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Australian Football
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GreenFox
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 7:18 am    Post subject: Australian Football Reply with quote

Anybody likes it? I think it's much better and more entertaining than rugby or American Football! Razz
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Eagles1
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally agree,
Much better spectacle than a lot of sports. We do watch a lot of sport in our house, however Aussie Rules is the one.
We follow the West Coast Eagles based in Perth.

Anybody got any questions about the game?
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2003 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will post some stuff about the background etc of Aussie Rules Football
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What is Australian Rules Football
Australian Rules Football (Also "Aussie Rules") is a physical contact sport. It is a form of football with roots traceable from early forms of Rugby and Gaelic football, but it is uniquely Australian. Its rules were codified in 1858, and probably predate all other modern forms of football, such as American, Canadian, Rugby Union and League, Association (Soccer) and Gaelic football. Today it is a multi-million dollar business in Australia, with a National Competition (Australian Football League) and numerous smaller State leagues. Interest in the game is generally at an all time high (6.3 million season attendance in 2003) within Australia, yet despite this, some parts of Australia are still lukewarm in support of their team in the AFL. The game is not well known outside Australia, however this situation is slowly changing as it spreads Internationally.
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gkavner
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2003 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Australian Football is heavily derived from Rugby. One of the 2 men credited with creating the game (Tom Wills) attended Rugby school in England and brought a few Rugby balls back to Melbourne with him. He was also a leading player of Cricket at the time.

The middle class appeal of Rugby translated well into "white-skinned" British colonies as opposed to Soccer which had always been a game of the masses. One book "Tom Brown's Schooldays" was a massive best seller in the antipodean colonies around that time which was written about contemporary life at Rugby School. The book describes the early game of Rugby in detail (NB read this book and you will learn why a "try" is called a "try" in Rugby). Melbourne people flocked to Rugby games in massive numbers from that time on (c. 1850's).

When the first British Rugby team toured they played more games under "Victorian Rules" than they did under the rules of Rugby! The two games are still quite similar. In Australian Football a maul is formed when the ball gets stuck in a "pack" of players. Nowadays the umpire takes the ball and throws it in the air to clear the congestion (a "ball up") but in the early days the players formed a rugby style ruck and had to fight for possession of the ball as in modern day Rugby.

Of course the two games developed differently over the 150 years since and are very different (AFL has no "off side" or "forward pass"). American Football similarly still includes a "scrimmage" which harks back to a Rugby "scrum".

Australian football is totally dominant over all other football codes in the following states of Australia: Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia. It is probably the most popular code in the Northern Territory and is played widely in the ACT (though it is certainly now behind Rugby League and Union there). It has a presence in New South Wales and Queensland but the depth of the sport there is shallow. And no, it will never take over from the Rugby codes there!

It was once played strongly in the South Island of New Zealand but is now a very, very minor sport (I know, I lived there in 1993... it was VERY hard to get any AFL information). For example, the NZ Herald published weekly reults in very small type every Monday but they called North Melbourne "Norths" (a Rugby term)... D'OH!! There is an AFL league there but it is similar in popularity to Gridiron football in Australia: virtually unnoticed!

And in other parts of the world? Well, apart from expat Aussies the sport is ZERO AND IT IS NOT "GETTING MORE POPULAR"!! It cannot be stressed strongly enogh... the guy who says it is picking up OS probably lives in Melbourne and wants to believe the AFL line on the whole thing.

The only exceptions are thus: in the small pacific island of Nauru Australian football IS the major sport. But so what? to all AFL lovers in Australia anwer me this: can you name ONE player or club from Nauru? Didn't think so!!

And Ireland is aware of AFL because of the hotly contested cross code experimental game between the best in Australia and the best in Ireland. Over the years AFL clubs have lured some Irish Gaelic players to Melbourne to try out for the AFL and there has been some amazingly successful Irish players (most notably Jim Stynes who won the 1991 Brownlow Medal for best player in the AFL that year). But the Gaelic game is TOO different for the Irish or Aussies to change there games enough for the combined sports to take root in each place. I don't know how much attention the average Irish person pays to the AFL. If I were them though I would much prefer watching the Ireland national team/players do as well as they have done in Soccer recently! I mean, how can the AFL compete with that?

Don't get me wrong, I love the AFL but it is firmly an AUSTRALIA-ONLY game and always will be. That means that Rugby codes will never make it in Melbourne. In fact in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth Soccer is easily bigger than the Rugby codes, with a real depth of support and playes (especially juniors).

**If you want to read about the early history of Aussie Rules read "A game of our own" by Geoffrey Blainey. He is a distinguished Australian historian and it is a fantastic book!
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In reply to Gkavners post I will not make any comment as such, however will post some more stuff for all the sports fans out there. These articles are my reply to his comments, "which are only his opinions", as my postings are.
Draw your own conclusions sports fans- but this game "is" going to spread Internationally.
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In August 2002 11 countries arrived in Melbourne Australia to compete in The International Cup, for Australian Rules Football.
This was the inaugural competition, and was the result of a lot of hard work behind the scenes.
The teams were from –USA, Canada, Great Britain, Denmark, Ireland, South Africa, Japan, New Zealand, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa.
The players had to pay their own way to Oz, and were all “home grown” –No Expat Aussies were/will be allowed.
The favourites were NZ and PNG. This was based on the solid organizations- Juniors to Seniors- in their home countries.
The games were played on suburban grounds around Melbourne, and had some media coverage.
The final between Ireland and Papua New Guinea was played at the MCG on a cold Friday night before the main AFL game.
Ireland won the final and took the Cup home.
General opinion was the Irish boys because of their Gaelic Football background played a very fast play on game and the PNG team played typically a more physical game, because a lot of the kids when growing up play the Rugby Codes and Aussie Rules.
Have kept this report brief because it is now history and shows what is to come in future years, leading to eventually a “World Cup” type competition.
The next Cup is scheduled for June 2005 in Melbourne. Depending on finances up to 15 countries may enter.
………………………………………………………………………………………
News
Aussie Rules introduced into India.
The first training sessions were held recently in September (2003) in New Dehli and another major centre.
The total attendance was about 100 participants.
Brian Clarke of the IAFC who was invited to India and held the sessions, commented that ---They had a Rugby League ball to use at first, but was soon replaced with our ball, when I explained the differences.
Ironically India makes Aussie Rules footballs used in Oz.
The Indian Amateur Football Association has put into place a solid structure covering all of the regions of India, and with Indian Business and Govt funding intends to send a team to play in 2004 in Oz, against whatever appropriate opposition can be found here.
The IAFA has signalled it intends to introduce the game into Pakistan and Nepal.
The big attraction of India is one billion people and plenty of empty cricket grounds in the off season, and they worship Donald Bradman as well in the cricket world, so Australia is well known.
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Some more background on Australian Rules Football for the sportsfans out there who do not know about our great game------------
When is the AFL season played?
Games usually start in the Premiership season in the last weekend of March, and continue through until the end of August. (Each Club plays 22 matches)The Finals then start, culminating in the Grand Final on the last Saturday in September.

A pre-season tournament (The Wizard Cup) with the majority of games being played at night, is played from late February to the last week before the regular season begins. From 2004 on Wizard Cup games will be held in every State and Territory. This is to satisfy demand from the growing legions of fans around the Country.

Saturday afternoon was the traditional game time, but now AFL games are played on Friday nights, Saturday afternoons and evenings and Sunday afternoons and evenings. Games are also scheduled on public holidays. Games from 2004 will be held in every State and Territory. This is to satisfy demand from the growing legions of fans around the Country.
An end of season AFL exhibition game is held every year in London, England at The Oval, a famous cricket ground.
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News

NZAFL Manager appointed.
Rob Malone Football Manager of the West Perth Football Club confirmed that he had been appointed General Manager of the New Zealand Australian Football League.
Rob Malone replaces Colin Tincknell who resigned for family reasons last month(October). Colin oversaw a big expansion in junior numbers/ clubs in NZ in his 3 yr tenure.
The position is partially funded by the AFL, however the NZAFL reports it is now in a profit situation and expects to be in the future.
It is thought that NZ under age teams will join similar comps in Oz in circa 2005.
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gkavner
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2003 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My previous post was meant to be an indication of the DEPTH of Australian Football penetration in other countries, not the BREADTH.

What I mean by this is that it is all well and good fot a handful of ex-pats and adventurous locals to start up ANY sport but beyond this handfull the majority would remain ignorant.

For an example of what I mean check out this review, which is from a British site, remembering that Britain is one of the most "advanced" of AFL countries outside of Australia... http://www.pcgameplay.co.uk/reviews/sport/aussierules/aussie.htm

As any fan of soccer in Australia would know, it is one thing to get people playing a sport (more soccer juniors in Australia than Aussie rules and both Rugby codes combined) but quite another to get the "masses" to take any sort of notice at all.

The AFL is massively popular but one disturbing aspect of the dominance of the AFL in Australia is that, by introducing teams from the traditional football states of South and Western Australia, the whole sport rests on the popularity of the AFL alone. When I was a kid we got excited when Glenelg or Swan Districts, etc would play against "our" Victorian teams. They were from a mysterious "foreign" league with unknown grounds and players. It added a layer of depth. State of Origin football also meant something.

Now there are no layers of depth. There is the MEGA AFL and then... pretty much nothing. The crowds in formerly strong leagues like the WAFL and SANFL are a fraction of what they used to be. No wonder the AFL is looking OS to try and bulk-up the game.

They know something which chills the bones of the one-eyed Aussie Rules fan: The whole sport rests on the shoulders of the AFL... if it loses popularity, the whole sport loses popularity. If it dies, the whole sport dies.

But don't worry Eagles1, as a former Victorian (now living in Canberra) I can assure you that Aussie Rules in Australia will never die!

I don't think it has much more than token growth left in it either, though.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2003 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In reply to Gkavners last post, will make the following comments.
There is no doubt he has made up his mind that Aussie Rules has no future overseas because of lack of "depth" and that the AFL in Oz is reaching or has reached its limit of expansion.
I think there is quite a bit of "cultural cringe" throughout his comments. To explain that phrase ---There are quite a few Australians that believe anything created in Oz is of little or no value to the country or to the world.

The biggest problem to overcome in overseas countries, including Australia is the "Soccer Mum phenomena".
Australian Mums do not want little Johnny and Mary to play contact sport football. So they direct their kids to Soccer, which is perceived as being non-contact, which has created huge amounts of juniors playing that game until 17years old then they switch sports or drop out. Aussie Rules has a less of a problem with that issue. In the over 20 yrs market our game is number one.

To answer the "depth" comment will offer the USA as a future example.
USA - pop 290 million. Huge sporting market. Aussie Rules introduced circa 1996 -3 clubs. In 2003 -41 clubs plus metro league clubs and growing. Big push on Juniors now underway.
Will post US vision for 2004. Here we have a league only running for 7 years that will not make the errors of Soccer and Rugby Union in that country. Once all of their programs reach "critical mass", the game will take off. Does this look like a league that will not have depth. Make up your own mind sports fans.
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US Footy Vision
2004 Goals
• Break the 1300 games played barrier
• Staff USFootyKids with two full time staff members
• Finish program in the Black with the aid of a sponsor
• Launch USFootyKids internship program
• Sell 2500+ USFootyKids backpacks
• Host the 2004 Atlantic Alliance Cup
• Continue to improve the REVOLUTION in all aspects
• Full streaming of USAFL games on the web
• Increase membership to 5000 players
• Increase Supporter membership to 2000 with a data log
• Register 2500 juniors on a national data base
• Conduct 3500 USFootyKids classes
• Introduction of the Northern American National championships for every four years with, 40 plus teams participating
• Increase Footy store revenue and build a relationship to sell AFL merchandise
• Conduct 2nd coach’s conference with invited speakers from different sporting associations. Plan event as a revenue source for the USAFL
• Run 3 scholarship programs with a USAFL player spending 4 weeks with that club
• 2 full semester scholarships, one Sydney one Melbourne
• Secure a major sponsor for $50,000 a year
• All USAFL coaches are accredited or unable to coach due to the logistics of the USAFL insurance
• All USAFL clubs are at least doing three junior clinics a year
• A school play-off for juniors in three USAFL areas, particularly the areas where USFootyKids has been showcased
• Participate in the “Aussiefest 2004” in LA with an expo game planned
• Secure 4 new major sponsors
• AFL continues support with financial aid, but more importantly with resources to develop junior and senior football in the USA
• Set up first charitable affairs for an endowment of a junior program
• Advertise in media

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Will get back to Aussie Rules background information later.
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gkavner
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2003 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason I don't believe that Australian Football has much further geographic growth potential is not "cultural cringe", because I also don't believe that Gaelic Football (http://www.gaa.ie/index_football.html), Canadian Football (http://www.cfl.ca/), Rugby League (http://www.rleague.com/) or even American Football (http://www.nfl.com/) have much growth potential outside their limited geographic homelands.

Actually, once a football code is established in a geographic area, it is an historical fact that is very difficult for a region to change their footballing "customs" to embrace a new code.

Most of the new world footballing "markets" are tending toward soccer. With that in mind I think the AFL would be wiser to target places like China, SE Asia and perhaps the Middle East (although soccer there is now VERY popular) because they are places which have no strong previous footballing tradition. Trying to gain a foothold in a market like the USA, which has one of the strongest and most dominant footballing traditions in the world, is almost futile. Even after soccer held the World Cup there in 1994 (with sellout crowds), uptake of the sport there, especially in the US media, is still pretty minimal.

With that in mind, the AFL will probably have an impossible task gaining virtually any exposure in the USA.

But then, as I said, so will any other football code.

Another disadvantage for the non-soccer countries is the perculiar fact that because they all tend to be western, white-skinned former British colonies that are by-and-large quite wealthy, they do not have a large migration rate. I mean, apart from England and possibly New Zealand (two countries with massively strong traditional football cultures), there aren't any Australian communities of significant numbers to introduce a widespread AFL culture to any new place. This is one of the strengths of soccer around the world.

If I was the AFL I would probably target India as the best potential "market". It has everything... Massive population with English widely spoken, strong sporting ties already with Australia, no major footballing tradition (although, even there soccer is widely played... just not very well!!), lots of cricket grounds (traditional shape of Australian Football grounds) and a fluid economy opening up to imported culture/ideas.

But it would still take years of development before the first players reached any sort of level of skill to make it in the AFL. The socceroos (Australia's national soccer team) could jump on a plane tomorrow and play against India (Australia have played India 7 times in full international matches). In fact, it was India that knocked Australia out of the football tournament at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics!

But the AFL better act quickly... there are very few opportunities in the world left for a football code to enter a country and not encounter fierce opposition from established traditional codes.

Eagles1 if you live in Perth, which I assume you do, you should go down and catch Perth Glory (http://www.perthglory.com.au/) at home to see how a non-traditional football code can try to make it in a fiercely traditional football market.

Oh yeah, I just thought of another country... East Timor. But it is so small and they already play a football code fairly widely (you guessed it: Soccer). But the Australian presence there right now is very strong.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2003 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well sports fans all I can say after all of the debate here about the International growth of Aussie Rules is, we will leave it to history to decide who is right and who is wrong.

To continue on the articles on the background, rules etc have posted some more info below. Will not cover all of the rules just basics.
The game itself since 1858 has evolved at the top level (Australian Football League) into a very fast flowing spectacle. At first glance it looks like there are no rules, but it does of course have rules. The rules are enforced by 3x field umpires, 2 x goal umpires and 2 x boundary umpires. The Umpires are equivalent to Referees and Touch Judges in Soccer.
The game is played over 4 x 20 minute quarters—(Plus time on added –as used in Soccer.)

The Ball
The ball is an oval bladder covered with leather, tanned red for day use or colored visible yellow for night matches, and inflated to 69 kPa (10 lbs) pressure. It is slightly larger and rounder than the Rugby or Gridiron balls, as it was not designed to be thrown



Players and Positions
A team consists of 18 players; four interchange players (substitutes) are allowed on the bench. Free substitutions are allowed at any time during the match, through a "gate" in front of either bench.
Players are deployed in five lines of three across the oval, with the remaining three assigned to the ball.
The players in each line are usually designated as being in either, the left - center - right position in each line, relative to the direction of attack:
Full Forwards: Left Forward Pocket - Full Forward - Right Forward Pocket
Half Forwards: Left Half Forward - Center Half Forward - Right Half Forward
Center Line: Left Wing - Center - Right Wing
Half Backs: Left Half Back - Center Half Back - Right Half Back
Full Backs: Left Back Pocket - Full Back - Right Back Pocket
The three assigned to the ball are referred to as "followers." Their positions are referred to as Ruckman, Rover and Ruck-Rover. Currently in 2003 the Ruckman is still called Ruckman, and the centerline players and the Rover and Ruck-Rover are now also called “midfielders”, who can run up to 16 kilometers in a match.
Although the players have designated positions, they are “free to move anywhere” on the ground when play is in progress. There is no “OFFSIDE” or “GOALIE” in Aussie Rules.
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Purposes of Players Positions
All players should contest the ball when its within their vicinity (unless playing to alternative coaching instructions). Other general purposes of player positions according to line are:
Full Forward: Attack the goal, Trap the ball in the area
Half Forward: Attack the goal, Set up scoring shots, Trap the ball further forward - then hold, Trap the ball in the area
Centre Line: Attack the goal, Set up scoring shots, Recover the ball from the backline, Trap the ball further forward - then hold, Trap the ball in the area
Half Back: Hold the ball in the area, Attack - clear ball forwards, Recover ball from backline
Full back: Hold the ball in the area, Attack - clear ball forwards
No “padding” is worn. Mouth guards, soft protective headgear and shin guards are permitted. Other protection or medical appliances require prior approval;. All Jewelry is prohibited as a health hazard.

Scoring
A ball kicked between the two larger inner goal posts without being touched is a goal and scores six points. The ball is returned to the center circle for a "ball-up."
If the ball passes between the smaller outer behind posts by any other means, then it is a behind, and it scores 1 point. If the ball hits the goal post, a behind is scored. This is regardless of where the ball goes after hitting the goal post, e.g., back into the field of play, through the goals or whatever. If the ball is forced, or carried, but not kicked over the scoring line anywhere between the goal posts, a behind is scored. The ball is kicked back into play from within the goal square, usually by the opposing fullback.
If the ball hits a behind post without bouncing it is deemed "out on the full" and the opposing team takes a free kick from next to the behind post. If the ball bounces and hits the behind post then the ball is thrown into play again by the boundary umpire from next to the behind post (see (b) under "Starting and Restarting Play" below). In either case, no points are scored.
One thing that can be confusing is the score. You may see something like the score below;
AFL West Coast Eagles 13. 15. 93
AFL Fremantle Dockers 9. 12. 66
The first number (A) represents the amount of goals scored. The second number (B) is the amount of behinds scored. The third number (C) is the calculated score. For those who just love maths.... A x 6 (goal points) + B = C. In other words a goal equals 6 points and a behind equals 1 point.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2003 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sports Fans,
This is now the quietest time of the year for the AFL players and fans.
All clubs resumed light preseason training in early November. Players are then given the Christmas break off from Dec 23rd to resume on Jan 6th. Summers in Australia range from warm to very hot, it all depends on the area in the country. In Perth where we live temps can go to 40c plus in the heatwaves. The club still trains on those very hot days, but early in the morning.
The AFL Club we follow –The West Coast Eagles in January through to mid February, will train at alternatively –1/ City Beach for beach sand sprints, running up and down sand hills, and other routines.- 2/ Local park (Because their home ground is unavailable due to ground repairs.) for general drills, lots of running and specialist speed trials and ball handling.
Current coaching practise is now 1/ Coach for the forwards 2/ Coach for the back line 3/ Overall Chief Coach who now has assistants who advise on tactics, opposition players etc etc. A lot of these ideas were incorporated from the US Gridiron clubs, in the last 5 years.
Well that is for now, will return later………………
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sportsfans,
Australian Rules Football FitnessTraining at the AFL level.
In earlier years the basic idea was all players went through exactly same pre season training regime, in other words -one size fits all-
However, there has been a huge change in training methods since the late 1990`s.
Players are now individually screened and data entered into computers. The fitness staff try to develop the best preparation for each player. This preparation looks at his age, position on the field, previous injury history, and body type.
Strength training is still critical, but is completely football based, the focus is now on the players core area, the abdominal and glute muscles.
Draft and rookie players come in at 17 or 18 yrs old. There is now considerable allowance for this player group. A player in his first AFL pre season may now do as little as 50% of the fitness routines.
Until next time------
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2004 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sportsfans,
The AFL pre-season comp starts on this friday. This comp has experimental rules that may or may not find their way into the regular season. The West Coast Eagles play on Saturday afternoon in Perth against Collingwood from Melbourne.
Currently the outside temp is sitting on 38c degrees, and is expected to continue slightly cooler, so there will be resting player ice vests and plenty of player rotations on Saturday. You do not stop playing because it is hot.
It is a real tragedy that more people around the world do not know this game.
Thanks for the support of my www
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Eagles 1... if we created a forum specifically for Aussie Rules, do you think you could get enough people in here to get some discussions going...? Do you know some people that would appreciate such a forum? My gut feeling is that it's got a sufficient following to warrant a forum of its own, but I don't want to create it if it's not going to take off... would appreciate your input on that.

Thanks

Aaron
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2004 4:24 am    Post subject: Aussie Rules Forum Reply with quote

Aaron,
I believe this thread seems to mainly get hits from the "curiosity factor",and I think because our game is virtually unknown overseas, do not think a forum is a goer at this time. Thanks for your interest, but will continue to post occasionally on the AFL West Coast Eagles and hopefully their successful 2004 season. The AFL Board who run our Australian league are really getting aggressive domestically, one day they may go the same internationally.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2004 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have some good news and bad news about the AFL West Coast Eagles in their pre season -Wizard Cup campaign.
Good News - They absolutely thrashed AFL Collingwood by about 100 points in the first match. Equivalent to 10-0 in Soccer
Bad News - The second game last night they were beaten by 2 goals or 12 points by AFL Melbourne club. At the end of the the 3rd quarter they were 40 points behind, however their superior fitness saw the team finish strongly in the last quarter and just fail to win the game.
This all means that the club is out of the comp and goes back to travelling all over the country to play the other losers. This is to show the game to areas that normally only see it on TV.
Meanwhile the real stuff is getting closer.

Until next time
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