Huge weekend marks development of footy in Southern China

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A massive weekend of footy has just been held in Hong Kong and marks a key milestone in the development of footy in this region of the world.

The day was kicked off with a huge Auskick session involving 300 kids (400 are registered in Hong Kong).

Next was the final round of the SCAFL and so they came in from Guangzhou and Macau to join the Hong Kong based teams.

The Chinese lads from Guangzhou took five hours to make the short journey (border crossing is a nightmare) and when they made it to the ground, their first opponent was already dressed and ready. And in the middle.

Despite this terrible start, the Guangzhou Scorpions beat last year’s Premiers, the Lantau Lizards in the semi final. Now the Scorpions had earned their right to play in the SCAFL Grand Final. While the very fit Scorpions fought a close Grand Final (two 12-minute halves), the Hong Kong Typhoons took the Flag for the first time in three consecutive appearances.

But, it was the Scorpions who were the crowd favourites. Everyone remarked on the terrific development of the team over the previous two years. Zhang, the greatly respected leader of the Club, translated the post tournament speeches for his team mates. He also thanked the players from Hong Kong for helping the Scorpions improve their understanding of footy and their skills.

These guys will have a great deal of support form all clubs in Asia when they play for the China Red Demons in the AFL’s International Cup in Melbourne in August 2014.

In the evening, the Hong Kong Dragons celebrated their 25th anniversary at a black tie ball at the salubrious Hong Kong Football Club in Happy Valley. 400 people attended – 52 of whom had flown in from overseas.

The Hong Kong Dragons’ Team of the Century was inducted. Collingwood legend, Peter Daicos, was the special guest speaker.  Darren Whitfield (Operations Manager, Hong Kong Dragons; Secretary, SCAFL; and Vice President & Treasurer, AFL Asia) was made a Lifelong Member together with former Dragons’ President, Nathan Byrne, who flew in from South Africa for the occasion).

The occasion provided another reminder that the AFL Asia network is a professional, inclusive, network that spans across the region. Its strength is our love for the celebration and development of footy in this region of the world.

More to follow on a massive weekend in Southern China.

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