Wombats head for Jakarta as Asian footy touring season starts
Saturday, March 24 2012 @ 10:51 am ACDT
Contributed by: Luke Anderson
Aussie Rules ‘Touring’ season is heating up as AFL in Asia gets underway.
It’s a competition that requires a passport and plane ticket for nearly every away game, has one team boasting a forward line that includes champion Hawthorn AFL premiership player Trent Croad and another that fine-tuned its campaign under the guidance of Brisbane Lions triple premiership player and Brownlow medallist Jason Akermanis – welcome to AFL Asia.
The five time winners and reigning Asian champion Singapore Wombats will kick off their 2012 campaign at the end of March, playing an opening fixture against the Jakarta Bintangs in Indonesia.
In a 2011 season that saw the dominant Wombats taste defeat on only the rarest of occasions, their Bintang rivals were able to buck the trend and solve the Wombats in two of their three encounters. Adding insult to injury, Jakarta claimed both victories by the narrowest of margins, taking the honours at home by 3 points and then again in Manila by a solitary point.
2011 Wombat’s coach Justin Hotton has stepped down from his position and the reins have been recently handed over to a co-coaching duo that includes two of the Wombats most respected club stalwarts; Justin Lucas and Craig Geehman. It will be a baptism of fire for the coaching pair as they try to stave off an opening round loss, the Jakarta cauldron never yielding a soft win to any visiting foe.
Both teams are considered amongst AFL Asia’s best; the Bingtangs reaching the Asian Championships final four undefeated before being eliminated in the semi-finals to Hong Kong. The Wombats maintained a perfect record throughout the entire tournament emerging the eventual champions. The two heavyweights will go head to head in Jakarta on Saturday the 31st of March.
The Singapore Wombats celebrate their 2011 Asian Champs victory