The Arafura Games are underway in Darwin, capital of Australia's Northern Territory. As discussed previously, the games have a proud history in international Australian Rules football. The Japanese Samurai are using the tournament to fine tune their play before the Australian Football International Cup in August. The first round of matches were played today.
The Japan AFL have announced they are sending a team to compete in the Arafura Games from May 13th. This should be an ideal preparation for the Australian Football International Cup in August. Darwin has long been home to international footy competition and remains an ideal location for Australia's northern neighbours to compete.
Each year in Thailand the ANZAC spirit is commemorated by conducting a Dawn Service at Hellfire Pass and a Memorial Service at Kanchanaburi Allied War Cemetery.
2005 marks the 90th anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli in World War 1. In honouring the ANZAC tradition, the Thailand Tigers Football Club will host an Australian Rules Commemorative Match to be played at the Kanchanaburi Sports Complex on Saturday 23 April 2005.
The Robert Walters scholarship for young Japanese players provides Japanese lads with a well rounded football education. In addition to playing a season with Box Hill North, the scholarship winner spends his time improving his English and studying for AFL qualifications in coaching and umpiring.
This year's winner Hiroyuki Shiba, quit his job to concentrate on footy, and has just arrived in Australia to push himself along even further. This report courtesy of Troy Beard.
The Japan AFL have just gratefully received a grant from the AFL to help continue the upward development of the past few years. Now with 13 teams and over 500 players nationwide, the Japanese league has made some great sides forward and the national side is eagerly awaiting the International Cup in August.
Australian Rules Football has taken its first tenuous steps towards gaining a foothold in the Philippines. The following article is by Derek Ackary ("Dezza"), President of the Philippines AFL. This is the story of how it all started and the very positive progress so far.
On 21st November, the Japan AFL Grand Final was held. In a repeat of the 2003 season finale, it was the Tokyo Goannas, the primarily expatriate Australian club, up against the University-based Samurai. The Uni boys provided most of the players who recently toured Australia (see previous stories), and have shown much improved form in 2004.