For those unaware, I have made the decision for a variety of family and personal reasons to step aside from my role writing for World Footy News. After eight years in the role, I needed to move on to a more family-based lifestyle. However, footy goes on - just look at how the AFL is still finding ways to keep running despite the ongoing threats associated with COVID-19. Footy worldwide is in a period of low activity, but that will change.
Likewise, World Footy News will continue to adapt to the changing world around it. Whilst personnel and content may change, the roles of the website - to help promote Australian Football as it grows across the world through positive reporting - will remain. The website has always attempted to do what no others have done - try and cover the game at a global level, opening up as many connections as possible to ensure the footy world remain aware of how the game is growing and where.
Many websites report on their own parts of the world, but only World Footy News has continued to write original stories, or share those of others.
The AFL community is stunned by the announcement today that Essendon’s Irish speedster, Conor McKenna, has tested positive to the coronavirus. Details are still sketchy, with further medical investigation and contact research to occur, but AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan announced today that tomorrow’s Essendon v Melbourne match will be postponed.
The precaution is in line with the AFL’s COVID-19 protocols, with a postponement decision meaning that the match can potentially be played mid-week later in the season. Shorter quarters were brought in by the AFL to lessen the playing load on players in the event that postponements did occur, which is now the case.
Initial fears that McKenna brought the disease with him from overseas, after returning home to Ireland just a few weeks ago, have been allayed somewhat. McLachlan stated that McKenna tested negative last Wednesday, showed a “low grade irregularity” on Friday and a positive this morning. This would indicate that he may have contracted the disease since returning to Australia.
The following is an extract from an AFL Europe story by James Brosnan at www.afleurope.org looking at the development and future of the Waterland Eagles – the newest AFL Netherlands team. It is a part of AFL Europe’s “Newest Team In Town” column looking at up and coming clubs across Europe.
THE Waterland Eagles are back training following the COVID-19 lockdown and hoping to go one better when the AFL Netherlands season commences later this year.
The Eagles finished their debut season in the grand final of the Dutch competition, losing to current European Champions, the Amsterdam Devils.
The Eagles were full of enthusiasm heading into their second competitive season as a club and have been encouraged by three weeks of training post lockdown according to Eagles president, Neil Cooke.
For decades, the AFL’s 18 clubs have survived due to two key factors – television rights and supporter membership. The Perpignan Tigers in southern France have opted to take a leaf from the AFL’s book and attract their own members.
This is a first in France where a club has turned to its own supporters to become members of the club and help support the club financially.
As noted by the club, traditional sponsorship for clubs has become very difficult in COVID-19 times. Businesses all over the world, and certainly in France, are doing things tough. Many are simply unable to operate at all and with no revenue they don’t have the ability to set aside funds for sponsoring. Other businesses have put off staff and trimmed back every possible cost to try and remain viable.
Since the arrival of the most recent coronavirus, Australian Football (also known as Aussie Rules) has captured the imagination of sport fans worldwide, particularly in the United States of America. With their own sporting codes on indefinite hiatus until the threats of COVID-19 disappear, cable and television networks have been showing our unique Australian game.
The audiences have been growing exponentially and a look through Twitter reveals a large amount of people raving about the game – its hardness, its skills and its speed. New fans are even seeking advice on what is the best AFL club to support. One pattern, however, in all of this feedback has been the amount of times people have been asking for an explanation of the rules and how the game works – the logic behind everything that lights up the screen once the ball is bounced.
Having been involved in most facets of the game myself for over 50 years, I felt it might be of value for me to have a stab at “Explaining Aussie Rules”.
I doubt that there has ever been a Round 2 of a season that has carried such a weight of expectation, whether that be at the highest level of the AFL, or the suburban juniors anywhere around the world. Yet, Collingwood and Richmond have played in one of the most, dare I say, important matches in many, many years.
Pitting two great traditional clubs against each other certainly raised the excitement. The canned applause was for the most art innocuous, although at times the crowd appeared to be cheering the wrong thing. That’s technology! The mere spectacle of a game – a live game - returning to the lounge-rooms across the world raised spirits.
However, more important that any of the above, arguably, is the fact that the ‘Pies and Tige’s are the catalyst for a new footy beginning. The fact that they both entered the field of battle tonight heralds what will come.
The Australian Football world on both sides of the Pacific Ocean is in mourning at the news that former New York Magpie, Alex Aurrichio, has been killed in a car accident near Darwin. Aurrichio stands as one of the earlier pioneers of the wave of Americans coming to Australia over the past decade to pursue Aussie Rules careers.
The 198cm giant ruckman was involved in a cycling collision with a car neat Howard Springs, to the east of Darwin. The thirty-year old left his native New York in 2015 to chase his dream of making it in the AFL.
Lured to the game whilst playing for the New York Magpies, Aurrichio decided to throw the dice and try his luck in Australia. The Carlton Football Club had been impressed enough to sign the athletic and huge framed ruckman – the club at the time stating that they saw no novelty value in signing the American as his body could already stand up to the biggest bodies in the VFL/AFL system. He worked tirelessly on his skills to improve his chances.
Of course, All Lives Matter. However, gatherings across the world have been raising awareness to the fact that black lives are a part of that statement and deserve recognition to be included within the term “All”. As a show of respect and support, the following list shows the names of indigenous Australian men and women who have played at VFL, AFL or AFLW level.
Winston Abraham, Matthew Ahmat, Robert AhMat, Joe Anderson, Tony Armstrong, Jarrod Atkinson, Les Bamblett, Chance Bateman, Laurie Bellotti, Harley Bennell, Jamie Bennell, Eddie Betts, Peter Bird, Alan Bloomfield, Ashley Blurton, Shane Bond, Troy Bond, Peter Burgoyne, Shaun Burgoyne, Ronnie Burns, Norm Byron, Barry Cable, Shane Cable, Fred Campbell, Matt Campbell, Warren Campbell, Kevin Caton, Sean Charles, Scott Chisholm, Allen Christensen, Raphael Clarke, Xavier Clarke, Eric Clarke, Che Cockatoo-Collins, David Cockatoo-Collins , Donald Cockatoo-Collins, Adam Cockie, Richard Cole, Clayton Collard, Cyril Collard, Reuben Cooper, Anthony Corrie, Shannon Cox, Percy Cummings, Robert Cummings, Trent Cummings,
Back in 1978, the crowd at Kardinia Park in Geelong held its collective breath as North Melbourne’s Keith Greig fearlessly ran at a high ball on the wing. Coming the other way was Geelong’s Ray Card. Greig never wavered or looked at anything but the ball. Card saw trouble coming and changed to a side on shirtfront – hammering Greig and knocking him senseless.
Back then it was considered a brave act by all parties. Today, the same move would result in suspension (consider Shane Mumford’s hit a few years back against Geelong’s Mitch Duncan…some eerie similarities).
In different eras, each represents the brutality of our game. Whilst the rules that define what constitutes legal and illegal tackles have changed, the ferociousness of players and courage have not.
What made the Greig/Card hit more memorable was that it headlined football media just three years after the tragic hit at the Western Oval in 1975 when Footscray’s Neil Sachse was left a quadlaplegic after a horror collision with Fitzroy’s Kevin O’Keefe.
A smidgen or a glimpse of some Good News for Footy?
Trawling Footy websites to see how teams ,clubs, leagues and nations are coping with or surviving the shut down of sport and footy because of the Covid 19 pandemic and have come across a couple of situations where planning for a reopening of footy is being seriously considered.
AFL Japanare looking to restart with the following matches scheduled for late September - Eastern Hawks v Tokyo Goannas and Senshu Powers v Tokyo Bay Suns.
No actual date is set as yet as an early September start may be on the cards if health authorities lift restrictions in August or earlier. AFL Japan have ruled out an August start as they feel hot weather/temperature may impact too severely thru lack of training.
AFL Vietnam are about to start training in June with sessions in Hanoi on Saturdays, 10am at Phuc Xa Football Field and in Saigon also on Saturdays, 10am at Salo Fields, District 2. AFL Vietnam also indicate that initial planning is underway for several events later in the second half of the year.