Contributed by: Brett Northey
In a press release, the AFL have announced that the two Western Australian sides, both doing very well in 2005, with the WC Eagles undefeated atop the ladder, will clash in the traditional end-of-season match at "The Oval" (now called Brit Oval) in England. Hopes are high that the AFL will be able to stage matches in Los Angeles and New Zealand in the near future too. The release follows.
Surrey County Cricket Club and the Australian Football League (AFL) today announced the Brit Oval would host an historic first Derby overseas with West Coast and Fremantle to meet in the annual AFL Challenge Trophy in London.
West Coast will play cross-town Perth rival Fremantle in this year's London Exhibition match on Saturday October 8, half a world away from the usual meetings at Subiaco Oval, to further build the strong links the Brit Oval has established with AFL Football.
AFL Football Operations Manager Adrian Anderson said: "The AFL is delighted to be able to take one of our marquee rivalries in the competition to our fans overseas, with the Derby and the Showdown in South Australia now established as key match-ups for all interested football fans to follow.
"The two clubs are always competing for bragging rights in Western Australia and can now extend their competition to the northern hemisphere.
"The games in London over some two decades have been extremely valuable in building awareness of our sport around the world.
"We think the interest within the expatriate community in England will generate a capacity crowd and should also impact on the wider English sporting fan."
Surrey CCC Chief Executive Paul Sheldon said the club was delighted to host this match, in the second year of the current three-year agreement, with capacity at the ground now increased to 22,500 after the redevelopment at the Vauxhall End.
"We are delighted to be able to continue our proud tradition of bringing Aussie Rules to London and the UK again this year.
"The match is always popular and by announcing the fixture so early this year we are confident that we will attract a capacity crowd for the first derby game we have hosted. We are looking forward to welcoming the AFL and both teams to our newly redeveloped Brit Oval."
Tickets are on sale now at www.surreycricket.com, priced at 20 pounds.
World Footy News