Contributed by: Brendan Cunningham Thursday, September 08 2005 @ 05:00 am ACST
The Tokyo Goannas have joined forces with Japanese players from local sides, the Samurais and Go-Kongs, to play as the Japan Goannas at the 6th Annual Asian Australia Rules Football Championships. Tokyo Goannas President Matthew Hegarty comments, "This is the first overseas tour for the Goannas in a number of years and the first time a team representing Japan will compete in the Asian Championships”.
The competition is fierce on the field in Manila but fun off it and represents a chance for Aussie rules players and supporters from around Asia to get together and share in the spirit of sport.
Hegarty adds, “We (the Goannas) are quietly confident of our chances of winning the tournament, as few teams in the region have seen us play in recent years, however a lot will depend on the draw on the day and which teams we play against in the preliminary rounds. Singapore and Hong Kong are traditionally strong, while other teams appear to be evenly matched.”
The Asian Championships is an exciting annual one-day competition that this year will see the Japan Goannas compete against expatriate teams from Singapore, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Bali, Malaysia, Thailand, China and the Philippines.
The team to beat this year will once again be the Hong Kong Dragons, though most sides should prove to be competitive. Malaysia and Bali have both had strong pre-tournament performances, and Singapore are always a chance of winning.
Thailand and hosts the Philipinnes may surprise a few teams in the tournament also.
But the fact is that any team can win and Shanghai and the down on form Jakarta are certainly chances to take home the cup.
One thing is certain - it is going to be a cracker of a weekend (September 10th and 11th).
Check out the Philipinnes Australian Football League home page for more information. It reports that former Collingwood legend Peter Daicos will be at the Championships and involved with several events. Visit www.pafl.com.ph[*1]