Times are changing - clubs fight over South Africa
Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 12:14 am ACST
Contributed by: Brett Northey
How times have changed. Fans of international footy have spent years bemoaning the lack of AFL games staged overseas to promote the Aussie code - now AFL clubs are fighting over the right to play such matches.
It has been reported that West Coast will clash with Collingwood in Cape Town in a NAB Cup match to open the 2009 AFL pre-season competition. Given that most of the clubs that travelled this year had slow starts to the season, it's heartening to see they haven't been discouraged from further international trips.
However Fremantle, also involved in South Africa, are reported to be upset with the decision (which is yet to be confirmed), as they too were enthusiastic about a South African match. The club signed up major sponsorship money in their last trip and made it very clear they were keen to return. With the NAB Cup draw yet to be released and four clubs working in South Africa (Carlton being the other), is there a good reason why a second match shouldn't be played there in 2009? Some fans will be disgruntled, but given the turnout for first round NAB Cup matches in Australia are relatively poor, the series more about practice and TV, wouldn't it be great to see two matches in South Africa and one each in India and Florida.
Read Digby Hanckock's report in the West Australian: Freo furious over snub