Tash Gunawardana interviewed AFLW player Sally Riley who is the joint vice captain of the Adelaide Crows. Riley was part of the first AFLW premiership in 2017 and is now a one-time premiership player at the Adelaide Crows.
Which AFL player past and/or current do you model your game on? Sam Mitchell and his clean hands, decision making and disposal efficiency as he lacks leg speed similar to myself.
Who has influenced your footy and sporting career the most?
My parents have been my biggest influence on my sporting career and involvement in sporting teams. To this day they still encourage me to do what I love and to give everything 100%. Football wise Andrew Hodges has been a coach and mentor of mine for a few years now and he has taught me an unbelievable amount.
One of the world’s biggest overseas youth tournaments, the Oceania Cup was hosted at Albert Park in the Fijian capital of Suva this past week, with the hometown Fiji Tribe defeating Nauru in the grand final to take home the bragging rights.
The week began with a lightning football tournament in round-robin format, featuring the teams from Fiji, Vanuatu, and the representative side the Pacific All-Stars. The Vanuatu Volcanoes were the early surprise of the tournament, winning the first two matches convincingly over their Fijian hosts and the All-Stars.
Located in the far north of Australia, the Pyramid Power club – 25 kilometres south of Cairns – is no stranger to doing things a little differently. They have to. The club sits in Rugby League terrain and has to be extremely adept at finding ways to recruit, develop and maintain people – both on and off the field. That battle isn’t unique to Pyramid Power, but their latest project to develop this area is – and may be a blueprint for other clubs seeking ways to engage with community.
Back in 2012, the club launched their Brother Clubs Project – which was simply an invitation to clubs world-wide to be “brothers” – nothing more or less – as a way of bringing teams and people closer together. The idea still exists – friends remain friends, brothers remain brothers. But a part of that concept has now been applied closer to their home. The Pyramid Power Community Program again sees the club reaching out a hand of friendship to others in a way not often seen.
Unlike some places in the world where sport is played in winter in alarming conditions (see photo of fans in the grandstands at an American Football match – no idea what happened to the players), those involved in Australian Rules football across Europe have hunkered down in front of heaters or fires waiting for next season. With the latest round of the CNFA season done, we now wait for the thaw for the next sirens to sound.
However, AFL Europe have already got a smorgasbord of competitions lined up for next year, on top of all of the national and regional leagues that will gradually come to life.
First cab off the rank is the 2018 Fitzpatrick Cup in Ireland. To be played on 3rd February at the University College Cork, the UCC Bombers will be keen to go back-to-back, having taken titles last year and also the inaugural title in 2013. The University of Birmingham won the event in 2015 and 2016 and will be a strong chance again, but 2018 might also unearth a new champion.
The Bahrain Suns’ dream of re-entering the AFL Middle East competition has taken another couple of positive steps. Not only has the club released its new club logo (see image – top left), but it have also been invited to send a team to Muscat, in Oman, to compete in the Lightning Cup in January 2018.
Whilst the Suns have shared their moniker with the Gold Coast Suns, the logo itself is an original, rather than design to make the logo and club apparel stand out with a Bahrain flavour, rather than taking on the Gold Coast Suns’ emblem in a revised format.
Now the search is on for players, coaches and umpires to make the journey to Oman for the event, to be played on 19th January at the ABA/Rugby Club Ground in Al Khuwair, Muscat. Whilst the opportunity by no means guarantees that the Bahrain club will be a part of the 2018/19 AFL Middle East competition, their ability to be in Muscat will certainly help accelerate the process.
To many, the draw between Palmerston Magpies and Waratah rates as an upset. Certainly, few would have expected that the bottom team would get up and share the points with the team that has recently impressed so many. However, that is at face value. Digging a little further, there is evidence that Palmerston was due for a win – and when you are the bottom team, a win against any team higher could be seen as an upset.
But, digging into the eight defeats this year for the ‘Pies, their average losing margin is just 39 points – which is low for a bottom team. Their biggest defeat of the season was last weekend by 65 points against Nightcliff. Also, most of their defeats can be traced back to one poor quarter (or a little more) where concentration dropped and the opposition got off the chain. It suggests that any time Palmerston can put together four solid quarters they are a capable unit.
Whilst the ALFA Lions look back in despair at the vagaries of football – premiers last season and possibly missing finals altogether this season – the Toulouse Hawks and Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes have all but guaranteed their finals placings after the weekend’s matches in France. With all teams now set to enjoy the winter hiatus, much planning and soul-searching will take place between now and early March when matches resume.
The Toulouse Hawks did not take long to flex their muscle over the Perpignan Tigers. Leading 51 to 13 at the first break, the Hawks powered to a 10 goal half time lead (80-20). By three-quarter time the lead had blown out to 96 points. The Tigers fought back in the final quarter to keep the damage to a 106-point defeat. Final scores saw Toulouse Hawks 153 to Perpignan Tigers 47.
Tash Gunawardana interviewed AFLW player Kate Shierlaw who played one season in AFL London for the Wimbledon Hawks and now plays for Carlton in the AFLW after being rookie selected in the inaugural 2017 AFLW season.
What made you choose Women’s footy over Women’s basketball?
I have always been obsessed with footy but never saw a pathway for women. The footy opportunity was a very lucky one for me and just being in the right place at the right time over in London. Basketball has provided me with a very good grounding for footy and it wasn’t about choosing one over the other, more about the opportunity that was presented to be able to play a sport I love at the highest level.
In a dawning of a new era for football clubs and franchises worldwide, the Essendon Football Club has entered into the arena of eSports. The following article comes directly from the club’s website and details the concept and rationale behind it as the club continues to explore new and exciting ways to develop new markets into the future.
Essendon Football Club has acquired a professional eSports team and will compete in the League of Legends, Oceanic Pro League and Oceanic Challenger League next year.
In partnership with Executive Sports and Entertainment (ESE), the Club has secured the licence of top tier eSports team, Abyss, and will relocate the team to Melbourne.
The operations and management of the team will be fully integrated as a division of the Essendon Football Club, with a new name, brand and logo to be established.
South America's newest Australian Rules football team, the Bogotá Bulldogs, are gearing up for a huge 2018. As reigning champions of South America, they have twice won the Andes Cup against the Santiago Saints from Chile. They are now gearing up to go bigger and better for 2018, and their video is helping to spread that message.
Marc McGowan from the www.afl.com.au website looks at the success of Darwin-based club – St Mary’s – in producing some of the greatest AFL players of all time – and plenty of other useful footballers. World Footy News reports regularly on the Northern Territory Football League, and many people Australia-wide are becoming more familiar with the NT talent, as well as one of the country’s most successful football clubs.
Those five words are the catchcry of the bloodlines-rich St Mary's Football Club, home to the legendary Rioli and Long clans, in the Northern Territory.
A club formed in 1952 as somewhere for Darwin-based Tiwi Islanders to play – and initially rejected for having a team of mostly "full-blood" Aboriginals – has blossomed into one of Australia's most successful.
My first brush with a coach, apart from what I saw on television, was a bloke called Barry Burke. He played for Clayton, then in the Federal League, in suburban Melbourne. My Dad sometimes took me out to the quarter-time or half time breaks to “have a listen” to the coach. Apart from a requisite amount of swearing to motivate his team (stunning repartee was not one of his strengths), one catch-cry stuck. He would yell, “Do as I say, not as I do!” It was sound advice because he never set the world on fire on the field, but he did manage to yell a lot, and that seemed to work.
My own Dad was my next coaching experience. He took on the Under 11 B team, which I was in. There was no such thing as a free ride with Dad. If I played and trained well enough, I was in the 20. If I didn’t, I ran the boundary or water. For five years, Dad was my own John Kennedy or Ron Barassi. Later, he would become good friends with Tommy Hafey…but more on that later.