In a footy world where some leagues have been dominated by particular clubs over long periods of time (think Paris Cockerels, Manchester Mozzies, Dubai Dragons), it is refreshing to see a competition that still sits on a razor’s edge after 17 years. The biggest match in China has been the China Cup between the Beijing Bombers and Shanghai Tigers since 2003.
Last weekend, the Bombers downed the Tigers by a whopping 101 points. It was a surprise result in that the margin was unexpected. However, the result also brought the rivalry even closer as little now separates the two teams over the life of the cup.
Heading into the final match of 2019, the Tigers held a 7 to 6 series lead since 2003. With the Bombers winning last weekend’s match, and the Tigers winning earlier in the year, the wnnner for 2019 is still to be determined. If the result comes down to goal difference over the matches, the 101 point win will see the Bombers crowned 2019 champions and a seven all series tally.
Recently established Mongolian Wolves and AFL Japan GO League club, Osaka Dingoes had organised a special match to gain experiences and to enjoy the Australian Rules for both sides.
It was held on Saturday, 19 October 2019 at Izumi Sports Village in the wider Osaka Region. The match was the first competing one for the visitor in their history.
Rain had poured the previous night and occasionally on the game day. The game started at 5.20 pm with wet conditions in a soccer pitch with artificial grasses.
Wolves with experienced players (their average age is 42) and Dingoes with mixed in ages, heights and nationalities played close at first quarter. Both sides attacked and defended, and scored three goals each other. The visitor led by one point at the first break.
In another historic first for footy in Asia, the newest footy nation, Mongolia, have already gathered enough talent and numbers to undertake a journey to Japan to play the Osaka Dingoes. The two will be playing this weekend for the prestigious “Canine Cup” in the first of what is hoped will be a long tradition of games.
It is a massive undertaking for the travelling wolves to head as a team to Japan, but there would be a groundswell of confidence that the move will not just be successful in its own right, but open the door to continued growth of the game in Mongolia. The chance to create more international “friendlies” will become more real.
Michael Gallus was asked if there was one word that could describe his recent trip to the footballing heartlands of Pakistan. He answered, “simply extraordinary!” Sadly, for Michael, that’s two words, so he doesn’t win that lovely lounge suite. However, he did win the hearts of Pakistan communities across the country, and he won many converts to our great game.
Michael has just returned from a monumental promotion of Australian football on behalf of the AFL. As previously reported by World Footy News (see Operation: Pakistan), Michael accepted the invitation from AFL Pakistan and gained assistance from Simon Highfield, the Development Manager for AFL Asia, to tour the nation and work with local people to identify ways that game could be further developed.
The AFL has today confirmed the fourth annual Shanghai match will be featured in Round 11 of the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season. Since AFL’s expansion into China in 2017, three successful matches involving Port Adelaide, St Kilda and Gold Coast SUNS Football Clubs have been played at Jiangwan Stadium in Shanghai’s Yangpu District. The Port Adelaide Football Club’s vision in partnership with the AFL have led the way in unlocking the potential the Chinese market has on the growth of the game both on and off the field.
All the weekend action for AFL Asia’s showpiece was at the Thai Polo and Equestrian Centre in Chon Buri, Thailand with the 2019 AFL Asian Championships hitting town. The big winners on the day were the Papua New Guinea men’s team and the Malaysia Warriors women’s team
AFL Asia described the event as “Asia’s biggest AFL tournament, the AFL Asia Asian Championships, brings all the best teams from across Asia to play for Asia’s most coveted trophy. Men’s and women’s teams compete in four divisions comprising over 500 players from 14 countries.”
It has historically been a huge event, and this year was no different.
The results from the Men’s Division 1 final saw the Papua New Guinea Muruks defeat the Hong Kong Dragons 36 to 14. It was a huge win for the Muruks as they went back to back after taking the title last year in Kuala Lumpar.
His mission is simple. Go to Pakistan, meet with the people who can grow the game in the nation and work with coaches, players, administrators and potential supporters of the game to further develop AFL Pakistan’s great work to date. Michael Gallus is the man on the mission, and is the right man for the job.
Michael Gallus is already widely known as the founder and administrator of the Footys4All Foundation, a charity that has already distributed sporting equipment all over Australia and the world. More recently, however, Michael took the coaching reins of the Pakistan Shaheens women’s team at the IC17 event in Melbourne.
He has maintained contact since then, both with players and those off-field, placing him in a position of both knowledge and connections to drive the rapid development of the game taking place across Pakistan.
Adam Curley reports on the www.afl.com.au website about the story of Chinese ex-pat Matt Ma and his own journey in footy and how he hopes to impact the future of Chinese descent players in AFL circles.
MATT MA won't be the game's first Brownlow medallist of Chinese heritage.
He won't even play first grade for his club side.
However, Ma, originally from the city of Liaoyang in China, is determined to play a key role in growing the game he's fallen in love with since he arrived in Australia.
Ma is part of the Hurstville Dragons Auskick Program, which has been run in conjunction with the Swans in Sydney's south this year.
Last year, World Footy News reported on a young woman who was defying the odds of gender, culture, religion, economics, geography, climate and other challenges to take the game of Australian Rules football to the mountain villages of northern Pakistan.
Saliha Baig Jaturi inspired many with her determination to take the game she learned to love, by virtue of being a part of the inaugural Pakistan Shaheens women's team at the IC17 in Melbourne. Now her story has caught fire with many other stories in print and television, as well as across social media.