The Komazawa Magpies Australian Football team in Japan has links to Buddhism, as all the team’s players are either students studying at, or are graduates from Komazawa University in Tokyo, Japan.
Komazawa University is one of the oldest universities in Japan, established in 1592 as a seminary and a centre of learning for young monks of the Soto sect, one of the two main Zen Buddhist traditions in Japan.
World footy followers will recall East Timor/Timor Leste contesting the 2011 International Cup, the new nation’s first foray into International Footy, and the fledging AFL nation not managing to record a win, although we should be reminded that two of their losses were by only one goal. Some could say ‘not a very auspicious start to World Footy’, though we can now report of a real success story with an East Timorese connection.
The Western Bulldogs youngster, Lin Jong, who made his AFL debut in round 20 against Richmond is the first AFL player of East Timorese and Taiwanese descent to do so. He is very likely to also be the first to receive a congratulatory letter from a Prime Minister, officially being recognized by the Prime Minister of Timor Leste, Xanana Gusmao.
Although born in Australia, Timor Leste is the homeland of Jong’s father, his mother being Taiwanese. His parents met in Taiwan and came to Australia 26 years ago to start a family and he is very appreciative of the interest in his background, it is also remarkable that Lin only began playing football 4 years ago.
A new football club was born in Melbourne this week with the incorporation of the Masala Football Club. The intention is that it will be a club with a Subcontinental flavour.
The club is aiming to be a starter in the Club XVIII competition in the VAFA for season 2013. They are currently seeking a home ground in metro Melbourne and are working with local councils on securing one.
The club founders are: Ash Nugent (President), Trevor Banerjee (Operations Manager), Fevin Mascarenhas (Treasurer), William Fernandes (Secretary) and Shyam Sharma. Those names may be familiar to some of our readers. Ash (as well as being a long time writer and editor at WFN) was Team Manager for the Indian team at the 2011 International Cup. Trevor, Fevin and Will all played for India at IC11 and Shyam has previously represented India at Multicultural Cups.
Ash Nugent told us that, "the project is supported by the Richmond Football Club, although at this stage I don't know what that support will look like. We are currently seeking sponsors and will be looking for players in a few months. Potential sponsors should contact me directly. Players can do likewise or check out the club's Facebook page."
In the tradition of the annual ANZAC Day match, the Vietnam Swans have proposed that an annual AFL match be played on Vietnam Veterans’ Day to honour those who fought so bravely for their country. The proposal is for next year, as 2013 will mark forty years of Vietnamese-Australian diplomatic relations.
Vietnam Veterans’ Day is on the 18th of August, which falls on a Sunday in 2013. The planned proposal is to include a live cross for the minute’s silence from Long Tan, which is conducted at 3.30pm local time. This would then be telecast live on the SGC or MCG scoreboard at 6.30pm EAST.
The Swans have sent to the plans to several ministers and people in the AFL and AFL Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick is said to be “interested” in the proposal.
In one of the most tightly contested and entertaining tournaments of recent years, the Hong Kong Dragons have prevailed victorious, claiming the 2012 Asian Champs crown.
The nine competing teams from South-East Asian were treated to glorious sunshine and the pristine fields of the Thailand Polo Club as they arrived at the venue in South Bangkok. The two football ovals constructed side-by-side on the vast expanses of the Polo pitch were arguably some of Asia’s best Aussie Rules playing surfaces.
The tournament format saw each team square-off against four randomly selected opponents in a 2 x 10 minute half; round-robin format. The four highest placed teams advanced to a 1 v 4, 2 v 3 semi-final stage. A modest 2-3 goal breeze favoured one end, adding an extra twist to the games, the battle for each victory very much a tale of two halves.
After winning their very first piece of silverware ever, in taking out the Manila Cup in June, the Malaysian Warriors have again defeated Singapore Wombats to win the Changi Cup and also the Finnegans Cup and are bringing to Pattaya, what veteran Warriors believe is their strongest contingent yet to the Asian Championships this year.
A touring party consisting of 27 players and coaching and support staff of six headed by club veteran Phil Lee will be flying in the night before in order to able to leave the hotel at around 6am ready for an 8am first game start.
Championship debutantes are midfielders Stuart Job, Clint Watson, Shane Lawson and defenders Jason Mosel, Matt O’Brien and Kogulavaanan. Kogulavaanan is the sole Malaysian but a proud product of the Warrior’s grassroots recruiting programs a couple of years back.
Bangkok airport will be overrun by flying Sherrins and Aussie Rules banter this coming weekend as nine nations descend on the land of smiles to fight out the fourteenth annual Asian Australian Football Championships. It will be the fourth time the Thailand Tigers host the largely ex-pat dominated tournament affectionately known as the ‘Asian Champs’. In a change from previous years, Pattaya has been selected as the host city over traditional venue Bangkok.
The most up-to-date list of competing teams is as follows: Bali Geckos, Jakarta Bintangs, Hong Kong Dragons, Singapore Wombats, Laos Elephants, Malaysian Warriors, Thailand Tigers, Phillipine Eagles, and Vietnam Swans.
The Cambodian Eagles leave Vietnam unbeaten, after defeating both the Saigon Whites Swans and the Hanoi Reds Swans in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, on Saturday. The Saigon Whites beat the Hanoi Reds in the third and final match of the day.
Each game was played with two halves of fifteen minutes and consisted of fourteen players on each team. The tournament was played in a round robin format at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) International University in Saigon South.
The AFL is pleased to advise the first Chinese Academy has been launched in Guangzhou.
Located at a Guangzhou Sports University campus in the Guangzhou, Guangdong province, north of Hong Kong, the academy is designed to introduce athletes to Australian football and help identify and develop potential elite players who have the ability to transition into Australia and the AFL.
The two-week pilot program commenced with 27 athletes aged between 17 and 22 who are from basketball, soccer and rugby backgrounds. The academy program will be conducted annually.