Opinion Are we on the verge of another period of dominance from teams not based in Melbourne?

Is the AFL about to be dominated by teams based outside of Melbourne?

  • Yes

  • No


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pz5151

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Grand Final always in Melbourne.

Draft much harder for non-Victorian teams as we have access to far fewer players in the draft pool since we have to avoid all the players who will want to go home almost immediately. AFL have done nothing to help with this.

Victorian teams massively benefit from the "go home factor". I mean look at Richmond just this year, managing to basically fix their midfield issues by recruiting both Hopper and Taranto.
Remind me which teams get access outside the draft to elite talent through academies.
 

Saab NLAW

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Aug 27, 2022
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It's the only way to run a successful national winter sport competition in this country. Do you think the Melbourne Storm are standing on their own two feet? I remember hearing a few years ago that the NRL props up the Storm to the tune of something like $10 million more than every other NRL team. Why? It's the exact same reason the AFL helps out the northern clubs. It's in their best interests to do so.

The NRL no longer gives Storm an extra grant, so you can bin that argument.

Having said that, the AFL will step in if it appears any kind of manufactured advantage looks like it's going too far. Brisbane lost COLA in 2004 after three consecutive premierships, Sydney (and GWS) lost COLA after their 2012 premiership + the recruitment of Buddy Franklin in 2013, GWS lost academy access to the Albury/Murray region of NSW after making a prelim in 2016 and drafting several first round picks from their zone. I fully anticipate the AFL will remove Darwin from Gold Coast's academy zone once we start playing finals.

And if one of these clubs demonstrates continued incompetence the AFL will come up with something new. See Brisbane with an Academy. I'll argue that GWS should never have been given that region in the first place, absolutely ridiculous.

Having said all that. What do the northern clubs actually have to show for all these supposed advantages? 1 premiership over the last 20 seasons. Sydney won the flag in 2012 and were the only northern team to do so in the last 20 years. Statistically, the northern clubs should be winning a premiership once every 4.5 years but instead they have just 1 flag in 20 years. So either the people running all four northern clubs are drastically failing, which perhaps you could make an argument for Gold Coast but I think the other three aren't worthy of that criticism, OR the challenges that come with winning a flag when you're based in NSW or Queensland are far more difficult than people down south think.

GWS was so badly managed right from the start, that's pretty clear now, and a similar argument could be made for Brisbane prior to Fagan going up there. So, yes, 3 out of the 4 clubs have been a failure, however Brisbane have turned it around (and without AFL manipulation).

As for praising Victorian clubs for their ability to win premierships when the odds are supposedly stacked against them, IMO you seem to be overlooking the biggest factor when it comes to building a competitive list and that's the retention factor. You can't tell me the Geelong '22 premiership team wasn't greatly improved by securing talents from other clubs like Patrick Dangerfield, Jeremy Cameron, Isaac Smith, Tyson Stengle, Zach Tuohy, Gary Rohan and Ryhs Stanley. The same can be said about Melbourne's '21 flag with guys like Steven May, Jake Lever, Ben Brown, Ed Langdon, Michael Hibberd etc. Outside of Buddy Franklin, that Sydney team that made the '22 GF was virtually all drafted and developed by the Swans. It seems easier for Victorian teams to plug holes in lists than it is for northern teams and that comes in handy when you start to open a premiership window. That's all I'm saying.

The retention factor can certainly be applied to GC, no question. GWS is a very different case though, they've created their own culture by paying mediocre players huge contracts which have had a knock-on effect on the rest of the playing group, massive salary cap problems, and they've also had massive number of high draft picks right from their first year. They were never going to be able to keep all their players.
Claiming a retention factor for Sydney is an absolute joke, and it's embarrassing watching someone try it on. But I'm confused by your argument, on one hand you're saying that they have a retention problem, but on the other you're saying they're great at developing and keeping their own talent?? The reality is that they have no retention problems, they lose players no worse than most other clubs. And when a club like North or St.Kilda can sign the best forward in the competition as a FA let's have the discussion again.
Now let's apply your argument to Brisbane's list. Dunkley, Daniher, Neale, Charlie Cameron, Gunston, Neale, Lyons... Not a bad list huh? How is that different to any other club across the country?
Bizarre argument

Regardless of all that, I agree, the AFL will always continue to artificially manufacture success for the Northern clubs solely for the reason of increasing revenue.
 

doppleganger

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It's really quite simple if you remove any kind of emotion and purely look at the numbers. More people live in Queensland and NSW (approx 13.4 million) than the rest of Australia (approx 12.5 million) and that doesn't look like changing any time soon because both Queensland and NSW combined are growing at a faster rate.
In contrast, SA and Adelaide is the slowest growing capital.

And Melbourne/Victoria is the football heartland, Victorian clubs have around 65% of AFL members.

Is it a coincidence that football participation is at an all time high in Queensland after Brisbane have been solidified inside the top 4 for the last 5 years or so?
Not to mention the massive $$$$ the "Vic biased" league pumps into junior grass roots programs in NSW and QLD.
How about Sydney only missing the finals 2 times in the last 20 years?
The stats show that non-Melbourne teams dominate H&A in the last 20 years.

Helps when you are a club that has kept their home advantage during the H&A season.

The AFL know how important the four northern clubs are to the future of the league and will definitely do everything they can to increase their presence. This is strategic growth and shouldn't surprise anyone if they just think about it logically.
SA and WA wowsers are seemingly incapable of logical thought.

All you get is the same inane crap about corrupt Melbourne based power brokers set up the comp to favour Melbourne teams.
 

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Beer Gut

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My assement on the interstate teams according to their form last season

Sydney- Pick of the lot, strong young list will bounce back after a disappointing GF
GWS- In rebuild faze won't trouble anyone yet
Gold Coast- improved last year but still way off to contend
West Coat- Major rebuild needed urgently, will not trouble teams
Fremantle- Improved a lot still can't win away regularly
Adelaide- Also in a rebuild faze show'd good signs, need more away wins
Port Adelaide- Disappointing last year but i'm sure they will bounce back, recruited well in the off season
Brisbane- Strong list really should be contending but seem to have issues with winning big games.
 
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Papa G

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The Malbun is growing faster than anywhere is such a dumb argument in AFL terms. All it means is you'll have a s**t load more Toyota Camrys clogging your highways. Your Sheild team should improve though.
 

GC2015

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The NRL no longer gives Storm an extra grant, so you can bin that argument.
As of when? I can find a source that says they were receiving extra funding as recently as 2018. After close to a full decade of top 4 finishes between 2011-2020 which included three premierships and five grand finals, we'll see how Melbourne go in this decade without the extra funding. I think you'll find they will be nowhere near as successful and the game will suffer in Victoria as we've seen in the AFL when teams from the northern states are uncompetitive for extended periods.

And if one of these clubs demonstrates continued incompetence the AFL will come up with something new. See Brisbane with an Academy. I'll argue that GWS should never have been given that region in the first place, absolutely ridiculous.
I don't think there's any denying that part of the reason the northern academies were established was to help the northern teams become more competitive, but there was also a massive retention issue facing most of the northern clubs at the time (remember the 'go home 5' off season Brisbane had in 2013?) that was really holding back a team like the Lions from properly rebuilding their list. The AFL foresaw similar massive retention issues on the horizon for the Suns (Pick #7 Caddy requested a trade after 12 months on the GC) and Giants (#1 pick Tom Boyd requested a trade after 12 months with GWS) and strategised a possible solution.

Fortunately for the Giants, they had several high end talents come through their academy in the 2014-16 period (Steele, Hopper, Kennedy, Finlayson, Himmelberg, Setterfield, Perryman) which offset the retention losses (Boyd, Treloar, Plowman, McCarthy, Hoskin-Elliott, Marchbank) that would have otherwise halted their rise up the ladder. Conversely, the Suns had just 1 high end talent come through its academy (Bowes) when retention issues really started to bite during the 2015-18 period when high end talent began to regularly walk out the door (Bennell, Dixon, O'Meara, Prestia, Ablett, Saad, Lynch, May). So Gold Coast commit to a rebuild at the end of 2018 and GWS instead have a 6 year finals run that includes a grand final, 2 prelims and 2 semifinals. Go figure.

It's easy to say in retrospect that the AFL shouldn't have given the Albury/Murray region to GWS but at the time it didn't really look like a big deal and the NSW-VIC border seemed like a logical zone boundary. I think people are going to say the same thing about Darwin once Gold Coast start playing finals. Right now people don't seem too bothered by it, but I'm 99% sure it will be a topic of discussion once we start playing finals and people will say it was "absolutely ridiculous" we were given Darwin in the first place. History tends to repeat itself in these situations.

GWS was so badly managed right from the start, that's pretty clear now, and a similar argument could be made for Brisbane prior to Fagan going up there. So, yes, 3 out of the 4 clubs have been a failure, however Brisbane have turned it around (and without AFL manipulation).
So you're just going to completely ignore the challenges the northern clubs face and pin it down to poor management? David Matthews joined GWS in 2011 and they didn't play finals until 2016. Greg Swann joined the Lions in 2014, they didn't play finals in 2019. Mark Evans joined the Suns in 2017 and only now look like a contender to play finals in 2023. These are all highly regarded club administrators but as you can clearly see it takes time to turn things around. No one in their right mind would say Greg Swann has failed as an administrator at the Lions but back in 2017 when Brisbane claimed the wooden spoon there probably were questions being asked because it may have seemed from the outside that they were failing. Context is important.

The retention factor can certainly be applied to GC, no question. GWS is a very different case though, they've created their own culture by paying mediocre players huge contracts which have had a knock-on effect on the rest of the playing group, massive salary cap problems, and they've also had massive number of high draft picks right from their first year. They were never going to be able to keep all their players.
It was the combination of overpaying and regularly competing in the finals that allowed GWS to hold on to most of their high end talent in those years. Remove either one of those factors and GWS is going to have an incredibly tough time retaining their players as we've seen in the last few years with Jeremy Cameron, Tim Taranto, Jacob Hopper, Tanner Bruh, Bobby Hill all walking out the door. If a similar amount of high end academy talent had entered the club over the last 3 years then GWS would probably still be contending for finals but they've really only had Tom Green come through over that period and it wasn't enough to offset their losses. So they bottomed out and find themselves having to commit to a rebuild ala Gold Coast in 2018.

Claiming a retention factor for Sydney is an absolute joke, and it's embarrassing watching someone try it on. But I'm confused by your argument, on one hand you're saying that they have a retention problem, but on the other you're saying they're great at developing and keeping their own talent?? The reality is that they have no retention problems, they lose players no worse than most other clubs. And when a club like North or St.Kilda can sign the best forward in the competition as a FA let's have the discussion again.
The Swans have no retention issues? Do you remember Jordan Dawson requesting a trade home to the Crows in 2021? What about Tom Papley's request to go home to Victoria the year before? Zak Jones asking to be traded home to Victoria the year before that? Hannebery and Rohan requesting trades home to Victoria the year before that? Mitchell and Nankervis requesting trades to Victorian teams 2 years before that? Jetta requesting a trade home to WA the year before that?

To say the Swans don't have retention issues is ridiculous.

Now let's apply your argument to Brisbane's list. Dunkley, Daniher, Neale, Charlie Cameron, Gunston, Neale, Lyons... Not a bad list huh? How is that different to any other club across the country?
Bizarre argument
Brisbane's done a very good job of recruiting players but they've still lost players along the way. Dan McStay decided to go home to Victoria last year, Stef Martin decided to go home to Victoria at the end of 2020, Cutler and Taylor requested trades the year before, Mayes requested a trade home to SA the year before and Beams requested a trade back to his wife's home state of Victoria in the same off season, Schache requested a trade home to Victoria the year before... you get the point. The retention issues still exist, they are just lessened when a northern club has a good run inside the top 4.

In contrast, SA and Adelaide is the slowest growing capital.

And Melbourne/Victoria is the football heartland, Victorian clubs have around 65% of AFL members.
Yes, the market penetration in Victoria is quite high. The AFL would be ecstatic if they ever got close to WA/SA market penetration levels in Queensland and/or NSW since there are so many people living in those 2 states and they are both growing very quickly. There's a reason why the NFL have continually tried to set up franchises in Los Angeles over the last few decades, despite several failed attempts in the past. Think about it and get back to me when you've figured it out.

Not to mention the massive $$$$ the "Vic biased" league pumps into junior grass roots programs in NSW and QLD.
The AFL has been pumping massive money into the northern markets for decades now. The recent success Brisbane has enjoyed and the corresponding explosion in participation numbers, attendance numbers, tv viewership etc (especially when compared to 10 years ago when similar amounts of money was getting pumped into the local grassroots programs) proves that the best way to grow a sport in an emerging market is to have a successful local franchise that people can get behind and be proud to claim as their own. Think nationally, act locally.

SA and WA wowsers are seemingly incapable of logical thought.

All you get is the same inane crap about corrupt Melbourne based power brokers set up the comp to favour Melbourne teams.
The logical conclusion is that the 13 million people who live in NSW & Queensland make it very easy for the AFL to prioritise growth strategies in certain areas.
 
Jun 12, 2018
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My assement on the interstate teams according to their form last season

Sydney- Pick of the lot, strong young list will bounce back after a disappointing GF
GWS- In rebuild faze won't trouble anyone yet
Gold Coast- improved last year but still way off to contend
West Coat- Major rebuild needed urgently, will not trouble teams
Fremantle- Improved a lot still can't win away regularly
Adelaide- Also in a rebuild faze show'd good signs, need more away wins
Port Adelaide- Disappointing last year but i'm sure they will bounce back, recruited well in the off season
Brisbane- Strong list really should be contending but seem to have issues with winning big games.
I see you don’t actually watch freo you just run with a preconceived notion.
We beat the crows at AO
Cats at kadinnia
Dees at mcg
Dogs, Saints, bombers at Docklands and drew against your mob.
Giants in Sydney
We were 7 wins 1 draw 2 losses away from home in 2022
Historically you may have a point but you clearly stated based on 2022 form.
 

doppleganger

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Yes, the market penetration in Victoria is quite high. The AFL would be ecstatic if they ever got close to WA/SA market penetration levels in Queensland and/or NSW since there are so many people living in those 2 states and they are both growing very quickly. There's a reason why the NFL have continually tried to set up franchises in Los Angeles over the last few decades, despite several failed attempts in the past. Think about it and get back to me when you've figured it out.
We have figured it out....stakeholder eyeballs in prime slots.

The SA/WA wowsers think it is Melbourne bias that majority of Friday, holiday games etc.

It is the league appealing to majority of their stakeholders.

And they GC twilight games which suits their market.
The AFL has been pumping massive money into the northern markets for decades now.
And at the same time allowing Melbourne clubs to be shafted with woeful stadium deals.
The recent success Brisbane has enjoyed and the corresponding explosion in participation numbers, attendance numbers, tv viewership etc (especially when compared to 10 years ago when similar amounts of money was getting pumped into the local grassroots programs) proves that the best way to grow a sport in an emerging market is to have a successful local franchise that people can get behind and be proud to claim as their own. Think nationally, act locally.
No s**t, the NSW/QLD strategy is generational....need to wait a good 30 years to get a proper hold, kids of people who jumped on etc.
The logical conclusion is that the 13 million people who live in NSW & Queensland make it very easy for the AFL to prioritise growth strategies in certain areas.
Yep, that aint Melbourne biased though.

H&A results also indicate that the league aint biased to Melbourne clubs.

It is just lazy and ignorant for the WA/SA wowsers to blame "Melbourne bias" when their team loses finals...majority of them "home" finals to Melbourne based teams.
 

AstonSouffle

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If Melbourne clubs are going to reap the financial benefits of being in the heartland that interstate clubs geographically cannot then the soft cap shouldn't be uniformly applied.

The main argument from Vics overwhelmingly is that this is where the members are, so this is where we focus on promoting to get eyeballs, to get more money for the game, subsequently, the big Vic clubs get bigger. That's fine, that's just economics and as such you shouldn't cap the interstate clubs from spending then if you're not going to fixture them for the opportunity to increase their exposure nationally?
 

VicBased

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If Melbourne clubs are going to reap the financial benefits of being in the heartland that interstate clubs geographically cannot then the soft cap shouldn't be uniformly applied.

The main argument from Vics overwhelmingly is that this is where the members are, so this is where we focus on promoting to get eyeballs, to get more money for the game, subsequently, the big Vic clubs get bigger. That's fine, that's just economics and as such you shouldn't cap the interstate clubs from spending then if you're not going to fixture them for the opportunity to increase their exposure nationally?
This is a very good point and i agree wholeheartedly
 

Beer Gut

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Dec 24, 2022
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I see you don’t actually watch freo you just run with a preconceived notion.
We beat the crows at AO
Cats at kadinnia
Dees at mcg
Dogs, Saints, bombers at Docklands and drew against your mob.
Giants in Sydney
We were 7 wins 1 draw 2 losses away from home in 2022
Historically you may have a point but you clearly stated based on 2022 form.
Did you win away when it counted in the finals?
 

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Jun 12, 2018
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Did you win away when it counted in the finals?
No only had 3 players that had played in front of 90k in our team compared to Collingwoods whole team.
It was one of the biggest one sided crowds ever in AFL.
It was a great learning experience for one of the youngest and least experience teams in the comp and I feel the experienced gained will put us in good stead.
Losing that game to pies who were higher ranked and favourite makes us no good away from home.
Serious depth in your knowledge.
 

Beer Gut

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No only had 3 players that had played in front of 90k in our team compared to Collingwoods whole team.
It was one of the biggest one sided crowds ever in AFL.
It was a great learning experience for one of the youngest and least experience teams in the comp and I feel the experienced gained will put us in good stead.
Losing that game to pies who were higher ranked and favourite makes us no good away from home.
Serious depth in your knowledge.
All i read is all the excuses you have to why you didn't win, if you were really good enough you would have gone all the way but just like us you didn't. It's a reality check you need to accept and it's back to the drawing board just like ther rest of us. Premierships are not easy to win friend.
 
Jun 12, 2018
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All i read is all the excuses you have to why you didn't win, if you were really good enough you would have gone all the way but just like us you didn't. It's a reality check you need to accept and it's back to the drawing board just like ther rest of us. Premierships are not easy to win friend.
You stated “Freo CANT win regularly away from home”
No mention of finals you can add it to the tally 7wins 3 losses 1 draw is regular.
We don’t have the luxury of some teams that can Win 1 of 5 of their interstate trips and finish in the top 4
 

Beer Gut

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You stated “Freo CANT win regularly away from home”
No mention of finals you can add it to the tally 7wins 3 losses 1 draw is regular.
We don’t have the luxury of some teams that can Win 1 of 5 of their interstate trips and finish in the top 4
So you had very good year winning away last year my bad but can you back it up and further more and can you go all the way and don't use age as an excuse?
 

Beer Gut

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That’s not what you stated
It doesn't matter how i stated it other than your H&A record last year your overall record winning interstate is generally very poor.
 
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Beer Gut

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Fine.

I think Fremantle (the team you are discussing) are a far more legitimate flag threat in 2023 than Richmond.
Good luck to them if they do but the only sure thing in life is death and taxes friend.
 

Tristan34

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Fremantle for me... They have a good defence and midfield. The only thing letting them down is their forward line...
 

Elmer_Judd

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Again, nothing to do with the discussion.

Actually it is, if you read the title of the OP about a period of dominance of teams not based in Melbourne.

I happen ro think Freo are as good a chance as any to win a flag in the next 2-3 years, and the Tigers are on the way down (Hopper is a plodder whom Richmond paid way overs for)