During this humorous podcast we catch up with Singapore Wombats legend Daniel Branchflower and find out exactly what makes the ‘Branch’ tick and hear a few yarns of yesteryear that have turned into folklore history! ?
‘Branchy’ is AFL Asia’s most recognized hipster, breathes fear into his opponents, is tough and courageous and is an outstanding character that our region enjoys and loves on and off the field! ??
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Tribal Talks with Daniel Branchflower
Nicknames: Branchflog and Turf City Hero (for never leaving Singapore!).
What Clubs have you played for? Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads, North Geelong and the Singapore Wombats.
How many years have you been playing in Asia? 11 years, three years exclusively at Turf City.
Preferred position/s: Full-forward with no one on me. Nah, I play back-flank and transitioned there when I realised I was too slow for the midfield and half-forward.
AFL team: Carlton, unfortunately.
Best AFL player: Currently – Lachie Neale. Of all time – Diesel or Chris Judd.
Best player/s in Asia: Played with – Juddy, the Bruce Boys, Ed, and Belly. Played against – some of the ring-ins, Aaron Edwards, Jack Ahearn from Bali, the Filipino boys in Winner and Spargs, and Dom the Hound from Hong Kong.
Best teammate/s: Kyle Austin, Belly was awesome, I loved playing with Selfie, all my backline boys, we were all really tight. But just about everyone I’ve played with in Singapore has been an absolute legend.
Most annoying teammate: I’d have to say Belly. He takes the cake both on and off the field.
Best AFL Asia memory: The Champs victory, for sure. We spent the whole year together, so it was pretty special.
Favourite meal: Lasagne. Easy.
Cats or dogs: Dogs. Cats are pricks, everyone knows that.
Coffee or tea: Coffee.
Favourite holiday destination: I love going to Phuket. It’s a great place, reasonably priced and easy to get there from here.
Invite 4 people of your choice to a dinner party: Chris Judd, Miley Cyrus, Wintson McCall (lead singer from Parkway Drive, my favourite band) and Davey Havok (from AFI, my other favourite band). It’s a pretty interesting mix, but I love my music. Sport is a big deal, but I’d way rather listen to some of these artists speak.
What do you like the most about playing footy in Asia? Just being able to meet all these amazing people. Over the years every trip is unique, no one is the same. Even though I’ve been there before but it’s different every single time, so you get that unique experience every time you travel. It’s also the camaraderie you build over that journey, not only with your own team but hanging out with some of the other legends around AFL Asia. It’s a massive network, but everyone gets around each other and it’s heaps of fun. I’ll play until I can’t walk.
3 things people don’t know about you: I’m a pretty open book, so I don’t leave much in. I’m a sensitive guy, so I can be quite soft even though my look suggests I’m not. I nearly died when I was five because I was bitten by a jumping jack and I blew up and had an anaphylactic fit. Geez I can’t think of another one so I’ll have to stay with two I’m afraid.
What does the future of AFL Asia look like and/or how do you see the sport impacting local communities across Asia? It’s progressing, only in the last couple of years we’ve had our own women’s team grow. The guys are getting stronger every year. The fact we can stream footage of every Champs is phenomenal and the coverage is important. I don’t know if a lot of these ideas are gonna work for everybody, but we’re certainly open to it and we’ve been just as progressive as anyone. It’s gonna be fine. It’s getting better. The standard has lifted dramatically since I’ve been here and hopefully it’s more of that and more young people in the region (us old guys aren’t as exciting as the young guys coming out of the VFL). I think it’s going really well.