Contributed by: Aaron Richard
The Philippines will host the 2005 Asian Championships on September 10 in Manila. This will be the sixth annual Asian Championships and the first to feature the Philippine Eagles.
The report courtesy of Derek 'Dezza' Ackary.
The inaugural event was held in Jakarta in June 2000, with teams from Indonesia, Brunei, Hong Kong and Singapore competing. Indonesia took the cup in the grand final against Hong Kong.
The 2001 Asian Championships were held in Bangkok with Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia competing. Singapore took the cup from Indonesia in the final.
In 2002 the championships moved to Singapore and was contested between Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and a combined China/Malaysia side. The final was a repeat of 2002, but with Indonesia winning back their crown.
The 2003 the Asian Championships went north to Hong Kong, with 2 sides from Hong Kong competing along with Indonesia and China. Hong Kong beat Indonesia in a close final.
In 2004, the Asian Championships were held in Kuala Lumpur with the biggest turnout to date with seven teams participating - Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Jakarta, Bali, Thailand and China. Hong Kong went on to win the final by defeating Singapore making it back to back victories for the Hong Kong Dragons.
This year, it is anticipated that there will be about 10 teams participating which would, of course, include the Philippine Eagles making their much anticipated Asian Championships debut. This would make the event the biggest Asian Championships to date. Malaysia has set the bench mark with a fantastic event in 2004, so the Eagles have got to work hard to put on an event to rival the Warriors' effort.
The Philippine Australian Football League (PAFL) has only been going for one year and to date has had many successes at domestic level with a healthy competition being held weekly last year with adapted rules and smaller ground size so that we can play with teams of at least 6 and up to 9 or more (sure beats training!). The weekly comp ran from May 1 to August 28, and included a number of social events that culminated in the inaugural Annual Presentation Dinner held last November.
The Philippine Eagles have already had one international game against the reigning Asian Champions, the Hong Kong Dragons. The game was in Manila and was a nine a side match played in a very competitive spirit. We had a great turnout from all our supporters with a great day (and night) had by all.
PAFL has put together a hard working and dedicated committee who are all committed to the growth of PAFL and we feel that hosting the Asian Championships will help to further enhance PAFL's development. We are confident we can put on a great tournament that will be truly memorable for all who choose to visit us. We extend an invitation to all and hope to see you in Manila in September! More details will be progressively available at the Philippine Australian Football League website.
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