The recent US versus Canada women's international in Vancouver received some great coverage on Melbourne sports station SEN. The US Freedom's coach, Wayne Kraska, was interviewed by Tony Schebeci for 15 minutes back on August 16th. During the chat they discussed the women's programs in both countries, the upcoming US Nationals in Louisville, and Kraska also mentioned the possible tour by his squad to correspond with the 2008 International Cup in Melbourne. Pleasingly Schebeci invited Kraska to report back to the show during the US Nationals, so it should provide further awareness of the game's international progress.
You can find links to the interview on Women's Footy here.
Melbourne's The Age newspaper reported today that the Victorian state government was "on the verge" of providing financial backing for an exhibition match in Los Angeles, likely to be held at UCLA on January 20th next year. The article, in Craig Hutchison's Pssst column, also mentioned that if the match can become a regular event in the AFL's calendar it was a possibility to become a NAB cup match in future.
Full article reprinted below (not available on the Age website).
New York Magpie (3) forward Luke North took control of the game against the Milwaukee Bombers last Saturday (8/11) with a 5 goal bag and a best on ground performance as the Magpies defeated the Bombers 75 to 25. North's haul included one of the goals of the year so far as he dodged around bomber defenders and put a wrong sided snap through for six points.
In a beautiful day for the footy, the Mid-American Australian Football League Milwaukee Bombers hosted the Eastern Australian Football League New York Magpies at Brown Deer Park in Milwaukee WI. At game time the temperatures were in the low 80s with a breeze and the sun shining through a few clouds in the sky. The Bombers started the game out pretty even with the first quarter ending with the Pies having a one point lead at the end of the first 1.2 to 1.1. However, in the second quarter the Pies showed their class and kicking 4.3 to the Bombers 2 points. In the second half the Pies were able to extend their lead to get an easy win 11.9 (75) to 3.7 (25). Through out the game the Bombers had moments. There was a great diving mark that ended with a goal and Patrick DeFors showed some excellent skill. However, the New York Pies forward line of North and Shane Batty (who had 3) had too much class. North and Batty now share equal 4th on the USFooty goal kicking table with 9 goals a piece.
For video highlights of the game go to You Tube (note the F-word gets a lot of repetitions in the sound track).
Like any diehard fan, when Timmy Brown was given the opportunity, he named his team the Fairfax Kangaroos and gave them the Blue and White of his favorite AFL club. What is a little bit different is that Fairfax is a suburb of Washington DC, Timmy is a 25 year old American and the Fairfax Kangaroos are an Ice Hockey team.
Teams in other sports have been known to be named after AFL clubs - Lindsay Gaze's Melbourne Tigers in the NBL for example, and of course there are footy teams in other countries named for AFL clubs. There are the Nashville Kangaroos, the Golden Gate Kangaroos, the Calgary Kangaroos, the Reading Kangaroos, even the Etobicoke Kangaroos. But I'm not sure there has ever been a team in another sport in another country named for an AFL Club (although Formula One team Minardi chose the black and white stripes of Collingwood).
Playing for the Philadelphia Eagles today against Baltimore Ravens in a preseason game Saverio Rocca went up against incumbent punter Dirk Johnson. Rocca did not have good punts with his first two kicks, but followed up with some big punts after that. He was also the holder for the Eagles' successful field goal attempt.
After a gruelling training camp going head to head, and punt for punt with Johnston there was no clear leader for the position going into this game. But it appears that with Rocca proving that he can hit the big punts under serious match conditions facing the rush, his nose may be just in front for the job. Johnson averaged 43.7 yards with a 41 yard net on his three punts. Sav notched up 48.3 yard gross average and a 39.5 yard net average on his four punts.
And the former Kangaroo forward has made the ESPN highlights packages already. Rocca took a big hit following one of his punts but was quickly up on his knees to see just how far his punt went and was shortly after seen laughing about the hit on the sidelines.
The Eagles have three more preseason games in which Rocca will have the chance to further push his case to become the third Australian punting in the NFL this season along with Matt McBriar and Ben Graham. For the record the Ravens crushed the Eagles 29-3.
In the latest poll of who's who in USFooty, the San Diego Lions are still rated the number one club stateside, recently defeating the powerhouse Denver Bulldogs in Denver. Baltimore-DC, Chicago United and the Atlanta Kookaburras have all climbed the rankings after recent matches and the Minnesota Freeze have cracked the top 10 for the first time, while the Golden Gate Roos and Milwaukee Bombers have taken a slide. Read on for the full results.
The historic weekend at Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver BC saw the US Freedom take on the Canadian Eagles in what we think is a first for footy - a women's Australian Football international. The weekend actually saw two games between the squads with the Freedom easily taking both matches. Saturday's 2 x 20min game saw the Freedom win 7.7 (49) to 0.0 (0), while Sunday's 4x15min game saw the Freedom go 14.13 (97) to 0.0 (0). For one of the founders of US Women's footy, Kathryn Hogg, it was a great weekend. "It was a big milestone for US Women's footy and for all women's footy in North America. One thing that I am proud of is that with our small pool of players, we were able to get 23 women to commit to playing. Three of them were unable to make the trip due to injuries - Denielle David from Milwaukee, Pernille Christensen from Atlanta, and Karla Mascerena-Pack from Arizona".
Story is now updated with interview with Canada's women's coach Jake Anson.
In an historic day for Canadian and International football, the Canadian Northwind
beat the US Revolution 45 to 32 on Saturday August 4. The 49th Parallel
Cup game was played on the spectacular Thunderbird Stadium on the UBC Campus in
Vancouver BC, in perfect conditions for footy. This was the Northwind's
first ever victory in International football over the Revolution and the
Canadian leadership was excited to have the win during a football carnival that
saw around 2500 people come through the Thunderbird Stadium gates to watch
non-stop footy over the two days.
The weekend saw two internationals
between the Northwind and the Revolution as well as the first two Women's Footy
Internationals between the Canadian National Team and the US Freedom, U17
Northwind against the U17 Revolution, and local teams competing in the BC Footy
The under 17s match between Canada and the USA is yet another historic first for the Ironbank International Challenge weekend of footy in Vancouver. It will be the first junior representative team that Canada has put on the park, and probably for the US too (with the possible exception of the Barassi Youth Tournament several years ago). The young men will line up for a full contact international game of Aussie Rules. We have a look at where the players come from and how the organisers see the game in the greater scheme of developing footy in North America. Of course being the first such match there will be issues to be sorted - the US are a bit short on numbers so some of the Canadian kids face the prospect of lining up for the "enemy" - not an easy thing for a coach to explain. Still, it will be a great step forward for the game in North America and will hopefully demonstrate the value of investing in junior development. Just the very occurrence of the match on the same card as the men's and women's matches should be food for thought for the wider AFL Canada and USAFL communities.
This weekend sees an incredible list of firsts as Australian Football in North American shows further signs of maturity. Besides Canada and the United States men's squads again doing battle for the 49th Parallel Cup (and playing a further exhibition match the following day), the two day event will feature the debut of the two countries' national womens and juniors squads. The tournament is being staged as part of the annual BC Footy Cup in Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada), and will include a visit from Japan's Tsunami squad joining in with the Victoria Lions (Can) in the club competition featuring Seattle (US) combined with Portland (US), Vancouver (Can), Burnaby (Can) and Alberta (Can). We talk to the Northwind coach and review their team's matches leading up to the event, as well as speak with the Nippon AFL's Andy Carne. The tournament will take place at UBC's 3,500 seat Thunderbird Stadium, perhaps the premier venue for Aussie Rules in North America. Article by Chris Adams and Brett Northey, and updated with US Revolution (men's) squad