Round 18 kicks off in Melbourne on Friday night with Collingwood hosting North Melbourne at Docklands Stadium.
If you want to know when you can see the footy on TV in your part of the world, check out the full schedule below.
As always schedules are subject to change at the discretion of the local broadcaster so please check local guides for updates. Note the scheduled time for the GC Suns vs Fremantle into China is yet to be confirmed.
This is not a unique experience. Girls and women have been playing footy for many, many years. To see a team of girls running around as part of the half time entertainment at an AFL venue has been seen and done many times.
However, there is something a little symbolic, prophetic and visionary about seeing girls on a footy field in 2016, the year the AFL committed to the first ever national women’s competition for 2017. Unlike most years before, this year a future, stark and defined, sits in front of any young girl or woman who takes to the fields of footy.
A group of us were chatting online after training this week about each player’s multicultural heritage. The club is Pyramid Power in Cairns – my team – and we are a club already renowned for having a 92% indigenous playing list. Most of our players are aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander by heritage. When you have that kind of background there mustn’t be much else in terms of diverse backgrounds.
A closer look unveiled Swedish, Italian, Spanish, Irish, English, Welsh, Scottish, Sierra Leone, Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, Samoan, South Sea Islander (by description, but uncertain of which islands) and Papua New Guinean. And these diverse origins didn’t come from the 8% of non-indigenous players. Such is the cultural diversity amongst indigenous and non-indigenous Australians – multiculturalism lives across all humanity.
The AFL Players’ Association has established its inaugural Multicultural Players’ Advisory Board to better understand the needs and issues affecting the current 122 players with multicultural backgrounds.
Made up of players from each state, the Board had its first official meeting last week and has since appointed Collingwood’s Mason Cox (USA) to lead the group as Chair.
I have just finished ready a new book by author Nick Richardson which looks at an amazing football match played at Queens in London in 1916 where two teams of Australian soldiers faced off against each other prior to their journey to the Western Front. Six of those players never came back, paying the ultimate sacrifice.
Players such as South Melbourne superstar Bruce Sloss and Collingwood captain Dan Minogue and Essendon player Bill Sewart and other well known VFL players of the era played for the Third Australian Divisional Team. Sloss was captain. Playing for the Australian Training Units Team were Essendon player Clyde Donaldson, Collingwood’s Harry Kerley and South Melbourne’s George Bower.