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China's second metro league kicks off in Shanghai

  • Sunday, April 18 2010 @ 07:30 pm ACST
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Asia

Following the creation of the Beijing AFL in 2009, the Shanghai Tigers kicked off China's second domestic Australian rules football competition on March 27th, with the North Shanghai Crows, West Shanghai Dockers and Shanghai Eagles clashing in a four-match afternoon of footy at the Shanghai Rugby Football Club.

Players from Australia, China, Ireland, US, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea pulled on the boots for the three teams, with the Eagles defeating both the other sides to sit on top of the ladder after round one.

The AFL's China Development Manager Andrew Sawitsch is now based in Shanghai, and has been working to introduce a modified version of Auskick into the city's schools. There are also plans to start senior football at the Shanghai Sports University, players from which could form the nucleus of the Chinese team at next year's International Cup.

With the announcement of an AFL exhibition match between the Melbourne Demons and Brisbane Lions to be played in Shanghai's Jiangwan Stadium in October 2010, there has never been a more exciting time for the Australian game in China.