Contributed by: Aaron Richard Sunday, October 15 2006 @ 10:16 am ACST
Tianjin Normal University, China's first all-Chinese Australian Football[*1] team, will take on the all-Australian Beijing Bombers on October 22nd. This will be the first ever China vs Australia game of Aussie Rules Football, to be played at the International School Beijing at 1pm. Five of the best Chinese players from this match will then be sponsored by the Beijing Bombers to join the team for a match against the Shanghai Tigers later this year.
This year saw the founding of two sides in the city of Tianjin, one at the Tianjin Normal University and the other at Binhai Vocational College. The Binhai team fell apart, but Tom Mattessi of Aussie Rules China believes the Tianjin Normal University side is going very well. At the Australian end, the AFL's Melbourne Demons sent over 10 footballs and 40 training jumpers.
While Mattessi believes the chance of a league in the Beijing-Tianjin area is still a few years away, he says China should have the numbers for a decent international cup team if the program continues at present rate, the biggest problem likely to be funding the trip.
This Sunday will see an information and training session take place in Tianjin where sports coaches can attend, learn about the game and maybe sign up their team to practice and take part in the program.