Tag: chris fagan

Queensland weekly wrap: Multicultural initiatives hit Queensland

QUEENSLAND AFL is set to host two initiatives which look towards creating inclusion and accepting diversity in the footballing community. While the organisation of the Bachar Houli Cup and Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) were well underway this week, both AFL sides fell short of victory.

A promotion of culture in Queensland AFL

Two events will shape the week for Queensland AFL. Those events being the Bachar Houli Cup and the Brisbane Lions commencing their first ever Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

The Queensland Bachar Houli Cup takes place on the August 10 at Leyshon Park. Since the cup was introduced to Victoria in 2012, it has progressed to a national event involving more than 5000 Islamic students from around the nation. This initiative was developed between the AFL Multicultural Program and current Richmond premiership player, Bachar Houli. The aim of the carnival is to introduce the young Muslim community to Aussie Rules, in the hopes of swelling participation numbers from the Muslim community to enrich the game with their culture.

Houli and Essendon’s Adam Saad are currently the two AFL players for the Muslim community to look up to and adore.

Three schools will compete at Leyshon Park; Australian International Islamic College Brisbane, Wisdom College and Australian International Islamic College Gold Coast.

Bachar Houli Cup Fixture:

Game 1: AIIC Brisbane v Wisdom College
Game 2: Wisdom College v AIIC Gold Coast
Game 3: AIIC Gold Coast v AIIC Brisbane

Lions RAP plan

On Thursday, the Brisbane Lions set in motion their first ever Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs. The launch was timely, falling on International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. A crowd of media were there alongside Lions players and staff members to kick-off the new RAP initiative.

The RAP initiative allows the Brisbane Lions to become a more inclusive organisation with the document outlining future commitments to achieve reconciliation among the Indigenous community. The RAP also explains that the Lions will partake in programs with the Indigenous community promoting health, education and mental health and wellbeing.

The RAP program is in effect for one year commencing immediately.


Lions left wondering

In perhaps the story of their season, the Brisbane Lions have let anther game slip through their fingers, going down to North Melbourne 107-104 at the Gabba last Saturday afternoon. The Gabba crowd was treated to a tantalising first quarter with both sides kicking 11 goals between them. The Lions ended the first term with a perfect six straight goals to North Melbourne’s five goals one behind, to go in five point leaders.

The Kangaroos stamped their authority in the second term kicking seven goals to three as Trent Dumont led the way with 21 touches in the first half for North Melbourne. Down by a few goals like last week against Geelong, Lions fans’ hearts were in their mouths hoping for no second half hiding like last round.

Brisbane responded strongly in the second half, going blow for blow with the Kangaroos as the game tightened up. With only 30 seconds left in the game, Cameron Rayner won a holding the ball free kick 25m out from goal to win the game for the Lions. Bizarrely in a moment of pressure, Rayner went around the body from a slight angle and missed. The Kangaroos held out three point winners as Rayner was embraced by coach Chris Fagan after the match in a show of strong faith.

The Lions midfield brigade had plenty of footy with Dayne Zorko (35 disposals), Dayne Beams (29) and Tom Berry (28) continuing strong seasons. The Achilles heel for Brisbane was their inside 50 efficiency. North Melbourne were 56 per cent compared to Brisbane’s 39 per cent.

The Lions next face Collingwood at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.


Suns smashed

Suns coach Stewart Dew was left pulling out whatever hair he has left last Sunday when his side lost by 96 points to the Demons at the MCG. It was a nine goal to one opening term that set up the whitewash win for the Demons. The Suns were outclassed almost all across the paddock, with only Touk MillerAlex Sexton and Jarrod Witts putting in strong performances. Miller had 25 touches and Witts beat Max Gawn in the hitouts, 40-30. Sexton had five goals from 10 disposals going at 80 per cent efficiency.

Down by more than 10 goals at the half, the Suns were brave in the third, holding Melbourne to just two goals in a game covered in negatives for Gold Coast. In the end, Melbourne kicked 21 goals to the Suns’ seven for a resounding victory. Jesse Hogan had four majors whilst James Harmes had three for the Demons. Ball magnet Clayton Oliver impressed with 31 disposals along with 27 from Angus Brayshaw and Dom Tyson.

On a side note, Gold Coast youngsters Will Brodie and Callum Ah Chee continued to show off their talent in another good game collecting 23 and 22 disposals respectively.

Like the Lions, Gold Coast face another premiership contender next round in the form of the defending premiers Richmond. The Suns will hope for a major upset in front of their home fans from Metricon Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Queensland weekly wrap: Scott stars for Allies; U16s go down

WITH the National Championships underway at the Under 16 and 18 levels, there has been plenty of opportunity for Queensland youngsters to strut their stuff on the big stage. Meanwhile at the elite level, it was a disappointing weekend for the AFL sides, but the Lions AFLW side roared in their winter series opener.

Suns academy prospect stars for Allies

Potential father-son and Gold Coast academy prospect Bailey Scott played a starring role in the Allies’ Round One victory over Vic Country in the under 18 National Championships. Scott was in the conversation for best on ground grabbing 23 touches and kicking two goals. The 186cm midfielder also had five clearances and five tackles to round out a complete game.

Brisbane Lions Academy’s Connor McFadyen was very solid also collecting 19 disposals, an impressive feat for a 190cm key position player who also spent some time in the midfield.

Queensland representatives in the Allies squad have a tough matchup this Saturday when they face Vic Metro, who looked in full control against Western Australia in their first-round win. Scott particularly will have his work cut out when he goes face to face with Vic Metro’s gun midfielders Bailey Smith and Rhylee West. Tip-off is 11:00am from Southport AFC, Saturday June 16.

Queensland U16 go down to Tassie

The NAB AFL Under 16 Championships started on Monday when the division two sides battled in Blacktown. Tasmania, Queensland, NSW-ACT and the Northern Territory will fight it out for the title over three rounds, with the division one state sides opening their championships later this month.

Queensland went down to Tasmania by 22 points. Read the full report here.

Tough week for Suns and Lions

It was a hard pill to swallow for the Gold Coast Suns, going down by over 100 points to fellow expansion team Greater Western Sydney. Aaron Young kicked two goals to be the Suns only multiple goal scorer whilst Jarrad Harbrow was busy off half-back with 27 touches. It’s been a tough few weeks with the loss in Shanghai to Port and now two big defeats on the trot. The Suns though have only had one true home game this season and should smell a win this coming round when they face St Kilda at Metricon Saturday afternoon.

The Lions may only have themselves to blame for their loss to Essendon. The Lions were without arguably their two most influential players in Charlie Cameron and Mitch Robinson and they proved to be big losses not being out on the field for Brisbane. The Bombers ran out 84-62 victors in a game of lacklustre finishing in front of goal.

The Lions were missing Cameron’s class in front of goal all day and it was no more evident than in the last term when three consecutive misses for goal. Daniel McStay missed from 15 metres out in front which would have put the Lions right back in it after a day where he took some great marks. Essendon did enough to win by 22 in the end, with Jake Stringer kicking three for the Bombers and Zach Merrett grabbing 29 possessions. For the Lions, Daniel Rich and Alex Witherdan got 29 apiece also with Harris Andrews also a fair case for best on ground.

The Lions have the bye next week then face the Giants at the Gabba in Round 14 on a Saturday afternoon.

Fagan pops his hammy

During the 2018 Big Freeze where coaches slid in on the Monday clash between Melbourne and Collingwood, Chris Fagan bizarrely managed to injure himself. Fagan requires surgery after scans showed he ruptured his hamstring tendon after slipping during Monday’s Big Freeze MND event at the MCG. Fagan fell awkwardly as he left the icy pool of water following his turn to take the plunge to raise money for motor neurone disease research. Fagan’s slip is another sight of bad luck for the brave Lions during this one-win season.

Lions roar in AFLW Winter Series opener

The Brisbane Lions AFLW side opened their Winter Series with a monster 18.8 (106) to 0.0 (0) victory over the GWS Giants South side. Jess Wuetschner and Sophie Conway benefitted most up forward kicking seven majors between them. The scoreboard might not suggest it, but GWS did have numerous attacking opportunities, but the Lions’ defence was rock-solid and rebounded the ball back every time.

Next up for the Lions is a home match against GWS North in two weeks’ time at Graham Road Aspley on Saturday, June 23 from 11am.

Was AFLX a hit or a miss?

IT was the newest addition to the AFL’s growing repertoire but was last week’s AFLX round robin experiment exciting or just a glorified training drill?

The Media:

The 10-player-a-team format was trialled for the first time last week with six teams per night in three different states and brought about mixed responses immediately after its debut with the Herald Sun’s Jon Anderson and ABC’s Richard Hinds at polar opposite ends of the enjoyment scale. The television ratings suggest it was a hit on the first night of competition – 673,000 tuned in to Channel Seven’s coverage at some point during the night – but the average audience was just 171,000. So was that interested viewers switching off in disappointment? Or was it traditionalists letting curiosity get the better of them eventually? An audience of 82,000 that tuned in on Foxtel made it the most watched subscriber-based time slot on Thursday night. The television ratings on Friday the second night of competition had 75,000 TV viewers, which was a significant drop in ratings from the first night. Then on Saturday, just 70,000 watched the AFLX on Foxtel and on 7Mate – Channel Seven’s third channel – 71,000 viewers tuned in to watch AFLX. This could be because fans were sick of watching a game where there was “no physicality, no crunching tackles – barely any tackling at all” which make Australian Football unique and great.

The Players:

The AFLX begun on Thursday night at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide. The Crows were too strong for Geelong in the Grand Final. Many of the players on the opening night of AFLX did not like the silver footballs that were used, most, such as Adelaide’s Kyle Cheney saying it was more difficult to use compared to the traditional Sherrin. As a result of the players who voiced their concerns about the silver ball the AFL went back to using the traditional yellow ball for the remainder of the tournament. All the players from opening night were happy to be out there again playing football even though it was only pre season. Geelong’s forward Tom Hawkins told to Fox Footy that playing AFLX was “bloody good fun.” By the end of the night the players were tired due to the AFLX being such a fast paced game based on skills. Fremantle’s Bradley Hill when asked by Fox Footy his thoughts on AFLX said “it’s actually alright to be honest, I was struggling a fair bit myself but I reckon everyone is struggling just as bad if not more.”

The Coaches:

The feedback from the coaches was mixed. In his post-game interview for the club’s website, Collingwood assistant and AFLX coach Robert Harvey believed the players were on board for the new competition. “I think the players enjoyed it, like come over different concept very different to an AFL game but best thing for us we exposed some really young kids and they just looked really good and its good experience for them under that environment like playing other AFL teams,” he said. However Brisbane coach Chris Fagan was not a fan of AFLX due to the lower fan engagement, such as celebrating after goals. Fagan also disliked it how players are used as guinea pigs for the experiment putting them at the risk of injuries before the season proper. He still wants the AFLX to work but believes there are a lot of improvements needed. “It’s good that they are trying something new – every time you do that you learn how to make it better,” Fagan said. “I am sure the AFL will seek feedback from clubs to help bring a better version next time but they have to start somewhere.” Many AFL fans were quick to criticise the modified game of AFL, however the game was created to fill the gap in the International market and AFLX may be the way to do it. If we want to see some sort of Australian Football played globally then AFLX might be the way as many grounds overseas only have rectangular soccer pitches.


I believe many concerns from AFL fans regarding the AFLX competition might be subsided if it was held in the middle of the AFL Premiership Season. That way I believe it would not take the shine away from the AFLW. These women are trying to make names for themselves and have their football brand recognised but how can they if the competition clashes with AFLX?

I believe we should have the AFLX played across three nights mid-season, mirroring the NBA’s All-Star Weekend. On night one of competition there could be like an AFLX Rising Star game showcasing the talents of those players who are aged under 22 to face off in AFLX. Then on night two of the competition, the match could be an All-Star battle such as Team Ablett versus Team Fyfe.

The AFL could also follow the NBA’s lead in its All-Star match selection process. Fans choose their All-Stars and then once the captains of both teams are chosen, they select their teams. I believe this will be a good way to include fans and therefore fans will feel a greater part of this new AFL game, which I believe is a win for the AFL. Then on the final night of competition, the retired legends of our great game can play in a Victoria vs. All Stars match similar to the EJ Whitten Legends game.

My suggestion for making the AFLX more of a spectacle for viewers is to include these big name AFL players in the competition and that is more likely to occur if it was played mid-season, with the AFL perhaps giving a two week break to ensure no fatigue for the second half of the season. This would be a great way for the AFL to promote the AFLX internationally as well, because they could take these teams around the world to help with the promotion of the new modified format. You be the judge, but I believe the AFLX will thrive more if it was to model the AFLX on the way the NBA runs it All-Star Weekend, as it is one of the most watched globalised events. The AFLX was created to fill a gap in the global market and to take our game internationally and I believe this concept will fill the gap, as will showcasing our game’s All-Star talent.

How do you think the AFL should market AFLX?