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Full steam ahead for AFL Oceania


Andrew Cadzow has wasted no time in the new position of AFL Oceania Development Manager. His appointment started in late April 2008 after sustained success by himself and others with Papua New Guinea. In July he undertook a study tour of the region, meeting with people such as the Australian High Commission, local football committees, media outlets, Olympic committees and AVI (Volunteers abroad), and producing a report on the current situation and opportunities.

At the 2008 International Cup the region performed very well, with PNG finishing 1st, New Zealand 2nd, Nauru 5th, Samoa 10th, and Tonga appearing for the first time, playing in the adjunct Multicultural Challenge.

During the tournament officials from the Oceania nations took part in an Oceania meeting, in addition to the International Forum. Cadzow has released the Oceania Plan 2009 - 2011. It discusses a three to five year vision and continues on the theme of increasing participation, identifying and providing pathways for potential AFL talent, determining funding streams, and events and promotion. Further details follow.

Highlights included possible AFL Auskick Programs, Rookie Search / Talent ID Camps, International Scholarships, the possibility of AFL Academies – Localised and International, Inter-Oceania Tournaments, Flying Boomerangs Tour, website support, AFL Highlight Packages, access to touring AFL teams and high profile and experienced AFL personnel. Many other possibilities were noted.

These of course are just lists of opportunities to be explored, but it's likely a significant number will be enacted to some extent. The earlier detailed report on Current Position - Future Opportunities provided details for each country listing player participation, governance model, media, funding and facilities, as well as recommendations on the way forward.

The existing football countries were detailed as well as potential new ones. Fiji was described as having "Massive opportunity (to) introduce and grow the game", "Potential to establish AFL Academy based (at a local school)", and possibility that Fiji be a hub for "middle Oceania".

Early developments in Vanuatu were also noted (at senior level under AFL Recreational footy rules).

There remains a lot of work to be done, and many parts of Oceania will require sustained effort, with self-sustainment difficult to achieve, but it appears that of all the regions in the world, this looks to be one of the most promising in terms of being locked into relatively rapid growth over the next few years. Fingers crossed that similar focus can be brought to bear on some of the other exciting regions for international footy.

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Full steam ahead for AFL Oceania | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Full steam ahead for AFL Oceania
Authored by: flyinghigh on Thursday, October 30 2008 @ 04:56 pm ACDT

does anyone know what the cup win by png did for the growth of the sport over there..is it close to becoming the no1 sport in png or does league still dominate behind the scenes...love to know what the png press printed after the win

Full steam ahead for AFL Oceania
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, October 30 2008 @ 08:44 pm ACDT

Apparently they got full back page coverage at the time. The game is already well known and growing so I'd imagine it just gave it a mid-sized kick along. If our PNG writer Rod reads this, maybe he can do a follow-up story with someone like Scott Reid or Peter Cates or one of the Papuan blokes who is back there now.

As far as Rugby League goes, it would take a lot more growth to displace it. I believe there's quite a few Papuans in the NRL (Australian National Rugby League) isn't there? And NRL teams have visited causing a huge fuss. Hopefully an AFL side can get there for a promotion or match one day.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Full steam ahead for AFL Oceania
Authored by: Rod Shaw on Friday, October 31 2008 @ 01:29 pm ACDT
Hi folks

I covered this briefly in http://www.worldfootynews.com/article.php/20080918154109354 I would imagine as it is off-season that some of the benefits will come earlier next year.