However, the island now has a team and the “Phuket Power” are only weeks away from pitting themselves against AFL Masters teams from across Asia.
The Alan Cooke Ground will welcome nine competing teams from Malaysia, Indonesia, Phuket, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, Thailand (Bangkok), Vietnam and Cambodia to contest the AFL Masters on March 7th.
12 players per side will be on the field at a time and the games will be played over 2 x12-minute halves. The exact fixtures have yet to be released but it is expected that each team will play three games on the day with the possibility of a final for the higher ranking teams.
The current “Phuket Power” squad is comprised of 12 Australians, three Thais, three South Africans, three Irishmen, a Kiwi, a Canadian, an American and an Englishman. It’s a great mix of local businessmen, school teachers, a pilot, some offshore workers and even a Muay Thai coach.
Four of the players strapped on the boots for Thailand and Vietnam in last year’s event. More than half of the squad will play their first game of AFL next month at the tournament.
A big part of the appeal for AFL players and fans is that it is a contact sport like rugby and American Football (without the protection). In addition to running, kicking, catching and passing the ball, players can defend by tackling the player with the ball or bumping and blocking their opponents.
Players should be 35 years and above to qualify for Masters. In the upcoming event, each team can include a couple of younger players in the hope of exposing some indigenous players to the game. “Phuket Power”, for example, has three Thai players that are hoping to be involved on the day.
The intensity and skill level of AFL Masters is suitable for many first-time AFL players. The rules of the game aren’t considered too difficult to grasp. AFL holds similarities to many sports such as Gaelic football, soccer, hockey and lacrosse where the teams pass the ball forward and into or through a goal to score.
The “Phuket Power” welcomes any support and new sponsors in the leadup to the event. So far, Legends bar in Patong has assisted to purchase playing tops and the Minor group have helped out with playing shorts from the Brisbane Lions AFL side.
We hope to see plenty of local support on March 7th. We aren’t actively looking to add to our matchday list but we welcome anyone interested to join us on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons from 5pm at the ACG for training. If additional players are available, it’s likely that they’ll get a game on the day.
For further details please contact: Andrew McMillan, Phuket Power AFL. Tel: +66 854720931 or Alan Sutherland, Thailand Tigers AFL. Tel: +66 898979435 email: firstname.lastname@example.org