Why just kicking a footy can be the best sport of all

I always thought it was an urban myth.

Like sightings of the Tasmanian tiger, rumours of a secret society of guys kicking an Aussie Rules footy around on Sunday mornings were heard, but I never saw the evidence and I never quite believed.

But then a chance casual remark by a mutual acquaintance led to a reunion with an old school friend.

We bonded over Neil Young and a love of Aussie Rules in school 35 years ago.

Recess and lunch were spent kicking a footy backwards and forward on the basketball court — him in his scratchy 30 per cent wool, 70 per cent acrylic Collingwood jumper (with collar), and me in my Hawthorn equivalent.

I hadn’t seen him since.

So, we had a coffee and spent a few minutes catching up on the last 35 years, before talk rapidly turned to more pressing matters — like footy.

“I do this thing on a Sunday morning,” he said.

Strike me down with a feather, it’s real!

This footy club is all about having a kick. Boots and jumpers are optional.(Supplied: Nic Walker)

That Sunday I turned up at a local oval and met a couple of the old hands who introduced me at the weekly pre-game address to the group of 20 or so women and men who’d turned up.

“Dave’s come down for a kick.”

And so, we began: Some kicking and handballing in lines to warm up and then circle work for the next two hours or so.

If you played footy in the 70s or 80s, circle work was the go-to training for coaches before things started getting complicated.

It’s pretty simple really: Spread out in a massive circle around the oval, lead for the ball, mark it and handball to a player running past, who kicks it to the next player on a lead. Repeat.

It’s the closest thing to playing a game without actually playing a game, and it comes without the threat of an unwanted collision or someone jumping into your back to take a screamer.

And that’s it — round and round we go, as the ball zings from hand to foot to handball, all accompanied by the constant supportive talk that you’ll hear at any footy club.

A man holds his arms out after hand balling in a game of Aussie Rules.
No matter your skill set, the banter is always supportive at this club.(Supplied: Nic Walker)

Some of these players are exquisite kicks, balanced and poised, capable of delivering bullet passes over 50 metres. Some are still finding their feet. That’s fine.

The bloke from Finland is getting really good and can run everyone off the park.

They say team sport is good for character development, and that’s true. Working together for the greater good is wonderful — when it actually happens.

What they don’t tell you is that team sport is riven with politics and pettiness and when your harshest critic in community sport is a teammate, it can wear pretty thin.

It turns out some grown men in particular, can transform from upstanding citizens to nasty, lippy, violent bastards when they cross that white line and a win is all that counts.

Two years ago, a belated attempt to play masters’ footy ended in the first practice game when I was smashed late from behind resulting in a rotator cuff tendon torn from the bone and a shoulder reconstruction.

My new, secret club strips all that away.

A woman handballs an Aussie Rules ball.
The club is open to anyone who wants to play.(Supplied: Nic Walker)

They’re a mixed bunch: teachers, students, designers, musicians, photographers, printers, brewers, IT technicians, theatre producers, a record company owner, a film director and so many actors they could spontaneously break into experimental improvisational theatre at any moment and demand audience participation.

Everyone is equal. The only common denominator is a love of footy.

Last year, many of the regular players lost jobs, or for those in the performing arts, their work dried up because of COVID.

The Sunday morning kick was a vital touchstone for many people in the club — one thing to look forward to in the week. Even some of the injured players turned up regularly to watch and catch up for a yack.

In between times a WhatsApp superhighway kept everyone connected and on their toes.

A father and son walk together during a match of Aussie Rules.
Age is not an issue here, whether you’re young, on the older side, or something in between.(Supplied: Nic Walker)

More than once I heard someone comment that our club was a saviour in what was a difficult year for everyone’s mental health.

My 17-year-old daughter came down for the first time last week and another woman in the group immediately introduced herself and showed her the ropes, while the group of largely middle-aged men did everything they could to make her feel welcome.

After that first Sunday morning, I knew I’d found my sporting home.

I’ve always been a competitive bugger, but after years of playing team sport, I’ve lost the passion for winning — and losing for that matter. I care so much more about how you play the game.

I just want to kick a footy and kick it well. There’s a purity in the drum sound of a drop punt coming off your boot and spinning slowly backwards into a teammates’ outstretched hands. And if you’re feeling particularly audacious, peeling off a spiralling torpedo punt.

And if that kick instead slews off the side of my boot, it’s comforting to know that no-one’s going to criticise me for making a mistake.

I just want to take a mark and dish off a handball to a mate running past.

My new club distils sport down to its pure essence: The love of the game.

A young boy goes to kick an Aussie Rules ball at a park.
It’s all about the love of the game.(Supplied: Nic Walker)

It’s for the people and the community they’ve created, talking footy, catching up with mates, having a kick. The grassiest of grass roots.

It’s for fun.

And while I may not care about winning or losing, this new club has one statistic of which they’re incredibly proud.

In 18 years, they’ve never lost a game.

Thank you for spending your time with us on My Local Pages. We hope you enjoyed checking this post on Australian Sports news and updates published as “Why just kicking a footy can be the best sport of all”. This news article is presented by My Local Pages as part of our local and national news services.

#kicking #footy #sport

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Female footy in Dalby kicking goals

Female football in Dalby is kicking goals, with the Dalby Swans entering the newly re-launched AFL Darling Downs U17 youth girls competition.

The season got underway on Sunday (14th February) with Dalby fielding an U17 team for the very first time.

AFL Competition Manager, Mitch Simpson, said the future of female footy in the Downs was looking bright.

“It’s great to have Dalby join the competition alongside Downlands College, Toowoomba Tigers and a composite Toowoomba schools-based side,” he said.

“Round one on Sunday was a fantastic success; there was great support for the girls and strong team numbers.”

“Our aim is to not only provide participation opportunities for female footballers but to establish a long-term sustainable female pathway between our junior programs and the AFL Darling Downs senior women’s competition.”

The season is a compact 7-week format based out of Kratzke Oval at Highfields and will run on Sunday mornings right up until the Grand Final on March 28th.

“It’s great to be staging this competition alongside the NAB AFL Women’s competition,” said Mr Simpson.

“Following on from the drafting of Dalby junior Zimmorlei Farquharson to the Lions AFLW side and add to that the success of the Lions team to date, interest in female footy is continuing to gain momentum across the region.”

Thanks for checking this story about Australian Rules Football named “Female footy in Dalby kicking goals”. This news release was brought to you by My Local Pages as part of our Australian news services.

#Female #footy #Dalby #kicking #goals

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CCTV captures Geelong police officer David Magher kicking man in custody

CCTV footage has captured a Geelong police officer kicking a man in custody as he falls to the ground at a police station.

Sergeant David Phillip Magher allegedly assaulted Andrew Birch three times while he was in custody at Corio Police Station on September 21, 2018.

A three-day hearing into the alleged assault began in the Geelong Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

The incident unfolded after police officers were called to Corio Village Shopping Centre in response to what was believed to be an armed robbery by a man and a woman carrying a knife, the court heard.

When police arrived, the couple fled in opposite directions and a police chase on foot ensued. Mr Birch was arrested shortly after and taken to Corio Police Station.

CCTV footage from Corio Police Station played in court showed Sergeant Magher and another police officer trying to bring an erratic Mr Birch under control as he exited a divisional van.

Mr Birch is seen lunging at the other police officer, who points capsicum spray at Mr Birch before tackling him to the ground.

Footage then shows Sergeant Magher kicking Mr Birch as he falls, then kicking him twice more while he is lying on the ground surrounded by other officers.

Sergeant Magher was suspended without pay and charged with assault following an investigation by Victoria Police’s Professional Standards Command.

Mr Birch, then 36, died four days after being released from Geelong Police Station in 2018.

His death is the subject of an open coronial investigation.

During questioning of a police witness, defence lawyer Stewart Bayles asked whether kicking by a police officer was sometimes considered an appropriate act “to seek compliance” and a “tactical advantage over a resisting suspect”.

A hearing was due to finish on Wednesday afternoon but was extended due to technological issues.

The release of the CCTV footage to the media was denied by the court.

Thank you for stopping by and seeing this news article involving VIC and Australian news titled “CCTV captures Geelong police officer David Magher kicking man in custody”. This news update was presented by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local and national news services.

#CCTV #captures #Geelong #police #officer #David #Magher #kicking #man #custody

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Saved by the Bell is brought kicking and screaming into the modern era

Well, TV executives have a caffeine-pill compulsion to keep turning over the cultural compost heap, of course, but there’s also some serious nostalgia for the original series.

“Saved by the Bell is my Star Wars,” reboot creator Tracey Wigfield revealed recently in possibly the saddest disclosure of a deprived childhood ever made by someone who won an Emmy for 30 Rock. And Wigfield has certainly dragged Saved By the Bell into the modern day. There’s a slightly thin sprinkling of zingers that recall 30 Rock and Wigfield’s own personal tour de force, Great News (Netflix), along with thoughtful approaches to issues of race, class and gender. Old faces are back too – Elizabeth Berkley’s Jessica Spano is now a school counsellor whose own son isn’t the best advertisement for her work, and Mario Lopez’s A.C. Slater is a school sports coach who has a strange obsession with the surface of the indoor basketball courts.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s Zack Morris even pops up as the Trumpy California governor whose education cuts have caused all kinds of chaos – such as the fact that poor black and brown kids are now being bussed into the rich white enclave of Bayside High.

Some of the new kids shine – particularly Josie Totah and Alycia Pascual-Pena – but it won’t make too many year-end top-10 lists.

For very different – and incomparably gritty – look at modern high-school life, you can check out the between-seasons special of the wildly popular Euphoria (Monday, December 7 on Fox Showcase, 1pm, then on Foxtel On Demand and Binge). If it’s anything like the first season you can expect American teenager Rue (Zendaya) and her pals to be up to their necks in colourful and uncompromising sex, drugs, violence, mental illness and ennui.

Hillbilly Elegy, Netflix

Amy Adams and Glenn Close bring their A-games but Ron Howard is an oddly distant captain and there’s a tired after-school-special feel to this underwhelming, over-long movie based on the memoir by American rust-belt survivor turned venture capitalist J.D. Vance.

A barely recognisable Glenn Close is the standout in Hillbilly Elegy, which is based on J.D. Vance’s best-selling memoir of the same name.

What’s most obviously missing is real compassion for those who grew up in Appalachian poverty and then got left behind by the offshoring of industrial jobs. J.D. (Owen Asztalos as a boy; Gabriel Basso as a young man) grows up in dysfunction that, it seems implied, everyone ought to just overcome.

Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds, Apple TV+

Werner Herzog is in full eccentric-director mode as he and his Cambridge-boffin pal Clive Oppenheimer travel the globe learning about meteorites and the effects they have had on the planet and on human cultures from Western Australia to the Torres Strait and the Middle East.

Clive Oppenheimer and Werner Herzog.

Clive Oppenheimer and Werner Herzog.Credit:Apple TV+

They end up in Antarctica, becoming the first humans ever to lay eyes on a 4.5 billion-year-old lump of space rock that moving ice has just pushed into plain view. The best part? You can find your own meteorites just by dragging a magnet around pretty much anywhere.

We Are the Champions, Netflix

This fun half-hour series follows people competing in the strangest arenas – from chilli-eating championships to fantasy hairdressing competitions. The most immediately terrifying one is the famous cheese-chasing race down that insanely steep hill near Gloucester in England.

Fantasy hairdressing is one of the unusual challenges in We Are The Champions.

Fantasy hairdressing is one of the unusual challenges in We Are The Champions.Credit:Netflix

There’s no catching the cheese – which hits speeds up to 130km/h – but you can break plenty of bones. Slow-motion footage of people tumbling like helpless rag dolls underlines the danger, while interviews with competitors obsessed with the event work to shine light on the attraction.

Wayne, Amazon Prime Video

Rarely have teenage runaway stories shown teenage runaways to be so vulnerably childlike on the one hand yet so fearlessly stiff-necked on the other. Perhaps never have they had such children pursued by a gallery of low-life rogues colourful enough to tickle Elmore Leonard – all while also dropping bombs of ultraviolence when you least expect it.


It’s on the meanest, poorest and most frozen streets of Boston that we meet 16-year-old Wayne (Mark McKenna), an uncommonly angry youth who can’t let any injustice go – which usually results in him getting beaten bloody or him beating someone else bloody. An extraordinary escalation of this routine violence leaves Wayne and his new 15-year-old-friend, Del (Ciara Bravo), fleeing on a motorbike headed for Florida, where Wayne intends to take back his father’s Trans Am from his mother’s violent dirtbag boyfriend.

Series creator Shawn Simmons heightens things in a way that will be pleasantly familiar to fans of things like Justified and Claws, but not so far that it detracts from the poignancy of his brilliantly cast protagonists. A little gem.

The Pack, Amazon Prime Video

The Pack is a globe-trotting adventure for American dogs and their owners.

The Pack is a globe-trotting adventure for American dogs and their owners.Credit:Amazon

Finally! It’s a globe-trotting Survivor for American dogs and their owners – sorry, partners. But ordinary house pets can’t really do anything, can they? That’s where you’re wrong. The Pack‘s 12 pooches have undergone pre-production training, including scent work. So at a search-dog training ground in Mexico, for instance, they can “find” pretend earthquake victims. Elsewhere, an amusing doggy-waiter challenge answers the age-old question of whether a big plate of spaghetti bolognese spilled on the floor can make dogs lose focus on the task at hand. Good, clean fun.

*Stan is owned by Nine, the owner of this masthead.

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Sarah Fuller becomes first woman to play major American college football conference game, kicking for Vanderbilt

Sarah Fuller has become the first woman to play for an American football team in a major conference, donning the pads and cleats for Vanderbilt University.

Unfortunately, Vanderbilt was beaten so soundly by the University of Missouri — 41-0 — that she only got on the field for the second-half kick-off, but it was enough to make history.

Fuller, the goalkeeper for Vanderbilt’s championship-winning women’s soccer team, got the call-up from head coach Derek Mason.

Vanderbilt plays in the South-Eastern Conference (SEC), making Fuller the first woman to play for a team in one of the “Power Five” college conferences, which account for the biggest football programs in the country.


Women have kicked for college teams in the past — including Liz Heaston in 1997, Tonya Butler and Katie Hnida in 2003, and April Goss in 2015 — but never for a “Power Five” school.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association, the organisation that runs the lucrative college sports scene in the US, described her as the first woman to play “in a major conference football game”.

“It’s just so exciting, the fact that I can represent the little girls out there who wanted to do this or thought about playing football, or any sport,” she said after the game.

“And [if] it encourages them to be able to step out and do something big like this [that’s] awesome.”

Even the opposing coach had to respect Fuller’s history-making moment.(AP: LG Patterson)

Vanderbilt’s inability to get within field-goal range or within touching distance of the Missouri Tigers on the scoreboard meant Fuller’s only involvement was kicking off in the second half, with her team already trailing 21-0.

Wearing number 32 and with “Play like a girl” written on the back of her helmet, Fuller’s short kick-off was collected by the Tigers and she left the field.

Some looking to pillory Fuller on social media criticised it as a miscue, but as NFL coach Ron Rivera pointed out, it was a “perfect mortar kick” (also known as a “pooch” or “squib” kick) to try to catch Missouri off guard and avoid giving them a chance to return the kick in the open field.



Superstar NFL quarterback Russell Wilson and US soccer legend Mia Hamm were among those watching from home who praised Fuller for breaking new ground.



Soccer final more stressful for star goalkeeper

Despite admitting to feeling a responsibility to represent all women trying to break through in traditionally patriarchal fields, she said she was more nervous when she was in goal for Vanderbilt in their 3-1 win over Arkansas in last week’s SEC championship soccer game.

“Honestly, I was just really calm … I was really excited to step out on the field and do my thing,” she said of the outing in pads.

“I just want to tell all the girls out there that you can do anything you set your mind to, you really can. And if you have that mentality all the way through, you can do big things.”

A COVID-19 outbreak and potential replacement players leaving for their holiday break left Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason needing to “think outside the box” in filling a need, so he called up the coach of the soccer team, who put Fuller’s name forward.

“In practice, the guys were impressed the first day she came out, she put the ball through the uprights, she was fearless and she plays football the same way she plays soccer,” Mason said.

Mason also stressed that it was not an empty gesture to try and get publicity, but one of the university’s top athletes filling a need for the football team.

“She wasn’t trying to set some landmark event. She was just trying to help really where she could,” he said.

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NRL ace Cleary gives Pumas kicking tips

NRL superstar Nathan Cleary has been giving Argentina players kicking tips as they look to notch back-to-back victories over the All Blacks in the Tri Nations on Saturday night.

Soaking up the NRL off-season after Penrith’s grand final defeat and then the NSW State of Origin series loss, Cleary was at the Pumas’ training at Leichhardt Oval on Thursday.

Through a connection with his kicking coach Daryl Halligan, Cleary turned out to give some of the young Pumas some pointers – to the delight of Argentina coach Mario Ledesma, who became a rugby league fan while an assistant coach at the Wallabies and the NSW Waratahs.

Cleary, who received some mid-season advice himself from AFL premiership captain Trent Cotchin, is noted as one of the sharpest boots in the NRL.

“His kicking coach is in New Zealand and he couldn’t come so he offered Nathan to come and give some pointers to the boys,” Ledesma said.

“I thought it was really nice of him to come and give us a hand.

“Being a big rugby league fan I was happy to have him.”

The Pumas woke up to news of the death of Argentine football great Diego Maradona, who had attended many of their Tests including those at the 2015 World Cup.

Ledesma said the coaching staff felt his passing more than the players, who had only seen his legendary acts online.

Playing 84 Tests, Ledesma said he had met Maradona several times and recalled his impact at a Pumas-All Blacks match.

“We were playing against the All Blacks, the game was started and Diego came out and waved and everything stopped,” Ledesma said.

“We Argentinians all stopped and looked up, and the All Blacks stopped.

“The world stopped when he was there, he had a kind of magic.”

Ledesma said the Pumas would try to honour him on the field at McDonald Jones Stadium.

“He’s a big figure in our country and he epitomised a lot of the way the Argentinians are,” he said.

“We’ll try to remember him the best way possible, which was on the field representing the colours, and use that as an example of how to play for this jersey.”

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US election 2020: Trump team insists he is ‘alive and kicking’ as he calls for knife-edge counts to cease | US News

Donald Trump is “alive and kicking” as he prepares to launch legal action to stop some counts and challenge results in key battlegrounds he is projected to lose, his team has said.

The US president’s campaign manager gave an update on their tactics and claimed Americans had lost faith in democracy.

He repeated unsubstantiated accusations that the Democrats were cheating and stealing the US election, while ballots are sorted through in five knife-edge races that are still too close to call.

Live updates as election still too close to call

Neither Mr Trump nor Joe Biden have yet clinched the vital 270 Electoral College votes needed to guarantee them the keys to the White House, but a result is edging closer.

The incumbent Republican is ahead in Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania while Mr Biden is leading in Arizona and Nevada.

But as the ballots are counted in batches, those razor-thin margins could narrow further, or see one candidate overtake the other.

The momentum seems to be behind Mr Biden, who is winning the popular vote and within touching distance of the 270 Electoral College votes needed to guarantee the presidency, on 253.

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How Trump or Biden could still win

Mr Trump currently has 214 Electoral College votes.

He had demanded election administrators “stop the count” in Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Georgia, and has claimed a “big legal win” after his campaign said they got a court order in Philadelphia to enter a count to observe it.

“All of the recent Biden claimed states will be legally challenged by us for voter fraud and state election fraud,” he vowed in a tweet, again without providing evidence.

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 04: People participate in a protest in support of counting all votes as the election in Pennsylvania is still unresolved on November 04, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With no winner declared in the presidential election last night, all eyes are on the outcome in a few remaining swing states to determine whether Donald Trump will get another four years or Joe Biden will become the next president of the United States. The counting of ballots in Pennsylvania continued through the night with no winner yet announced. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Counting continues in five battleground states

In Nevada, his campaign declared at a news conference that “the system is corrupt”.

They presented one resident – Jill Stoke – who claimed she had been the victim of voter fraud and another who said he was denied access to watch ballots being counted, but they all refused to take questions or verify those accounts.

Clark County resident Jill Stoke speaks to the news media about not receiving her mail-in ballot during a press conference by members of the Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., outside Clark County Election Department on November 5, 2020, in North Las Vegas. (Photo by Ronda Churchill / AFP) (Photo by RONDA CHURCHILL/AFP via Getty Images)
Jill Stoke was used by the Trump campaign to evidence their claims

A registrar later said that contrary to Ms Stoke’s claims, she had actually already voted and then tried to vote again.

The Trump campaign has also lost a legal bid to halt counting in Michigan – a state the Republicans are already projected to lose and where 99% of votes have been counted.

PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 04: A no voter fraud sign is displayed by a protester in support of President Donald Trump at the Maricopa County Elections Department office on November 4, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The rally was organized after yesterday's vote narrowly turned for Democrats in the presidential and senate races.  (Photo by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)
Crowds gathered outside counting centres to protest

Mr Biden’s team has dismissed claims of wide-scale fraud as “baseless” and “political theatre”.

One adviser, Bob Bauer, said: “It is to create an opportunity to message falsely about what is taking place in the electoral process… This is part of a broader misinformation campaign.”

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Biden: ‘I’m confident we’ll emerge victorious’

Urging patience, Georgia’s election system manager Gabriel Sterling said people should stay calm and wait for officials to finish doing their job.

“Fast is great and we appreciate fast; we more appreciate accuracy,” he said.

“Accuracy is going to be the bedrock upon which people will believe the outcomes of this election, be they on the winning side or the losing side.”

Demonstrators with ShutDown DC hold a protest to promote the counting of all votes, in Washington, DC, November 5, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Pockets of protests have broken out over the president’s interference

A result there is expected to be announced later on Thursday, but could be delayed further if it goes to a recount.

In Nevada, more results are not expected until Friday.

If Mr Biden flips the high-value target of Pennsylvania, then he would cross the 270 line and not need to rely on the other races remaining in smaller states.

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Anthony Griffin signs former St George Illawarra Dragons premiership-winner Jamie Soward to coaching staff as halves and kicking consultant

“Ben and Corey have played and competed at the highest level for a long time, so my job isn’t to come in and holler and scream and change those guys at all,” Soward told the Herald.

“It’s to go in and listen to how they see the game and how they feel out there and provide some ideas and game management stuff that may be able to help them. I’m not going in there to reinvent the wheel with Corey and Ben.

Corey Norman and Ben Hunt have struggled for consistency during their time at the Dragons.Credit:Getty

“I’m going in there to help refine their game, help them make better decisions and also teach those young guys coming through like Jayden Sullivan, Junior Amone and also Adam Clune. I’ll try and help show them how you can wrestle back momentum and how you can keep momentum with your kicking game and game management.”

Soward fell out with Griffin at the end of his playing career after the coach showed him the door in the playmaker’s final season at the Penrith Panthers back in 2016.

However Soward admits his feelings towards Griffin have changed dramatically since the pair started working together in the media.

“Anthony and I had a chat working at 2GB the last year and a half,” Soward said. “I’ve said it before publicly, I don’t have many regrets throughout my career but one of those was that I didn’t understand or see the game how he did.

Anthony Griffin has been appointed as the new St George Illawarra coach.

Anthony Griffin has been appointed as the new St George Illawarra coach.Credit:NRL Photos

“I’ve since been able to sit down and talk to the guy away from footy. Dealing with a divorce and some other issues, I didn’t give Anthony enough time of the person that I am now. He sees footy very similarly to the way I see it.

“I’m very thankful. We’ve both shown there are no hard feelings there and we’ve loved working together at 2GB and we’re going to continue to work hard to get the Dragons back inside that eight.”

Soward will also work closely with new assistant coach Matt Elliott, who he also works with as analysts at NRL.com, to help change the club’s fortunes. Soward has been critical of the Dragons throughout 2020 in his role in the media but believes the criticism has been warranted given the club’s woes.

“Hopefully I play a small role in getting that club back up to being successful,” Soward said. “It means a lot to me because I won a premiership there and I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for them.


“The Dragons have been unsuccessful and under-achieved the last couple of years, there’s no secret about that. I think whilst I’ve been harsh at times on players and the club, I think they have been fair comments as well. it’s never been personal. I’ve already started working in preparation for when preseason starts and excited to put on the training gear.”

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Garry Lyon’s stern message for AFL players, coaches on goal kicking

Five-time All-Australian Garry Lyon is frustrated by the state of set shot kicking for goal in the AFL right now.

Singling out Essendon forward Joe Daniher and Carlton co-captain Patrick Cripps, who have both had their issues this year in front of goal, Lyon called for teams to put more work into the craft and wants greater scrutiny for players who struggle.

“When are we going to make assessments of players on that (goal kicking) as well? Tell me Joe (Daniher) is a star. He is not a star because Joe can’t kick for goal,” Lyon told AFL Nation.

“Patrick Cripps, he can’t kick for goal, I’m sorry, you’ve got to mark him down. Patrick is limiting himself by what he does when he goes forward.

“Then the next question is, who’s coaching these blokes? You’re an assistant coach, your job is to coach football, you’re getting paid $300,000, you’re failing as a coach if you can’t fix someone. How are you fixing this goal kicking problem?”

Lyon emphasised that his issue is players who consistently miss by a wide margin.

“I don’t care if you’re missing by a metre to the left or a metre to the right, everyone misses those, these blokes are missing the set,” the former Melbourne captain said.

“Not just the goals, they’re missing the set. On $700,000, this year is different, but full time, access to every resource you want, given every single physical preparation tool and mechanism you can want, and we just go ‘oh well’ (when they miss).

“I’ll give you the cricket analogy. The bloke fielding at first slip drops 10 out of 11. Do you reckon we would go ‘oh well’? You’d banish him and he’s out.

“Do your job. If you’re a cricketer – catch the damn thing. If you’re a golfer – putt the thing in hole. If you’re footballer – kick it through the two big things.”

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Queensland’s Newest AFL Hub is Kicking Goals

AFL in Queensland continues to go from strength to strength, with the opening of another world-class community sports facility.

Home of the mighty Redcliffe Tigers, the $18.8 million Nathan Road Sports Ground officially opened on Saturday 25 July to a fanfare.

AFL Queensland proudly contributed $100,000 to the major development by Moreton Bay Regional Council, demonstrating its commitment to a key hub of AFL participation in the state.

The Moreton Bay region is home to a rapidly growing participation base, with over 38,000 AFL participants in 2019 with 47% of participants women and girls, higher than the state average of 42%.

AFL Queensland CEO Dean Warren, joined in the opening festivities and is delighted to see another outstanding facility in Queensland.

The Moreton Bay region is now home to three outstanding facilities. The South Pine Sports Complex at Brendale and the Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex at Burpengary have already hosted AFL preseason matches and AFLW fixtures.

“AFL Queensland is very proud of the partnership we have with Moreton Bay Regional Council. They are an incredibly progressive and valued partner of AFL in Queensland and contributor to sports clubs in the region. We are delighted to see the Redcliffe Tigers reap the rewards of such an incredible facility,” said Warren.

The Redcliffe Tigers have over 500 members across junior, senior and Auskick ranks, a testament to the growing appeal of AFL across Queensland. In Brisbane North alone, AFL’s participation has increased by 128% over the past five years. Clubs in this region have grown by 26% and the most exciting statistic is the growth of the women’s game, with an astonishing 439% increase in female participation over this same period.

Mayor Peter Flannery said at the launch on Saturday that this facility will become the home of Aussie Rules Football on the Redcliffe Peninsula for decades to come.

“It’s great to see the mighty yellow and black of the Redcliffe Tigers back in action, because it has been a long road to get here,” he said.

“Council spent five years of hard work delivering something that will truly be the envy of all other clubs in the Queensland Australian Football League.

“Thanks to Council’s forward-thinking investments not only are we are well ahead of the demand from growing participation rates of local clubs, we’re also in a box seat to help the professional leagues coming to Queensland.”

AFL in Queensland has never seen a more exciting phase. With all of the elite teams relocating to Queensland to continue the 2020 season, Queensland is the new home of AFL for the second half of this year.

Participation figures across the junior ranks in Queensland have now exceeded 2019 figures, an incredible credit to the club volunteers and officials who have worked tirelessly to get AFL back on the field in 2020.  

The post Queensland’s Newest AFL Hub is Kicking Goals appeared first on AFL Queensland.

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