Demetriou wants to win Australia’s new arrivals

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    AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou

    AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou addresses the media during an AFL Media Conference at AFL House, Melbourne. Slattery Images

    AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou is not every sports fans’ hero. Many AFL traditionalists bemoan a “softening” of the game under his stewardship. Fans of other codes see him as overly aggressive in his promotion of Australian Rules Football, to the detriment of our recent FIFA World Cup bid.

    Though it is unlikely the bid would have got up even if Demetriou and the AFL had co-operated fully with all the FFA’s original wishes.

    But a speech Demetriou gave recently to the Diversity Council of Australia gives a deeper insight into the AFL chief’s values – values he wants the code he oversees to embody.

    In it, Demetriou draws on his own cultural heritage (“As some of you may know, my parents are from Cyprus and I’m very proud of my heritage. I’m even happy to be referred to as a Greek”) and how footy helped he and his brothers integrate into suburban Melbourne in their youth.

    He lauds the AFL’s progress with integrating and helping indigenous Australians and their communities. But he notes the AFL has a great challenge to bring migrants from Asia and Africa to the game.

    Implied in his speech is a goal to change Australia’s suburban and country culture, to soften not only the old head high biff out of the game on the field, but the once (and too often, still) intolerant and insular attitudes in clubs, leagues and suburbs across this twenty-first century nation of immigrants.

    He concludes with: “As the son of migrants, I know first-hand how Australian football helped my brothers and I connect with the community. To meet people and make new friends. And to explore new opportunities. The same way it did for Jezza, Dipper and Kouta. And in the same way it’s now doing for Majak Daw, Bachar Houli, Jamie Pi and Ali Faraj and, I hope, many others in the years to come.”

    Whether you think Demetriou is “AD, the wrecker of our once great game”, or “Vlad, the impaler of other codes”, or simply a Greek Cypriot immigrant lad who was an average AFL player but a quite visionary and fiercely protective AFL exec, the article is an insight into where he wants Australian Football as a code to go, and what he wants it to do for Australia.

    It is worth reading in full before commenting below.

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    The Crowd Says (352)

    • Roar Guru

      December 8th 2010 @ 5:10am
      Redb said | December 8th 2010 @ 5:10am | ! Report

      Good article. The other coders all hate Vlad on one hand but would sign him up tomorrow to run their sport.

      Auskick is proving to be a real winner for migrants, I see great diversity at local Auskicks and it’s fantastic to see so many new Aussies running around in footy jumpers.

      • December 8th 2010 @ 7:00am
        Joel said | December 8th 2010 @ 7:00am | ! Report

        it’s fantastic to see so many new Aussies running around in footy jumpers

        Awesome isn’t it? Makes you proud to be Australian.

        • Roar Guru

          December 8th 2010 @ 8:47am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:47am | ! Report

          Such sights have always been the norm at Football – why has it taken until the 2nd decade of the 21st century for the AFL to embrace ethnic Australians?

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2010 @ 9:03am
            Redb said | December 8th 2010 @ 9:03am | ! Report

            It hasn’t. Italians and Greeks the predominant migrants into Melbourne have long played the game and supported it.

            Now its time for the next gen of migrants.

          • December 8th 2010 @ 9:37am
            JamesP said | December 8th 2010 @ 9:37am | ! Report

            How can you possible compare the cultural diversity of soccer to footy? One game is played all over the world and another just in once country. What the VFL/AFL has done up until now deserves great credit.

          • December 8th 2010 @ 11:02am
            Joel said | December 8th 2010 @ 11:02am | ! Report

            Australian football has been adopted by migrants for well over a 100 years, if it hadn’t been it wouldn’t be where it is today. In a sense Australian football has been taken to the world and the world liked what it saw.

            • December 9th 2010 @ 8:02pm
              Ian said | December 9th 2010 @ 8:02pm | ! Report

              It was adopted by Migrants to Melbourne because its the only sport available south of the Murray.

              • December 9th 2010 @ 8:12pm
                Joel said | December 9th 2010 @ 8:12pm | ! Report

                Is that a fact? Interesting. Someone had better tell all those soccer fans trying to convince me of soccer’s glorious history in Victoria they’re wrong, and ask the MCG to amend their page.


                The first known soccer (or ‘football’) match played at the MCG was between Victoria and Tasmania on July 17, 1912.

              • December 9th 2010 @ 8:17pm
                TJ said | December 9th 2010 @ 8:17pm | ! Report

                Thanks Ian. Perhaps spend some time south of the river. Go to most high schools in Melbourne that has an aussie rules oval and next to it you will find a ‘soccer/football’ field. Why don’t you ask the FFA for the data on Germany 2006 World Cup attendees from Australia and compare the Victoria numbers to the rest of the country. Victoria is the home of Basketball in Australia – see Heal, Gaze, Bradtke, McKinnon, Anstey, Bogut etc…… ‘Code War’ is a NSW thing! I live in Sydney too by the way.

          • December 9th 2010 @ 9:23am
            Anthony said | December 9th 2010 @ 9:23am | ! Report

            sigh….such ignorance from those who only live in the soccer box!

          • December 9th 2010 @ 11:08pm
            Rob McLean said | December 9th 2010 @ 11:08pm | ! Report

            Tell Lou Richards and his very proud family that it has taken until the 2nd decade of the 21st Century for the AFL to embrace ethnic Australians.

            • December 9th 2010 @ 11:16pm
              Koops said | December 9th 2010 @ 11:16pm | ! Report

              Yes Rob, the Pannams (Pannamopolous) are a famous Collingwood family, all born and bred around Collingwood, Abbotsford, and are of Greek extraction, Lou was a Pannam through his mother.

              Old lou has seen better days though, in fact if i am not mistaken Lou was born and grew up in Collingwood and may have been the last local Collingwood born player to represent the Club.

        • December 8th 2010 @ 11:02am
          Lazza said | December 8th 2010 @ 11:02am | ! Report

          What a shame these kids will never be able to represent this great country in sport.

          • December 8th 2010 @ 11:40am
            Joel said | December 8th 2010 @ 11:40am | ! Report

            Isn’t it great their talents can be put on display for Australian audiences in packed stadiums, and they can walk down the street and be recognized. They’ll be saved from the fate of Craig Foster, who is more known for his attacks on Australians and Australian football than whatever it is he did before.

            • December 8th 2010 @ 9:40pm
              David Heidelberg said | December 8th 2010 @ 9:40pm | ! Report

              Yeah, they can be world famous in Melbourne.

              • December 9th 2010 @ 8:04pm
                Joel said | December 9th 2010 @ 8:04pm | ! Report

                Australia. Sure beats having a future like Craig Foster.

          • December 8th 2010 @ 11:40am
            JamesP said | December 8th 2010 @ 11:40am | ! Report

            Why is it a “shame” Lazaa. They great thing about this country is you have choices. if you want to represent your country in soccer, tennis, badminton or synchronised swimming you can! If you want to play a domestic sport professionally with an average annnual wage pushing up to quarter of a million now, without havinh to leave your country – you can do that as well!

            • December 8th 2010 @ 12:34pm
              Lazza said | December 8th 2010 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

              I find it amusing that AFL fans who generally follow one and only one sport believe other countries don’t have a choice of sports? I follow the Adelaide Crows during the winter and watch Adelaide Utd and all the other great soccer from around the world as well. How many of you exercise your choice of sports?

              I think it’s a shame because representing our great country is the highest honour in Australian sport. Seeing a young immigrant kid succeed and represent Australia on the international stage is great.

              • December 8th 2010 @ 12:51pm
                JamesP said | December 8th 2010 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

                I follow many sports, including soccer Lazza. Yes if you play Aussie Rules you will never truly represent your country in the game – thats life. Same goes for Gaelic footballers, americal footballers and canadian footballers. “Shame ” is the wrong word. People play auusie rules knowing full well that they wlll never represent their country -and they are happy and comfortable with that. To that extent – there is no shame…

              • December 8th 2010 @ 2:08pm
                the truth hurts said | December 8th 2010 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

                Seems to me you hate Australian Rules Football, so why come up with a charade about supporting the Adelaide Crows?

              • December 9th 2010 @ 11:05pm
                Rob McLean said | December 9th 2010 @ 11:05pm | ! Report

                Lazza: I find it amusing that AFL fans who generally follow one and only one sport believe other countries don’t have a choice of sports?

                I dare say that’s a massive generalisation.

          • December 8th 2010 @ 11:42am
            MagpieFlag said | December 8th 2010 @ 11:42am | ! Report

            its hilarious how “bogan” and “insular” are used to dismiss aussie rules but than ultimately it is shallow jingoism that is used as the last refuge!

          • December 8th 2010 @ 1:34pm
            clipper said | December 8th 2010 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

            Lazza, Sometimes it’s better to be a big fish in a small pond rather than a small fish in a big pond. When Aust. dominated in Tennis, not as many countries were actively involved – now with a lot more nations represented, it’s a lot harder to get to the top on the world stage (I know there are many other reasons for the decline). But most people are happy playing the sport the love in front of home crowds. So if you’re looking for international competition AFL or League are not the way to go unless you enjoy playing a hybrid game in Ireland or against South Auckland and Northern England.

            • December 8th 2010 @ 1:42pm
              punter said | December 8th 2010 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

              So it’s better to be the best team in division 4 then try to test yourself in the top grade.

              • December 8th 2010 @ 2:19pm
                clipper said | December 8th 2010 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

                The point I was making is that in AFL and League you are playing the best in Australia as they aren’t played much elsewhere. But with the A League I would agree with your analogy as the pinnacle would be to play in the top league – be in Spain, England, Germany etc.

              • December 8th 2010 @ 2:31pm
                punter said | December 8th 2010 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

                Yes Clipper, there are advantages & disadvantages to having an int’l sport.

            • December 8th 2010 @ 2:16pm
              Forgetmenot said | December 8th 2010 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

              Cannot wait for the Aust Open!!! Should be very exckiting

    • December 8th 2010 @ 6:52am
      Forgetmenot said | December 8th 2010 @ 6:52am | ! Report

      An inspiring speech by Demetriou. It is incredible to see how integrated into Australian society past migrants have come, and is necessary for football to offer the same opportunity to recent arrivals.
      I shall be adding that article to my favourites. Hopefully everyone who reads it can take something from it and apply it to their own life in some way.

    • December 8th 2010 @ 7:06am
      Jessica said | December 8th 2010 @ 7:06am | ! Report

      Good on him for saying it, but let’s not imply that rugby league and football (soccer) in Australia aren’t miles ahead or aren’t already meeting these goals. AFL and cricket have a long way to go to catch up.

      • December 8th 2010 @ 7:39am
        Forgetmenot said | December 8th 2010 @ 7:39am | ! Report

        AFL is doing a brillant job at integrating people from other backgrounds into Australian society. Moreso than other sports.
        Though i agree that the ethnic spread is not as much as other sports.

        But like Demetriou said, we need to strive to ensure that football is progressive in this area and that it becomes a leader in this field.

      • Roar Guru

        December 8th 2010 @ 8:18am
        Redb said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:18am | ! Report

        Soccer in particular is a migrants game – nothing to see here from a migrant’s perspective on Australia.

        Interesting you claim Australian football and cricket have to catch up. How many Italian-Australians have played cricket compared to Aussie Rules? Bugger all.

        As for Australian football in Melbourne it has long been embraced by Italians and Greeks which make up a large proportion of migrants. The goal if you read the article is to introduce the game to the newer migrants from Asia and Africa. The latter produce athletes well suited to our Australian game. Once introduced they love the freedom of the game, just like Australia.

        Be wise for some to educate themselves – google Majak Daw.

        • Roar Pro

          December 8th 2010 @ 11:48am
          Cpaaa said | December 8th 2010 @ 11:48am | ! Report

          seems like my comment didnt get through. Perhaps its because of my darth avatar. so ill try again

          “Soccer in particular is a migrants game – nothing to see here from a migrant’s perspective on Australia.” ?

          So what Redb is saying is that Rugby League, Rugby Union and Cricket are migrant sports as well. Played internationally yet all originated in England…. your loosing me Redb.

      • December 8th 2010 @ 8:21am
        MagpieFlag said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:21am | ! Report

        Rugby League is miles ahead by what measure? That half the players are ploynesian who are “born into” one of the rugby codes anyway, and have a massive physical advantage, particularly at junior levels?

        Soccer may have a higher diversity but this has more today with the fact that most migrants come pre-exposed to playing soccer. It certainly isn’t a case of actively engaging ethnic communities and drawing them into existing clubs if these are the same clubs charging $1500 annual sub fees

        The AFL is by far and away the leader in active, resourced programs in engaging indigenous and ethnic communities.

        • Roar Guru

          December 8th 2010 @ 8:43am
          AndyRoo said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:43am | ! Report

          if these are the same clubs charging $1500 annual sub fees

          I think this will be a big factor. Oz kick is much more affordable and that’s an issue for everyone let alone people who are just settling in a new country.

          I don’t see any reason why AFL wouldn’t be a popular choice as it’s very well run, cheap and has enough variety that theres bound to be something about the game that people can enjoy.

          The only problem I could envisage is my local club (less than 500m from my house) is very very white. it would be somewhat intimidating for a new Australian. I wouldn’t worry about the kids though…would be more the parents that would be the issue. This is probably only a suburban/country problem and school based programs would be important for overcoming it.

          • December 8th 2010 @ 9:33am
            slickwilly said | December 8th 2010 @ 9:33am | ! Report

            agrre with your last paragraph andyroo – the capacity of youngs kids to revel in their immediate surrounds irrespective of anything else never fails to amaze – we adults are the corrupting influence

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2010 @ 7:38pm
            MyLeftFoot said | December 8th 2010 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

            best comment by a non AFL person comes from AndyRoo,


            and again, why is AndyRoo about the only person able to engage in discussion rather than childish argument??

        • Roar Guru

          December 8th 2010 @ 9:42am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | December 8th 2010 @ 9:42am | ! Report

          So, if Football is doing everything wrong and NRL and AFL are doing everything right … why is it that Football is the most widely played sport – at every age level amongst males and females?

          It’s been awhile since I paid annnual subs at my local football club but, if they’re charging $1500 it’s more than likely that is what the market is willing to pay. Football clubs all around Australia have to turn kids away because demand to play the game far exceeds the supply of teams and leagues.

          I don’t know about NRL, but every year it is reported more and more established AFL teams in the suburban and country Victoria are being dissolved or don’t have sufficient players to field teams in various age groups.

          • December 8th 2010 @ 10:17am
            MagpieFlag said | December 8th 2010 @ 10:17am | ! Report

            Australian (rules) football has overall, been growing rapidly in Victoria as well as everywhere else in the country and pretty consistently for two decades

            There are no doubt some clubs in areas where demography is acting against them are over time finding it hardy to find the 30+ people (players, coached, trainers etc) required to sustain an Australian football team. Overall though, its been a consistant rise everywhere!

            And in terms of participation, I would have showed up in both the indoor and outdoor soccer figures last year. Love the game but much prefer Australian football however playing australian football is a massive commitment and there is no equivalent to futsal. So you are adding me twice in the misleading participation figures you cling to.

            And what the market is willing to pay? You really have no idea. This article/issue is indicitive of the overiding advantage of Australian Football both in its ability to grow and its intrinsic social value – its ability to capture large chunks of revenue from the elite and reinvest it at the grass roots. Soccer of course, everything is sucked upwards and therefore kids are asked to meet the full costs of their coaching which is rather expensive if you want any quality. The AFL (and affiliates) massively subsidise both grass roots particpation and elite pathway development.

            If not for the taxpayer, soccer would be in a more parlous state than it is!

            • December 8th 2010 @ 11:44am
              JamesP said | December 8th 2010 @ 11:44am | ! Report

              Dont forget soccer also has thriving womens participation as well which is counted in the figures. But Fussball always brings up participation to bolster his argument – conveniently forgetting that Netball is right up there as well – not to mention soccer being the number 1 participation sport in the USA as well – and why shouldnt it be? Its simple and easy to learn and is less physically taxing. How that relates to this article of course is anyones quess – as Fussball just trumps his participation argument to suit his agenda.

        • December 8th 2010 @ 11:13am
          GC Bulletin said | December 8th 2010 @ 11:13am | ! Report

          Hazem El Masri, Ben Elias, George Peponis….rugby league ethnicity travels far beyond the pacific despite what the media might like everyone to think, the setting up of Lebanese, Maltese, italian and Greek teams through Australians with ethnic ties to these countries shows this.
          Also whilst the AFL has done a great job with Indigenous youth I think it would be harsh for one to discount the NRL/ARL’s work with the Indigenous Allstars and the learn, earn, legend program. Also interestignly enough the first Australian sporting team to have an Aboriginal captain? The Kangaroos, Arthur Beetson.

          • December 8th 2010 @ 8:51pm
            TCunbeliever said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:51pm | ! Report

            Wasn’t there an a Cricket team that played in England made up entirely of First Australians in the 1800s? That team would’ve had a captain.

            • December 10th 2010 @ 11:08pm
              Karlos said | December 10th 2010 @ 11:08pm | ! Report

              How dumb was your comment? An Indigenous team is an Indigenous team and not an Australian team representing Australia.

      • Roar Guru

        December 8th 2010 @ 8:21am
        Australian Football said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:21am | ! Report

        Absolutely Jessica—-I have no problem that AFL is going to word harder in this area.. But Football is streets ahead in this area. Many people forget that there is long history of Football in Australia as well—-some 120 years, it’s also part and parcel of Australia’s culture..

        • Roar Guru

          December 8th 2010 @ 8:25am
          Redb said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:25am | ! Report

          The article does not seek to compare. Did you read it?

          Soccer is a migrant game, migrants have been coming to Australia for 120+ years.

          • December 8th 2010 @ 8:49am
            TCunbeliever said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:49am | ! Report

            Well some might say thousands of years..

          • December 8th 2010 @ 8:50am
            Jessica said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:50am | ! Report

            No the article is not comparing Redb. But it left a lot unsaid about other codes and there is every likelihood that many will take that to mean AFL is streets ahead of other sports in Australia in this issue. The Roar is a mult sports site and it is fair enough the full context be given, even if this story is under the AFL tab. The truth should always win out. As posters have pointed out above AFL is still a very Anglo filled sport and a few individual names and nationalities doesn’t convince otherwise.

            • Roar Guru

              December 8th 2010 @ 9:06am
              Redb said | December 8th 2010 @ 9:06am | ! Report

              Google Majak Daw and learn what the article is about.

            • December 8th 2010 @ 9:36am
              MagpieFlag said | December 8th 2010 @ 9:36am | ! Report

              A bit of research, Jessica, never hurts for long (at least after proverbial kick in the guts that knocks out the blind parochialism), particularly if it is the “truth” you are sincerely after!


              It is interesting that enormous Italian population of Melvbourne in particular was unable to sustain an interest to keep an NSL side up. One only needs to go to one of the 40,000 average crowds in Melbourne at look around at the faces to see why!

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2010 @ 9:46am
                Fussball ist unser leben said | December 8th 2010 @ 9:46am | ! Report

                MagpieFlag – you’re joking, right?

                After 100+ years of Aussie Rules – that’s the entire list of players with international backgrounds. And, by “international background” the AFL list includes players born o/s or whose parents were born o/s.

                I can’t stop laughing.

                Here’s this list for the A-League .. after 5.5 years of operation. And, the A-League lis is purely a list of “foreign players” … it is does NOT include Aussies born o/s or whose parents were born o/s!


              • December 8th 2010 @ 10:09am
                JamesP said | December 8th 2010 @ 10:09am | ! Report

                Fussball again you are comparing Aussie Rules (a game invented and played professionally in only 1 country), to worlds most popular sport – played in every country on the planet. What exactly are you trying to prove?

              • December 8th 2010 @ 10:24am
                MagpieFlag said | December 8th 2010 @ 10:24am | ! Report

                What the hell do foreign players have to do with this topic at all?

                I posted that link as evidence that the game had a strong history of attracting players from migrant communities and is not, infact, “anglo filled” as suggested.

                Maybe stop laughing for a mintue and think!

              • December 8th 2010 @ 10:37am
                Forgetmenot said | December 8th 2010 @ 10:37am | ! Report


                I don’t think Fussy knows the difference between players who have an international background, and foreign players.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2010 @ 10:49am
                Fussball ist unser leben said | December 8th 2010 @ 10:49am | ! Report


                Your list of AFL “migrant players” includes “foreign players”:

                Mike Pike, Martin Clarke, Paul Earley, Tadhg Kennelly, Dermott McNicholl, Setanta Ó hAilpín, Brian Stynes, Jim Stynes, Sean Wight, Colm Begley, Michael Quinn

              • December 8th 2010 @ 11:24am
                Joel said | December 8th 2010 @ 11:24am | ! Report

                Every AFL player is a migrant, or a descendent of migrants.

              • December 8th 2010 @ 11:27am
                MagpieFlag said | December 8th 2010 @ 11:27am | ! Report

                My list?

                I cut and pasted a Wikilink!

                The key names on the Wikilink, as it relates to this article, are those that are first / second generation Australian.

                Again, this was in response to an ignorant wishful statement that Australian rules was filled with anglos

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2010 @ 7:59pm
                MyLeftFoot said | December 8th 2010 @ 7:59pm | ! Report

                For the benefit of Fussball ist unser leben –

                I can vouch that the Wikipedia list is far from exhaustive,

                the first 4 names I thought of and typed in looking for a match failed –
                Frank Lesiputty
                Angelo Petraglia
                Milan Faletic
                Mario Turco

                another one springs to mind, Bruce Duperouzel

                and then of course, this is the VFL-AFL list. Where’s the multi cultural list from the WAFL and SANFL.

          • December 8th 2010 @ 8:57am
            Titus said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:57am | ! Report

            You could equally say the AFL is a migrants game, migrants have been coming to Australia for 200 years.

            • Roar Guru

              December 8th 2010 @ 9:00am
              Redb said | December 8th 2010 @ 9:00am | ! Report

              You could say it – semantics.

              • December 8th 2010 @ 9:10am
                Titus said | December 8th 2010 @ 9:10am | ! Report

                I hear you– Terra Nullius, wink, wink!

        • December 8th 2010 @ 11:34am
          Joel said | December 8th 2010 @ 11:34am | ! Report

          Of course, neither of you have any data at all to back up your assertions. Just assumptions.

          Despite the numerous migrants from soccer playing nations to Australian and the millions of dollars in taxpayer funded promotion over the years, the A-League is no more popular than the NSL was in the 1970’s and the AFL has maintained its popularity, what does that suggest to you? To me, it suggests those migrants are choosing the AFL over soccer leagues.

    • December 8th 2010 @ 7:50am
      Jay said | December 8th 2010 @ 7:50am | ! Report

      That’s great, but from my experience, new immigrants should be encouraged to play football and not Aussie rules (as it is a minority sport) to better integrate in Sydney.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download The Roar’s iPhone App in the App Store here.

      • December 8th 2010 @ 7:56am
        Forgetmenot said | December 8th 2010 @ 7:56am | ! Report

        I feel that in Western Sydney at least playing soccer only categorises you. With Australian Football you are being introduced to the broader Australian society. I do agree that soccer is a good route to be taken in Sydney, however the AFL is encouraging its fans to be the power for that change.

      • Roar Guru

        December 8th 2010 @ 8:12am
        Redb said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:12am | ! Report


        Many new immigrants have probably already been introduced to soccer from the home country. This is a chance to play Australian football.

        The AFL will have a greater presence in Sydney going forward and hopefully get its fair share. GWS Giants will be aiming to introduce the game to new migrants.

        • December 8th 2010 @ 8:26am
          Jay said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:26am | ! Report

          You dont want to outcast kids… While the AFL is going around visiting different schools etc, the majority of kids during lunch would be kickling the round ball or playing touch footy.

          As for the origing of games, who really gives a toss? We dont brag about two-up, thong throwing or camel racing as great sports… We dont mind cricket in the summer (despite it being English).

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2010 @ 8:39am
            Redb said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:39am | ! Report

            Sorry this is not just about Sydney.

            • December 8th 2010 @ 8:59am
              Jay said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:59am | ! Report

              Given that Sydney would take a large portion of the new immigrants (along with Melborne), it is quite relevant.

              AD’s comments are absolutley correctly for the migrant communities in Vic, SA, WA – but up North, its not as applicable.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2010 @ 9:05am
                Redb said | December 8th 2010 @ 9:05am | ! Report

                Not true. All migrants should be offered a choice.

              • December 8th 2010 @ 9:15am
                Jessica said | December 8th 2010 @ 9:15am | ! Report

                How Redb did the Melbourne community give its new arrivals a choice over the last 100 years? Follow the AFL that was everywhere or go play their European football on some back block and as for the rugby codes.

              • December 8th 2010 @ 10:49am
                MagpieFlag said | December 8th 2010 @ 10:49am | ! Report

                South Melbourne Hellas was named Oceania “team of the century” I’m pretty sure.

                My high school had a soccer pitch, but no football goal posts. Obviously Australian Football was in part successful in its absorbtion of immigrants and or their children by its shere presense in Melbourne’s cultural life, but the conspiracy that somehow blocked the superiour game of soccer from taking over is nonsense (usual based on anecdotes from the mid 50s and 60s)

                This is the classic cirular argument and mental gymnastics of someone too overcome my emotions (in this case jealousy) to see the ‘truth” they claim they are searching for.

                – Zealot asserts Australian football has failed to embrace immigrant communities

                – Empiricist demonstrates the falsity of this claim

                – Zealot switches to “this is a result of the great conspiracy that has “persecuted other codes” preventing them from overtaking that clearly terrible code in Melbourne

                There is no point in reasoning with the unreasonable

              • December 8th 2010 @ 11:50am
                JamesP said | December 8th 2010 @ 11:50am | ! Report

                Jessica – NSL started in 1977 but was predated by other soccer leagues from the 50’s (i.e the time when the vast majority of migrants started arriving on our shores post WW2). There was always a choice for people to follower soccer. If the soccer administrators of the time were so inept that they could not set up a league without ethnic ties, that is hardly the fault of the AFL. Even now – we have an A-league with Frank Lowys’s magic touch and professionalism all over it – and it is still struggling.

                Apaprantly Rugby uniuon also has a culture in Victoria spanning the last 100 years. Rugby league however maybe not – yet the Storm have been around for over a decade, and have been successfull – but I still dont see Rugby league playes coming out of Victoria.

        • Roar Pro

          December 9th 2010 @ 6:59am
          macavity said | December 9th 2010 @ 6:59am | ! Report

          so what exactly is AFL’s “fair share” of Sydney?

          While you are crunching the numbers, please let us know Curling’s fair share of Melbourne, and European Handball’s fair share of Launceston.

        • December 9th 2010 @ 6:45pm
          Fez's are cool said | December 9th 2010 @ 6:45pm | ! Report

          Its fair share is 2/5’ths of stuff all.

    • December 8th 2010 @ 8:07am
      True Tah said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:07am | ! Report

      Historically futbol has not done a great job in terms of promoting flows between various ethnic groups…when you had clubs effectively representing a particular ethnic group, the majority of the fans speaking a language other than English and fights between differant clubs based on ethnic tensions from the old country.

      RL has generally done a better job in Sydney, look at the Lebanese community and their support for the sport…in their old country, futbol was by far and way the majority sport, yet they adopted a new sport in Sydney.

      • December 8th 2010 @ 8:29am
        Jay said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:29am | ! Report

        Dont thank RL, thank the Bulldogs.

        • December 8th 2010 @ 8:34am
          Jason said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:34am | ! Report

          Good point Jay. The Bulldogs had that community/ family perspective prior to the mass immigration of people from Lebanon.

        • December 8th 2010 @ 8:55am
          Jessica said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:55am | ! Report

          There’s plenty of Lebanese that support Parramatta and the Dragons too.

          The support reflects the spread of that growing community through Sydney. The Bulldogs did a good job to embrace them, but if the Lebanese had all settled in Souths or Sea Eagles territory or anywhere else in NRL regions there is no reason to say the same would not have happened.

          Aren’t there a lot of Lebanese in Melbourne too? Are they into AFL or not?

          • December 8th 2010 @ 9:49am
            JamesP said | December 8th 2010 @ 9:49am | ! Report

            My colleague at work is a Lebanese (christian) and he is a mad Magpies fan. I have a few mates and they are all mad magpie fans too!.

          • December 8th 2010 @ 9:49am
            MagpieFlag said | December 8th 2010 @ 9:49am | ! Report

            There are less lebanese in Melbourne (apparently almost 3/4 live in Sydney)


            and yes, they follow Australian Football.

    • December 8th 2010 @ 8:15am
      Jason said | December 8th 2010 @ 8:15am | ! Report

      Sport of any kind is a good assimilator. This is nothing new.

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