Redbacks to host East v West Game in Sarasota

Thursday, March 16 2006 @ 06:15 pm ACDT

Contributed by: Troy Thompson

The USAFL today announced that the 2006 All Star Game will be held in Sarasota, Florida on July 1st. The Florida Redbacks Australian Rules Football Club will be hosting the event, in what is hoped to be a boost to the promising football scene in Florida. Last year’s tournament was held in Dallas Texas, and in previous years it has been held in Atlanta Georgia and Long Beach California.

In the past the format is for an East vs. West match (decided geographically) with clubs naming their best players to compete. There is also a curtain raiser match that is also divided geographically East vs West with only Americans (or non-Australians) eligible to play. At this stage no further details other than the venue and the date have been announced.

In 2005 the West won the showdown by 21 points in the All Star game and in the All American game the East won by 34 points. The record in the All Star games is East 2 to West 1, and in the All American games the East has won all 3 clashes. Interesting statistics with the Western clubs generally considered to be stronger with the dominance of the Denver Bulldogs over the last 6 years. Attendance has been affected by the location in the past, and may have skewed results on occasion so it is hoped that is not the case in 2006. One of the big draws for American players is that these games put them in the selector’s eyes for the national squad for the Revolution team. With the 2008 International Cup (almost certainly) in Melbourne already seeming not too far away, many will be keen to show their wares.

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