Like many young Samoans growing up in Queensland, 15-year-old Lamont Kalolo grew up playing rugby league, even making it to the Under-14 junior representative level. But unlike many of his Polynesian cohorts, he’s chosen to give Aussie rules a go instead.
“(AFL) really boosted my confidence. It made me think that maybe there’s something more if I keep doing this,” Kalolo said in a recent interview with the Courier-Mail.
A natural athlete who plays at both full-forward and centre half-forward, Kalolo’s hard work is getting him places -- specifically, a spot at the Brisbane Lions AFL Academy program.
Since the early days of the USAFL, American players have travelled to Australia to bathe in the full experience of being at an Aussie rules football club in Australia. Most come to play the game at the highest level they can, some are happy just to play a game anywhere, while others will consult a USAFL team mate from Australia to hook them up with their old club.
Probably the most successful of those players (on a long term playing basis at state level) who came to Australia on their own initiative is Alex Aurrichio. Originally Aurrichio attended an AFL combine in LA before playing footy with the New York Magpies. He then came to Australia, worked around a number of clubs before ending up at Carlton’s VFL affiliate the Northern Blues where he played multiple seasons before moving to the SANFL and NEAFL leagues.
The AFLW season may be over in Australia, but the competition is just kicking off in Germany.
While other neighboring countries like France and Switzerland have long been a key part of women's footy in Europe, the Berlin Crocodiles and the Rhein-Main Redcats are leading the charge in the inaugural season for AFLW Germany.
The Redcats recently formed as a merger of Rheinland and Frankfurt women's teams; a combined ten players from the Frankfurt and Berlin sides have represented their country internationally, including at last year's AFL Euro Cup in Cork, Ireland.
I had watched some AFL highlights on YouTube at that point and was instantly intrigued by Aussie rules: the pace of the game, the unique skills, and the all-around athleticism required to play it were all extremely appealing to me. I didn’t know much at the time, but I knew I wanted to get involved.
Angus Boyle from www.afleurope.org has compiled the following review of the 2019 ANZAC Cup played in Villers-Bretonneux as well as a look at the pre and post events connected with the occasion. To read the original article, go to: https://afleurope.org/2019-anzac-cup-week-review-2/
Another fantastic ANZAC Cup took place on Saturday afternoon thanks to Major Partner National Australia Bank. The 11th edition of the tournament saw two fast, contested matches highlight the quality of both sides and the connection between the two countries.
After arriving on Wednesday to be part of the ANZAC Day commemorations and spend time in Villers-Bretonneux, the Australian Spirit team played the French Gauloises in the women’s at 12 pm before the French Coqs battled the Australian Spirit in the men’s at 2 pm.
The AFLCNE returned to kick-off the 2019 season on Sunday with the Huddersfield Rams hosting the Manchester Mosquitoes at the picturesque Lockwood Park.
The Mozzies were out of the blocks early and took a four goal to one lead at quarter time.
The second quarter was an onfield massacre and the Mozzies lead by 94 points at half time. The final score of Manchester 217 to Huddersfield 35 did not fully reflect the competitiveness of the Rams, but the Manchester team were a class above on the day.
Manchester and GB Bulldogs sharpshooter Andy Walkden broke the club's goalkicking record with 15 goals for the match.
Football networks have formed a world wide web of their own. It was really the growth of the internet that allowed expats to make footy a reality outside Australia as they found each other and were boosted by new footy lovers who also used the boundless information on the game on their computer screens. The growth is far from over though and there are plenty of new connections to be made.
One of the most inspiring this year is the Bogota Bulldogs who have reached out to North America, and this past weekend were visited by USAFL powerhouse team the Austin Crows. Regardless of the result the Crows should be lauded for travelling down to Bogota. While they were there of course they claimed the "Champion of the Americas" title with the Fossil Cup.
The locals left gave their all on the field against the reigning US champs and came out the other side holding their heads high. And overall the club were great hosts, and setup a great schedule of social and cultural exchange that should encourage other US teams to make the journey to the southern continent.
The Bogota "Wujeres" women's team is growing and the club is looking forward to their next web building experience playing against the Denver Bulldogs in men and women's competition on the weekend of May 18th.
The earlier game in Dublin on the weekend saw the Irish Universities Women’s team take on the Great Britain Universities. The following brief account of the match certainly shows that the women’s football scene in Ireland is set to grow further and quickly with the talent coming from the Universities team.
The Irish Banshees national team has been a women’s powerhouse, and standard-bearer, for many years and the West Clare Waves have dominated women’s team tournaments across Europe in recent times.
However, if anything, the universities challenge has created and enhanced even more talent pathways, and the Great Britain Universities team have seen first-hand the power coming from Ireland.
The inaugural clash between the Irish Universities and the Great Britain NUL All Stars (National University League) took place in Dublin this weekend. The concept is almost the “lovechild’ of the Fitzpatrick Cup and the NUL, bringing the best of years and years of university football development to an international level.
Many years of hard work has gone into the development of the game at university level across Great Britain and Ireland, with many people involved in the journey – and the success. To see this tournament come to fruition is testament to their hard work and passion. In many ways, the teams that took their field did so as much about recognising that effort as it was about the result.
In the end, the Great Britain team outlasted the Irish by just three points in a thriller.