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Tony Woods named AFL International Development Manager

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As foreshadowed recently on WFN, the AFL today announced the appointment of a full time AFL International Development Manager. Former Fitzroy, Collingwood and Hawthorn player, Tony Woods, takes on the role.

The 40 year old previously had extensive experience in his role with Austereo, as well as establishing the commercial base for the Gold Coast FC and more recently with Collingwood. From debut to retirement his AFL football career spanned 1989 to 2002.

The AFL's David Matthews stated that "This is a significant strategic appointment for the game. It is the first full-time dedicated international role at AFL Head Office".

"In recent years, with relatively modest budgets we have worked with international affiliates, AFL Clubs, Government and corporate partners to test the game's potential and identify priority international markets".

Matthews listed a series of achievements in the international growth of the game:

Some of the outcomes that have helped prove a case include :

- 53,000 international players with over 15,000 players in South Africa.

- Emerging talent outcomes in the Pacific.

- Inclusion of the World 18 and Pacific team entering the NAB U16 Championships in 2010.

- The 2008 International Cup attracting 16 teams.

- The progress of the China Project culminating in the Shanghai match in October 2010.

Tony Woods will now take the lead to "work with our current structure for the industry in identifying and developing opportunities that seek to accelerate international growth in terms of development, event and commercial outcomes". He will work with current AFL staff who have played a role in international development, such as Kevin Sheehan, Dean Warren, Josh Vanderloo, Roger Berryman and Ken Gannon.

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Tony Woods named AFL International Development Manager | 4 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Tony Woods named AFL International Development Manager
Authored by: Troy Thompson on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 10:51 am ACST
Tony Woods named AFL International Development Manager
Authored by: Christopher P. Adams, Ph.D. on Friday, April 30 2010 @ 01:58 am ACST

This seems pretty exciting. Matthews uses interesting language like "testing" and "modest budgets". I also like the idea that Woods is developing the "commercial" part of the game. That is something that has been lacking and something the AFL can really help with.

Carna Revos!


Tony Woods named AFL International Development Manager
Authored by: tinka13 on Monday, May 03 2010 @ 09:50 pm ACST

Can you let us know what role at the AFL that people such as Kevin Sheehan, Dean Warren, Josh Vanderloo, Roger Berryman and Ken Gannon have played with International Development, as per the story?

Tony Woods named AFL International Development Manager
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, May 04 2010 @ 12:01 am ACST

The following is just a snapshot of a subset of these guys' involvement:

Josh Vanderloo is National Participation Manager in Australia but helped coordinate the 2008 International Cup, has been organising the youth World 18 side for the upcoming Under 16s, was involved (along with the Europeans and Gerard Murphy) in bringing in the European Australian Football Association and overall has been the primary contact for international leagues for several years, I think sending out the funds and equipment and from my dealings with him it appears for several years he has been fielding emails every day and arranging a great deal of the AFL's international program, which as you know from may of the stories over recent years, really is quite extensive and thankfully finally getting a full time manager.

Roger Berryman was the primary coordinator of IC2008 - organising events for 600+ people, grounds, transport, umpires, equipment.

Kevin Sheehan is Talent Manager and has been heavily involved in the South Africa program in particular the AIS tours, as well as other AIS initiatives with internationals attending.

Dean Warren is responsible for Oceania development (a very hot area) along with Andrew Cadzow.

I'd have to chase up specifics on Ken Gannon. But you get the message. In the last few years there has been a major investment of staff time behind the scenes. This still pales compared with the number of volunteers around the world, but it will always be that way - Aussie Rules has always been built upon networks of volunteers. However with the growing support of the AFL and AFL clubs I think you'd agree that things have accelerated dramatically.

There are AFL people behind the South Africa growth, the Oceania talent programs, the World 18, the South Pacific 18, the Chinese push (although Melbourne FC are the face of it, the AFL have supported it through some tough times), as well as the proverbial toe in the water of quite a few other places that may or may not yield results. The great thing is the AFL staff are now working with the volunteers in a much more coordinated and supported way than say 7 years ago.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN