written by Shane Flanagan
The reigning JAFL Premiers, the Tokyo Goannas are looking forward to another huge year in 2007. Quite a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes and the 2007 schedule has almost been finalized. One major development during the off-season has been the decision of the JAFL to welcome the Osaka Dingoes into the competition for the first time in 2007. With the addition of the Dingoes, the competition will feature six teams (Tokyo Goannas, Eastern Hawks, Senshu Power, Komazawa Magpies, Tokyo Leopards and Osaka Dingoes). It is an exciting development for the JAFL and the Tokyo Goannas would like to wish the Dingoes all the best for their first year in the competition. Incidentally, the Goannas first match for the season will be against the Dingoes on 31 March. Anyone that has done the footy trip to Osaka will testify that it is an absolute ball. This time around the game will take place on Saturday which will allow us to enjoy the famous Kansai hospitality until the very early hours on Sunday morning before making our return to Tokyo on Sunday afternoon. Put this weekend in your calendar. The next significant date for the calendar is the tour to Shanghai on 12 May for a tri-series competition against the Shanghai Tigers and the Jakarta Bintangs. The tour will reciprocate the visit to Tokyo by the Shanghai Tigers in 2006 and will be an excellent hit-out against some of the competitors that will participate in the Asian Champs. The tour will be a key part of our preparations for the Asian Champs and should also be a great weekend. Put the weekend down in your calendar and lets visit our North Asian neighbours! June will also be a big month with two regular season JAFL games. This will suit us nicely as we start to build towards the Champs in July. The matches are scheduled for 3 June and 17 June with details to be confirmed. The big one, the Asian Champs will take place in Bangkok on 14 July. Talk to any Goanna that has taken part in the Asian Champs and their eyes will just about glaze over as they recall their adventures. From Smokins outstanding on-field performances (and near kidnapping) in Manila, to Pencils uninhibited break dancing in Jakarta–it is a must for the season. Make a week of it and take the missus to the beach for a few days after it all wraps-up. After the Champs we will have a free schedule through August and kick-off again in September. Details concerning the second half of the season to be outlined later. In addition to the on-field schedule, the Goannas have a busy social calendar lined-up. Club VP and goal-kicking dynamo Ronnie will kick-off social proceedings by organising a ski trip in early March. Details are TBC but there is an active core of keen boarders and skiers among the Goannas–there will be plenty of fun to be had. Details TBC. Please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to become involved with the Goannas in 2007 or if you want to know more about the club.