AFL se­lec­tors to scout new tal­ents

Fiji Sun - - Sport - JUS­TINE MAN­NAN jus­tine.man­nan@fi­jisun.com.fj

The Aus­tralian Foot­ball League (AFL) Fiji Ocea­nia Cup tour­na­ment will be a chance for our Un­der-14 play­ers to ob­tain a schol­ar­ship to study and play footy in Aus­tralia. The com­pe­ti­tion which runs from De­cem­ber 5-9 will for the first time, have se­lec­tors who will be scout­ing lo­cal play­ers. AFL Fiji devel­op­ment co-or­di­na­tor Si­teri Tadrau said yes­ter­day that this is an op­por­tu­nity for lo­cal play­ers to get a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence a once in a life­time op­por­tu­nity.

“For the first time we will be hav­ing scouts com­ing to this com­pe­ti­tion which is be­com­ing a tra­di­tion now,” Tadrau said. “This is an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity for any of th­ese kids. They not only get to learn the sport prop­erly in Aus­tralia but they also get a chance to study with a schol­ar­ship.

“I think this will re­ally grow the sport in the coun­try be­cause it is still re­garded as a mi­nor sport. “We have got­ten word that this tour is get­ting big­ger and it is al­most like tra­di­tion for the Wan­der­ers to come and play against Fiji and it will bring in a lot of peo­ple as well for this tour­na­ment.”

A to­tal of 40 play­ers have been reg­is­tered for the U14 grade af­ter the tri­als on Mon­day and Tadrau says, they are happy with the num­bers. “We were able to get a lot of young play­ers in­ter­ested, a to­tal of 40 and we split the team into two. “We are happy with the turnout but we know that wasn’t the full amount be­cause of the weather and we un­der­stand that par­ents will not send their kids out in bad weather like that. “But we got a good num­ber nonethe­less, we will con­tinue to hold tri­als ev­ery week­end at Al­bert Park to see if any other play­ers are in­ter­ested. “We want to make sure we field the best play­ers come the Ocea­nia Cup; we are re­ally look­ing for­ward to it.

“While we are glad that a lot of play­ers showed a lot of in­ter­est, we will be cut­ting the team down as we are only al­lowed to field a team of 25 so that alone will be hard.” The Ocea­nia Cup will be from on De­cem­ber 5-9 where Fiji take on the North­ern Ter­ri­tory Wan­der­ers from Aus­tralia. Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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