More on the All-Australian Amateur side
Monday, August 16 2004 @ 06:55 PM ACST
Contributed by: Brett Northey
In an earlier story we wrote that an All-Australian amateur side had been selected. A contributor to Bigfooty has posted a newsletter from the South Australian Amateur Football League (SAAFL) that explains things more clearly. The side was picked from SA, Victoria and WA, the three strongest football states of Australia. The proposed tour has the support of Terry Daniher and Kevin Sheedy, two big names in Aussie Rules. The full text is below. Let us hope these visionaries are rewarded. Perhaps it will be the first step towards Australia fielding an amateur side at the 2008 International Cup, allowing it to be called the inaugural World Cup?
The Australian Amateur Football Council has been exploring ways of raising the profile of State football while at the same time reducing cost. State football, whether for or against, attracts players to play in Amateur League across Australia and assists in raising the standard of Amateur football. The debate about State football is sadly dominated by non players but the silent voice of support comes from players, even players in lower divisions that may never have the opportunity to play. Following the tri-state series held over the last 3 years between Vic, SA and WA, an All Australian team was selected. At the announcement of the team, it was also suggested that the All Australian team may get the opportunity to tour Ireland with the AFL team in October. This is still a remote possibility but the thinking behind it needs to be considered. An All Australian Amateur team touring Ireland has already attracted attention from Kevin Sheedy and Terry Daniher both being prepared to muster support for the concept. Kevin has asked if he can write a newspaper article about the Amateurs and their contribution to Grassroots football while Terry Daniher has offered to do some skills coaching with the team should it go ahead. Involving people in the spotlight, enables us to use a medium to raise public awareness about the Amateurs and what they do for Grassroots football. The higher the profile, the greater the attraction for sponsors. Amateur League across the 3 States has something like 30,000 players and 600 teams but is not much good to us if no-one knows about it. We need to have a marketing strategy to attract attention. It is the uniqueness of the project that attracts attention to the media and potential sponsors and getting a sponsor for the Ireland trip will more likely get the Amateurs a sponsor for State football in the future. Sometimes introspective thinking prevents organizations from moving forward. While it is important to be practical and realistic, it is just as important to be open to new ideas and vision for the future.