Over the last 25 years former AFL Commissioner Colin Carter has been one of the influential people at AFL HQ pushing for game development and an international presence (see Carter returns to Geelong). After leaving the Commission he returned to Geelong's board in 2008 and has now taken over from Frank Costa as the Cats' President.
It will be interesting to see if Carter will combine his position and his enthusiasm for international footy to ensure Geelong gets behind the game's spread. International Australian football is already known at Geelong, such as through the goodwill of player James Bartel and the company of outgoing President Frank Costa has been a great supporter of football in South Africa through sponsorship of FootyWILD.
AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou's pre-recorded address to the UN forum can be watched by clicking "Watch" on the video below. Footage of international teams and matches are included in the video. The importance of the international competitions to the game overall can be felt in the video and among Andrew's words.
Greater Western Sydney coach and high-profile international footy supporter Kevin Sheedy has come out in support of reduced-field footy in Sydney, saying that 11-a-side could be a tool for spreading footy in new territories.
In an article in Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper today, Sheedy said that he'd been trialling 11-a-side footy at training sessions, and said that he envisioned it being played on soccer and rugby grounds.
With 9-a-side footy having created a niche for itself in the international scene, Sheedy's comments are sure to create some talk in the International footy community. The full article can be read here.
It has been a very wet start to the year for many parts of Australia. Areas of WA, Victoria and NSW have suffered from flooding, but Queensland has copped the worst in widespread flooding at extremely high levels.
“On behalf of the AFL I want to extend my condolences to those thousands of people who have been devastated by the floods, especially those who have lost family and friends,” Mr Demetriou said. “It’s also been heartwarming to see so many people give their time and resources to help. In particular, I want to acknowledge the great work by state emergency services and the Queensland Government headed by Premier Anna Bligh.”
The AFL and its 18 clubs have contributed $500,000 to the relief appeal and Mr Demetriou acknowledged the generosity of AFL players in donating a further $150,000 through the AFL Players’ Association. “The AFL, its clubs and the wider football community is committed to helping the people of Queensland get back on their feet over the coming weeks, months and years,” Mr Demetriou said.
In August 2011 the International Cup will be staged in Sydney and Melbourne, and one proven way for representative players to improve their skills is to play for an Australian club, with all the week after week of high standard training and playing. It worked wonders for many of the Nauruan players in 2008, as well as players from other countries.
Now the Coolangatta Australian Football Club in south-east Queensland is offering eligible international players the same chance in 2011. The following offer is from Scott Reid, President of Coolangatta. He has been one of the key men behind the re-birth of Papua New Guinean footy over the last decade, so he his knowledge of international Australian football is both deep and realistic.
As we come to the end of 2010 worldfootynews.com has its annual reflection on the year gone by. We've been in the happy position over our existence to be able to report on 6 to 7 years of excellent growth in international Australian football. This year has been no exception. And that's not spin presented to try to give the impression footy is on an upward curve.
There is no question that, from a modest base, Aussie Rules has been doing very well; not always exploding in numbers, and with plenty more to do, but very positive indeed, after a rather sluggish first century or so. Instead of going into depth on all the various achievements, this year we'll just list some of the highlights that come to mind from across the year, as well as some more dubious events.
Of course because international footy is now so diverse and widely spread, even with around 500 stories in 2010 we're bound to miss some significant achievements, either on a larger scale or great local happenings. Did we miss something special? Got your own favourite? Let us know by posting a comment on this story.
The AFL's recently announced Champions League will provide the top teams from across Australian states (below the AFL) the chance to compete before a national TV audience on Foxtel, albeit given Foxtel's reduced market penetration compared with free-to-air TV.
But sadly for the concept's first year (2011) one of the major competing leagues will instead put forth its bottom clubs for the contest. The SANFL agreed to the Champions League but only on the grounds that it would offer three spots to its clubs, starting from the top finishers in 2010, but would not force them to play. A cascade of declined offers followed, resulting in South Australia likely to field 3 of its 4 bottom sides, from its 9 club competition.
The rebuff was expected, as most of the SANFL clubs had made it clear that the likely prize money on offer was inadequate and there were issues with clashing sponsors, and the last thing vulnerable state league sides can afford is to make a loss from such a venture. With SANFL player payments thought to be higher than most other state leagues outside of the AFL the requirements to satisfy SANFL clubs is higher. Just as important was that the clubs of course will continue to focus, as they have for over 130 years, on winning the local premiership. By sacrificing their byes during the season they would place themselves at a disadvantage compared with their local rivals - playing 3 or 4 extra games in a season, plus travel, is a large additional load. There is also a risk that the telecast of matches would be in direct competition with the state league coverage on ABC TV.
The AFL today said it would proceed with the creation of a state-league based knockout competition from 2011 onwards, which will showcase the quality of state league football across the country.
AFL General Manager National and International Development David Matthews said the AFL was intending to develop a new competition which would invite 16 teams from the various state leagues across the country to play in a knockout competition.
All state league competitions confirmed their interest to the AFL this week in being part of the competition, with invitations to teams within each league based on ladder position and the availability of the club to compete.
Building on the success of the 2010 World XVIII team which competed in the NAB AFL under 16 Championships the AFL will again call for nominations for the 2011 squad. The squad will comprise of the best Under 18 talent participating in competitions conducted by International affiliates and will take part in the 2011 NAB AFL under 16 Championships.
The 2010 squad played under the leadership of Head Coach Michael O'Loughlin (ex Sydney Swans & current AIS/AFL High Performance Coach) and his assistants Chris Johnson (ex Brisbane Lions) and Stewart Edge. Players in the squad represented nations including South Africa, United States, Sudan, Canada, England and Ireland.
The AFL today wrote to all clubs to confirm the trial rules that will be used as part of the 2011 NAB Cup competition.
AFL General Manager Football Operations Adrian Anderson said the AFL would continue to use the NAB Cup as an opportunity for the AFL to examine potential rule options, after a number of recent successful trials including the revised ruck rule at centre bounces, the altered advantage rule and the player substitute rule and the rushed behind rule – all of which have since become part of the premiership season and the Laws of the Game.
Mr Anderson said the AFL would trial four rule options across the month-long pre-season competition, along with one option that would be used in round one of matches only. Each rule to be trialled is as follows: