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AFL exhibition match in London this November

AFL Football will return to the KIA Oval this year after the Australian Football League (AFL) today confirmed the Western Bulldogs would meet Port Adelaide on Saturday November 3.


AFL General Manager National and International Development and General Counsel Andrew Dillon said elite AFL teams would return to London for the first time since Port Adelaide played Geelong at the ground in 2006  to continue to support the development work of AFL Europe in building the profile of the game outside Australia.

“There are now 21 countries affiliated under AFL Europe with more than 4600players competing in regular competitions across Europe while a large Australian expatriate community in England, primarily centred in London, retains strong links to their clubs at home,” Mr Dillon said.


“The staging of a match between two AFL clubs continues to promote our game internationally and enables us to continue to build the returns from overseas broadcast rights that flow into both game development here in Australia and overseas.”
AFL Europe hosts an annual competition for its affiliated leagues and it is expected the best two countries would compete in a curtain-raiser before the Bulldogs / Power match on November 3. Ireland has won both the 2002 and 2011 AFL International Cups, for players not born in Australia.
Both clubs intend to use the match as a key part to the opening of their training preparations for the 2013 Toyota AFL Premiership Season, and will factor in promotional work for the sport in Europe while in London as well as professional development work with visits planned to elite EPL Clubs.
AFL Clubs were first part of matches in London in the 1980s, with matches also played overseas at various times in New Zealand, the USA, South Africa, Canada and recently in Shanghai, China in 2010 as part of the 2010 World Expo.
Mr Dillon said he expected the game would again be heavily supported, in line with all previous matches in London.
"The games in London over some two decades have been extremely valuable in building awareness of our sport, while both the Bulldogs and the Power will be able to tie in a key preparation period for the 2013 season to help develop their younger players in particular."
Simon Garlick, Western Bulldogs Chief Executive, welcomed the opportunity to participate in the London match.
“The Western Bulldogs are viewing the clash as a unique opportunity to not only promote our great game but to also kick-start our 2013 pre-season campaign by taking advantage of the professional development opportunities overseas - particularly those forged through our education and sports science partnership with Victoria University,” Garlick said.
Port Adelaide Chief Executive Officer Keith Thomas said the club would further enhance its preparation for 2013 by supplementing the London game with visits to leading international sporting organisations including a camp at the Australian Sport Commission European Training Centre in Italy, co-funded by the players and staff.
“For Port Adelaide, this trip is an exceptional development opportunity for our young squad to share the experience of training, playing and learning in some of the most outstanding sporting environments in the world as we build for next year and beyond,” Mr Thomas said.
AFL Europe said it was delighted to see a return of two senior clubs. “An AFL match in Europe provides our members and fans of the game to see the stars they watch online and on TV each week up close and personal. We envisage great support from our AFL Europe community in attending the match which will further highlight the progressions being made in the growth of the game in this part of the world." AFL Europe Chairman Glenn Lovett stated.
Surrey County Cricket Club CEO Richard Gould also said they were delighted to host the AFL fixture at the Kia Oval in November.
“The ground has hosted many AFL matches over the years and we are sure that the first game since 2006 will provide as much entertainment for spectators as we have come to expect.
“It has always been a popular and colourful event in our calendar and we look forward to it immensely.”
The AFL have appointed Australian major event company Event Planning Group (EPG) as their event delivery partner for the match. EPG, who have operations in Europe, will plan and manage the London based logistics and marketing of the match.
visit www.kiaoval.com for ticketing details
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AFL exhibition match in London this November | 8 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
AFL exhibition match in London this November
Authored by: Cam Homes on Thursday, July 19 2012 @ 11:21 pm ACST

I just hope that the powers to be( AFL and AFL Europe) don't forget that the mentioned curtain raiser between two European Countries is just as important (if not more so) as the exhibition match between Port and Bulldogs when it comes to promoting Aussie Rules in Europe.

The curtain raiser should be between two mainland Europe countries and should be a 'full' international as under IC rules. A repeat of the promotional disaster that was the AIS/AFL Junior v European Giants Match (there were 4 men and a dog or was it a horse, watching that match from all accounts) held in France earlier this year is just not on.

I know that all the leagues and players are amatuers in Europe and getting time off and cost of travel for the teams is a huge factor for them but the promotional value to the uncommitted in Europe would be enormous compared to the value gained with the committed going to see the Exhibition match.

If either Ireland or Great Britain have to play in the curtain raiser than have them play against France or Germany or Denmark or even Sweden (Sweden did defeat GB in inaugural European Chapionships 2010) although Ireland playing any of those countries would probably see a whitewash by Ireland. Preferrable that the Poms play as the match would likely be a much more even contest.

Even if the AFL has to kick in some cash towards the travel costs to get one or two mainland Europe countries to London  to make the match happen it would be money well spent in promoting Aussie Rules in Europe.

Mr Dillon and Mr Lovett, please, don't ignore the base of the pyramid and spend all the effort and money on the pointy bit at the top!


AFL exhibition match in London this November
Authored by: Cam Homes on Thursday, July 19 2012 @ 11:30 pm ACST

Woops!!!! that should European Titans not Giants.

AFL exhibition match in London this November
Authored by: Troy Thompson on Thursday, July 19 2012 @ 11:37 pm ACST

If money was no object I would like to see Ireland vs PNG IC11 GF rematch as curtain raiser. 

AFL exhibition match in London this November
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 12:44 am ACST

How about a British Isles vs Continental Europe match.  IC rules.



AFL exhibition match in London this November
Authored by: Cam Homes on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 01:11 am ACST

Ireland v PNG most likely a game played at a higher standard than any of the one's I suggested but of very little value promotionally for mainland Europe (the Danes have been playing footy for over 30 years. What a huge boost to Danish Footy if the AFL had played one of the AIS/AFL matches there along with an international match as a curtain raiser ). Ireland and PNG have had money spent on them before (they are probably half way or even 3/4 way up that pyramid).

Imagine 20+ Germans or Frenchmen or Danes being able to tell all and sundry, " I'm going to London to play an international match representing my country at Aussie rules" rather than, "I'm  going over to London to watch a game of footy between two professional teams." Say they tell 20 other people each, that's 400 Germans or ?? that now know that Aussie Rules is played in Germany or?? AND you can actually play for your country as well. The majority of whom probably wouldn't have known anything about Aussie Rules before. That promotionally hasn't cost a cent. And if the team can get a little air play as in the WFN article about Quebec footy has apparently been able to do even more people will take an interest. Still hasn't cost a cent.

Let's face it, the base of the Pyramid is holding the whole shebang up!!! That is players and spectators together. To go watch or play a game down the local park every week is just as valuable (if not more so) as seeing a pro teams play once a year, in all these countries where the game is developing.

To play in an "International" for your country, the value there is immeasurable by comparison.

AFL exhibition match in London this November
Authored by: Harley Vague on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 09:17 pm ACST

Cam. you make a good case for Denmark and I tend to agree with you. One - off travel costs in Europe are not a problem  but more over the costs of travel for a whole season. Promotion will be good for the visiting team/s but also it will be invaluable in educating the English and Aussies that AR is not restricted to just Aussies and expats. IMO a mini tournament with four teams wouldn't be bad either. The major lure of the IC is playing in Melbourne and attending a few AFL games. Imagine the effect of playing of playing a competitive game in front of a decent crowd as Cam has mentioned. Maybe it could be the impetus to lift the profile of European tournaments especially if this returns to being a regular event..


AFL exhibition match in London this November
Authored by: sverik25 on Sunday, July 22 2012 @ 05:47 am ACST

I think a curtain raiser between Great Britain and Denmark would be an even contest and would be a great promotional tool for football. The opportunity for European players to play and then watch AFL footballers first hand afterwards would be a fantastic experience. Hopefully, AFL Europe can organise something and get a high quality curtain raiser with full strength teams participating.

AFL exhibition match in London this November
Authored by: Tobietta Rhyman on Sunday, July 22 2012 @ 06:52 am ACST
Tickets will go on sale from Wednesday 25 July. They’ll start at £5 for kids and from £20 adults, available at KiaOval.com http://www.australiantimes.co.uk/news/australians-in-the-uk/bulldogs-and-power-to-light-up-london-in-twilight-afl-match.htm
Little Pommy Girl