In a season many people at Essendon would rather forget, there were a few little gems here and there which lifted spirits and gave a pointer to a far better future. One of those was the initial form of young 19 year old Irish recruit, Conor McKenna. After being recruited late in 2015 as an international Category B Rookie, few had many high expectations regarding his debut season.
But the youngster got a taste of the “big league” back in the NAB Challenge matches pre-season. He had some touches, but is best remembered for his dual 50 metre penalty infringements which gifted St Kilda a goal. An inauspicious start, to be sure, but as his season progressed, so did his game sense, contribution and impact on his adopted game.
The first week of the 2015 Finals series kicks off in Perth with the West Coast Eagles hosting Hawthorn. Once again viewers around the world can access matches live or delayed on a number of TV networks or stream the telecast via subscription to Watchafl.com.au.
The broadcast schedule for this Finals Week 1 can be seen below. Please note scheduling for the newly announced TVNZ coverage are included.
The final home and away round of the 2015 season kicks off at Docklands Stadium with Richmond hosting North Melbourne. Once again viewers around the world can access matches live or delayed on a number of TV networks or stream the telecast via subscription to Watchafl.com.au.
The broadcast schedule for this round can be seen below.
Arguably the biggest story in Australian sport this week was the amazing effort of former Parramatta Eels Rugby League player, Jarryd Hayne, bamboozling opponents in his new found code, American Football. In trying out for a contract with the San Francisco 49ers, his run, agility and power left experienced players in his wake and made the code’s recruiting people think that maybe there are more Aussies that possess the skills to succeed in the American national game.
In the days since his break-out game other potential Rugby-League and Rugby-Union players have been touted as the “next Hayne”.
Code-hopping in itself is not new. The AFL’s recent experiments with Karmichael Hunt and Israel Folou were well documented, though both ultimately fell short of their intention. They were local stories moving from one Australian code to another. But trying another code in another country is arguably harder. This is territory that past AFL players have dabbled in with Ben Graham, Sav Rocca and “Diamond Jim” Tilbrook some of the better known VFL/AFL players who have cracked the American national game.
Australian football has undergone steady and at times impressive growth around the world over the last decade or so. This is mostly but not entirely started by expatriate Australians who sow some seeds and then either tend to them or have enthusiastic locals continue the experiment.
But another important player in this is the Australian Football League. For some countries their contact has been negligible, but for most it has been useful and at times a strong source of encouragement, funds or other support. And every three years the AFL’s contribution is at its most visible in the form of the International Cup. Given their importance as the catalyst with most potential to drive rapid growth it’s always good to try to understand the role the AFL sees for itself, who the main people are and how they fit into the larger AFL administrative body itself. This is our first update on that front for several years.
Grant Williams and the AFL international structure
With many changes in recent years worldfootynews.com thought it timely to catch up with a key figure in Grant Williams, AFL General Manager Community Football Operations. Grant is pictured far left with AFL colleague Pete Romaniw (right) and former AFL Asia interim President Grant Keys (centre). We started by asking him where he fits into the international scene and where he’d like to see it go.
Friday night footy at the MCG kicks off Round 21 with Hawthorn hosting Port Adelaide.
Once again viewers around the world can access matches live or delayed on a number of TV networks or stream the telecast via subscription to Watchafl.com.au.
The debut of Jason Holmes will not be shown on television anywhere outside Australia other than the Middle East on TV. So to catch that action viewers in the US and elsewhere will need to stream the telecast via subscription to Watchafl.com.au.
The broadcast schedule for this round can be seen below.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan spoke for around 30 mins today at Australia's National Press Club in Canberra, the nation's capital. His focus was on the AFL's signing of an historic $2.508 billion 6 year media rights deal, and the four key beneficiaries to be fans, grass roots community football in Australia, the AFL clubs and (perhaps not by chance) lastly the players - which is not to say they will be anything but richly rewarded, but the AFL knows the AFL Players Association will be coming at them hard over the next 12 months.
But at the conclusion of Gillon's speech a remarkable thing happened. To be honest, as Chief Editor of worldfootynews.com and knowing how difficult it has been to obtain statements of vision for international football from the highest ranks of the AFL over the past decade, it was like we had plants in the audience - to my knowledge we did not!
Areas touched on included the International Cup and expansion into China, India and New Zealand. In all, not much detail, but in some ways exciting signs of possible commitment at the highest levels.
Following on from yesterday’s lucrative broadcast deals for the AFL, Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan announced at the National Press Club in Canberra a potential scheme to help develop and grow the game of Australian Rules football further. By looking towards a more focused development of multicultural and indigenous communities, McLachlan can visualise an idea where all existing AFL clubs buy into a “zoning” program to develop their own markets.
Similar in some ways to the zoning of Victoria in days gone by, just on a national scale, the idea certainly may have ramifications for the further tapping of indigenous talent across the country. It may also be a huge step towards the genuine development of player talent across a spread of multicultural communities nationwide which might see greater numbers of players from all over the world embrace the game. What might start small may one day grow into an enormous pool of future talent.
The following article is from the ABC News website and details McLachlan’s vision which, if funding and his own drive have anything to do with it, may take off in some form in the very near future.
The following is a media release from the AFL Diversity Unit highlighting the recognition of the Multicultural programs both at a football and wider community level. Being involved first hand there is an enormous amount of work involved and this award recognises the efforts of many people to grow the game for a healthy and diverse future.
The AFL is pleased to announce the AFL Multicultural Program has been awarded the Virgin Australia Sports Leadership Award at the 2015 Australian Migration and Settlement Awards in Canberra yesterday.
Hosted by the Migration Council Australia (MCA), the awards recognise the contribution of organisations and individuals in supporting migrants settle in Australia.