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Wednesday, April 26 2017 @ 03:36 PM ACST

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AFL Vanuatu Pikinini to lead out Sydney Swans

Oceania

Ironically the week after AFL South Pacific graduate Kurt Heatherley made his senior AFL debut – a young man from Vanuatu will lead the Sydney Swans onto the field in their crucial match against St Kilda this weekend at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. Keep a look out for the Vanuatu flag.

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Kiwi is here - Kurt finally debuts for Hawthorn

Oceania
This is a story of commitment fulfilled by a number of parties. The most obvious one is Kurt Heatherley. Way back in 2009 we first reported the Kurt had signed with Hawthorn after being a recent convert to the Aussie game. This is significant. He learned the game in NZ. Outside Australia.
 
AFLNZ also made a commitment and that was to grow the game on their own soil. No longer would it be a place for expats and few locals playing the Australian game. They had actively committed to growing and promoting the game locally. 
 
They had gone hard into schools in NZ creating not just the opportunity for kids to learn the skills of the game but to play it in competition. They made sure they had quality elite programs for the best of the young talent to represent their provinces and their country. 
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AFL Fiji kick off August with Staff Conference

Oceania

The first week of August saw an important progam held at the Holiday Inn in Suva, Fiji, with the AFL Fiji Staff Conference. In recent months Simon Highfield has joined as AFL Fiji’s new development officer and AFL Fiji have also received support from Australia’s Pacific Sports Partnerships Program. Once again – this December Fiji will be hosting the AFL Oceania Cup. However – last week it was the AFL Fiji staff getting upskilled – along with training from the Fiji Ministry of Health & Medical Services and the Fiji Women’s Crisis centre with an aim to inclusion of awareness messages into the AFL Fiji school and community programs.

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NCD squads announced for 2016 PNG Games

Oceania

The 2016 BSP PNG Games are to be hosted in the West New Britain Province of Papua New Guinea. 22 provinces take part in 24 games – including para-sports and including AFL. Across 4 locations within the provincial capital of Kimbe. As a note, Kimbe Bay is said to host more than 60% of the coral species of the entire Indo-Pacific while Kimbe itself is the third largest port in PNG and said to be the fastest growing city in the South Pacific.

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AFL: PNG-Style - Australia Plus

Oceania

Another great story on footy development work in PNG.

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Heatherley named in Hawthorn's 25-man squad vs Richmond

Oceania

5pm update - Kurt is now named as Emergency for Sundays game and not in the selected 22.

Hawthorn has included midfielder Will Langford, key forward Tim O’Brien and Kiwi defender Kurt Heatherley in an extended squad to face Richmond on Sunday.

All three have been named on the bench in the Hawks’ 25-man squad.

Heatherley continued his push for a senior debut last week racking up 17 disposals, eight marks and five rebound 50s for Box Hill.
Hawthorn will finalise its side tomorrow afternoon ahead of Sunday’s clash at the MCG, which will be Sam Mitchell’s 300th AFL game.
 

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PNG's JJ Peni to star in The Recruit Season 2

Oceania

Out there, playing somewhere in Australia right now, is a weekend warrior the AFL recruiters have either never seen or missed, a man dreaming of an AFL career. He is ‘The Recruit’ and he will win arguably the biggest prize ever given away on a TV show – a guaranteed place on an AFL list.

THE RECRUIT is a 10-part reality series that follows a group of ‘Recruits’ who live and play together as a team, while at the same time competing against each other, in order to win this life-changing prize.

Season one of THE RECRUIT aired in Australia in 2014 and was one of the breakout hits for Foxtel’s flagship, general entertainment channel, FOX8.   The premiere of that series was one of the highest program launches in subscription television history, and finished as the channel’s most watched series that year.

Season two returns with the legendary Mick Malthouse, leading the search for Australia’s next sporting hero.  Renowned for his record-breaking coaching career, Mick takes on the role of Head Coach.

Mick will be joined by the returning Executive Team comprising of former Hawthorn champion and FOX FOOTY commentator Ben Dixon as Assistant Coach, Port Adelaide’s world class fitness guru Darren Burgess as High Performance Coach; and accomplished sports administrator Leigh Russell as Mind Coach, responsible for the mental strength and wellbeing of the Recruits.

The 2014 series saw the introduction of two international recruits (partway through the series), Irishman Padraig Lucey and American Mark Cisco.  Lucey went on to be listed as an International Rookie with Geelong where he continues to play in their VFL team.  

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PNG pair at NAB AFL U16 Championships

Oceania

PNG players Hapeo Bobogi and Kelly Kaugla yesterday represented Queensland in the NAB AFL Under-16 Championships Division Two – Round Two matches played today at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast.

Bobogi and Kaugla were selected for Queensland after playing well for the South Pacific in the Qld state championships held in April.  Since then they have played with the squad against Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns Academy teams in the build up to this tournament.

Queensland went down to NSW/ACT by 23 points.  They will play again on Saturday at Southport AFC 10am against the Northern Territory Thunder.

 

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St Kilda look to Auckland for 2018 and beyond

Oceania

The St Kilda website has reported today (Saints to court the Kiwi market again that the Saints attentions have not been lost from New Zealand with a new deal to play up to 2 games in Auckland in 2018. Club chief operating officer Ameet Bains told Melbourne sports radio station SEN that St Kila “..see an opportunity to reinvigorate what we started doing in New Zealand.”

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South Pacific battle it out in QLD U16 state champs

Oceania

Over the last week the AFL South Pacific squad has battled it out in the Queensland Under 16 State Championships. Sides from across Queensland including Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, North Queensland, Brisbane South and Brisbane North. In the past we’ve seen sides from PNG participate in various levels of QLD regional/state championships. The standard continues to improve and the task for the South Pacific side was a tough one.

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