On the 19th of October, a tournament was organised in Osaka, pitting the top three teams in the West against each other to find out who would be the number one team outside Tokyo in 2014.
The three participating teams were the Osaka Dingoes, Nagoya Redbacks and Hiroshima Cranes. The Osaka Dingoes and Nagoya Redbacks had been pushed out of the Top League at the beginning of this year, and encouraged to run an independent league in the Western part of Japan, and the Hiroshima Cranes were a newly established team, through the efforts of Jonathan Cooper, the ex president of the Osaka Dingoes.
The tournament was held at Osaka's regular training ground on the banks of the Yodagawa River in Nakatsu. The turf was not at AFL standard, but players fought ferociously all day, and the tournament was a very succesful one, as each team played each other once in a round robin format.
The Nagoya Redbacks came out the eventual winners, and everyone was treated to a BBQ on the steps afterwards, with Jonno Rowe donning the apron and dishing out the food.
This tournament saw participants from the USA, France, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Japan. Many men got their first taste of Australian Rules Football, and with the establishment of a new team, the future of football in Western Japan looks very bright!