A Third Team In Sydney - It's Only a Matter Of Time !!

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BringBackTorps

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Soccer is a massive GR sport in Sydney (&, by far, has the biggest GR club soccer nos. in Aust.). I have seen many claims by soccer Officials etc. that there are c. 200K GR regd. club jnr & snr, male & female, soccer players there.

As soccer is not a contact sport, it is not a direct competitor for AF (with the exception of seeking private & govt. sponsorships & funding).
Generally, it is only RL & RU Officials, MSM RL & RU journalists, & ex RL & RU pro players etc. who have stated that they perceive the strong growth of AF in NSW & Qld. is a threat to their respective sports in NSW & Qld.
Soccer Officials are usually taciturn about the growth in Sydney of GR AF.

Notwithstanding this, in NSW, ACT, & Qld., GR soccer players can be a valuable recruiting ground for AF ie for very young soccer players to enjoy watching AF/trying AF as well as soccer/switching to AF.

The physicality of AF is relished by many females in NSW, even amongst some who never played AF as very young jnrs.
G. Fowler (GWS 2021 Draftee from St Ives JFC in Sydney, & also an elite rugby 7's player) said, specifically referring to soccer, which she played since she was a 5 y.o. "... but that got a bit boring because there is not enough contact, you just pass the ball".

"A tough call paves the way for Fowler’s big future

“I played soccer since I was five but that got a bit boring because there’s not enough contact, you just pass the ball,” she said about her sporting history".

The 17-year-old was picked by the GIANTS at number 59 in July’s 2021 NAB AFLW Draft. She’s only played four seasons of AFL: two of them in juniors, two of them interrupted by COVID.

Despite this, in a challenging year for everyone, especially athletes and Year 12 students, Fowler has earned the right to call herself an elite sportsperson. ".

https://aflnswact.com.au/a-tough-call-paves-the-way-for-fowlers-big-future/
 
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RedV3x

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Soccer is a massive GR sport in Sydney.
Yes and thus leading people to say erroneously that soccer is big sport in Australia.

As soccer is not a contact sport,
Don't ever mention this to a soccer fan.

As soccer is not a direct competitor for AF (with the exception of seeking private & govt. sponsorships & funding).
It's a direct competitor and that's why the AFL introduced Auskick.
Soccer is an immense competitor in seeking attention.

Notwithstanding this, in NSW, ACT, & Qld., GR soccer players can be a valuable recruiting ground for AF ie for very young soccer players to enjoy watching AF/trying AF as well as soccer/switching to AF.
The younger a person is, then the lesser are the physical differences between players. When a young person chooses his sports pathway
it is a mixture of their talents, their physique, their desires and (and it's a big "and") the availability of that sport.
As Australian Football becomes more conveniently available it is chosen more because historically A.F. is a top choice.

Generally, it is only RL & RU Officials, MSM RL & RU journalists, & ex RL & RU pro players etc. who have stated that they perceive the strong growth AF is a threat to their respective sports in NSW & Qld.
Generally speaking it's anybody who's livelihood is linked to non-AFL products.

Soccer Officials are usually taciturn about the growth in Sydney of GR AF.
Soccer people have historically tried a lot harder than the rugbies to undermine the position of Australian Football in Australia even going so far as to say that Australian Football is too "Australian".

The physicality of AF is relished by many females in NSW, even amongst some who never played AF as very young jnrs.
i think your notion of "physicality is a bit confused. As an ex-umpire of showgirls football I never heard one player relish the physicailty
but rather a love of the game which is brought out in your quote below.

G. Fowler (GWS 2021 Draftee from St Ives JFC in Sydney, & also an elite rugby 7's player) said, specifically referring to soccer, which she played since she was a 5 y.o. "... but that got a bit boring because there is not enough contact, you just pass the ball".
Which reads to me that soccer is boring but in Australian Football a player can just go in and grab the ball and have options.
Yes, you are physically grabbing the ball but player-on-player physicality is minimal.
 

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Canberra Pear

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I actually think gws should play a couple of games there each year when a new Canberra snsw team comes in.
I agree with this.

Would be a good option for a game or two when the Easter Show puts Giants Stadium out of action.

The council has gone to the effort to make it AFL compatible, so you'd think they'd be willing to pay a bit for some games.
 

The_Wookie

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It's a direct competitor and that's why the AFL introduced Auskick.
Soccer is an immense competitor in seeking attention.
Auskick, like most things AFL, is a rebadged Victorian program - VicKick - which began in 1985. And in 1985, in Victoria, no one was seriously worried about a soccer takeover. Worried they might grow broke sure, not not worried about a soccer takeover.
 

Rob

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Auskick, like most things AFL, is a rebadged Victorian program - VicKick - which began in 1985. And in 1985, in Victoria, no one was seriously worried about a soccer takeover. Worried they might grow broke sure, not not worried about a soccer takeover.
Only the branding. The concept is pretty similar to what under 8s was when I was a kid (nearly 40 years ago now o_O). Back then it was called freeball and it was just little games against other kids in the club. Like today, it was only at under 9s level you played for your club against other clubs in the district.

Auskick was just the national branding exercise - a very very good one - that centralised the administration. I'm sure those Auskick packs each probably cost the AFL 2/5ths of bugger all when you order them by the million. But you're right, I doubt it had anything to do with being worried about a soccer takeover.
 

RedV3x

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Back then it was called freeball and it was just little games against other kids in the club. Like today, it was only at under 9s level you played for your club against other clubs in the district. Auskick was just the national branding exercise
Yes, Freeball. Though we did play against other clubs on an informal basis.

I doubt it had anything to do with being worried about a soccer takeover.
It was brought in to fill a vacuum and give give kids an alternative start to soccer.
 

The_Wookie

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Only the branding. The concept is pretty similar to what under 8s was when I was a kid (nearly 40 years ago now o_O). Back then it was called freeball and it was just little games against other kids in the club. Like today, it was only at under 9s level you played for your club against other clubs in the district.

Auskick was just the national branding exercise - a very very good one - that centralised the administration. I'm sure those Auskick packs each probably cost the AFL 2/5ths of bugger all when you order them by the million. But you're right, I doubt it had anything to do with being worried about a soccer takeover.
freeball was a WA thing. Im sure SA had their own version. And then the AFL rolled out Auskick nationally i think in 1995.
 

TWLS

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freeball was a WA thing. Im sure SA had their own version. And then the AFL rolled out Auskick nationally i think in 1995.
Will step in here -From my records that I knew would come in handy someday.
First year of Auskick 1990- 24186 registrations - Held in Victoria and WA ONLY -Had WA 2655 Regs of that total.
Next figure recorded was 1998 -67803 nationally, so 1995 likely correct for first national figure.
 

BringBackTorps

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1. This is a brief summary of, arguably, the most venerated figure in GR AF in Australia- the legendary R. Allsopp, the "founding father" of VicKick in 1985 (which later became Auskick). He had 34 yrs experience as a GR AF administrator.


Auskick, at jnr Club level for c. 15 weeks, throughout Aust. (usually for 5 y.o.- 9 y,.o.), & also, in NSW & Qld. only Mon.-Fri. after-school Auskick programs (paid for by parents, usually c. 6 weeks) have both played an immense role in promoting jnr AF in NSW, ACT, & Qld.
A great part of Auskick club success is the enthusiasm of the vast no. of volunteer coordinators, parent coaches, & parent assistant coaches/various parent helpers.
The extent of this program is probably unrivalled, in any sport, around Australia.




2. Continuing the pioneering GR AF Administrator theme, but in far more challenging environments: Newcastle Hunter District, & Central Coast Districts, both very strong RL heartlands- where soccer is also very strong.
At Knights' Stadium, there are NRL crowds c. 30K+; & record soccer crowd of 29,410 at the 2018 A League Jets vs Melb. Victory GF (other games, 18k+).

Allan Waud was the pioneering, first AF Development Officer in these districts in the mid-90's- originally working out of his car boot.


Female GR AF has boomed in this District since 2017, & there are 17 female adult teams, with many more jnr female club teams. GR AF male club & school comp. nos. are also at record highs, but have had much more modest growth.

AF can still be considered a niche sport in the district- playing AFL games at the refurbished, much larger Number One Sports Ground in Newcastle will provide a much needed boost (2022 reconfigured capacity c. 8-12 k? See aerial photo)).



and
No. 1 Sportsground set to celebrate centenary with a makeover
21 Sep 2021

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Newcastle could host elite cricket and AFL matches as soon as 2022 with the redevelopment of Newcastle's No. 1 Sportsground drawing closer to completion.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the redevelopment will solidify Newcastle's position as a world-class events city, as well as benefit local sportspeople who play at National Park's No. 1 Sportsground regularly.

"No. 1 Sportsground was designed and constructed in 1921, officially opening in 1922, and in that time the venue has hosted a variety of sporting and non-sporting events," Cr Nelmes said.

"It has been over ten years since the last international match was held at No. 1 Sportsground, when our Australian women's team defeated South Africa in the 2009 ICC Women's World Cup.

"The redevelopment, which coincides with the venue's centenary, will deliver regular users of the ground improved facilities, and provide our city with an economic boost through the attraction of major sporting events.

"Novocastrians love their sport and I'm really looking forward to No. 1 Sportsground hosting the Australian Deaf Games cricket fixtures in April 2022, as well as the possibility of hosting pre-season AFL fixtures and regional Big Bash League matches right here in Newcastle."

Work on the new lighting is nearing completion and turf has been laid with the iconic Newcastle venue set to reopen in 2022 after the new turf has had a chance to establish. Preliminary design work is also underway for a future upgrade of the player amenities.

The makeover includes a rebuilt playing surface with increased playing field size to achieve the minimum standard required for first grade AFL and elite cricket matches, lighting upgrade to enable evening fixtures, a new sub-soil irrigation and drainage system, new player dug out benches, construction of seven new cricket wickets, new sight screens, new oval perimeter fencing and additional bleacher seating to almost double the seated capacity from 400 to 790.
 
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BringBackTorps

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M. Evans has been the CEO of 3 pro RU clubs, & the Melbourne Storm RL club.

Evans said

" We all tend to go and watch the games we played, so if your participation numbers seriously diminish, like in Australian rugby union, over a 20-30 year period your audience disappears. And if that happens, you’re toast.”


Male contact RL nos. have also collapsed in Greater Sydney (excluding Penrith District RL comp.)

These developments present AF, which is having strong GR growth in NSW, ACT, & Qld. with many opportunities to further expand.
 

RedV3x

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M. Evans has been the CEO of 3 pro RU clubs, & the Melbourne Storm RL club. Evans said

" We all tend to go and watch the games we played, so if your participation numbers seriously diminish, like in Australian rugby union, over a 20-30 year period your audience disappears. And if that happens, you’re toast.”
What is the relevance of the link ?


These developments present AF, which is having strong GR growth in NSW, ACT, & Qld. with many opportunities to further expand.
I prefer to say that some obstacles are being removed. The opportunities have always been there.
In fact .F. has a long history in N.S.W and Queensland.
 

BringBackTorps

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1.
What is the relevance of the link ?
As M. Evans, an expert administrator in both RU & RL, said "... if your participation nos. seriously diminish,... your audience disappears...you're toast".

For those who want to play &/or watch a body contact sport requiring courage, AF, RL, & RU are, obviously, direct competitors. RU & RL male contact nos. are severely contracting in Greater Sydney, where AF is having strong growth. AF will be the beneficiary, over the medium to long term.

The concerns over declining (male contact) RL nos. are very widespread. There are about 30+ comments/links in this Thread from RL officials (inc. P. V'landys, A. Abdo, T. Greenberg, J. Grant, & P. Beattie etc.) & MSM commentators on concerns over RL nos.- &/or RU officials (inc. J. O'Neil etc.) & MSM commentators re RU GR (male contact) declining nos.

There are also in this Thread about 30+ comments from similar RL & RU officials & MSM commentators etc. over the rise of AF in NSW & ACT.

The direct competition between the 3 codes in NSW, ACT, & Qld. is incontrovertible; & the "competition from AF" public comments from RL officials has increased noticeably in recent times (where it has been expressly stated that Brisbane 2 must be created to weaken the strong growth of AF in Greater Brisbane/SEQ area).






2. In the New England & NW NSW area, there were no AF clubs playing prior to 1997. The AF comp. that started in 1997 was run independently, but has voted to be run by AFLNSW/ACT from 2022.

"This change will see the AFL lead the strategic direction for the sport’s growth in the region and conduct day to day operations of the competition.

Outgoing President of AFL North West NSW, Sonia Lewis, was thrilled with the outcome for the league. “Players, officials and families in AFL North West all love our footy and we’re excited that the AFL will help us grow the game in this region,” she said.

“It’s a great feeling that each of our eight clubs believe becoming a Managed League is in the best interests of the competition. I can’t wait to see how footy grows in this region with the AFL’s systems, structure and support".



With the AFL assuming direct control (& & investing much more funds), it can be expected there will be significant growth for AF in the New England area in the next few decades.
This is a small part of the overall growth pattern that will, eventually, cause the AFL to introduce a 3rd AFL club in very large, wealthy & influential Sydney.
 

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RedV3x

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With the AFL assuming direct control (& & investing much more funds), it can be expected there will be significant growth for AF in the New England area in the next few decades.
This is a small part of the overall growth pattern that will, eventually, cause the AFL to introduce a 3rd AFL club in very large, wealthy & influential Sydney.
I agree, but the other side of the coin is that clubs and leagues grow dependent on the AFL and less vigilant of their devices.
That's probably not an issue a.t.m. in Australia but overseas I see most clubs/leagues hesitant of being creative lest it might offend the AFL
and they will rescind non-existent funding.

Whilst the AFL is doing some great stuff in AFL states they are severely neglecting non-AFL controlled states.
 

TWLS

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Will step in here -From my records that I knew would come in handy someday.
First year of Auskick 1990- 24186 registrations - Held in Victoria and WA ONLY -Had WA 2655 Regs of that total.
Next figure recorded was 1998 -67803 nationally, so 1995 likely correct for first national figure.
More info update on above--
The original founder of Auskick passed away recently. Some people do make a difference to stuff. Ray would have been very pleased to see how his original idea of VicKick turned out.

 

BringBackTorps

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For decades, & until recent years, many RL officials, & many MSM RL experts etc., claimed that the AFL posed no serious threat to RL in NSW, ACT, & Qld.

Some RL officials even stated, publicly & gleefully, c.2009, that "GWS will be the AFL's Vietnam", clearly implying the AFL's efforts in the GWS area would, eventually, result in a devestating, embarassing, & hugely costly failure- implying an humiliating AFL exit of the Giants from WS.
The NRL HQ in Sydney, about 12 years ago, even had large posters on their foyer & office walls, on public display, proclaiming this "GWS-AFL's Vietnam" message.

NRL officials etc. have stopped making such definitive & "supremacist" claims in the last few years (although P. V'Vlandys has still made several public, negative comments about the AFL, & the aesthetic appeal of AF in NSW & Qld., earlier this year).

The NRL's crystal ball, & its public predictions & messages, have now considerably changed c. 180 degrees, re the progress of AF in NSW, ACT, & Qld.... much more sobering now.

The ABC said on 15.10.21

"The Dolphins had been the unanimous choice of the expansion committee, and Abdo said that the league needed to know that the new team would be ready to go from day one, not requiring huge league investment.

A. Abdo said, re Brisbane 2

"This is not something we wanted to invest tens of millions [of dollars] into,".
"That is the difference between AFL and NRL expansion.
"AFL will pour the money in (into GWS & Suns), knowing they'll reap the rewards in the long run (my words in brackets, & emphases)".


A. Abdo is clearly & strongly implying that the NRL now expects the AFL's GWS & Suns' expansion teams will be successful, both on & off field, "in the long run".

After the AFL has achieved the Suns' & GWS success that the NRL is now expecting, where & when will the AFL expand next (after Tas.'s entry)?

And if the NRL was very unwilling "...to invest tens of millions [of dollars] into" its heartland RL city of Brisbane (with only 1 NRL club), pop.2.4m, will it ever want to do a true expansion (ie not a "fortress SEQ" additional team) into Perth, or Adelaide (with the concomitant many tens, or hundreds, of millions of $ required)?
 
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Bjo187

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Tasmania in 2027 and Canberra - snsw in 2030. That gives GWS another 9 years to establish themselves in Western Sydney and increase player numbers through their academy before moving out of canberra.
 

RussellEbertHandball

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Auskick, like most things AFL, is a rebadged Victorian program - VicKick - which began in 1985. And in 1985, in Victoria, no one was seriously worried about a soccer takeover. Worried they might grow broke sure, not not worried about a soccer takeover.
And VFL copied its format from SA's Modified Rules written on the back of a cigarette pack in 1968 by Don Roach who was the SANFL's first full time promotions officer appointed after the 1967 season finished.

Roach played 158 games for West Adelaide and was the team’s captain and coach in 1966 and 1967, he played 42 games for Norwood, 33 games for Hawthorn and 9 for SA and was selected in the All Oz team at the 1961 carnival.

He introduced the Coca-Cola Mini League as one of his first junior football innovations, played at half time of SANFL games and played under the Modified Rules. It was played by grade 5 and 6 boys so 10 or 11 year olds.

He was SANFL's GM/CEO for 10 years and then Sydney Swans recruited him at end of 1984 to be their CEO. He was sacked after a couple of years, but stayed involved in footy in Sydney and NSW, became chairman of the AFL NSW/ACT Commission and this memoriam piece was written by AFL NSW/ACT when he died in 2011.

..... A little known fact that Roach’s exhibited a fantastic foresight for the game when he started what he believed became the most successful bi-product of Australian Football: Auskick. “I wrote the rules on the back of a cigarette packet in 1968″ Roach said “and called it ‘Mod Football’.”

This was the first and the start to Australia’s and possibly the world’s adoption of modified versions of open age sporting games particularly for young children. It is a legacy that Don Roach will be remembered for in the years ahead.

This Footy Almanac article is about Don but in between the info about his career at the start and end of the article, it also has a lot of great pictures from the book he wrote when he was that promotions officer in 1969, titled - How to play Football.

 

RedV3x

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"That is the difference between AFL and NRL expansion.
The difference is theat the AFL has expanded whereas the NRL has consolidated (except for N.Z.)

After the AFL has achieved the Suns' & GWS success that the NRL is now expecting, where & when will the AFL expand next (after Tas.'s entry)?
The AFL might expand to N.Z., regain Canberra or consolidate the N.T.
Anyways, it is little interest to the NRL because they're not there.
 

RedV3x

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Auskick/Vickick has been around since the 1970s at least. Not sure soccer has anything to do with it.
Well, well, well. That's how long (and even earlier) that people have been saying that soccer will swamp A.F.
It was recognised early that very young kids would play soccer because they could - soccer being a very simple game.
AusKick was devised to give little kids a bit of fun to encourage them to follow the A.F. path.
What we call modified, and some people call Auskick was introduced later as a better approach to skills development.
Our club and parents loved freeball as it was glorified baby-sitting and a big earner for the club.
 

Rob

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For decades, & until recent years, many RL officials, & many MSM RL experts etc., claimed that the AFL posed no serious threat to RL in NSW, ACT, & Qld.

Some RL officials even stated, publicly & gleefully, c.2009, that "GWS will be the AFL's Vietnam", clearly implying the AFL's efforts in the GWS area would, eventually, result in a devestating, embarassing, & hugely costly failure- implying an humiliating AFL exit of the Giants from WS.
The NRL HQ in Sydney, about 12 years ago, even had large posters on their foyer & office walls, on public display, proclaiming this "GWS-AFL's Vietnam" message.
I find that extremely hard to believe. An organisation that is so focused on things completely outside of their control is doomed to fail.

The AFL may have its flaws, but I haven't seen much evidence that they give a stuff what anyone else does. They just set targets for themselves then work out how to achieve them, irrespective of what any other sporting body does.
 

RussellEbertHandball

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I find that extremely hard to believe. An organisation that is so focused on things completely outside of their control is doomed to fail.

The AFL may have its flaws, but I haven't seen much evidence that they give a stuff what anyone else does. They just set targets for themselves then work out how to achieve them, irrespective of what any other sporting body does.
Not since they got their first billion dollar TV deal. Before that they were as paranoid as any sports administrators in Oz protecting their patch. Once Demetriou had negotiated the billion dollars TV deal, and had screwed state governments for a few billion dollars of stadium upgrades, they no longer GAF about others, except to make sure they are dominating the news cycle.
 

TWLS

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And VFL copied its format from SA's Modified Rules written on the back of a cigarette pack in 1968 by Don Roach who was the SANFL's first full time promotions officer appointed after the 1967 season finished.

Roach played 158 games for West Adelaide and was the team’s captain and coach in 1966 and 1967, he played 42 games for Norwood, 33 games for Hawthorn and 9 for SA and was selected in the All Oz team at the 1961 carnival.

He introduced the Coca-Cola Mini League as one of his first junior football innovations, played at half time of SANFL games and played under the Modified Rules. It was played by grade 5 and 6 boys so 10 or 11 year olds.

He was SANFL's GM/CEO for 10 years and then Sydney Swans recruited him at end of 1984 to be their CEO. He was sacked after a couple of years, but stayed involved in footy in Sydney and NSW, became chairman of the AFL NSW/ACT Commission and this memoriam piece was written by AFL NSW/ACT when he died in 2011.

..... A little known fact that Roach’s exhibited a fantastic foresight for the game when he started what he believed became the most successful bi-product of Australian Football: Auskick. “I wrote the rules on the back of a cigarette packet in 1968″ Roach said “and called it ‘Mod Football’.”

This was the first and the start to Australia’s and possibly the world’s adoption of modified versions of open age sporting games particularly for young children. It is a legacy that Don Roach will be remembered for in the years ahead.

This Footy Almanac article is about Don but in between the info about his career at the start and end of the article, it also has a lot of great pictures from the book he wrote when he was that promotions officer in 1969, titled - How to play Football.

This news is new to me and many others I suspect after having spent much time researching early footy stuff in the 90`s and early 2000`s.
 

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