AFL licences - 3 bids, 0 available
Wednesday, November 19 2008 @ 07:35 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Brett Northey
The AFL Commission spent Monday and Tuesday of this week meeting in Sydney, with much of the media focus on whether they would allow former West Coast Eagles player Ben Cousins to return from a one year ban due to drug issues. The answer was yes, under strict testing conditions.
Of more significance for the future of the game, the proposed two new AFL club licences were also discussed. The result was that final approval for the GC17 Gold Coast bid was postponed until December and nothing firm given regarding an 18th club. This could be interpreted as the first signs of a re-think due to the global financial crisis, but with a preliminary youth squad already in training for the Gold Coast, it's highly likely that approval will still come shortly, with the squad to play in the mainly Victorian TAC Under 18s in 2009 and the VFL in 2010 as preparation for a 2011 entry into the AFL.
The Commission suggested that the Western Sydney developments are going well, but made no committment on timing. A green light may well be held back for some time. Meanwhile the Tasmanian government has finished its submission for a team in the AFL and will present it to the AFL soon. This would most likely position the state as ready for a club if there are problems with a West Sydney bid or one of the existing 16 AFL clubs.