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Inaugural Bavaria League season kicks off

Europe

In another sign of the fast growing numbers of footballers in Germany, the inaugural season of the three team Bavaria League (BL - Bayernliga in German) kicked off on April 1st.

The weather provided the April Fool’s joke, as intermittent snowfalls throughout the day and sub-zero temperatures greeted the players and officials in Munich’s Hirschgarten. However, neither the cold nor the discovery that day of a 500 kilogram World War Two bomb a couple of torpedo punts away could dampen the spirit and enthusiasm of the two competing teams, the Sendling Blues and the Pasing Hawks.

The new league, Germany's first regional league, has been set up by the Munich Kangaroos Football Club, which was founded in 1994 and has had some success in the national competition, the Australian Football League Germany (AFLG).

While last season the Roos fielded a team in each of the two AFLG divisions, in 2010 they are trying a different path to increasing player numbers and the amount of footy played. As club President Julien Kann explains, “last season definitely helped us bring more players to the club by offering more footy, however it was a lot of effort to organise all the travel. Additionally we found that some of the newer guys wanted to try out the sport locally before committing the time and money to weekend trips across Germany, and some of the longer serving players wanted to step back and play more for enjoyment."

"By starting a local league based in Munich, we can have more people playing with less time and money commitment. Some guys will only want to play in the BL, while the keener guys can step up to the next level and represent to Roos in the AFLG.”

While the AFLG is played with 16-a-side and regular rules, the Bavaria League is using 9-a-side rules based on those of the EU Cup. This has enabled the Roos squad to split into three teams, each one nominally based in a Munich district. The Schwabing Saints make up the league along with the Hawks and the Blues. Each new team has a coach who is motivated to recruit for his team, and ultimately the Roos. “Before the season we conducted a draft to ensure the teams were evenly matched”, says Kann, “but from this point on, each team can recruit their own players. We hope this will encourage guys to get out there and find new players, which ultimately will help us increase the number of BL teams and improve the standard of the Roos”.

Currently the Roos have about 50 players on their list, more than half of which are local Germans. With other nationalities including Egypt, Italy, England, Ireland and Lithuania represented, less than a quarter of players are now Australians. As one of the founding members of the Roos, Kann appreciates the change. “It’s certainly different to when we started with a few Aussies kicking in the park. Nowadays the Aussies are the minority and those of us left are getting slower every year! The standard of the AFLG has also improved out of sight which is mainly due to getting the younger, fitter local guys into the game. We hope the Bavaria League will enable more of them to try out footy and let us old guys squeeze a few more games out of our careers!”

And for the record, in a tightly-fought encounter, the Sendling Blues had the honour of winning the first Bavaria League game, running out winners over Pasing by 30 points. More importantly, though, around 25% of the players were playing their first ever game of footy. The league runs through to August.

For more on the new Bavaria League and the Munich Kangaroos FC, visit kangaroos.aflg.de.

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Inaugural Bavaria League season kicks off | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Inaugural Bavaria League season kicks off
Authored by: Joel Adin Porretta on Saturday, April 24 2010 @ 11:11 am ACST

Very good news for Footy in Germany cause the game was starting to struggle a bit a few months back.
Also speaking of that has the AFLG affiliated with the german american football league or whatever it's called?

Inaugural Bavaria League season kicks off
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Saturday, April 24 2010 @ 07:00 pm ACST

For those who are wondering - there'll be an article on the new AFLG structure and some info on footy across Germany in 2010 up on WFN soon.

Inaugural Bavaria League season kicks off
Authored by: Eurofooty on Monday, April 26 2010 @ 10:44 pm ACST

Developing local (metro) 9s leagues is, I believe, the best way to build long-lasting foundations for the sport. Hopefully more cities see the value in establishing local 9s leagues to develop local talent and extend playing careers without the continuing burden of travel costs and time away from home/work - particularly those centres who operate in isolation. More games, more often = better playing standards.

Inaugural Bavaria League season kicks off
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Tuesday, April 27 2010 @ 01:19 pm ACST

Absolutely - I agree with you 100% on that Phil.

A few of my German correspondents have said recently they feel the future of footy in Germany needs to be a series of local leagues each feeding into a national league team.

The local leagues is where the serious numbers growth among locals will occur, giving new players an opportunity to try out the game without spending huge amounts of time or cash on travel. Then the locals who are keen will step up to the AFLG premier league.

Inaugural Bavaria League season kicks off
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, April 27 2010 @ 09:05 pm ACST


I was always keen to see how the US metro leagues went and we covered them particularly when WFN started out. It seemed like their 9-a-side concept would allow multiple local sides, less overheads such as cost, travel and time, and then feed into travelling "elite" sides. After all, the way most sports, including footy in Australia, evolved was with local matches. So it makes sense that should be how things evolve - of course getting that initial critical mass is always the tough bit.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN