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Friday, July 10 2020 @ 12:15 pm ACST

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Pyke the focus as AFL becomes the talk of the town in Wellington

Oceania

Mike Pyke, the Canadian ruckman who helped lead the Sydney Swans to a Premiership in 2012 is remembered in New Zealand for different reasons. Before his amazing code swap to AFL he was a rugby union international for Canada. In a country as obsessed with rugby as the Kiwis are with their All Blacks the sight of a player the size of Pyke scoring a runaway try down the wing against the pride of New Zealand leaves a memory etched in the minds of many.

Pyke has been the centre of a TV3 news story and is also a focus within the print media with the great article Ex-All-Black-foe Pyke becomes AFL star.

The AFL are predicting a crowd of around 20,000 and there is no doubt a connection to Pyke may lead to further interest.

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NZ U18 Championships part of Anzac Day Football Bonanza for Wellington

Oceania

AFL New Zealand's website has become a great resource for all the latest footy news in New Zealand.  Here's a pointer to more positive news.

As a result of the the Hawks Cup initiative developed jointly by the Hawthorn Football Club and AFL NZ many talented athletes are being drawn to participating in footy throughout more and more of NZ.

Some of the most talented young athletes from Northland to Otago have been identified through the Hawks Cup Secondary School competitions as well as testing combines conducted through out the country and will participate in two days of fixtures at the picturesque Hutt park.

Those who compete have the opportunity to progress in the AFL talent pathway.

From this tournament an initial Under 18 New Zealand Hawks squad will be selected in preparation for fixtures against Victoria to be played in Auckland in October 2013.

Representatives from several AFL Clubs will be on hand in the hope of signing talented individuals on an International Scholarship that could lead to a professional AFL career.

For more see:- http://www.aflnz.co.nz/under-18-national-championships

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AFLNZ asks - Why not come and have a go?

Oceania

AFLNZ are seeking to maximise the impact of the St Kilda/Sydney game in Wellington. Leveraging on the Anzac Day game for AFL development provides a huge opportunity to initiate or further develop interest in participation.

As such “Have a Go” days are organised at Wellington’s picturesque Test cricket oval of The Basin Reserve on Friday 26th April and then again at the home of Wellington footy at Hutt Park in the nearby Hutt Valley on Sunday 28th April.

Hopefully this can boost numbers in the Wellington region so that a formal AFL competition can be held in 2013 after the competition never got started in 2012. There will be roles available locally for every interest level from committee, to umpiring all the way through to players!!

For more information on attending please view Play AFL "Have A Go" Days at Basin Reserve & Hutt Park.

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South Pacific squad to take on Boomerangs

Oceania

Upon the completion of the last match on Thursday of the South Pacific Cup the 30 player squad was selected to take on the Kickstart Flying Boomerangs at 9 am tomorrow (Friday) morning. This initial squad will be reduced further to 25 to compete in the NAB AFL U/16 national championships to be held in Sydney in July. Congratulations to all those who took part in the tournament and especially to those selected in the squad below.

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South Pacific Cup wraps up - PNG victorious

Oceania

Days 3 and 4 of the AFL South Pacific Cup played out yesterday (Wednesday) and today (Thursday) at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville. The Papua New Guinea Binatangs lived up to pre tournament favouratism and completed an unbeaten run through the tournament to take out the title. Unbeaten by a whisker though after the draw against Oceania on Tuesday.

Upon the completion of the last match on Thursday, the 30 player squad was selected to take on the Kickstart Flying Boomerangs at 9 am tomorrow (Friday) morning. This initial squad will be reduced further to 25 to compete in the NAB AFL U/16 national championships to be held in Sydney in July. See separate article for the squad.

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All Black Assistant Coach Mick Byrne is a great example of where footy can take you

Oceania

Sydney born Mick Byrne's playing past in Aussie Rules helps him fit neatly into the Rugby Union Super 15’s Blues co-coaching jigsaw. Like many Sydney youngsters Mick Byrne began his sporting life on the league field. Then one of his schoolmates persuaded him to bring his teenage 2m frame to Aussie Rules training.

"I really liked it because of the freedom of running and the kicking that was involved," Byrne said. So in his last year at school, Byrne ended up playing rugby on Thursday, Aussie Rules on Saturday and Rugby League on Sunday.

He made an Aussie Rules rep side as a ruckman and centre half forward and signed a contract as an interstate player and headed off to Melbourne. Byrne went to the Melbourne Demons, subsequently Hawthorn where he won a Grand Final winner's medal, and the Sydney Swans in a 167 game career over a 13-year career.

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South Pacific Cup Results Day 2

Oceania

Tuesday was day 2 of the AFL South Pacific Cup tournament at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville (QLD); pitting PNG, NZ and the Oceania Squads against each other. The game on Tuesday saw PNG play Oceania in an extremely close encounter that finished in a draw. The polish of the PNG side was evident all day but the spirited work ethic of the Oceania side pressured PNG into mistakes and Oceania were good enough to capitalize. Observers rating this as the game of the carnival so far.

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South Pacific Players given the chance to impress at Wellington Combine

Oceania

Players representing the South Pacific in the curtain raiser against the NZ Hawks will participate in an AFL Combine on Wednesday 23rd April. AFL Combines are underpinned by an exciting testing format that provides participants with the opportunity to compete in a number of skills and athletic testing.

Each of the events within the programme has a focus on fun and looks to provide those involved with motivation to improve themselves in varying facets of skill and fitness.

A variety of talent scouts will watch carefully as the South Pacific players are put through their paces.

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Inaugural AFL New Zealand High Performance Awards Evening

Oceania

The first ever AFL New Zealand High Performance awards will be held on April 24th at Macs Function Centre in Wellington on the eve of the ANZAC Day Clash between the Sydney Swans and St Kilda.

The awards night is an annual celebration of the performance and efforts of those involved in New Zealand representative teams as well as recognizing the success of those with New Zealand heritage in the sport of AFL.

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South Pacific Cup Results Day 1

Oceania

With the new AFL South Pacific and Oceania junior talent pathway structure now seeing first the Oceania tournament held last December (for Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomons, Fiji and Nauru) ; and the next step being the South Pacific Cup where the Oceania combine takes on the regional powers of PNG and NZ; it is a watershed moment now that the inaugural South Pacific Cup has kicked off on Monday at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville

Monday (April 8): Day 1 started today with 3 terrific games of football between PNG, NZ & Oceania (Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Nauru). PNG were in control of both of their games and look like the team to beat!

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