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Three AFL clubs embark on overseas training camps

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St. Kilda and Brisbane will join Collingwood this off-season in organising international training camps that they hope will assist their preparations for the 2006 AFL season.

The 2005 off-season is shaping as a big one for international football, as up to seven AFL clubs plan overseas activities in preparation for the 2006 season. Exhibition matches between Fremantle and West Coast in London, and Sydney and the Kangaroos in Los Angeles, will join overseas training camps by Collingwood, St. Kilda and Brisbane as Australian football spreads its international wings.

Melbourne's Sunday Age today reported that St. Kilda - one of Australia's more adventurous clubs in arranging touring internationally - is this season organising an overseas training camp to Guangzhou, China, to allow their players to undertake specialist fitness training. The Saints have led the way with regards to AFL clubs undertaking overseas training, with visits to South Africa (2004) and London (2003) preceding their China excursion.

Guangzhou is a manufacturing centre in southern China with an urban population of approximately 4.05 million people. Saints' coach Grant Thomas will travel there this week for a two-day survey of the training venue and its facilities, and to finalise some details of the upcoming trip.

"We've got to check smog, we've got to make sure the food is at the standard we require it, and the water and that sort of stuff", Thomas said. "China's athletic campus is there and it's got on-site accomodation, gymnasium, swimming pools and athletic tracks and playing fields that will facilitate everything we need."

Thomas selected China over returning to their last pre-season destination, Potchefstroom, South Africa, due to the novelty of visiting a new location. "To be able to say we've been to a country like China with all its issues of language and culture and everything was pretty compelling ... and probably the variety for the players is really important", Thomas stated.

As previously reported by worldfootynews.com, Collingwood will travel to a United States high-altitude training centre at the Northern Arizona University used by the US Olympic team.

"Some say 'why a reward?', but let me tell you, it is no reward going away on a training camp to Arizona", Magpies coach Mick Malthouse said of his club's camp. "It is designed to make us better, stronger, healthier. It is designed to get back the appetite for all the tests that we're going to be encountering week in, week out next year."

In addition to St. Kilda and Collingwood travelling overseas in coming months, the Brisbane Lions have confirmed that they will travel to Papua New Guinea to trek the Kokoda Trail. The triple-premiership side is not the first to hike the famous trail as a training exercise, as Hawthorn and Sydney have used the New Guinean highlands to build fitness and team cohesion in recent pre-seasons.

It is not yet known whether any of the three travelling clubs will conduct development clinics at their chosen destinations. Any representatives of local amateur clubs should be able to get in contact with visiting AFL clubs through their respective national bodies (such as AFL-PNG and the USAFL) and seek to use the international camps as development opportunities for local footballers. Alternatively each of the AFL clubs can be contacted via the AFL website.

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Three AFL clubs embark on overseas training camps | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Three AFL clubs embark on overseas training camps
Authored by: Pere on Monday, October 03 2005 @ 09:00 am ACST

Does anyone know where St. Kilda is heading to?

Three AFL clubs embark on overseas training camps
Authored by: Pere on Monday, October 03 2005 @ 09:01 am ACST

Oops, sorry, I have read it all now :)

Three AFL clubs embark on overseas training camps
Authored by: Julian Clark on Monday, October 03 2005 @ 12:20 pm ACST

Hi Mr. Thomas,

If you are reading this - what are your travel plans ???

You can fly to GZ direct, but a nicer trip is into Hong Kong and take the ferry to Shekou (the birthplace of Chinese AFL) - Shekou is right on the link freeway between Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

I know it is a training camp (and probably no drinking)... but when in Shekou, it might be nice to visit a bar in TaiZi Rd by the name of "the South China AFL Club"... don't worry about the Carlton Blues likeness in the decor - that was more in relation to the China Blues...

Perhaps you could entice a new club to form there ??? The Shekou Shaints ??? and I'm sure we can arrange to change the decor

Three AFL clubs embark on overseas training camps
Authored by: Ash Nugent on Wednesday, October 05 2005 @ 03:25 am ACST

All great news as the code is much more likely to gain attention when players at the highest level are competing or hosting clinics.

On the topic of the overseas matches, someone needs to sew Mike Sheahan's lips shut. In yesterday's Herald Sun he wrote about the London match, calling for an end to it. He said when there is no Judd or Cousins or Pavlich on the ground there is no point in competing and that it is little more than an end-of-year trip. Some of his points were valid but I am doubtful that the games do nothing at all. And if it is becoming a booze-fest why not send a couple of semi-professional clubs over. Surely a WAFL or SANFL exhibition match in London (Like the one planned for India) is better than none at all.

Total abuse of his media power.

A final note on the topic of football. Couldn't help but notice that the SANFL Grand Final drew a decent crowd (can't remember the exact figure) and the 'Slowdown' in South Australia in which ex-Adelaide and Port Adelaide stars like Modra and Paxman compete drew 34,000 people. Quite a turnout considering it wasn't at AFL or SANFL level. Surely this is further support to play the International Cup outside Victoria in 2008?

Also, in today's Herald Sun, Peter Everitt was in a picture in a Bali Gecko's jumper.

Three AFL clubs embark on overseas training camps
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, October 05 2005 @ 09:44 am ACST

I certainly think that if any matches were held at Adelaide Oval there would be a good turn-out. At the end of the day hopefully several cities will actually bid for the event and presumably it will go to whichever one puts the best offer on the table.

Brett Northey - Co-founder of WFN, Chief Editor and Editor for North America and Africa