Such a glittering array of international cities could potentially play host to International Rules matches if Alastair Clarkson’s push gathers any steam. If “The Big Apple’ can be considered a potential host city, as well as Boston, then other cities across Ireland and Northern Ireland, such as Belfast and Cork, could equally be considered. The Australian coach has ignited discussion about the future International Rules venues, but the debate is as young as the renewed interest in the game. The following is an excerpt from an article on the afl.com website, written by Alex Malcolm.
(Left: Australian Coach, Alastair Clarkson)
Following the success of the one-off Virgin Australia International Rules Test in Perth, the concept is ready to be unleashed on New York or Boston, Alastair Clarkson says.
Australia's victorious coach was adamant the series was well enough established to warrant taking the concept to the United States as early as next year.
Australia won the Cormac Mc Anallen Trophy in front of a sellout Patterson’s Oval by a 10 point margin. It was a welcome and highly successful return to International Rules football in Perth leading to unanimous calls for the competition to return to a two game series. Both the Australian and Irish contingent suggested it would be more satisfying and also fairer on the visiting team. Calls for the game to be taken to New York and Boston were greeted with enthusiasm by the Aussies but with less enthusiasm by the Irish.
The game had all the trappings associated with an international contest. On a somewhat balmy evening the towering lights of Subiaco highlighted the colour of the twilight game. Many Aussies joined the Irish fans in the pre-game buildup to provide a party atmosphere perhaps primed by the Irish Festival outside the ground. It was a complete success judging by the length of the queues for food and drink. The large crowd outside the ground streamed in late oblivious to the band Pseudo Echo playing inside.
There was a great deal to like in tonight’s International Rules test match between Australia and Ireland in Perth. The 10 point result would have pleased Australians, as would the huge Paterson’s Stadium crowd. No doubt the Irish fans, whilst disappointed by the result, would have seen something special in the team’s comeback and some outstanding individual performances.
But, from my vantage point I saw one outstanding aspect. Is Dustin Fletcher a new national sporting legend?
To put this question in some sort of perspective, Fletcher was not Australia’s best player tonight. Luke Hodge and Sam Mitchell were outstanding, as was Nick Reiwoldt. Conor McManus was Ireland’s best, but I did like some of the work from David Moran and Mattie Donnelly as well as former AFL player Colm Begley.
Saturday night sees Australia host Ireland at Patersons Stadium in Perth for the one off International Rules Test for 2014. The match will start at 5.45pm Perth time and can be viewed on Australian television on the 7 Network. International Broadcast details can be seen below.
A Victorian selection (mostly VFL players with some VAFA players thrown in) played the Irish International Rules team in a warm up for Ireland ahead of their Test match against Australia in Perth this coming weekend.
While the Australian team got together in Sydney to train with the round ball, the Irish made the most of the unseasonal cool wet conditions at Sandringham (a suburb of Melbourne). While there was a contest provided by the Victorians the Irish experience with the round ball allowed them to get plenty of scoring of practice including 9 goals in the net.
The Australia vs Ireland International series recommences next weekend in Perth at Patersons Stadium. Perth has always supported the concept and enjoyed a party-like atmosphere. Hours before bouncedown thousands of people have found their way to Subiaco dressed in national colours and adorned with icons and flags making the game a truly international event comparable to a World Cup clash. This year WAFC have taken this support and expanded upon it.
Steve Tuohey from the WAFC explains. "Patersons Stadium will host an Irish Festival showcasing the sights, sounds and tastes of Ireland to coincide with the AFL’s International Rules Series game against Ireland on Saturday, November 22."
Paterson's Oval on the 22nd November sees the return of competition between Australia and Ireland in the hybrid game. The codes have chosen cautiously to entertain just the one game this time around.
Australia has chosen to breathe new life into the series by returning to an all-stars concept with eligibility given to only All-Australian players and the AFL have chosen Perth as host city undoubtedly because of it's previous solid support of the concept. That support should ensure a sellout as tickets are presently at the 30,000 mark and people are keen to see so many footballing stars together.
AFL General Manager Football Operations Mark Evans tonight announced Geelong Cats coach Chris Scott would join the coaching panel under Alastair Clarkson for the 2014 Virgin Australia International Rules Series.
Scott, who led the Cats to the 2011 premiership and boasts a career winning percentage of 76 per cent with 69 wins from 90 matches in charge of Geelong, will join Fremantle coach Ross Lyon as one of Clarkson’s two senior assistants.
Evans said he was delighted Scott had accepted the invitation to be part of the Australian coaching structure, as the AFL was determined to gather the best possible resources around the playing group in a bid to regain the Cormac McAnallen trophy.
The Wolverhampton Wolverines have used their off-season time wisely. Rather than wait for the season proper to start, Ian Mitchell, club president and coach, has been exploring a variety of ways to not only keep his team fit and ready, but also grow the game throughout the Wolverhampton districts and beyond.
Last weekend saw the inaugural International Rules game in Wolverhampton, England. It is a game that had been in the pipeline between the Wolverines and St Mary's GAA Wolverhampton for two or three years, but various obstacles had prevented it from taking place until now.
When the International Rules (or compromise rules) format was first put together as a way for Aussie rules footballers to tour Ireland and play a competitive brand of football where both the Australians and Irish could represent their countries, they probably never considered that this new version of the game would be played elsewhere. It has however become a patch of common ground for Aussie rules and Gaelic football clubs far from their native shores to link up. Thanks to the President of the Nova Scotia AFL, Jonah Scott for the following report.
International Rules Football was introduced to Nova Scotia during the month of October as the Halifax Dockers and the Halifax Gaelic Football Club played off against each other in the inaugural 2013 Nova Scotia International Rules Football Series. Like the series being held in Ireland this month, the 2013 Nova Scotia IRF Series also consisted of a battle between a team of Gaelic Footballers, mostly of Irish decent, and one of Australian Rules Footballers, half of which were Aussies.