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The VAFA is in its third year of sending an U18 invitational side to New Zealand to play matches against an U18 AFL NZ representative side. 
Below is a diary of the trip as they players traveled to Wellington to play two matches against the Kiwis. 
Friday 5th October 2012
The VAFA under 18 squad met at Tullamarine Airport early on Friday morning to commence the tour, and to the delight of Tim Noonan, everyone was checked in by 6:00am for an 8:05 flight.  
The flight left on time and all was fine until we came in to land when the flight turned into a ride from a theme park.  
We approached Welllington with 120 km winds and whilst some were reaching for paper bags the pilot was able to land safely.  
Upon arriving in Wellington, we went straight to a function with the AFLNZ squad and the players were able to meet and enjoy lunch together.  
It was a good for the VAFA players to hear about the background of the New Zealand players and gain an understanding of how important these games are to the development of Australian football in New Zealand.
After the function, the squad traveled to Aotea Lodge and settled into our accommodation which was better than we expected given the last minute change of accommodation. (Our original hotel was double booked as there was some conference on this weekend and we had to scrambled last minute to find new a new hotel). 
After a  short rest we went out for dinner and then returned to the Lodge for a team meeting and began our preparation for the game on Saturday.
Saturday 6th October 2012
The morning began well with pleasant weather and the squad had breakfast followed by a walk and to loosen up for the game later in the day.  
This was followed by a meeting to learn more about each other and look at some of our tactics for today’s game.  
We then traveled to the ground and the Wellington wind had again returned as strong as Friday and on arrival at Hutt Park with the wind blowing 100 km hour blowing to one pocket.   
We all agreed Elsternwick Park at its worst had nothing on what we were experiencing in Wellington. 
Before the game began the New Zealand players challenged the VAFA players with their version of the Haka which was amazing to witness.  
We won the toss and after the length of time it takes for the toss to be retaken we decided to kick with the breeze. 
The quarter was played with great spirit and the skills of both sides were good considering the strong wind that was blowing the whole time.  
It was a fierce contest and the VAFA team were able to manage three goals in an entertaining first quarter.
The New Zealand team continued to put up a strong effort in the second quarter kicking two goals but the VAFA team continued to exert great pressure and were able to score into the strong wind. 
The VAFA kicked four goals for the quarter and went in to the half time break with a 35 point lead.
As the game went on the VAFA continued to increase their dominance as they became accustomed to the conditions and their new team mates.  
The VAFA kicked five goals for the quarter with the wind but the scoreboard did not truly reflect the pressure that the AFLNZ side were applying.  
The coaches had lots of rotations to ensure that all players had even playing time and assist the team to be able to play two games in three days.  
The VAFA went into three quarter time with 71 point lead as ominous clouds approached and the rain arrived to add another dimension to the game.  
It was noticed that the CEO of AFLNZ had put on the wet weather gear and with no cover on the bench we all prepared for a wet last quarter.  
This did not stop the endeavour of both teams and the last quarter was a hard fought contest with the NZ team adding another goal to their tally and the VAFA kicked another three to run out winners by 81 points.
The teams then came together for a dinner and a presentation for the best players and the VAFA coaching staff awarded the best player to Jordan Pomeroy and the NZ coaching staff nominated Brock Egglestone as the best player for the VAFA.
Bruno Conti , the VAFA president,  congratulated both teams on their effort after the game and made mention of the fact that it was great to see the development of our great game in New Zealand.  
He also noted that our team had played many more games than the New Zealand players and we were happy to assist in the development of football in a country that was going to host its first AFL premiership game in 2013. 
We are sure that the presence of the VAFA in New Zealand over the last four years has assisted AFLNZ in being able to promote the game and allow them to work with the AFL to push for an AFL game in New Zealand.
After the dinner, the VAFA players then had a relaxing evening enjoying themselves in Wellington.  
All members of the squad have enjoyed the commentary from our bus driver John and are now well educated in the history of Wellington.  
Sunday 7th October 
Today began a little later with the players resting after two early starts and after breakfast we had a short rehab session.  
We then headed into Wellington with John again giving the squad a  tour of the city.  
This included a ride on the cable car and a visit to The Basin Cricket Ground, the players then had the afternoon to themselves to enjoy the sights of Wellington.
We had dinner in Wellington and finished the evening with a quick meeting and the players enjoyed a restful evening in preparation for the second game tomorrow.
Monday 8th October
Today we had an early game so that we could make our flight make to Melbourne so the team were up early and at breakfast by 7am.  
Early games are par for the course for most of us so kicking the dew off a New Zealand oval is no different to if we had been playing in Melbourne, it doesn’t mean that its any easier though!
After a quick breakfast everyone ventured back to their rooms and packed and to be on the bus at 8am.  
Upon arriving at Hutt Park we found that the wind was favouring one end but it was nowhere near as bad as Saturday.
We won the toss and as you would expect, kicked with the wind to make the most of the conditions on offer from the land of the long white cloud. 
Whilst there weren’t too many clouds around we still had a fantastic first quarter kicking seven goals to nothing. 
The lads continued from where they ended game one and we were now really playing as a team.  
IT came as some shock to enter the sheds at half time realising that we had been outscored in the second quarter by Kiwis. 
Whether we took the foot off or whether the NZ boys stepped up I am not sure but we certainly were outplayed at times as the New Zealand boys kicked three goals to one using the wind to their advantage.  
They also started to play real one on one football trying to niggle us into lashing out but we moved past their tactics and slammed on another six goals to none in the third quarter to take a 71 point lead into the final break.  
Again in the last quarter the new Zealand team played well and kicked another three goals to end up with six for the game and a creditable effort.
We enjoyed the win and it was a shame we had to head off on to the airport so quickly without a true celebration. 
After the game we were presented with the Cup and Sam Sher from University Blacks was voted our best player by our coaches and Sam D’Andrea from St Bedes / Mentone Tigers was voted best by the New Zealand coaching staff.
The team then boarded the bus and headed to Mt Victoria to check the views before going to the airport and flying back home to Melbourne.  
The trip was good fun and one that I would recommend to anyone that is thinking about it in the future. 
Thank you to the players that contributed to this diary. 
The VAFA team represented the association with pride and all the clubs should be proud of their players and understand the huge impact that our tours have on the development of the game in New Zealand.  
Special thanks to all the staff who volunteered their time to lead the players on the tour.