World's young footy stars converge on Melbourne
Wednesday, June 30 2010 @ 12:42 am ACST
Contributed by: Brett Northey
The youth World XVIII and South Pacific players have arrived in Australia for the NAB AFL Under 16 Championships, with both squads competing in Division Two against Tasmania, NT, Queensland and NSW/ACT.
The players were scheduled to touch down in Melbourne last weekend and are now undergoing an intensive week of skills training and general football education, before they head up to Sydney for their opening clash (which is against each other) next Sunday, July 4th.
A dispensation for the international sides, which are competing in this elite competition for the first time, is that they can field players up to 18 years old. The World side also includes a significant contingent of young multicultural Australian talent.
The AFL's program includes scratch matches last Sunday, an official welcome dinner, skills training at Melbourne University, a tour of the MCG, instruction on game sense and positioning, a movie night and a replay of the 2009 AFL Grand Final. The teams are staying at Ormond College, and will also attend the Brisbane versus Carlton clash at Etihad on Thursday, before heading to Sydney (New South Wales) on Friday.
The match schedule for the international sides is:
Sunday July 4th 2010
10.15am World XVIII v South Pacific (at Blacktown)
Wednesday July 7th 2010
1.30pm World XVIII v Tasmania (at Bruce Perser)
6.00pm South Pacific v QLD (at Blacktown)
Saturday July 10th 2010
12.15pm South Pacific v NT (at Blacktown)
2.30pm World XVIII v NSW/ACT (at Blacktown)