Contributed by: David Payne
The Mojave Greens are sending two US Army soldiers down to Melbourne to meet with their Australian counterparts in hopes of building sister club relationships, future match dates, and a possible exchange program with potential matches in 2006. The following story is from the US Army's Chris Angle.
PFC James Connolly and 1LT (P) David Payne will meet with Command Sergeant Major Adrian Wilson (Head Coach for the all Australian Military Kangaroos) on July 30th and August 4 in hopes of creating official ties and establishing a fixture for the proposed March 2006 matches.
Wilson for his part is very excited about a possible international military test match. As the head coach for the all-Australian side he is keen on working out the details and making this trip by the Fort Irwin Mojave Greens happen. The Greens are now working the details out with their respective chains of command in hopes of pulling off what could be a capstone event for Footy around the world. CSM Kim Boyink (Fort Irwin Command Sergeant Major) has already connected the Greens with a shoe manufacturer in New Zealand who has agreed to provide all the cleats the Greens need for the remainder of this season as well as the potential March 2006 matches in Australia. Boyink sees the benefits in establishing closer ties with one of America’s best allies the Australians. Boyink also likes how tough of a game Footy is and how it correlates to the Warrior Ethos:
1. I will never quit.
2. I will never accept defeat.
3. I will never leave a fallen comrade behind.
4. I will always place the mission first.
The most exciting part for Connolly is actually practicing with an Australian side while he’s down there assisting Payne with the future trip. Since joining the team Connolly has given 100% in helping out where ever he was needed. Whether it is at fundraising or just giving the game his all, Connolly has been selected as the team Captain. Payne is working with David Thurmond (OC Bombers and Old Haileybury) to get some practice time for Connolly.
As far as Payne goes it will be the second trip to Australia for his wife and he and the first for their kids Emily and Ethan. Payne is also laying the groundwork for a touch version of Footy to be included in the Army’s Physical Training Field Manuel 21-20. The inclusion of Footy in the FM 21-20 will be a lasting action whose impact will be felt years down the road. With inclusion of Aussie Rules in the manual, Footy can for the first time be used on a daily basis on any given Army Post. In Payne’s words, Footy will now have a footprint (no pun intended) on soldiers. Irregardless of whether they stay in the Army or get out, soldiers will take the game to their hometowns and hopefully join a club or start one on their next duty installation. No matter the outcome footy will have developed a larger following here in the United States.
World Footy News