high ball on the wing. Coming the other way was Geelong’s Ray Card. Greig never wavered or looked at anything but the ball. Card saw trouble coming and changed to a side on shirtfront – hammering Greig and knocking him senseless.
Back then it was considered a brave act by all parties. Today, the same move would result in suspension (consider Shane Mumford’s hit a few years back against Geelong’s Mitch Duncan…some eerie similarities).
In different eras, each represents the brutality of our game. Whilst the rules that define what constitutes legal and illegal tackles have changed, the ferociousness of players and courage have not.
What made the Greig/Card hit more memorable was that it headlined football media just three years after the tragic hit at the Western Oval in 1975 when Footscray’s Neil Sachse was left a quadlaplegic after a horror collision with Fitzroy’s Kevin O’Keefe.
As the 2020 AFL Premiership season prepares to explode to life again after the coronavirus postponements on field, the mechanisms of the game that go unseen off field for most of the time are also gearing up for action.
Such is the case for the team of AFL Multicultural Community Ambassadors across Australia.
In 2013, the AFL initiated a program to have everyday people from all walks of life, and all manner of cultural backgrounds, head out into communities all over the country to espouse the virtues of Australian Football. Whether at junior or senior level, male or female, schools or clubs or anywhere else in the spectrum of community, volunteers will find innovative ways to involve and immerse children and adults in our great game.
The slightly eccentric KSI is a British YouTube "influencer" and musician. He has over 21 million followers, of which 2.4 million have tuned in to his review of "AFL" football where he rates it a 9.6 out of 10 for toughness. His video clip focuses on 10 minutes worth of some of the toughest tackles and hits of recent years. The massive following of the clip has introduced the game to an even wider audience, mainly across Britain and Europe - something invaluable for the game, which is why the risque (though funny) clip is worth watching.
WARNING: This clip does contain occasional profane language, some racial overtones (though contextually relevant) and some extreme overacting...but, its worth it.
Over the years there have been many studies and articles that dealt with why girls and young women give away their football. Often men write these articles and often the women that write them are not active in sport themselves. These are no less relevant or important but it is rare to find an account from the eyes of a young woman still involved in playing, yet questioning her own desire to continue.
A young woman playing soccer writes the following story. MarvaMSK’s (the name on her WordPress article) story is as relevant to Australian Football as it is her own code of choice. With the AFL postponing the AFL Premiership season on the same day they cancelled the remainder of the AFLW season, questions were raised as to the priorities of the AFL when it came to women’s football. Some believe that the AFL may have inadvertently devalued the women’s game through that decision-making process (suggestions that if the men’s season can be postponed, why couldn’t the women’s seasonω).
In many ways, girls and women face the challenge of questioning their place in the game, and this article goes a long way to understanding that questioning process.
The following is the official AFL statement, released on the www.afl.com.au website regarding the season restart date and the conditions around the restart on and off the field. This positive move will also be the catalyst for footy returning at all levels – grassroots through to nation and eventually international.
The AFL has today announced that clubs will return to training on Monday, May 18 and the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership season will resume on Thursday, June 11.
Players and football department officials will return to clubs on Monday, with clubs completing a 3.5 week training block before matches officially restart.
Clubs will initially train in maximum groups of eight, before resuming full contact training from Monday, May 25.
All players and returning football department staff will have been tested for Covid-19 prior to returning to the club and undergone education sessions on the protocols they will need to follow, including rigorous ongoing screening and regular testing, throughout both the training and return to play period. This will also apply for umpires and AFL Match day staff once the season resumes.
The following article by Callum Twomey at the www.afl.com.au website looks at recent comments made by Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley, which cast doubt on the future of international recruits and the recruiting process for talent from alternative catchments.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley says clubs may not have the resources to look abroad for players
DESPITE the Mason Cox success story, Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has forecast international rookies to be a 'casualty' of the AFL's COVID-19 fallout.
Cox has been one of the shining category B rookie stories in recent times, with the American ruckman/forward proving to be a key member of the Magpies' side.
Collingwood has also two Irish players currently on its list – Mark Keane and Anton Tohill – having had a strong history in the region, including former star defender Marty Clarke.