Boomerangs touch down for PNG showdown

Two-match series rekindles links

INTERNATIONAL Australian football, a rare but growing amateur concept for the Indigenous game, will be boosted this weekend with the AFL's under-17 Flying Boomerangs playing two games against Papua New Guinea's under-18 Kupundas in Port Moresby.

The series, billed as One Tribe Challenge, will see 26 youngsters from across the country take on PNG's best teenage footballers. The first match will be played this afternoon in the nation's capital, with the second played at Lae, some 300kms north of the city.

The Flying Boomerangs are the AFL's Indigenous concept side that provides youth with the opportunity to take football overseas. In 2007, they played a series of matches against South Africa here and in that country, one was a curtain-raiser to the AFL Indigenous All-Stars v Essendon match in Darwin.

They are coached by former Kangaroos star Jason McCartney.

The matches this weekend will provide PNG junior football with a fair indication of where its at. Currently, there are 27 Papua New Guinea youth which have scholarships with various clubs in Australia.

Today's match at UPNG Oval in Port Moresby is scheduled to start at 3pm.

* Kupunda means 'spear' in the Melpa language of the Western Highlands Province.

Friday, March 13, 2009


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