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Tuesday, November 25 2014 @ 11:59 AM ACDT

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Calgary School Football Program

North America

At times there has been much discusion as to how best to develop Australian Football overseas. There are many factors involved - cost, geography, personel, timeframe and benefit. There can be little argument that any succesful school programs will leverage immediate participants and possible long term players. The AFL has invested in such programs with good effect in specific regions - NSW, Qld, RSA and NZ. Some programs have been succesfully created with much less help as in London, Torronto and Vancouver. Now there is encouraging news out of Alberta Canada. In fact, it begs the question - should we doing more to help?. The following is from Calgary Kangaroos president Lachlan Griffiths

As the snow begins to fall and the 2014 local footy season is now but a memory, plans are being made to expand on the first successful year of a school based AFL program run this year by the Calgary Kangaroos. A brief window of mid April through early June is all they have to work with to be able to get students across the city kicking a footy outside after the snow melts and before the summer break arrives. But that window of time was enough this year to be able to get over 2,300 kids across 15 schools in Calgary introduced to Australia's national sport.

With the assistance of a grant from AFL Canada last year, the Kangaroos purchased footballs and printed AusKick instructor manuals that they then gave to schools, with a catch. The school must run a week of Aussie Rules to be eligible to receive the footy's and manuals. The Roo's then sent a volunteer coach to each school to help the teachers run their module - and the response from schools was overwhelming. The program was oversubscribed and the Roo's had to source additional footy's for schools wanting to run footy in their PE classes.

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New York Magpies are 2014 National Champions

North America

The New York Magpies have taken the 2014 US National Championship title defeating Orange County by just three points in a tight arm wrestle Grand Final Match.

Grand Finals results of each division in the table below.

 

Grand Finals        
Division 1 Orange County 2.1.13 New York 2.4.16
Division 2 Columbus 1.0.6 Los Angeles 11.3.69
Division 3 Sacramento 7.1.43 Philadelphia 0.5.5
Division 4 Denver B/KC 4.6.25 North Carolina 7.2.44
Women's Denver 2.3.15 Golden Gate 0.4.4

 

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USAFL Nationals Day 1 - Results

North America

Day 1 of the US Nationals is complete with Calgary, New York and Orange County all undefeated in Divison 1.  On today's form Orange County would be expected to beat Minnesota in their match tomorrow morning to go into the final.  New York and Calgary will play each other with the winner headed for the final also and at this stage the likely winner of that match up is too close to call. 

Division 2 reigning champions Columbus and challenger Houston were both undefeated on Day 1 and will play each other tomorrow morning for a spot in the final.  LA Dragons are also undefeated and are looking good for the final if they can get over Nashville tomorrow.

In Divison 3 Philadelphia and Sacramento were unbeaten and will play off in the final if they can win their respective matches tomorrow morning.

North Carolina dominated Division 4 with two big wins and Tulsa were also convincing and undefeated.  The Denver B/KC team also had two convincing wins on Day 1.

 

Division 1   Day 1  
Calgary 7.4.46 Golden Gate 1.0.6
Denver 3.0.18 Orange County 2.11.23
Austin 4.1.25 Minnesota 1.1.7
Denver 3.2.20 Minnesota 4.6.30
New York 4.7.31 Dallas 1.4.10
Austin 4.0.24 Orange County 8.6.54
New York 9.7.61 Golden Gate 0.1.1
Calgary 8.5.53 Dallas 0.5.5

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2014 US Nationals in Dublin, OH this weekend

North America
The 2014 US National Championships kick off this Friday ahead of a big weekend of footy in Dublin, Ohio.  This year's tournament will have four men's divisions and a women's division.  The weekend will also include a coaching course, an umpires clinic, an administrators conference and an alumni match.  Players, officials and fans will travel from all over the country and special guest from overseas will be in attendance. 
 
Alex Benjamin gives us his take on how he see the tournament panning out - and details the coverage his USAFL Weekly site will provide over the weekend.
 
Below see the full divisions and the predictions for each of the division pools.  The schedules also have the current year's records and ranking (as collated by Alex at USAFL Weekly - http://usaflweeklyreport.com)  
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Holmes focus of Saints Virgin Film Festival entry

North America

St Kilda has followed up its successful 2013 Virgin Film Festival entry with an in-depth look at Jason Holmes’ unique path to AFL football.

The Saints’ entry into the 2014 Virgin Film Festival focusses on Holmes’ remarkable journey from Morehead State University to Linen House Centre, and details his rapid progression from a college basketballer to a ruckman on the cusp of an AFL debut just 18 months later.

Ambitious yet modest, the 24-year-old Holmes is leaving no stone unturned in his quest to play AFL football.

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Ariel Steinberg debuts for Essendon Bombers

North America

By Tristan Waldock.

Ariel Steinberg made his AFL debut this weekend for Essendon. He played in Canada at the age of 16 for a season with the Edmonton Australian Rules Football club. He was a big part of the club playing for the men's team and helped coach and umpire women's games helping build the foundation of Canada’s International Cup challenge.

His parents were on a 1 year teacher exchange program to Edmonton in Canada.

Ariel had 7 kicks, 4 handballs and 2 marks for Essendon vs West Coast Eagles.

Ed. We ran a piece on Ariel prior to his drafting in 2010 - see the article here.

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American re-signs with Kangaroos

North America

International rookie Eric Wallace has signed a new one-year deal to keep him at North Melbourne until at least the end of the 2015 season.

The 196cm, 102kg former US college basketballer from North Carolina joined the Kangaroos at the end of 2012 and has made significant inroads since switching codes to Australian Rules Football.

Playing as the number one ruckman for VFL affiliate North Ballarat, Wallace has fast-tracked his development throughout the 2014 season.

 

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The Beast can fly

North America

Looks like North Melbourne's American recruit Eric "The Beast" Wallace is making progress in his first season of Aussie Rules, if this footage from the VFL is anything to judge by:

Wallace on instagram

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Collingwood coup as Cox chooses

North America

Texan Mason Cox has returned to the US after his whirlwind tour to Australia to trial before a number of AFL clubs. Port Adelaide revealed earlier this week that they were not interested in taking Cox.

But this afternoon the Collingwood football club revealed that they have managed to sign the ruck prospect.  Unlike former American recruits who have come to trial previously it seemed that a number of clubs were keen to sign him so the decision to choose was Mason's. 

With payments for International rookies being outside the salary cap, Collingwood were probably always going to be in the box seat if it came down to a matter of who woud pay the best.

Images Courtesy AFL Media

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AFL Ontario returns this weekend

North AmericaThis weekend footy returns to central Canada as the 2014 AFL Ontario season begins.

AFL Ontario (AFLO) is the largest Australian Rules football league in the world outside of Australia, and it has a very busy off season. AFLO has been preparing 8 months, for what many around the league feel should be its most competitive season yet. A statement confidently endorsed by league Vice President, Morgan King.

“The league has been steadily growing stronger every single year, but.. Looking over how much we’ve accomplished at the executive level and the information sent to us from the clubs, this season is definitely shaping up to be the best.” King commented.

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