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Elgar Park Dragons kicking goals for the Melbourne Vietnamese

  • Saturday, October 21 2006 @ 04:23 pm ACST
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General News

The Vietnamese community has provided a number of players to suburban footy around Melbourne, with a Vietnam side taking the field at both of the Multicultural Cups, plus playing two matches to date against touring Japanese teams. Now the group are looking at entering a team named the Elgar Park Dragons into the Victorian Amateur Football Association, competing in the Club 18 division and affiliated with Box Hill North and Elgar Park Sports Club.

Box Hill North player Tri Thoi has been the main figure in organising the Vietnamese teams to date, with the Box Hill North club also very active in hosting Japanese scholarship players and touring to Japan for the Narita Cup tournament.

The new club could also potentially provide a rallying point for connecting with the expat footy clubs in Vietnam, with the Hanoi Swans having expressed an interest earlier this year to make contact with the Melbourne Vietnamese team and work on greater local involvement in Vietnam itself.

Football teams based around a particular ethnic community are something of a rarity in the Melbourne Australian Rules scene, notable exceptions being the Jewish powerhouse club AJAX Maccabi, the Melbourne Lebanese club based in Coburg and the Aboriginal community club Brunswick Power. The powerful Turkish team from the last Multicultural Cup had also considered entering a league as a stand-alone club in the Essendon District Football League, but this plan didn't come to fruition.

The Club 18 division of the VAFA was set up a few seasons ago to accomodate the more "social" sides from footy clubs. A number of clubs field their third senior team in the Club 18, with some large clubs such as Old Xaverians fielding seniors and reserves in the VAFA A-division as well as multiple Club 18 sides.