The AFL needs the West Sydney Celtics
Caroline Wilson wrote an article, AFL Eyes Ireland for Celtic team, on July 12 about the new West Sydney side having a predominantly Irish influence. I think this is a great opportunity for the AFL.
This kind of partnership and opportunity you would think would be too good for the AFL to refuse, especially in relation to the games’ international development and exposure in Ireland through the use of revised television rights, a new team name and players.
Yes, it would be at a massive financial cost, but this sort of investment is priceless, especially considering it could potentially wipe off years of branding and development of the game, not just in Ireland but also throughout Europe and the world.
Promising development ideas could potentially arise ten years earlier than expected, such as the potential to play a home and away fixture at the 82,500 seat stadium, Croke Park.
Yet, I read in an article on June 13, New Sydney club on fast-track that the AFL is keen to fast track the West Sydney side so that they can participate in the TAC Cup competition for the 2009 competition.
My view is that this proposal will not eventuate as the AFL are simply blinded at the moment due to their attempt at getting an eighteenth team into the West Sydney market quickly.
Or are they seriously considering this great opportunity?
The idea of a Celtic team must be considered more important than getting a team in West Sydney by 2012.
If it could be used in conjunction with the AFL’s current national expansion plan, it would be a win-win scenario for both the Australian game and its International development.
If the Irish proposal shows enough promise to become a reality, wouldn’t common sense prevail and the AFL hold off a year or two to develop it and enable it to become a reality.
For a young AFL follower who will still be watching our great game hopefully in sixty years time, any opportunity for the AFL to become an international game has to be taken with two hands and sacrifices made in order for this to happen.
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