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Monday, July 13 2020 @ 09:03 pm ACST

Jack Wolfgramm talks to WFN about the Junior Tribe

Oceania

Back in August, WFN ran atwo part interview with Dylan Wolfgramm, who happened to be the first captain of the Fijian Youth side at the inaugral Oceania Cup tournament held in Fiji in December 2009. As pointed out, the Wolfgramm family is very prominent in footy in Fiji.  Now it's the turn of young Jack Wolfgramm, as he and his Junior Tribe team mates prepare for international competition starting next week.

 

The venue for matches is Albert Park in Suva, and Jack is hopeful for a home advantage, but, stresses that 'Albert Park is the only ground in Fiji that is big enough for a full size footy oval.  But it is not as flat as it should be and will need a lot of rolling."

The Junior Tribe is a relatively new combination - Jack continues : "..we are still relatively inexperienced so the ground condition may not matter that much.  What we lack in skill we hope to make up for in fitness and endurance.  This is a team only put together over the last four months."

The fitness work has a tropical idyllic sound about it -  from early November ; "The Junior Fiji Tribe will be running from Rewa Dairy to Colo-i-Suva. The Tribe players and committee will be then heading down to the waterfall for lunch and a swim."

Jack points out that they are hoping to be competitive with the top teams, such as PNG, NZ and Tonga.  They have put in 2 days a week of training over the last 3 months during which time the final squad was selected.  Training has been a little varied "We did a 7km road run and gym occasionally on Saturdays.  We have done a bit of pool work mostly for recovery.  But we have concentrated on fitness compared to skills this year."  The local press (FijiTimes) also highlighted the fitness work (Nov 6).  Stand in coach and development officer Glen Butler being quoted :

"This game requires a lot of running and my players needed to be fully fit. We are working on our fitness and I believe this will carry us through during the tournament," he said. "Our team bonding is also very important and we will be having some team activities to help the boys blend and get to know each other very well."

Training has been stepped up over the last fortnight, and the squad will head into 'camp' on the Sunday (11th) before the tournament.

The first goal is to do well in the Lightning seeding competition on the Monday before the championships proper kick off.

Jack paid special regard to the coaching staff of Glen Butler, Semiti Mateiwai and Eroni Kakaivalu, and also to his older brothers Max and Dylan who have been especially helpful for the new players in the squad.  As Jack points out, "..more than half of our team are new to Aussie Rules...they only started four months ago.  So it will be tough."

WFN would again like to thank the Wolfgramm family for their assistance.

Some more recent Fijian Press coverage includes :

AFL attracts players (Oct 28) - of interest is the recognition of growing interest in the game in Fiji, and that Fiji will host the next 3 Oceania Youth Cup tournaments.

Tribe team eyes better ranking (Dec 3) - sees individuals promoted in the Fijian press, from coach Butler to Junior Tribe members Solo Navuso, Richard Nieluvu, Jack Wolfgramm, Eroni Niumataiwalu, Kini Nanovo and Jiuta Vateitei.  Also, mentions the AFL sportsmans night set for Dec 15 including guests Nic Naitanui, Izzie Folau, Chris Johnson and Andrew McLeod.

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