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Friday, November 22 2019 @ 09:19 pm ACDT

AFL says 'no' to Cats' New Zealand game

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The AFL has quashed plans by the Geelong Cats to play a pre-season AFL match in New Zealand next year, making it unlikely that the club will undertake a training and development camp in the Pacific nation.

The Geelong Advertiser reported on August 23rd that the Cats were set on playing at least one New Zealand fixture in the renamed NAB Cup competition in 2006 but had their application rejected by the AFL last week. Although disappointed by the decision, the club is at least buoyed by the prospect of gaining additional matches at Skilled Stadium.

An AFL spokesperson said that Geelong's bid to play in New Zealand was rejected so the league can schedule more games in regional cities whilst the MCG is unavailable during the Commonwealth Games.

"We have no plans to play any pre-season game in New Zealand next year. It is not on our agenda," the spokesperson said. "Mainly because of the Commonwealth Games and the (already) disrupted start to the 2006 season with the MCG being unavailable."

Cats CEO Brian Cook revealed that the club had begun planning to stage a week-long Community Camp in either Auckland or Christchurch during February, where they would stage open training sessions, make public appearances and host Australian rules clinics at local schools. The idea originated after the AFL sought expressions of interest from clubs early this year about playing in New Zealand to help promote the sport internationally.

Cook said the club would first wait to investigate other overseas options before deciding on whether to apply to play in New Zealand again in 2007. Issues relating to availability of the MCG that sank the prospect of overseas pre-season matches in 2006 should not affect their staging in following seasons.

The AFL has previously staged a number of games in New Zealand, including recent matches in 1998, 2000 & 2001. Geelong last played there when it defeated St. Kilda by 13 points in Auckland during 1991.

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AFL says 'no' to Cats' New Zealand game | 2 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
AFL says 'no' to Cats' New Zealand game
Authored by: colin on Thursday, August 25 2005 @ 06:16 am ACST

This is a big blow to NZ and is a bit short sighted on behalf of the AFL.They say it is not on their agenda and it should be. The game in NZ has grown a great deal at all levels, since the last AFL practice game in 2001 and now, (not later on in 2007/08) is the time for them to be serious about their commitment to the game across the Tasman. NZ needs to be rewarded for their professional attitude and commitment to growing the game not only at a senior level, but the junior level requested by the AFL. Wellington's Westpac Trust stadium is a first class arena (bigger than SCG) and holds 35,000 people.
Geelong should be encourage and supported to Train, Visit and Play there, they could expect at least 20,000 at the game, more than the game taking place will get in London later on this year !
Maybe if Brian Cook was the AFL boss, then things would move a bit faster at International level, as he is a visionary style of leader, like Wayne Jackson was.

Will the AFL only react to Rugby or League OR SHOW SOME INITIATIVE NOW before its too late ?

AFL says 'no' to Cats' New Zealand game
Authored by: Sean Finlayson on Thursday, August 25 2005 @ 07:43 pm ACST
This is completely stupid of the AFL.

Why on earth would you call for an expression of interest then when you actually get one knock it back at the first opportunity ?

Smacks of time wasting and token effort. I don't blame Geelong and NZ footy fans for being upset about being stuffed around like this, it is ridiculous.

Perhaps the AFL should put out an expression of disinterest next time ...