Saturday night saw the
announcement of the Atlanta Kookaburras' "Team of the Decade" to
coincide with the USAFL's anniversary celebrations. It was also a time for reflection and acknowledgement
of those that have made the Kookaburras one of the
more revered clubs in the US.
President and club founder Mike Powers and current
President Wayne Kraska heralded over proceedings
recalling who, what and when things had happened
since 1998 when Mike had first organized training
sessions at Dobbins Air Force base in Marietta GA.
With the help of club historian Marty Hyder many
stories of the past were touched on from how the team
was named to how the Nationals came to Atlanta and
why it was such a success. A surprise for some maybe was Steven Thomson who
only played in 2001 was named Head Coach of the
On October 6th 2007, AFL Canada will be hosting the touring Convicts Australian Football Team from Australia, as part of the Ontario AFL's Grand Final Day.
The Australian Convicts are a team made up of players from varying levels of amateur from all around Australia whose charter is to promote and develop Australian football internationally, while having a good time seeing the sights.
The combination of these two games promises to make this year's OAFL Finals Day one of the greatest spectacles of Canadian footy on the 2007 calendar.
Date: October 6th, 2007
Location: Humber North College, Toronto, Ontario
worldfootynews.com welcomes Salv Capoferri as our new reporter for Canada.
The message seems to be slowly getting through (at least in New York and Philadelphia) that the Aussie punters in the NFL are from Australian Football and not Rugby. The number of times the guys are referred to as a “former Australian rugby player” have much decreased over the last couple of years. Listening online to some of the audio during the NFL preseason games, it seems that many of the announcers are doing their homework on the game. Not all of them though, as the great John Madden still managed to link Rocca with Rugby on a Monday night football broadcast that went live across the nation. But even then the Philadelphia Eagles message boards had many posts by US fans mocking the sports casting senior citizen’s gaffe.
The latest evidence that the media at least are becoming aware of the difference can be seen in an article yesterday in Wilmington, Delaware newspaper, The News Journal:
Reno Mahe doesn't have all the facts straight yet, but he thinks he'll be ready to return punts -- in prime time. Mahe said Wednesday he caught punts kicked by "the Australian rugby guy" -- Sav Rocca -- at the NovaCare Complex in preparation for Monday night's game against Washington. Rocca, of course, isn't exactly a "rugby guy." More like a legend of Australian rules football. The Eagles hope Mahe is more accurate about his synopsis that catching punts is like "riding a bike."
Lets hope there is a flow-on effect, and with a greater understanding of the game, more Americans will seek out Australian Football locally.
As we move another week closer to the 2007 USFooty National Championship
Tournament in Louisville KY, things are heating up in
The last few weeks has seen some big games that have had a large impact in the
World Footy News USFooty Top 10 Poll. No. 1 San Diego has remained
undefeated in 2007, most recently putting away Las Vegas in Vegas. No. 2
Denver has just one loss to its name and that to San Diego in the Western
Regional Tourny. The big movers in the top 5 were the No. 3 Baltimore
Washington Eagles who have won 11 games on the trot. Golden Gate has
remained at 4 with their only loss to San Diego. Rounding out the top 5,
the New York Magpies have fallen from 3 after losing to the Baltimore Washington
Eagles in New York. The rest of the top 10 is Chicago United who has
steadily increased its ranking to 6, the Orange County Bombers with only one win
but one of the toughest schedules in footy. At No. 8 is the Boston Demons
who lost by a goal to the New York Magpies in the last game of the season.
Atlanta has remained steady at 9 and an excellent 4-1 record. The top 10
is held up by the Seattle Grizzlies who enter after an impressive win over
Chicago United in Seattle.
Over the last couple of years we've reported on one of British Columbia's (Canada) rising young stars from the North Delta Junior AFL - Scott Fleming. He's now getting some local press at home in Vancouver, with the Vancouver Sun detailing his hopes of one day making it with Sydney in the AFL. Once his studies are over, Fleming's family are planning on travelling Down Under so the 6 footy 3 inch, 17 year old full forward can have a genuine crack at the game. In the meantime, his focus has been on his local side, the Vancouver Cougars, and consolidating his spot in the Canadian Northwind squad to head to Australia in 2008. If Fleming can get part of a season under his belt with an amateur club in Australia, he could be a star player to look out for at the next International Cup. Starting in footy at age 12, he has a head start on many of the other players he's likely to encounter at the tournament - whether he can match it with the best Aussie players, only time will tell.
The Baltimore Washington Eagles (4) took their hard running game to New York and defeated the Magpies (3) 11.11 (77) to 4.8 (32). The win puts the Eagles in the box seat for the Eastern Australian Football League title and a high seed in the USFooty National Championship Tournament. The Eagles finish their regular season next week against the Philadelphia Hawks and New York host their arch rivals the Boston Demons (8).
As young Gaelic stars continue to be drawn into the front end of the AFL system, aging veterans are moving out the other end and on to the NFL retirement plan circuit as punters. Sav Rocca today confirmed that he had been successful in making the final 53-man roster for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. This sets the stage for Rocca’s arrival in the first NFL game of the year to be heralded in the media across the U.S as the oldest rookie ever to take the field.
A couple of weeks ago at the BC Footy international weekend in Vancouver the Canadian men had their first ever win over the powerful United States team, winning the 49th Parallel Cup, before going down the next day in the keenly contested exhibition match. On the other hand the Canadian women struggled against their more experienced American counterparts, losing both matches by big margins, but the youthfulness of their squad promised better things to come. Now to the juniors and it was very positive to have the next generation of stars on display. The under 17s matches saw a large squad of young men from Canada - the Wolfpack - take on a smaller travelling party from the US.
The Victoria Lions football club started 2007's AFL Canada season with expectations of getting the side going again. Things started relatively well, with planning starting in late January or thereabouts, moving on to things like recruitment and fundraising. The first training brought out around six people, with numbers peaking at 12 in late April. After that, attendance petered off to the starting six, then less, then the same four people in different combinations for a few months, then nothing. Basically, people lost interest all over again and it began to be quite clear that this season hadn’t worked out either. Why? There’s quite a lot to it really, most of the problems are the same ones facing other Canadian amateur sports.
A great review of the Nashville vs. Baton Rouge match recently played can be read at CBS Sportsline’s Spin on Sport. Columnist Clay Travis attended his first ever USAFL match with a buddy and gives a full account of the experience. This is exactly how many Americans end up playing Aussie Rules by just turning up to a park and watching the game played. Once they get an understanding of what initially seems chaotic they can't help but be drawn to it.
For the record the final scores were Nashville 15.15.105 to Baton Rouge 6.7.43.