Expansion AFL overtaking NRL in QLD

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PhatBoy

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It's a slight overreaction. In some spots maybe it is accurate. In Western NSW it isn't. In fact while I wouldn't say that new clubs are springing up out of nowhere, a lot of teams that were basically extinct have made a return.

Just in the three competitions closest to where I live (Group 10, Group 11, Mid-West) a number of sides have either expanded or returned. And the women's competitions have helped that a lot too.

Oberon - the St George of bush footy, won 11 comps in 12 years or something back in the 60s-70s. Didn't have a senior presence a decade ago. Have since returned to Group 10 with 3 grades plus a women's team, made a grand final. Currently playing the Mid-West Cup which is a slightly lower competition than Group 10.

Blayney Bears - Had guys like Kerry Hemsley and Paul Sironen and Jason Darcy (ex NRL players) in the 90s and went broke paying them. Disappeared for 9 years, have been back in senior Group 10 competition for the last 10 years with 3 senior teams plus women.

CSU - My old club. Used to have roughly 25 players playing 2 grades in the NSW Tertiary Rugby League against the other unis. Has switched to the local Mid West Competition and won it several times, depending on numbers year in year out (it's mostly students so the side changes a lot) they either enter two or one team in the Mid West competition, have two women's teams. Have started a loose affiliation with the newest junior club in the area, the Eglinton Eels who came into existence 10 years ago.

Portland - Play in the Mid West competition, were extinct for over a decade before returning 2 years ago

Villages United - a fourth Bathurst team that emerged 12 years ago. Still going, regular Mid West finalists.

Dubbo Westside - the third 'poor cousin' Dubbo club that existed through the 1980s and 90s, died in the late 90s. Re-formed five years ago and now have 3 men's teams and one women's in Group 11 competition.

Forbes Magpies - never died, but went the best part of 25 years without so much as making a grand final. Have recently won 2 Group 11 first grade premierships beating the powerhouse Dubbo CYMS team in both, and now absolutely flying.

A whole host of villages have put together teams in recent years in some of the minor competitions. Peak Hill, Molong, Trundle, Manildra, Grenfell, Eugowra, Cargo, Canowindra, Burrangong - they all have sides in the Woodbridge Cup and their biggest town is Molong at about 2000.
That's just a bare snapshot of the immediate region around where I live.

Yes it is not representative of the entirety of NSW and Queensland but even if you go further west to the absolute outback, Bourke, Brewarrina, Walgett, Collarenebri, Cobar, Lightning Ridge, places like that - they are still competing. Mungindi and Newtown (Walgett based club) have both only formed in the last 5 years.

Rumours of the death of bush footy have been fairly exaggerated.
 

BringBackTorps

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It's a slight overreaction. In some spots maybe it is accurate.[Long term, decline in RL male contact nos. is accurate everywhere in Qld. NSW, & ACT] In Western NSW it isn't. In fact while I wouldn't say that new clubs are springing up out of nowhere, a lot of teams that were basically extinct have made a return.

Just in the three competitions closest to where I live (Group 10, Group 11, Mid-West) a number of sides have either expanded or returned. And the women's competitions have helped that a lot too.

Oberon - the St George of bush footy, won 11 comps in 12 years or something back in the 60s-70s. Didn't have a senior presence a decade ago. Have since returned to Group 10 with 3 grades plus a women's team, made a grand final. Currently playing the Mid-West Cup which is a slightly lower competition than Group 10.

Blayney Bears - Had guys like Kerry Hemsley and Paul Sironen and Jason Darcy (ex NRL players) in the 90s and went broke paying them. Disappeared for 9 years, have been back in senior Group 10 competition for the last 10 years with 3 senior teams plus women.

CSU - My old club. Used to have roughly 25 players playing 2 grades in the NSW Tertiary Rugby League against the other unis. Has switched to the local Mid West Competition and won it several times, depending on numbers year in year out (it's mostly students so the side changes a lot) they either enter two or one team in the Mid West competition, have two women's teams. Have started a loose affiliation with the newest junior club in the area, the Eglinton Eels who came into existence 10 years ago.

Portland - Play in the Mid West competition, were extinct for over a decade before returning 2 years ago

Villages United - a fourth Bathurst team that emerged 12 years ago. Still going, regular Mid West finalists.

Dubbo Westside - the third 'poor cousin' Dubbo club that existed through the 1980s and 90s, died in the late 90s. Re-formed five years ago and now have 3 men's teams and one women's in Group 11 competition.

Forbes Magpies - never died, but went the best part of 25 years without so much as making a grand final. Have recently won 2 Group 11 first grade premierships beating the powerhouse Dubbo CYMS team in both, and now absolutely flying.

A whole host of villages have put together teams in recent years in some of the minor competitions. Peak Hill, Molong, Trundle, Manildra, Grenfell, Eugowra, Cargo, Canowindra, Burrangong - they all have sides in the Woodbridge Cup and their biggest town is Molong at about 2000.
That's just a bare snapshot of the immediate region around where I live.

Yes it is not representative of the entirety of NSW and Queensland but even if you go further west to the absolute outback, Bourke, Brewarrina, Walgett, Collarenebri, Cobar, Lightning Ridge, places like that - they are still competing. Mungindi and Newtown (Walgett based club) have both only formed in the last 5 years.

Rumours of the death of bush footy have been fairly exaggerated.

In this Thread, also in "Sydney 3rd Team Thread", & "What Are Chances Of Footy Overtaking RL in NSW & Qld. Thread" (latter two in Footy Industry Forum), there are c. 25+ quotes (with links) from MSM RL experts & current & former RL Officials & RL players etc. that GR male contact RL is in a significant long term decline in NSW & Qld. This includes NRL Chairmen J. Grant, P. Beattie, NRL CEO T. Greenburg (& A. Abdo & P. V'landys, both by implication).

Female contact RL is having significant growth, off a small base.
Tag & Touch etc. male & female player nos. are not included, as these non-contact games are not RL. P. Kent, G. Alexander, & the Daily Mercury have stated (links in this Thread) that the NRL are deliberately using Tag & Touch, one-off Gala Day, Community Event etc. nos. to artificially inflate the total GR "Rugby League" nos.

Whilst the male contact RL decline may vary slightly from region to region, it is incontrovertible that this decline is occurring all over NSW, ACT, & Qld.

You have nominated 4 adult RL Clubs, some from the 1960's, from western NSW that became extinct- then later were reformed.
How many, approximately, adult RL Clubs have become extinct in Central & Western NSW from 1960 -2020 ie never reformed?
Also, how many came back from extinction, but only by amalgamating with another Club?

Ditto junior RL Clubs?

Can you provide a 2019 estimate how many snr male RL players, who don't normally live in the Central West, were recruited specifically by RL Clubs to move to the Central West, to play RL?



2. This 4.11.19 article states Oberon snr RL Club (probably the most successful RL Club ever in the Central West, & which you nominated as a success) was forced to join a lower Division, due to lack of snr player nos.

RL Group 10 President L. Zamparini also said, re jnr contact RL player nos. in Group 10

"The juniors only go to U10, it's a grassroots thing, everywhere struggles a bit...".


What are the reasons for these declines?
 
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PhatBoy

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1.


In this Thread, "Sydney 3rd Team Thread", & "What Are Chances Of Footy Overtaking RL in NSW & Qld. Thread" (latter two in Footy Industry Forum), there are c. 25+ quotes (with links) from MSM RL experts & RL Officials etc. that GR male contact RL is in a significant long term decline in NSW & Qld. This includes NRL Chairmen J. Grant, P.Beattie, NRL CEO T. Greenburg (& A. Abdo & P. V'landys, both by implication).

Female contact RL is having significant growth off a small base. Tag & Touch male & female player nos. are not included, as these non-contact games are not RL. P. Kent, G. Alexander, & the Daily Mercury have stated (links in this Thread) that the NRL are deliberately using Tag & Touch nos. to artificially inflate the total GR "Rugby League" nos.

Whilst the male contact RL decline may vary slightly from region to region, it is incontrovertible that this decline is occurring all over NSW, ACT, & Qld.

You have nominated 4 adult RL Clubs, some from the 1960's, from western NSW that became extinct- then later were reformed.
How many, approximately, adult RL Clubs have become extinct in Central & Western NSW from 1960 -2020 ie never reformed; or reformed, but only by amalgamating with another Club?

Ditto junior RL Clubs?

Can you provide a 2019 estimate how many snr male RL players, who don't normally live in the Central West, were recruited specifically by RL Clubs to move to the Central West, to play RL?



2. This 4.11.19 article states Oberon snr RL Club (probably the most successful RL Club ever in the Central West, & which you nominated as a success) was forced to join a lower Division, due to lack of snr player nos.

RL Group 10 President L. Zamparini also said, re jnr contact RL player nos. in Group 10

"The juniors only go to U10, it's a grassroots thing, everywhere struggles a bit...".


What are the reasons for these declines?
Lol, I don’t know what you’re arguing against. I never denied that player numbers overall might be declining. I said that in some areas, notably this one, the trend is being bucked.

oberon didn’t exist at all in the 2000s for a period so yes while right at the moment - that story is from this exact year - their numbers are lower (they still won the competition) they are also significantly up from when they had no numbers at all.

not being born in the 50s, I don’t know how many clubs are extinct from the 60s and 70s. All I can go on is the time I’ve been alive and in the region and there are as many, if not more clubs around low than there was 20 years ago.
 

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jezzajay

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More evidence that P. V'landys is concerned re the long term, significant decline in GR male contact RL nos. V'landys wants to recruit P. Gould to work for the NRL HQ.

7news.com 27.7.20

"V'landys is hoping to lure Gould for a Special Projects, chiefly Pathways & Participation".


Sydney 2GB Radio B. Fordham 28.7.20

V'landys said, re P. Gould

"...if he...is (able) to increase participation, we should use him".


Daily Telegraph P. Kent

Kent said

"Bush football is slowly dying. There are strong AFL competitions where that didn't exist 20 years ago in many bush towns...".


Daily Telegraph P. Rothfield

Rothfield said

"Country Rugby League is in fact dying a slow death".


All 4 links & full quotes are in this link- scroll down to my post #243
Are you talking the same Gould that every Queenslander despises?
How on earth they think he could make inroads into QLD is laughable...NSW I understand...
This just highlights an issue with the code...typical boys club...other sports are no different really but this just highlights how badly they read the crowd.
 

PhatBoy

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Are you talking the same Gould that every Queenslander despises?
How on earth they think he could make inroads into QLD is laughable...NSW I understand...
This just highlights an issue with the code...typical boys club...other sports are no different really but this just highlights how badly they read the crowd.

Lol. Gould, while an absolute oxygen thief, knows the game better than anyone and has made incredible strides in fostering relationships between Penrith and a number of country areas.
 

jezzajay

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Lol. Gould, while an absolute oxygen thief, knows the game better than anyone and has made incredible strides in fostering relationships between Penrith and a number of country areas.
But why send him to talk NRL up to people that hate him?
Penrith is in NSW so obviously things can work for him there.
Every time that goose speaks on TV or his name is mentioned people up here go nuts.
 

PhatBoy

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But why send him to talk NRL up to people that hate him?
Penrith is in NSW so obviously things can work for him there.
Every time that goose speaks on TV or his name is mentioned people up here go nuts.

Where does it say he's going there to talk NRL up?

That role wouldn't be talking to fans and trying to spruik the game. That role would be around pathways, academies, and partnerships between NRL clubs or NSW/QLD Cup clubs and their country counterparts. He has already set up a link between the Panthers and the Western Division area beyond the Blue Mountains. People who actually run football clubs and competitions are not the same as the average watcher who cringes every time he opens his mouth.
 

jezzajay

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Where does it say he's going there to talk NRL up?

That role wouldn't be talking to fans and trying to spruik the game. That role would be around pathways, academies, and partnerships between NRL clubs or NSW/QLD Cup clubs and their country counterparts. He has already set up a link between the Panthers and the Western Division area beyond the Blue Mountains. People who actually run football clubs and competitions are not the same as the average watcher who cringes every time he opens his mouth.
Fair question...post #250 mentions P Gould trying to fix things in regional areas...I assumed as this thread is about QLD that QLD was part of the discussion.
I understand its not him directly spruiking to fans...it would be a deeper role.
I worked for a Leagues club up here for 8 years...not one person talked highly of Gould from memory. I understand the capacity of that hatred is purely based on state v state rivalry but that hatred runs deep enough for them to ignore anything he may bring to the table.
 

PhatBoy

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Fair question...post #250 mentions P Gould trying to fix things in regional areas...I assumed as this thread is about QLD that QLD was part of the discussion.
I understand its not him directly spruiking to fans...it would be a deeper role.
I worked for a Leagues club up here for 8 years...not one person talked highly of Gould from memory. I understand the capacity of that hatred is purely based on state v state rivalry but that hatred runs deep enough for them to ignore anything he may bring to the table.

No one in NSW does either, at least not the lay man in the street. Football administrators and coaches, the kind that can put their (understandable) disdain for him aside, really rate him highly.
 

SugarHealey

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What would it take?
Could this covid season be the precursor?
Two QLD teams, both competitive, one likely a top 4 team
The Courier Fail owned NRL team being less than garbage
A Grand Final in QLD?
Could the seeds laid be enough?
Nrls roots there are so deep... but unlike Collingwood... afls giant... the broncos are just no good and I don't see it getting better any time soon

The NRL is not the AFL's opponent, nor nemesis.

Soccer is the fastest growing code of football in the counbtry, and has been for some years; and as such IS the AFL's and NRL's nemesis.

The AFL and NRL should be best mates. As they are the traditional footy codes of this nation.
 

bzparkes

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The NRL is not the AFL's opponent, nor nemesis.

Soccer is the fastest growing code of football in the counbtry, and has been for some years; and as such IS the AFL's and NRL's nemesis.

The AFL and NRL should be best mates. As they are the traditional footy codes of this nation.
Everyone keeps saying that yet most people don't give 2 hoots about the A-League.

I don't buy it.
 

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The NRL is not the AFL's opponent, nor nemesis.

Soccer is the fastest growing code of football in the counbtry, and has been for some years; and as such IS the AFL's and NRL's nemesis.

The AFL and NRL should be best mates. As they are the traditional footy codes of this nation.
I don't even think Aussie rules sees soccer as a threat to be honest. They don't even play at the same time during the year.
 

Freomaniac

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Being a Richmond member all my life 39 years and moving up to QLD in 2018 , One big difference about NRL compared to AFL is that...no one in Brisbane seems to give a crap about any sport... There is zero passion , nothing like there is in Melb towards AFL.... In melb everyone at work talks footy... Tipping comps... Hanging crap on each other etc...

Worked at a few different places in Brisbane and never once been asked who I barrack for , never been at a work place that has an nrl tipping comp..

I see the crowds at their games on tv here when at Suncorp and it's laughable ...this is before covid..

So I don't really think it is about NRL vs AFL... I just don't think Qld people are that passionate about sport.. I lived in the same street as Suncorp stadium and when the Broncos play there is hardly any noise from the stadium.. the only time NRL has any passion is when state of origin is on..and even then it's really just people wanting their state to win...they are not even big rugby fans.

When I explain to people just what it's like going to the MCG and the noise and crowds are just miles ahead of NRL they seem shocked...and I've taken some pommie mates to games at the MCG who live on QLD and they always say ...wow this is like the premier league back home..

So I can't ever see AFL being a big sport in Qld as NRL is really just a mild interest to most in Brisbane and it's evident by then being the biggest team in the state and they rarely fill Suncorp and have no where near the members AFL clubs get...
I see your point.

I do live in SA in the port Adelaide are and go to my local pubs and not surprisingly they talk AFL.

Yeah I am the only Freo fan in those pubs populated by crows and Port fans.

And yes I join the footy tipping comps every year
 

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I read some of the comments and it’s clear to me lot of people who clearly have never lived here and have zero idea what’s going on. The AFL in my lifetime will never take over the popularity of Rugby League!!!! I’ve lived here for 25 years in different parts of the state.

The support map of AFL can be compared to electoral map of left, centre and right wing political views.

South east Queensland people are tolerant of Aussie Rules there is large following, not as much as rugby league, but it’s there. The rugby league fan don’t seem to talk down Aussie rules fans in most discussions.

However, once your north of Caboolture or west of Logan, it changes. Homophobic slurs such as GAYFL is common Language, kids and adults pick on the outsiders for being different to them.
Although uncle Rupert has shut down the local propaganda mouth pieces papers, not one local paper would give local Aussie rules competition attention.

Queensland is beautiful place however the people here won’t change. The people north of Brisbane are bogans who don’t want to change,that’s why they go so crazy during origin (I don’t get it btw it’s a two horse race). The AFL will never take over either will soccer, the mentality of Queenslanders will make sure of that.


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BringBackTorps

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not being born in the 50s, I don’t know how many clubs are extinct from the 60s and 70s. All I can go on is the time I’ve been alive and in the region and there are as many, if not more clubs around low than there was 20 years ago.

I am aware that P. Gould, from 2017, established very close links with their "neighbouring" area across the mountains. Gould also established Penrith Academies in Bathurst, Dubbo, & Forbes.

Penrith/Gould also did a clever rebranding of all GR RL teams' jerseys/websites/local Club & school clinics' advertising etc. in the Central West- with "Penrith Panthers" branding (which boosts tribalism, support for Penrith, & GR RL generally).
There has been a revival in elite GR contact RL in the Central West., with more CW players being drafted to the NRL.

I, & the linked MSM RL experts & NRL Officials, was referring to the significant long term decline in GR male contact RL nos. in NSW, ACT, & Qld.

Re the Mid West Cup (Central West Second Division)

"More than 40 teams have reportedly featured in the Mid West Cup over the course of its history" since 1913.
In 2019, it had 4 snr teams; & in 2020, 7 teams.



Re the Bathurst & Orange-dominated Group 10 (Central West premier snr comp.)

"As of 2020, Group 10 consists of 8 teams from 6 towns of the Central West...9 teams had previously competed in the Premier League competition" in 2019.

From 1948- 2017, there had been, at various times, a total of 21 RL Clubs in Group 10.



There is certainly no current evidence that the AFL will eventually become the more popular sport (cf NRL) for Queenslanders to watch on TV or Foxtel etc.

AFL ratings in Brisbane (for similar time slots) are usually c. 25% of Broncos' matches (yet being broadcast on 7's secondary Channel severely inhibits the Brisbane AFL ratings' nos.). In the 2020 Finals (where no Qld. team was playing), the AFL outrated the NRL in Brisbane.

Re GR Club & school competition nos., however, there is a good chance (based on current strong AF club & school comp. growth trends; & GR contact RL club & school comp. nos.' decline) that the AF will overtake RL in the Gold Coast/Brisbane/ Sunshine Coast corridor some time after 2030.
 
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GC2015

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I read some of the comments and it’s clear to me lot of people who clearly have never lived here and have zero idea what’s going on.
Yeah it's extremely obvious that most people in this thread have no idea, even some who claim to live here seem just as clueless. I think you have to go through the schooling system here and then live in Queensland as an adult to really understand what's going on.

Aussie rules has varying degrees of interest throughout the state with the Gold Coast/Cairns showing the most interest per capita vs regional areas of central Queensland where there is little to no support for our game and most of the residents fiercely oppose the sport in favour of rugby league. Despite what some may say about Brisbane, it IS Broncos town. Think West Coast in the late 80s/early 90s and that's essentially what is going on in Brisbane with the Broncos. They are the pride and joy of that city and every other professional team based in Brisbane is playing second fiddle to them in terms of media/public interest, regardless of on field results. Having said that, Brisbane has a large population (just under 2.5 million now) and plenty of southerners have moved to the city in the last 30-40 years so even having a small percentage of interest makes it look like the Lions are going okay in comparison to other AFL clubs but the truth of the matter is that their penetration within the large market of Brisbane is pretty poor for a city with one AFL club e.g. 2.5m population, 25k home attendance 2019 (1%), 29k members in 2020 (1.1%). Those total numbers look okay when you compare them to other AFL clubs but they aren't great when you consider the size of the market as well as the likelihood that their membership number is probably boosted by Victorians due to historical Fitzroy links. Also, the southerner ex pat influence can be seen in Brisbane's academy players with guys like Harris Andrews and Eric Hipwood being born in Victoria and both moving to Queensland in their childhood. This isn't a recent trend either. You can go further back and you'll find guys like Michael Voss and Jason Akermanis were also born in Victoria and moved to Brisbane in their younger years. I should also point out that rugby union is king at the high school level in Brisbane. Think of the APS school footy competition in Victoria and that's what you have in Brisbane with GPS rugby union competition.

I cannot stress enough that the Gold Coast is completely different to Brisbane in almost every regard. Historical links to rugby league are nowhere near as strong because the GC never had a team in the popular Brisbane Rugby League competition and essentially every NSWRL/NRL team that's been based here has failed and/or folded. In fact, the team that had the most influence in the city historically was the Southport Sharks! Therefore, rugby league was never able to establish a strong grip on the Gold Coast like it did in Brisbane. The main reason rugby league has a decent following on the Gold Coast these days is because of the large amount of Sydney ex pats that have moved to the Gold Coast over the last 3-4 decades and haven't let go of those links to this day. That's why you'll often see more fans of a Sydney based club at a Titans home game than the Titans fans themselves. Likewise, a large amount of Victorians (admittedly less than those from NSW) have also moved to the Gold Coast over the last 3-4 decades and strengthened the already decent Gold Coast footy community. The general consensus these days is that the Gold Coast has a 60/40 split between rugby league and Aussie rules, with rugby league being the slightly more popular sport. The greater level of market penetration on the Gold Coast is reflected the attendance/membership numbers: 700k population, 13.5k home attendance (1.9%) and 16.2k members in 2020 (2.3%). Don't forget, this is also a team that has performed quite poorly over the lifetime of its existence so it's definitely reasonable to suggest the market penetration would be considerably higher if the club was competing for a flag like the Lions currently are. There's a more even split in terms of southern ex pat influence as well with locals coming through the GC academy such as Rory Thompson and Jack Bowes who were born and raised in Queensland vs players like Lachie Weller and Connor Budarick moving to the Gold Coast in their younger years. This split was also the case historically with players like Marcus Ashcroft, Clark Keating and Kurt Tippett being locals while ex pats like Nick Riewoldt, David Hale and Dayne Beams moved to the Gold Coast at a young age. The school sporting preference influence is almost non-existent on the Gold Coast as well with a few exceptions such as TSS competing in the GPS rugby competition and PBC/Keebra being NRL breeding grounds. The large majority of schools on the Gold Coast do not have a preference when it comes to sport which means the market is still wide open for the taking.

Cairns is probably the only other Queensland city with significant interest in Aussie rules that's worth mentioning in this thread. Historical events have had a massive influence on the Cairns sporting community and the old ANFC can be thanked for making a fantastic decision in the 1950s to purchase land that they would use to build what is now known as Cazalys Stadium and establish the Cairns Australian Football League. They got in early and it has made a huge difference in the Cairns market where the local leagues tend to have more influence due to a lack of professional sports teams based in the city. Now that footy prospects from Cairns are being properly nurtured by the academy program, we're starting to see some really great prospects come out of Cairns in the last 10 years: Charlie Dixon, Jack Bowes (Pick 10, 2016) and Alex Davies who would have been a top 10 pick this year under normal circumstances. They've also had some noteworthy footy players in the past: Jarrod Harbrow, Courtenay Dempsey and Che Cockatoo-Collins.

Shoutout to the Sunshine Coast residents for all the southern ex pats up there keeping their kids playing Aussie rules. It's starting to become a little hotbed of talent for the Lions and may end up being similar to the Gold Coast one day.


Just as is the case with politics in Queensland, the sporting market is a complicated with varying opinions and interest levels. Grouping all of Queensland together and just assuming we're all the same is simply an uninformed way of looking at it.
 

SugarHealey

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I don't even think Aussie rules sees soccer as a threat to be honest. They don't even play at the same time during the year.
If the AFL does not see soccer as its main rival, it is derelict.

Soccer IS the biggest sport in the world, by far, and is only played in summer over here, so it can gain TV coverage. Not directly vying against AFL and NRL directly for TV rights and media coverage.

The SOCCER admins saw summertime, vying against cricket and horse racing as the best way to sell the game and grow the grass roots base, which it has done, and continues to do.

So I am suggesting that one-day, soccer will move to covert Winter within Austrlia. To the demise of the NRL. They will be the first to fall.


Then soccer will go head to head against the AFL, gradually making inroads into Footy's main stomping grounds. The southern states of Aus. and rural Australia.
 

RUNVS

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If the AFL does not see soccer as its main rival, it is derelict.

Soccer IS the biggest sport in the world, by far, and is only played in summer over here, so it can gain TV coverage. Not directly vying against AFL and NRL directly for TV rights and media coverage.

The SOCCER admins saw summertime, vying against cricket and horse racing as the best way to sell the game and grow the grass roots base, which it has done, and continues to do.

So I am suggesting that one-day, soccer will move to covert Winter within Austrlia. To the demise of the NRL. They will be the first to fall.


Then soccer will go head to head against the AFL, gradually making inroads into Footy's main stomping grounds. The southern states of Aus. and rural Australia.
People have been talking about the participation numbers on soccer for decades but it never leads to anything. Soccer moved to summer to get away from the AFL and NRL because competing against both codes meant low crowds and very little media interest. Even in summer with only cricket as a competitor the A-League hasn't really grown with crowds and their ratings are pretty poor.

Soccer is not a threat.
 

PhatBoy

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If the AFL does not see soccer as its main rival, it is derelict.

Soccer IS the biggest sport in the world, by far, and is only played in summer over here, so it can gain TV coverage. Not directly vying against AFL and NRL directly for TV rights and media coverage.

The SOCCER admins saw summertime, vying against cricket and horse racing as the best way to sell the game and grow the grass roots base, which it has done, and continues to do.

So I am suggesting that one-day, soccer will move to covert Winter within Austrlia. To the demise of the NRL. They will be the first to fall.


Then soccer will go head to head against the AFL, gradually making inroads into Footy's main stomping grounds. The southern states of Aus. and rural Australia.

The biggest problem facing soccer to try and do that - is that it's a sh*t sport. In other nations it can thrive based on the tribalism and community linkage to the clubs. Australia already gets that through other sports. So there is only so much interest such a useless game can actually attract.
 

Football Tragic

Club Legend
Nov 11, 2010
2,003
4,548
Punt Rd End
AFL Club
Richmond
Yeah it's extremely obvious that most people in this thread have no idea, even some who claim to live here seem just as clueless. I think you have to go through the schooling system here and then live in Queensland as an adult to really understand what's going on.

Aussie rules has varying degrees of interest throughout the state with the Gold Coast/Cairns showing the most interest per capita vs regional areas of central Queensland where there is little to no support for our game and most of the residents fiercely oppose the sport in favour of rugby league. Despite what some may say about Brisbane, it IS Broncos town. Think West Coast in the late 80s/early 90s and that's essentially what is going on in Brisbane with the Broncos. They are the pride and joy of that city and every other professional team based in Brisbane is playing second fiddle to them in terms of media/public interest, regardless of on field results. Having said that, Brisbane has a large population (just under 2.5 million now) and plenty of southerners have moved to the city in the last 30-40 years so even having a small percentage of interest makes it look like the Lions are going okay in comparison to other AFL clubs but the truth of the matter is that their penetration within the large market of Brisbane is pretty poor for a city with one AFL club e.g. 2.5m population, 25k home attendance 2019 (1%), 29k members in 2020 (1.1%). Those total numbers look okay when you compare them to other AFL clubs but they aren't great when you consider the size of the market as well as the likelihood that their membership number is probably boosted by Victorians due to historical Fitzroy links. Also, the southerner ex pat influence can be seen in Brisbane's academy players with guys like Harris Andrews and Eric Hipwood being born in Victoria and both moving to Queensland in their childhood. This isn't a recent trend either. You can go further back and you'll find guys like Michael Voss and Jason Akermanis were also born in Victoria and moved to Brisbane in their younger years. I should also point out that rugby union is king at the high school level in Brisbane. Think of the APS school footy competition in Victoria and that's what you have in Brisbane with GPS rugby union competition.

I cannot stress enough that the Gold Coast is completely different to Brisbane in almost every regard. Historical links to rugby league are nowhere near as strong because the GC never had a team in the popular Brisbane Rugby League competition and essentially every NSWRL/NRL team that's been based here has failed and/or folded. In fact, the team that had the most influence in the city historically was the Southport Sharks! Therefore, rugby league was never able to establish a strong grip on the Gold Coast like it did in Brisbane. The main reason rugby league has a decent following on the Gold Coast these days is because of the large amount of Sydney ex pats that have moved to the Gold Coast over the last 3-4 decades and haven't let go of those links to this day. That's why you'll often see more fans of a Sydney based club at a Titans home game than the Titans fans themselves. Likewise, a large amount of Victorians (admittedly less than those from NSW) have also moved to the Gold Coast over the last 3-4 decades and strengthened the already decent Gold Coast footy community. The general consensus these days is that the Gold Coast has a 60/40 split between rugby league and Aussie rules, with rugby league being the slightly more popular sport. The greater level of market penetration on the Gold Coast is reflected the attendance/membership numbers: 700k population, 13.5k home attendance (1.9%) and 16.2k members in 2020 (2.3%). Don't forget, this is also a team that has performed quite poorly over the lifetime of its existence so it's definitely reasonable to suggest the market penetration would be considerably higher if the club was competing for a flag like the Lions currently are. There's a more even split in terms of southern ex pat influence as well with locals coming through the GC academy such as Rory Thompson and Jack Bowes who were born and raised in Queensland vs players like Lachie Weller and Connor Budarick moving to the Gold Coast in their younger years. This split was also the case historically with players like Marcus Ashcroft, Clark Keating and Kurt Tippett being locals while ex pats like Nick Riewoldt, David Hale and Dayne Beams moved to the Gold Coast at a young age. The school sporting preference influence is almost non-existent on the Gold Coast as well with a few exceptions such as TSS competing in the GPS rugby competition and PBC/Keebra being NRL breeding grounds. The large majority of schools on the Gold Coast do not have a preference when it comes to sport which means the market is still wide open for the taking.

Cairns is probably the only other Queensland city with significant interest in Aussie rules that's worth mentioning in this thread. Historical events have had a massive influence on the Cairns sporting community and the old ANFC can be thanked for making a fantastic decision in the 1950s to purchase land that they would use to build what is now known as Cazalys Stadium and establish the Cairns Australian Football League. They got in early and it has made a huge difference in the Cairns market where the local leagues tend to have more influence due to a lack of professional sports teams based in the city. Now that footy prospects from Cairns are being properly nurtured by the academy program, we're starting to see some really great prospects come out of Cairns in the last 10 years: Charlie Dixon, Jack Bowes (Pick 10, 2016) and Alex Davies who would have been a top 10 pick this year under normal circumstances. They've also had some noteworthy footy players in the past: Jarrod Harbrow, Courtenay Dempsey and Che Cockatoo-Collins.

Shoutout to the Sunshine Coast residents for all the southern ex pats up there keeping their kids playing Aussie rules. It's starting to become a little hotbed of talent for the Lions and may end up being similar to the Gold Coast one day.


Just as is the case with politics in Queensland, the sporting market is a complicated with varying opinions and interest levels. Grouping all of Queensland together and just assuming we're all the same is simply an uninformed way of looking at it.
Some great factual arguments here GC2015 though using crowd/membership percentages doesn't bode well for the NRL when you compare against the AFL. Bronco's are the only side that can be spoken in the same breath as the AFL in terms of crowds/memberships.

Ratings this year, across the whole season, had the AFL out rate the NRL by a considerable market. Numbers increased by 30%+ in NSW and Queensland while NRL ratings were significantly down. AFL Participation numbers in Queensland and NSW have also increased while, once again, the NRL has decreased.

So while the AFL is far from overtaking the NRL in interest, eras where the Queensland AFL are successful when Queensland NRL are not, are very dangerous for the long term popularity of League.
 

PhatBoy

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2016
24,672
25,985
AFL Club
Geelong
Some great factual arguments here GC2015 though using crowd/membership percentages doesn't bode well for the NRL when you compare against the AFL. Bronco's are the only side that can be spoken in the same breath as the AFL in terms of crowds/memberships.

Ratings this year, across the whole season, had the AFL out rate the NRL by a considerable market. Numbers increased by 30%+ in NSW and Queensland while NRL ratings were significantly down. AFL Participation numbers in Queensland and NSW have also increased while, once again, the NRL has decreased.

So while the AFL is far from overtaking the NRL in interest, eras where the Queensland AFL are successful when Queensland NRL are not, are very dangerous for the long term popularity of League.

That's always been the case though. Redfern Oval, Henson Park, Parramatta, Belmore, Endeavour, Kogorah, Leichardt, Penrith, Steeler Stadium, Marathon, Bruce - all these grounds since they've been used have only ever drawn 10-20,000 crowds. As a few of those teams - Parra, the Dogs, Souths moved to bigger venues the crowds never followed.

Looking at membership and crowd numbers today and saying "well NRL will just be swallowed up by AFL" is like looking at a music chart and saying "well Metal is getting smashed by Pop so metal is doomed."
 

AstroboyUK

Club Legend
Apr 25, 2008
1,702
2,533
London / Delhi
AFL Club
Richmond
If the AFL does not see soccer as its main rival, it is derelict.

Soccer IS the biggest sport in the world, by far, and is only played in summer over here, so it can gain TV coverage. Not directly vying against AFL and NRL directly for TV rights and media coverage.

The SOCCER admins saw summertime, vying against cricket and horse racing as the best way to sell the game and grow the grass roots base, which it has done, and continues to do.

So I am suggesting that one-day, soccer will move to covert Winter within Austrlia. To the demise of the NRL. They will be the first to fall.


Then soccer will go head to head against the AFL, gradually making inroads into Footy's main stomping grounds. The southern states of Aus. and rural Australia.
I dont think history or current experience supports that theory. A-League was soccer's big 'break out' and it has proven unsustainable. Nor is is alone in its inability to grow from minor sport to major sport (in the Australian context). Over the past 40 years a number of 3rd tier sports have had their moments in the sun - Baseball in the late 80's, Basketball in the '90s (and perhaps again in the 20's), soccer in the last decade.... all rise and then ebb as the third sport - because they rise on novelty and fall on lack of substance and genuine economic scale. Soccer wasnt the first, wont be the last and will have periodic relevance from time to time, but frankly, all it took was one good counter punch from the slow moving cricket authorities by introducing BBL to blow A-League out of the water and destroy the carefully manufactured facade of soccer's "inevitable rise" in Australia. One novelty event, to blow down another novelty event. That's all it took.

..and that, in its essence is the challenge for AFL in queensland. NRL is not a novelty event - it has deep deep roots that must be respected. You are not going to make long term inroads in that market with a novelty event - and we can include the hosting of an AFL GF as exactly that. Good publicity but it s a novelty. that is not reflective of or guarantee of any long term advance. The Qld GF is just an anomaly that fell in the AFL's lap and they were right to leverage the opportunity. However the AFL would appear sensible enough to know it's pre-existing long term approach in NRL markets is the right one - slow, steady growth, forming deep roots; The odd Warwick Capper, the odd Buddy Franklin can help - but you'll notice the Lions recent resurgence has not relied on a single gimmick exercise. No boom recruit, no change of Guernsey or re-branding, no change of venue, or song. It is an attractive football club with community credibility beyond novelty. Not dominant in Qld, but credible.
 

SugarHealey

Team Captain
Dec 15, 2008
504
111
Voyager 1
AFL Club
Melbourne
.and that, in its essence is the challenge for AFL in queensland. NRL is not a novelty event - it has deep deep roots that must be respected. You are not going to make long term inroads in that market with a novelty event
NRL Is my second footy code. the Storm.
I started watching NRL, NBA and NFL back in the 80's.

To me, I have no rivalry with NRL. I see the two Aussie codes AFL/NRL as brothers. And the two are learning skills from one anothers games. I see they can have a symbiotic relationship.

I see no room for a third football code, within Aussie TV's bandwidth.
 

Fire

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 12, 2003
10,593
4,260
New York
AFL Club
North Melbourne
A couple of responses to stupid points I've noticed on this thread get repeated:

1. RL 'experts' who are crying about the death of their sport in X region are doing so to get funding and resources. They have a vested interest in denigrating their sport, and are not to be taken otherwise.

2. RL numbers going down or being inflated does not nessesarily suggest that the sport is in decline, relative to any other. Demographics and the way entertainment is consumed is changing, so any particular data point should not be looked at as a consistent barometer.

The long term trend is that the AFL is slowly gaining ground in the national market, but not at a pace where you can call it a revolution, and who knows what tomortow will bring.
 

Lip Gallagher

Team Captain
Nov 11, 2020
311
302
AFL Club
Collingwood
Everything is going to plan, soon we'll overtake the soccer world cup, superbowl will be our pre-game entertainment.

Our game is our game, AFL has as much chance of conquering QLD as rugby league has of conquering Victoria, if it did happen it won't be in our lifetimes.
 

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