By Skola Sengi – EM TV Sport, Port Moresby
The growth of AFL in the country looks promising with the roll-out of development programs throughout the country and AFL PNG is embarking on maintaining the family oriented culture within the code. Under the Niu-kick program, there are a number of AFL prospects.
There has also been a rise in the participation of females which saw the inception of women’s AFL in the 6th PNG Games. More females are expected to join the growing code of AFL in the country.
With the focus of equipping young footballers with necessary skills and exposure, AFL PNG continues to send our development teams to participate in tournaments, such as the Queensland Development Championships and the South Pacific Cup.
AFL PNG’s many successs for 2014 included the under 14 Binatangs finishing in fifth place and the under 16 retaining the South Pacific Cup for another year.
The roll-out of AFL PNGs programs such as Niu-kick has seen a surge in young talent across the country.
Ketaha Siwee, Lawrence Kavanamur, Peter Lavong and John Susuve are some of the young players that have prospered under the development program.
Lae based Kelly Kaugla is another AFL prospect that took out the Coaches Award at the Queensland Development Championships earlier this year.
Despite the lack of support this year for the Kurakums and Flames, the 6th PNG Games saw NCD, Morobe and Western Highlands make their debut in women’s AFL.
With more girls participating in the roll-out of development programs, more support is needed to send our national women’s team for international tournaments next year.
The Coca-Cola Junior Regional Championships in September saw young footballers flock the respective centers of Port Moresby, Lae and Kimbe in the hope of being selected into the respective boys U-14 and U-16 Binatangs and U-17 girls in the Kurakums squads for AFL PNGs 2015 Academy.
AFL PNG is striving to build a family and development culture with the roll-out of development programs and the staging of annual AFL competitions throughout the country.