AFLPNG’s Coca-Cola Talent Path model has again delivered with six new signings to AFL Clubs under the international recruitment drive.
Richmond, Essendon, and the Brisbane Lions did not let the opportunity slip when attending PNG’s Coca-Cola Talent Camp late last year, signing players to international scholarships.
Gideon Simon (Western Highlands) and Nathan Malabag (Morobe) have been snapped up by the Richmond Tigers, Ezra Kautu (West New Britain) has been signed by the Brisbane Lions and Victor Rame (West New Britain) was taken by the Essendon Bombers.
Also recruited were Brendan Beno (Autonomous Region of Bougainville) who was wooed to the Lions, and Max Lavai (NCD) who was swooped on by the Bombers.
Beno and Kautu were actually been signed a few weeks earlier, but it was not widely publicised.
In other PNG news, the AFL Academy of PNG has been signed and sealed. De La Salle Bomana Secondary School principal James Ume, AFL Asia Pacific manager Andrew Cadzow and De La Salle School chairman Rumints Siki signed the memorandum of understanding to seal the inception of the AFL academy Papua New Guinea while the school and the 17 inaugural Academy attendees looked on.
The AFL academy of PNG now becomes the first dedicated AFL Academy internationally and will certainly, in the coming years, cater for the game’s growth in the Pacific.
There are already indications that talent from Fiji, Nauru, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands are also likely to join the academy.