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Monday, February 20 2017 @ 07:47 AM ACDT

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Reuben William's Multicultural Journey

AfricaThroughout November the AFL celebrated cultural diversity with a series of films focusing on the journey's of players from multicultural backgrounds. The following clip looks at the journey of Reuben William from the Brisbane Lions - a fascinating insight into how a kid born in Sudan has challenged himself to succeed at the highest level of Australian Rules football.

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First Ugandan Player In The AFL

Africa

Travis King from the www.afl.com.au website reports in the wake of the AFL’s Rookie Draft yesterday that Port Adelaide has, as expected, selected the first Ugandan player in the AFL. The league already had a number of players of Sudanese and Kenyan heritage, but Emmanuel Irra proudly becomes the first Ugandan.

 

EMMANUEL Irra has become the first Ugandan player to earn a spot on an AFL list after joining Port Adelaide as a Category B rookie.

 

The powerful and versatile midfielder was one of seven players given a chance as Category B rookies as clubs finalised their lists on Monday.

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Ugandan Emmanuel Irra Training With Port Adelaide

Africa

Lee Gaskin reports on the www.afl.com.au website that Port Adelaide are set to be the next club to place an African born player on their list with the opportunity given to Ugandan born Emmanuel Irra.

PORT Adelaide is set to have the first Ugandan player on an AFL list, with midfielder Emmanuel Irra training with the Power.

The versatile 22-year-old has been granted permission to train with the Power ahead of the national, pre-season and rookie drafts.

 

If Irra is not selected during the draft process, the Power is free to list him as a Category B Rookie since the club earlier nominated him for its next generation academy.

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Prime Minister singles out Sudanese Swan Aliir Aliir

Africa

 

The following story by Ben Guthrie at the www.afl.com.au website looks at the recognition paid by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull towards Sydney Swans defender, and Sudanese talent, Aliir Aliir. The article highlights Aliir’s almost automatic multicultural value as a community leader, made even more wide ranging given his example being used at a UN General Assembly leader’s summit on refugees. It is an inspirational story. 

 

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has spoken of the remarkable story of Sydney Swans defender Aliir Aliir at a United Nations conference in New York. 

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Mabior Chol To Debut For Richmond Tigers

Africa
The next player of African descent will hit the turf this weekend in the final home and away round for 2016 when Richmond’s Mabior Chol debuts. A product of the Brisbane Lions Academy originally, Chol was snared by the Tigers with pick 30 in last year’s Rookie Draft. Along with Reuben William (Brisbane) and Gach Nyuon (Essendon), Chol was the third rookie from Sudan to be selected in that same draft.

They joined Majak Daw (North Melbourne) and Aliir Aliir (Sydney) as players from Sudan to be on AFL team lists. With Chol’s selection, only Essendon’s Gach Nyuon is yet to make his senior debut.

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A Glimpse Into An African Future

It lasted just 15 or so minutes, but while it was happening an entire future of footy flashed before my eyes. When today’s AFL match between the Sydney Swans and North Melbourne started on a cold and showery Blundstone Arena in Hobart, Tasmania, two Sudanese players lined up on each other in key positional posts in an AFL match.

When the siren sounded to get the match started, North’s Majak Daw, armed with more muscles than are probably necessary, lined up at Full Forward. Beside him in the goal square was Sydney’s Aliir Aliir, the Full Back responsible for keeping club veteran Ted Richards out of the team. Well, that’s probably unfair as injury and other players have also had a hand in that…but let’s not ruin a good story!
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Sudan’s Reuben William To Debut For Lions

Africa
Majak Daw may have kicked open the door for future Sudanese players, and others from a variety of African countries, but this year has seen first Aliir Aliir debut for the Sydney Swans and now this weekend, the AFL’s showcase 2016 Toyota AFL Multicultural Round, Brisbane Lions rookie, Reuben William, will debut.

William was one of three Sudanese born players to be rookie listed at last year’s draft along with Gach Nyuon (Essendon) and Mabior Chol (Richmond). But William is the first of the three to be upgraded from the rookie list and be selected for his first senior match.
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Majak Leading The Way…For Now



Majak Daw has a firm place in AFL history as the first Sudanese player to reach the highest level of the AFL. What might have been seen as a novelty at the beginning has now changed with Daw proving last weekend that he has much more to offer. He was retained as a rookie by North Melbourne last year and played his first senior game against Essendon on Saturday.

His return of 14 possessions, 5 tackles, 2 goals and 4 hitouts showed off his array of skills, despite a much publicised horror shot on goal, kissing on the run from only 15 metres out. But the outing proved that Majak can still play at the highest level.
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Aliir Aliir’s Journey Takes A New Turn

Africa
Pick 44 in the 2013 AFL Draft was Sydney’s. They had plenty of other players to choose from that later made other team’s lists. Some of the names that went after 44 included Ben Brown (North Melbourne - 47), Orazio Fantasia (Essendon – 55), James Sicily (Hawthorn – 56), Tom Langdon (Collingwood – 65), Sam Lloyd (Richmond – 66) and a few other decent picks.

But the Sydney Swans had already seen something they liked better. Their scouts had been up in Queensland watching the skills and potential of Aliir Aliir, the Sudanese boy who had been firing at junior levels for years. When he went to Western Australia in 2013 to improve his drafting chances (after being overlooked in the 2012 draft), Sydney’s eyes followed. The Swans, not afraid to take a chance, picked a fruit from the draft tree that might take a while to ripen, but when it did it would likely be a delight.
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School Sport Australia Schoolboys Tour Wrap

Africa
The tour of South Africa by the School Sport Australia Under 15's squad has come to an end with a domination across three games against the South African Lions. But the scores are secondary to the developmental value of the tour as the players shred their skills with their South African counterparts as well as giving assistance and advice to young kids at clinics across the country.

The team won their first match of the series, played in Johannesburg, downing the South African Lions 20 11 131 to 5 4 34. The report of that part of the itinerary can be found here: Sawubona! – South Africa Welcomes School Sport Australia

The second game of the series was played at Rustenburg, to the west of Pretoria. Once again the schoolboys team was too strong, though the South Africans certainly learned from the opening game, closing the gap and going down by just 55 points. The final score in Game 2: School Sport Australia 16 18 114 d South African Lions 9 5 59.
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