Callum Twomey from the www.afl.com.au website reports that the AFL has reviewed many of its regulations surrounding the recruitment of players from across America. In light of the continued positive progress of players like Jason Holmes at St Kilda, Mason Cox at Collingwood and others such as Matt Korchek and Alex Aurrachio who are looking to advance further this year, the AFL may have seen even greater opportunities for clubs to sign American talent.
MORE American athletes could enter the AFL system after the League lifted its upper age limit on international scholarship holders.
Under past rules, clubs have only been able to sign international athletes to scholarships under the age of 22, which has been a restriction particularly for recruiters scouting the US for talent.
It looks like there will be new field for the Buffaloes, the Tulsa Buffaloes to roam. Tulsa county have allocated a footy field space in the Chandler Park area as part of an $18 million upgrade of the area. When community consultation on the project went out the Tulsa Buffaloes put their case and are set to be accommodated should the project get the green light as part of the Vision2025 tax proposal.
The venue would be a huge boost to the USAFL club and footy in the region. The USAFL recently added another team based in the state of Okalahoma, the Oklahoma City Flyers to their listing of USAFL clubs.
Today I met with East Fremantle Football Club's General Manager Darryn Fry. Primarily it was to take charge of some uniforms destined for Canada's newest men's club the Victoria Sharks. (Victoria is the capital of British Columbia not the bigger Vancouver).The EFFC has also sent uniforms to the Beachside Sharks in L.A. and football boots to South Africa
It was interesting talking to Darryn on the many aspects of running a football club. Running a club in the WAFL like any second tier Australian football club requires the same level of sophistication of an AFL club at a fraction of an AFL's club budget. They definitely identify with the struggles of a football club yet their home ground, the biggest in the league looked a treat.
Katie Klatt’s rapid ascent to the top of the US womens footy scene in just two years was remarkable, now she has a chance to take the next step up. That is to head to Australia.
With the women’s game in Australia getting set for the debut season in 2017 of their own national league, they are lining up the talent to start strong. That includes bringing on talented athletes from other sports or those that have not seriously played footy until now.
The following article by Russell Jackson at The Guardian explores the journey and AFL career to date of St Kilda’s American import, Jason Holmes. On the back of his best season to date, Holmes is now in pre-season for the Saints’ 2016 campaign.
Up close the modern AFL footballer is a far different physical specimen than his predecessors of the last few decades, far more sinewy and slight. On account of his finely-calibrated diet and training regime and the relentless pursuit of success, he’s closer in shape to a middle distance runner than a wide receiver, as was once the case.
This is a good thing, in many respects. The AFL footballer is now faster, stronger and more physically resourceful than ever and generally more skilled too, concepts not lost on St Kilda ruckman Jason Holmes when he emerged from almost total obscurity in 2015 to become the first born and bred American to play in the AFL. It was a truly remarkable achievement for a college basketballer who’d never properly watched a full game, let alone played in one, before the Saints secured him as an international rookie.
Day 2 of the 2015 USAFL Nationals in Austin is now completed. The Austin Crows 4.4 (28) have defeated the Orange County Bombers 2.4 (16) to win the National Championship for the second time in three years.
Division 2 saw the silverware headed north of the International border with the Quebec Saints 3.9 (27) defeating the Sacramento Suns 0.0 (0) in a 27-0 shutout.
The Women's Division 1 was once again won by the Denver Lady Bulldogs who have earned their 6th straight national title finishing on top of the table with a 4 win 1 loss record.
Division 3 was won by the Portland Steelheads 5.7 (37) to Ohio Valley 1.3 (9).
Division 4 was won by San Diego/OC Bombers combine team 7.5 (47) defeating KC Power 4.3 (27).
The Women's Div 2 was won by the Calgary/Portland/Vancouver combine.
Day 1 of the 2015 USAFL Nationals in Austin is complete. As players regroup and recover for Day 2 some will be eyeing a place in the final tomorrow afternoon, while others will be regretting those few errors that may have cost them a game today. It was a warm one so a few cold beverages under the Texas stars might assist with the hydration.
The Orange County Bombers have set themselves up for a crack at the Division 1 title in Pool B winning both their first round matches. Defending Champions New York got the day off to flier easily accounting for Dallas, but went down to Denver after lunch. They will play the undefeated Orange County tomorrow to decide who will go to the Grand Final. If Orange County win they go straight in but should New York win it could come down to percentage with Denver favourites to defeat Dallas in the other remaining match.
In the Pool A it is home side Austin that is undefeated knocking over both the Calgary Kangaroos and the Golden Gate Roos today. They just need to defeat the winless LA Dragons to progress through to the final for the second time in three years.
USAFL Nationals Day 1 Streaming Schedules are below. All schedules are subject to change and some years the match schedules can stretch out during the day. Click on the icon next to each match to watch via Youtube. All times and days are local Austin, TX times (the first 9am match Saturday is at 1am in Melbourne, Australia on Sunday).
The USAFL Nationals are set to get underway in Austin Texas this weekend. USAFL matches have been underway since early in the year but for most clubs all those games are the warm-up for this tournament. This year 36 men's teams and 9 women's teams from all over the US will battle it out in warm conditions at Onion Creek Soccer complex in Austin.
The Austin Crows will be favourites in their own backyard to take the title as they did here two years ago, their most likely rival in the final is set to be the reigning champions the New York Magpies. Don't be surprised though if Austin's neighbours in the Dallas Magpies can work some magic to make it an all Texas affair in the final. In the Women's Division the Denver Lady Bulldogs are looking to go 6 in a row but will face stiff competition from the other four teams in their division.
Read on for all the details on the schedule of events, the pools, my predictions and the USAFL Weekly Report show schedule for the Nationals.