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German students try their hand at 9s in Sydney


A group of German soccer students from Bamberg University recently took on the Tattersalls Football Club in Sydney in a match of AFL 9s - with the Germans' superior fitness allowing them to run out victors over the locals.

Bamberg is in the north of the German state of Bavaria, and while it's not particularly close to any existing AFLG clubs, the idea of some new enthusiastic footy fans in Germany might be of interest to the German footy community!

The following report originally appeared on the AFL NSW/ACT website.


Touring German soccer players from Bamberg University have had a taste of Aussie Rules, playing in a friendly AFL 9s match against Tattersalls Football Club.

By Dalton Woods

Students from Bamberg University in Germany are in Australia to play a series of soccer matches against various universities around the country.

However, Prashanth Shanmugan, Chairman of the Young Members’ Committee at Tattersalls Club and a Sydney Swans ambassador, hoped to build stronger cross-cultural links between Germany and Australia.

He succeeded in doing this through an AFL 9s match, the nine a side, non-contact version of Australian Rules football.

Though an AFL 9s match is usually divided into two 20-minutes halves, this one was broken into four 15-minute quarters.

The players could not have asked for better weather as the two teams hit it out on a sunny Friday afternoon at Robertson Road fields in Moore Park.

The Germans were clearly excited to be playing this new sport, bolting out to an early lead after kicking four of the first five goals.

By half time the Aussies gained some composure and briefly held the lead, but in the end they were not able to match the enthusiasm or fitness of the Bamberg students.

Pulling ahead in the second half, the German delegation won the friendly encounter by 17 points.

After the match, the delegation attended a special cocktail reception in their honour at the Tattersalls Club.

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German students try their hand at 9s in Sydney
Authored by: Wesley Hull on Friday, March 29 2013 @ 03:17 am ACDT

I love stories like this. The first reason why is the almost comical "abduction" of soccer players and hurling them into a previously unknown game. Almost like, "Well, do we have a surprise for you...Bruhahahaha...!!!" I know (or at least assume) it didn't actually happen that way, but the human imagination is a funny thing (or at least mine is).

The other more practical reason is having a game which can be modified to suit smaller groups. The actual "AFL9's" game is a product, and has been arbitrarily chosen and marketed as 9 a side. But as is the case in schools and in fledgling competitions world wide, the game can be adopted to suit the amount of available players.

Growing up, there were two completely valid forms of the game. The formal 18 a side local club or school team was the aspiration of myself and most others. But we also found the 2 or 3 or 4 a side version with kids from our street, playing in any available big back yard or open space to be equazlly as valid...and often more fun.

So, for me, the game doesn't have to be 18 per side. Australian Rules football should just be a groups of players split into two sides to play each other. Like the kids I watched during the week at school...8 year olds playinhg touch footy in an area barely larger than a class room and having the times of their lives.

I am addicted to 9's footy now and will play again later this year i'm sure. But I have been addicted to ANY form of the game for a lot longer. I hope the German game was a great success and plants the seeds for some Bavarian kick to kick.