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Africa

Aliir Aliir Is Well And Truly Here

  • Saturday, August 28 2021 @ 09:49 am ACST
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When Port Adelaide defender, Aliir Aliir, was named as Centre Half Back in the 2021 All-Australian team last week, it signalled a new dawn in footy. Not only had the brilliant defender arrived as an immense talent – and possibly a lynch-pin for a sustained era of success at Port Adelaide – he also became the player who once and for all sent a message to all aspiring African-heritage kids that they can follow him to succeed: whether they be from Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe or any other African nation.

The seeds were sown when in 2014 North Melbourne took a risk on Majak Daw (even though Aliir was drafted the previous year). With a physique that left one in fear, but without the tank to match sometimes, Majak was a pioneer for players of African descent – most especially the generation of kids who had families flee from war-torn nations like Sudan and resettled in a strange new environment with an equally strange national game.

(Picture Credit: AFL Queensland)

Footy hearts still beating in South Africa

  • Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 09:32 pm ACDT
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  • Views: 8,999
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Footy in South Africa, like most parts of the world shut down when Covid-19 hit early in 2020.  Despite the efforts of citizens and authorities there are still around 110 deaths a day (7 day average) occurring in the nation attributed to the virus.  This has come down from almost 600 deaths per day at the last peak.. 

 

Across the nation a number of other sports have resumed and in the North West province some former AFL South Africa employees want Aussie Rules to start again.   During 2020 the development officers who were previously employed had to be stood down as footy was unable to be played throughout the nation.

Zimbabwe Footy Rising Above Challenges

  • Wednesday, February 26 2020 @ 09:18 am ACDT
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  • Views: 2,566
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World Footy News recently had the opportunity to chat with one of the co-founders of AFL Zimbabwe, the latest country in Africa to rise to the challenge of creating an Australian Football team. Along with a growing team of committed lovers of the game from as far afield as Sweden, the USA and Australia, the team is slowly breaking down the barriers.

The short journey to date has seen a series of coincidental and fortuitous meetings of like-minded people bringing their talents and passions together. Here is their story to date.

Trystan Peckover arrived in Zimbabwe as a diplomat at the Australian Embassy. Soon after he met Ronan Wordsworth (another Australian) who was in Zimbabwe accompanying his partner who works for the UN. Both Trystan and Ronan had played AFL for the London Swans in the AFL London league, but at different times. A useful coincidence. Trystan had also since played for the Paris Cocks prior to moving to ZImbabwe.

The Getting Of Wisdom In South Africa

  • Sunday, December 15 2019 @ 09:29 am ACDT
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The following story is from the point of view of two young men in South Africa. It is not the story of AFL South Africa, nor is it necessarily true of others across the nation. It is following on from their own personal journeys, documented previously on World Footy News.

Joubert Macdonald Motone and Mokati Teddy Thibello have each been involved in the development of Australian Football for many years. Joubert has spoken previously of the great things (see: Baulkham Hills Hawks' generosity reaches across the world ) and the not so good times – Triumph over adversity – The spirit of our game. – as his smaller footy world has been impacted by greater forces – and not necessarily positive forces.

(Picture - kids playing football in donated jumpers from Australia in Bodibe)

The Next BIGGIE Thing

  • Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 04:06 pm ACDT
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Last week’s AFL Drafts unearthed a huge new pool of talent, but unlike previous seasons was light-on for international players or players of multicultural journeys. One exception to that, taken in the draft on Thursday evening, was Bigoa Nyuon – snared by Richmond from under the Brisbane Lions’ nose at pick 54.

In an inspirational tale sharing the same basic plot lines as many other players from African countries now playing (or have played) in the AFL, Biggie, as he is known, was born in Nairobi, Kenya, after his family fled war-torn South Sudan. He lost his father in the fighting and his brave mother Mary managed to get as many of the divided family to Australia as possible. Some were in Kenya, some in Ethiopia, all were refugees.

Jiath & Jok – Not Household Names…Yet!

  • Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 02:19 pm ACST
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The last few rounds of the AFL season ushered in many new talents across many clubs as they blooded players that either needed another look, or needed the senior AFL experience to prosper into the future. Hawthorn and Essendon were two clubs that tired this, but in their cases they were giving the football world a glimpse into the next phase of African nation footballers.

Round 21 saw Hawthorn debut their exciting youngster, Changkuoth Jiath. His first game, played in Canberra complete with snowfall, saw the highly athletic Jiath galloping all over the field and picking up a handy 11 possessions, five of which were contested. It was a confident start to a career in the big league.

Photo Credits: Changkuoth Jiath (http://www.hawthornfc.com.au), Tuth Jok (Herald Sun)

The Patterns Of Africa

  • Tuesday, July 16 2019 @ 01:37 pm ACST
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  • Views: 1,818
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It is wrong to say that the influx of players from African countries is an “experiment” in the same way that the influx of Irish is sometimes referred to as the “Irish Experiment”. It certainly isn’t. The increase in players of African descent is a result of Australian Rules football embracing the changing nature of our population and more players with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds will continue to grow.

That said, it is very interesting to see what is occurring with players in the AFL/VFL environment who come from Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and other African nations. For the purpose of this story, players who were born in Australia but parents were born in their African country of origin are included – but not an exhaustive list.

There is s small but growing thread of evidence to say that players from African nations could become the archetypal ruckman of the future. Here is some proof.

Majak Back

  • Tuesday, July 02 2019 @ 11:52 am ACST
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When Majak Daw was rookie-listed by North Melbourne back in 2010, he kicked open the door for other players from African nation backgrounds to follow. Born in Khartoum, Sudan and a refugee to Egypt before travelling with his family to Australia, Majak became the first AFL player of Sudanese origin.

In his wake, others like Aliir Aliir (Kenya to Sydney Swans) and Mabior Chol (South Sudan to Richmond) play senior AFL football now. Others have been and gone, and some still wait in the wings – other players of African nation descent want to follow. However, all owe a debt of gratitude to Majak Daw the trailblazer.

This is what makes his accident last December so profound. When emergency services rescued Majak from the base of the Bolte Bridge in Melbourne, with a broken pelvis and hip, it seemed his playing days may be over – at least at the elite level.

Khamis: 'Football Made Me Feel Involved’

  • Monday, January 14 2019 @ 11:07 am ACDT
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The following article from Kavisha Di Pietro on the AFL Players website www.aflplayers.com.au explores the journey of another young Sudanese footballer making his way onto an AFL list and hoping to emulate the deeds of Aliir Aliir and Majak Daw. 

Western Bulldogs draftee Buku Khamis’ memories of his childhood in South Sudan are hazy. 

He can recall how the sand would burn his feet as he played outside in the heat but he doesn’t remember much more from back home. 

The 18-year-old was only six when he migrated to Australia with his parents and siblings. 

His journey across the globe would be his first time on a plane. 

“I don’t remember too much from living there but I do remember coming on the plane to Australia not knowing where we were going or what was going on,” he told AFLPlayers.com.au during his first AFL pre-season.

GWS Giants Forge Partnership With AFL Middle East

  • Friday, December 21 2018 @ 09:19 pm ACDT
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In a massive coup for AFL Middle East, the AFL club Greater Western Sydney Giants (GWS) have agreed to work together to help develop the Middle East’s competition. The following statement from AFL Middle East Operations manager, James Larkin, details the arrangement.

Statement GWS Giants Relationship

Introduction: On the morning of December 21st, the AFL Middle East (AFLME) announced it had come to an arrangement whereby it would develop a relationship with the AFL club – Greater Western Sydney Giants. This relationship was sought as a means to help expand Australian Football in the greater Middle East region at all levels including Auskick. 

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