The Footy's back in Asia!

Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 01:31 pm ACST

Contributed by: Graeme Carey

After the traditional November to February break, the Asian Australian rules football scene bursts back into life this month.

So far, the global economic crises have had a minimal effect on the clubs, with most reporting reasonable numbers at training, and also being able to maintain the all-important levels of sponsorship.

The next six months are going to be packed with football action, kicking off with a number of ANZAC Day matches. Further highlights include a number of regional cup tournaments in the Philippines and Thailand, the Crikey Cup between Bali and East Timor to be played in Darwin, the open and masters Bali 9s and the annual Asian Championships, this year to be held in Kuala Lumpur.

Read on for more details about all these events.

Asian Championships

This is the 10th edition of the premier football event in Asia and will be held at the prestigious Royal Selangor Polo grounds in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday 5th September, 2009. Indications are that up to 12 teams may participate and in addition to the main championships, a junior (Under 16) championship and Auskick carnival will be conducted.

Manila Cup

The inaugural event held last year in the Philippines was a major success and has been scheduled for 30th May, 2009 in Manila.

Bali 9s Masters

The popular Bali 9sMasters is the ONLY Masters Aussie Rules event in Asia. It will be held at the Canggu Club in Bali on Thursday June 4th & Saturday June 6th 2009. This tournament invariably involves teams from both Australia and Asia and as such, is hotly contested.

Bali 9s

The date is yet to be confirmed but is expected to be in October, 2009, also at the Canggu Club.

Crikey Cup

In Darwin on June 13th this year, the East Timor Crocs will go up against one of the veterans of the Asian AFL league, the Bali Geckos, for the first time in the inaugural ‘Crikey Cup’, named in honour of the later Steve Irwin.

Indo China Cup

Last year the IndoChina Cup featured Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam and resulted in arguably the most sensational result of the Asian sporting year, the triumph of the Lao Elephants. This year’s edition is scheduled for 24th October in Pattaya.

And there's more!

Along with the usual Changi Cup matches (Singapore v Malaysia), the Bali Geckos – Jakarta Bintangs clashes and numerous other events, the season promises to be the best ever.

With nearly all clubs now having regular intra-club matches, along with the development of junior and Auskick competitions, Australian football is experiencing a boom like never before.

With that in mind, a web site AsianAFC.com has been established to provide a co-ordinated approach and information on all Australian football activities in Asia.

Feel free to visit and to all followers of the game in Asia, instead of just sitting home watching the AFL on TV, there is plenty of real footy in Asia, so get down and support your local club.

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