The AFL New Zealand U-18 Kahus – Maori for Hawks – will play their debut game against the touring Australian Youth Girls High Performance Academy team in October. The format of this first ever showdown between the two countries will be a three-match test series.
Kahus players will be selected by a series of combine style AFL skills tests, trials, training camps and the AFL New Zealand High Performance Programme. School programmes, testing and trials were also conducted throughout June and players who impressed the coaches during these sessions will be advanced onto the High Performance Programme.
After this, potential players will be further trained at the end of August, then after the regional Youth Girls competition in September, a final squad will be selected to represent New Zealand against Australia.
The 2013 Solomon Islands AFL Grand Final is set to go this Thursday afternoon. With the White River Demons set to take on the more fancied Central Eagles in the big game - starting 4.30pm on the KGVI School Oval.
The Central Coast Eagles went down narrowly last year in the 2012 Grand Final by 4 pts to the Rove Magpies. Undoubtedly they will be keen to go one better this year.
New Zealand’s Shem Tatupu, who will become an international rookie at Hawthorn in 2014 (current scholarship listed), has recently been in Melbourne playing for the Oakleigh Chargers in the elite TAC Cup under 18s competition.
He kicked 1.1 in the Chargers' win over the Northern Knights during July, with his marking a feature. Earlier in the year he kicked two goals each in games against Western Jets and Geelong Falcons. His marking again in both games was a highlight.
At this stage, he appears to be giving away a number of frees but as his game awareness and body positioning improves this is likely to alter. Or maybe, as he is Hawthorn listed, he might follow Buddy Franklin’s lead and still remain in the negative for frees for and against but become a very dominant footballer! Time will tell.
WFN reported PNG U/14s success signals NEAFL future for PNG/Sth Pacific. recently on the NEAFL potential of PNG either via more players involved if not PNG representation with AFL PNG General Manager Murray Bird suggesting the talent is such that one day the Mosquitoes could find a place stand alone in the NEAFL.
AFL Vanuatu has come a fair way since the very early days and through the Vanuatu Volcanoes they represent their nation with pride. However the social and economic challenges faced in such a country mean that stories such as this are all the more important.
Victorian footy club Olinda Ferny Creek – nestled in the Dandenongs between Ferntree Gully and Olinda – is set for a footy trip with a difference when they embark on an AFL development tour to Vanuatu at season's end this September.
The AFL NZ have named their AFL New Zealand Heritage team, representing the best 22 players of New Zealand heritage to have played in the AFL.
Attending the inaugural High Performance Awards for AFL New Zealand, I was surprised at some of the players selected to be acknowledged as part of the team.
Richmond's Dustin Martin stands out in any crowd, with his neck tattoo signifying his tribal heritage, as does the Maori artwork inked on the arms of former Carlton player Paul Bower and Collingwood's Marley Williams. Frankston's Khan Haretuku's surname provides a hint and the media space afforded recently to the promising Hawthorn duo of Kurt Heatherley and Shem Tatupu would cause their selection to be no surprise.
This team is relevant to current times with the criteria seeming to be active players now, or very recently.
Given that, the full squad can been seen on the video clips available here.
The name Arafura is an indigenous word to the original people of the Moluccas which loosely means “children of the mountains” or “people of the mountains”. It’s modern application is that of the name of the Arafura Sea which is a body of water bounded by northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor.
In footballing terms it is the name of the women’s Australian Rules football team comprising players from the Northern Territory, North Queensland (Cairns) and Papua New Guinea. The women who made up this side represented their countries and states with honour at the recent Women’s National Championships, held last week in Cairns.
North Queensland set for NEAFL side, PNG / South Pacific part of the plans
The recent victory of the AFLP PNG Coca-Cola Under 14 Binatangs in the Queensland State Academy Championships has not gone unnoticed. Former Fitzroy legend and now AFL Queensland CEO Mick Conlan was on hand on the Gold Coast to see the talent firsthand.
The potential for future growth of the PNG and by extension the South Pacific nations presence in footy in Queensland and possibly in the NEAFL has been flagged. The talent pathways are to continue to become more clearly defined. Mick Conlan and AFL PNG's Murray Bird discuss further the potential.
Round 1 of the NAB National Under 16 Championships was played out across the weekend at the Blacktown International Sports Park in Sydney.
The AFL South Pacific Under 16s squad had a warm up game last week at the same venue against local Sydney side Sydney Hills (pictured below); with South Pacific prevailing 10.6.(66) to Sydney Hills 7.2.(44). A good lead in to their first tournament game against the Australian indigenous Flying Boomerangs on Sunday.