Many historians have sifted through the early years of Australian Rules football, and often found it difficult to establish exactly when and where the game was played. In modern times, the sport's spread around the globe has often been largely under-estimated, but also sometimes exaggerated. As best that worldfootynews.com can determine, there is no repository of knowledge that will accurately show just how many countries, clubs, teams and players play Australian Rules football outside of its ancestral home, Australia. As such, worldfootynews.com is undertaking the daunting task of a World Footy Census. This is also the best time, given that it is near year's end and between seasons for most leagues around the world. But we'll need the help of the clubs.
The North Fremantle Amateur Football Club are in the final stages of a remarkable World Tour. A large party of players and officials have visited the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States, in a great initiative that exposes their young men to different cultures, whilst also giving them the rare chance to play teams from other countries. No doubt many more Australian Rules football clubs will follow their lead in years to come, as the game continues to grow outside of Australia, and clubs think about developing their players as both footballers and well rounded individuals. Details of who they played and how they fared follows.
The AFL Cairns is experiencing great success these days, but the history of footy there goes back to the 1950s, when it got its start in a way that will be very familiar to many new clubs in many different countries.
The votes are in from World Footy News' second online poll, asking what method of recruiting has been most successful for clubs - and the two top responses were the internet and old-fashioned word-of-mouth.
Each year the AFL holds draft camps around Australia, with talented young footballers tested to aid AFL clubs in making their draft choices. A tall young Englishman is creating some interest, setting a new sprint record.
Port Adelaide, in their eighth season in the Australian Football League, have claimed their first AFL Premiership, powering away from Brisbane in the second half of the 2004 Grand Final. Many considered both Port and Brisbane lucky to squeeze into the final, with narrow wins over St Kilda and Geelong, respectively. There was no such doubt at the final siren last Saturday at the MCG, with Port winning comfortably.
After many years of dreaming of an AFL match being played in the United States, 2005 was firming as a big chance, as part of Australia Week celebrations in LA. The latest news is that the game looks unlikely.