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India Vs Australian Masters

Posted on Thursday, June 29, 2017 by ARFAI,

AFL Masters_Low

A huge development coming through for ARFAI, as the stage is set for the first ever historic international level Footy tie to be played in India between the Indian team and the Australian Masters in West Bengal, where it was all started by Ricky Ponting back in 2008.

The Indian team is all set to play two practice matches against the Australian team, which will be great preparation for the upcoming AFL International Cup 2017 in Melbourne.

The first match will be played on 22nd July in the countryside of Bengal in Daspur, Paschim Midnapore, an area which has embraced the new sport through the initiatives taken by Footy Association of Bengal (FAB) and has got over 2000 active participants in the last 7-8 months. The second match will be played on 23rd July at the FD Block Ground in SaltLake, Kolkata, to wrap up the series.

This comes in after months of discussion between the AFL Masters International Ambassador Dr. Paul Newbury got in touch with ARFAI Founder and Secretary General Sudip Chakraborty in Melbourne back in 2016. The Masters who ideally tour Europe every two years expressed interest in visiting China and India in the off years and help the growth of the sport in the respective countries, following the footsteps of the AFL’s push to grow the game in both the countries.

ARFAI board member and National Development Manager P.M. Chokshi said “The Indian team, like many other international Footy teams, does not get the opportunity to play regular international matches. Hence this would be an opportunity to hon their skills and more importantly the boys will get to bond together as a team well before the International Cup, something that we have struggled with in the past given given available resources”.

This also comes after the recent declaration of four AFL clubs who have expressed to play a match in India, which in itself is quite rewarding for the efforts put in voluntarily by ARFAI to grow the Australian sport in India voluntarily.

“We look forward to welcome the Australian team in India and would be a great opportunity for the Indian team players to learn from the experienced Masters, who could share their feedback after the matches about areas we need to improve as a team” said Indian team Captain Sudip Chakraborty, who is now working for the AFL and Essendon Football Club in Australia and would be returning to India to join the team in its preparations.

India would be represented by the best senior players from across the country who were selected by the AFL legend Kevin Sheedy when he toured Indian during the ARFAI National Championship 2017. The final squad travelling over to Australia for AFL International Cup 2017 would be named upon completion of the AFL Masters’ series.