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Friday, November 22 2019 @ 08:08 pm ACDT

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First internationally staged AFL Premiership Game bound for NZ?

Oceania

The prospect of the first AFL home-and-away game played outside Australia could become a reality as early as next season, with St Kilda reportedly pushing to play up to four games a season in New Zealand.

The Saints on their website confirm this possibility “The St Kilda Football Club is in preliminary discussions with the AFL about the expansion of the game in New Zealand and the role the Saints may play. With the recent inclusion of AFL as a sanctioned sport in schools in New Zealand, the Saints would like to develop the game further through engagement with the community. The Saints also see an opportunity to build player talent pathways for local talent to play AFL and potentially play games for Premiership points in Wellington in the future. The Wellington Stadium, affectionately known to Kiwis as “The Cake Tin” is an excellent venue.

Having personally had the opportunity to be involved in all 3 pre-season games played in Wellington, firstly at the iconic Basin Reserve and followed by two matches at the Stadium I can only applaud this initiative and state that in all respects it is a wonderful surface and arena for AFL football. It is well and truly time for a truly meaningful game to be played in New Zealand. The opportunity for the Saints to play the legendary football thinker Kevin Sheedy’s Greater Western Sydney Giants on Anzac Day should excite both footy fanatics and interested observers equally.
 

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Results from Samoa’s first AFL Tournament

Oceania

The following media release was provided by AFL Samoa. The tournament was held on Saturday, 25th of Feb.

Last Saturday, AFL Samoa, held Samoa's first AFL tournament, the Motor 1 Aaron Edwards Cup. The event was sponsored by the Motor 1 group and Sa'Moana Resort.

The A team from Lepa-Lotofaga triumphed on the day. They played against Aleipata in a tightly contested grand final. The final score was Aleipata's 3 goals 2 points with a total of 18 points to Lepa/Lotofaga's 4 goals 3 points with a total of 27 points.

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Footy to progress in Wellington?

Oceania

AFL New Zealand is attempting to increase the number of teams in schools, at the same time as the leading Australian clubs are starting to look across the Tasman for new talent.

"The Australian clubs originally looked to Ireland – because of the similarity to gaelic football – for their international talent but finally are seeing see the merits of searching closer to home [in New Zealand]," AFL NZ national youth coach James Terry said.

According to Terry, four New Zealand boys were signed up for AFL scholarships last year and nine Australian clubs had observers at a training camp and game in Wellington last month. So far there has not been a Wellingtonian signed to an AFL scholarship and they have also not had much of a presence in the national sides recently.

Terry agrees to the widely held belief of those with experience of NZ football that "The games we play here – rugby, soccer, league and basketball – produce the type of athletic kids the AFL clubs are after and it can be a pathway to a very lucrative career."

Australian Rules is pitched as a summer game in New Zealand, so it is seen as an adjunct to rugby, soccer and league, rather than a competitor.

Five Wellington secondary schools fielded teams in AFL competitions last year and Terry hopes a bigger number will be involved in the senior Hawks Cup, a schools tournament that will be staged in Wellington in March, with a North Island schools tournament scheduled in late March.

Wellington schoolboys have already made an impression in AFL with Kade Riddell (Hutt Valley), Hugo Phillips (Wellington College), Fletcher Barclay (Paraparaumu), Jordan Mueller (Hutt Valley), Craig Morgan (Hutt Valley), Josh Thompson (St Pat's Town) and Mitchell Purvis (HIBS) all selected for the New Zealand under-16 side.

In addition, Riddell, Phillips and Barclay are in the Oceania under-16 squad that will play in Sydney at Easter at the Australian U16 Championships.

For more, see Aussie Rules scouts at Wellington schools.

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Samoa's First AFL tournament - Press Release

Oceania

The first AFL tournament in Samoa will be held on Saturday 25 of February. AFL Samoa will be holding a competition for village schools across Upolu. Five schools will be competing for the inaugural Aaron Edwards Cup. The competition is named after the one and only Samoan AFL star playing with the North Melbourne Football Club.

Mr Gabel Stathis, development officer for AFL in Samoa is excited about the prospect of bringing the game of AFL to Samoans. “This is an exciting time for Australian football in Samoa as it’s another step forward in the development of the game. It is a game which I think Samoans will excel at because it requires flair, agility and endurance,” Mr Stathis said.

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Samoan schools comp keeps the flame alive

Oceania

Samoa has had a mixed modern history in Aussie Rules.  A small band of dedicated volunteers has kept the flame flickering, but at times apparent development perhaps appeared more deep seated than it was with Rugby players taking up the sport in short stints.  These issues came to a head with Samoa's absence from IC11 and the recent Youth Oceania Cup.

Happily we can report that Gable Stathis is in Samoa as an Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD) posting, filling the role of AFL Samoa development officer.  One of his successes has been to organise this weekend's MOTOR1 Aaron Edwards Cup.

The tournament is a village schools lightning carnival to be held between six schools from all around Upulo. The competition is a chance to further develop the game in Samoa and locals are welcome to attend as a perfect opportunity to come and see Australia’s great game in Samoa.  Games are on Saturday 25th February 9am to 430pm at Lepa/Lotofaga.  Supported by MOTOR1 Samoa and Sa' Moana Resort.  The weekend will also includes AFL Samoa stalwarts such as Bernie and Ben Woodland arriving for the AGM.

See also AFL Samoa update for our recent update.

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Positions Vacant – 2 Operations Manager roles in PNG

Oceania

AFL PNG is currently advertising the roles of Operations Manager – Senior Football; and Operations Manager – Development. Advertised in PNG’s Post Courier last week – the closing date for applications has been extended a week and now is COB Friday February 24th.

Find below the text of the advertisement :

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Perris awarded Ling medal despite missing playing in NZ match

OceaniaThe Sydney Swans would like to congratulate QBE Sydney Swans Academy member Lloyd Perris, who has been awarded the Cameron Ling Medal for most professional player at AIS-AFL Academy. The medal, named after Geelong’s premiership-winning 2011 captain, was voted on by the best young footballers in Australia, who were Perris’ team-mates in the Australian Institute of Sport-AFL Academy squad which has just returned from a tour to New Zealand.

Before the medal was awarded, Ling said he wanted it to go to a young player who worked hard and was selfless, had a strong, positive attitude, and who was a good person. Seventeen-year-old Perris, who goes to Sydney Boys’ High and lives in the Sydney suburb of Cronulla, clearly fit the bill as he won the medal with 47 votes, ahead of runner-up Luke Dunstan from South Australia (36 votes).

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NZ Hawks no match for AIS

Oceania

In the eagerly anticipated first Australian football match between the two countries at any level, the Under-17 AIS-AFL Academy squad overcame the New Zealand Hawks by 91 points at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday.

After the Kiwis performed a stirring rendition of the haka, they got the jump on the Aussies in the first quarter with former Fremantle Docker forward Adam Campbell helping the home team to a five-point lead at the first break.

The Australians, coached by Brisbane Lions triple-premiership player Chris Johnson, hit back in the second quarter, kicking six goals-to-none to open a 31-point lead at half-time.

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Hawks claim 4th International scholarship player from NZ

Oceania

Hawks defender Stephen Gilham recently travelled across the Tasman to present the Club's newest International Scholarship holder Ben Miller with his Hawthorn guernsey.

Miller played his first Australian football game for the Otago Boys’ School in 2010 against the university team, Otago Riot. It was in his second game that he took a high mark well above his opponents in the pack and set up several scoring opportunities from the wing where it became clear Ben had potential to play this game. Given that so far Otago has no formal competition with just a University Club, that play spasmodically, and some junior development programmes within a few secondary schools, this is a monumental achievement.

In February 2011 he travelled to Auckland for the NZ under 20 National Provincial Championships playing for Wellington. Showing his potential, Ben was selected to play for the NZ U20's against VAFA and NZ U16 Oceania Cup 2011 where he was instrumental in the team’s success.
 

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Interview with Glen Butler (AFL Fiji)

Oceania

Shortly after the 2011 AFL Oceania Youth Cup, the Fiji coach, Glen Butler said goodbye. The reason being that his stint as an AYAD officer in Fiji had come to an end. The AYAD program is referenced over and over again in respect to Australian Football in the Pacific. Worldfootynews asked Glen to reflect on his time.

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