Auburn celebrates football and a wedding

AFL is growing in momentum in Sydney’s west . It was only 30 years ago that the sole football code discussed at the kitchen table was rugby league.

If you ask asked any fan who was the greatest goal scorer of all time they would tell you it was Hazem El Masri and would emphasise his prolific right boot.

Fast forward to today and AFL is high on the radar of the people in Sydney’s west, with Team GWS set to enter the competition in 2012.

There is buzz and excitement surrounding the new team and many people are changing their attitude towards the game that was once unheard of.

The community of Auburn is no exception to this and has opened their arms to AFL with the establishment of their own club – the Auburn Tigers.

The Tigers have had an exceptional start to season in the AFL Sydney competition, posting three consecutive victories for an accumulative margin of 341-points.

On the weekend they were faced with their toughest battle of the season when they came up against another undefeated side, the Saints afc from Maroubra. The Saints are also new to the league this year. 

In a fierce encounter the Tigers prevailed by 103-points and now sit on top of the division four table with a healthy percentage.

Although, the weekend wasn’t just about football, as the whole community gathered to celebrate the wedding of the club’s captain.

The day before the match, Mustapha Nahle, married his partner and invited the whole community to come along to the recently developed Mona Park to share his two passions in life – love and football.

Nahle bought 50 kilograms worth of meat and opened the oval gates to anyone wanting to have a mouth-water feast and to enjoy two quality AFL teams battle it out on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

With a jumping castle for the kids and plenty of lawn for people to sit on, it was a perfect day out enjoyed by all who attended.

Bilal Taha, is one player who has recently taken up AFL and is excelling in the AFL (NSW/ACT) Talented Player Program.

“A few boys that I’ve seen play rugby league have bagged AFL their whole life, and my brothers best mate used to bag AFL so much, now he loves it,” Taha said.

“He watches it every day and just learns more and more. A lot of them they’re all rugby league players but now as the season’s going on their skills are picking up and they’re getting better.

“The club’s bringing more people into AFL. They’re hoping to make an Under-16 team, but they just want to see how the first year pans out, so hopefully next year they will make an under-18s and a under-16s team.”

Today, if you asked people in Sydney’s west who the greatest goal scorer of all time was, some would respond with Tony Lockett, others would tell you it was Plugger.