Maybe I grew up in another era. On the other hand, perhaps I just had very good coaches when I was a kid. However, in my junior footy days down in Victoria, kicking with both feet was simply expected by coaches. We were encouraged to use our stronger preferred foot to cover ground and maybe for pinpoint accuracy. Nevertheless, all of my team-mates back then could kick with both feet.
It amazes me, then, that the following article by Callum Twomey at www.afl.com.au raises such an issue. Moreover, the fact that it unearths different types of thinking on the subject at the highest levels is a surprise to me – someone who would use the “Bradmanesque” (hitting a golf ball with a stick thousands of times to improve skills) style training by kicking either foot in the backyard to get better on my unnatural left foot.
Dad told me that if I was ever going to be a good footballer I would have to learn that skill. The most simple premise was that the time wasted trying to manoeuvre onto my preferred foot gave the opposition time to catch me or impact my kick – the opposite foot gave me more options and a full 180 degree arc to use the ball in.
Round 3 of the 2019 AFL Season kicks off tonight (Melbourne time) at the Adelaide Oval with Adelaide hosting Geelong. US viewers will be able to see Mason Cox, now able to play since his rough conduct charge was downgraded to a fine. His Magpies will play the West Coast Eaqles at the MCG at 04:00am Saturday morning EDT.
The full international broadcast schedule for the round can be seen below.
In addition to the TV networks you can also subscribe to the Watch AFL service that will give you live access to all the matches and more (outside Australia only).
We are not publishing an international broadcast schedule for Round 1 of the AFLW season. The AFL informs us that international deals are still being finalised so a schedule is not being released this week.
Fox Sports USA and Australia Plus in Asia/Pacific will be broadcasting matches this week so please check local guides. As always we recommend the AFANA website for all the most current and detailed information for the broadcast of AFL/AFLW in North America
Fans can also get two weeks free on Watch AFL if they register before 28th March (full paid subscription will cover all the AFL and AFLW season). AFLW matches will be available to stream through this service outside Australia.
It may be possible to also stream via the new http://womens.afl website or their app but whether this is available outside Australia is yet unknown.
Recently, an interesting football conversation commenced nearby. It involved the concept of whether or not scoring should be removed from games of AFL Masters to reduce the amount of aggressive competiveness amongst players whose glory days are behind them and should possibly just be playing for fun.
Footy is many things to many people. Therefore, there will not be a consensus on whether this (at this stage unofficial) idea has merit. But what is compelling is the link between this potential expectation for our oldest players and the arguments for our youngest players – kids.
For a moment, let’s assume that the idea has merit and one day we have AFL Masters playing for no scores – just enjoyment. We have already seen AFL Victoria introduce no scores for junior grades from the 2015 season where grades up to Under 10 would play with no scores and develop “an enjoyment philosophy rather than a winning philosophy’’ (Herald Sun, 2014). Since then most states and territories have more or less adopted the same policies.
Half way through the AFL off-season and fans are now counting down to the 2019 season. Media is reporting on how teams have recovered from their breaks. Injury lists are being finalised to get players back for Round One. New recruits are being paraded on the training tracks in their new colours and teams are bringing them into their revised game plans – or building game plans around them.
It is an exciting time, but the best part is that supporters of 18 teams know that there is a new dawn arriving with – potentially – greatness around the corner. A premiership this year might be the start of something greater – a dynasty, perhaps.
The following is a purely personal point of view about which clubs might be on the cusp of something great. By great I am referring to sustained success. Hawthorn claimed three flags from four grand finals between 2012 and 2015. Before that, Geelong took three flags from 2007 to 2011 from four grand finals. Sydney and West Coast dominated 2005/6 and the Brisbane Lions also had four grand finals for three flags between 2001 and 2004.
The young girl positioned herself behind the goalposts as usual. She did this at every training session to watch her brothers. On the field the coach barked orders and the players continued another set of sprints, sweat pouring from their brows, but knowing this was the last training session before the Christmas break.
Hannah watched the players. She watched them complete their handpassing drills every training night. She watched the kicking drills. She watched the tackling, the marking, everything. Tonight a tear ran down her cheek when she wished that maybe Santa might one day grant her the chance to play her favourite game. Maybe this Christmas?
As she sat watching, her cheeks still red from her gentle weeping, the coach turned around and faced her. Hannah was unsure why or what had happened. Maybe something was going on behind her. But the coach started motioning for her to come out onto the field.
Lost in the shuffle of Majak Daw’s recent injuries when falling from Melbourne’s Bolte Bridge is his impact on the game of Australian Rules football. Whilst there is some polarisation of people’s reaction to Daw’s latest misfortune – from sympathy to, sadly, discriminatory – Daw’s contribution to opportunity for young immigrants is profound.
Rohan Smith’s article at www.news.com.au sheds great light on his journey and achievements within the context of how hard daw has had to work through his life to achieve at all.
Majak Daw has survived it all, and continues to hang tough. It’s not just a tribute to his strength — it’s a result of where he’s come from.
When Majak Daw speaks, you’d never know English is his second language. He’s got the Australian twang.
When he kicks a footy, you’d never know he grew up a world away where the luxury of recreational sport isn’t afforded to kids like it is here.