AFL on a revival in NGI heartland


INTERESTING things are happening on the AFL front to revive the “most spectacular game of all” in West New Britain.
The province has long been associated with the sport however it has not been able to hold regular competitions or develop the code over the years.
As part of the strategy to canvass interest and instigate a the resurgence of the code, former AFL stars and legends got together in Kimbe last week and formed an interim West New Britain AFL Council.
The interim council chairman is the former WNB provincial administrator Steven Raphael with Malcolm Bai as his vice and Mark Misili the group’s secretary.
The other council members are Joe Mageto, Victor Golpak, Ludwig Banovo and Greg Aigilo.
The formation of the WNB AFL Council was presided over by the local National Court Judge, Justice Elenas Batari.
Batari is also the patron of the Lolo Vulai AFL association in Hoskins which has become the main catalyst for the revival of AFL in the province after the successful completion of the AFL season this year.
Chairman Raphael said that the immediate task of the council would be to stage the WNB Governor’s Cup tournament which would be run from Dec 16-19 in the provincial capital Kimbe as a lead-up to the PNG Games in March.
Raphael said the most likely teams participating in the tournament would include two from Lolo Vulai (Hoskins) and one each from Kimbe, Bialla, Pomio (in the neighbouring East New Britain) and possibly one from Kandrain.
There are also plans by the West New Britons in Port Moresby to field a side. The tournament would be directed and coordinated by Greg Aigilo and all participating teams have been given until today to register and confirm their participation.
The WNB AFL Council plans to affiliate to AFLPNG to be considered for participation in the junior development pathway programmes for both men and women including training clinics and programmes for coaches and umpires.
It is believed that the prize money would be awarded to the Governor’s Cup finalists but attempts to get figures (including team registration) from Raphael were unsuccessful.

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