Contributed by: Jake AnsonAFL-Papua New Guinea put on an encouraging display of Australian football to win the 2005 Queensland U16 Country Championships over Cairns AFL by 7 points.
The championship, held over the ANZAC day long weekend, featured eight representative sides from some of Queensland's fastest developing regions. In addition to grand finalists PNG and Cairns, teams from the Capricornia, Townsville, Darling Downs, Bundaberg Wide Bay, Mackay and Far North Queensland leagues competed in a series of round robin matches before selectors for the state U15 and U16 teams.
A very encouraging sign of the strength of the code in Queensland was the relative evenness of results over the weekend, with no 100-point blowouts posted against the newly-established leagues. The strong performance by PNG in the Country Championships is indicative of the benefits they are already reaping through a development partnership with AFL Queensland. No doubt after such a strong showing in the Country Championships, several of the PNG boys will be knocking on the door for selection in state representative sides, which are the next steps towards being drafted by an AFL club.
For more information on the Queensland U16 Country Championships, visit the AFLQ website. For general information on Australian football development in PNG, visit the newly-launched AFL-PNG website.
World Footy News