Voice of Sport

Step aside Daniel Adongo, man with Kenyan roots creates waves in ‘Aussie Rules’ Football

A Sudanese experiment in Australia proved successful with entry of Majak Daw and there is no reason why Aliir Aliir cannot be as equally as successful

DANIEL Adongo is the famous Kenyan playing American Football after having represented his country in rugby union. Majak Daw is a Sudanese already established in Australian Football (“Aussie Rules”) but the two are about to share the world stage of unique achievement by another Sudanese with a firm Kenyan background.

Last December, a Sudanese refugee by the name of Aliir Aliir was drafted by the “Aussie Rules” team Sydney Swans — and he could prove to be their answer to the other Sudanese sensation that is North Melbourne’s Majak Daw.

Aliir Aliir born to Sudanese-Kenyan parents, lived in a Kenyan refugee camp while civil wars were breaking out in his home country of Sudan before his family made the decision to move to Australia at seven years of age.

On a hat-trick

They eventually settled in Brisbane, whose AFL representatives (the Lions) were about to embark on a hat-trick of premierships and greatness, until descending into the current decline that they are suffering now.

However, it wasn’t until 2009 when Aliir started learning how to kick a football, when he was invited by a friend to experiment the sport playing with the Aspley Hornets, which had only been admitted to the local Division Two competition that year.

After rapidly starting to improve his skills, he then represented Queensland in the 2012 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, starring as a raw, athletic ruckman.

Didn’t hamper progress

He then moved to Western Australia the following year, one year after the rest of his family moved there to be closer to long-lost relatives.

Moving to the west, as it turned out, did not hamper his progress. He played for East Fremantle during the season just passed, and he still impressed, earning representation in the West Australian Under-18 squad as a defender.

His long journey then took another good turn when he was drafted at pick 44 by the Sydney Swans at the 2013 AFL Draft on the Gold Coast.


Now, it has been suggested that he could be the perfect response to Majak Daw, the Sudanese-born talisman who spent three years on North Melbourne’s rookie list before making his AFL debut against the Brisbane Lions back in April 2013.

People saw what Daw was able to achieve on the field in his six games for the Roos this season. With his first kick in AFL football, he kicked his first AFL goal, and would boot another eight majors in six appearances for the club in 2013.

He also managed to out-duel West Coast’s Nic Naitanui once on a night stage back in May 2013, further outlining his potential.

Emulate Majak Daw

Now, Swans recruit Aliir Aliir has the potential to at least emulate Daw on the field, although he will be trained in defence (as he was at East Fremantle) as Alex Johnson and Rhyce Shaw return from injuries which saw them miss large chunks of their premiership defence.

Aliir’s arrival from the AFL Draft, will make the Swans a must-watch team throughout the 2014 season, no matter what team you support.

Most interesting will be when the Swans meet North Melbourne in Round 4, as it could possibly see Aliir go head-to-head with Majak Daw in what will undoubtedly be the match of the round as far as the families of both players, and the Sudanese community, are concerned.

Equally successful

The Sudanese experiment proved successful with Majak Daw in 2013 and there is no reason why Aliir Aliir cannot be as equally as successful.

May he enjoy a long and successful AFL career playing for one of the code’s most famous clubs, and may Majak Daw continue his progress at the Kangaroos.

– Additional reporting by Roar Your Sports Opinion