On the back of the massive headlines to come out of Port Adelaide’s China strategy, grassroots footy right across Greater China continues to grow strongly.
Record numbers at South China AFL games, a new “Greater China Cup” tournament and the re-emergence of the Beijing Australian Football League (BAFL) show efforts by AFL Asia’s China Clubs are bearing fruit.
Anzac Day in Hong Kong saw around 250 players and hundreds of spectators descend on Sandy Bay for the biggest SCAFL event so far. A week later, the inaugural Greater China Cup was successfully held in Guangzhou, while footy in the north of the country is well and truly back on the agenda with the announcement the first BAFL season in almost 6 years will be contested this year in Beijing.
These encouraging developments follow recent headlines about the Power’s intention to play for premiership points in Shanghai in 2017 and the recruitment of their first Chinese player, Guangzhou Scorpions forward Chen Shaoliang.
Not to be confused with the long-running Shanghai Tigers vs Beijing Bombers annual “China Cup” series, the inaugural “Greater China Cup” was contested on 30th April between three teams in Guangzhou. This being another exciting new initiative from the man known widely as the driving force behind the local football development in China over the past decade, Guangzhou Scorpions President Zhang Hao.Zhang’s Scorpions were joined by the Shanghai Tigers, with the Chongqing Cats and Chengdu Kangroos uniting under the new ‘Southwest Honey Badgers’ banner…a new challenger for the Myanmar Fighting Cock’s claim of best team name in Asia!
Each team played two games, with some Auskick and an exhibition game of local talent at the end of the day’s play.
Game 1: Southwest Honey Badgers 60 def Shanghai Tigers 14
Game 2: Guangzhou Scorpions 34 def Southwest Honey Badgers 15
Game 3: Guangzhou Scorpions 61 def Shanghai Tigers 10
Game 4: Black 46 def White 31
Congratulations to the Guangzhou Scorpions for taking out the inaugural Greater China Cup and well done to all the Clubs involved.
BAFL is Back!
Like in times of old, warriors from the north are preparing to raid the heart of Beijing: Young, fit and some might say a little brash. Standing in their way is the old guard. They’re not as sprightly as they used to be – and haven’t quite got their heads around WeChat Wallet – but they still believe that the old ways provide the one true path. What this clearly means is that the BAFL is back!!!
Not since the heady days of Beijing footy where 3 teams competed for the BAFL between 2008-2010 has there been such internal banter within the Beijing Bombers, with the hope that it will encourage a new generation of players in northern China to win back the hallowed China Cup from arch-rivals Shanghai Tigers in this year’s China Cup series and then support a combined showing of the China Clubs under the China Reds banner at this year’s Asian Champs in Saigon.
The new BAFL will be a country vs city affair of sorts, with the Wudaokou ZhanShiMen 战士们 (Warriors) to take on Beijing City GuoGuos 蝈蝈s (Grasshoppers) in a 7-game series starting May 21st. Dates include:
- Sat 21st May – BAFL Game 1
- Sat 28th May – BAFL Game 2
- Sat 4th June – China Cup Game 1 – in Shanghai
- Sat 11th June – BAFL Game 3
- Sat 10th Sept – BAFL Game 4
- Sat 17th Sept – China Cup Game 2 – in Beijing
- Sat 24th Sept – BAFL Game 5
- Sat 8th Oct – BAFL Game 6
- Sat 15th Oct – Asian Champs
- Sat 22nd Oct – BAFL Game 7
Players are now being recruited, contact Mic email@example.com for more info – all skill levels welcome.
第一场：上海老虎 VS 西南联队
第二场：广州蝎子 VS 西南联队
第三场：广州蝎子 VS 上海老虎
第四场：黑队 VS 白队 （18人“大乱斗”）
上海老虎 VS 西南联队
广州蝎子 VS 西南联队
广州蝎子 VS 上海老虎 (Guangzhou Scorpions VS Shanghai Tigers)
黑队 VS 白队 (Black VS White)