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Brave New World

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Oct 31, 2009
152
82
AFL Club
GWS
Has the AFL lost the war for western Sydney

Jessica Halloran

The Australian

13 May 2022

Is the AFL losing the great football war of western Sydney?

It was former Australian Rugby League chief executive Geoff Carr who once warned the AFL its push into western Sydney could be its Vietnam War.

“It is a huge risk for the AFL and a lot of people say it will be their Vietnam,” Carr said in 2009. “If they want to fight out there, that is their call.”

Thirteen years on, the Giants are languishing at 15th on the ladder and coach Leon Cameron has walked away from the job. Statistics show the GWS Giants are yet to make solid inroads into western Sydney’s sporting heartland of Parramatta, with participation figures leaked to The Weekend Australian showing just 1 per cent of participants in the area are playing Australian football, while TV ratings and crowd figures this season have, at times, been poor.

Despite an estimated $200m poured into GWS over the past decade, a City of Parramatta report from March shows AFL is the least popular of the 11 sports listed on a pie chart.

It shows AFL’s formal participation in the City of Parramatta — a home local government area of the Giants — is at 1 per cent of nearly 20,000 participants (senior and junior).

Meanwhile, tackle rugby league makes up 7 per cent. But when combined with the game’s other formats of touch football (11 per cent) and OzTag (6 per cent), the NRL holds a 24 per cent cut of participation figures.

Rugby league is the second-most popular sport behind soccer, which has a 47 per cent share of participation.

The Giants insist that despite these Parramatta statistics, the AFL figures truly show the growth of the game in western Sydney — with participation community football and Auskick doubling since 2012 in the area.

The AFL NSW/ACT has secured seven new AFL facilities in western Sydney since 2019 and facilitated upgrades for 13 existing club homes in the past 10 years.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan told The Weekend Australian the Giants were an irrefutable success story for the code.

“The Giants have unquestionably been a success story for our game and in the broader Australian sporting landscape with three teams across men’s and women’s elite sport and while they have reached great heights on-field, they have also continued to expand their footprint at an extraordinary rate,” he said.

“Given the base the club has built in new territory in just 11 years, there is no doubt it is going to be a very powerful and large club attracting generations of fans for decades to come.”

GWS boss Dave Matthews pointed out the Giants just ticked over 30,000 members. “By any metric, the Giants’ growth since entering the AFL just a decade ago has been remarkable,” he said. “As an organisation with over 30,000 members and three elite teams under the Giants brand our footprint in NSW and the ACT is vast.”

The AFL does not make participation numbers public but it was reported last week that the participation rates for boys aged 10-18 were down by 11.7 per cent in NSW (and just under 6 per cent in Victoria this year). The AFL attributed the fall in participation to the impact of Covid-19 on young people playing sport, while they also said the floods earlier this year had hurt NSW’s participation in junior footy.

Former long-time Sydney Swans chair Richard Colless — who in 1997 co-authored the review of the development of Australian Football in NSW/ACT and chaired the NSW/ACT Commission comprised exclusively of local members — has a deep knowledge of pathways, growing the game and what it takes to make a football club in Sydney successful.

Colless says while participation has risen across Sydney since 2000 it hasn’t converted to the elite level.

He noted the GWS players from NSW are almost entirely from regional NSW and the ACT.

Colless, who helmed the Swans for 21 years overseeing two AFL premierships, says area from the Illawarra (Wollongong) to the Hunter (Newcastle), where 27 per cent of the Australian population lives, has yet to be capitalised on by the AFL.

Colless says the statistics show the AFL hasn’t been able to cut into this rugby league talent belt and pointed out while there were 80 players added to senior lists this year (national draft and rookie elevations) none were from this area.

“The AFL seem oblivious or indifferent to this fact,” Colless said. “The AFL has a national competition but not a national game.”

He said the Parramatta council statistics were a concern — but of greater concern is the powerful Australian Rugby League chair Peter V’landys’s play to secure $800m from the NSW Government for redeveloping suburban grounds.

“This is the world rugby league heartland and I fear the AFL may have massively underestimated the power and craftiness of rugby league,” Colless said.

“I reckon if all suburban grounds are materially upgraded and with no draft it will lead to greater local links being created. It will be back to the good old days.”

Colless has empathy for the Giants’ situation and intricately understands the cost of living pressures and in turn the challenge to retain players and staff in Sydney. He constantly advocated for more player assistance for the NSW-based clubs — with his experience of overseeing the West Coast Eagles and the Swans.

Colless believes the AFL should seriously consider restructuring the administration of the game in the NSW and ACT and revive a local commission.

He also said with Rugby Australia this week securing the World Cup for 2027 and 2029, there was more competition in the Sydney market. “Rugby has still got some aces up their sleeve,” Colless said. “Sydney is the most competitive football market in the world. Tell me where else there are four main football codes competing for primacy?”

The Giants, who entered the competition in 2012, have struggled recently with crowd numbers and television figures this year — just 24,000 in Sydney tuned in for one game this season.

While the AFL boasts an extraordinary 1 million members across the code, the Giants state they have over a 30,000-strong membership base, however competing codes have privately scoffed at the figure. Critics have pointed to the small crowds currently turning up for the games. One source noted there hadn’t been a sold-out a game in Sydney since 2018.

The Giants can attract crowds of around 25,000 to their derby against the Swans. But just 4014 turned up for the game against the Gold Coast Suns last month.

Like Colless said, if V’landys is successful in his push for an $800m investment in suburban NRL grounds, this could be a problem for the AFL.

GWS bosses repeatedly maintain the franchise is here to stay. That dipping crowds and ratings are something to overcome as they play the “long game”.

In 2018, GWS chair Tony Shepherd told the Herald Sun Carr’s barb about the Vietnam had driven him and others within his administration to make the club successful.

“I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but I tell you what, I’m one of the most determined and that inspired me to say, ‘I’ll make you eat those words, and if I have to wait 20 years to make you eat them, we will get there,” Shepherd said.

Events are showing the years to come might be the most defining in the sporting war for western Sydney.
 

Land of the Giants

Club Legend
Sep 6, 2012
2,518
3,666
Sydney
AFL Club
GWS
Other Teams
Thunder
Has the AFL lost the war for western Sydney

Jessica Halloran

The Australian

13 May 2022

Is the AFL losing the great football war of western Sydney?

It was former Australian Rugby League chief executive Geoff Carr who once warned the AFL its push into western Sydney could be its Vietnam War.

“It is a huge risk for the AFL and a lot of people say it will be their Vietnam,” Carr said in 2009. “If they want to fight out there, that is their call.”

Thirteen years on, the Giants are languishing at 15th on the ladder and coach Leon Cameron has walked away from the job. Statistics show the GWS Giants are yet to make solid inroads into western Sydney’s sporting heartland of Parramatta, with participation figures leaked to The Weekend Australian showing just 1 per cent of participants in the area are playing Australian football, while TV ratings and crowd figures this season have, at times, been poor.

Despite an estimated $200m poured into GWS over the past decade, a City of Parramatta report from March shows AFL is the least popular of the 11 sports listed on a pie chart.

It shows AFL’s formal participation in the City of Parramatta — a home local government area of the Giants — is at 1 per cent of nearly 20,000 participants (senior and junior).

Meanwhile, tackle rugby league makes up 7 per cent. But when combined with the game’s other formats of touch football (11 per cent) and OzTag (6 per cent), the NRL holds a 24 per cent cut of participation figures.

Rugby league is the second-most popular sport behind soccer, which has a 47 per cent share of participation.

The Giants insist that despite these Parramatta statistics, the AFL figures truly show the growth of the game in western Sydney — with participation community football and Auskick doubling since 2012 in the area.

The AFL NSW/ACT has secured seven new AFL facilities in western Sydney since 2019 and facilitated upgrades for 13 existing club homes in the past 10 years.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan told The Weekend Australian the Giants were an irrefutable success story for the code.

“The Giants have unquestionably been a success story for our game and in the broader Australian sporting landscape with three teams across men’s and women’s elite sport and while they have reached great heights on-field, they have also continued to expand their footprint at an extraordinary rate,” he said.

“Given the base the club has built in new territory in just 11 years, there is no doubt it is going to be a very powerful and large club attracting generations of fans for decades to come.”

GWS boss Dave Matthews pointed out the Giants just ticked over 30,000 members. “By any metric, the Giants’ growth since entering the AFL just a decade ago has been remarkable,” he said. “As an organisation with over 30,000 members and three elite teams under the Giants brand our footprint in NSW and the ACT is vast.”

The AFL does not make participation numbers public but it was reported last week that the participation rates for boys aged 10-18 were down by 11.7 per cent in NSW (and just under 6 per cent in Victoria this year). The AFL attributed the fall in participation to the impact of Covid-19 on young people playing sport, while they also said the floods earlier this year had hurt NSW’s participation in junior footy.

Former long-time Sydney Swans chair Richard Colless — who in 1997 co-authored the review of the development of Australian Football in NSW/ACT and chaired the NSW/ACT Commission comprised exclusively of local members — has a deep knowledge of pathways, growing the game and what it takes to make a football club in Sydney successful.

Colless says while participation has risen across Sydney since 2000 it hasn’t converted to the elite level.

He noted the GWS players from NSW are almost entirely from regional NSW and the ACT.

Colless, who helmed the Swans for 21 years overseeing two AFL premierships, says area from the Illawarra (Wollongong) to the Hunter (Newcastle), where 27 per cent of the Australian population lives, has yet to be capitalised on by the AFL.

Colless says the statistics show the AFL hasn’t been able to cut into this rugby league talent belt and pointed out while there were 80 players added to senior lists this year (national draft and rookie elevations) none were from this area.

“The AFL seem oblivious or indifferent to this fact,” Colless said. “The AFL has a national competition but not a national game.”

He said the Parramatta council statistics were a concern — but of greater concern is the powerful Australian Rugby League chair Peter V’landys’s play to secure $800m from the NSW Government for redeveloping suburban grounds.

“This is the world rugby league heartland and I fear the AFL may have massively underestimated the power and craftiness of rugby league,” Colless said.

“I reckon if all suburban grounds are materially upgraded and with no draft it will lead to greater local links being created. It will be back to the good old days.”

Colless has empathy for the Giants’ situation and intricately understands the cost of living pressures and in turn the challenge to retain players and staff in Sydney. He constantly advocated for more player assistance for the NSW-based clubs — with his experience of overseeing the West Coast Eagles and the Swans.

Colless believes the AFL should seriously consider restructuring the administration of the game in the NSW and ACT and revive a local commission.

He also said with Rugby Australia this week securing the World Cup for 2027 and 2029, there was more competition in the Sydney market. “Rugby has still got some aces up their sleeve,” Colless said. “Sydney is the most competitive football market in the world. Tell me where else there are four main football codes competing for primacy?”

The Giants, who entered the competition in 2012, have struggled recently with crowd numbers and television figures this year — just 24,000 in Sydney tuned in for one game this season.

While the AFL boasts an extraordinary 1 million members across the code, the Giants state they have over a 30,000-strong membership base, however competing codes have privately scoffed at the figure. Critics have pointed to the small crowds currently turning up for the games. One source noted there hadn’t been a sold-out a game in Sydney since 2018.

The Giants can attract crowds of around 25,000 to their derby against the Swans. But just 4014 turned up for the game against the Gold Coast Suns last month.

Like Colless said, if V’landys is successful in his push for an $800m investment in suburban NRL grounds, this could be a problem for the AFL.

GWS bosses repeatedly maintain the franchise is here to stay. That dipping crowds and ratings are something to overcome as they play the “long game”.

In 2018, GWS chair Tony Shepherd told the Herald Sun Carr’s barb about the Vietnam had driven him and others within his administration to make the club successful.

“I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but I tell you what, I’m one of the most determined and that inspired me to say, ‘I’ll make you eat those words, and if I have to wait 20 years to make you eat them, we will get there,” Shepherd said.

Events are showing the years to come might be the most defining in the sporting war for western Sydney.

Pretty good read.

We need someone like Richard Colless on the board. He knows what it takes to produce results.
 

sydney_gws

All Australian
Oct 31, 2016
977
667
AFL Club
GWS
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qpr
As I said earlier, the Swans zone within Sydney is far more AFL friendly than GWS zones.
If there is ever a high speed train from Canberra to Sydney, that would help get more Canberra residents to our Sydney games.
 

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Giantman

Debutant
Feb 4, 2012
126
102
Australia
AFL Club
GWS
The Media like a controversial headline......The Giants primarily exist to grow the game and ensure an AFL game is played weekly in NSW/ACT...same as GC in Qld. One club can't grow the game by itself....you need to have an opposition/rivalry. The Giants/Swan combo bring the bigger AFL clubs twice yearly into NSW.

Interesting to note that the Sydney Swans membership has grown steadily and significantly even since the Giants presence in NSW. Certainly GWS must market itself maximally.

We need to tap into Southern NSW.....an AFL stronghold. I wouldn't play any home games there (stay loyal to Giant Stadium and Manuka), but the thought has occurred to me that a "Border Clash" at Albury/Wodonga with a Victorian Club would gain a profile.....that club should be North Melbourne Kangaroos.

Both the Giants and North are struggling for relevance. The NM brand name fits with representing Northern Vic and the Giants can be easily identified with Southern NSW. North needs relevance to the national comp particularly if Tassie comes in. The Border Clash could easily be promoted and would benefit the local area and promote the fact that NSW is highly relevant to the future of AFL.
 

TP86

Club Legend
Apr 16, 2010
1,284
1,560
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Why is your club a vacuous and unquestioning proxy for Essendon?

  • Gave Sheedy a few years of super
  • Regularly do trades with Dodoro
  • Going to appoint Hird as coach to assist his image rehab

Are you your own club or merely a colonial outpost to do favours for the Bombers?
 

Giant Strides

Moderator
Nov 23, 2015
8,027
11,563
AFL Club
GWS
Why is your club a vacuous and unquestioning proxy for Essendon?

  • Gave Sheedy a few years of super
  • Regularly do trades with Dodoro
  • Going to appoint Hird as coach to assist his image rehab

Are you your own club or merely a colonial outpost to do favours for the Bombers?
That's a pretty silly take on things. On the trading alone, clearly we don't roll over for Dodo - look at not trading Hill last year, and milking Bombers for 2 first rounders for Dylan Shiel (which they weren't happy about). We have to deal with the club to which players want to go - we have no control over that.

I'm sure posters here would be happy to discuss a reasonable line of argument, but what you've put forward isn't that.
 

General Giant

Hall of Famer
Apr 12, 2012
43,024
37,060
AFL Club
GWS
Why is your club a vacuous and unquestioning proxy for Essendon?

  • Gave Sheedy a few years of super
  • Regularly do trades with Dodoro
  • Going to appoint Hird as coach to assist his image rehab

Are you your own club or merely a colonial outpost to do favours for the Bombers?
Why does your club look like s**t and piss?
Why does you club have for a President a rascist nut job?

You have been around 100 years there abouts but need to sell games even though you’re based in the heartland.
 

Land of the Giants

Club Legend
Sep 6, 2012
2,518
3,666
Sydney
AFL Club
GWS
Other Teams
Thunder
Something that needs a bit of thought is how we structure the draw between Sydney and Canberra, especially if we're not winning.

For Sydney members, the season gets going after Easter, when we play most of our games at Homebush. We're usually in the hunt for a finals spot when Sydney members start cashing in their membership.

But what happens when we're 2-6 and unlikely to play finals? Lose against Carlton, and that's it for 2022.

Only 4,000 out of a claimed 30,000 membership showed up for the Suns game. It might be an omen for the rest of the year.
 

Powkid

Debutant
Jul 31, 2012
54
88
Northern Beaches
AFL Club
GWS
Other Teams
Sydney Swans, Carlton
We clearly have the largest population zone of any other AFL club and crowds are on the downer (as is our form), but that’s Sydney for you.
My fear is we will be less relevant if we aren’t finals bound vs the 3 other codes. Continue to grow grass roots footy, keep the academy’s running. Every player in our zone should be given a free pass of entry for all home games.

I can seriously see a merger between North Melbourne and ourselves. I personally this this is a good thing, it would be tough initially for North supporters, but beneficial for both groups going forward. Let’s face it with tassie getting a team soon, North will become less relevant. And both clubs need as a many fans as we can get.


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ClockworkOrange

Club Legend
Jan 30, 2016
1,504
2,189
AFL Club
GWS
The club needs real leadership that will stand up to VFL HQ and demand the Toby Tax be rescinded once and for all.

Consistent with their character, Matthews and Bartel have never once spoken up to back our Club Captain against the Toby Tax.

Until the club has a CEO and Board with the courage to do so nothing will change.

It’s increasingly clear that it adversely impacts TFG every time he takes the field.

It’s so obviously unjust that even Robbo is now ranting about it.

IMG_6938.JPG



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General Giant

Hall of Famer
Apr 12, 2012
43,024
37,060
AFL Club
GWS
We clearly have the largest population zone of any other AFL club and crowds are on the downer (as is our form), but that’s Sydney for you.
My fear is we will be less relevant if we aren’t finals bound vs the 3 other codes. Continue to grow grass roots footy, keep the academy’s running. Every player in our zone should be given a free pass of entry for all home games.

I can seriously see a merger between North Melbourne and ourselves. I personally this this is a good thing, it would be tough initially for North supporters, but beneficial for both groups going forward. Let’s face it with tassie getting a team soon, North will become less relevant. And both clubs need as a many fans as we can get.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Won’t happen.
If they wouldn’t move without a merger and in debt,
They aren’t going to do it as a merger and getting out of debt.

Besides I don’t want us to merge.
 

ClockworkOrange

Club Legend
Jan 30, 2016
1,504
2,189
AFL Club
GWS
Something that needs a bit of thought is how we structure the draw between Sydney and Canberra, especially if we're not winning.

For Sydney members, the season gets going after Easter, when we play most of our games at Homebush. We're usually in the hunt for a finals spot when Sydney members start cashing in their membership.

But what happens when we're 2-6 and unlikely to play finals? Lose against Carlton, and that's it for 2022.

Only 4,000 out of a claimed 30,000 membership showed up for the Suns game. It might be an omen for the rest of the year.

I agree this is a really important question.

With regard to the Easter Show and the club’s connection to the organiser RAS, I think the club is missing an opportunity.

Why not bring the Sydney Derby to the Olympic stadium when GS is closed for the show?

Why not organise with RAS to do a food fair leveraging the quality produce at the show? It’s already being made, just get it carted across in a deal with RAS.

Why not play a 3pm Syd Derby game at OS and then sync with an early evening main arena event at GS?

This will be in school holidays so it maximises the chance for ACT families to attend too.

Catching footy and the Show is a good two-for-one as it’s in school holidays.

As for games at MO, the more they coincide with long weekends the better. Good for Sydney families to jump in the car, good for ACT tourism.

And please stop playing at MO at night, it’s just unnecessarily cold.

If the club wants to be on TV on Friday or Saturday nights, make them away fixtures.

Just get Member-centric and really pragmatic for 2023.



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BringBackTorps

Club Legend
Jan 5, 2017
2,925
1,786
AFL Club
GWS
My reply to the Halloran article (Daily Mail shorter version), re the "war" in WS.

GWS sacked its coach last week, has greatly underperformed, winning only 2 games, & has had some disappointing home crowds (cf its average of c.11k pre-covid).
Bad news sells, time for a "doom article". There are, however, "lies, damned lies, & stastistics"!

The Halloran article does:-

. not mention WS male contact RL nos.; & that these have been in a long term, severe decline throughout all Greater Sydney (excluding the Penrith District RL comp.).

. not mention all Sydney GR snr & jnr RL comps have had to combine in recent years, due to the severe decline in male contact RL nos. (even Penrith District RL comp. was no longer discrete from U16 inclusive, to snrs).

. include Touch Football & Tag players to"boost" artificially "RL" nos.- but these are non-contact sports.
Touch Football is a massive sport, & is played, AFAIK, in a big majority of schools etc. in NSW, ACT, & Qld.

The Touch Football Association said "There are so many reasons that Touch Football is Australia’s largest [?] social sport, with 700,000 participants around the country (my emphases)".

. not mention that male & female League Tag & Oz Tag nos. (in contrast to male contact RL nos.) are growing very strongly- thus also boosting "rugby league" nos.

. not mention that Both Touch Football & Tag are widely played for 10 months of the year. AF, generally, is not.

It is very likely, therefore, that many of these players, playing an "easy-on-the body" non-contact game, could, & do, play in several comps. per year. Many registered players would, thus, be double/triple counted, boosting the "RL" nos. incorrectly.

(All sports- inc. AF- have some double/triple counting of the same players, in various formats of the same sport.

Soccer, which is also played 10 months per year, is likely to be the biggest "overcounter", as it is played in almost every primary & secondary school in Australia; & has multiple formats: school & club soccer, futsal/indoor soccer etc., school phys.ed programs etc.).

The NRL & GR RL clubs are heavily promoting summer Oz Tag (was a privately-run comp., but bought by the NRL in 2016) Eg. Asquith Facebook

"It so great we have community sport back, and what better way to keep the team together, and keep improving on your fitness and skills than playing Oz Tag.
Asquith Magpies and Hornsby & St Ives Junior Oztag have partnered up to offer all registered players a special discount".

May be an image of text



. not mention that, in recent years in the MSM, multiple RL officials (inc. P. V'landys. A. Abdo T. Greenberg, P. Beattie, J. Grant etc.), ex- elite RL players, & RL journalists have been lamenting the decline of GR male contact RL nos., &/or the rise of AF, in all Sydney (some inc. WS), NSW & Qld.

(There are c. 80+ links in the eventual "Third team In Sydney" Thread, & the Thread "What Are The Chances Of Footy Overtaking League" attesting to this).

In the MSM, P. Kent, G. Alexander, M. Chammas, & some GR regional RL experts etc. (all linked in those Threads) have specifically stated that the NRL etc. is using Tag & Touch nos. to deliberately downplay the severe decline in male contact nos.- just citing "participant" or "registered" (inc. Tag etc.) nos.

. not mention that, even prior to 2020 covid, the RL Annual Reports etc. have stopped giving the exact nos. of their regd. contact players! Why!

. assume that all touch & tag players are NRL fans. Anecdotally, some are not.

. cherrypick only Parramatta District, for a WS comparison of GR RL vs AF nos. The Parramatta District RL comp., in recent decades, has been GR RL's second biggest (to Penrith) in Sydney. AF, obviously, is far smaller in WS.

If it chose Inner WS, or NW Sydney, where GR AF is relatively strong vs GR RL, the WS comparison would have been more favourable for AF!

. not mention that regd. GR AF nos. have more than doubled in the WS area since 2012! Elite AF has given RL a 100 year head-start in WS, so is good growth.

. not mention that, in the last 2 years, some Sydney RL comps. began U5 Divisions (not the traditional U6 first year)- but continue with U6 Divs. also.
GR soccer skill programs, for many years, start from 3 y.o. AF Auskick starts from Prep, U6- so not true & equitable comparisons.
 
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Canberra Pear

Team Captain
Nov 26, 2016
462
584
Canberra, ACT
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
I saw this recently reporting that Tom Wills Oval (the training ground in Olympic Park) will be upgraded to be able to play AFLW games.

Personally, I'm not a fan.

I know it'll be good to have the women play where they train, and have them and the VFL side in Olympic Park, but I think GWS is missing a big opportunity to spread the game around Western Sydney.

I think the money would better be spent ensuring Blacktown was up to scratch. When the season is out to 14 rounds, it would be a big presence having seven AFLW games, plus VFL and VFLW games out at Blacktown. Especially when the seasons are more aligned (which it looks like they'll be) in the winter, having high profile games out at Blacktown would allow the Giants to cover much more of the fanbase at once.
 

General Giant

Hall of Famer
Apr 12, 2012
43,024
37,060
AFL Club
GWS
I saw this recently reporting that Tom Wills Oval (the training ground in Olympic Park) will be upgraded to be able to play AFLW games.

Personally, I'm not a fan.

I know it'll be good to have the women play where they train, and have them and the VFL side in Olympic Park, but I think GWS is missing a big opportunity to spread the game around Western Sydney.

I think the money would better be spent ensuring Blacktown was up to scratch. When the season is out to 14 rounds, it would be a big presence having seven AFLW games, plus VFL and VFLW games out at Blacktown. Especially when the seasons are more aligned (which it looks like they'll be) in the winter, having high profile games out at Blacktown would allow the Giants to cover much more of the fanbase at once.
Blacktown has zero public transport and the council has said the club can’t be there full time.

It is great the we will have our club under one roof and playing games at one home.
 
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Canberra Pear

Team Captain
Nov 26, 2016
462
584
Canberra, ACT
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Blacktown has zero public transport and the council has said the club can’t be their full time.

It is great the we will have our club under one roof and playing games at one home.

I haven't been to Sydney that often, so please excuse my ignorance. What's the trainline that runs right near Blacktown Stadium? It looks like the T1? Is it not well connected? A new station could bring transport 130m from the ground.

I get that under the one roof will be good, but it's not like they'll be playing at the same ground as the men anyway. They would still train there as the men do, but play at a single upgraded ground at Blacktown would give them a permanent playing home. None of that nomadic Henson Park and Drummoyne Oval nonsense.

Greater Western Sydney is an enormous area, and GWS play on the edge of it. Establishing a permanent AFLW presence at Blacktown would bring pro footy a lot closer to much of the potential fanbase and you'd essentially have two teams working different areas of the base to get more people on board.

What had the council said about being there full-time? Was that referring to the whole club, admin, training and all? They already have some AFLW and VFL games there, so a game once a fortnight would likely be okay.
 

dlanod

Moderator
Sep 14, 2006
48,126
69,974
Sydney
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Other Teams
GWS; CCMariners; NQCowboys; Ravens
I haven't been to Sydney that often, so please excuse my ignorance. What's the trainline that runs right near Blacktown Stadium? It looks like the T1? Is it not well connected? A new station could bring transport 130m from the ground.

I get that under the one roof will be good, but it's not like they'll be playing at the same ground as the men anyway. They would still train there as the men do, but play at a single upgraded ground at Blacktown would give them a permanent playing home. None of that nomadic Henson Park and Drummoyne Oval nonsense.

Greater Western Sydney is an enormous area, and GWS play on the edge of it. Establishing a permanent AFLW presence at Blacktown would bring pro footy a lot closer to much of the potential fanbase and you'd essentially have two teams working different areas of the base to get more people on board.

What had the council said about being there full-time? Was that referring to the whole club, admin, training and all? They already have some AFLW and VFL games there, so a game once a fortnight would likely be okay.

Who's putting up the tens of millions for a train station in the middle of nowhere?

Blacktown is already up to standard for AFLW. The reason it's not been used is the same reason the AFLM team moved away - because cricket has and apparently always will have first claim on it, which makes scheduling there an absolute nightmare and counter the AFL's preferred model of dictating their schedule rather than being dictated to.
 

Canberra Pear

Team Captain
Nov 26, 2016
462
584
Canberra, ACT
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Who's putting up the tens of millions for a train station in the middle of nowhere?

Blacktown is already up to standard for AFLW. The reason it's not been used is the same reason the AFLM team moved away - because cricket has and apparently always will have first claim on it, which makes scheduling there an absolute nightmare and counter the AFL's preferred model of dictating their schedule rather than being dictated to.

A new station isn't vital, but it'd be a nice hypothetical addition. The closest station is a 1.7-km walk away. And could be 1km with some proper paths in (and cheaper than a new station).

The NSW govt has promised $15m to upgrade Tom Wills to AFLW standard, so my point was that the money could be better spent at Blacktown. As you mentioned, it's already AFLW standard, so the money could be spent either making it more accessible, or making it a really sweet boutique stadium. It's already got more of a head start than Tom Wills Oval.

My main point though, is that AFLW at Olympic Park is a waste of an opportunity. The more aligned with the AFL season the AFLW gets, the more the women will be overshadowed playing out of the same precinct.

An AFLW team playing primarily out of Blacktown can carve out its own specific market. There will obviously be crossover between the men's and women's support, but this can help get new people invested who didn't identify with a club only playing 20km to their east. There's no NRL team between Parramatta and Penrith, so the AFLW team could eventually help make Blacktown a GWS stronghold.

With the AFLW brought more in-line with the AFLm season, so that'll help avoid cricket clashes.
 

BringBackTorps

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I based my reply, in post#91 above, on a shorter, Daily Mail version of the Halloran article above.

Later reading Halloran's full article, on "failing?"AF in WS, in The Australian, I noted it had other information (some cherry-picked, & unflattering to AF) I was not aware of, originally.

Jessica Halloran 14.5.22 wrote

"Statistics show the GWS Giants are yet to make solid inroads into western Sydney’s sporting heartland of Parramatta, with participation figures leaked to The Weekend Australian showing just 1 per cent of participants in the area are playing Australian football...

Despite an estimated $200m poured into GWS over the past decade, a City of Parramatta report from March shows AFL is the least popular of the 11 sports listed on a pie chart.

It shows AFL’s formal participation in the City of Parramatta — a home local government area of the Giants — is at 1 per cent of nearly 20,000 participants (senior and junior)".


Halloran is claiming that the City Of Parramatta LGA has only 200 snr & jnr AF "participants"! (ie "1% of nearly 20,000" total sport participants in The City Of Parramatta LGA, play AF!).

Suburbs in the City of Parramatta LGA are:[11]

Can anyone advise me, re this Parra LGA only, how many:-

1. club Auskicks, & where?

2. after-school Auskicks (all require parents to pay for), & which school?

3. approximate no. of Auskick players in each, for any that you know about?


4. junior AF clubs & snr GR AF clubs, & where?

5. approx. no. of players in each club in total, for any that you might know about?


(I am aware that, for a few jnr clubs in the WS comp., a small minority of their teams play, for a season, only in the Swans' comp.

I am also aware that the mighty East Coast Eagles (formerly called Baulkham Hills FC) ground is at Kanebridge Oval Rouse Hill; ditto Kellyville Rouse Hill JFC- but this Oval is just outside the boundary of the Parra LGA. Many players would live, however, in Baulkham Hills, on the Parra LGA side of Baulkham Hills.
Can anyone advise on the approx. no. of players- inc.the JFC Auskick- in each of these 2 clubs?

Ditto, re points 1-5- suburbs shared with Parra LGA ie Beefcroft, Eastwood, Granville,, Lidcombe, Mays Hill, Melrose Park, North Rocks, Pendle Hill, Seven Hills, Toongabbie, Wentworthville & Westmead).

Thanks for your assistance.
 
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General Giant

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A new station isn't vital, but it'd be a nice hypothetical addition. The closest station is a 1.7-km walk away. And could be 1km with some proper paths in (and cheaper than a new station).

The NSW govt has promised $15m to upgrade Tom Wills to AFLW standard, so my point was that the money could be better spent at Blacktown. As you mentioned, it's already AFLW standard, so the money could be spent either making it more accessible, or making it a really sweet boutique stadium. It's already got more of a head start than Tom Wills Oval.

My main point though, is that AFLW at Olympic Park is a waste of an opportunity. The more aligned with the AFL season the AFLW gets, the more the women will be overshadowed playing out of the same precinct.

An AFLW team playing primarily out of Blacktown can carve out its own specific market. There will obviously be crossover between the men's and women's support, but this can help get new people invested who didn't identify with a club only playing 20km to their east. There's no NRL team between Parramatta and Penrith, so the AFLW team could eventually help make Blacktown a GWS stronghold.

With the AFLW brought more in-line with the AFLm season, so that'll help avoid cricket clashes.
Completely disagree.
 

dlanod

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The NSW govt has promised $15m to upgrade Tom Wills to AFLW standard, so my point was that the money could be better spent at Blacktown. As you mentioned, it's already AFLW standard, so the money could be spent either making it more accessible, or making it a really sweet boutique stadium. It's already got more of a head start than Tom Wills Oval.
That doesn't address the biggest issue, the issue that's caused problems for GWS ever since they started having any involvement out there...
With the AFLW brought more in-line with the AFLm season, so that'll help avoid cricket clashes.
You'll still lose a large part of the second half of the season.

AFLM doesn't really overlap with the cricket season at all, but the guys still had to travel all over Sydney for preseason because they weren't able to train on the BISP oval half the time.

You can't wave your hands and make the reality of the previous bitchfight over the location go away. I don't think the AFL would want any substantial involvement in that location given how badly they got screwed around last time unless management was handed over to them or something. The AFL were prepared to use BISP as their base and had intended to do so - they were based there substantially in the early years - but the simple practicalities prevented that plan coming to fruition, and instead we were effectively homeless for almost half a decade before they ended up in Homebush with Tom Wills.
 

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