AFL re-shuffle suggests growing international awareness
Friday, December 15 2006 @ 06:00 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Brett Northey
The AFL has released details of changes to its Executive structure and a reallocation of duties as a result of a review following the move of key member Ben Buckley to the top position in Australian soccer. Although the changes may have little affect on the day-to-day outward appearance of the AFL, there was a small snippet of promising information in the re-shuffle.
David Matthews, formerly holding the position of General Manager of Game Development, was previously ultimately responsible for AFL efforts in international Aussie Rules development, though a key member of this has also been Kevin Sheehan as Talent and International Manager. Under the new arrangements, Matthews' role has been renamed General Manager of National and International Development.
Earlier this year the AFL announced major changes to the way it deals with international footy and some of those changes should be coming into affect around now. WFN will watch closely as we hope to see these new approaches bear fruit. The inclusion of the term "International" in Matthews' title could be accused of mere window dressing, but it could equally be another important sign that the AFL juggernaut is increasingly comfortable with thinking outside of Australia. The days of the cringe factor are receding, when once some Australians were less than keen to discuss that our game was not played widely beyond our shores. There is no doubt South Africa is beginning to reap the rewards of this new attitude that has been steadily spreading through the organisation over the last few years. The next six months should reveal whether other countries will also benefit. We certainly hope so.
Details of the other changes at AFL headquarters can be read on their website in AFL announces changes.