2007 NATIONAL SCHOOLBOYS BEGIN
Next week AFL Samoa begins its National Schoolboys championship.
In the past the National Schoolboys Tournament for Aussie Rules has been a great success with this opportunity being the first contact for schools, parents, teachers and students with the game of Australian football.
Many men now in their early to mid twenties that experienced the code speak highly of their experiance and many remain strong supporters and fans of the sport to this day.
Australian and Samoans are passionate about their sport and their sporting teams and over the years school boys have made Australian rules into Samoan rules.
Many Samoan visitors and people who have lived and worked in Australia have continued a love for this game and the mere mention of the sport brings a sparkle to the high and an excited story of someones first experience with the game or of the great experience (for anyone) to see sport played on the MCG (Melbourne cricket ground).
Once again Samoans have the opportunity to play and watch the sport as our schools complete their final practice session before this weeks round one shoot-out.
The nation is divided into the pools of metropolitan and rural regions , each region will play off in a do or die season with the top two finishing schools in each pool playing off for title of regional champion.
The Champion school of each region finds themselves centre stage to play off for the title of overall national champion.
A National Schoolboy squad will be selected from this tournament and named to begin training with the AFL Samoa academy to prepare them for International and senior football "hopefully there is Australian football scholarships for some of these boys, it would give them a great opportunity to go to school, see the Australian culture, share some of their own as well as playing footy where it all happens." National Development officer Michael Roberts stated.
The pathway for this years National schoolboys is designed to allow the system to incorperate further regions as the sport develops .
The newly divided rural and metropolitan regions may in future be complemented by zones from Savaii and more rural parts of the island.
Both primary and high school programs are anticipated to create an obvious pathway toward participation, competition and talent identification.
Once the talent is identified and the depth of skilled players grows Boys will have the chance to train with the National Academy to seek selection in next years International cup in Australia and other events both in Samoa and overseas.
AFL Samoa hopes to be included in official high school sports programs by the Miniistry of Education ,Sport and Culture for 2008 and to attract church and village teams to its senior competition .
AFL Samoa thinks Australian football has a lot to offer Samoa by giving schools an seniors an alternative sport and opportunities for representative and national players to represent Samoa in overseas competitions.
Roberts is adamant that "we will see some fantastic young athletes playing `Aussie rules' in the next few weeks. Many have a gift but everything depends on their own drive and if they have the discipline to apply themselves, Aussie rules is not natural for these boys even though these boys are natural for Aussie rules...,,its certainly going to be a great carnival and may the best school win"
ROUND 1 2007 SAMOA NATIONAL SCHOOLBOYS
- LEULOMOEGA LIONS VS NUUAUSALA DEMONS
- LEULOMOEGA KANGAROOS VS PAUL 6 TIGERS
- ST JOSEPHS HAWKEs VS FALEATA BOMBERS
- LEIFIFI FALCONS VS LEIFIFI ALL-BLACKS