Tuesday, March 06 2012 @ 08:54 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Rod Shaw
The prospect of the first AFL home-and-away game played outside Australia could become a reality as early as next season, with St Kilda reportedly pushing to play up to four games a season in New Zealand.
The Saints on their website confirm this possibility “The St Kilda Football Club is in preliminary discussions with the AFL about the expansion of the game in New Zealand and the role the Saints may play. With the recent inclusion of AFL as a sanctioned sport in schools in New Zealand, the Saints would like to develop the game further through engagement with the community. The Saints also see an opportunity to build player talent pathways for local talent to play AFL and potentially play games for Premiership points in Wellington in the future. The Wellington Stadium, affectionately known to Kiwis as “The Cake Tin” is an excellent venue.
Having personally had the opportunity to be involved in all 3 pre-season games played in Wellington, firstly at the iconic Basin Reserve and followed by two matches at the Stadium I can only applaud this initiative and state that in all respects it is a wonderful surface and arena for AFL football. It is well and truly time for a truly meaningful game to be played in New Zealand. The opportunity for the Saints to play the legendary football thinker Kevin Sheedy’s Greater Western Sydney Giants on Anzac Day should excite both footy fanatics and interested observers equally.