AFL ASIA MEDIA RELEASE. FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION, Thursday 24 July, 2014
Andrew Embley to coach inaugural All Indochina Australian Rules Football team
2006 Norm Smith Medallist, Andrew Embley, from the West Coast Eagles has signed on as the inaugural coach of The Indochina All Stars, a combined football team of nationals from Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar.
The team will play its first match in Thailand on Saturday, 16 August as part of the Indochina Cup, now in its 8th year. It is expected that the team will develop over the next three years and compete in the International Cup in 2017 in Melbourne.
Andrew who had an illustrious 15 year career at the West Coast Eagles is excited about getting involved in Asian Football and developing local players over the longer term. Andrew has Anglo/Burmese ancestry with both his Grandparents and Father being born in Burma (Myanmar) migrating to Perth in 1964.
The idea for an all Indochina Team was the brainchild of Thai player, Rut Ngarmariyakul from the Thailand Tigers who regularly flies from Chiang Mai to Bangkok just to train with the Tigers, such is his enthusiasm for Aussie Rules.
“It’s great that AFL Asia has been able to make this happen. The players from all teams in Indochina are really excited about the opportunity to play under a Norm Smith Medallist in Andrew Embley. This will be a big step for Indochina players and a big part of developing Australian Rules Football in Asia” says Rut
AFL Asia’s President Phil Johns said that “we look forward to welcoming Andrew and introducing him to inspiring local players like Rut. He will see that footy is growing in Asia – and the energy is contagious”.
Johns added that “the Indochina All Stars team is a great example of Australians, who work in the region, successfully integrating with the nationals of the host countries. As the relationships develop, so too does the significance of AFL Asia’s professional network across Asia.”
Also in August, but back in Melbourne, five Asian teams will compete in the AFL’s International Cup. The day after the Indochina Cup, AFL Asia will host an event in Port Melbourne to celebrate those five teams as well as the organisation’s 1st birthday.
It is an exciting time for football (of the Australian Rules variety) in Asia.
About AFL Asia
AFL Asia was formed in July 2013 with the aim of growing Australian Rules Football in Asia and to represent the more than two dozen teams currently active in the region. For more information see www.afl-asia.com
About the Indochina Cup
The Indochina cup is an annual tournament played between the countries of Indochina. Now in its eighth year, the teams competing come from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and for the first time, Myanmar. Vietnam is the reigning champion.
This year the tournament will be held at Horseshoe Point, Chonburi, south of Bangkok on August 16th, 2014.
About the AFL’s International Cup
The AFL’s International Cup which started in 2002, is played every three years. Teams are comprised solely of amateurs who must be nationals of the country they represent.
Previous International Cup winners are; Ireland (2002 & 2011), New Zealand (2005) and Papua New Guinea (2008). (Source: AFL website)
AFL Asia: www.afl-asia.com
Phil Johns, President AFL Asia – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Mark Stennett, Secretary AFL Asia – Melbourne. Ph +61(0)427 243 280
Email: Brendan Cunningham, President Thailand Tigers – Bangkok, Thailand