As leagues across Europe and the world respond to the threat of Coronavirus, AFL Ireland has just announced it's own measures. In a statement released today, AFL Ireland states:
"In light of recent events, AFL Ireland and AFL Ireland Women's will be following the Government's guidelines and suspending all activity at club, university and international level until March 29th at the earliest.
We will be taking an all island approach to protect all our members on the island of Ireland.
This includes all games, training sessions and scheduled events.
We will continue to follow the guidelines during this ever changing period and will assess the impact these measures have on our competitions and events.
We encourage all of our members to continue to follow the guidelines laid out by the health authorities."
The first leg of Europe’s newest competition, the Western European Australian Football Women’s League (WEWL) was played last weekend with the French Gallia Cup incorporated into the competition and marking the starting point.
The Gallia Cup in its own right commenced in 2019, bringing together an invitation for women’s teams across Europe to play in the premier women’s competition. Designed initially for French women “to put the spotlight on women’s football in France”, last year’s incarnation would see teams from Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany and France unite.
After an enthralling 2019/20 season, the NTFL has crowned the Nightcliff Tigers premiers after they outlasted St Mary’s at TIO Stadium. The premiership win makes it back-to-back titles for the Tigers in a season that they dominated with just two defeats across the journey.
One of those defeats was two weeks ago when they lost their second semi-final to St Mary’s in a shock loss. Nightcliff then had to negotiate a dangerous Southern Districts Crocs in last weekend’s Preliminary Final, which they did to set up a rematch with Saints.
It is the club’s fifth flag and their second since breaking a 54-year drought to win last year’s title. Since taking the wooden spoon back in 2010/11, the Tigers have rebuilt wisely to now be the benchmark for the NTFL competition.
A grand day out for the Multiplex Bulls has seen the club win its second AFL Middle East premiership, going back to back to take the 2019/20 title after taking their maiden flag last season. Their victory over former powerhouse, the Dubai Dragons, has seen the Bulls usher in their own potential dynasty.
After enduring four consecutive grand final losses to the Dragons after their entry to the competition for the 2014/15 season, the revenge has been all the sweeter for the Bulls. Now with two flags banked, the club will be set to build even further.
The Bulls went into the clash as clear favourites after the Dragons clawed their way into the grand final downing the previously second-placed Aby Dhabi Falcons. Prior to that, the Dragons endured a horrid 100+ point loss to the Bulls. The Bulls lost just one game across the season – against the Dragons in Round 1. Since then they had dominated the competition.
As the AFL in Australia grapples with the measures needed to contain the spread of coronavirus, leagues across the world are having to deal with the same realisations. Yesterday, reports from AFL House in Melbourne suggested that the AFL is considering a range of moves.
Already, the decision to play with no crowds has been made, largely driven by the government decisions to ban crowds from attending events above 500 people. This weekend’s AFLW matches went ahead with the almost surreal quietness of empty stadiums – the only sounds coming from the players and officials on sidelines.
Thursday night’s season opener between Richmond and Carlton is still planned to go ahead without crowds. However, this might also change as early as Round 2 should the AFL act on government decisions and medical advice to bring even stronger measures into place.
A hot second half from Carlton steered them to a 16-point victory over Melbourne in a must win Conference B clash at TIO Traeger Oval on Saturday night.
It was only the Dees second loss of the season.
The Dees only led in the first and second quarters, as in the second half the Blues were simply outstanding keeping the Dees to three behinds and kicking four unanswered goals in the second half to notch up the win 6.4 (40) to 3.6 (24).
It was the Blues fourth consecutive win, as they defeated Western Bulldogs, Adelaide Crows and St Kilda and are sitting second in Conference B equal with the ladder leaders, Fremantle.
With two rounds left till finals, the Blues are well in contention for finals.
Avec l'achèvement de la cinquième manche de la compétition CNFA en France, les Lions ALFA sont revenus à la charge de Premier ministre avec une puissante victoire de 35 points sur les Toreadors de Bayonne, qui n'avaient jamais été battus. La victoire place les Lions à la troisième place, à seulement deux tours de la finals.
Le match, disputé à Lyon, a été une formidable opportunité pour les Lions de prendre de la vitesse. Cette victoire, et potentiellement un autre tour suivant contre les Antony Blues, pourrait voir les Lions confirmés pour la finale.
Dans une saison où il n'y a pas d'équipe unique, tous les finalistes penseraient qu'ils ont une excellente opportunité de remporter le Premier ministre Leo Lagrange 2019/20.
What a great spectacle of women's footy, round 5 was.
It started with Geelong winning their second match in a row, North Melbourne signalling to the rest of the competition that they are the team to beat with their thumping defeat of the reigning premiers, but there were also massive wins from other teams contending for finals including Carlton, GWS Giants, Collingwood and Melbourne.
Also, it was an exciting end to the round with the Lions taking it right up to the unbeaten Dockers.
With the finals near, expect the three remaining rounds to be played at a higher intensity as the season ramps up with a number of teams still in contention for finals spots.
In a statement today from the Essendon Football Club’s Chief Executive, Xavier Campbell, the strongest sign yet was given that the club and the Greater Western Sydney Giants (GWS) would head to the USA.
According to a member release, “we are exploring, in partnership with the Greater Western Sydney Giants, the opportunity to showcase the game of AFL for premiership points in the United States, more specifically in the San Francisco or Los Angeles areas at some point over the next 24 months.”
“Plans and discussions are very much in their infancy, but talks have revolved around the relocation of a GWS home game, with the opportunity to position the match as one of the early marquee games of the premiership season.”
Today's AFLW 4.0 feature is on Fremantle Dockers women's player Kate Flood.
Dockers are the only undefeated team in the competition and sit atop of the Conference B ladder.
Flood was signed as a 2019 rookie signing by the Dockers.
"It was sort of a dream moment that you don't really get, to say it was a dream of mine growing up would be a lie I suppose, but it was just absolutely amazing and an opportunity I guess I couldn't really turn it down," she said.
Flood is just so blessed and grateful that she gets to play in the AFLW.
As the AFL grapples with the magnitude of the current Coronavirus pandemic, moves are afoot in Cairns to relocate the proposed China match to the northern Australian city.
The Round 12 clash between Port Adelaide and St Kilda was again scheduled to be the showcase match in Shanghai as the AFL continues to grow the Chinese market. However, the spread of the disease across China and the world has alarm bells ringing in all spheres of life, including football.
Whilst the AFL is yet to make a decision on whether the Shanghai match goes ahead, the league is in negotiations with alternative venues to host the game. Whilst there are likely to be other major AFL venues available across that weekend, notably May 31st which was the scheduled date of the clash, Cairns is seeking the opportunity to act as the new host should Shanghai lose the match.