In great news for the further growth of footy in Asia, the “Papua New Guinean Muruks” are the latest team to join the AFL Asia family, with confirmation the new club will be entering a team in the second division at the AFL Asia Championships in Manila 21 October.
With local footy in PNG flying, the new club has been formed this year after consultation with AFL PNG Development, as a primary outlet for expatriates & the business community to meet and kick a footy.
AFL PNG’s outstanding national team the Mosquitos are one of PNG’s most successful national sporting teams, winning 2 AFL International Cups. The Mozzies will be looking to go back to back this August in Melbourne at AFLIC 2017. Their Women’s team The Flames will also be competing.
Muruk players train together and with other PNG senior sides in Port Moresby. The Muruk Club will work closely with AFL PNG Development through a partnership which aims to provide young PNG youth an opportunity to school & play football in Australia through the AFLPNG Development Academy Scholarship program. The Muruk Club will provide support through connections, sponsorships and fundraisers, such as an International Cup fundraising dinner last Saturday night in Port Morseby which featured special guests Spud Frawley and Sabrina Frederick-Traub.
Muruks President Andrew Morton looked forward to a growing commitment to footy in Asia and welcomed other member clubs to consider a tour to PNG in saying “we would like to play a minimum of one tour away per year against another side, as well as a Cup event and the Asian Champs. We are also open to hosting any team that would like to visit PNG. We have a solid sponsor base a top class venue to support us with our matches.”
AFL Asia President Grant Keys welcomed the new club to the fold after the AFL Asia Championships Committee approved their application to play at the upcoming Champs. “The establishment of the Muruks is further proof footy in PNG continues to push ahead and we are delighted to see the Muruks commitment in AFL Asia’s tournaments and leagues.
“Their proximity to many of our Clubs in SE Asia, their first-class facilities and experience with developing footy locally makes them a great addition to the AFL Asia family and I look forward to working with and learning from Andrew and his team.” Keys said.
A muruk is a cassowary deriving from the local language in PNG, pidgin.