Two New Baseball MVP’s Announced

Major League Baseball has announced their two newest Most Valuable Players for the 2018 – 2019 Season. The first, named for the American League, is Mike Trout while Cody Bellinger got the nod for the National League is Cody Bellinger. Both of these announcements came as a shock for the respective winners, especially for Trout as he had to overcome tragedy and injury to succeed as this years American MVP. After a voting period with the Baseball Writer’s Association of America, Mike Trout earned seventeen out of thirty votes while runner Houston Astros Alex Bregman, who received the remaining thirteen votes.

Mike Trout’s foot injury came towards the end of the season in September. However, he remained on the field overcoming pain to finish a new career-high with 134 Games, with 45 home runs. Trout maintained an on-base percentage of .438 and batted a .291 percentage. Throughout 2019 he drove over 100+ runs, making him the highest in MLB today. Mike Trout also faced the loss of his closest friend and fellow teammate on July 1st. After Tyler Skaggs passed the award, Trout had a 454-Foot Homerun. Most believe he made this hit in honour of his former best friend.

Mike Trout now joins a record that is held by ten individuals through Major League Baseball History. He is the 10th most valuable player to win the title three times. Others include legends like Barry Bonds, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Alex Rodriguez. Considering Trout is less than thirty, he has the chance to reach several MVPs. This would tie the record held by Barry Bonds.

The National League MVP

Cody Bellinger from the Los Angeles Dodgers received the second Most Valuable Player award under the national league. The Baseball Writer’s Association had a voting session between Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich. After the poling on November 14th, it was announced that Bellinger won with the majority vote. He received nineteen of the thirty votes.

At the age of 24, Cody Bellinger took home his award after his unique left-handed swing resulted in 47 Homeruns. His average was .305, with an OPS of 1.035 and RBI of 115. Bellinger is considering the top player for the Los Angeles Dodgers, propelling their status in the league and allowing for 106 wins since his arrival. He is the 10th player from the Dodgers to receive this award. After learning that he had won this award, the young superstar began to tear up and get emotional before hugging his father.

New Deal for Australian Women’s Football Team

Australia is quickly becoming a more progressive country after years of extreme conservatism. One proof of concept for their progressive growth is the fact that the Australian Women’s National Football Team will now make the same paygrade as their male counterparts. These women will also be eligible to receive an equal split for commercial revenues. This comes after the Australian National Football League signed a new deal with these women. Historically, it’s been reported multiple times that the Australian Men’s National Football Team has earned significantly higher sums of money than female players. Before this deal, women weren’t allowed any commercial revenues either. Subsequently, this new agreement is a significant leap forward for Australia’s progressive growth.

The Football Federation of Australia oversaw this agreement. The FFA required that all female players accept the deal in principle. However, these women demanded documents proof of the agreement or that they would go on public strike. Considering the FFA couldn’t afford the backlash in the “Me To” era, they backed off from their bullying tactics and allowed for equal status of pay. Surprisingly, the Professional Football Australia Union hasn’t made any public statements regarding this deal. Sports analysts agree that this is because the FAU was left out of the proceedings. Gender Equality in Sports has grown to become a significant issue in Australia, which could also be with the FAU has opted out not to comment. Anything said today could be misperceived as unfavourable.

Women’s Uprise

An informal spokesman with the Football Federation of Australia revealed this announcement to sports reporters. The issue came to light in Australia after the United States National Women’s Soccer Team sued their governing body for gender discrimination. It became a worldwide new story that has prompted multiple other female sporting associations to demand the same level of equality. When the United States ignored these female soccer players, the lawsuit was implemented. Ultimately these women won $4 Million for their gender discrimination case and later went on to win the championship, earning $30 Million. This was the first time they’d won a championship title in years, proving that their victory in court helped them gain their success on the field.

It’s unknown how the Australian Men’s National Rugby Team has reacted to this news. Considering this team is known for their conservative views, it’s anticipated that they aren’t happy with the results and are opting out not to comment publicly. The next step for these women is to combine both leagues into one association, which will create a severe backlash from their male counterparts. We will update our readers as this drama unfolds publicly.

FFA Asian Youth Tournament

Since they have been the hosts in 1993 of the FIFA under 20 World Cup, Australia has been out of hosting youth tournaments, but not for any longer. The Football Federation Australia has expressed its intent to lodge a bid for the 2020 or 2021 U19 Youth Championships. This is however only one of the tournaments which the FFA is planning on bidding on.

Due to their proximity to the South Eastern parts of Asia, both Darwin in the Northern Territory and Perth in Western Australia could be hosts to the ASEAN Football Federation’s youth tournament. This falls entirely within the plans of the FFA to expand its footprint within the south-eastern regions of Asia. Being able to host this prestigious event will shed much-needed light onto the development of the Young Socceroos. Recently the FFA was criticized for neglecting to look after these youngsters. This young team was this year’s champions in the AFF U19 championships which took place only a few months ago when they defeated Malaysia 1-0.

The AFF Women’s Tournament

The FFA seems to also have their eye on hosting the AFF women’s tournament which is scheduled to take place around the same time. Australia is, in fact, a great contender to be the host. Roughly around one million Australians are of ASEAN heritage or were born there. This serves as a great indication to Mark Falvo, the Chief Operating Officer as well as the Head of International Relations for the FFA, that the tournament will not only be well received within the country but also well attended.

He furthermore stated that the ASEAN region is becoming much stronger in both their economic growth as well as their quality of football delivered. They have a great passion for the game. He confirmed that locally they have already been swamped with meeting with relevant councils and committees and hosted workshops to develop various programs to improve the sport in their region too. The next step which they need to take to keep the momentum of the process going is to host an ASEAN event, and since certain areas within the country are geographically suited, this is perfect.

The AFF was established in 1984. It represents the 12 countries in the ASEAN nations. These are Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Timor-Lester, Singapore and the Philippines. This list is inclusive of some of the nations which are showing the most rapid growth within football. Last year, the FFA was also present at the AFF Suzuki Cup. This is the senior tournament. Then talks already started about Australia joining this tournament, regardless of the logistic challenges of these games being played outside of the international windows of FIFA.

Highest Paying AFL Players

During the 2018 season in AFL, a decline in players earning more than $1 million presented itself, but that was only during 2018 since 2019 is presenting itself as a completely different scene. During 2019 at least six players were making it to the seven-figure bracket. This was still below the nine players earning this kind of money during 2017, yet it is indicative of an increase in the value of contracts signed. What is also evident is the fact that some players might be listed below the seven-figure mark, but once the front and back ends are added, they are well over it. Even though names have been excluded from the coveted list of sporting millionaires, judging on previous salaries paid, we can always make an excellent guess at who these well-paid footy stars are.

  • Dustin Martin – During 2017 Martin, a Brownlow medallist, said no to a seven-year contract with North Melbourne valued at $10.5 million. He then did go ahead and signed a deal with Tigerland valued at an estimated $1.2 to $1.3 million.
  • Lance Franklin – Also believed to be in the selected group of top-earners. This superstar from Sydney signed a nine-year deal with the Swans just after the 2013 season, valued at $10 million.
  • Nat Fyfe – Fyfe hung on to his status as a top earner in the world of Australian football when he signed his contract keeping him secure for six years, valued at $6.5 million during the 2017 season.
  • Tom Lynch – Lynch just dropped out of this coveted group. The former skipper to the Gold Coast Suns was in the category during the 2018 season but dropped out during 2019 due to the structure of his contract. Even though Lynch is signed on to a $6.5 million payment for seven years, he will only be paid $500 000 per season for the initial three.
  • Jeremy Cameron – The forward to GWS is also suspected to be in the high ranking group. After his contract came to an end in 2015, another contract valued at $4 million over five years was signed. Thus depending on the amount linked to loading, Cameron is sometimes in and sometimes out of the high-earner group.
  • Tom Boyd – Probably the biggest surprise in the group is the big man from the Western Bulldogs. Judged on player reputation, Boyd is the odd one out, but he did sign a 7 million dollar contract stretching over seven years with GWS during 2014, securing his position on this group. Boyd started at the Dogs being paid a draftee-level wage, but since then his performance significantly increased his payment to push him into the top ranks. Especially his contribution towards the clubs premiership win during 2016 gave him a massive push in terms of payment increase.

Australian Croatian Soccer Tournament

The 46th Croatian Australian Soccer Tournament is set to take place in October next year at the North Geelong Warriors Football Club. The tournament is one of the biggest community soccer tournaments in the country. Being hosted already since 1974, it is also carrying the title of being the oldest soccer competition on a national level within the state.

The tournament was founded initially inspired by the success which the Croatian-North American Soccer Tournament had which started in 1964. Their first event was held in Melbourne, and a mere six clubs took part in the game. Over the decades the tournament has grown into a legitimate international affair with players and supporters coming from beyond the borders of both New Zealand and Australia, including Canada, the United States and Germany.

Over the four days, 1 200 participants will be competing against each other in 120 matches. The entire event is estimated to bring in a financial injection into Geelong of around $4 million. According to the figures for the 2018 tournament, the expected number of visitors who will be attending either the games, the gala events or the plethora of business networking lunches, will be around 10 000.

North Geelong Warriors Football Club

The club was founded in late December 1967. During 1968 they played their first season in Division 2 and competed against other teams from Geelong, Ballarat and the District Soccer Association. They then ended up fourth in the group of 10 organizations.

The club has been serving the Croatian Community of the Geelong area for more than 50 years. Since they are the most distinguished soccer institution in Geelong, they play a vital role within the community and are aiding in the development of the sport. Currently, they are competing in the National Premier Leagues Victoria 2. Initially, the club was founded to form a connection between the broader Croatian communities who moved to the city of Geelong, to help them settle in their new country, but also to celebrate their heritage.

Today the club has grown to be the football destination of more than 408 players. Their home base is situated in Elcho Park in the suburb Lara in northern Geelong. These players don’t know the only range in ethnicity but also age. The youngest group of players are under 5’s. Then they cover all groups between including nine women’s teams, the National Premier League Division 2 senior side and a total sum of 35 NGWFC units. The club has been a participant in the Australian-Croatian Soccer Tournament regularly, and it was host to the event four times and won the championship title for the first time in 2014.

The local clubs and businesses will receive assistance from the provincial government to prepare for the massive influx of visitors expected in their small town for the four days. This is done to ensure that these business achieves maximum benefit from the financial input and to ensure that visitors will enjoy a relaxing and fun stay.

Fowler Bringing Hope to Brisbane

With very little to almost no experience as senior coach, the Australian A-League club appointed Robbie Fowler as a coach to their team. Even though Fowler has been involved for a large part of his career either playing or at Liverpool’s academy, his coaching career was limited to a short stint at the Thai club, Muangthong United. Kicking off at their season opener soon, the team is, however, showing promise of an excellent performance both against Adelaide in their opener as well as for the entire season. This hope is based on their success in the pre-season victory of the Surf City Cup.

At the end of the previous season, the Brisbane Roars was ranked at number nine with only Central Coast Mariners performing worse than them. This year they are already showing promise in their attack strategies and all over style on the field. Fowler expressed his excitement when the team managed to snatch the Surf City Cup from the Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory, stating that he believes that they have sorted out many concerns that were present within the team and they only need a few more tweaks to achieve great success.

He also expressed his trust in the team’s capability and stated that their character is brilliant and combined with the skill of the players, they can manage to get to the top this season. After a short stint at both Perth Glory and North Queensland Fury, Fowler does have an excellent knowledge of the league. Therefore he stated that he is a reliable and useful option to lead the team to victory upon his appointment as head coach to the Roars. The Brit also has many other players from his home country in his squad. Both Macaulay Gillepshey previously from Carlisle and Jay O’Shea, the midfielder form Birmingham City is on his team.

New Faces in Management

The A-league made some shuffles, and many new faces are in coaching positions in the league. Except for Fowler, the Dutchman Gertjan Verbeek brought his rich history of experience to Adelaide. While Melbourne City is under the reigns of Frenchman Erick Mombaerts and Adelaide coach Marco Kurtz left them for Melbourne Victory, their cross-city rivals.

This season’s opening games are all about to kick off soon, and fans will see many forces meeting each other on the field once such clash will take place when the two clubs from Melbourne take each other on. Another will take place when the Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers go up against each other and New Zealand Wellington Phoenix takes on the newly added Western United. This year there are a total of 11 clubs competing with bids going on for the twelfth club which will be included in the league from next year onwards. These additions are made to expand the league’s size.

Australia’s Top Soccer Coaches

They are the foundation of any team’s success. The ones playing a vital role and whose heads are on the chopping block when any organization goes through a winning drought. The world of Australian soccer has delivered many great coaches over time. Let’s explore the one often considered to be the best, Ange Postecoglou.

The 54-year-old former player and head coach to the Australian national soccer team is considered by many as the greatest coach in the history of Australian soccer. Born in Greece, Postecoglou, immigrated by boat to Australia in 1970 after his father lost his business in Greece due to the Greek military coup. The young Postecoglou was only five years old and spent growing up in Melbourne.

Joining South Melbourne

Postecoglou joined the club when he was only nine years old. He played a total of 193 games for the club between the years 1984 up to 1993. He also played a part in their 1984 and then again 1990-91 titles. During this later period, Postecoglou was captain to the team. He also started his coaching career at South Melbourne.

Postecoglou coached at South Melbourne from 1996 to 2000. He was the man who guided them to the success of winning two consecutive National Soccer Leagues in 1997-98 and then again in 1998-99. During 1999 they were also victorious in the Oceania Club Championship. This qualified them for the 2000 FIFA Club World Championship. From here, Postecoglou moved on to coaching the Australian Youth Team.

Coaching the Youth

In 2000 he started coaching the Australian youth teams and was narrowly involved in developing these young players for the national team. The teams didn’t do great though, and after failing to qualify for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, he was sacked. Postecoglou stepped out of the coaching arena for a while and started to work for Fox Sports as a pundit, and he was also consulting at the Football Federation Victoria as an elite consultant.

For a period in his life, Postecoglou coached at many clubs. During 2008 he was involved in coaching the Greek club, Panachaiki. He was also signed in 2009 to coach Brisbane Roar and had some success. 2012 he signed a three year deal with Melbourne Victory and immediately started rebuilding the team to great success.

The Australian National Team

During 2013 he joined the Australian national team in 2013 with a five-year contract. He took over from Holger Osieck after the German got fired due to a losing streak of six defeats. Postecoglou had to regenerate the team and bring them back from stagnation. He had success. During the Australian’s first game which was a friendly home game against Costa Rica, the Australians won 1-0. During the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the team was unsuccessful, yet they were praised for their great effort. Shortly after the team qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Postecoglou announced his resignation. Currently, he is coaching the Yokohama F. Marinos.

Cheryl Salisbury Enters Hall of Fame

Cheryl Salisbury is considered by many as a pioneer for females in the world of Australian football. Not only was she the former captain to the Matildas, but she also has the title as the most capped player in the country. Now her contribution is being celebrated when she will become the first women to be inducted in the country’s Sports Hall of Fame.

The 45-year-old Salisbury started playing soccer at the young age of seven when she joined the boys from her local neighbourhood in the streets. From playing in the streets of a Newcastle, she rose to debut for the Australian national team at the age of 20 during 1994 against Russia. During her career, she represented her country 151 times on the field. This is the highest number for players of both genders in the country. Salisbury was captain to the Matildas until her retirement in 2009. She played centre back during four World Cups as well as in two Olympic Games. During these games, she managed 38 goals for Australia.

Being a Pioneer in the Sport

Salisbury stated that during her childhood years, she never had any exposure to women playing football. It wasn’t something she even saw on television. She also lacked having a role-model to look towards for inspiration. Therefore she aspired to be like Craig Johnston because they both are from Newcastle. She remembers seeing him play on televised games and she knew that she would never be able to win him due to him being a boy. Her first real exposure to women in the sport was during the World Cup in 1995. She mentioned that this was the first time which is indeed sunk in that women all over the world are involved in playing the sport.

There are a couple of highlights which stand out from her career. For her, one of these moments was when she was able to represent Australia during the Olympic Games hosted on local soil in Sydney. Another is definitely when FIFA named her twice in the Women’s World XI squad during 2004 and again in 2007. Another fond memory for her is remembering the days when she would sit too close to the television and continually being told to move back before her eyes turn square, nailed to any game which was televised.

Already then her passion for this sport showed and it is the passion and commitment over many years which earned her now the privileged position to be inducted as an Athlete Member into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame. This is indeed another excellent opportunity for her to be a role model for young girls sharing the same passion for the sport which brought her this far. It is her golden opportunity to continue her legacy and being someone whom she was looking for as a young and aspiring female footballer.

Australian Footy Gaining Interest

They are people with various backgrounds and professions, different life stories and domestic situations, life expectations and dreams, bound together by two vital connections. They live in Arizona, and they are passionate about the game, Australian Rules football. The Arizona Outlaws is a famous Australian footy club, often competing against other teams from all over America.

Australian Rules football is a game which is played far and wide from the Australian shores and truly is a globally loved sport. Since the mid-1800’s the game went global, but it is only as recent as about two decades ago that it found its foothold in the Arizona valley. Here you will find the footy clubs Chandler, Scottsdale and Tucson, to name only a few. Over the first couple of years, the clubs just grew at a tremendous pace as the popularity of this physically demanding sport grew at a rapid speed. Then a disagreement followed with the United States Australian Football League. The league is operating as a non-profit organization which is concerned with the growth and the development of footy on American soil. This brought a slight halt to the expansion of the sport for a while, but fortunately, the club members and the organization could shake hands once again, and the competition excelled once more. Now the USAFL is home to 45 footy teams of which the Arizona Outlaws and the Arizona Hawks are two.

The History of Footy in Arizona

The first footy team playing for the state of Arizona was the Arizona Hawks. They started playing in 1999, but the team had challenges with members moving away, and it nearly folded for a while. For about a decade it was an on and off the struggle and irregular practices. In 2015 the Arizona Hawks was back in full force and managed to have regular practice sessions. 2017 saw the Arizona Outlaws come to life. These two teams compete within the Arizona Footy League. This league of four teams competes within the Valley with nine players per team. Now Anthony Stark, player and passionate supporter of the sport said that a strong foundation had been laid after all these struggles and the future of footy in Arizona looks promising.

Recruitment Remains Challenging

Footy, which is a combination of soccer, rugby, American football and basketball, is a very physical sport which often leads to sprained ankles and other injuries. This is however not the reason why clubs have a challenging time to recruit new players, but much rather because people move away and their priorities shift and then they need to be replaced with new promising athletes. Therefore these clubs are shifting their focus on finding younger athletes so that they can coach a younger generation of players to take the sport forward and keep on expanding the interest in it. Footy in Arizona is not only a sport; they all agree, but much rather a social network of members supporting each other while they have fun at trying something new from the Land Down Under.

Australia Mourns Death of Danny Frawley

A dark cloud of mourning swept over the Australian Football League early on this week when they had to say goodbye to one of the AFL’s greatest stars. Merely one day after his 56th birthday, the world had to bid Danny Frawley farewell. The actor died in a single-vehicle accident leaving behind his wife and three daughters.

Frawley had a successful career during which he was captain of the St Kilda’s club from 1987 until 1995. He appeared 240 times for this AFL club. His career at St Kilda’s reserved him space within their Hall of Fame twelve years ago. Frawley has often been described as the stable and constant element in the club during times when things were volatile in St Kilda. Even though he was playing in many more games, which resulted in losses than wins, he remained their stronghold. He was known for his passionate and competitive personality throughout his entire career. One of his former teammates, Nathan Burke, stated that he would remember Frawley as someone who would never say anything wrong about anybody. Frawley is considered to be one of the finest players of all times. After retiring in 1995, he turned to sports commentating.

His Career Later On

During 2000 Frawley went to Richmond in the position as coach. This was a difficult time during his career and he visibly aged during his five years at Richmond, even though people here always found him to be inspirational and they loved spending time with him. It was also during this time when his frailties became visible alongside his strengths. His position took a high toll on his mental health. Added to this was the Essendon doping crisis, which was the reason for many conflicts in his life. The crisis had a tremendous influence on his personal life. Frawley struggled to relax and sleep, and this then circled wider and influenced his career as commentator negatively. Over the past couple of months, it became evident that his mental state is further deteriorating. It seemed that Frawley had a difficult struggle to deal with depression. He continued his career as a commentator at Fox Footy’s, and he was also still involved in the position as an assistant coach for both St Kilda as well as St Bede’s.

The Accident

The accident took place on Monday the 9th of September around 1:30 pm when his four-wheel-drive pickup left the quiet, single-lane road which is just outside of Millbrook in the Western District. His vehicle slammed into a tree. The accident took place only a short distance away from the family farm where Frawley grew up and learned not only to play football but also discovered his love for the game. Frawley’s father, the late Brain Frawley, was the president of the local football club. The Frawley family was potato farmers in Bungaree, which inevitably lead to his nickname of Spud.