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Demons set to ‘Freeze the Common’ in Cure for MND

It may be summer here in London but that’s not stopping the Wandsworth Demons doing their part in fundraising for the now annual, ‘Big Freeze at the G’ happening over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in Australia.

The ‘Big Freeze’ is the initiative of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) sufferer and former AFL legend, Neale Daniher. The event takes at the Queen’s Birthday clash between the Melbourne Demons and Collingwood Magpies. It sees well-known footy celebs and personalities rally together and take the plunge in a freezing cold pool of ice to raise funds and awareness for the currently incurable MND.

Notable footy celebrities to get frozen this year include, Geelong Premiership Captain Cameron Ling, Essendon and GWS legend Coach Kevin Sheedy, and Brisbane Lions superstar, Jonathon Brown just to name a few. Let’s not forget the headline act, Neale Daniher, will be taking the plunge this year. Daniher, the ex-Essendon and Melbourne player and coach, was diagnosed with MND three years ago and is slowly showing the debilitating effects the disease, such as speech impediment and movement loss, can have on the sufferer.

This Saturday AFL London’s version of the Demons, The Wandsworth Demons, will not only be hosting the West London Wildcats in a top of the table clash at Clapham Common, but they’ll also be putting in their best efforts off the field aiming to raise funds and awareness for the incredibly debilitating disease that is MND.

MND is close to the heart of event organiser, Gaby Duncan, who grew up with the Daniher family and is thrilled to be able to mirror the fundraising efforts of the ‘Big Freeze at the G’ whilst over the other side of the world, here in London. Ms Duncan said “It means a lot that I can continue to help raise some much needed funds for research into finding a cure of MND, as well as support my close friends Loz, Bec and the Daniher family. I’m very thankful of the Demons and Club President Jimmy Perrett, who was fantastic and jumped on board as soon as we suggested the idea. Hopefully we can start something this year that will get bigger and better next year to help ‘Cure for MND’ achieve its aim to increase awareness, improve care for sufferers and increase funding to find a cure”.

Wandsworth Demons Club President, Jimmy Perrett furthered Ms Duncan’s sentiments saying “this cause is one that is quite personal to many Demons, including myself. We’re getting together on Saturday to do our part for the ‘Cure for MND’ Foundation, not only to raise funds for such a great cause but also raise awareness throughout the London AFL league. This may start small, but it has the scope to grow into something big in the years to come”.

With hats, beanies, a cake sale and raffles, including a signed GWS Jumper, the day is set to be an absolute blast. With the event running in conjunction with the first game at Clapham Common for Season 2016 expect this to be a special day. If you’re in the area and want to be a part of not only a great, action-packed day of Aussie Rules, but also aid the efforts of Neale Daniher, and the ‘Big Freeze at the G’, then make your way down to Clapham Common this Saturday the 11th of June from 11am.

Any help or donations are greatly appreciated and supports in raising the profile of MND as well as assisting in finding a cure.

For further information, please click the link below, or if you’d like to help out on the day please contact Jimmy Perrett at demonspresident@outlook.com.

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For more about Freeze MND click here.

 

 

Benjamin Durance

Ireland ready to retain their IC titles

By Michael McCormick

The Australian Rules Football League of Ireland (ARFLI) is arguably the most successful league outside Australia, having produced players such as the late, great Jim Stynes, Tadhg Kennelly and more recently Pearce Hanley.

Heading the charge to retain their 2011 International Cup championship is ARFLI President, Paul Brogan.

Brogan, who initially became involved in coaching prior to the 2013 European Championships, was anointed President earlier this year and will be responsible for the Irish team in the International Cup.

“I will represent our league in Australia, and aid the rest of the management team in training and preparing the squad during the tournament,” stated Brogan.

As reigning premiers, the Irish will attempting a feat that has not previously been achieved in International Cup history.

“Our goals for the IC, are to retain both the mens and womens titles,” continued Brogan.

“We face an uphill task as no one has ever retained the trophy, but it is my belief that we have the quality in this squad to go all the way.”

Travelling with Brogan to Melbourne will be 14 players, including playing head coach, David Stynes. Stynes will replace Shaun McElhone who will not be attending the International Cup due to family reasons.

Once in Melbourne, the full twenty-eight man squad will resume training and preparations for the tournament.

“There are a lot of new faces notably among the Irish based contingent, none of whom have ever played in the IC before,” stated Brogan. “They can all draw from the experience of winning last years european championships however.”

Brogan is a big supporter of the International cup and the opportunities it provides for players all around the world.

“The IC is showcasing the worldwide talent, that exists in the sport, giving the opportunity for lads to aspire to play on the greatest stage of all, the MCG.”

The Irish squad was chosen via trials and on the back of scouting feedback in both Ireland and Australia.

The Australian based players play for clubs in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and will all be making the trip down for the two week tournament.

“Its tough for players as they are making a huge commitment,” stated Brogan.

“We have secured sponsorship for both the mens and ladies teams, but that will only cover a small portion of the costs involved. The players will be contributing the remainder themselves.”

The men’s and women’s squads will be landing in Melbourne on the 6th of August and will have regular training and recovery sessions in the St Kilda area where they will be staying throughout the tournament.

They will need to be on top of their game however if they are to defeat the might of Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.

“They have a grassroots structure in place, so can develop players from a young age whereas we have to develop our lads from the skills they bring from sports like Gaelic Football and Rugby,” stated Brogan.

“History would dictate that PNG will be the main challengers for the title, considering that have been to every grand final since the inception of the tournament, however NZ had a very strong showing in nearly defeating the AIS Academy team in January.”

“We will certainly have to be at our best to beat these two sides.”

#warriorsweek #bansheesweek #IC14

warriorsb

Paul Brogan, ARFLI President

IC14 Pools and Fixture

The fixture for the IC14 Men’s competition has just been announced. The Men’s teams will be divided into three pools:

 

POOL APOOL BPOOL C
IRELANDPNGNEW-ZEALAND
NAURUSOUTH AFRICAUSA
GREAT BRITAINTONGACANADA
FIJIJAPANSWEDEN
FRANCEINDIACHINA
INDONESIAPAKISTANFINLAND

 

Day 1 – Sunday 10 August – Royal Park, Parkville

POOL A 
Ireland – Fiji
Nauru – Indonesia
Great Britain – France
POOL B
PNG – Japan
South Africa – Pakistan
Tonga – India
POOL C
New Zealand – Sweden
USA – Finland
Canada – China

 

Day 2 – Wednesday 13 August – Royal Park, Parkville

POOL A
Ireland – France
Nauru – Great Britain
Fiji – Indonesia
POOL B
PNG – India
South Africa – Tonga
Japan – Pakistan
POOL C
New Zealand – China
USA – Canada
Sweden – Finland

 

Day 3 (Community Round) – Saturday 16 August – Venue TBC

POOL A
Ireland – Nauru
Great Britain – Fiji
France – Indonesia
POOL B
PNG – South Africa
Tonga – Japan
India – Pakistan
POOL C
New Zealand – USA
Canada – Sweden
China – Finland

 

Day 4 – Tuesday 19 August – Semi Finals and Division matches – Royal Park

Day 5 – Friday 22 August – Third place play off & Division matches – Royal Park

Day 6 – Saturday 23 August – Grand Final – MCG

 

(Fixtures can be subject to change) Women’s fixtures will be announced soon.

@AFLIC14 #AFLIC14

2014 International Cup fixture released

The AFL released the 2014 International Cup fixture today.

The 2014 International Cup will be played in Melbourne from August 9 to 23. There will be 18 men’s and seven women’s teams competing.

Men’s teams: Canada, China, Fiji, Finland, France, Indonesia, Ireland, Great Britain, India, Japan, Nauru, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Sweden, Tonga, USA.

New teams for IC14: Finland, Indonesia and Pakistan.

Women’s teams: Canada – Northern Lights, Canada – Midnight Suns, Ireland, Fiji, Tonga, USA – Freedom, USA – Liberty.

The majority of matches will be played at Royal Park in Parkville and for the first time a community round will be played as curtain-raisers to suburban, amateur and country matches.

The women’s grand final will be played at Punt Road Oval and the men’s grand final will be the curtain-raiser to the Round 22 AFL match between Hawthorn and the Geelong Cats at the MCG.

The men’s fixture is divided into three pools. Each team will play three pool matches and will then be ranked from one to 18. Teams will then be split into three groups for finals; top four, Division One and Division Two.

 

2014 International Cup fixture **

Saturday Aug 9           Official Launch at Federation Square & Parade of Nations at the MCG

Sunday Aug 10           Round One matches – Royal Park

Wednesday Aug 13    Round Two matches – Royal Park

Saturday Aug 16         Round Three matches – Community Round

Tuesday Aug 19          Round Finals & Division matches – Royal Park

Friday Aug 22             Third place play off & Division matches – Royal Park

Saturday Aug 23         Women’s Grand Final – Punt Road Oval, Richmond

Men’s Grand Final – MCG

The full fixture can be viewed at www.aflic14.com.au

** Fixtures are subject change.

 

AFL Head of Development Grant Williams said the International Cup celebrates the passion those outside of Australia have for the game.

“There are 100,000 international participants throughout the world who share our love of Australian football,” he said.

“IC14 will bring together the best 900 players from 18 countries. I look forward to the colour and excitement that the carnival will bring.”

The IC14 twitter and Instagram accounts were also launched today. Follow IC14 on @AFLIC14 and #AFLIC14

Expatriate Australians are ineligible to play in the International Cup. Teams are comprised solely of amateurs who must be nationals of the country they represent.  All players must have lived the majority of the years aged between 10 and 16 as a citizen of their nation.

The International Cup is played every three years. Previous International Cup winners are; Ireland (2002 & 2011), New Zealand (2005) and Papua New Guinea (2008).