AFL clubs eyeing NBL expansion

By Warren Barnsley, Warren Barnsley is a Roar Guru

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    AFL clubs are considering setting up teams to play in an NBL competition slated for “imminent” expansion.

    NBL chief Jeremy Loeliger said some AFL clubs have escalated discussions for new franchises as the likelihood of expansion grows amid increased interest in Australian basketball.

    “With talk of expansion hotting up, some of the real contenders are stepping forward,” Loeliger told Melbourne radio 3AW.

    “There’s a lot of AFL clubs out there and we’re certainly not talking to all of them, but there are a few that have really put their hand up and seem quite keen.

    “They’re spread around the country.

    “Obviously, there’s a couple here in Victoria who are pretty keen because we’ve made know already about the most likely expansion, I guess in the short term, coming from Victoria.”

    Crossover between AFL clubs and other sports already exists, with Greater Western Sydney and Collingwood having teams in Super Netball.

    Loeliger said clubs’ non-football department staff and medicos could be spread to work across multiple sports.

    “There’s no mystery as to why it makes good commercial sense,” he said.

    “A netball team is exactly the same philosophy and strategy put to play.

    “You’ve seen AFL teams go to AFLW, into netball. You’ve seen an NRL team go into netball.”

    The NBL has previously said it’s interested in introducing teams from Asia.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (12)

    • Roar Guru

      November 14th 2017 @ 11:00am
      mds1970 said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

      Interesting to see whether anything comes of this. In Europe there are “super-clubs” that have teams in multiple sports including soccer and basketball, often handball as well. But it’s a rare thing in Australia.

      AFL clubs investing in soccer, with Collingwood and the Carlton in the 1990s, was an abject failure. But basketball could be different.
      GWS Giants and Collingwood already have branched into netball. It’s not uncommon in the country for footy and netball to be under the umbrella of a single club; but it’s unusual at the elite level in Australia. But both the Giants and Magpies had success with a netball club in the first year of Super Netball; and both are interested in having a crack at basketball.

      Basketball has had something of a resurgence recently; and is probably getting to the stage of needing more teams. Over in Perth, the Wildcats regularly sell out Perth Arena, and Freo may well have detected an opportunity for a second team from Perth.
      Sydney is the exception, where the Kings are struggling on the court and stagnant off it. For Sydney to have missed out on the basketball resurgence could potentially make it ripe for a GWS basketball franchise to move in and have a crack where the Kings have failed.

      • November 14th 2017 @ 11:39am
        Sydneysider said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:39am | ! Report

        How about a GWS A-League team mds1970?

        Or a GWS Super Rugby team?

        • Roar Guru

          November 14th 2017 @ 12:29pm
          mds1970 said | November 14th 2017 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

          Previous attempts by AFL clubs Collingwood and Carlton to invest in soccer, back in the old NSL days, ended in tears all round. Hard to see it happening again, but you never know what the future holds.
          Somehow, even if an AFL club wanted to start up an A-League team, I suspect both the AFL and FFA would block it……

          • November 14th 2017 @ 12:55pm
            Sydneysider said | November 14th 2017 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

            I actually think a GWS Super Rugby team would be a good idea, but the NSWRU would never allow their golden child Waratahs to be usurped for support by the Western Sydney folk.

            Also the ARU has no bargaining power with SANZAAR after the Force were punted as one of the 5 Aussie Super Rugby teams.

    • Editor

      November 14th 2017 @ 11:24am
      Josh Elliott said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:24am | ! Report

      Finally, a way to get Jesse White back to Collingwood.

      • Roar Guru

        November 14th 2017 @ 1:41pm
        mds1970 said | November 14th 2017 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

        And Freo could get Craig Moller back.

    • November 14th 2017 @ 11:43am
      Aligee said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:43am | ! Report

      I like European handball, could see a small national comp linked to AFL clubs have some success.

      Interestingly several years ago the Australian handball coach approached the AFL hoping to use AFL players in his Olympic team stating that they would be pretty good, suited physically and skill wise to the game.

    • November 14th 2017 @ 3:13pm
      Aligee said | November 14th 2017 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

      Just another comment on European handball, a 6 or 7 team national comp played in stadiums averaging a couple of k of attendance would be interesting.

      Small outlay, small squads, small wages backed by the big AFL clubs in Melbourne,Adelaide Perth Sydney etc would work IMO, it is a fast paced high scoring game, pretty sure some AFL players would make the cut for a game here or there and a big O/S name could be bought in per club.

      Memberships Could be tacked onto a existing AFL membership and the comp is small enough ATM for the AFL to own and run it whollus bollus, unlike the NBL.

      • November 14th 2017 @ 3:46pm
        Mattyb said | November 14th 2017 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

        I played a bit of European Handball at school,an absolutely brilliant sport to participate in and watch.
        I think AFL clubs would be far better off investing in European Handball than a sport like basketball.

        • November 14th 2017 @ 3:55pm
          Aligee said | November 14th 2017 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

          As part of a group of sports I would ageee, I also don’t see a huge conflict with AFL football as it would be with a rugby or soccer team as per some posts

          The sport is there for the taking ATM

    • November 14th 2017 @ 7:32pm
      steve said | November 14th 2017 @ 7:32pm | ! Report

      Hate the idea of adding Asian teams. Not even sure why the fascination of Kiwi teams being in Australian sporting competitions. I think its ridiculous.

    • November 17th 2017 @ 3:58pm
      guttsy said | November 17th 2017 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

      Womens netball makes sense for an AFL club as it has potential to produce some athletic players of the future that would be available to be drafted to the club under the father son rule. With some very notable exceptions, Netball is the sport in Australia which has the most athletic women. I don’t think it is quite eugenics, but I’m sure Eddy is excited by the thought of the potential for lots of future stars being brought to the club rather cheaply (in drafting terms).

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