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Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 08:43 pm ACDT

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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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Huge ANZAC Day weekend for AFLNZ

Oceania

With the NZ AFL Premiership won by the Western Crows attention turns to – well – turns to more footy. The next few days across the ANZAC Day weekend will probably be the most hectic part of the annual AFLNZ calendar. There’s rep footy for seniors, juniors, boys and girls, there’s a combine and a decent feed to be had at the High Performance dinner & awards on Saturday.

The first event is Thursdays combine. Across the ANZAC Day weekend the NZ Hawks senior team will again front up to the AFL Academy side. New Zealand youth teams will play in a 2 game series against the Peninsula Saints from South East of Melbourne and the NSW Independent Schools.

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Western Crows take out inaugral AFLNZ premiers

Oceania

The Western Crows, captained by Jared Court, entered their last and the final match of the AFLNZ premiership season with the title already assured following the loss earlier in the day by the Southern Saints. The Crows were able to finish in style with a 24 point victory over the Northern Suns.

The 9 round competition brought together (via a draft) the best available talent in New Zealand. The 4 premier sides were initially based around captain and coach.
Western Crows: Coach Rob Malone; Captain Jared Court
Southern Saints: Coach Andrew Congalton; Captain Michael Boyce
Central Giants: Coach Shannon Wall; Captain David Rattenbury
Northern Suns: Coach Chris Mundell; Captain James Kusel.

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New Zealand On McLachlan’s AFL Radar

Oceania

 

In an interview yesterday with Melbourne radio station 3AW’s Neil Mitchell, AFL chief Gillon McLachlan once again floated the distant possibility of an AFL team one day being based in New Zealand.

 

The full interview can be heard by following the link: http://www.3aw.com.au/news/gillon-mclachlan-says-new-zealand-most-likely-country-for-international-team-20160331-gnvt7a.html and playing back either of the video links. However, the most salient aspects of the interview are outlined below.

 

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan says New Zealand is the most likely location for the league's first internationally-based team.

 

While not on the agenda short-term, McLachlan said it could happen within 30 years.

 

 

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Tatupu leaves as Hawk's Kiwi dream fades

Oceania

Shem Tatupu has advised Hawthorn that his interests lie away from Aussie rules footy. Coming to the club full time two years ago after a period as an international scholarship holder, Tatupu struggled with injury for quite some time.

The second half of last season brought great hope however and he finished the year strongly with VFL runners up Box Hill playing as a stay at home key forward. But after a solid preseason that seemed to see his game sense and mobility continue to improve, he has called it quits after failing to gain a start in the senior team in the preseason competition.

On the Hawthorn website Hawthorn GM – Football Operations Chris Fagan said the club understood and accepted Tatupu’s decision. “This has been a tough decision for Shem to make. We have been really impressed with the way in which he has applied himself over the past two years and he has made some positive progress,” said Fagan.

“However, after much consultation with the club, Shem has decided that the passion for AFL football is no longer there. “Shem was a highly regarded rugby league and union player growing up and he is going to explore his opportunities in that area. “There is no doubt Shem is a talented athlete and all at Hawthorn Football Club wish him well for the future.”

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AFL Vanuatu season 2016 gearing up

Oceania

2015 presented some serious challenges to AFL Vanuatu - more specifically, the weather - with Cyclone Pam ravaging the archipelago some 53 weeks ago. With ni-Vanuatu leaders such as Kilip Andrew (drawing on his experiences playing footy in Australia with Olinda-Ferny Creek and taking on an AFL Development officer role in 2016) and Robin Jacob (who in early 2015 took the highly uncommon path of sitting the AFL coaching course at Etihad stadium in Feb) able to lead from the front the season was resurrected and with guidance from a new committee headed by president David Beauchamp; now AFL Vanuatu is preparing for a very busy 2016.

New programs include:
• New Senior competition with new teams
• New Pikinini kik program
• New School competition for Under 12 and Under 15 teams, involving Schools from Port Vila and all of Efate.

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NZ AFL Premiership off and running

Oceania

The drafts were completed and the excitement mounted - the first 'AFLNZ premiership' season is now 2 rounds in.
The first week kicked off after the final additions to squads were made including NZ Hawks players Matt Van Wijk (Waikato) and Sean Butler (Coromandel) both joining the Central Giants.

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Heatherley and Tatupu named in NAB Challenge Squad

Oceania

 

NZ imports Kurt Heatherley and Shem Tatupu (pictured) have been named in Hawthorn's 29-man squad to take on Carlton in the opening match of the 2016 NAB Challenge pre-season series on Thursday night at Aurora Stadium in Launceston.

Tatupu finished the 2015 season strongly for Box Hill in the VFL and if he plays it will be his first NAB Challenge match and an important step towards making his AFL debut for the Hawks. Track watchers at Waverley have noted the big man's form on the track showing great improvement from previous seasons.

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International Scholarships, then there were two

Oceania

A number of hopefuls from Fiji, PNG, Tonga, Nauru, South Africa, NZ and even Denmark have been part of the AFL's International Scholarship scheme over the past eight years without the ultimate success of playing in the AFL.  Now there are just two Kiwi's at St Kilda holding that torch of what seems to be a fading light for international development.

The signing of an International Scholarship player is usually heralded with a feature article on the AFL club's website, perhaps an article on the AFL website and even sometimes some local press in the home town or country. But when their time is up they seem to quietly disappear. 

The latest to 'disappear' from AFL clubs are Siope Ngata who was a scholarship holder at Hawthorn and Giovanni Mountain-Silbery who was a scholarship holder at St Kilda.

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2015 Oceania Cup - Nauru Stars triumph

Oceania

The 2015 Oceania Cup at Furnival Park in Toorak, Suva (Fiji).

Kicking off on Monday with a round robin lightning premiership - the Nauru Stars got off to a flier and held on to finish the day the undefeated winners. Following that was 3 days of footy as the Nauru Suns sought to regain their title of junior champions of Oceania.

Action from the tournament (above left), Fiji junior Tribe (above right - photo FijiSun).

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