Soccer is the alternative to AFLX

Nick Symonds Roar Rookie

By Nick Symonds, Nick Symonds is a Roar Rookie

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20 Have your say

    The AFL has put a lot of work into developing AFLX only for it to be pilloried by the fans, but perhaps soccer could fill the gap in the off-season.

    Who knows why AFLX was developed? But in any case the AFL have a new form of the game that they’ve created, and they’re now trying to flog it as the Aussie Rules equivalent of Twenty20 cricket.

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    But unlike T20, which is played on a field of the same size and shape and with the same number of players, AFLX is designed for a smaller field of a completely different shape and without even half the regular number of players.

    It’s practically unrecognisable from the standard form of the game, which has already had so many rule changes that it’s hard for anyone to keep up with it. The changes to the rules to create AFLX might just be a bridge too far for long-time fans, who may simply be unable to cope with it.

    So if no-one’s interested in AFLX, maybe a different sport could fill the gap during the off season.

    How about soccer?

    It’s often said that people play soccer for exercise on weekends because it’s safe and with a low risk of injury and watch the AFL or NRL on TV when they’re at home. The low risk of injury also makes soccer a suitable sport for AFL players during the off-season, unlike AFLX.

    Soccer could also help to sharpen ball skills and improve players disposals by foot, as in the examples in the video below.

    The only trouble with soccer is that AFL fans often find it too slow and boring. The fans have to jump and sing to keep themselves entertained, as they say – or, as soccer fans would call it, ‘creating atmosphere’.

    Oddly enough, I’ve actually heard a few Fremantle fans on TV copying some of the chants from soccer. I once heard a group in the crowd singing, “Ole, ole, ole, ole, Freo, Freo”. I thought it created a great atmosphere. But then again, they were watching Fremantle, so maybe they just had to jump and sing to keep themselves entertained.

    If AFL fans find the regular form of soccer boring, maybe a new form could work better for them. In Hong Kong at the same place where rugby sevens took off, soccer sevens is now being promoted. The HKFC Soccer Sevens follows a similar format to rugby sevens and has a 16-team main tournament and a ten-team masters tournament.

    Matches are divided into seven-minute halves followed by ten-minute halves during finals. Teams are limited to seven players on each side, which reduces congestion and speeds up the pace of play (something the AFL should consider). There’s also no offside rule, which AFL players aren’t familiar with anyway.

    These changes result in a fast-paced, high-scoring game with about ten goals in each of the four groups of four. This should appeal to AFL fans who are used to higher-scoring rates.

    Soccer sevens makes about as much sense to soccer fans as AFLX does to AFL fans, but maybe soccer sevens or seven-a-side home-and-away soccer with 30-minute halves could have some kind of appeal to AFL fans in the off-season.

    So what do you think, could soccer sevens or seven-a-side soccer be a better alternative to AFLX?

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    The Crowd Says (20)

    • September 9th 2017 @ 11:03am
      melbourneterrace said | September 9th 2017 @ 11:03am | ! Report

      Ì think it’s fair to say fans of both codes would both find this utterly stupid, let alone pointless.

    • September 9th 2017 @ 12:56pm
      Leonard said | September 9th 2017 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

      Here’s a game played on a smaller rectangular field with spherical balls (aka ’round’) and smaller teams, where the sorts of tackling in Australian Football is against the rules.

      It’s called, by its natives, “Peil Ghaelach” or “Caid”. And it is not unknown in Terra Australis Cognita.

      Or what about that German Handball game? It is a limited Olympic sport, and has the PC cred of a 2000-year-old feminist history, with Roman women playing a version of handball called ‘expulsim ludere’,.

    • September 9th 2017 @ 3:29pm
      I ate pies said | September 9th 2017 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

      Here’s an alternative to AFLX – nothing. Just give the footy a rest for a few months while the cricket and soccer seasons are on. It’s a stupid idea anyway, and it’s ok to not have footy all of the time, it makes it more enjoyable when it is on.

      • September 11th 2017 @ 8:48pm
        Party Pooper said | September 11th 2017 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

        Agreed.

    • September 9th 2017 @ 3:58pm
      republican said | September 9th 2017 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

      Breathtaking double standard.
      The AFL have money to burn on this sort of comedy caper, while continuing to tell us in the nations capital et el, that ours is an unviable market to expand to………..

    • September 9th 2017 @ 6:19pm
      Craig said | September 9th 2017 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

      Soccer? This is a gee up.

    • Roar Guru

      September 10th 2017 @ 12:34pm
      Cat said | September 10th 2017 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

      Soccer sucks. Boring as watching paint dry.

      • September 10th 2017 @ 1:00pm
        republican said | September 10th 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

        ……..yet incredibly skilful, if you have the patience to hang around and be subjected to yet, another scoreless draw…………

        • Roar Guru

          September 10th 2017 @ 1:18pm
          Cat said | September 10th 2017 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

          So much skill flopping around like they’ve been shot when the closest contact is a meter away.

          • September 10th 2017 @ 5:47pm
            Don said | September 10th 2017 @ 5:47pm | ! Report

            Utter 1970’s garbage stereotypes, you guys have been well and truly indoctrinated.

            You can enjoy more than one football code you know, gasp!
            There is a reason soccer is number one,by a large margin, on planet earth. Enjoy your rugby/AFL and enjoy football too.
            Think for yourself. Just once.

            • Roar Guru

              September 10th 2017 @ 5:57pm
              Cat said | September 10th 2017 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

              Its number #1 because it was forced down third world countries throats while the colonial power r@ped and pillaged the world. It’s #1 because it is a sissy non-contact sport that mummies boys are allowed to play by their over protective mummies. Its #1 because its cheap as dirt to play. A wadded up ball of garbage and two rocks for a goal serves in the third world countries its immensely popular in.

              • September 11th 2017 @ 10:33am
                republican said | September 11th 2017 @ 10:33am | ! Report

                ……..concur……..

              • September 11th 2017 @ 1:09pm
                josh said | September 11th 2017 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

                Same way AFL is trying to force itself down Western Sydney’s throat ?

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