AFL set to create a second tier league

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By Redb, Redb is a Roar Rookie


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    According to an article on the NT News website, the AFL is set to create a second tier league comprising teams from NSW, ACT, QLD and NT from 2012. This eastern seaboard league would be on the equivalent level of the VFL, SANFL and WAFL.

    According to this article, the teams would include the reserve teams of the Sydney Swans, Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney, with representative teams from the ACT and NT, plus four of the premier clubs in the Queensland AFL (QAFL).

    Currently, the Brisbane Lions reserves and NT Thunder are already in the QAFL, along with clubs such as Southport, Morningside, Mt Gravatt, with a total of ten teams.

    This would probably be viewed as an expansion and vote of confidence in the QAFL, with the retention of the six current teams and expanding to include teams from NSW/ACT.

    Iโ€™d imagine the remaining four QAFL teams would form another tier under this league (second Division?)

    A couple of weeks ago, a report in the Melbourne AGE suggested the AFL was looking at several options from 2012, which included an expansion of the VFL, which currently hosts the Gold Coast, to include the NSW/ACT teams or a proposed eastern-northern seaboard league like this one.

    Currently, the Sydney Swans reserves play in the AFL ACT competition and it was thought GWS would do the same for its reserves after serving an apprenticeship in the TAC Cup and VFL following in the Gold Coastโ€™s footsteps.

    Itโ€™s great news for the NT Thunder, who only recently joined the QAFL, as it propels them one step closer to the elite competition.

    The ACT, it appears, will get a team in its own right in this second tier league. Currently a combined NSW/ACT representative team plays in the Under 16 and 18 junior championships.

    Of course, the remnants of the QAFL and ACT leagues will need to be managed carefully. There is no detail at this stage as to what their fate holds.

    Although a second division of the QAFL exists, maybe this could be expanded to include an AFL Cairns team as a representative North QLD along with the recently introduced team from PNG that currently plays in the AFL Cairns competition.

    At the time of writing there was no official word from the AFL as to the veracity of this report. However, it appears this structure, at the very least ,is being seriously considered at AFL House.

    One thing is for sure: the two new AFL teams of GC and GWS are potentially creating significant shifts in the whole structure of the game in NSW, ACT, QLD and NT.

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    The Crowd Says (98)

    • March 17th 2010 @ 7:21am
      True Tah said | March 17th 2010 @ 7:21am | ! Report

      theres going to be a lot of travel in this comp, is the AFL willing (or able) to fund this competition?

      • Roar Guru

        March 17th 2010 @ 7:58am
        Redb said | March 17th 2010 @ 7:58am | ! Report

        Agree cost is a factor. Not sure about the ACT myself, but NT Thunder already play in the QAFL and its not too bad for SS and GWS (given their budgets).

        The AFL would need to fund this competition. Nothing official at this stage.

        The potential for the game is significant enough given the tentative development in the Pacific Isles and PNG which already plays in a domestic Queensland comp.

        Queensland is the perfect platform to the Eastern/Northern seaboard and Pacific. Hence the bigger picture is create a stronger pathway in NSW and QLD whilst opening up ACT and NT and our near neighbours.

    • March 17th 2010 @ 8:17am
      Brett McKay said | March 17th 2010 @ 8:17am | ! Report

      Redb, I think this is a positive move for AFL footy in the ACT. The Swans ressies don’t have quite the same free ride they did until recent seasons, where they were restricted in the number of the AFL-listed players they could run out, and that’s against club sides. There’s no reason to think an ACT rep side wouldn’t hold their own in this company (didn’t they win the Aust Country champs last year?), and it might even aid the recruitment of former AFL players into the region again.

      About the only drawback I can see is that, once again, the days of Manuka Oval as a cricket ground would look to be numbered, as more decent level aussie rules gets played there…

      No doubt we’re all waiting to hear from Republican……

      • Roar Guru

        March 17th 2010 @ 8:36am
        Redb said | March 17th 2010 @ 8:36am | ! Report


        Yeah It think its a positive for ACT in that they will have a team of their own and really in all of this the next phase of expansion or insertion (if replacing an existing AFL team) is up for grabs.

        It positions both the ACT and NT with stand alone teams that can build momentum and jostle for the right as the next team behind Tassie. Similar to Fremantle (WAFL) and Port Adelaide (SANFL) .

        Don’t know enough about why Manuka would be off limits to cricket, but given the AFL lives witt the MCG and the cricket season down here maybe something can be worked out. The AFL and cricket are partnering at several grounds.

      • March 17th 2010 @ 8:44am
        Brett McKay said | March 17th 2010 @ 8:44am | ! Report

        Redb, prior to the Kangaroos setting up temporary home in Canberra, Manuka had to undergo a fairly major upgrade, in terms of the ground itself, and the facilities. Most of this upgrade (and I think we’re talking upwards of $15M) was paid for by the AFL, and for a while there, the PMs XI and one or two 2nd XI games was about as much cricket as could be fit in. Prior to the upgrade, the cricket 1st Grade match of the round would often be played at Manuka, but even now, with not as much AFL being played, Grade cricket only gets a look in at finals time.

        So that’s all I meant, I’d just imagine that less and less local, and maybe even some rep cricket, would be played at Manuka..

        (a bit of a fantasy footnote: one possible saving grace for Manuka as a cricket ground might be if Canberra was given one of the two proposed new city-based Big Bash franchise teams…)

    • Roar Guru

      March 17th 2010 @ 8:46am
      Redb said | March 17th 2010 @ 8:46am | ! Report

      ———-BREAKING NEWS————

      OPSM to sponsor AFL umpires!!!

      “EYE CARE company OPSM has signed on for the next two years as sponsor of the AFL umpires and the league’s umpiring development program”

      ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ someone has a sense of humour! This is something AFL fans have been calling for a very very long time!

      • Roar Guru

        March 17th 2010 @ 12:17pm
        Dogz R Barkn said | March 17th 2010 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

        That’s the funniest bit of sporting news I have read in a very long time!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • March 17th 2010 @ 8:49am
      Hammer said | March 17th 2010 @ 8:49am | ! Report

      The NT News ? … you do realise this rag is one step above a comic … I’d certainly wait for a more reputable news outlet to break this story before getting my hopes up …

      • March 17th 2010 @ 9:15am
        Tom said | March 17th 2010 @ 9:15am | ! Report

        Good point.

        This has a ring of truth about it though, at least as a concept.

        Reserves teams are an important tool for a club, and this will certainly help West Sydney and Gold Coast develop their legions of high draft picks in the early years.

        As someone who lives five minutes away from Manuka Oval, can I just say I’d love to see an ACT team, even in a reserves league.

      • Roar Guru

        March 17th 2010 @ 9:23am
        Redb said | March 17th 2010 @ 9:23am | ! Report


        Did you read the article first before commenting?

        1. Quoted as only being on the NT news website.
        2. I note in the article that the AFL has not verified this concept.
        3. It has already been mentioned in the Melbourne AGE as an option.

        • March 17th 2010 @ 9:35am
          Hammer said | March 17th 2010 @ 9:35am | ! Report

          Yeah I did actually and noted your comment that the AFL hadn’t verfied anything … I was merely highlighting that NT News is anything but a quality news outlet … we are talking here of a “paper” that often quotes news items from the The Sun as being news worthy

          • Roar Guru

            March 17th 2010 @ 9:44am
            Redb said | March 17th 2010 @ 9:44am | ! Report

            I think the NT News (sport) is more likely to be involved in this instance as the NT Thunder are being seen as a major beneficiary out of the creation of the league, given their elevation to the QAFL recently and now potentially this.

            For what its worth, there have been posts on other forums quoting a radio report from the AFL NT CEO as confirming the structure post a meeting of all AFL State CEO’s last Friday in Darwin. Its quite possible those in NT football indeed have the inside word on this development which is of much interest to them.

            As I said the concept is definitely on the table as an option as detailed in the Melbourne AGE.

    • March 17th 2010 @ 10:12am
      Republican said | March 17th 2010 @ 10:12am | ! Report

      Hammer, first to you old son. Yes I believe you are on the money re the cred of a rag i.e the NT news.

      To answer your question from a previous thread, I do drive a ute, a Ford Courier twin cab, it’s bumper sporting an Amnesty sticker. That said I would have thought your ‘Chinese Gooseberry’ visa would have run out long ago cob. I am also hopeful that the AFL are showing its faith in the true footy heartlands before ever entertaining the blackhole of footy i.e NZ, to misappropriate another piece of our culture. We live in hope. You should also have a read of the latest NZ Herald opinion thread in what is another in a long line of discussion across the ditch, over NZ’s mercenary intent to join our Federation of States, for some perspective on pregidous.

      Moving rirgt along, the cricket fraternity in this town are more than compatible with footy so that’s not an issue. The infrastructure at Manuka is more than adequate for a second tier comp i.e is being flagged here. The ACT Assembly are exploring the idea of either adding to Manuka’s current set up or creating a whole new facility ironically where the old footy park in Woden existed, in attracting higher profile AFL fixtures I have heard said.

      Manukas playing surface is as big as the G. The ACT did indeed win last years Aust footy Country championships V all the big guns i.e WA. SA and Vic defeating the latter in the final. They also reached the final in 2008. The ACT team is a stand alone team, i.e not a collaboration with NSW.

      Brett, how are your Brumbies travelling mate, still struggling to find the try line I have been told?


      • March 17th 2010 @ 11:36am
        Brett McKay said | March 17th 2010 @ 11:36am | ! Report

        Brumbies are going alright Repub. No probs finding the tryline so far, just not as often as they would like…

        Manuka’s playing surface, by the way, is the biggest of all the first class (cricket) grounds in Australia I’ve found out. And surprisingly, the ‘Gabba is 2nd, the MCG 3rd….

        • Roar Guru

          March 17th 2010 @ 12:09pm
          Michael C said | March 17th 2010 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

          and on these grounds you get REAL cricket played…..rather than the ‘postage stamp’ size rugby-cricket venues in NZ and RSA for example……

          ……well, SHOULD get real cricket played…..Vics 5-75 at lunch struggling to play REAL cricket at the ‘G.

      • March 17th 2010 @ 12:28pm
        Hammer said | March 17th 2010 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

        haven’t you heard of CER ?

        • Roar Guru

          March 17th 2010 @ 12:30pm
          Redb said | March 17th 2010 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

          Repub is on his own with his views on NZ.

    • Roar Guru

      March 17th 2010 @ 11:32am
      Michael C said | March 17th 2010 @ 11:32am | ! Report

      I like the concept a lot.

      Elements as Redb mentioned re NT THunder are already in place in a way – – given that they share their home matches b/w Darwin and Alice Springs and play in the QAFL……distance and expense is already factored in. This would spread it more broadly.

      It’d help focus the talent pathway in both NSW and QLD, give ACT a real access point, and might one day – – Republican might choke on his toast – – but, might one day allow an entry point for a Pacific Islands/NZ/PNG senior side into a regular competition…….the first step for that though would obviously be to get about 5-8 years down te path of having the new international sides in the national junior champs (Div 2).

      • Roar Guru

        March 17th 2010 @ 12:00pm
        Redb said | March 17th 2010 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

        Yes there is a bigger picture here.