Top Representative Teams Showcasing Football for All
Article written by Chris Hunt (AFL Queensland); Photos by Damien Briggs
The All Australian Inclusion team from the National Inclusion Carnival came together on the weekend to play the winners of the 2016 NSW Bachar Houli Cup, Granville Boys High School. The teams played the curtain raiser to the Greater Western Sydney v Richmond game on Saturday in Canberra.
The AFL National Inclusion Carnival is for players with an Intellectual Disability and sees teams from across Australia play each other in the game they all love. The All Australian team is made up from stand out players at the Carnival. Selection in the team is usually honorary, but this year history was made when the players got the chance to play together in front of a sell-out crowd at Manuka Oval.
Their opponents where the winners of the 2016 Bacher Houli Cup. The Cup is a major AFL NSW competition for Islamic and public schools from across Sydney. Named after Richmond mid-fielder, Bachar Houli, the Cup seeks for foster skills and character in the next generation of Muslim players and getting them engaged in football at all levels.
The All Australian team had representatives from across every state with the team gathering in Canberra on the Friday night. The Granville Boys High School team travelled down on the day from Sydney. After a cool start to the day the game was played in perfect conditions with no wind and Manuka Oval gave the teams the best possible playing surface.
The match was going to be a test of the skills and game sense of the All Australian team against the speed and agility of Granville. This was borne out in the early stages by control of stoppages by the All Australian ruckman David Hallows and on-ballers Jordan Rene and Damien Parry quickly resulted in a strong mark to Luke Miles.
The first goal was on the board. Granville were under early pressure and showed their best when combining across half back through chains of handball with Mohamed Alssaje and Ahmad El-Hage being stand outs along with Shadi Ghazal who was excellent at fullback.
Strong play from All Australians Luke O’Neil and Scott Crowden through the centre of the ground set up running goals for Kennedy and McQueen. Alsajje was again prominent and Zafir Ali and Ezadine Dib were very good contributors across the wing for Granville and the main break saw the All Australian team with a six goal lead.
After half time Ali Moussa and Khaled Zreika worked the ball forward with some very skilful ball use, but a costly turn over saw Cameron Fraser get out the back of Granville’s defence for an easy goal. Luke Miles combined well with Michael Scholz to give Graydon Poulsen a running shot on goal from 40 metres.
Granville responded from the centre with a series of handballs that gave Bassil Kassem a chance on goal and his outstanding snap was true. Kassem was again on the end of some great play by Granville, this time showing precise kicking skills through Mohamad Saadeddine and Rabii Kaiache and Granville had back to back goals.
The Granville team was now starting to put their best passages of play together and looked very good on rapid transition through the centre of the ground. The All Australians regained some control of the football and running play from Rene, O’Neil and Drowley saw Lyndsay Ashworth steady and kick a wonderful goal.
The All Australian team emerged winners in what was a quality game for the big crowd and the teams got together after the match for presentations, food and drink. Both teams acknowledged the tremendous work of Greg Brown in getting the match set up at such a great venue and appreciative crowd at Manuka.
All Australian Team: 15 10 100
Granville Boys High School: 3 1 19
All Australian team – 1. Jordan Rene (NSWACT), 2. Lyndsay Ashworth (WA), 3. Chris McQueen (SA), 4. Michael Scholz (Vic Country), 5. Luke O’Neil (Qld), 6. Graydon Poulsen (Qld), 7. Lindsay Drowley (SA), 8. Scott Crowden (Tas), 9. Bayley Kennedy (Vic Country), 10. Michael Wade (NSWACT), 11. Shane Smith (SA), 12. Luke Miles (Vic Metro), 13. Damien Parry (Vic Metro), 14. Cameron Fraser (NSWACT), 15. David Hallows (WA)
Granville Boys High School – 1. Ahmad El-Hage (VC), 2. Ezadine Dib, 3. Zafir Ali (C), 5. Khaled Zreika, 6. Jacob Alameddine, 7. Bassil Kassem, 8. Mohaned Alssaja, 9. Rabii Kalache, 10. Ali Moussa, 11. Mohamad Saadeddine, 13, Kili Tufua, 14. Kareen Galil, 5. Shadi Ghazal
Coaches Awards – David Hallows and Ahmad El-Hage
Players Awards – Jordan Rene and Mohamed Alssaje.