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Bali9s set for November 1st

  • Saturday, October 04 2008 @ 10:21 am ACST
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Asia

The annual Bali9s tournament hosted by the Bali Geckoes at the Canggu Club will be played on November 1st. This year’s tournament will see four teams from the Indonesian region competing, Bali Geckos, their fierce rivals the Jakarta Bintangs and newly formed clubs the Borneo Bears and Timor-Leste Crocs.

Played in a 9-a-side, lightning premiership type format, each team will play the others with the two top teams playing off in a grand final.

Whilst the far more experienced Bali and Jakarta sides would be favoured to win through to the final, both Borneo and Timor Leste could take heart from the efforts of debutants Laos in the recently concluded Asian Championships, who proved that novice teams could cause upsets.

The Bali9s has been a prestigious trophy since its inception in 2002, the inaugural winners being the Bintangs. That year’s tournament took place just a week before the tragic Bali bombings in which 202 people lost their lives, 88 of them Australian. The 2003 edition which marked the one year anniversary of that event was particularly poignant, being attended by luminaries such as the then Prime Minister of Australia John Howard, and for the football fanatics, Ron Barassi, Mick Martin and Dermott Brereton. Jason McCartney played for the Geckoes on that day, but even he could not stop Bateman’s Bay from annexing the trophy.

The tournament has a lost some of its lustre in recent years, being usurped by its sister contest, the Bali9s Masters, a similar event for teams comprising the over 35’s. However, this year's competition, involving teams from the same geographic area, should be hotly contested and may become a fore-runner of an annual competition involving the same four teams.