AFL in the Holy Land

IT may not have been quite up there with Cazaly, but Australia’s embassy in Israel hosted an Australian Rules Football tournament featuring dozens of Australian ex-pats (pictured) at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park recently to help celebrate the start of the AFL  season in Australia.

Israel-based Arsen Ostrovsky, the director of Israel Affairs for the Zionist Council of NSW, was there and said there was a great turnout, some decent footy, a good old-fashioned Aussie barbecue, and most importantly a lot of fun all-round.

“Many Aussie ex-pats are now living in Israel, and there is quite a lot of effort being made to increase the popularity of Aussie Rules in Israel,” Ostrovsky said.

He added the participants were a mix of Aussie expats, Aussies currently in Israel on a range of programs, plus quite a lot of Israeli-born players trying the sport for the first time, embassy staff and many supporters.

The event also saw the launch of Israel’s second Aussie Rules team, the South Tel Aviv Dragons, who will now give the Tel Aviv Cheetahs a run for their money.

For the record, the tournament was won, quite convincingly, by the Dragons.

SHANE DESIATNIK