First International League to Produce an AFL Draftee? - The Votes are In

Tuesday, September 07 2004 @ 06:14 am ACST

Contributed by: Aaron Richard

World Footy News' inaugural poll has come to a close - with the subject of the first international Australian Rules competition to provide an AFL draftee coming under the microscope.

And the readers' vote has started some discussion... The ARFL Ireland has been voted the league most likely to produce an AFL draftee. Whether this is because readers make the connection between stars such as Jim Stynes, Setanta O' hAilpin and the Swans star by the name of Tadhg, or because readers think back to the 2002 International Cup triumph is up for debate.

The USAFL also polled well, and have shown some growth and promise, with projects such as the Essendon scholarship for promising young American talent.

New Zealand would seem an obvious choice, a burgeoning schools program and an NZAFL rookie now playing in Canberra and getting the occasional game with the Sydney Swans reserves.

But, journalistic objectivity aside, this reporter is quietly confident that the AFLPNG will be the ones.

The biggest playing base outside Australia, one of the fastest-growing, development support from the Brisbane Lions and the AFL Queensland - and the suggestion floating around the grapevine that the PNG (along with NZ) could join the national under 18 championships (ex-Teal Cup) within the next few years - all combine to give them a very real chance at producing an AFL draftee within the next few years.

Ultimately, only time will tell, but the debate remains one of great interest to the whole Aussie Rules community.

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