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PNG AFL Coach takes international opportunity

Australian Football League (AFL) Development Manager for the Southern Region David

Topeni recently travelled overseas to coach the Indigenous Select Side in Australia for the

Indigenous South Pacific Australian Football League.

The big match will see Indigenous Vs Indigenous South Pacific on May 26th at Cazalys

Stadium, Cairns, Australia.

He said that taking his coaching role overseas was an opportunity for him. He is happy to

experience new things abroad and bring them back to PNG AFL.

"This is the first opportunity for me to work with seniors. I will be the first Papua New

Guinean to coach the Indigenous Select Side in Australia”, said Topeni.

With his experience both as a player and a coach which he travelled internationally in 2014

and 2017 as a player with the Mosquitoes to play in the International World Cup as well as

being the coach of juniors during his coaching career he hopes that his newfound

knowledge will help him develop a unique approach to coaching in PNG AFL, and he looks

forward to sharing it with the next generation of players.

More so, Mr. Topeni expressed his pride at being part of this unique project and said he was

happy about the opportunity. He encouraged young players, both males and females, to

take up a coaching or umpiring role if they don’t want to play.

“Just like our academy where our juniors got the opportunity to travel and play overseas,

our coaches and umpires can have that chance to travel and coach or umpire abroad as

well”, he said.

The ISP team is part of the World Indigenous Nations Rugby League Alliance, which works to

promote rugby league among indigenous communities.

Topeni is currently in Australia coaching the Indigenous South Pacific (ISP) select side and

will return on 27th May after the game.

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