At worldfootynews.com we make an effort not to make too much of the sometimes rabid Aussie Rules versus soccer versus Rugby League debate that so often rages in Australia, especially on sports forums. But we do acknowledge that there is a battle for the hearts and minds of the sporting public. So back in 2009 we took particular note of a scathing attack on footy by Clive Palmer, one of Australia's richest men and owner of the Gold Coast United soccer club.
When most codes argue that there is room for all and they just want a slice of the action, Palmer ridiculed attempts to establish an AFL club on the Gold Coast, despite a healthy and growing local competition. Palmer stated in 2009 that "The biggest loser's going to be GC17 and Australian rules itself. I give them three years they'll be gone (by 2014)". See Football codes continue to position themselves and Palmer sets the bar low for Gold Coast.
So we watched with interest to see whether his soccer club would indeed outperform the Aussie Rules club, and whether the AFL's efforts would succeed.
The soccer club, Gold Coast United, then set about seasons 2010/11 and 2011/12 recording average home crowds of a miniscule 3,900 and 3,400 per game, respectively. In contrast, GC17, launched as the Gold Coast Suns, averaged around 18,000 per game (for matches at their new stadium in Carrara) in their debut 2011 season. That's 4 or 5 AFL supporters for every one A League supporter. Surely a demonstrative win for footy.
But Palmer was also at war with his side's fans, then their coach, and constantly with the FFA. In terms of viability it seems the club only continued to exist due to his largesse, and now to complete the debacle they have had their licence terminated by the FFA.
A stunning tale of failure for the club whose owner predicted that the AFL would be the big loser on the Gold Coast. Aussie Rules 1 - soccer nil.
Merry Christmas to all our international footy news followers out there - and as kids across the world are hopefully getting a footy in their stocking, our gift to you today is this video from 1979 - "Up there Cazaly."
The AFL today announced the 2012 North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) season fixture has been finalised in the following press release.
Now in its second year, NEAFL is expanding to a 19 team competition with the introduction of the Sydney Hills Eagles and Sydney University to the Eastern Conference. The Northern Conference will remain at ten teams for next season.
To kick off the year on March 24 will be the highly anticipated curtain-raiser match between the UWS GIANTS and the Sydney Swans in the Eastern Conference. In the Northern Conference, the inaugural NEAFL Grand Finalists NT Thunder and Morningside will officially launch the new season.
The AFL tthis week announced the fixture for the 2012 FOXTEL Cup -- the knockout competition introduced this year to showcase the quality of state league football across the country.
AFL General Manager National and International Development Andrew Dillon said the AFL had been delighted with the success of this year's inaugural competition, won by Williamstown, and said the 16 teams had now been confirmed for next year's tournament.
VWFL coaching legend Peta Searle has confirmed that she has been offered the assistant coaching position at VFL premier club Port Melbourne.
Searle was described as “ecstatic” following the announcement of the decision, and said her appointment to the role was a statement to the Australian Football world that women were just as capable of coaching in the top levels of the game. She added she was trying to be the best coach she could be, and was not thinking too much about the gender issue: everyone, male and female, had to earn their stripes and respect, and that she believed she had the knowledge and skills to coach men.
The Greater Western Sydney GIANTS have welcomed the announcement of the AFL’s radio broadcast partners for 2012-16.
Acting GIANTS Chief Executive David Matthews said the club was particularly delighted that ABC Radio had agreed to broadcast all of the GIANTS home and away matches into New South Wales during the period of the broadcast agreement.
Read on for more at the end of the article about ABC Radio Australia broadcasts.
For many years a missing link in Australian football was a widespread non-contact form of the game played on smaller fields for smaller team numbers. Such a style of game was common at club training, and has slowly crept in overseas, but in the sport's homeland it remained a rarely exploited asset to the game.
That changed a few years ago when the AFL launched Recreational Football (Rec Footy) as an 8-a-side version using tags to effect tackles and aimed especially at beginners, mixed teams and social players.
This year it has been re-launched and re-badged as AFL 9s. The season is about to get underway so anyone in Australia who wants to keep playing footy over summer or dropped out due to injuries or time commitments, or anyone who always wanted to give the game a go but was afraid to try, this is your chance.
Why the enthusiasm? This author is one of many who has long wanted to see such a version of the game and has seen many potential players drift over to similar concepts like touch football (touch Rugby), so I'm very keen to see this initiative succeed. Having played a couple of seasons I thoroughly recommend it. Certainly the smaller softer ball takes some getting used to, as does the inability to make body contact, but it's a fun alternative for someone who has retired from the full version of the sport.
The Essendon Women’s Network has awarded Sydney Swans’ Lesley McGrath the Football Woman of the Year (FWOTY) Award for her long term contribution to the game and for being a female ambassador to the football community as Sydney Swans’ Finance manger.
On congratulating McGrath, Sydney Swans CEO Andrew Ireland said how she had worked tirelessly in various finance roles, mostly as the club’s Finance Manager, and was a much loved staff member and team mentor. From her commencement in 1986 during one of the club’s more turbulent times, she has worked for the Swans for 25 years, making her the longest serving female employee of any AFL club.
The FWOTY Award is an annual award recognising women in football who have made a significant contribution to the game. The 2011 award is the 14th year the award has been presented by the Essendon Women’s Network to a prominent woman in the world of football. The award is open to any woman in football regardless of club or profession, but the recipient must demonstrate seven criteria: