Brett Kirk, retired former Sydney Swans captain, and now International Ambassador of the AFL, stopped in India as part of his World Tour.
Kirk's base in India was Mumbai, and this is where he kicked off his tour with a clinic in the city at the Oval Maidan, Churchgate. It was followed by a meeting with Austrade officials in Mumbai to join hands and help develop the game in India.
In this installment, we check in with the Beijing Bombers, the China Reds' tour to Thailand for the ANZAC clash, a new club starting up in Qingdao, and Jiaming Pi's blog on the SBS Chinese language website, promoting footy to the Australian Chinese community.
The Shanghai AFL has returned for 2011, with two rounds being played in April so far. A number of new faces have been signed up to all three teams, including a number of young Chinese students, as well as recently retired North Melbourne player, Shannon Watt.
So far the Dockers, who have still yet to win a title in their two seasons, have looked the goods and are favourites to claim the Spring Season cup.
Read on for full scores and photos of the action from the Shanghai AFL's first two rounds for 2011.
The Vietnam Swans will this weekend host the Hong Kong Dragons in Vung Tau for the second ANZAC Friendship Match.
The venue for the match is the Vung Tau Greyhound Racing Track, which was used as the venue for footy matches by Australian soldiers during the Vietnam War.
Former AFL star Richard "Ossie" Osborne, who played with Footscray, Fitzroy, Sydney and Collingwood during a career spanning 17 seasons, will be a special guest taking part in the match.
Elsewhere in Asia, the Thailand Tigers are taking on the China Reds in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, near Hellfire Pass on the site of the infamous Burma Railway, where numerous Australian POWs lost their lives in the Second World War.
In Indonesia, the Borneo Bears are hosting the Jakarta Bintangs and Bali Geckos, in what will be their 3rd annual ANZAC Day Cup in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan.
After four rounds of the South China AFL for 2011, the Hong Kong Red remain undefeated at the top of the ladder, with four wins from four starts. Round 4 saw the first Hong Kong local derby held, with the Reds overcoming Hong Kong Blue by just 3 points.
In the other match in the round, the Macau Lightning broke through for their first win, accounting for the Guangzhou Scorpions by 49 points.
We're not sure when this footage is from, but it features AFL Indonesia's junior footy league. The players look to have a mix of experience with some looking very smooth and others a little raw. Some clever soccer skills were also on display.
The opening day of the SCAFL was a huge success exceeding the expectations of all concerned. The weather was great and the slightly less than capacity crowd were treated to an exciting day of Aussie rules.
The venue, Guangdong University of Technology Stadium or GUTS, proved to be the perfect venue for the opening round of the competition. The first class facilities ensuring that The Guangzhou Scorpions were able to host there visitors from Hong Kong and Macau in a style not always seen on the Asian footy scene.
The opening game saw the hosts take on Macau Lightning in the first of six 12-a-side games played during the day; under an NAB Cup 15 min half format.
Thanks to Jon Hopper of the Guangzhou Scorpions for the following report. Well Done to the SCAFL board and teams on an a great opening round. LEFT: Some members from the Scorpions.
Two of the more established Australian football regions are New Zealand and Japan. Sadly both have been hit hard by recent earthquakes. If the devastation of Christchuch was not enough, the quake that hit northern Japan unleashed a massive tsunami, followed by the radiation leaks coming from the nuclear emergency at the Fukushima powerplants. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to the people of both countries.
WFN spoke to the President of AFL Japan, Hideki Miyasaka, who explained that "All of our players, families are basically safe at the moment although we have a serious electricity problem in the Tokyo area as some of the plants has been destroyed", before stoically or perhaps ironically adding "Besides that it is pretty much normal.." A remarkable aspect of the disaster has been the resilience of the Japanese people, the bravery of the rescue workers and especially those at the nuclear plants, and the way society has maintained such stability and civility.
In Australia we were proud of the efforts in Queensland to help each other but other disasters remind us that it is not a uniquely Australian spirit. It should also be noted that Japan is one of the biggest donators of aid in the world. AFL Japan is hoping to raise some funds to support the recovery effort, and Hideki has called for help "from all Footy Players around the World!!". All donations will be distributed through the Japanese Red Cross Society (or other relevant charities) to provide relief for the victims.
It may only be March, and one of the teams may only be less than a year old, however this weekend will see Round 1 of the newly formed Southern China Football League (SCAFL) played amongst much fanfare in Guangzhou this Saturday.
In possibly the biggest development in the Asian scene so far this year and another watershed moment for Australian Football in China, four teams in the Pearl River Delta region of China (Guangzhou Scorpions, Hong Kong Red, Hong Kong Blue & Macau Lightning) will come together this Saturday for what’s been billed as the inaugural ‘Gala Round’ and ultimately hold 5 rounds up until June to decide the premier team of the 2011 season.
The league is the third to be started in China in as many years, with the Beijing Bombers and Shanghai Tigers clubs starting 9-a-side leagues, BAFL in 2009 & SHAFL in 2010 respectively, as a way to fill the gaps in competition calendars that long distance can cause. The SCAFL however, is unique in that it is played with 12 players per side, incorporates 3 established clubs in the region who are within only 1-3 hours travel of each other and Guangzhou’s home ground is a world class cricket stadium, used in last year’s Asian Games.
Editor: worldfootynews.com welcomes back Andrew "Sanga" Sawitsch to our writing team, after his extended time working in Japan and China.