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Aussie football rules India

Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2015 by ARFAI,


Published: 6th January, 2015

Large rocks must be removed from the ground before play can commence

Large rocks must be removed from the ground before play can commence

The day is hot and fairly humid, and all teams are checked in, wearing their respective team jumpers. But before play can start, a massive amount of work is to be done to get the field safe, relatively speaking, for action.

Apart from the ground being very uneven, there are a number of large rocks breaking the surface which are a definite threat.  One such rock is the size of a bath tub, and takes a superhuman effort on the part of several players to loosen and eventually heave out of and off the ground.

After which, they must now go out and play footy!!

For a short time, I am team nurse, bandaging and applying bandaids, until a young physio arrives, thankfully, as the state of this ground definitely spells ‘injuries’!

Three hours late, the games begin and despite the heat and ground conditions, each match is fiercely fought out; the physio is being kept very busy.

Represented in the finals are the Tigers, Cats, Giants, Bombers, Crows and Eagles, and by the end of the semi-finals, both Crows and Tigers (juniors) were clear contenders, while in the seniors the same two teams would battle it out for the cup.

Sadly, the Eagles did not finish as well, and did not make it into the final round, but they played their hearts out anyway, and made me very proud of them.

Both games were again played out every bit as seriously as if they were on the MCG on the ‘last day in September’.  In the end, the juniors’ glory went to the Crows, beating the Tigers 29 points to 12, while the seniors reversed the result, with the Tigers finishing with 14 points against nine for the Crows.

The most inspirational thing is just how strong the desire these youngsters have to play, and play well.  In some cases under incredibly poor conditions, and without any of the facilities our Aussie players have available to them as a matter of course.

And the spirit of enjoyment is so overwhelming; at the end of the tournament no matter where a team finished, they all joined in celebrations as if each and every player had won a million dollars! So much fun and enjoyment!

The huge surprise was the Crows. For teams established only a couple of months ago, they were outstanding.   A big future for them in AFL India. If only these kids had better facilities available.

Helen Mell is an avid West Coast Eagles fan and member, whose other passion in life is India. She takes great pride in taking Australian football to the sub-continent and was pivotal in helping to establish a relationship with the Rajasthan Eagles.