Another Tweak for the Danes
Friday, March 18 2005 @ 12:53 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Ian Hill
The trend of international footy leagues to tweak their system continues in Denmark for the 2005 season as the DAFL has again slightly remodelled its restructure of two years ago.
The new system includes a five-team premier league, with clubs supported by their own local leagues, similar to the 'metro' competitions in the USA.
The basic problem confronting DAFL is the polarization of the kind of players and clubs that exist within the league. On the one had you have the serious footy-head who would play on the moon at midnight if he had to, while on the other hand you have the casual players, veterans and rookies who want a more social easy going forum in which to play. As these different attitudes work their way into the league on a team-by-team basis, a large disparity has developed between the playing standard of the clubs.
The format DAFL used in 2003 and 2004 was an attempt to address this problem by creating a second tier within the league. In hindsight, the mistake was that the lower tier was the one that league presented as the major competition. The higher level three-way “regional” series was the better standard but was of lesser priority. As such, it was almost doomed from day one and is now a thing of the past. In many ways it was like, and has suffered the same fate, as state-of-origin footy in Australia.
So in comes the DAFL Premier League. It is quite simply the same as the existing regional league with the two powerful Zealand-based clubs, North Copenhagen and Farum, entering their own full sized teams. Making up the five team league are the Copenhagen Hawks (a joint venture of the existing Amager Tigers and Copenhagen Crocodiles), Jutland (Aalborg Kangaroos and Power, and Århus) and South Sweden (effectively the old Helsingborg Saints).
Premier League matches will be full sized – 16 on the field with 8 interchange and 25 minute quarters; the teams will play each other twice with rounds taking place every second weekend. The travel “burden” of Jutland and South Sweden will be offset by two bold moves: North Copenhagen have volunteered to play both their games against Jutland away, and the five clubs will fund the travel equally before the start of the season.
It is hoped that with fewer clubs and fixtures to fulfil, the Premier League games will be a higher brand of footy, with teams always getting at least the minimum 16 players to a game.
Complementing the Premier League will be four regional leagues involving smaller games (9 to 12 a side and 20 minute quarters), a bare minimum of travel, and a more social approach to the game. The “local” leagues, as they are fast becoming known, will be scheduled on the weekends in between the Premier League or even mid-week as there is no long distance travel required. The local leagues will be as follows:
Copenhagen: Amager Tigers, Copenhagen Crocodiles, NC Barras, NC Cudas.
Nordsjælland (Farum): Birkerød, Stavnsholt and Værløse.
Jutland: Aalborg Kangaroos, Aalborg Power, Århus Bombers (and perhaps a 4th team).
Skåne (South Sweden): Helsingborg West Raptors, Lund Magpies and Port Malmö Maulers.
Farum have broken away from the Copenhagen with their own local league due to a wish to give their older juniors (13 to 14 year olds) a stepping stone into the senior league.
The other significant difference between the local leagues and their equivalents from last year is that they are totally self-contained and there is no joint finals series – it is the Premier League that will decide DAFL’s premiership in 2005.