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Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 07:59 PM ACST

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Dubai Dragons: “Catch us if you can!”

Middle East

There is something truly ominous brewing in the Middle East. Whilst the new 2013/14 season is only three games old, with Round 2 completed last week, it is the Dubai Dragons who are out of the blocks like a veritable Speedy Gonzales inviting all other teams to catch them if they are to be stopped from winning three flags in succession.

Granted, there is a long way to go. This year’s format for the AFL Middle east draw sees eight rounds, with each team playing six matches. There is plenty of time for some teams to fall away, others to come alive or upsets to occur. But therein lays one of the pointers to the season. Of the three games played, the Dragons have played two of them…for two wins.

With comfortable wins by 58 points against the Muscat Magpies and 51 points against the Abu Dhabi Falcons, the Dragons have two wins already from their 6 matches. They also play these two teams again of their remaining four. Statistically, it will already be difficult to peg them back.

But not impossible.

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Port Adelaide Power to train in Dubai

Adelaide based AFL club, the Port Adelaide Power, will embark on a 9 day trip to the United Arab Emirates as part of their pre-season training schedule for the 2014 campaign. The team will leave Australia on 24th November and return on the 4th December.

The trip will take the club to Dubai, where they will use the excellent facilities at the Dubai Sports Centre, which are considered to be amongst the best in the Middle East.

According to the Port Adelaide High Performance Manager, Darren Burgess, on the club website “the facilities at the Dubai Sports City are world class, so it’s a really good combination of a top line performance centre and hot conditions, plus a great chance for the boys to get away again.

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AFL Middle East – Preview 2013/14

Middle East

In response to our recent article which explored the changes to AFL Middle East for the upcoming season, new Operations Manager, Tyron (Ty) Farrell has provided World Footy News with his preview of the upcoming season. Not only does Ty look again at changes to the organisation, he also provides his unique insight into the teams and their prospects.

So the 2013/2014 AFL Middle East Season is almost upon us and the teams have been hitting the pre- season trail pretty hard over the summer in anticipation.

This year the season has made a few major changes with Walid Melhem stepping down as Operations Manager as he moved back to Australia with work. Walid worked extremely hard over the last few years and should be proud of the work that he has done in getting the league to where it is today.  From all in the region, we wish Walid all the best for his return to Australia and we look forward to continuing to build on the foundations that he left us.

 

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New Look for AFL Middle East

Middle East

As the footy seasons across Australia, Asia, the Americas and Europe begin to wind down, another competition is just starting to kick into top gear. The AFL Middle East 2013/14 competition is about the get under way next month, and there is something fresh and new about the whole competition.

Maybe it is just the effect of their brand new website at afl-me.com, revamped and looking a treat. Already the teams across the region are locking into a pre-season program of Grand Final breakfast functions (the Australian AFL), or the glamour of Melbourne Cup celebrations. But it is on the playing fields of the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar where the action is starting to happen.

Teams have already been in their pre-season training mode since July. The Dubai Dragons preparing to go for their own three-peat and win a third flag in a row. The Doha Kangaroos are planning and training to go one step better this season and grab a flag. The Dubai Dingoes, winners of last year’s pre-season AFL 9’s tournament, are wanting to get away to another good start and this time keep it going to the last match of the year. The Abu Dhabi Falcons and Muscat Magpies are also keen to put last season behind them and push for glory in this new season.

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AFL Middle East 2012-13 Season Review

Middle East

It is almost hard to believe that the AFL Middle East Grand Final was over three months ago, back on March 8th. Time has flown by without a full report on the season and, of course, the Grand Final result itself. In the first of a small series of articles on Australian football across the Middle East, a brief look at the season that was gives a small taste of the way footy panned out across the region.

The 2012-13 season kicked off with the pre-season AFL9’s tournament in September at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Arena (NASSA) in Dubai. The Meydan Cup was played enthusiastically with the Dubai Dingoes winning the day against their arch rivals, the Dubai Dragons, with a last minute surge to fall over the line in extra time.

As the season proper came closer it became apparent that the Bahrain Blues would not take their place in the league for this new season. It is universally hoped that they can return for the 2013/4 season.

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ANZAC Day 2015 AFL match in Turkey still a chance

Middle East

Nearly 3 years ago we reported on a story that first appeared on Channel 9's The Footy Show which said that a Turkish-Australian was developing the concept of the Essendon versus Collingwood ANZAC Day blockbuster being staged in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2015 for the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings in World War One.

The Age is reporting that the concept is not dead, in fact the man driving it, Ismail Ozsoy, claims to have secured written support from the Turkish government and succeeded in getting major sponsors on board.  Ozsoy is quoted as saying that:

''I don't want to get everyone too excited because if they [AFL] are not excited, there is no point.

''But they [Turkish government and businesses] have said 90 per cent. When it comes through the channels it has come from, and they have given it to me in writing as well, it doesn't matter whether the government goes by 2015, because it has been approved, it has to happen. But, of course, it takes two to tango.''

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Martin Flanagan (the Age) : Kick-to-kick in a rocket zone

Middle East

Martin Flanagan writes for the Age and is one of the few footy writers in mainstream AFL media who has been on-board with the International Cup. In particular Martin has followed the Peace Team, and recently he published this story Kick-to-kick in a rocket zone

It is "...an account of footy in a war zone written by Kevin Nafte, an Israeli member of the AFL Peace Team, to his Israeli and Palestinian teammates. It is in the spirit of the Peace Team ''dialogues'' in which players from both sides were encouraged to express their views to each other.

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13 year old determined to take footy to his homeland

Middle East

Read this great little story in The West Australian of the 13 year old Iraqi boy Zain Uafim determined to take footy back to Iraq with him.  Article here

Some snippets from the article:

Zain arrived in Perth when his father, Naji, took up a scholarship at the University of WA to study animal science.

Mr Uafim's speciality is chickens and by year end he will take new-found knowledge and a master's degree back to Iraq, where he works for the Babylon Agricultural Department.

Zain is taking home football.

"I'm going to make a footy club when I go home," Zain said. "I already have eight footies and a full set of rules.

"One day we will bring an Iraqi team to Australia."

An Eagles supporter who comes in at 148cm, Zain knows how to take a hit and knows how to mix it with bigger lads (he plays at Northern Cobras Junior Football Club).

"We're a real multicultural team and he slotted into it really well," said coach Jamie Ryder, whose players include indigenous kids, an African, an Indonesian and two from the Middle East.

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Falcons remedy last season's heartbreak

Middle East

Abu Dhabi have won their first-ever AFL Middle East Premiership; finishing the regular season undefeated and then defeating Doha in the final in front of approximately 400 fans.

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AFL ME loses some Heat: 2010-11 fixture released

Middle East

Six teams are set to contest the 2010-11 AFL Middle East season, which will kick off in October. In surprising news the Dubai Heat, who have been Premiers in the league’s only two seasons are apparently not taking part. This season will consist of five Home and Away matches, plus a Grand Final and playoff for Third and Fourth position.

Read on for the complete fixture and club previews.

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