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Melbourne in pole position for IC11
Authored by: tinka13 on Saturday, May 23 2009 @ 07:06 pm ACST

Brett, do you think the AFL should be treating NZ like another state of Australia for Development means?

Melbourne in pole position for IC11
Authored by: Brett Northey on Saturday, May 23 2009 @ 09:51 pm ACST

Well it depends what that really means.

Some states like Queensland get a lot of money to grow the game, whereas more established states like SA and WA get much less, which is an ongoing sore point - though who do you take the money from?

So states like SA and WA rely on their own historic infrastructure and administration (BTW, I know you know all this Tinka) as well as cashflow from their 2 AFL sides. So just declaring NZ as a state, without that support, wouldn't mean much would it? And I don't think there would be much to be gained to have NZ in junior state championships - far more for them to compete at a closer level. But then of course the money doesn't seem to come forward for that sort of thing so easily.

I like the AFL's aim to get an Oceania team into the Australian U16 state champs.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love the AFL to say NZ will be treated like a state AND give them a couple of million to develop the game. Again, I've said many times, I don't see why an Auckland club in the AFL shouldn't be a target over the next 20 years. I know Wellington was once doing very well with local footy, but the AAFL has an excellent comp, reserves, do well in the juniors, it's the biggest city in NZ, the closest to Australia and has plenty of expat Aussies.

I think more realistically (in what we could hope for) in the next 10 years, would be if the AFL pump a lot of cash into NSW, like they did QLD, and NSW take NZ under their wing, just as QLD has done with PNG. Support them, develop a junior pathway, and the AFL should fund full time staff in NZ. Not a popular thing to say with the other cities, but I'd even understand if they focussed it all on Auckland for 5 years to try to establish a critical mass.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN