Contributed by: Cam Homes
AFL Japan kicked off the 2014 season last on Sunday 20th April in a match where 2013 Top League Premiers, Tokyo Bay Suns defeated the Eastern Hawks by a whopping 110 points. Final score: 21.26 (152) to 5.1 (42).
Anzac weekend saw two matches, Senshu Powers taking on R246 Lions on Saturday 26th while the Tokyo Goannas battled it out with Komazawa Magpies on Sunday.
AFL Japan has undergone some structural changes during the off season, splitting the Top League into two regional leagues. The West League comprises the Osaka Dingoes and the Nagoya Redbacks, whilst the East League is made up of Tokyo Bay Suns, Komazawa Magpies, Senshu Powers, Eastern Hawks, Tokyo Goannas, R246 Lions and for the third year in a row accepted a brand new team, the Poseidons.
Nine teams/clubs is the greatest number of clubs in AFL Japan history and augers well for the growth and development of footy in Japan.
The split into two regional leagues had been an issue discussed for several years at AFL Japan as the cost of travel between the Tokyo based teams and the Osaka/Nagoya based teams were prohibitive. WFN is not aware at present whether there will be any inter-league matches or a “Superbowl” style final between the respective league premiers at season's end.
On Anzac Day, the Memorial Service at the Commonwealth War Cemetery, Yokohama Hodogaya is an important event on the Tokyo Goannas calendar. The AFL Anzac Day matches (Essendon v Collingwood,MCG & St Kilda v Brisbane Lions,Wellington, NZ) can be viewed on the big screens at Roppongi Hobgoblin later in the day following the Memorial Service.
All footy fans in Japan are more than welcome to join the Goannas at the "club".
Editor: Apologies for the delay in publishing this article.
World Footy News