Footy Stars In Vietnam
Former Collingwood captain and current assistant coach Nathan Buckley and former Essendon player Gary O'Donnell have visited the Vietnam Swans in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon). Buckley and O'Donnell held clinics for not only the team but a number of other kids, including Australians living in Vietnam. According to Phil Johns, the Swans' national president, the clinic was a community event, open to anyone who wanted to attend. Johns expected at least 100 youngsters to be in attendance. Among those invited were disadvantaged children from a local organization called KOTO.
Johns also talked about a recent clinic to teach the fundamentals of kicking and handballing. He believes the visit by Buckley and O'Donnell was a huge boost for the club.
Matthew Stokes recently appeared in court on drug charges and has been sanctioned by the Geelong football club. His court cast was adjourned until late April. Not only has club fined him the maximum $5000 under the player conduct code but training and playing restrictions have been put in place.
During the preseason Stokes was allowed to train at the club, but only when no other players were present. Once the season started, Stokes was allowed to train with VFL players but cannot play until Round Five. Rounds 5 to 7 will see him eligible for selection for VFL games only. After Round Seven, he will be reinstated for training with the senior squad and eligible for senior selection.
Stokes has also been ordered to assist with a community based drug program as well as to find full time employment outside of the club. To that end, he is hoping to obtain a job with a local zoo. He is currently working towards a degree in that field having previously worked as a zookeeper at the Adelaide Zoo prior to being drafted.
Source: Tom Peters, Club Media Release and the Geelong Advertiser
If approved by the New Zealand government, the Bulldogs could soon be playing several matches in Wellington. Bulldog CEO Campbell Rose, who is acquainted with the NZ Prime Minister and has experience in event management, outlined the proposal to the AFL earlier this year. The AFL approved the plan and the proposal has since been forwarded to the New Zealand Sports and Recreation Commission. The club would like to play two games in Wellington but only for a guaranteed return of $500,000.
The Bulldogs currently play games in Canberra and Darwin and would plan other events around the New Zealand matches in order to build support for themselves and the game. Should the New Zealand Commission approve, the Dogs could be scheduled to play in Wellington next season or in 2012. Rose did concede that 2012 might be better as New Zealand will be hosting the rugby orld cup next year.
The Bulldogs are not the first team to attempt inroads in fanatical rugby territory. Hawthorn and the AFL NZ teamed up last year in attempt to establish an AFL footy presence but, according to Rose, more for recruiting purposes than playing purposes. Hawthorn already has a lucrative contract to play four games in Tasmania.
Although AFL football has been played in New Zealand in the past, those games were only exhibition or preseason games. No games for premiership points have ever been played there. The most recent games were Adelaide vs. Brisbane in 2001, Hawthorn vs. the Bulldogs in 2000, and Melbourne vs. Sydney in 1998.
Source: Herald Sun
Article last changed on Saturday, April 10, 2010 - 10:41 PM EDT