In yet another coup for Papua New Guinean football, Australian football legend Malcolm Blight has agreed to coach PNG's national side, the Mosquitoes, if they make it to the grand final of the International Cup, in Melbourne this August. The following was compiled with the assistance of Henry Morabang (from PNG's The National).
The 2005 AFL season was launched in Brisbane this year, and AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou was full of praise for AFL PNG. The organisation, responsible for an explosion in junior footy numbers in Papua New Guinea, has now formally come under the wing of AFL Queensland. The plaudits from Demetriou are the first for another country that we know from the top AFL official. The following report is from AFL PNG Director Justin Karcher.
The Papua New Guinea AFL are one of the two big Aussie Rules organisations outside of Australia (the New Zealand AFL being the other). Although not large in full time staff, it is responsible for thousand of players and officials across the islands of PNG. It is tremendous to be able to announce the launch of their website.
Football playing and coaching legend Malcolm Blight has spent the past few years relaxing in Queensland, away from the pressures of the AFL. But an impromptu training session with some talented young Papua New Guinean players may have rekindled his passion for coaching. The following story courtesy of AFL-PNG and Neil Kearney, from the 9th March 2005 The Advertiser, Adelaide, South Australia.
Australian Rules Football appears to be going from strength to strength in Papua New Guinea. Numbers are growing fast, especially at junior level, and the game is developing a great reputation in the community, both on and off the field.
In 2003, the New Zealand Junior Falcons played and won a tournament in Canberra against Nauruan and ACT junior sides. At this tournament, a young New Zealander by the name of Jeremy Blythe was picked up by ACTAFL club the Queanbeyan Tigers. Now another New Zealander, Nathan Rose, has followed him across.
WFN talks with Rose about his background in footy, playing in Canberra and the scene in Wellington as it currently stands.