Monday, May 18, 2009

Borroloola Cyclones - with a Tasmanian twist

I have written before about Tasmanian soccer fanatic Glenn Thompson (pictured left).

He is a maintenance man at the school in Borroloola, on the Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory.

Glenn, whenever he returns to Tasmania, can usually be found watching the Summer Cup tournament at South Hobart or KGV Park.

We always catch up on his trips home and yarn about the good old days of Tassie soccer.

Glenn has been fighting a battle to wean the Indigenous youngsters of Borroloola off Australian Rules and turn them to soccer.

Borroloola is, incidentally, the town where John Moriarty was born.

I have written about John Moriarty before, too. He is FFA's Indigenous ambassador for football and is behind the Indigenous Festival of Football which is to be held in Townsville this July.

He was in Hobart on Sunday to watch the first selection trial for Indigenous youngsters trying out for the Tasmanian team which will play in the Festival of Football.

Now, back to Glenn Thompson.

Last week, he took a team of Indigenous youngsters from Borroloola to Darwin for the Arafura Games.

If you've never heard of the Arafura Games, it's not surprising. The southern Australian media rarely, if ever, mention it.

But, it's a huge event at the Top End. I once attended the opening ceremony at the Arafura Games and it was the sort of event that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

It involves a whole range of sporting events - athletics, track and field, soccer, boxing - and is like a mini Olympic Games.

Forty or so countries from South-East Asia and the Pacific Rim countries send teams.

That's where Glenn took his team, the Borroloola Cyclones, an under-18 soccer team.

They were the revelation of the Games and The Sydney Morning Herald published a story, accompanied by a big colour photo of Glenn and his boys , on the front page on Saturday.

Have a look at:

(or just Google 'Glenn Thompson' on The Sydney Morning Herald website)

The Borroloola Cyclones won only one of their four games, a 4-0 victory over the Northern Territory 'B' side.

They lost 3-0 to Macau, 7-1 to Aceh (Indonesia), 7-2 to Timor, the eventual gold medal winners, and 5-3 to the Northern Territory 'A' team.

But, it was a marvellous experience for the boys and they were the toast of the Games.

Well done, Glenn, our very own Tassie football ambassador.

Glenn would love to bring his team to Tasmania on tour. Let's hope that one day we see them here.


jerrie kruijver said...

walter is that not the wrong photo? i thought it was gordon burnetts picture

Walter said...

I can assure you, Jerrie, the photo is of Glenn Thompson. I took it myself at South Hobart less than five years ago. Gordon Burnett passed away years ago.

jerrie kruijver said...

ok alzheimers is catching up.