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China home to new AFL Academy
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 07:14 am ACST

Hey Cam,

While I agree it's good for the AFL to work with the local footy sides, I don't think we're talking about some giant missed opportunity here.  They are unashamedly seeking elite athletes, giving the a taste of the game, and if they have the right physical results and an interest, they'll look to get them to Australia.  They want a Chinese athlete to help connect with expat Chinese in Australia, and also hold up as a beacon to Chinese in China.

Ideally yes some will find their way to the local leagues but that may be a stretch... consider Mike Pyke, if he wasn't picked up by Sydney, or Shae not picked by Collingwood, would they have gone and played locally in Canada or the US (or Europe if they were playing Rugby/basketball there)?  Doubtful.  But certainly worth having those connections working.  Hopefully we'll here more from the locals on that.

Agreed, would like to hear about regular use of the Tianjin facility.

Cheers,
Brett

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN