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First internationally staged AFL Premiership Game bound for NZ?
Authored by: Rory Slater on Friday, March 09 2012 @ 05:35 pm ACDT

Michael

The Swannies sadly will not play in the capital anymore after building up a very passionate support base here over the years.  The advent of GWS put pay to that.

The Swannies played here in Canberra gratis unlike those blow in blow out clubs i.e. North.

Tassie, the NT, the ACT, on merit  alone can and should be the next in line for expansion and to be perfectly frank, it is insulting to be compared with NZ on any level.  The population of Wellington is approx 390K while Canberra and Queanbeyans are close to 400K and upwards of 600k regionally, with footy cred to boot ,yet we in the nations capital keep being told by the powers that be, that this is an unsustainable demographic.  The blatant double standard here is that Rod along with the AFL and others seem to be ticking this criteria in respect of Wellington?

Whichever way you pitch your rationale this has to be one of the most disenfranchisng propositions for long suffering footy communities i.e. ours, to ever take place.  We have been gracious in our resignation to the GWS and GC constructs more recently but really, this is beyond the pale and is far from over.  

It is my hope that this news may feature in the local press as a continuation on a theme, given a recent editorial to do with the expedient way Canberra continues to be treated by sporting bodies across codes.  This incidious NZ Aust Footy evolution is about to resonate strongly amongst the codes faithful I believe, for better or for worse.

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First internationally staged AFL Premiership Game bound for NZ?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Friday, March 09 2012 @ 10:57 pm ACDT

As said above, the AFL have to be pragmatic.  I see two drivers for new clubs - 1. meeting existing demand or 2. dramatically expanding the game's reach.

Tassie hopefully one day ticks the first box, GC ticks both, GWS ticks the latter, NZ ticks the latter.  Canberra appears to me to have a foot in both boxes, but doesn't do either well enough (in numbers of strong fans or number of potential new fans) to persuade the AFL at this point in time.  Perhaps if they grow as a region but shun the game then they may tick the latter box one day, or if they can widen their passion for the game maybe the first box.  But seems unlikely to me in the next 20 years.

And when Tony Abbott's Coalition comes to power it seems high on his agenda will be ripping the heart out of the public service, so Canberra's viability as a growing region is in the gun anyway.

"The Opposition had already pledged to reduce the public service by 12,000 positions if it wins government." 

As for Wellington, I do worry about its viability and would worry less so if it was Auckland.  But the ground issues have been well articulated by Rod.

I'd be very surprised if the Saints played 4 home games a year there in the next decade.  Seems unlikely.  Maybe 1 NAB Cup and 2 home games?  And maybe another team selling one of their home games?

But let's just get one done and start the ball rolling.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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First internationally staged AFL Premiership Game bound for NZ?
Authored by: Rod Shaw on Saturday, March 10 2012 @ 10:10 am ACDT

Dear All Interesting the tangents in a story take! I was asked a question about why Wellington and not Auckland which I responded to. I am pretty sure I was not asked a question why Wellington and not Canberra. Rory, you make a lot of assumptions from the simple fact I have reported a straightforward great news story about our great game and offered a little bit of personal history related to it. FWIW I firmly believe that our game should continue to expand at the top level to include teams from Darwin, Tasmania, Cairns, Canberra and NZ. I think NZ is a gimmee because it automatically gives an international aspect at the top level to what remains our iconic game. It is done already with union, league, netball, soccer, basketball and once upon a time was done with cricket. I think it has to be noted however that all of the above sports have an extensive base in NZ which at this stage footy does not. I think that with the development occurring at multiple levels this will be an issue overcome in time. What I actually wanted to add to my above story was some further history to the Wellington Stadium I gave recalled. Please allow for forgetfulness over a 15 year period! Ian Collins and Wayne Jackson came over to wgtn in July 1997 to scope The Basin for an Ansett Cup game in early 98 which happened to be the Dees v the Swans- Melbourne v Sydney which was thought to be a good marketing tool. Although the AFL great ones launched our Wgtn season at the Australian High Commission their major duties were to discuss the game with sponsors and council. I know that they supported the vision of AFL football with the Council who were at the planning stage for The Caketin. This certainly helped lend wait to what Will McKenzie was doing for the NZAFL. In reality Demetriou, Anderson etc are building on the earlier vision and efforts of Wayne, Collo, Ross Smith, Ed Biggs etc. This is just something I feel needs to be acknowledged along the way. Rory, I would be very excited to see the Canberra Bureaucrats, the Cairns Reefers ;-), the Top End Typhoons and the Tasmanian Devils in the big league but that dies not stop me from also thinking footy is, and should be, bigger than just a domestic market!

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First internationally staged AFL Premiership Game bound for NZ?
Authored by: Rod Shaw on Saturday, March 10 2012 @ 10:12 am ACDT

Sorry a couple of errors in that but done on my phone so too hard to check eg wait/ weight Apologies Rod

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First internationally staged AFL Premiership Game bound for NZ?
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Saturday, March 10 2012 @ 10:28 am ACDT

I should point out my angst with previous AFL admins was more around the burning desire to reduce Vic teams - and North felt the heat on that front.  That and the lack of support for individual clubs around grounds - mistakes made on all sides, but, for a club like North to get shafted from a pretty reasonable set up of MCG plus (either Princes Park or interstate) and shunted into Docklands with a shocker deal.......perhaps intended to ensure the quick demise/relocation of a proud Vic club??

Meanwhile - I've been pleasantly surprised with the willingness to explore international pathways out of AFL HQ.

Ed Biggs......there's a name not mentioned for a while.  What's he up to these days?

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First internationally staged AFL Premiership Game bound for NZ?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, March 11 2012 @ 09:24 pm ACDT

Thanks for the history Rod.  Agreed it's important to note these things and acknowledge that they don't just happen over night.  Sounds like there was some real vision and planning that got lost along the way for a while but ultimately pay off, with more than just a few pre season games.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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