Saturday, December 25, 2010


Former Rugby star Mike Pyke became the first Canadian to play in the AFL

 Mike Pyke was born in Victoria, British Columbia (24th March, 1984) and represented his country at the highest level of rugby playing for the Canadian national team. On the advice of a friend Mike submitted a DVD showcasing his skills to an AFL player agent and in August of 2008 Mike Pyke was signed by the Sydney Swans. After solid performances in the '09 NAB cup Pyke eventually made his official senior debut against Richmond in round 6.

In mid-2009 as the Ontario Australian Football League (Canada) launched it's second division competition the league decided to honour the first Canadian to have played in the AFL by naming the Division 2 Premiership cup the 'Mike Pyke Cup'. The Quebec Saints went on to win the premiership that year and whilst in Sydney, Australia in January 2010 I had the opportunity to present Mike with a Saints jersey and fire off a few questions.

LA: How did you stumble across our wonderful game of Aussie Rules?     
Mike Pyke: I already knew Aussie Rules existed when the possibilty of playing was suggested to me. I think alot of people in Canada are aware the game exists. They just perhaps don't understand the finer details of the sport.

LA: How do you feel about having a cup (OAFL Division 2 Cup) named after you?
Mike Pyke: Ah, (smirks) very flattering!

LA: I guess you can boast to your teammates none of them have a cup named after them.
Mike Pyke: It still amazes me that 'Roosy' (Paul Roos, Sydney Swans Coach) has a bronze statue of himself out the front of the SCG while he's still alive!

LA: First impressions of living in Australia?
Mike Pyke: It's different. The area I live in is beautiful with alot of gorgeous parks, great cafes and restaurants.

LA: You know we are the Quebec Saints and we're from Montreal. We know you're a BC native so the big question is what NHL team do you support?
Mike Pyke: Ha! Well you probably guessed it but I am a Canucks fan. Although I do have a soft spot for the Montreal Canadiens.

LA: Thanks Mike, good luck for the year
Mike Pyke: Thanks guys, my pleasure.