This week the 5th AFL Youth Oceania Cup will take place. Previous winners since the inaugural event in 2009 have been Tonga, PNG, New Zealand and last year Fiji. The pathway has changed somewhat with last years the first tournament without either of New Zealand or PNG involved in this phase. Next year the Oceania side will again take on PNG and NZ in the South Pacific Cup.
Below is a media release from the AFL
Fiji will host the 2013 Youth AFL Oceania Cup from December 10 to 14.
Canterbury, the current champions, will be keen to use home advantage to retain their title this coming weekend in Christchurch. In 2012 they won their third National Provincial Championship in a row.
With a strong squad in 2013, Canterbury has an excellent chance to beat the other three leagues sending teams.
Auckland, Wellington and Otago will all be competing at the National Provincial Championship. Otago is the newest team at the competition, and could be the surprise package of the weekend. Wellington and Auckland will both be tough to beat, with squads filled with experienced and tough players. Disappointingly Waikato are unable to make this year’s Championships after a number of years competing at this level.
HAWTHORN upgraded Shem Tatupu and Kurt Heatherley to their full rookie list. Now it will only take consistent form and a long term injury (to a current Hawthorn player so they can be elevated onto the senior list for either of the boys to make their AFL debut.
Tatupu has only played about 20 games of Australian Rules, and spent the year finishing school in Auckland, but at the age of 17 he has convinced the Hawks he can make it at AFL level. The 196cm, 102kg key forward was one of two New Zealand international scholarship holders welcomed on to the club’s playing squad when he and athletic 193cm defender Kurt Heatherley were taken in the AFL rookie draft.
The two best AFL teams in Auckland are set to go head to head, with the Waitakere Magpies and the Mt Roskill Saints both qualifying for the Auckland AFL final.
The current Premiers are the Mt Roskill Saints, who have also enjoyed a strong season in 2013, finishing top of the table. Young James McKenzie has been a significant presence in the side, and has also recently been part of the Under-18 New Zealand Hawks, along with Saints team-mates Taylor Alaelua and Gray Samuels. Veteran Australian Dan Carman, Michael Boyce, son of AFLNZ legend Peter Boyce, and Matt Kemp will all be players to watch out for too in the final.
This has been an exciting season for the four team top division in Auckland with the two Grand Finalists and the always strong University Blues all a chance for top spot before the commencement of the final round.
The AFL today announced the locations for the 2013/2014 Australia Post AFL Community Camps, with Greater Western Sydney Giants to kick off the first camp in Canberra on December 2.
The Australia Post AFL Community Camps will see more than 800 AFL players take the game to regional and rural communities across Australia, as well as overseas again when St Kilda Football Club visits Wellington, New Zealand in February 2013.
AFL General Manager People, Customer and Community Dorothy Hisgrove said fans of all ages across the country will have the chance to meet their AFL heroes, in the lead up to the 2014 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
Bigfooty Media's Jason Lassey interviewed AFL Fiji's secretary Robert Wolfgramm - this time no audio is available.
Australian Footy in Fiji traces its roots back to 2004, and a former Fiji Police Commissioner, Andrew Hughes, an Australian who had played some amateur football in Australia and was keen to grow the game in Fiji. At a meeting in mid 2004, Hughes called a meeting of interested Police officers with the intent of using the Force as the basis for developing a local football competition. According to the Police Public Relations Officer at the time, Mesake Koroi , ‘many top rugby players joined in and it started off well, but there was no one except Hughes to run the programme, so it was hard because, of course, he had other police work to attend to’.
In 2005, Robert Wolfgramm (formerly of Melbourne University) of the Fiji Daily Post met with Hughes to express his interest in Australian Football and his desire to help by giving the sport publicity through the newspaper. However, the Fiji Football Association would wind up at the end of that year due to lack of resources and direction without formally setting up a league.
The AFL Queensland Girls State Championships have played out in Brisbane this weekend. In its eighth year, the competition has shifted south, from Cairns to the AFL Queensland Administration and Training Centre, Yeronga. This is the second season the competition has been for under-17, transitioning from the previous Under-16 format. Amongst the sides participating is the AFL PNG Coca-Cola Under 17 Kurukums – being the first time PNG has been represented in this tournament.
With some girls only arriving from Port Moresby about an hour before the game – the Kurukums were up against it against the bigger and stronger South West Magpies side. It should be noted that over half of the Kurukums are under 15 years of age and that the PNG squad is actually the youngest of the (for the first time) 8 sides in the tournament.
Reigning Brownlow Medalist Gary Ablett Junior and his brother and Geelong Premiership player Nathan Ablett will be in Port Moresby this week. They will be undertaking various activities for their church group, and it's charity - The Gateway Children's Fund.