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Monday, December 09 2019 @ 02:37 am ACDT

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Carlton seeks international students' support

Asia

In a similar initiative to the Melbourne football club in 2007, fifty international students were guests of the Carlton football club for their match against Fremantle on 24 May. The Australian National Institute of Business and Technology students, who were mostly from India, sat with Carlton’s cheer squad and experienced first-hand the excitement generated by the Blues final quarter comeback.

Several of the students shared their feelings about the game in an article titled Carlton, Bollywood bond at The Dome on the Carlton football club website.

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IPL to AFL - Ponting promoting football in India

Asia

Yuta Kobayashi, one of the AFL's International Development Coordinators, was recently in India where he assisted AFL India with their plans to send a team to this year's International Cup. The AFL and AFL India are taking several steps to get an Indian side to the tournament, including recruiting a high profile Australian cricketer's support.

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Manila Cup set for May 31st

Asia

The Philippine Australian Football League plays host to teams from across Asia on May 31st. The Manila Cup lists the Philippine Eagles, Hong Kong Dragons, China Reds, Malaysian Warriors and the Hongila Dogs. Sponsored by companies such as Leighton, Metals Exploration and ANZ, the tournament will be a major milestone for the PAFL, which first formed in 2004 (see Aussie Rules gets its start in the Philippines).

The Chinese side, the Reds (not Tigers as listed on the poster), are the merged forces of the Shanghai Tigers and Beijing Bombers (probably mostly the expatriate Aussies). The Hongila Dogs will be a combined side of extra players from the larger Philippine Eagles and Hong Kong Dragons squads. PAFL organisers had been hopeful of the Dubai Dingoes making the trip, but it didn't turn out so the Hongila side slots in.

Meanwhile the PAFL's weekly games continue between the Eurekas (originally based on expat Victorians) and the Dingoes (based on "the rest").

Read on to check out the tournament poster for the 12-a-side Manila Cup.

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Local junior footy rebuilding in Jakarta

Asia

The Jakarta Bintangs formed in 1995 and have since become a powerhouse of Asian footy. With a sizable expatriate Australian community, the Bintangs have been regular tourers around the Asia-Pacific region, winning the Asian Championships twice.

Junior football in and around Jakarta has had a few ups and downs over the years, with a league based around local Javans being held in the Pancawati area. This league - the West Java AFL - has since disappeared, a victim of the transient nature of the Australians and Kiwis who make up the majority of the Bintangs' membership base.

However it seems local footy is back in the area in a big way - a new development program kicked off around 3 months ago thanks to a grant from the Australia-Indonesia Institute and the placement of AYAD volunteer development officer Chris Bandy.

Around 4000 Indonesian school kids and quite a few expat kids have since taken part in clinics. Bandy is optimistic of seeing a local-run organisation off the ground in the near future, with a Jakarta school-based league of around 10 teams in regular competition, as well as resurrecting the West Java AFL. An Indonesian team at the International Cup may even be on the cards for 2012.

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Tigers Triumph in Bangkok ANZAC Battle

Asia

On Saturday 26 April, in front of a large crowd at Kanchanaburi, the Thailand Tigers defeated the Jakarta Bintangs by 31 points to win the prestigious ANZAC Cup.

The game was played in great spirit with neither side backing down in a contest, prompting former POW Bill Haskell to say, “We never expected the game to be this tough”.

Report courtesy of Brendan Cunningham from the Tigers.

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AFL assumes China partnership as Melbourne FC hits crisis point

AsiaOne of the world's oldest football clubs, the oldest remaining Australian Rules clubs and the only club to bear the name of the game's spiritual home is currently in crisis. In terms of world footy, the Demons were pioneers in China, setting up a China partnership which has seen the game exposed to thousands of visiting exchange students, businessmen and a team represented at the International Cup.
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Melbourne's troubles disturbs China relationship

Asia

The Melbourne Football Club, trying to celebrate its 150th year, is suffering from a major downturn in its fortunes at a time when it was already at a low ebb. On the field the Demons have had moderate success in recent years, following a curious phase of making the finals every second season like clockwork (1997 - 2004). That sequence then broke with three years in a row of finals action (2004 - 2006), but they crashed in 2007 (14th), are winless in 2008 (0 wins, 5 losses), struggling financially and the fact remains they have not won the VFL/AFL premiership for 44 years. The club is now very much "under the pump". This is apparently also having ramifications for their links with China.

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Elephants out to trample the Bintangs in first-ever match in the Lao PDR

Asia

The Lao Elephants, Asia's newest club, will host their first-ever home match this weekend with the powerhouse Jakarta Bintangs visiting Vientiane for a showdown.

The Elephants debuted late last year, traveling to Vietnam for a tournament against the Thailand Tigers and Vietnam Swans. While they went down to the more experienced Swans and Tigers, the Elephants performed fairly well on their first hit-out and will be hoping to build a reputation as a footballing outfit worthy of respect in the Asian circuit.

The match, to be held on April 19th, coincides nicely with the Lao New Year, giving visitors another reason to head to Vientiane to play some footy and soak up the celebratory atmosphere.

The Bintangs are one of Asia's oldest and proudest Australian rules clubs, with a number of former Bintangs spread around the world. One such is Rob Spurr, founder of the brand-new Santiago Saints in the capital of Chile. With a bit of luck, we'll have an update from Los Santos in the very near future.

For more information on the Lao Elephants or the match, see their website or email martysharples {at} hotmail.com.

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Footy hits YouKu

Asia

Apparently China's answer to YouTube is YouKu, and Australian Football development staff in the world's most populous country have made sure footy has a presence on there. Uploaded videos include footage from a local training session with comments from development officer Tom Mattessi, and the ever-popular AFL clip that was shown at the 2005 International Cup dinner, featuring some of the game's incredible highlights including some of those by stars with international roots.

Also uploaded is an excellent ABC Asia-Pacific interview with the AFL's General Manager of National and International Game Development, David Matthews. The video highlights some of the issues the AFL face in terms of balancing domestic pressures with hopes of expanding the game. Of particular note was Matthews' estimate that there are around 35,000 footballers internationally (compared with about 650,000 in Australia) and his prediction that the international number could grow to 150,000 in the next ten years. That's certainly feasible, but nice to hear a key player at the Australian Football League stating it. He also refers to the potential of the game as an export for Australia - as business and governments realise this fact, hopefully they will increasingly support Australia's indigenous sport. Matthews estimated current international investment at around $1 million, compared with domestic investment of $40 million.

The piece also interviews likely China captain Zhao Yonggen and VFL/AFL greats Ron Barassi and Kevin Sheedy.

The full video is here. Not really necessary, but a Google translation is here. Thanks to AFL China's Andrew Sawitsch for the heads-up. The video's are loaded under the name AFL China.

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Spring Footy at Maishima Sports Island Osaka - Goannas defeat Dingoes

Asia

Traditional rivalry in Japan is never greater than Tokyo vs Osaka, between the town of blue suits and power and the town of merchants and fun. The greatest rivalry in Japanese sport is between baseball’s Tokyo Giants and Osaka’s Hanshin Tigers. On the same weekend when the sluggers were slugging it out in Tokyo, the Tokyo Goannas went on a road trip to Osaka to take on the hometown Dingoes in the big match at Maishima Sports Island on Saturday April 5.

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