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Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 07:24 pm ACDT

Inaugural Asian Presidents' summit

AsiaRepresentatives of 14 Australian Rules football clubs from around Asia have met in Bangkok for the inaugural Asian Presidents’ Summit to discuss a game plan for the future of the sport in the region. Presidents of 13 clubs, plus representation from a Pakistan programme still in its infancy, were present, with a further four clubs having their say without being able to attend.

The most agreed upon issue was the future of coordination and structure of footy in Asia. The result was the creation of an Asian Council for Australian football, to deal with issues such junior development and sponsorship, with Phil Johns, president of the Vietnam Swans, receiving the presidency for the new body as well.

Another big issue was the development of local players. Expatriates can only take the game so far, and cannot stay indefinitely, so it is important that locals learn the game and become actively engaged to keep the clubs moving forward, and to be able to field a national side in (non expat) competitions such as the International Cup. China, Japan, India and Timor-Leste have fielded teams in the past, but it is hoped that that number from Asian sides will significantly grow.

The development of youth was also highly agreed upon, to develop the future talent that will eventually fill these national teams. Indonesia has been successful, with over 10,000 kids having gone through their youth programmes, while Hong Kong and Singapore both currently have more than 300 kids each in their programmes. Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Macau and Borneo have smaller, but still promising youth programmes. There is a joint aspiration to create junior tournaments, to give something for young players to strive for and maintain interest.

More AFL involvement was also high on the agenda, hoping for more funding from the AFL and for clubs to develop individual relationships with AFL clubs. There was also a push for more games to be played in Asia, such as the exhibition matches that have been played in Japan and China in the past.

Footy in Asia is developing in the right direction, with the Asian Championships, the recently launched East Asian Australian Football League and now this organisation, the possibilities seem endless. With four billion potential players on the continent, anything seems possible.
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Inaugural Asian Presidents' summit | 7 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Inaugural Asian Presidents\' summit
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Monday, August 12 2013 @ 03:27 am ACST

Good to see things progressing in Asia - you left India off the list of sides to appear at the IC though ;)

Which clubs were represented?  Just East Asia or also the AFL Middle East sides?

Looking forward to hearing more about Pakistan too.

Inaugural Asian Presidents\' summit
Authored by: Shane Hendrickson on Monday, August 12 2013 @ 04:55 am ACST

Ahh I knew I was forgetting someone. I was also unsure whether to count Israel/Palestine as an Asian team. The Cambodia Eagles, China Reds, Hong Kong Dragons,  Guangzhou Scorpions, Jakarta Bintangs, Malaysian Warriors,  Phillipines Eagles, Singapore Sharks, Singapore Wombats, Thailand Tigers, Timor-Leste, Vietnam Swans, Pakistan and Borneo Bears were all there, while Bali Geckos, Tokyo Goannas, Osaka Dingoes and Indian Tigers sent in additional feedback. I'm not sure if the distance is too great, it's too expat based or AFL Middle East is content being a separate entity, but it doesn't look like they had anybody there.

Inaugural Asian Presidents\\\' summit
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Monday, August 12 2013 @ 05:01 am ACST

 No worries - a report of what's going on in Pakistan would be great too!

Inaugural Asian Presidents\' summit
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, August 13 2013 @ 08:21 am ACST

Great to see the Asian clubs organising / coordinating themselves, hopefully we can see some good numbers at junior level over the next 10 years.

Any word about whether the Dongguan Blues have managed to continue on after their founder departed suddenly?

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
Inaugural Asian Presidents\' summit
Authored by: Cam Homes on Tuesday, August 13 2013 @ 11:40 pm ACST

Have the 10000 kids that have been thru the Indonesian youth program been able to continue to play in a regular competition afterwards?

We see lots of reports about the Bintangs playing in Asian championships etc, but reports of a regular league/competition being played in Indonesia are non existent.

 

Inaugural Asian Presidents\\\' summit
Authored by: Shane Hendrickson on Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 04:21 am ACST

 It will be interesting to see whether the junior programmes develop into anything further. I think the major issue at the moment has been kids stopping when they get to about 12, so they are planning to address that with increased competitions to keep them interested.

The Dongguan boys are still coachless, but the SCAFL is doing its best to help with the situation and is giving the boys some game time to keep them involved as well.

As for Pakistan, the president is currently on holiday, but will give me a full report when he gets back. For now I can tell you though that the Islamabad Dashers are planning their official launch for the 28th of September, AFL Grand Final day.

Inaugural Asian Presidents\\\\\\\' summit
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 06:19 am ACST

 Regards Indonesian local footy, there was the West Java AFL for a while who were based almost entire around locals.  Not sure if it's still going.

Last IC, there was a plan to bring over half a squad from Indonesia and make up the other half from students currently in Australia (similar to how the Indian team did it).

Maybe this time around it'll come together?  The Indo Footy Stars (an Australian-based group of Indonesian nationals who have played at the Multicultural Cup) were keen to help out.