First day coverage - Oceania Youth Cup

Wednesday, December 14 2011 @ 03:00 pm ACDT

Contributed by: Michael Christiansen

The first day of the AFL Youth Oceania Cup is underway after Tuesday’s Lightening Carnival. Encouragingly for the AFL and their efforts and those of the many volunteers helping to grow the game in the region – there is solid local coverage of the event.

The AFL website is carrying an excellent 3 minute video casting Tony Woods in the role of interviewer. He speaks to a number of players, and Alisha Thiel who has been helping out with the Vanuatu Volcanoes.


In Rugby (Union) mad Fiji, the local Fiji Times is right behind the event with local scribe Arin Kumar providing regular coverage – here are links to his two articles run in the Wednesday edition : 

Nic: Fiji has the potential

Naitanui is quoted : "Fiji has a lot of big boys and they are very athletic and good runners and with the right training and coaching, they should be able to play very well."

"They have to be given mental preparation and they must not rely on sports all the time, for example for me and most of the boys I play with, we are in university and we have to juggle sports and AFL."

"Education is important too and players here have to be taught on how to balance it so they can be good at both."

Suva park attracts AFL attention

AFL International Development Manager Tony Woods describes the venue as one of the best in the Pacific : "This is a fantastic setup in Fiji, the ground of really good size and it's a good a facility, better than other places in the region," Woods said. "And if we could get more work done here there is a possibility that we can bring in some senior teams to compete here with the Fiji squad,"

And also forecasts potential AFL talent, "This tournament is a big part of AFL's talent pathway to bring players from the Pacific into Australia." Woods said he looking forward to watch the Fiji team in the competition and display their skills. "I'm really excited about Fijian potential in AFL because in August, we invited a Fiji team to participate in division two of the International Cup and with less than two weeks of preparation they won the division."

"So from our perspective we saw a lot of natural athletes and we want to help continue the development of the sport here at grassroots level and we are hoping that one day some of these players will feature in AFL in Australia."

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