National Diversity Championships Wrap Up In Cairns

The 2015 AFL National Diversity Championships have been completed in Cairns with Western Australia being crowned Kickstart champions whilst Queensland made history to win their first cup at any of these championships taking out the All Nations Cup. The following pair of stories are the grand-final summaries for both competitions.

 

National Diversity Championships – All Nations Grand Final

 

The crowd at Cazalys Stadium in Cairns was treated to a tremendous match with the Victoria/Tasmania team – last year’s winners – taking on the well performed Queensland team that had never reached a grand-final at these championships.

 

Victoria/Tasmania made the early running with the breeze in the first half, but again the showers arrived to negate the wind effect. At times soccer became the sport of choice as both teams hacked the ball from end to end in the conditions.

 

A goal to Queensland just on half time levelled the scores and set up an exciting final stanza.

 

After the break, Queensland came out hard but the Victoria/Tasmania team knew they had to negate any wind advantage and played a tough, defensive brand of football. It took until seven minutes into the half for either side to score, a behind to Queensland, but that was the trigger and the Queensland team rattled on a succession of goals to make history and win their first ever National Diversity Championships All Nations Cup.

 

Proud and emotional scenes were visible all over the field as players, coaches and officials embraced and the Queensland Kickstart team ran out to join their All Nations team mates.

Final Scores: Queensland  7  3  (45) d Victoria/Tasmania  3  8  (26)

 

 

National Diversity Championships – Kickstart Grand Final

 

The two best performed teams of the carnival met in the grand-final in front of enthusiastic crowd of families, team representatives and onlookers, playing for the greatest honour. History would be made either way – five championships from five years for Western Australia or Victoria/Tasmania to win their first.

 

The game started with Victoria/Tasmania using the breeze which had been as regular an attendee at this carnival as the crowds. But it was Western Australia that kicked the first two goals of the match into the teeth of the strong breeze. Superior ball skills and structure once again set up the Western Australia attacks, but it was their fanatical defence which held Victoria back time and time again. Western Australia took a useful, but catchable, lead to the half time break.

 

The second half saw the Western Australia boys raise the bar. Time and time they attacked, building as unassailable lead as the Cairns southerly drove them home. Late goals as a result of a tiring Victoria/Tasmania team, and some end-of-carnival razzle dazzle from Western Australia, saw the score blow out to 44 points by the final siren.

 

It was a proud coach, Shaye Hayden, who stood on the dias to revel in a fifth Kickstart title for the Western Australia behemoth.

 

With contributions from all players, and a four goal haul from livewire Jarrod Cameron, Western Australia were deserving winners of the 2015 Kickstart Cup.

 

Earlier in the morning it was another page written into the history books as the Queensland side won their first ever title at the National Diversity Championships, defeating the Victoria/Tasmania team by 19 points.

Final Scores: Western Australia  9  3  (57) d Victoria/Tasmania  2  1  (13)

 

At the end of the two grand finals, winners of awards and the Flying Boomerang and World Nations teams were announced.

Most Valuable Players – All Teams

All Nations:

Queensland – Dean Katsiris, Victoria/Tasmania – Buku Khamis, South Australia – Martin Frederick,

Northern Territory – Yiannis Alexopoulos, New South Wales/ACT – Moustafa Sattout, Western Australia – Mach Deng

Kickstart:

Western Australia – Joe Hinder, Victoria/Tasmania – Tarryn Trindle, Northern Territory – Liam Fitz, South Australia – Mahali Lochowaik, New South Wales/ACT – Chris Holten, Queensland – Ari Miles

 

The highest goalkicking awards went to:

Tom Ansell (Queensland – All Nations – 15)

Michael Mummery, Patrick Puautijimi (Northern Territory – Kickstart – tied with 8 goals each)

 

The major championships best player awards went to:

Ryan Bennell (Western Australia – Kickstart)

 

Martin Frederick (South Australia – All Nations)

 

The full squads for the Flying Boomerangs (national U15 indigenous team) and the World Nations (National U15 multicultural team) were announced after the event and will be made available at a later date.

 

All in all this was a tremendous carnival which showcased the potential draft talent available around 2017-2018. The standard was a step up from previous carnivals as indigenous and multicultural programs become better, more targeted and attract more and more exciting talent from across the country.

About Wesley Hull

Passionate lover of Australian Rules football. Have played and coached the game and now spend my time writing about the game I love and introducing young people to the game through school coaching. Will try and give back to the game what it has given me for more that 40 years.

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