The Malaysian Warriors are your BevChain Men’s Division 2 victors at the ATG 2023 Asian Championships.
The Malaysian Warriors played an inspiring brand of football and were well-led and coached by club legend Shaun Di Gregorio. The Warriors worked themselves nicely into the tournament by gaining momentum during the preliminary rounds, going through undefeated, and peaked at the business end by defeating the Thailand Tigers on their home deck in the Grand Final, who were gunning for back-to-back Division 2 glory.
The Malaysian Warriors after winning the Division 2 trophy.
The Thailand Tigers (4-1 overall) were spirited and gallant in defeat in the big dance, but can walk away from this year’s Champs knowing just how hard it is to win silverware at the annual event and that their best footy is good enough to rub shoulders with the best teams in Asia.
The Cambodian Eagles (1-1-2 overall) were a far more competitive outfit this year and had a nicely balanced side of developing locals and experienced expats both from Australia and Europe, whilst the HK Dragons battled manfully and had their moments of triumph (2-2 overall), despite their side being weakened by several key members attending a wedding in HK.
Hong Kong Dragons striding out in Division 2.
The Pakistan Markhors (1-1-2 overall) found the going slightly tougher in Division 2 after their feel-good Division 3 Grand Final victory last year and will be better for the experience, whilst the Indonesian Volcanoes (0-4 overall) toiled hard despite losing a number of foot soldiers, which tested their depth. The Markhors and Volcanoes 5th v 6th tournament ending game showcased how far local development has come since AFL Asia’s inception in 2013, with over 85% of players on the field being locals from the two sides.
Pakistan and Thailand going head-to-head in Division 2.