Bulldogs launch standalone VFL membership package

From the Western Bulldogs official website:
Full article - Click here.

The Western Bulldogs in a move to embrace the strong support for the Footscray Football club competing in the VFA/VFL competition have now launched a VFL only membership option.

To have a look at the clubs membership options for the 2015 Peter Jackson VFL competition, take a look at the following link:

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Port Melbourne coach Gary Ayres urges Essendon to back off

From The Age
Reported by Daniel Cherny
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Port Melbourne coach Gary Ayres has sent a blunt message in the direction of Essendon, urging the club to back off the Borough's list come the season proper.

Ayres made the remarks on the day the Bombers announced they had verbally committed to their first batch of state league players for the NAB Challenge, a group that includes Port's James Magner.

Former Demon Magner, Sandringham pair Clint Jones (ex-St Kilda) and Mitch Brown (ex-Geelong), and SANFL players Jared Petrenko (ex-Adelaide) and Mitch Clisby (ex-Melbourne) were all approached by Essendon recruiting manager Adrian Dodoro, and are set to line up in Morwell against the Saints in the Dons' NAB Challenge opener on March 7.

Coburg key defender and former Collingwood rookie Michael Hartley is also believed to have been looked at by the Bombers.

2015 Peter Jackson VFL Fixture released!

From the Official VFL website
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The Grand Final replay between Footscray and Box Hill Hawks headlines the opening round of the 2015 Peter Jackson VFL season, with the fixture released today.

The VFL season will kick off on Friday April 17 under lights at Avalon Airport Oval between Werribee and Geelong, with Footscray to unveil its 2014 premiership flag on the Saturday at VU Whitten Oval under new coach Ash Hansen.

The VFL fixture features 15 clubs, with each side to play 18 games and have two byes across a 20 round season.

Grand Final day will not be the only time VFL action heads to Etihad Stadium in 2015, with the Northern Blues to face North Ballarat (Round 5) and Frankston (Round 11) in AFL curtain raiser games.

Night football will again be a feature of the VFL season with four games fixtured to be played under lights – two of these at Bendigo’s Queen Elizabeth Oval.

Frankston, Werribee and Port Melbourne will all host ANZAC Day matches in Round 2, while the Round 8 Coburg versus Northern Blues clash will be the first Queens Birthday VFL game since 2009.

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Carlton target expansion clubs for VFL curtain-raisers

From Sunday Age
Reported by Daniel Cherny
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The revival of curtain-raisers at Carlton home games seems likely to be confined to just two matches in 2015, with low-drawing dates against expansion teams pin-pointed as likely options.

The AFL last month flagged its intention to return double-headers to AFL venues in a bid to spruce up the matchday experience for supporters. Several Victorian clubs including the Blues, Essendon and Collingwood have put their hands up to participate. The respective clubs' VFL teams were identified to host the games prior to the matches.

The VFL released its first draft fixture to clubs last week, and while not a single game at either the MCG or Etihad Stadium was officially slated in the fixture, it is understood several games have been mooted for transfer to these venues ahead of the official release expected in mid-December.

In the Blues' case, the home games on May 16 against GWS and June 28 against Gold Coast have been targeted. The matches will likely be preceded by Carlton's VFL affiliate - the Northern Blues - taking on North Ballarat and Frankston respectively.

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International Rules Practice Game

VAFA vs Australian GAA at Trevor Barker Oval, Sandringham 11:45am
AFL Victoria vs Ireland at Trevor Barker Oval, Sandringham 2pm

Admission is Free

Here is a link to rules and squads for today's game http://www.foxsportspulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?client=1-118-0-0-0&&news_ta...

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Sandringham appoints St Kilda assistant coach Paul Hudson as coach

From The Age
Reported by Brent Diamond
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St Kilda's VFL affiliate Sandringham has appointed Saints assistant Paul Hudson as its coach for the next two seasons in the last of the coaching reshuffle in the VFL ranks.

Hudson will take over from Saints development coach Simon McPhee, who will concentrate on his role at St Kilda next season after stepping down, despite leading the Zebras to a breakthrough finals berth.

Hudson is familiar with the Zebras after playing a match-day role with the prominent VFL club over the past three seasons. The former AFL forward is expected to take the alignment into its last era with St Kilda planning to field a standalone team from 2017.

Zebras general manager John Mennie said Hudson had already become a valuable asset to Sandringham.

Major list changes expected at Coburg as VFL club looks to build on a better than expected 2014

From the Moreland Leader
Reported by Chris Cavanagh
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COBURG coach Peter ­German has revealed the club’s list could change by as much as 50 per cent as the Lions shift their focus ­toward season 2015.

During an in-depth interview with the Moreland Leader, German said the success Coburg enjoyed in its return to being a stand-alone club this season meant that players from across the region were now knocking down the door looking for a senior VFL opportunity.

“Last year it was like, ‘who wants to play for Coburg footy club?’,” German said. “We spoke to a lot of players and they pretty much dismissed us.

“Our brand was tarnished and I’m not sure if people saw there was a direction or possibly even a future.

“But 12 months down the track we’ve actually got really good players ringing us up wanting to come and play at Coburg. Our list could quite easily change by 30, 40, 50 per cent.”

Some punters questioned whether Coburg would survive one season alone after its 12-year alignment with Richmond ended after the 2013 season.

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Justin Plapp appointed coach of Casey Scorpions

From the Cranbourne Leader
Reported by Paul Amy
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THE Casey Scorpions today pulled the first surprise of the VFL pre-season when they installed former St Kilda and Richmond forward Justin Plapp as their new senior coach.

Plapp was named to replace Rohan Welsh, who had completed two years and was keen to continue.

But talks between Casey and Melbourne culminated in a job offer to Plapp yesterday. He accepted this afternoon.

The 37-year-old has had charge of TAC Cup club Sandringham Dragons for the past three seasons.

He was a Development League coach at Box Hill in 2010 and Williamstown in 2011.

Coming out of the Burnie Dockers, Plapp’s stints at Richmond (1998-99) and St Kilda (2000-02) produced 44 games.

VFL showcase compromised for AFL's greater good

From The Age
Reported by Brent Diamond
Full article - Click here

The VFL competition is in two minds and both collided on grand final day. One, it seems, wants to see the traditional VFA teams prosper, the another, which is becoming more dominant, is that AFL Victoria does not want it tagged as an AFL reserves competition.

Box Hill Hawks' handling of Cyril Rioli in the grand final loss to Footscray on Sunday is a stark example. Box Hill was six points up at three-quarter time, with injury concerns, but was unable to put the star Hawk back on the ground.

It is an issue for the VFL and the AFL to tackle. With more stand alone clubs on the horizon, the development of players would appear to be more important than success.
This year's premier – Footscray – is a prime example.

Coach Chris Maple has since day one, stated that player development was a far greater priority than on-field success. After the club's victory, he said: "I think it shows you can still develop and do OK.

"We haven't compromised (in finals) where we want to play players, the length of time we want to play them. Some weeks we've taken them off at half-time and things like that. We haven't changed that and we won't change it.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/vfl-showcase-compromised-for-afls-...