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Melbourne in pole position for IC11
Authored by: tinka13 on Saturday, May 16 2009 @ 11:47 am ACST

Brett, you are spot on about parents or fathers wanting their kids to play AFL. When a certain family arrived in Auckland, NZ, back in Feb 02, they were confronted with a club that only had seniors and a half baked reserves side. By the time that family left NZ in late 2004, the local club had established a Kiwikick (5's to 10's), U12's, U17's and a reserves and league sides with plenty left over. It was just plain hard work and passion that made that happen and a bit of footy knowledge.
From this grew a junior competition all over Auckland. Sustaining this sort of competition, is the real test. As when the people moved on so did the enthusiasm and experience and the junior competition. The Kiwi's have development officers who do clinics in schools (in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch) virtually every day of the school year and have had enormous success with this. They have close to 30,000 kids exposed to AFL every year, but because of the difficulty in setting up Junior Clubs, they can't get over the BIG HUMP. Many of these older school kids play seniors, but it is a problem, I believe that only the AFL can help fix in the short term, simular to what they have done in rugby states like Qleensland and NSW. NZ should for AFL purpouses become a state of Australia. What do you think?

Melbourne in pole position for IC11
Authored by: Eurofooty on Saturday, May 16 2009 @ 09:07 pm ACST

@ Brett

Respectfully, I must disagree with you on the point of an independant organisation ultimately representing overseas interests. The AFL has clearly stated that their priorities lie predominantly in Australia. I don't see this likely to change anytime soon - particularly as some established members of the AFL Commission have recently expressed that they "see the sport indigenously with little long term viability of starting up any form of self-sustaining professional commercial operation within any foreseeable future scenario" in addition to such statements as they "have only discussed international footy issues for about 12 minutes in 12 years".

With these sentiments coming from the top, there really must be a more urgent requirement to independantly lobby the powers that be to immediately review their perception of the overseas game (though this wont be easy as they too "report" to the clubs). Though the AFL Game Development continues to do its best and is applaudingly and encouragingly doing far more now than in the past, but it unfortunately is somewhat capped by the critical mass of limited internal resources, finances and other prioritised operations within the organisation framework (and the ongoing and costly "kicking 4 quarters into the wind" battle ahead to bring GC17, WS18 and perhaps TAS19 to fruition).

If the status quo frustratingly remains at the Commission level, I can see at some point in the not too distant future, the international bodies agreeing to form an independant organisation using their combined numbers/presence as leverage to lobby and work closely in partnership with the AFL, in its role as keeper-of-the code and world governing body, for more intervention. access and better use of resources and investment in order accommodate accelerating growth and take advantage of solid, self-sustaining commercial opportunites in new areas overseas - both in the middle to longer terms (there aren't too many quick wins here). So much more can be acheived and done far more quickly and effectively, if the political will at the very top of the game is 100% in support and setting the example for others to follow.

Melbourne in pole position for IC11
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, May 17 2009 @ 03:18 pm ACST

Eurofooty, I'm not sure if you do disagree with what I wrote - I think we were talking about slightly different things. The suggestion by the poster "hello" was for "Some of the AFL administration could breakaway to form an international govering body that governs all league and clubs in the world including the AFL. I think International Australian Football Federation would be a good choice for a name."

So I interpreted that as calling for a separate world governing body, and I'm arguing that is highly unlikely in the next 20 years, for better or for worse. If footy grows like we would all like, then certainly at some point in time a true FIFA-style body will have to emerge, but that is almost certainly decades away. What you suggest in your post appears to be something different.

Whether there would be some more loose association of leagues, intended to work with the AFL and still recognise the AFL's role, which sounds more like what you then go on to discuss, then that would be more likely to occur.

But having said all that, I'm still sceptical. My opinion is that it would still be unlikely to be of any significant size in the next 10 or so years. I guess we could then debate what significant means. As we've discussed, countries like South Africa simply won't see the need whilst their support remains high. They will feel their own direct advocacy is adequate - all countries affiliated with the AFL are always capable of talking directly to them.

With AFL Oceania ramping up, I doubt there will be a strong demand there any time soon. I haven't sensed a demand from North America. AFL Middle East seem to be working well with the AFL at the moment. In Asia, we're seeing a regional body like what you suggest emerging, although it's likely to remain an Asian body and whether it will include the stronger growing footy nations of China, Japan and Indonesia remains to be seen.

Europe is a special case. Perhaps where it would be possible is the newer countries that have had little to do with the AFL including haven't attended the International Cups. If no one tells them about the AFL and the AFL don't go looking for them, then they may well be open to overtures to form their own association. I think we've seen that a bit in Europe in recent years, where the lack of understanding by some countries of what the AFL sees as its role has been a little surprising, for a few reasons. If the move towards an AFL Europe was unsuccessful then I think it would be reasonably ripe for some kind of association to have more teeth, be it ARE or whatever.

So I could see the emergence of a body at a regional level, to advocate as a block, such as we've heard Malte Schudlich at AFL Germany suggest. It depends whether AFL Europe gets up. But a world body as such, representing a significant portion of countries with more than say 200 players, my personal opinion is that it's unlikely.


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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Melbourne in pole position for IC11
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, May 17 2009 @ 03:29 pm ACST

Again to Eurofooty, you stated some pretty significant things as quotes:

... particularly as some established members of the AFL Commission have recently expressed that they "see the sport indigenously with little long term viability of starting up any form of self-sustaining professional commercial operation within any foreseeable future scenario" in addition to such statements as they "have only discussed international footy issues for about 12 minutes in 12 years".

If they are quotes, can you tell us which AFL Commissioner(s) said that and in what forum, such as emailed or a transcript? The latter seems bizarre, since we know that the Commission has spent longer than that with the IC Captains, and South Africa spending we believe has been discussed before.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Melbourne in pole position for IC11
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, May 21 2009 @ 12:04 pm ACST


Eurofooty?


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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN