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Carlton v Fremantle in South Africa

Africa

Melbourne newspaper the Sunday Herald Sun today reported that AFL clubs Carlton and Fremantle are currently set to play a match in South Africa next February, possibly as a NAB Cup fixture. The proposed venue for the match wasn't mentioned, although the article did mention that the clubs will take community camps in their affiliated South African development regions.

Read on for the full article.

Carlton, Freo on safari
05 August 2007, Sunday Herald Sun
Jon Ralph

CARLTON and Fremantle are set to play an exhibition game in South Africa in February as part of the AFL's renewed international expansion.

The clubs have been allocated areas of South Africa to develop by the AFL and see an exhibition game as the ideal vehicle to promote the code during community camps there early next year.

Collingwood is also likely to conduct a training camp in the high-altitude location of Potchefstroom before its February exhibition game with Adelaide in Dubai.

And West Coast, which has been given KwaZulu-Natal to develop by the AFL, is also likely to conduct a community camp in the region as part of the push into the country.

The Carlton-Fremantle game may yet be given NAB Cup status but, along with the Collingwood-Adelaide clash at the Dubai Polo Club, is more likely to be an exhibition clash.

South Africa is seen as the new frontier by the AFL, with the league hopeful of having 30,000 players there by the end of 2009.

Fremantle chief executive Cameron Schwab said yesterday the club was keen to explore the game against Carlton.

"It is in the concept stage and there would be a bit of devil in the detail, but we are very interested and see South Africa as a great initiative by the AFL. We are very encouraged by the opportunities there," Schwab said.

"(The game) needs to fit into the whole pre-season program and everything that goes with it."

Perth is an eight-hour flight to South Africa and there are numerous business links between Perth and South African companies.

AFL game development manager David Matthews said Collingwood had been attracted by Potchefstroom because of its reputation as a high-altitude base used by European athletics teams.

"The thing that has excited us about South Africa is the South African Government is very keen," Matthews said. "It's a great platform for our game."

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