This Saturday (Nov 19) sees an exhibition match with the Solomon Islands AFL National Select squad take on the Toll 'Barbarians' at the St. Josephs Tenaru School.
The day is titled "THE BIG MEAT PIE".
Festivities commence from 1pm, and first bounce is at 2pm.
Unfortunately, the Solomons AFL are not in a position to send a full squad to the South Pacific Cup tournament in December. They are endeavouring to raise funds from this event to send a few young boys over to represent the SIAFL in a combined side.
The day will include a BBQ and drinks, live music and a jumping castle among other activities. Interestingly, there will be a signed GWS guernsey up for auction.
Presently Eddie Burton is looking for a 2nd umpire for the day. Eddie can be contacted in the Solomons on +677 7579338.
The Canterbury Cobras went through their second successive undefeated campaign to claim back to back championships in the AFL New Zealand Senior NPC held at Wellington at Hutt Park.
The tournament featured great facilities and great weather and was well supported by the Wellington AFL organizing committee. Led by League President Mark Langdon and Secretary Margaret Lavery, their efforts were rewarded with a most enjoyable weekend.
NZ Championships in a major tournament year, whether previously the Arafura Cup or currently the International Cup, always see a host of new faces. The commitment to preparing for these major International tournaments means that many players cannot afford the tie, money or absence from their home commitments to again prepare for a tournament which involves further dedication to training and costs such as flights and accommodation, which are generally self-funded. This is of course are two edged sword in that of course you would wish for the best of the best to be at every tournament but this has never been the case. The obvious benefit is that a host of new players often get to represent their province for the first time, and this is always done with great pride.
There were a few firsts for the weekend with a twilight game introduced to provide travelling teams with flexibility in regards to arrival times.
The HANZ-UP programme is a community based football programme organised between the Hawthorn Football Club and AFL New Zealand. The alliance allows Hawthorn to promote the game in New Zealand, whilst AFL New Zealand has the opportunity like no other international football organisation to engage the local juniors in a variety of football activities, including Auskick programmes, school competitions, and clinics with Hawks players.
Kiwikick is based on the Auskick programme in Australia and is run for boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 13 years.
New Zealand's only South Island club premiership has been run and won. The Mid-Canterbury Eagles have won their inaugural Premiership in the Canterbury Australian Football League defeating reigning premiers Christchurch Bulldogs in a fantastic Grand Final.
Earlier in the day perennial champions the Eastern Blues took third place putting away the University Cougars in a great day for football in Christchurch.
The main game started at a frenetic pace, with players throwing themselves at the contest. It looked early that the Eagles were in control, but they wasted seveal gettable opportunities in front of goal, while the more accurate Bulldogs converted with their limted opportunities. At quarter time the Eagles led by 6-points, with only 2 goals on the scoreboard despite their domination around the ground.
The annual New Zealand NPC (National Provincial Championships) will be held in Wellington this weekend (November 5th and 6th). Auckland, Canterbury, Waikato and Wellington will battle for national supremacy with recent winners Canterbury and Auckland heavily favoured.
It is expected that representatives from the Otago Club will be shared between the Leagues to allow for their involvement and to underpin future development in the bottom of the South Island.
The Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) Under 18s invitational side have just completed their third annual tour of New Zealand, coming away undefeated against the NZ Under 20s. The opportunity for these young men to travel and experience a different culture would be of tremendous benefit to them.
It is to be hoped that the football itself was a great experience as the NZ Hawks look to grow the game and close the gap further each year. With the Kiwis fielding a side with an average age of 17 this should translate into a long term benefit for the Hawks.
Last Saturday (October 8th) was grand final day in the Solomon Islands AFL (SIAFL). The forecast was for a wet day, maximum of 8 and possible hail. And on the field the top team the Hawks (having only lost once for the year) were to face off against the 2nd placed Wolves.
The venue was the KG6 Cricket oval – and the SIAFL had a 1pm curtain raiser with a match made up from the various training centres around town. The main game starting at 2pm to wrap up the inaugural season of AFL competition in the Solomons.
The 2011 Papua New Guinea AFL Port Moresby (AFLPOM) Grand Final is scheduled for this Saturday, October 15th, at the Amini Park in Port Moresby. Combatants on the day are the Lamana Dockers and the Hitron Bomana Cats.
The last week of September in Melbourne in particular saw most footy attention aimed squarely at the knee of Stevie J and the groin, or rather abductor, of Darren Jolly. In fairness, the partnering of the AFL and Federal Govt in launching a PNG AFL taskforce to expand Australian football in the region isn’t really core news for the regular AFL media.
During the week, with the gradual building up of expectation for the fortunes of Geelong and Collingwood at the ‘G on the first Saturday in October, it’s little wonder then that the simultaneous announcements of the AFL and MP the Hon Richard Marles failed to raise much of a profile.