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Chicago Native Set to Debut for Saints

Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Australia

In a week where Australians Jason Day (golf), Liam Hendriks (baseball), and Jarryd Hayne (American Football) have hit the headlines with performances in other professional sports, it’s the AFL's turn to return the favor with American born and raised Jason Holmes set to debut as a ruckman for Saint Kilda in the Australian Football League. Holmes will be the second US born player to appear in an AFL game, but the first who was raised in the States. Californian born Sanford Wheeler played 43 games for the Sydney Swans between 1989 and 1994 (he migrated to Australia with his parents at the age of five). After 20 years, it is also thrilling for AFANA and the USAFL to see an American finally make it to the AFL.
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West Coast Rivalries

Essendon and the West Coast Eagles have a colorful past. A rivalry that goes back to the days when Coach Kevin Sheedy started waving his jacket whenever the Bombers defeated the Eagles. At the start of this season, the Eagles, like the Bombers, had not been given much chance of success. Coach John Worsfold was inked in as one of the first coaches to be fired. Both teams however showed epic pre-season form, both making the Preliminary Finals and both losing to Collingwood in the NAB Cup.

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Collingwood NAB Cup Premiers 2011

On Friday night old rivalries kicked in as the NAB Cup finalists lined up for the national anthem. The last time Collingwood and Essendon faced each other in a Grand Final match was in 1990. The Pies won that game by 48 points even though back then the teams were evenly matched in their ladder finish.

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Saints March On

It rained all Saturday, in stark contrast to Friday night when the Magpies played under summer skies with the roof open at Etihad and Melbourne looed resplendent as the world's second most livable city. Today she was in a different mood. As the wintery winds swirled and the rain pitched down at skewed angles, there was a sense of foreboding in the air.

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Lightning Strikes Again

A week is a long time in football, as the saying goes, well try 40 years. It's that long since the League trialled a shortened version of the game with a round robin format called the Lightning Premiership. Decades later and for the early rounds of the NAB Cup the lightning format was back.

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Etihad Officials Promise Surface Improvement

Ian Collins, manager of Etihad Stadium, has finally admitted that the playing surface needs to be improved after months of defending it. This comes after heavy criticism of the ground from commentators, the media, players, coaches and a host of fans in website comments and on talkback radio.

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Bombers Blast Hawks

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Perth

Twenty-five years of rivalry came to a head Friday night at Etihad Stadium. A pro-Hawthorn crowd of 50,000 was looking forward to an easy win over the Bombers, and tipsters from all around Australia were licking their lips at the odds.

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