AFL Indonesia's Expats and Indonesians combine to take two men's and the first women's teams to Australian Rules Football's 2022 Asian Champs

By Geoffrey Gold

“Erupt! Erupt! Erupt!” is the hot message coach Rick Olarenshaw is repeating to the three AFL Indonesia Volcanoes teams – two men’s and first-time women’s - representing Indonesia at the AFL Asia 'Asian Champs' in Bangkok, Thailand, on Saturday, 22 October.

The Asian Champs is Australian Rules Football’s premier regional event in Asia and was held annually between 1999 and 2019. After lockdown postponements in 2020 and 2021, this year’s carnival has attracted 21 teams from 11 countries. 

Top: The AFL Indonesia Volcanoes (Men's) winners of the 2018 Asian Champs Division 1. Lower Left: The AFL Indonesia Volcanoes Men's team in 2022 in preparation for their first international game since the two-year lockdowns. Lower Right: The inaugural AFL Indonesia Volcanoes Women's team in 2022 in preparation for their first-ever international game.

The Volcanoes bring together the men’s and women’s playing squads of the senior Aussie Rules footy clubs in Jakarta, Bali and Balikpapan and includes more than 20 Indonesian players eligible to wear their country's Garuda indigenous guernsey at the 2024 AFL International Cup in Queensland.

Teams representing Indonesia have won the Asian Champs three times – 2000, 2002 and 2018 - and 2022 is looking good. “All of our teams will be chasing the same glory we achieved in 2018 when our men's team won the 1st division,” said Jakarta President Ben Giles. “We're all looking forward to pulling on the Volcanoes jumper once again!”

AFL Indonesia was established in June 2009 under the auspices of the Australian Football League, the world governing body for Australian Rules Football, by three Indonesian-based amateur clubs - the Jakarta Bintangs (formed 1995), Bali Geckos (f. 1996) and the Balikpapan Borneo Bears (f. 2008) - to nationally promote the playing of 'Aussie Rules' football in Indonesia. The Melbourne-based, multicultural, Krakatoas Football Club is an Australian-affiliate.

AFL Indonesia's junior development aims to raise awareness of the importance of health and nutrition through enjoying well-organised and mentored footy.

The national team, the AFL Indonesia Garudas, has since participated in the 2014 and 2017 AFL International Cups in Melbourne, Australia, and were the inaugural winners of the AFL Asia All-Asian Cup in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in October 2016.

20 Years Ago:  A historic video prepared by the Jakarta Bintangs Football Club about their splendid 2002 season which included representing Indonesia and winning that year's Asian Champs, numerous inter-club matches, and insights into the club's junior development program with young Indonesians that has since become a national Aussie Rules legacy mission through AFL Indonesia.

The full Volcanoes squads for the 2022 Asian Champs are:

A-Grade Men's | Coach: Rick Olarenshaw   

Bali Geckos: Alex Noles, Leigh Semmens, Braden White, Brodie Grumley, Bryce Critch, Damian Hoo, David Stanford, Gerard Oak, Glenn Fernee, Jack Ahearn©, Lachlan Langwell, Rory Callaghan, Tim Richter, Tim Schibli, Troy Luff 

Jakarta Bintangs: Kalen Iselt©, Michael Latupeirissa, Tim Schlib

B-Grade Men's | Coach: Mat Jolly

Medi-sub A Grade

Bali Geckos: Cam Howell, Joshua Pasaribu, Rick Olarenshaw, Tim Tracy  

Borneo Bears: Gilang, Timbul

Jakarta Bintangs: Mat Jolly

B-Grade Squad

Bali Geckos: Arn Susanto, Andrew Murdoch, Dirk the Diggler, Dominic Strambolini, Janu Arta, Jordan Grumley, Mark Eskridge, McCoy Turner, Nick Royan, Nyoman Sutena, Paulus Kupu, Putu Darmawan, Reuben Raymondo, Tony Camiller

Borneo Bears: Harry Commerford

Jakarta Bintangs: Ardiansyah Widiyanto, Johannes Vorfeld, Skyler Howeth, Adrian Skimming, Clarke Finn, Luke Nasir, Sam Shearer, Simon Murphy   

Women's Squad | Coach: Tom Sullivan

Bali Geckos: Dawn Herring, Ananda Kurnia Fitri, Emma Urban, Henrietta Brouwer, Lauren Camilleri, Lindsay Oliver, Manon Janin, Miranda Semmens, Nora Yugueros, Rimma Robinzonovich, Sarah Stanford, Sophie Bennett, Summer Fernee, Nadzyra Calonius 

Jakarta Bintangs: Alison Linforth, Alvina Gracia, Erin Dowle, Michelle Tallon, Prastika (Tika) Utami, Sophie/Ulrike Nitzschke, Yohana (Anna) Gebze, Alex Smith, Scarlett Molly Mathieson


See also: 

The Power of Sports Diplomacy: How we can grow Indonesia-Australia relations (25 February 2022)

 AFL Indonesia pioneers local 'Aussie Rules' and expands the game in Asia (15 August 2013)


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