The decision to stage the Kangaroos versus Swans game in LA in January is being used as an opportunity for the USAFL to utilise the professional knowledge and skill-base of the AFL and those two AFL clubs, to further their own organisation and players.
The US Revolution will play a curtain-raiser to the Roos-Swans clash against the best Australians in the USAFL, on a weekend that will also feature a camp based on the AFL draft-camp and the inaugral USAFL National Players and Coaches conference.
After all the preparation and build up to the big day, the Bakersfield club, US Footy's latest side, made their match debut. Other "local" Californian clubs joined them for their big day. This report from San Diego's Mike Russell (who travelled out and played on the day) with extra reporting by Brett Northey.
After three successful years overseeing the continued rise of footy in the United States as USAFL President, Mark Wheeler has moved into the position of Australian Liasion, with Robert Oliver taking over the reigns of US footy.
The USAFL National Championships in Milwaukee earlier this month was a huge weekend for footy in the land of the “stars and stripes” for not only the tremendous organizational efforts by the host club the Milwaukee Bombers but also it gave genuine notice that women’s footy had also found a place in the USA. The inaugural National Championship for Women’s footy took place with what was hoped to be four teams but ended up with three. However the intensity and desire for success was still very evident with the prestige of being crowned the first ever USAFL National Champions on the line.
Melbourne newspaper the 'Herald Sun' reported on October 19th that Michael Ablett (relative of the famous AFL family) is moving to the US with his fiancée whom he will marry next year. Included in the report is a suggestion that he will coach fledgling US Footy club the Las Vegas Gamblers who are yet to play an official match.
The Bakersfield Barbarians founder Leigh Hickling knew his Christmas had come early when the fledgling club's first set of jumpers arrived. All those well established around the world started somewhere, and maybe when those first Guernseys arrived was when they really felt that it was all really happening - or maybe that came the first time they copped a big bump. There's no doubt the uniforms look great and now the team awaits their imminent first game.
Sports fan and Canadian-based WebTV broadcaster 'Myk Aussie' has recently made available documentary footage of the 2005 USFooty nationals in Milwaukee, parts one and two of a four-part series available for viewing online.
The 2005 Ontario AFL premiership has been decided, with minor premiers the Toronto Downtown Dingos going on to win the Grand Final over finals surprise Lakeshore. It would have been a fairytale finish for the Rebels, who came from 5th on the ladder to challenge for the flag. In the Preliminary Final they knocked off traditional powerhouse the Toronto Eagles 70 points to 37, after having beaten Etobicoke by less than a goal the week before. That knocked Etobicoke out of the finals, with successive losses of less than one straight kick. The Dingos' path to the premiership decider was easier, with a bye for finishing top then a win then another week's rest. However the Dingos' victory over the Eagles was by just 7 points, so Lakeshore had every reason to think they were a chance of an upset in the Grand Final, and it certainly went down to the wire.
US power club the Denver Bulldogs have won their fourth-straight national title at the US Nationals held in Milwaukee on the weekend. Denver defeated Milwaukee in the Division One Final 4.8.32 to 1.1.7, although San Diego notably also performed very strongly in the group.
In Division 2, the Golden Gate Roos defeated Philadelphia 7.3.45 to 1.4.10 - Orange County narrowly missing the Division 2 final after originally being seeded in division 1.
Division 3 saw a strong Vancouver side miss out on the final after a border-crossing delay stopped them arriving for their first match - Minnesota eventually defeating Baton Rouge 4.3.27 to 3.3.21 for the title.