Archive for the ‘AFL’ Category

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AFL International Cup 2011 Ireland -v- Sweden @ Bus Loop Oval, Moore Park
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Oh, and Ireland won, by a lot!

See more photos of the game here

AFL – Day 5

Posted: June 14, 2010 in AFL

So day 5 d day arrived and everyone was up early no doubt battling the nerves before the big game. I spent breakfast discussing which was better pancakes and scrambled eggs or toast, vegemite and cheese. (obviously a pancake and cheese girl myself!) Shouts of ‘g-up’ were heard throughout the morning from my gold team members as we attempted to out-psyche the opposition and a running joke about our ruck-woman, a Chinese delivery man and “playing on the ‘G'” helped keep the mood light!

Before long we arrived at the ground itself and I was equally surprised by the huge dressing rooms and relatively small MCG pitch. The warm up went pretty well, and everyone looked pretty focused. A few words of wisdom from LG and we were ready to go. I started the game on the bench (or as Shannon referred to it the ‘rest area’!) but soon got on and, though I was in absolute awe of the standard, got a few kicks in and started to feel a bit more comfortable being out there. I have to say I was also a little inspired at how animated physio Kerry and strength and conditioning coach Di were getting on the sideline so maybe that helped!

I did at one stage run over the big Toyota writing on the ground thinking ‘ya this definitely must be the MCG, I don’t remember this at Mahoney Park’! Anyway we got off at half-time down by a goal or two and it wasn’t looking good, but what ever psychology there is in having to fight back out of defeat, we switched on in the second half.

My roomie for the camp, Chiocci, took a mark inside 50 and had no problem kicking it through. I got a run then in my preferred full-forward spot and ended up kicking to our captain Webbo for another goal. We got a third from South Australian Kirsty and then had to endure a nerve-wrecking last few minutes with the ball in our defensive 50 before the siren went and we had snuck over the line winning by 3 points! Whew, winning on the MCG feels pretty good! But playing with, and against, that bunch of players was the best experience of the entire week, you really get to see where the standard of women’s footie is at, and its pretty high. Now instead of putting down Nick Riewoldt as my favourite AFL player I’d have to say Chelsea Randall. What a footballer!

Melbourne FC gave us a function room for after the game and we had some of their injured players there sharing their experience of playing footy with the girls, before some presentations to the staff for the week, who were all absolutely brilliant. Finally the Shannon McFerran medalist was announced and the honours went to, dum, da dum, NSW’s Natalie Redford! Nat, a well-deserving, and obviously popular choice. Well done Nat!

My housemates picked me up from the airport then tonight, they asked me how I got on and I chatted a for a few minutes about it. Then one of them asked me again did I have a good time? To which I replied ‘Ya’. She said ‘good, now your making the tea when we get home’ Back down to earth and over and out!

AFL – Day 4

Posted: June 13, 2010 in AFL

Day 4

After breakfast my abs was still fairly sore so I got into the pool again, this time going a bit further into the deep end, it seemed to work and following a stretching session we hit the oval for another training session. This time it was small players and tall players and we picked up some drills to do with vision, timing, protecting players and disposals. We then split into our separate teams and had a team training session, doing as much as we could without exerting ourselves too much before tomorrow.

Another pool session and team meeting were the final activities before we had to get ready for the jumper presentation function at the San Remo Ballroom. Our room inevitably got turned into a hair-straightening saloon, and, similar to home, I was sat on the bed watching TV while everyone else was running around in a mini-panic getting ready!

The function gave everyone a chance to catch up with their family and friends, have a lovely meal and get presented with our playing jerseys for tomorrow. We got the yellow tops, white shorts and yellow socks so I’m wishing I brought a bottle of fake tan so I won’t look too pasty in the gear!

The last part of the evening was to hand in our votes for the Shannon McFerran Medal. Shannon, who is our ‘Gold Stars’ manager, was picked as the All-Australian captain at the Nationals last year. She actually played the Nationals with a brain tumour and so the award for the person we thought was the best (i.e. best leadership qualities, etc..) over the various days of the camp is quite rightly dedicated to her. Will be interesting to see if any of my votes win, as obviously I didn’t know anyone, apart from the NSW girls, before the camp and so I wonder if the people I voted for will be recognized by others too. Will find out tomorrow!

AFL – Day 3

Posted: June 12, 2010 in AFL

Day 3

Saturday started in a fair bit of pain with muscles aching from the boot camp on the previous day. Attempting to get out of bed was quite a challenge! After breakfast I joined a few of the girls trying the hot/cold therapy in the hotel pool (which was about -20 degrees!) and spa. I joked about only being there for the hot bit but eventually got into the pool and felt a million times better for having endured it.

After a core strength workshop and a stoppages training session in the morning we had the afternoon off and a welcomed opportunity to catch up with my grandaunt Betty in Melbourne city. She, being 70 +, racing around for the tram to get to the museum and me lagging after her, ahem, like a 70 year old! We wanted to see the Titanic exhibition but it was sold out, probably for the best as I think I need a little better mental imagery getting into anymore cold water!

We also learnt today which team we are going to be on for the All-Stars v Gold Stars match on the MCG on Monday. Roxy and myself will be on the team coached by Leanne Gill (current Victorian women’s coach amongst others) and Nat with Nicole Graves (current Western Australia and former Victorian coach). After getting some advice from Leanne (or LG) at the training session earlier and being inspired from chatting with her later on I think we’re going to win, but then again I could be biased! Nothing like a bit of friendly rivalry though! Bring on Day 4!

AFL – Day 2

Posted: June 11, 2010 in AFL

Day 2

Day 2 started at ‘early o’clock’ with a boot camp at St. Kilda beach before a ten minute recovery session in the sea. I think its fair to say I’ve NEVER been as cold in my life, although my muscles are thanking me! We had another training session in Visy Oval No. 1 (Visy Park next door being Carlton’s home) with Scott Lucas and Jason McCartney that focused on goal kicking and kicking in general. After my 13 behinds last weekend this session was listened to very carefully and all tips duly noted!

The evening concluded with a talk and lively discussion with The Age journalist, ABC reporter and Friday Night Footy presenter Sam Lane. Sam gave us an overview of her career and the ensuing discussion provided some interesting views on how female sport is represented in the media and where women’s AFL is heading. It also gave us what must be the ‘funny moment’ of the camp so far, with our own Nat giving Sam an impromptu hug mid-talk in what can only be described as a ‘you’d have to have been there’ moment!

 Day 1 – In Melbourne

 For those of you who don’t know I am in Melbourne this week as part of the AFL Women’s High Performance Academy, and, as per a request from SWAFL’s webmaster extradionaire/roving reporter Lance Yu, I’m writing about the experience in this blog.

At the National Championships in Perth last year 3 of us SWAFL players were lucky to be chosen for the Academy (Newtown player’s Nat Redford and Roxy McGee being the other 2) and so found ourselves checking onto an early flight Thursday to Melbourne on Thursday morning. With this being the first academy for women’s AFL players at a national level it was fair to say I had very little expectation of what it would be like.

After being welcomed by the head of Female Football Development, Jan Cooper, and introduced to the various coaches and managers that we will be working with over the next few days, we launched into the program visiting the home of the Melbourne Demons Football Club. We picked up some drills, advice and a behind-the-scenes look at a professional football club from their own coaches, players, nutritionist, and head scout. The Demons have an affiliation with the Victorian Women’s League and their commitment to developing women’s football in Victoria is both refreshing and progressive in a way that is all too rarely seen. Could the Swans or GWS play a similar role in New South Wales in the future?

After that we got stuck into medical testing and, later on, role model and leadership workshops with the AIS AFL High Performance coach Jason McCartney. Above all I was surprised by the friendliness and professionalism of everyone involved in the Academy. You can really see how states like Victoria and Western Australia have raised the standard of women’s Aussie Rules and it bodes well for the future. They are stars on obviously, but also off the field, with their preparation, drive and focus on team and teammates, and to be honest I’m a little scared about having to play against some of them on Monday!