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Borneo Bear Makes NTFL Premier League Debut

  • Monday, February 15 2016 @ 06:42 pm ACDT
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Back in December 2015 it was reported that four Borneo Bears National players had been invited to join the Darwin Waratah’s to train and play in the 2015-2016 NTFL season.

"One of the major highlights for 2015 which was organized and championed by Bears President Tommy Commerford and Bears Coach Shane Kruger, was a cross country AFL development agreement between the Borneo Bears and the Darwin Waratah’s".

Today in the NT News we see how this experiment has progressed, "WARATAH’S bold experiment to bring four Borneo-born footballers to the Top End paid dividends yesterday when utility Timbul Kukuh Santoso played his first league game. The 22-year-old “Borneo Express’’ roamed between half forward and half back, producing a 12 possession game that showed he is comfortable at that level."

The NT News story goes on to tell us that Timbul Kukuh Santoso, Mahendra Gilang Saputro, Muhammad Noor Pratama and Rama Yuda Yulianto have all pulled on Tahs jumpers at different levels this season.

Coach Tim Weatherald said Santoso was the player that most impressed himself and Tahs official Garry Smart on a scouting trip to the Asian country at Easter.

“Timbul played about six games before Christmas in Division 1 and 2 and we were able to get him back after some visa issues only last week,’’ Weatherald said.

“He played in Division 2 and did amazingly well. He looks like he’ll head home next week so I thought I’d give him a run this week and have a good look at him. “He’s got a lot of natural talent, struggles with the English language a bit, but as you saw out there he runs to the right places and has an appetite for the footy.’’

Santoso did some clever things, including finding Kim Kantilla for Tahs’ first goal with a long drop punt into the forward line.

Weatherald said Santoso had the basic skills and the ability to go to a higher level.

“He’s got an understanding of the skills required, it’s now a case of getting him to understand the game of footy,’’ the second year Tahs coach said. “When you don’t grow up understanding where to run and kick the footy it means you’ve got a bit of work to do.

“But the bonus now is Timbul and the other lads can go back home and teach the lads over there what they’ve learnt from Darwin footy.’’

 "One of the missions for the (Borneo Bears) for 2016 and of course will depend on internal fundraising, is to tour a 100% Indonesian Borneo Bears team to the Asia Champs 2016." may see the Bears perform well in Division 2 of the Asian Championships this year even if the team is not  quite 100% local lads. 

Source: AFL Asia and NT News.