AFL Vanuatu, last year send a team of 23 young boys and 3 officials that were selected from AFL Under 15 school program to take part in the 2018 U16 South Pacific Oceania Cup in Suva, Fiji.
Four teams competed in the competition and in the end saw Fiji Junior Tribe registering their name in the 1st place, followed by Nauru Stars in 2nd place, Vanuatu Volcanoes in 3rd place and 4th was the Pacific All Stars.
Out from the competition in Fiji, 3 boys and 1 coach from team Vanuatu were selected to be part of the U16 South Pacific Talent Squad in Australia.
The coach selected was the Vanuatu’s development coach, Lent Tevi from the island of Pentecost.Having that passion of playing footy, Lent was selected to be part of the Vanuatu Volcanoes U15 team that went to Fiji to participate in the 2014 South Pacific Oceania Cup and was later selected to be part of the Talent Camp in 2015 at first as a player. Later on, the love of the game has driven him to train, plays and also become a coach and that has motivated him to go to University and do a degree in Sports Science or a Sport Physio.
The 3 Vanuatu volcanoe players selected are, Kieron Meake from Ifira, Junior Willie Telkrap from Northern part of Ambrym and Leonce Warsal from Santo. Being in this team gave the boys a great opportunity to learn about Health, Nutrition, Teamwork, Being an Elite Footballer and the opportunity to visit an AFL game.
The boys are selected to join the Pacific team to compete with clubs in Australia.
South Pacific Team will play as a team in the Gold Coast Suns under 16 academy competition from 5th to 11th of April. Gold Coast Suns Academy Competition, allows all regions in Queensland to have a team in the competition. From this competition, Queensland will be selected it’s under 16 team to play in Australian under 16 competition later in the year and the players are eligible to be selected in this team.
The Australian National under 16 competition is the start of the talent pathway that leads to players being selected by one of the under 16 AFL clubs as full time when they turn 18. By the age of 18 and being a professional AFL player, the average wage earned is $350,000 AUD or 28 million VT per year. The very top players get paid up to $1Million AUD or 80Million VT per year. There are 700 full time players in Australia and thousands of semi-profession players.
Our gratitude to the Vanuatu Volcanoes boys who are currently part of the AFL South Pacific Talent pathway competing as the South Pacific AFL side in the Gold Coast Suns Academy Under 16 competition that have already ended on Thursday 11th of April,and they have arrived yesterday 2pm in the afterenoon.