Pssst: The VFL team with Muslims and a Jew

From The Age
Reported by
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Have you heard the one about the Jew and the Muslim? At Coburg it's no joke. Already a club with a reputation for promoting multiculturalism, the Lions took things one step further last week when they signed forward Jake Lew from amateur club AJAX.

Lew is Jewish, and is set to line up next year in perhaps the most ethnically diverse forward line ever assembled. Lew's signature follows that of former St Kilda goalsneak Ahmed Saad, a Muslim, who returns to state ranks to play alongside mates Danny Younan and Ozgur Uysal. Younan was born in Australia to a Lebanese mother and Syrian father, while Uysal is a Turk. The Lions' forward line also includes Lech Featherstone, who as detailed last year in Pssst, was named after a Polish union leader of the 1980s.

Footballer survives rare deadly superbug

From the SBS News website
Reported by Sarah Abo
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Doctors have been shocked by the survival of a young footballer who contracted a rare and deadly muscle-attacking bacteria.

A Victorian man is one of just seven people who have survived a rare superbug that’s believed to have struck only 21 people in the world.

Sam O’Sullivan not only defied those odds, but it’s also believed he is the only survivor to have escaped losing a limb after being infected with necrotising myositis – a fast-spreading infection that attacks the body’s muscles.

Mr O'Sullivan said he had flu-like symptoms for about a week, which culminated in being hospitalised for severe shin pain.

“They couldn’t really find out what was going on for another couple of days,” he told 3AW radio.

“My leg blew up and my foot stopped working. I lost sensation.”

He went into surgery for compartment syndrome, but it wasn’t until doctors had made an incision that they realised what they were dealing with.

“They opened my leg up and got the shock of their lives.”

Williamstown into first grand final since 2011 after win against Essendon

From The Age
Reported by Brent Diamond
Full article -

Williamstown won through to their first grand final since 2011 after withstanding a gritty Essendon by 12 points in a pulsating preliminary final at North Port Oval on Sunday.
It sets up a tantalising grand final at Etihad Stadium on Sunday against the Box Hill Hawks; the team they lost to in last year's preliminary final — their seventh of the last nine prelimin finals — by seven points.

Certainly, the mental demons from that final had returned at three-quarter-time after the Seagulls gave up a 27-point lead from mid-way through the third term to trail the Bomber by five-points.

Seagulls coach Andy Collins, who said the win "means everything to the footy club", told his charges at the last change: "You've got to get the ball control back."
He threw opportunist goalkicker Sam Dunell and Cameron Lockwood behind the ball and - along with Ben Jolley, who had 14 of his 28 disposals in the final term, and defender Peter Faulks, who controlled the dangerous Kyle Hardingham – the Seagulls, with the week's break, outran the Bombers, winning 15.12 (102) to 12.18 (90).

Leigh Masters, a former Bendigo Bomber, kicked the opening two goals of the last term, before goals to Mitch Banner and Sam Critchley sealed the result.
Dunell said the week's break — after upsetting Sandringham in the qualifying final — was the difference with their part-time players needing extra time to recuperate.

"We knew we had the legs with a week's break, it's just great to see us run over the top," Dunell said..

"We've been planning for it [making a grand final] since October-November... all that hard work. It's just a great feeling," he said.
Williamstown, with seven players in this year's VFL team of the year, are the first stand-alone team to make a grand final since Port Melbourne, who beat the Seagulls, in 2011. They will be out to win their first flag since 2003 as Collins coaches against Box Hill, a team he is familiar with, having taken the club to finals in 2004-05 and being a former Hawthorn premiership player.

VFL Grand Final & TAC CUP Day

TAC Cup Grand Final
Eastern Ranges vs Oakleigh Chargers at Etihad Stadium 11:05am
VFL Grand Final
Box Hill Hawks($1.72) vs Williamstown($2.10) at Etihad Stadium 3pm

(Odds from Crownbet)

story topic: 

VFL Finals Week 3

AFLV Development League Grand Final
Box Hill Hawks vs Williamstown at North Port Oval 11:30am
VFL 2nd Preliminary Final
Box Hill Hawks vs Sandringham at North Port Oval 2:40pm

AFLV Young Guns Game at North Port Oval 12:15pm
VFL 1st Preliminary Final
Williamstown vs Essendon at North Port Oval 2:40pm

story topic: 

VFL Finals Week 2 - Footscray v Essendon & Sandringham v Collingwood

VFL 1st Semi Final
Footscray vs Essendon at North Port Oval 11:40am
Development League Preliminary Final
Williamstown vs Coburg at North Port Oval 2:40pm

VFL 2nd Semi Final
Sandringham vs Collingwood at North Port Oval 11:40am

story topic: 

Gary Ayres wants breakaway competition of stand-alone VFL clubs

From Saturday Age
Reported by Brent Diamond
Full Story
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Gary Ayres has labelled the VFL competition as "gearing towards an AFL full-alignment or partial-alignment reserves competition" amid AFL clubs compromising the competition by resting players on the eve of its finals series.

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott's decision to rest players in the final round could have major consequences for their partial affiliate Werribee in their elimination final against Collingwood at North Port Oval on Saturday.

The Tigers will field just four North Melbourne-listed players – Scott McMahon, Dan Currie, Eric Wallace and Kieran Harper – for their cut-throat clash against Collingwood, who will have 15 AFL-listed players.

Werribee were in contention for a top-four spot up until last week. They have opted to be fully aligned with North Melbourne next season, but perhaps along with that, throwing away their destiny.

story topic: 

VFL Finals Week 1

VFL 2nd Elimination Final
Collingwood vs Werribee at North Port Oval 12:10pm (Channel 7)

Development League Qualifying Final
Box Hill Hawks vs Williamstown at Box Hill 11am
VFL 1st Qualifying Final
Box Hill Hawks vs Footscray at Box Hill 2pm (3WBC)

VFL 1st Elimination Final
Essendon vs Casey Scorpions at North Port Oval 11:40am (Channel 7)
Development League Elimination Final
Casey Scorpions vs Coburg at North Port Oval 2:40pm

VFL 2nd Qualifying Final
Sandringham vs Williamstown at Trevor Barker Oval,Sandringham 2pm (VFL Live)

story topic: 

Roosters’ long-time coach signs off in his style

From Ballarat Courier
Reported by Melanie Whelan
Full Story
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EXCELLENTLY prepared. Encouraging teacher and astute learner. Constantly evolving his tactics. Highly respectful of the game, the league and its players. Genuinely interested in the stories behind his players and the staff he works alongside.

Fiercely competitive.

These are consistent themes in how peers and players describe Gerard FitzGerald’s coaching style, characteristics fine-tuned in his tenures with North Ballarat Roosters. This is how he plans to sign off.

FitzGerald will close a coaching chapter with the Selkirk Roosters in the Victorian Football League on Saturday. He will lead the club into battle against standalone club Coburg, a team led by long-time friend and rival Peter German.

story topic: 

Frankston locks in coach Patrick Hill for two more years

From Leader Newspapers
Reported by Paul Amy
Full Story
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FRANKSTON has reappointed coach Patrick Hill for two years and re-signed 30 players as it sets out for a more prosperous 2016.

As per a recommendation from football manager Brett Angwin, the Dolphins board locked in Hill last night.

The former Box Hill Hawks assistant confirmed he had been seeking a two-year deal. In its first season under Hill, Frankston finished 0-18 and with a percentage of 43.66, ending a rugged year with a humiliating 146-point loss at Port Melbourne.