Contributed by: Troy Thompson
The decision to stage the Kangaroos versus Swans game in LA in January is being used as an opportunity for the USAFL to utilise the professional knowledge and skill-base of the AFL and those two AFL clubs, to further their own organisation and players.
The US Revolution will play a curtain-raiser to the Roos-Swans clash against the best Australians in the USAFL, on a weekend that will also feature a camp based on the AFL draft-camp and the inaugral USAFL National Players and Coaches conference. On Friday January 13th there will be opportunities for USAFL players to take part in a camp based on the AFL draft camp in front of representatives of the AFL and the competing AFL clubs, followed that evening by organised events. The following day Paul Roos and Dean Laidley, players and other coaches of the two clubs will be guest presenters at the first USAFL National Players and Coaches Conference. The AFL umpires officiating in the exhibition match will also be conducting an umpire’s course to further the knowledge of local officials.
The marquee day of course will be the Sunday, when the two AFL clubs battle it out at UCLA with both clubs hopefully taking strong teams as they get well into their preseason preparations. The USAFL will also have an exhibition game before this with the United States National team, the Revolution taking on the best of the expatriate Australians playing in the USAFL.
Previously it had been written in Australian press that the curtain raiser would be played between the US and Canadian National squads. The Swans have a strong link with the Canadian National team, having hosted them and assisted them on the ground in Australia during the International Cup in Melbourne this year. Given the best opportunity to see them play almost in their own back yard creating much excitement among Canadian footy players, and many expressing interest in going to play the US in LA before a match was announced. But the Canadian team was never asked to take part despite the Swans backing their involvement. The big positive for Canadian footy is that two teenage Canadians will be travelling to LA to train with the Swans, with costs being covered by the Sydney team.
There will be numerous other functions and activities around this weekend to promote Australia and Aussie Rules footy will hopefully also benefit from the great public relations exercise that this is, by having so many footy people on the ground and many already booked for media appearances.
More details of the event can be found on the official site:
including a link to the North Melbourne itinerary:
which also mentions local school clinics.
World Footy News