Buffaloes again competitive as AFL ups the media drive
Saturday, February 10 2007 @ 02:30 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Brett Northey
The South African development squad again put in a solid showing against the QANTAS Kickstart Indigenous Youth Team last night at TIO Stadium in Darwin in front of a growing crowd heading in for the Essendon versus Indigenous All-Stars main event. The late game was telecast across Australia on ABC2, the second station of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation via its digital broadcasting. During the telecast South African coach Mtutu Hlomela was interviewed and the AFL's General Manager of National and International Development, David Matthews, also gave his thoughts on increasing assistance and the potential for one of Aussie Rules' most exciting development zones. Matthews also talks about the possible International Cup 2008 sides and the balance between International Rules and Australian Football.
A keen supporter of South African footy, South Australian Betty Lloyd made the trip up to Australia's Top End to watch the matches and we asked her to send WFN her thoughts on the match. As expected the weather was difficult for players, with hot conditions exacerbated by very high humidity. Gates opened at 3pm and the starting time of 4.30pm was delayed so that more fans would be in by the end of the match. As expected only a few had arrived by the start of the curtain-raiser but Betty assures us she got some of her fellow Port Adelaide Power fans to get behind the visitors.
As is now traditional the South Africans sang a beautiful rendition of their national anthem beautifully and the Australian National Anthem was also played (Betty hopes Aussies might learn to sing their own national song if they learn anything from the Africans). By half time the crowd was growing with plenty getting behind the South Africans as they fell behind on the scoreboard.
|Indigenous Youth||2.3 (15)||4.6 (30)||6.11 (47)||9.14 (68)|
|South Africa Youth||0.0 (0)||3.0 (18)||4.0 (24)||4.1 (25)|
Betty has seen various South African representative sides in the past few years, and is also actively involved in country footy back at home in Lyrup in South Australia's Riverland area. So she's in a good position to comment on the progress of the Africans. "I saw great endeavour and determination by many players. Tackles are being attempted and have improved very much but many still do not stick - the wrap needs to be tighter. I still see that some of the guys do not go back quick enough and far enough from the mark when taking a kick but they should be learning by watching Aka as we speak! Overall I was very impressed - if SA can select a squad and hone its bond and skills, then they will be a threat to many (for the) IC 2008".
Many thanks to Betty for her review. You can read more about her efforts in International Footy in Long trek from Itsoseng to Riverland for Buffaloes vice captain.
We'll have more about the coverage on ABC2 and what Mtutu and David Matthews had to say in a later story. They reveal some of the inner thoughts of the AFL and answer questions that many fans want to know in what were superb interviews. The coverage also included five to ten minutes of footage of the South Africa Youth versus Indigenous Youth match.