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Friday, September 22 2017 @ 10:29 AM ACST

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AFL's US Combine returns to LA for 2016

North America

The AFL’s US Combine is back in 2016 and back in LA. After the 2015 Combine was held at the IMG Academy in Bradenton Florida, the venue for previous Combines in Los Angeles will again host athletes from around the US. The Combine will be held in just under a month from April 24-27.

This year's video promoting the Combine to US athletes can be seen below and has been updated with clips of Combine graduates Jason Holmes (2015 AFL debut) at St Kilda and Mason Cox (2016 NAB Cup footage) at Collingwood.

The AFL will be hoping to unearth some more crossover talent and a number of clubs will be present to identify suitable recruits. We know the Gold Coast Suns are on the lookout for a big American so would expect them to be keen participants.

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AFANA's US Footy viewing "State of the Nation" address

North America
AFANA’s Rob de Santos gives his US Footy viewing “State of the nation” address in the following article. A great read on how the US telecast situation has evolved and an evaluation of the options going forward. As always for any  up to date information relating to the North American TV coverage of AFL footy you should visit the AFANA website.
 
(This is the first in a series of long form editorials on the state of footy on TV in 2016 and the future outlook.) A long time ago in TV world far, far away, a small group of passionate AFL fans managed to get the AFL and ESPN together and save the weekly highlights coverage on US and Canadian television. It was an early and largely unnoticed accomplishment of the internet age as e-mail and newsgroups were the media used to launch coordinated action. Looking back, it was an amazing achievement in 1995-1996. It also was the catalyst for the formation of AFANA.
 
Over the past 20 years we’ve evolved from lobbying by fans to more sophisticated ways of attempting to drive the AFL’s TV strategy (with varying degrees of success). We’ve successfully helped steer them to new TV homes for the sport when old ones blew up on us. We’ve succeeded in keeping it on the air for 21 seasons without fail. Now, we have to decide what we do in 2016 and beyond. The answers for 1996 and 2006 no longer are the right ones. The TV market has changed. The fan base has changed.
 
The AFL is far more media savvy than before and nominally, has an “international” strategy (although fans and marketing seem not to be a big part of that). We must change our tactics and strategy to deal with the AFL, TV networks, and fan development to match the world as it is in 2016.

 

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Myk Aussie's Season Preview on FNTSY Sports Network

North AmericaWhile Myk Aussie's countrymen back in South Australia are sleeping, the Canadian based expat is out doing his bit to promote the Aussie football code across North America. Appearing on the Fantasy Sports cable TV Network with host Gabriel Morency this week, Myk previews the 2016 AFL season, does the best bets and picks for Round 1.

If you are in North America look out for Myk on your TV or on UStream with Gabriel on Friday nights. For now you can watch him on the clip below.



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Womens Footy in Canada leading the way again with promo video

North America

Canada are the reigning women's footy International Champions, and they show it proudly in this new promo video released this week as they look to take the game further in their homeland. Make sure you watch it.

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Seattle Snapshot

North America

All around the world Australian Football clubs are looking with anticipation towards playing the upcoming season and what could be more appropriate than the Seattle Grizzles coming out of hibernation.

Officially, the maiden event of the year was an Ausball tournamount to attract both newcomers and provide a hit-out for the regular members. The setting was a picturesque Magnuson Park sports field adjacent to Puget Sound, the waterway that dominates the Seattle topography. Hitting the track for the first time on synthethetic grass was a welcome experience compared to most under-developed pitches that seem to prevail for Australian football clubs overseas.

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Suns look to the US for tall talent

North America
Gold Coast Suns list manager Scott Clayton last year hinted on finding new talent outside the draft and trading system in the USA (see audio below). Speaking after the trade period and prior to the National Draft Clayton was asked about looking at talent from other sports, he admitted that the Suns have not been much focussed on looking at other sports but said “We’ll start to look for a ruckman out of the US, which seems to be a pretty good idea at the moment”.
 

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AFL Relaxes International Recruitment Rules

North America

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.

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Footy field proposed for Tulsa's Chandler Park

North America

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.

For more on this story see video below or on the Fox23 News site here.  

 

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Shark Numbers Increase

North AmericaToday 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.
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Throwing a Klatt among the big guns

North America
 
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. 

 

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