With the Geckos proving too good for a depleted Wombats team, the Cats decided to get into the action with an exhibition of their skills during half-time and after the game. Lifelong Geelong supporter and Geckos' veteran Dave 'Buffet' Eagles said that it was a once in a lifetime chance to have a kick with his heroes. "It was fantastic, something like the equivalent of having a hit of tennis with Roger Federer. It was great to have a kick with the current best Aussie rule team in the world".
Geckos' President Dan Brooks said that having an AFL team tour Bali as their end of season trip, something not seen since before the 2002 bombing, was a great thing for the Geckos and for Bali in general.
The Geckos are now preparing to host the 2008 Bali 9s Masters, to be held June 7. For more information on the event, visit www.BaliNines.com, while more information on the club can be found at www.BaliGeckos.com.
The Melbourne Football Club's tour of China is revealing that initial investment in Australian Football in Asia's giant is already bearing fruit. In the past there have been occasional visits by AFL clubs to international destinations with one-off clinics they may not leave a lasting legacy. So it must have been a delight for the Demons to find school children in Suzhou already well-versed in the skills of Aussie Rules. Details of the club's trip are being regularly updated on their website as the Melbourne dalliance with new markets begins in earnest.
The Jakarta Bintangs are well known to International footy fans, but also kicking the sherrin in the Indonesian capital are the Jakarta Bulldogs, an under 18s side formed in late 2006 by students from the British International School (BIS) in Jakarta.
The driving force for the side were two teenagers from South Australia, who recruited schoolmates to form the team - most of whom had no idea what Australian rules football was. Consequently, the team sports players from all over the globe, including Finnish, New Zealander, British and local Indonesians. Their first match was against West Java AFL team the Pancawati Eagles on November 24th, a fixture which saw the Bulldogs go down to the Eagles 74-70. Since then, the Bulldogs have maintained an unbeaten run through '07, defeating the West Java AFL's Depok Garudas, the Jakarta Bintangs' reserve team and last weekend a team of junior Indonesian rugby players.
The match on Saturday October 6th was held at the halftime break of the senior match between the Jakarta Bintangs and the International Sports Club Indonesia (ICSI). The Bintangs vs ICSI match has been an annual fixture for some years, played as half-footy-half-rugby - or "fugby".
The Bulldogs took on the ICSI junior rugby players confident in the knowledge that the ICSI boys had little to no idea about Aussie Rules, and piled on 5 goals in the first half while holding the ICSI side goalless. The second half saw the Bulldogs loan ICSI a few players, evening up the match but still seeing the Bulldogs run out 5.6.36 to 0.3.3 winners.
For more information on the Jakarta Bulldogs, visit their website.
The Beijing SiShen Bombers - all-Chinese expansion team of the Beijing Bombers - took on the Tianjin Normal University Demons in a 10-a-side match in the Chinese capital last weekend.
The match was the first domestic fixture in China to be played between two 100% Chinese sides, the SiShen Bombers running out winners 6.13.49 to 5.10.40 in wet conditions at the Beijing Science and Technology University.
Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper reported this morning that the AFL's Demons will pick two Chinese teenagers for training scholarships in its upcoming 10-day China tour. Melbourne's connections with the city of Tianjin, as well as junior programs and/or clubs in Beijing, Suzhou, Shanghai and Hong Kong have been a regular feature on WFN and elsewhere over the past few months. Maybe this could be the start of something big?
The Thailand Tigers Australian Football Club recently conducted a workshop for the Thailand Institute of Physical Education (IPE Bangkok campus) about the game of Aussie Rules. Attended by around 70 students, the workshop was a great introduction to the game, and included the history, the skills and rules, and the people involved in the Australian Football League.
An important highlight was the current growth of the game in Asia, particularly in Thailand, and the potential for expansion into the Thai sporting community beyond the traditional playing base of expat Australians.
This report courtesy of the Tigers' president Ryan Collett.
The Beijing Bombers were formed a few years ago by Aussies living in the Chinese capital, but until recently have not been as successful on- or off-field as their counterparts in the Shanghai Tigers. This is set to change however, with the Beijing Bombers defeating the Shanghai club earlier this month - the first home game for the Bombers and their first win against outside opposition - thumping the Tigers to the tune of 39 points.
The Bombers will return to Shanghai on October 27th for the second leg of the China Cup, but in the meantime there's plenty to do with development among Chinese nationals in Tianjin and Beijing. The following report courtesy of the Beijing ARFC's captain-coach Darryl Hoffman.
Timor-Leste (East Timor) is a country in Southeast Asia made up of the eastern part of the island Timor, the Oecussi-Ambeno region in Northwest Timor and the smaller islands of Pulau Atauro and Pulau Jaco. It has a population of a little over one million. It made headlines in 1999 when incited anti-independence violence followed a successful referendum by Timor-Leste to be recognised as their own state.
An Australian-led peacekeeping force was deployed to the region to support the new state, and they remain in the country (along with peacekeepers and police from 20 other countries) following more recent violence. Under the banner of “Operation Astute”, the Australian Defence Force are aiming to bring “stability, security and confidence to the Timorese to allow them to resolve their differences democratically and peacefully.” Sport has been identified as one avenue to achieve these goals, and consequently Australian football has been in the limelight.
Apologies for this flippant post, but "lost in translation" doesn't quite do this one justice. The Japan AFL website has a story on it leading up to the 2007 AFL Grand Final. Not being a reader of Japanese I clicked on the English translation link at the top right, which uses the Excite engine. The headline was now so much more clear to me - "AFL grand final. Let's rise with the orgy". We can only conclude one of two things - the translator isn't quite on top of the modern English vernacular, or Japan is getting into footy with even more passion than most Australians!