The official launch of the new name and colours of Team GWS occurred on Tuesday night. To be called the GWS Giants, they enter the new NEAFL in 2011 and the full AFL in 2012, with a sneak peek in the 2011 NAB Cup pre-season competition. Here is a look at their promo video, which heavily features star Rugby League convert Israel Folau and the multicultural nature of Greater Western Sydney.
The Port Adelaide Football Club was one of the strongest SANFL clubs for a century, but by the 1950s they came to dominate in premierships, supporter base and influence. Through the 1980s and 1990s the club seemed to have their way even more, playing their tough style of football that some followers would argue escaped sanction too often as their brutal style won flag after flag. Supporters bragged that they would do the same in the AFL if given the chance.
The one critical decision that went against the Magpies was when they tried to go against an agreement with the SANFL and join the AFL, whereas the SANFL had long pushed for a more equitable national competition with the support of its clubs. The move forced the South Australian hand and saw court action and the formation of the Adelaide Crows.
With AFL competition in the city from 1991, the local league took a back seat, then from the 1997 season the AFL granted a second licence to the state. After various submissions and a strong public push to not reward Port Adelaide the proud club once again won out, becoming SA's second side. But what occurred was a Jekyll and Hyde split between the new Port Adelaide Power and the old Port Adelaide Magpies - or was that the new Port Adelaide Magpies and the old Port Adelaide Power, with both haemorrhaging money.
The SANFL has now controversially voted to end the split and allow the two parts of the club to unite under one banner - a move almost certainly good for Port Adelaide but arguably the death knell for other SANFL clubs.
The AFL today announced that a North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) will be introduced in 2011, bringing together teams from NSW, Queensland, ACT and NT into one competition. The new league will build upon the successful existing competitions of AFL Canberra and AFL Queensland.
In 2011, Team GWS will join current AFL Canberra teams to form the Eastern Conference, comprising seven clubs. The Gold Coast Suns’ feeder team will combine with existing QAFL teams to form the Northern Conference, comprising 10 teams, including NT Thunder.
Effective from October 1st this year, the Australian Sports Commission has launched its Illicit Drugs in Sport Policy (PDF available here). It’s come with little fanfare. The policy will apply to AIS Athlete Scholarship Holders, and Athlete Support Personnel and employees and Board Members of the ASC, as well as anyone else who agrees to be bound by the policy. What is most interesting about this policy however, is the number of strikes. Effectively, a 3-strike policy with a 4th strike resulting in termination of AIS scholarship. Given the broad public debate that has surrounded the AFL and its 3 strikes policy, it’s astounding that this piece of news effectively went through to the keeper.
The AFL has announced the fixture for the 2011 AFL NAB Cup, the pre-season tournament leading into the main season. As expected the AFL have made some major changes to allow 18 teams to compete and possibly aimed at combating waning interest in the pre-season tournament.
The Cup will see the debut at AFL level of 17th team the Gold Coast Suns, whilst the 18th club, currently known as Greater Western Sydney, will also debut, although their full AFL arrival is not until 2012. Sadly for Australian fans, the historic debut of both clubs will only be available on pay television station Foxtel - something likely to be an increasing occurrence under the next TV rights agreement and likely relaxation of anti-siphoning laws by the Federal Government.
AFL Chief Operating Officer Gillon McLachlan announced the six divisions for round one of the revised 2011 competition, where the AFL’s 18 clubs will be placed in six pools.
Australia’s Association Football World Cup bid was bedded down in time for the submission bid book to be delivered in May this year. WFN reported on the MOU that satisfied rival codes. And along the way to the December 2 decision day, Australian’s have heard both good and bad things about the bid and some of the ‘FIFA’ style interactions that go on around that. However, the odd thing is FFA supremo Frank Lowy, Australia’s richest man, down playing expectations whilst at the same time attempting to broadside the AFL as if to set the retribution wheels in motion before the fact – just in case the bid should fail.
Across the weekend, the SANFL Grand Final played out. Normally held the week after the AFL Grand Final, this year the SANFL Grand Final was up against both the AFL on the Saturday afternoon and the NRL on the Sunday evening.
After the stunning drawn AFL Grand Final the teams went to battle in the re-match the following week, with Collingwood, the best team during the minor round, not letting St Kilda get close the second time around. Collingwood 16.12 (108) defeated St Kilda 7.10 (52). Below are Bigpond highlights via Youtube.
The AFL today announced changes to the Laws of the Game for the 2011 Toyota AFL Premiership Season, following an extensive period of consultation throughout 2010. AFL General Manager Football Operations Adrian Anderson, Chairman of the Laws of the Game Committee, said the Commission had approved the following:
1) An alteration to the interchange system, whereby AFL teams will have a bench comprised of three interchange players and one player to be used as a substitute;
2) A change to the Advantage Rule, whereby the player and not the umpire will decide if there is an advantage to a team in playing on after a free kick;
3) Simplify the rough conduct (bumping) rule and make consistent with head down over the ball, so that a player who elects to apply a bump in any situation is liable if he makes forceful contact with the head, unless:
a. the player was contesting the ball and did not have a realistic alternative way to contest the ball; or
b. the contact was caused by circumstances outside the control of the player which could not be reasonably foreseen.
It will be interesting to see how widely these rules are adopted by international leagues who usually use their own discretion when it comes to implementation of new laws (as implementation may be hampered locally by cost or extra administration required).