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Oceanian team to play in front of Pacific leaders

Oceania

An under-23 AFL Oceania side has been put together, with players gathered from New Zealand, Nauru, Samoa, Fiji and Tonga supplementing the bulk of the squad from Papua New Guinea. The team will tackle a North Queensland U23 side, an area noted for its strong growth in indigenous talent. The game will be played at Cazaly Stadium, Cairns.

The match is a joint initiative with the Federal Government, to complement the 2009 Pacific Islands Forum being held in Cairns, with Prime Ministers from across the South Pacific hopefully in attendance.

The teams will be coached by longtime Brisbane Lions Premiership teammates, Mal Michael (The Islanders) and Daryl White (North Queensland). AFL Oceania manager Andrew Cadzow will be Michael's assistant. Michael is part Papuan and White has indigenous Australian heritage.

The Islanders team has 8 Australian-based PNG scholarship holders, including PNG's best on ground in the IC08 grand final Donald Barry, and his teammates at that tournament Peter Labi and the Gold Coast-signed Amua Pirika. Players of note from elsewhere include other 2008 International Cup players Andriu Sucu (NZ), Jonas Amwana and Johnny Dagiaro (Nauru) and Sauluitoga (Samoa). The team has been selected with an eye to the future, with many of the players considered promising athletes, not necessarily the "best of the best" footballers at this point in time, although plenty of them are also good players.

The match will be played this evening in Cairns, Wednesday 5th August, entry free and the public welcome.

A report on New Zealand's selections can be found here and talented young Fijian Dylan Wolfgramm here.

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Oceanian team to play in front of Pacific leaders | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Oceanian team to play in front of Pacific leaders
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, August 05 2009 @ 01:35 pm ACST

This is a great next step and with the core PNG players and some excellent IC08 players from other countries, it should be a very competitive squad. North Queensland has plenty of talent coming through too, but no where near as much as Southeast Queensland, so it will be interesting to see how they go. Without much opportunity for the Islanders to train together, and given a fairly instinctive but erratic style, it should be a frenetic game - would've loved to be able to make it up there to see it. I don't imagine it will be filmed.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Oceanian team to play in front of Pacific leaders
Authored by: Sean Finlayson on Wednesday, August 05 2009 @ 11:07 pm ACST

fantastic step forward !

Oceanian team to play in front of Pacific leaders
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Thursday, August 06 2009 @ 12:02 pm ACST
Cairns.com.au reports :

The Pacific Islands 8.12 (60) to North Queensland All Stars 7.6 (48).

Another article Tide turning towards AFL is interesting reading with comments from the coaches Mal Michael and Daryl White. There's a couple of photos available too.
Oceanian team to play in front of Pacific leaders
Authored by: 00Bock on Friday, August 07 2009 @ 05:40 pm ACST

It's amazing how an aussie rules game was planned and and not a rugby league game given the fact that league is more popular in NQ, PNG and NZ. Does anybody know who organized the game? Was it the AFL Q or the Pacific development office or the AFL Cairns?

Oceanian team to play in front of Pacific leaders
Authored by: Brett Northey on Friday, August 07 2009 @ 06:05 pm ACST

Certainly a great thing to get Aussie Rules up in front of all these officials. It demonstrates that the Australian Government and AFL are working closely together.

It would have been a joint develpment of all 3 of the bodies you suggested. The main guy behind AFL Oceania, Andrew Cadzow, has long been one of the key drivers for AFLPNG, and I believe he has also worked for AFLQ for many years, and of course AFLQ do a great job these days but certainly made easier by significant AFL funding, of which AFL Game Development would be well aware / involved in planning in the international side / setting up AFL Oceania. And a lot of other key people with PNG have close ties with AFLQ as well. GM of AFL National and International Game Development David Matthews is also involved with determining the Gold Coast's draft concessions, and making sure there is enough talent coming into the system overall. And he has been involved with getting government on board. And the match also highlighted indigenous development, a key issue for the AFL and the government. So it's all tied up together. Lot's of synergy that once upon a time would not have been pulled together.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN