150 Years of Australian Football in Queensland?

150 Years of Australian Football in Queensland?

150 Years of Australian Football in Queensland?

Who would have believed this possible in this «Die in the Wool» Rugby League State?

The first game of Australian Football in Queensland occurred in 1866 well before any of the other football codes began to be played in this state. This occurred not long after the first games in Victoria. Some of the men involved in the first games in Victoria were at the forefront of those first games in Queensland. The game remained strong in such centres as Ipswich, Maryborough and to a lesser extent in the capital city of Brisbane until the mid-1880s.

At that time two decisions made around 1886 brought almost the demise of our Australian game in Queensland and allowed for the rise in popularity and growth of firstly Rugby Union and, then Rugby League.

The first decision was taken by the Queensland grammar schools to replace Australian Football by Rugby Union. The second decision occurred when Brisbane teams refused to make the journey to Ipswich to play games. This lead to a falling interest in the game in both towns and rather quickly players sought other sports, including Rugby Union.

Prior to this time there had been some «intercolonial» games between a Queensland combination, a Victorian team and one from Sydney. But in the mid-1880s, there was the first New South Wales versus Queensland Rugby match which created great interest in the other code. This began the rise of the rugby codes in Queensland.

The Australian game struggled into the 20th century, becoming a minor sport played mainly in Brisbane. But during the latter half of the century, country leagues grew in number and strength. So much so, that it is true to say that the game is played in every provincial city and their surrounds across the state.

Many of these country leagues have interesting histories. It is true to acknowledge that, in some areas, footballers might play both Rugby League and Australian Football at the same time.

When the Australia wide national competition began during the 1980s, interest in our national game in Queensland grew rapidly. This occurred some 100 years after the problems of the 1880s with the arrival of the Brisbane Bears. When the Bears and the Fitzroy Lions amalgamated and won three national premierships in a row, the game grew even more rapidly throughout the state as we now had our own team in the national competition.

Now, in the 150th year of our game in Queensland, there is a group of men and women sitting down, sifting through records, programs, newspaper reports and photographs, writing histories of their clubs and football leagues so that our game’s history is preserved for future generations.

The major project is to write a book which covers the whole picture of our game. Many of group writing the histories have contributed sections to be incorporated in this major project.

This project is called Q150 and details of the project can be found on the Queensland Australian Football Forensics web site at http://www.q150.net.au.

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Sammy McIlroy – The Young Veteran

Sammy McIlroy – The Young Veteran

Sammy McIlroy – The Young Veteran

Five Manchester United players featured in the Northern Ireland starting line-up for six matches in the late 1970s: Tommy Jackson, David McCreery, Chris McGrathand, Sammy McIlroy, and Jimmy Nicholl. Former Manchester United favourites Trevor Anderson and George Best also featured.

Samuel McIlroy was born 2 August 1954 in the much troubled city of Belfast in Northern Ireland. Being brought up in the very heart of Protestant East Belfast, he was steeped from an early age in a marinade of politics and religion. Nonetheless, East Belfast has produced a great number of immensely talented Manchester United players up through the years including household names such as George Best, Eric McMordie, David McCreery, and Norman Whiteside. After being discovered by famous United scout Bob Bishop while still a schoolboy player, McIlroy was advised by his family to seek his footballing fortune in the calmer climes of Lancashire as Northern Ireland was tottering on the brink of Civil War.

The last youth player to be signed by legendary Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby, Sammy McIlroy arrived in Manchester as a modest, fresh faced 14 year old in the summer of 1969. Finding the net on his United debut against fierce rivals Manchester City in November 1971, the gifted youngster quickly became a massive hit with the Old Trafford faithful. Eventually establishing himself in the Manchester United first team during the 1974-75 season, McIlroy proceeded to make a total of 391 appearances for the Reds. The young veteran also played an important part in United’s nothing but fantastic revival under Tommy Docherty in the mid 1970s, winning the Second Division title with the Reds in 1975 and the FA Cup two years later.

Finally deciding to leave Manchester United at the end of the 1981-82 season, Sammy McIlroy went on to appear for Stoke City, Manchester City, Bury, Preston North End, and Northwich Victoria. The hard working Ulsterman also had an extraordinary international career, gaining a total of 88 caps for his beloved Northern Ireland between 1972 and 1987.

«The Protestant people in Northern Ireland were used and abused by the British. How could you have working class people living in poverty voting Tory? You looked at two working class people shooting each other and you asked how was that possible. It was divide and conquer, the British trait from the year dot.»

Paddy Crerand quote.

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Premiership Season Preview 2006/07 – Blackburn Rovers

Premiership Season Preview 2006/07 – Blackburn Rovers

Premiership Season Preview 2006/07 – Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn Rovers

Odds: 350/1

Last Five Seasons

2005/06 – 6 (Premiership), 2004/05 – 15 (Premiership), 2003/04 – 15 (Premiership), 03/03/2002 (Premiership), 10/02/2001 (Premiership).

2005/06 Cup Progress

FA Cup Fourth Round vs West Ham United (a) – lost 4-2.

Carling Cup Semi Finals vs Manchester United – lost 3-2 on aggregate.

Top Goal Scorer 2005/06: Craig Bellamy (striker) – 17 goals.

Players In

Benni McCarthy (FC Porto – £ 2,500,000), Jason Roberts (Wigan Athletic – Undisclosed), Zura Khizanishvili (Rangers – Free), Francis Jeffers (Charlton Athletic – Free), Jason Brown (Gillingham – Free).

Players Out

Craig Bellamy (Liverpool – £ 6,000,000), Paul Dickov (Manchester City – Free), Gary Harkins (Grimsby Town – Free), Lorenzo Amoruso (Released), Vratislav Gresko (Released), Steven Drench (Released).

Blackburn Rovers were the Premier League's surprise package last season by securing a sixth placed finish following two seasons just above the relegation zone. Mark Hughes transformed the underachieving former champions and got the best out of bad boy Craig Bellamy, who finished the season as the club's top goal scorer.

Bellamy's outstanding form did not go unnoticed and Liverpool snapped him up for a bargain £ 6 million but Hughes has been quick to sign replacement attacking options. Porto striker Benni McCarthy arrived for an undisclosed fee believed to be £ 2.5 million. The South Africa international was art of the Porto side that won the Champions League in 2004 and signed a four year contract at Ewood Park. McCarthy has won 60 caps for South Africa and has scored 26 goals. He retired from international football after the World Cup in 2002 but reversed his decision two years later.

Wigan Athletic striker Jason Roberts also signed a four year deal, again for an undisclosed fee. Roberts was Wigan's top scorer last season with 14 goals and Hughes swooped after he turned down a new contract to extend his stay with the Latics.

Francis Jeffers completed a hat-trick of new strikers arriving at the club this summer, with the former Everton and Arsenal forward joining on a free transfer from Charlton Athletic. Hughes has also been linked with Nicolas Anelka, who has Premiership experience with Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City and Mido, who spent 18 months on loan at Tottenham Hotspur from Serie A side AS Roma.

Verdict

Blackburn's involvement in the UEFA Cup next season will add strain to Mark Hughes' squad which still lacks some strength in depth. It is unlikely that they will be able to recreate last season's sixth placed finish and mid table is more likely should they progress to the later stages in Europe.

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Chijioke Ejiogu: Complete Profile of Arugo Monkey

Chijioke Ejiogu: Complete Profile of Arugo Monkey

Chijioke Ejiogu: Complete Profile of Arugo Monkey

Goalkeeper Chijioke Ejiogu is the number one goal tender for Double CAF Champions league winners- Enyimba Football club of Aba. He is one of the most consistent goalkeepers in the Nigeria Premier league. His dexterity between the goalpost while playing for amateur side- Arugo F.C in the late 1990’s during the F.A Cup Competition have earned him the nickname- Arugo Monkey.

Monkeys are one of the most acrobatic animals in the jungle, and they have the ability to jump from one tree to the other with so much ease and skill. These were the exact qualities that Chijioke Ejiogu displayed during the F.A Cup competition more than 15 years ago while starring for Arugo F.C.

He was quickly snapped up by Julius Berger F.C of Lagos immediately after his F.A Cup heroics, and helped the Bridge Boys to the final of the CAF Confederation Cup. His agility behind the post was soon noticed by the management of Enyimba F.C and he soon put pen to paper for the peoples Elephant in the 2008-2009 season.

The confidence he displays in organizing his defence line is quite amazing, considering the fact that football has become so competitive and tactical. One of the qualities that distinguish a good goalkeeper from a bad one is the ability to anticipate and deal with aerial balls and this is one of the strong points of Chijioke Ejiogu.

He has been invited to the national senior team on several occasions during the reign of Coach Christian Chukwu as Chief Coach of the Super Eagles, but on each occasion, luck has not been on his side. The desire to excel in the local league to enhance future call-ups has always been his main motivation, and this has seen him emerging as one of the stars in the star-studded Enyimba Football club.

Arugo Monkey has become a veteran of sort in the Nigeria Premier league and with each passing season, he has shown more maturity and better composure between the posts to the admiration of his fans all over the country. His acrobatic saves and daring maneuvers in front of strikers have earned him a place among the best Local league players.

It is hoped that the coming years will witness a change in the fortune of this charismatic goalkeeper who has paid his dues in the Nigeria Premier league in the past 10 years. His chances of putting on the green white green colors of the Super Eagles have been made a lot easier with the appointment of an indigenous Coach for National senior team in the person of Coach Samson Siasia in December 2010.

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