AFL Asia YouTube Channel ALL ASIA CUP Highlights!!
The Indonesia Garudas have won the inaugural AFL Asia All-Asian Cup in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Friday 14 October. The All-Asian Cup featured Asian national Aussie Rules players from across Asia, culminating in a 3-way tournament featuring the China Reds, the Indonesia Garudas and Team IndoChina.
Three games were held at RMIT University’s Saigon South Campus as a lead in to the 17th AFL Asian Championships, providing the best local footballers from around the region with a great opportunity to gain experience and momentum as the three teams look towards the 2017 AFL International Cup, to be held in Melbourne next August.
The tournament kicked off with a strong showing from the Port Adelaide Power-supported China Reds national team, defeating a combined IndoChina team. Starring for the Reds was Guangzhou Scorpions strongman “Bruce” who would later be awarded the Mader Medal for Asian Champs Division 2 Player of the Tournament.
Coached by former AFL stars Andrew Embley from the West Coast Eagles and Brad Seymour from the Sydney Swans, the young and comparatively less experienced Team IndoChina featured players from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, with their inspirational Captain Rut Ngarmariyakul from Thailand unfortunately unavailable. Indochina showed plenty of potential particularly behind the play of lightning fast Cambodian Eagles rover Nas, but just couldn’t match the superior experience, skills and ferocious tackling of the Reds and Garudas teams on the day.
The Garudas squad brought together the best Indonesian national Aussie Rules players from Balikpapan, Bali, and Jakarta, who’d been training hard for months in the lead up the tournament.
Led strongly by vice captain Timbul Santoso (Balikpapan) and ruckman Markus Ria (Bali), the Garudas were fired up from the first bounce and immediately went to work, getting the jump on Indochina in the hot and dry conditions. Some wayward goal-kicking limited the damage in the second half, however the Garudas dominated for much of the match and had a well deserved win, setting a massive final game against China, which would decide the winner of the inaugural Cup.
Vincent Hallim and Yossi Taihuttu (Jakarta) continually broke through tackles, delivering the ball forward with precision. Ria also continued his outstanding play, which earn him the Mader Medal for the All-Asian Cup Player of the Tournament. With the clock ticking down the Chinese boys threw everything at Indonesia but just couldn’t find a way through the impressive Garuda defence, with the Indonesians running out two goal winners and enjoying their first taste of AFL Asia silverware.
China Reds (11.6.72) def IndoChina (3.2.20)
Indonesia Garudas (8.19.67) def Indochina (2.0.12)
Indonesia Garudas (3.4.22) def China Reds (1.4.10).
Garudas ruckman Markus Ria was outstanding all day, and was named player of the tournament.
Garudas coaches Boy Pasaribu and Barry Anderson commented that while they’re immensely proud of the team and the efforts of the players, their eyes are now firmly focused on continuing to build the successful AFL development program within Indonesia, and on fundraising for International Cup IC17 in Melbourne August 2017.
Story: Grant Keys
Photos: Darren Whitfield
See AFL Asia’s YouTube Channel Video: Highlights 2016 ALL ASIA CUP