Increasing diversity in the AFL is something to celebrate

Grant Hansen Columnist

By Grant Hansen, Grant Hansen is a Roar Expert New author!

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    I have such fond memories of being a child – watching AFL with my family, cheering on the Western Bulldogs for as long as I can remember! As I reflect nostalgically over the years, I am pleased to see that the sport I love has embraced diversity.

    With more and more nationalities on the field each season, I am proud to see diversity in AFL being cherished, with more investment planned for the future.

    The cultural melting pot that is Australia is represented on an AFL field. And I am pleased that we won’t stop there – the AFL not only aspires to see an unbiased game that is a true reflection of our nation in terms of ethnicity, but also in the gender space.

    I am thrilled to see us broaden our inclusion to the women’s league – athleticism and skills are impartial to culture and gender and it is time to see the women’s game grow.

    The AFL’s plan to roll out national club academies will provide a pathway for the best Indigenous and multicultural talent – both men and women.

    On the field, dedicated coaching programs will nurture the best talent, increasing the diversity representation within the code. Off the field, strong links with communities will promote social inclusion and cultural understanding, helping youths to integrate with wider society, through a sport that is at its a core, an Australian game.

    Indigenous people represent 3 per cent of the Australian population, with 9 per cent representation on AFL lists. AFL statistics show 90,000 Indigenous people are involved with AFL programs across the country every weekend.

    The progressive and fair approach of AFL dates back over a hundred years, with the first player of Aboriginal descent, Fitzroy’s Joe Johnson setting foot on a professional AFL field and paving the way for Indigenous players.

    Since then we have seen a number of successful Indigenous players make the Boomerang Squad for u/16s, going on to deliver a number of these players into the code. The very fact that a dedicated Indigenous footy show like Marngrook exists is an indication of how important the game is to our communities. Hosted by an all-Indigenous panel, including two females, diversity is at Marngrook’s core.

    Beyond multiculturalism, the AFL’s investment into the women’s league, brought forward from 2020 to 2017, will see eight teams battle it out in the national competition.

    Last year, over 165 new women’s teams were created, indicating that this is absolutely the right step for the AFL, and it recognises the skills, agility and professionalism of the code’s female counterparts.

    This investment will help to ensure longevity of the game and its popularity as Australia’s number one sporting code.

    Increasing the focus on the women’s game will inevitably see more and more women’s voices, opinions and comments, something that only last week was in question. We need to listen to and accept the voices that have merit, regardless of gender. Two of these strong voices sit next to me every Thursday night and have done so for the past ten years.

    We should embrace the diversity of opinions, not shut them down and not just because we’re investing and growing the game in the gender space. More voices offer more observations, widens the dialogue and therefore offers a more hearty conservation.

    Diversity represents many things to many people. I applaud the AFL for its investment and creation of official pathways, the sport will be richer for it.

    However, it is a shame when such positive actions are tainted by a minority within the wider game, who continue to have an issue with acceptance, inclusion and racism.

    From last’s years Adam Goodes controversy to the recent issue at the Collingwood versus Richmond clash, it is evident that as a nation, we still have some way to go.

    AFL is where all Australians, regardless of race, gender, religion or sexuality can come together. Have the passion, back your team and get a little bit fired up, but do so in a way that isn’t divisive to your fellow AFL peers.

    Let AFL be an example of the way we should embrace diversity in our everyday lives, where the field and stands are a true reflection of modern Australia.

    Grant Hansen is a co-host of the Marngrook Footy Show which airs on NITV every Thursday at 7:30pm.

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    The Crowd Says (122)

    • Roar Guru

      April 7th 2016 @ 8:05am
      Rick Disnick said | April 7th 2016 @ 8:05am | ! Report

      “Let AFL be an example of the way we should embrace diversity in our everyday lives, where the field and stands are a true reflection of modern Australia.”

      It already is. How do I know?

      “With more and more nationalities on the field each season, I am proud to see diversity in AFL being cherished, with more investment planned for the future.”

      You said so yourself.

      “From last’s years Adam Goodes controversy to the recent issue at the Collingwood versus Richmond clash, it is evident that as a nation, we still have some way to go.”

      Hate to be the pessimist, but the minority can and will ‘at times’ ruin it for the majority. How do I know it was the minority?

      “However, it is a shame when such positive actions are tainted by a minority within the wider game, who continue to have an issue with acceptance, inclusion and racism.”

      You said so yourself.

      Not entirely sure what this article is getting at really, apart from stating the obvious.

      • Roar Guru

        April 7th 2016 @ 8:57am
        Dalgety Carrington said | April 7th 2016 @ 8:57am | ! Report

        You do know who Grant Hansen is, don’t you Rick? Anyways articles like this one acknowledge the good and point out the work that needs to be done. The obvious is that they have a place and there is benefit in them being written.

        • Roar Guru

          April 7th 2016 @ 9:10am
          Rick Disnick said | April 7th 2016 @ 9:10am | ! Report

          “You do know who Grant Hansen is”

          A famous poet?

          Sounds to me like you’re afraid to criticise someone because they’re indigenous though with that above question to me. Am I close to the mark Dal?

          I don’t care who they are Dal. If I find an article poorly written and pointless, I’ll express that opinion.

          • April 7th 2016 @ 2:18pm
            jax said | April 7th 2016 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

            “Sounds to me like you’re afraid to criticise someone because they’re indigenous”

            Sounds to me like you’re afraid to criticise the AFL.

            I see a pro-AFL position in some of your posts and I can’t recall seeing many negatives ones but it may have been that I have simply missed them? If I’m wrong I’ll apologise up-front, it’s just an observation.

            However, in the last week alone I’ve seen you make another pro-AFL post. You’ve stated that a claim made against the AFL was an ‘attack on the AFL’ itself only to go on and label it as a mistake by the claimants to speak out then only to try and dis-credit the claimants – and you’ve even gone so far as to defend and support Demetriou on more than one occasion. .

            I’ve seen a similar trend from others and it is becoming increasingly difficult for me not to believe that we don’t have a few shills in the ranks. I don’t yet have a definitive position on the matter so please don’t be offended.

            • Roar Guru

              April 7th 2016 @ 3:41pm
              Rick Disnick said | April 7th 2016 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

              “I see a pro-AFL position in some of your posts and I can’t recall seeing many negatives ones”

              Interesting comment.

              You do realise I’m the one who pretty much started the conversation last year on this forum about equity right? Remember all those posts I made about ‘home ground advantage etc etc…. which even you started rehashing.

              Remember all my long-winded posts about ground dimensions, which over a dozen other people have gone on to rehash since then with regards to equity and fairness and how bad the AFL is at this.

              If I ever get round to finishing my article on equity and the AFL, I think you will re-think your post and perhaps realise I’m one of the more ‘balanced’ posters on this site.

              I can understand you making your comments – I hit you pretty hard in that conversation, like I’ve done before.

              • April 7th 2016 @ 5:02pm
                mattyb said | April 7th 2016 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

                Rick,I have read some comments of yours on another topic from a different sport and am unsure completely but what is the rough outline on the article you have to get around to doing?Thanks in advance

              • Roar Guru

                April 7th 2016 @ 5:24pm
                Rick Disnick said | April 7th 2016 @ 5:24pm | ! Report

                @mattyb

                It’s about equity within the AFL in general, and how I feel it’s one big handicap system. I don’t want to go into too much detail, suffice to say I think you’ll enjoy the read.

                I’ve read many of your comments on this site, and although I don’t always agree with them, many of your beliefs sound similar to mine on this front.

              • April 7th 2016 @ 5:38pm
                mattyb said | April 7th 2016 @ 5:38pm | ! Report

                @Rick.
                I read many of your posts and simalarily agree with some and disagree on others. I think I have an idea on a few of the ideas you are going to go with and encourage you to get around th finishing it,politely encouraging of coarse.
                I am hugely passionate on this front and know a few people around the country through my music travels and have a good idea what a lot of casual followers think about this subject. Personally I’m not completely saying I am right on this issue but that doesn’t take away from my passion. The most important thing for mine is it certainly is a topic that needs a lot of discussion to the point of being a priority. I look forward to your article immensely.
                PS what on earth could I say that you would disagree with 😉

              • April 9th 2016 @ 2:03am
                jax said | April 9th 2016 @ 2:03am | ! Report

                I don’t recall your posts on equity leading any charge however that doesn’t mean that you didn’t make them so I will take you at face value, I mean it and NP.

                I do recall your posts on ground dimensions, and also on the Hawks game plan at the G, long before the finals started and your doubts about teams being able to beat them when it mattered on their home ground and it turned out that you were right, well done.

                You didn’t hit me hard. I was going to say as much in the other post but I didn’t bother, but now that you bring up.

                I can take much bigger hits than that. Take as big a swing as you need, I can take it. Truth be told you hit me with naivety, on that particular post and that was what I was considering posting at the time but I didn’t want to rub salt in.

                On other posts, especially regarding the game, strategy etc I’ve been more naive than you and I will happily admit it.

                That’s ok, we can all learn from each other and we should be man enough to admit it.

                It just seems to me that you have rose coloured glasses more often than not when it comes to the AFL Commission and it’s executive and then I saw your swipe at Dal and I saw some hypocrisy somImcalled it. That doesn’t mean that I’m right, it’s only my opinion after all and I’m happy to be proven wrong.

                Peace brother, all good. We don’t have to win on every point.

          • Roar Guru

            April 7th 2016 @ 4:37pm
            Dalgety Carrington said | April 7th 2016 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

            How does that tee up Rick? Sounds like someone’s either had a copied and pasted response ready and/or has some hefty filters on that make them see something that isn’t there.

            Grant Hansen is in a pretty good place to see the changes in diversity and acceptance across aussie rules and is the figurehead of a pioneering show in that respect. So when the issue of diversity has been brought to light by recent events, he may feel it might be useful for him to offer something to the general conversation.

            “Poorly written” seems to be a bit of a goto (safely nebulous) criticism you’ve used a bit lately on these thorny type topics too.

            • Roar Guru

              April 7th 2016 @ 4:55pm
              Rick Disnick said | April 7th 2016 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

              “How does that tee up Rick? Sounds like someone’s either had a copied and pasted response ready and/or has some hefty filters on that make them see something that isn’t there.”

              You know exactly what I’m walking about Dal.

              Tell you what though, why should it matter ‘who’ the person is writing the article? Perhaps you choose to show prejudice before reading an article, but I don’t. It makes no difference to me ‘who’ wrote the article. I will base my comments on the article itself and how it’s written.

              • Roar Guru

                April 7th 2016 @ 6:09pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | April 7th 2016 @ 6:09pm | ! Report

                Sorry Rick, I know what you’re talking about, you’re making an assumption that’s either so fixated in your mind, or convenient to your argument, but in no way bares up to what I meant.

                I described the relevance in my last post (you seemingly having sailed right past it, again either getting squashed by your filters and/or inconvenient to your argument) and is specific to his current position, experiences and subsequent knowledge on the topic.

              • Roar Guru

                April 7th 2016 @ 6:15pm
                Rick Disnick said | April 7th 2016 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

                Are we seriously having this discussion Dal?

                I feel like I’m in a Seinfeld episode with you.

              • Roar Guru

                April 7th 2016 @ 6:33pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | April 7th 2016 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

                Are we having a discussion? I thought you were projecting an accusation on to me and seemingly steadfastly refusing to acknowledge that perhaps Grant Hansen might be pretty well placed to discuss diversity and where it works well and reflect on where it doesn’t within the broader AFL picture.

              • Roar Guru

                April 7th 2016 @ 7:37pm
                Rick Disnick said | April 7th 2016 @ 7:37pm | ! Report

                I’ll play your little game Dal, but understand I gave you an out from this discussion.

                “Grant Hansen might be pretty well placed to discuss diversity and where it works well and reflect on where it doesn’t within the broader AFL picture.”

                …and your reason for this was:

                “Grant Hansen is in a pretty good place to see the changes in diversity and acceptance across aussie rules and is the figurehead of a pioneering show in that respect.”

                Now the current presenters of this ‘pioneering’ show you keep referring to are:

                Grant Hansen, Gilbert McAdam, Chris Johnson, Leila Gurruwiwi & Shelley Ware.

                Please tell me how many of those presenters are non-indigenous?

                When you are done answering that, you will understand why I flame comments like this:

                “Grant Hansen might be pretty well placed to discuss diversity”

                See that word ‘diversity’ Dal? I suggest you get a dictionary!

                I will not tolerate double standards, which is why I also flamed one of our resident ‘experts’ recently when he linked ‘rich white men’ to Eddie McGuire.

                Now you clearly read my comments on this topic; failed to acknowledge that perhaps it was a very judgemental article, written in poor taste, whilst applying a double standard to the easiest group in Australia to attack!

                Correct me if I got anything wrong there though.

              • Roar Guru

                April 7th 2016 @ 8:47pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | April 7th 2016 @ 8:47pm | ! Report

                It’s not a game I’m playing Rick. Seriously you’ve written off the article (I suspect because this sort of thing irks you, but you don’t want to be seen criticising diversity 😐 ) and I’ve just put it out there that he’s experienced peoples lack of tolerance towards him and people of his colour and had a first hand experience of how that’s shifted and would see it in ways that others who haven’t been on the end of that experience would find it difficult to comprehend those differences and shifts (or even get that there might be an issue still). He probably has, through these experiences, a greater sense of what it feels like to be an outsider to mainstream culture than those who have never felt that sting. Thus he probably has a keen appreciation of the value of accepting diversity.

                As for Marn Grook’s diversity credentials. So you don’t think it’s ok that there’s one place where indigenous people can have a more prominent role than they’re afforded elsewhere? So I take it you think it’s not ok to have shows that only talk footy as well and that it’s a double standard (somehow???). It is a bit chuckle worthy how people who have never felt the constant barriers (subtle and not so subtle) point at this and say going out of the ordinary (i.e. regular constructed methods) in an effort to open things up represents a double standard.

                What a lot of people value about those regulars on Marn Grook stems from their unique perspective. They still have regulars like KB and Dipper, and discuss all footy, whoever’s playing it. But they celebrate indigenous involvement and have done so from a time when there wasn’t much tolerance for an indigenous perspective unless it fit with the prevailing culture. They do so without undue exclusion I reckon, but what I’d say was a fair emphasis given the way it is seen and portrayed in something like the Footy Show.

                In my reading of the article I didn’t see too much attacking of any one particular group, more addressing an attitude and actions (which he ascribed only to what he saw as a small percentage of amorphous people). The vast majority of the article was celebrating what was happening for the good.

              • Roar Guru

                April 7th 2016 @ 9:30pm
                Rick Disnick said | April 7th 2016 @ 9:30pm | ! Report

                “So you don’t think it’s ok that there’s one place where indigenous people can have a more prominent role than they’re afforded elsewhere?”

                No I don’t think they should. Two wrongs don’t make a right Dal. All you’re doing is enhancing racial segregation by continuing down this path.

                Grant Hansen created the Marngrook Footy Show because he was tired of not seeing enough indigenous football commentators and hosts on TV. What did he do? He created his own footy show, but in reverse! Racial Segregation at its finest, and you expect me to respect that?

                The problem with our society Dal is we feel the need to create these groups and represent them in a ‘certain’ way that is ‘socially’ acceptable. But what is socially acceptable?

                Why have an indigenous All-Stars team vs All-Stars team in the NRL for instance? Many will say this helps give recognition to indigenous people. Well I don’t sit in that camp. All this does is enhance racial segregation in society.

                Why can’t we just see everyone as the same and just have an East All-Stars team vs West All-Stars team. North All-Stars team vs South etc etc…

                I understand that we have a huge amount of work to do when it comes to indigenous people in this country, especially with regards to equality, opportunity and respect.

                However, I believe our society is getting it wrong, and has done so for 150+ years for all the reasons stated. Although I’m sure Grant has good intentions, I also believe he is wrong, along with this article and the way it’s written.

              • Roar Guru

                April 7th 2016 @ 10:39pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | April 7th 2016 @ 10:39pm | ! Report

                Well there we go, so perhaps it’s not the article after all, but a problem you have with someone going out and taking the bull by the horns. At least we’re getting down to the nuts and bolts of it.

                It’s probably not the best that you feel you need to hate down on something unique, but to each their own.

              • Roar Guru

                April 7th 2016 @ 11:16pm
                Rick Disnick said | April 7th 2016 @ 11:16pm | ! Report

                “Well there we go, so perhaps it’s not the article after all, but a problem you have with someone going out and taking the bull by the horns.”

                There’s nothing risqué or ‘taking the bull by the horns’ about this article at all. It’s nothing more than a boring, contradictory piece written by a guy who holds double-standards.

                Poorly written articles like this just lead to code-wars, which once again, has occurred below by the majority. I’d say the discussions that have evolved from my original comments have added far more to the discussion than the original article. The irony hey!

                Your last comments have failed to challenge my belief that both you and Grant’s ideology leads to racial segregation. You took us down this path, yet offer only this:

                “It’s probably not the best that you feel you need to hate down on something unique, but to each their own.”

                Who’s more unique in their beliefs here Dal? You two who believe in racial segregation, or myself who believes in treating everyone the same – irrespective of race.

                You use the word ‘hate’ as some kind of ‘punch line’ to end your argument, yet any rational person will see this is nothing more than a robust discussion.

                There is no hatred directed at anyone Dal, least of all from me.

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2016 @ 12:26am
                Dalgety Carrington said | April 8th 2016 @ 12:26am | ! Report

                I don’t know how you extrapolate the things you do Rick, other than to suit your own agenda (one minute your attacking MarnGrook, the next minute you’re back on the article).

                And I don’t know what you’re worried about with MarnGrook, is it the fact that white people might be denied hosting opportunities? Or that white people won’t get to to see enough white faces on TV? Or is that too many black faces on TV? Or that white people will be denied a voice? Or that one bloke has created a show that he thought people might be interested in?

                So is it segregation when they regularly have KB, Dipper or others on the show? The audience generally is a pretty good mix too. I don’t see them locking anyone out or having white-only or black-only sections. Could you be any more melodramatic with the “segregation” accusations?

                I guess you weren’t a fan of Good Times or just about any sit-com ever.

              • April 8th 2016 @ 6:15am
                Slane said | April 8th 2016 @ 6:15am | ! Report

                Once again Rick proves what a clown he is. Giving people without a voice a platform to share their opinion is not segregation. I’m sure you don’t get as worked up about all the white faces on The Footy Show. Have you written Sam Newman a letter demanding more brown faces on the TV, Rick?

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2016 @ 10:40am
                Rick Disnick said | April 8th 2016 @ 10:40am | ! Report

                @slane

                “Once again Rick proves what a clown he is.”

                End of discussion with you.

                For the record: I don’t watch the Footy Show – it’s childish. I suggest you grow up too and learn how to conduct a civil conversation.

                @Dal

                “one minute your attacking MarnGrook, the next minute you’re back on the article”

                My initial comments were based on the article. You brought MarnGrook into the discussion, but now find it odd I’m switching between the two? Weird statement to say the least.

                “I don’t see them locking anyone out or having white-only or black-only sections.”

                Just the regulars Dal, just the regulars.

                “And I don’t know what you’re worried about with MarnGrook, is it the fact that white people might be denied hosting opportunities”

                I won’t lose a nights sleep over it if that’s what you mean, nor give a second thought to a program which has deliberately discriminated against whites. Under normal circumstances, I just wouldn’t bother commenting, but you brought it up. I also don’t like hypocrites; a person who ‘pioneers’ a program hosted purely by indigenous people because he’s frustrated by the lack of diversity in other football programs.

                Do I believe Grant is a bad person? No, of course not. Do I believe his ‘pioneering’ show is best for multiculturalism in this country? Absolutely not, which is why I keep reverting back to this program you chose to bring into the discussion to beef up his credentials.

                “I guess you weren’t a fan of Good Times or just about any sit-com ever.”

                The Good Times does not represent anyone in anyway here in Australia. The AFL does, along with the many football shows currently on TV. Your use of this as an example shows your lack of understanding in this discussion, along with the deeper issues.

                Are all the AFL TV programs perfect? No, not by a long-shot, but I’m educated enough to understand there is a balance between having diversity and the ‘right’ person for the job. Sometimes this balance is hard to achieve and I wish there was a simple solution to our racial issues in this country, but there’s not.

          • April 7th 2016 @ 8:16pm
            Darren said | April 7th 2016 @ 8:16pm | ! Report

            The point of the article seems very clear, Geoff thinks that diversity is a good thing and should be celebrated. He also says that, in his opinion, the AFL, on balance, has set a good example and is continuing good work.
            The article also seems to be grammatically correct and on theme.
            You may not like it, that’s up to you, but I think it is unfair to suggest it is pointless and poorly written.

            • April 9th 2016 @ 2:29am
              jax said | April 9th 2016 @ 2:29am | ! Report

              Agreed

    • April 7th 2016 @ 8:09am
      Jin Jiang said | April 7th 2016 @ 8:09am | ! Report

      “we still have some way to go”…

      Umm, that’s stating the obvious. Until the AFL finally mandates a specific number of women per AFL team, on the ground at any point in time, we will have achieved nothing in terms of diversity. The consequence of failing to do so should be the loss of competition points.

      • April 7th 2016 @ 9:16am
        Winston said | April 7th 2016 @ 9:16am | ! Report

        That’s interesting. Does that also mean because indigenous people represent 3% of the population but represent 9% on AFL lists, they are over-represented, which means they are taking spots of people more worthy for diversity reasons, and so we should limit the number of indigenous people who can play?

    • April 7th 2016 @ 8:26am
      Mat said | April 7th 2016 @ 8:26am | ! Report

      Bit of a soap box rant I think. Tally ho the hunt!! Get on board we’re taking off!!!

    • April 7th 2016 @ 8:28am
      AGO74 said | April 7th 2016 @ 8:28am | ! Report

      Kudos for embracing diversity but to me if you are trying to sell it like this article is about how good you are at it then that to me suggests there may actually be a problem with diversity.

      • April 7th 2016 @ 8:53am
        SVB said | April 7th 2016 @ 8:53am | ! Report

        They’re just desperate to recruit any young kids they can to play the ‘quirky game’.

        • Roar Guru

          April 7th 2016 @ 8:59am
          Dalgety Carrington said | April 7th 2016 @ 8:59am | ! Report

          And here are the code worriers.

          • April 7th 2016 @ 9:08am
            Ron Jeremy said | April 7th 2016 @ 9:08am | ! Report

            But SVB’s right. Half the country don’t even follow AFL.

            • April 7th 2016 @ 9:12am
              clipper said | April 7th 2016 @ 9:12am | ! Report

              Half the country doesn’t have AFL as the dominant code would be the correct statement – we’ll see in Sydney which team will have the biggest attendance this weekend.

              • April 7th 2016 @ 9:34am
                Ron Jeremy said | April 7th 2016 @ 9:34am | ! Report

                Yes, you’re right. So am I. Half the country doesn’t follow AFL at all.

              • April 7th 2016 @ 10:42am
                clipper said | April 7th 2016 @ 10:42am | ! Report

                I would agree with you if the team was the least supported in the city, but the Swans are the most supported team in Sydney and the Suns get more than the titans in the Gold Coast, so you really need to rephrase.

              • April 7th 2016 @ 12:40pm
                Agent11 said | April 7th 2016 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

                there is 9 NRL teams in sydney all competing for support, compare that with 2 in AFL and one of those AFL teams has to suck up to a different city to try and drum up support because there are not enough fans in the 2 million people that reside in west sydney.

                and if you really think the Suns are taking over on the GC then LOL

              • April 7th 2016 @ 11:26am
                Perry Bridge said | April 7th 2016 @ 11:26am | ! Report

                #Ron Jeremy

                but what about the city?

              • April 7th 2016 @ 12:32pm
                m hughes said | April 7th 2016 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

                The swans are not the most popular team in Sydney on the Easter weekend 2 rugby league matches drew more than the swans . I agree more people do attend swans games at times but there are many reasons why Other codes struggle to get crowds like location,time,weather(lack of undercover seating) and at times it is so much easier to sit at home and watch on tv.overall tv figures for Rl are up,the propaganda spun by u clipper about the swans is unbelievable.on merchandising the nrl outsells every other code, yes the afl gets amazing crowds but that is not the only barometer of the popularity of a team or code.

              • April 7th 2016 @ 12:34pm
                m hughes said | April 7th 2016 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

                What about the poor lions crowds they are in a spiral. The Titans are slowly rebuilding on and off the field drawing 21,000 last week is a good start too early to compare with Suns though

              • April 7th 2016 @ 1:59pm
                clipper said | April 7th 2016 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

                Yes Agent11 there are 9 NRL teams in Sydney – just like there are 9 AFL teams in Melbourne – big difference is that the 1 NRL team is the least attended team in Melbourne and 1 of the AFL teams in Sydney is the most attended, and the other isn’t too far off the least attended NRL team.
                Never said the Suns were taking over the GC, it’s a graveyard city for sports.

            • April 7th 2016 @ 9:14am
              harry houdini said | April 7th 2016 @ 9:14am | ! Report

              Half the country has good support the other half also has decent support, most countries have high and low points for any game, political party, food etc .

            • April 7th 2016 @ 9:34am
              Penster said | April 7th 2016 @ 9:34am | ! Report

              Is the country half following or half not following? Either way, we’re missing out on all that marvellous United Colours of Benetton diversity.

            • April 7th 2016 @ 1:38pm
              AR said | April 7th 2016 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

              “Half the country don’t even follow AFL.”

              This has always struck me as such a petty and blinkered line.

              I don’t think anyone claims that Australian Football is the dominant code in all parts of the country. Even in the USA, American Football is not the biggest game in town in places like Los Angeles. Does that mean Americans don’t like/follow football? Does it mean that basketball is “bigger”?

              Despite Aust Football not being the dominant code in all parts of the country, it’s probably the only code that reaches all parts of it – in some way or another – which is a pretty decent claim. Only the AFL play games, every season, in every state and territory.

              And so whilst it’s far from being the biggest game in Sydney, it’s significant that the Swans attract the largest crowds of any sporting team in Sydney, and have the most paying members. That at least says that it has a very decent following in that city, even if some of the people on this site don’t realise that, or would never admit it.

              • April 7th 2016 @ 2:00pm
                marron said | April 7th 2016 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

                I largely agree with you AR.

                But people do claim that. All the time.

              • April 7th 2016 @ 3:17pm
                AR said | April 7th 2016 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

                “But people do claim that. All the time.”

                What…that Australian Football is the dominant sport in Sydney?

                Has anyone seriously claimed that? I doubt it.

        • April 7th 2016 @ 12:39pm
          Martyn50 said | April 7th 2016 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

          May be quirky in your opinion but unique. 9 out of 10 kids in the country (bush) play either AFL or RL. Soccer is a minority sport centered in the western, low economic area of Sydney.

          • April 7th 2016 @ 1:33pm
            Sydneysider said | April 7th 2016 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

            Martyn50 at it again. Well done sir. LOL….

            • April 7th 2016 @ 2:02pm
              SVB said | April 7th 2016 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

              It’s amusing how AFL supporters get riled up by the fact that they can’t be number one in every single metric. It’s like it haunts them every single day of their lives. They then have to come up with a response to prove how superior they are to everyone else, or write a piece about how they are the ‘most diverse people of all’.

              For a guy like Martyn50, the fact that someone is different to him and doesn’t like the sport he likes, means that he can’t accept that person. He has his own vision of how things should be, and if you don’t like it then get out.

              • April 8th 2016 @ 1:18pm
                clipper said | April 8th 2016 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

                It was certainly an odd statement – Western Sydney would have a bigger population than all the country (bush) areas combined – and is getting bigger and bigger out there at the expense of the other codes (although AFL or Rugby never had much of a following out there)

          • Roar Guru

            April 7th 2016 @ 2:21pm
            Kaks said | April 7th 2016 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

            Yet football is the most played sport in Australia? Go figure..

            Dont get me wrong I have nothing against AFL. I have a lot to disagree with their fans who think they are better than everyone else, fans like you. Might be time for you and your buddies to come back down to reality and smell the roses!

            • April 7th 2016 @ 2:35pm
              DB said | April 7th 2016 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

              Really Kaks? I find it’s the soccer heads in this country tend to have an air of superiority combined with a chip on their shoulder. You would think they are mutually exclusive, but they somhow pull it off. Very talented

              • Roar Guru

                April 7th 2016 @ 2:41pm
                Kaks said | April 7th 2016 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

                I find its actually the football fans who have to correct the incorrect misconceptions that AFL fans continue to place on football in this country. Constant baseless comments made by the AFL posters who are unable to provide any proof to substantiate their claims. Constant AFL posters going on the football tab to create arguments. Why is it that RL fans dont seem to have an issue with football like the AFL fans do?

                I love the AFL, I watch it whenever I can. But my god, some of the AFL fans on this site are so oblivious to the real world around them that it’s borderline sad/hilarious. Just the other day I had to see a poster say that the A-league has the most violent fans, even though the stats showed the fans were the least violent.

                There are enough AFL fans on this site who I am able to talk to about AFL and football without any issues that I am content to say it is a minority of bad apples, but there is still enough to spoil the bunch.

              • April 7th 2016 @ 3:22pm
                Agent11 said | April 7th 2016 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

                “Why is it that RL fans dont seem to have an issue with football like the AFL fans do?”

                soccer isn’t eating into the participation numbers of RL in its heartland like it is AFL in Victoria… I mean soccer in sydney has had a huge participation rate for decades now but this doesn’t worry RL as they have tapped into the islanders and kiwis so much in the last 10 years, plus RL still dominates in the bush. Soccer and AFL are fighting over the same kids though.

              • April 7th 2016 @ 3:01pm
                Marc said | April 7th 2016 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

                DB

                I present to you Exhibit A; Martyn50. Under cross-examination, Martyn, with chips on both shoulders and a feeling of inferiority, makes a truly stunning, completely baseless statement:

                “9 out of 10 kids in the country (bush) play either AFL or RL. Soccer is a minority sport centered in the western, low economic area of Sydney.”

              • April 7th 2016 @ 3:53pm
                DB said | April 7th 2016 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

                Sorry Kaks, with a few exception it tends to go the otherway. look at Agent11s comment below yours.
                “soccer isn’t eating into the participation numbers of RL in its heartland like it is AFL in Victoria… ” but the participation numbers for Aussie Rules have grown in Victoria.

              • Roar Guru

                April 7th 2016 @ 4:07pm
                Rick Disnick said | April 7th 2016 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

                “Just the other day I had to see a poster say that the A-league has the most violent fans, even though the stats showed the fans were the least violent.”

                I’d be interested to see if you can ‘copy and paste’ those comments here from the AFL fan saying ALeague has the most violent fans.

                It was only the other day, so I’m sure you will be able to find it for us, along with those stats. Otherwise, I suspect someone is a liar.

              • April 7th 2016 @ 10:37pm
                duecer said | April 7th 2016 @ 10:37pm | ! Report

                Agent 11 – I would suggest that the increase in the PI and Maori players at the junior level has accelerated the flow of juniors to soccer, with the disparity in size and weight in the age groups.
                As I have pointed out before, immigration from the aforementioned areas has helped RL in this country, as these cultures have a love for the Rugby codes. In England the opposite is true – the immigration has been from Football loving cultures and has been a significant factor in the decline of RL there.

              • April 8th 2016 @ 9:30am
                clipper said | April 8th 2016 @ 9:30am | ! Report

                Classic – Agent11 claims soccer is eating into AFL participation rates, offers no evidence, when in fact, as other posters have noted, the AFL participation rates are growing! He also claims that soccer isn’t eating into league participation rates – that ship has long sailed – think Duecer sums it up well.

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2016 @ 11:27am
                Kaks said | April 8th 2016 @ 11:27am | ! Report

                I’d ask you to do the same Rick, but you never posted any statistics so there is no point.

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2016 @ 1:01pm
                Rick Disnick said | April 8th 2016 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

                “I’d ask you to do the same Rick, but you never posted any statistics so there is no point.”

                You mean apart from those 8 articles I linked showing major issues ALL involving police over 6 years. All those incidents involved more than 1 person, and on occasions, more than 20+. No wonder the police were involved.

                Alas,I guess I can wait for you to provide your link to me saying ALeague fans are the most violent. You and I both know this wasn’t the case, which is why you can’t produce a link.

                I’m still waiting for SVB to link 24 articles over the same time period that shows AFL crowds have bigger issues involving police. After all, he did say he could easily provide 3 x as many incidents at AFL matches over the last 6 years.

                He couldn’t even link 1.

                BTW: how many of those incidents I linked were involved at SCG trust run venues. Should make for some interesting stats…and once again reinforces how useless you are at this discussion.

                Nothing but a liar I’m afraid kaks, and I know that will cut deep with someone like you, since I’ve seen you call people out on the football forum for the same thing.

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2016 @ 1:38pm
                Kaks said | April 8th 2016 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

                “You mean apart from those 8 articles I linked showing major issues ALL involving police over 6 years. All those incidents involved more than 1 person, and on occasions, more than 20+. No wonder the police were involved.”

                Those arent statistics Rick those are articles. I can do the same with the AFL if you’d like me to? But again, that isnt a statistic LOL

              • April 8th 2016 @ 2:34pm
                marron said | April 8th 2016 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

                Newspaper articles are statistics are they?

                Cool.

                http://fearofaroundball.com/things-you-just-dont-see-at-the-afl/

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2016 @ 2:42pm
                Rick Disnick said | April 8th 2016 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

                “Those arent statistics Rick those are articles.”

                Firstly, our discussion was based around police presence…remember? I don’t need stats to back my argument up. I have police statements, which I referenced in those articles. You even admitted to Aleague games being over policed. My question was: why are Aleague games so over policed?

                You then proceeded with a character assassination of the high-ranking police officers I referred to and their statements. Fair enough, that’s you argument.

                I countered by reference a further 8 articles, all reporting on major crowd incidents within a 6 year period at Aleague matches. All of these incidents required heavy police presence to contain.

                Furthermore, within those 8 articles I referenced another 4 high-ranking police officers making similar comments about Aleague crowds. I guess you could character assassinate them also, but I think any reasonable person will start to realise your argument is wearing thin.

                You provided an article outlining incidents at SCG trust stadiums within a 12 month period. It had a limited same size and showed only 1 incident at football matches vs 2 at AFL. I challenged you on these stats by asking the total crowd sizes for the respective codes. Why? Because I’m pretty certain Aleague crowd sizes are going to be around half the size of AFL average attendances, which distorts those figures you produced. You were unable to provide these figures, just the article referencing them.

                The irony is mouth-watering though. You accuse me of not proving stats, only articles, yet all you provided was an article referencing some stats. In order for those stats to be meaningful, things need to be put into perspective, such as crowd sizes, times of matches etc. You have been unable to provide this information, despite me asking several times now. Why? Because you can only produce an article and not the stats, how they were conducted, which provides critical information when trying to make an argument.

                I asked you how many of the 8 incidents I referenced to occurred at SCG trust stadiums. Why? Because it shows you have deliberately picked limited stats to back your argument up. Not many (if any) of those incidents occurred at SCG trust stadiums, which is why you won’t answer the question. It shows deception on your part – nothing more!

                You have steam-lined this argument for me though Kaks. It’s simple now for all to read.

                “I can do the same with the AFL if you’d like me to?”

                Yes, I would like you to. Please reference me at least 8 articles involving crowds incidents requiring heavy police presence to sort out.

                I would also like you to reference my comments about Aleague fans being violent. If you can’t do this, I’d appreciate an apology.

              • April 8th 2016 @ 3:07pm
                marron said | April 8th 2016 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

                Why are they overpoliced?
                Because it’s an easy target for overtime.
                There’s a cavalcade of violence that occurs every year at other sports.
                Nobody ever suggests there should be a greater police presence.
                In fact, when something occurs, the seccos kick them out without taking any details and the police don’t go near it.
                The a-league could do that.
                But the commish decides that its not to be.

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2016 @ 3:14pm
                Rick Disnick said | April 8th 2016 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

                “Because it’s an easy target for overtime.”

                Awesome argument, and I thought Kaks was bad at this.

              • April 8th 2016 @ 4:26pm
                marron said | April 8th 2016 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

                Reply moderated.

                Police presence doesn’t mean there’s a problem. It just means there’s a perceived one. And looking at the fact that there are many incidents at other codes, looking at the ignorance of the police when it comes to these matters, and looking at just how little the police have to do, and looking at what gets reported and what doesn’t, and looking at how the aleague is far more proactive when it comes to stamping out any anti social behavior, which at other places goes uncensured and largely un-noted, or passed off as isolated, then you see just how incorrect those perceptions are.

                If, that is, you poke your head outside the bubble for a minute.

              • April 8th 2016 @ 3:20pm
                marron said | April 8th 2016 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

                Parramatta is incident free. We get them out in force though. Standing around. Doing nothing. playing handball. Watching the game. Why are they there? Because they volunteer for the easiest overtime they’ll ever get.

                The powers that be meanwhile decide- more or less correctly in my opinion – that police aren’t required at AFL games or anywhere else in large numbers because security can deal. But it becomes self fulfilling.

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2016 @ 4:45pm
                Kaks said | April 8th 2016 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

                Rick, just for your information.

                1) Police presence doesnt equate to something being more violent.
                2) News articles arent statistics, they are news articles. However, statistics can be found in news articles – like the one I sent you!

                Hope this clarifies a few things for you so you can stop digging yourself that massive hole.

                “I would also like you to reference my comments about Aleague fans being violent. If you can’t do this, I’d appreciate an apology.”

                Considering you’re unable to provide any statistics to substantiate this claim (not news articles, statistics – if you are unsure what this means then look at point two above!) even though I showed you a statistic that disproves your comment, I think it’s you who should be apologising

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2016 @ 4:47pm
                Rick Disnick said | April 8th 2016 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

                @marron

                “Police presence doesn’t mean there’s a problem. It just means there’s a perceived one.”

                Possibly, and it’s why I asked the questions I did. What I received was a a tirade from Kaks, much like a petulant child past their bedtime. He persisted with ludicrous statements about woman being beaten at AFL games, insinuating that a ‘hero’ like himself like himself could have handled the situation better. Of course, when asked to clarify his position on this, he didn’t bother replying. Surprise surprise hey.

                You; however, may be more rational and willing to dig a little deeper. So let me ask you this:

                Why do you think their is a perceived threat level at Aleague games by the police? Please don’t use overtime as an answer. I’m genuinely being serious.

                My thoughts were clear, and I outlined these in the thread on the NRL forum two days ago.

                I believe it’s ‘Peace through Strength’. With time the level of police presence should drop, but will certain elements take advantage of this should it happen.

                Please enlighten me from an Aleague fans perspective and be honest in your appraisal.

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2016 @ 4:57pm
                Rick Disnick said | April 8th 2016 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

                @ Kaks

                “Rick, just for your information.

                1) Police presence doesnt equate to something being more violent.”

                That’s not going to work Kaks. I never said police presence means something is more violent. Again ‘copy and paste’ where I said this.

                This negates your next point, which you just can’t show.

                Again – send me the detail in the stats you provided. I need the total crowd numbers and the times they were played. If you can’t provide this, all you’re doing is referencing an article also.

                Again – how many of those incidents I referenced were played at SCG trust stadiums?

                Again – I need you to ‘copy and paste’ my comments about Aleague fans being violent.

                Again and again and again we can do this Kaks. It won’t change the fact you’re a liar until you prove otherwise. It’s not a tough order either Kaks, it would take less than 30 seconds to prove if true.

                Balls in your court again ‘hero’.

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2016 @ 4:57pm
                Kaks said | April 8th 2016 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

                Marron, do you mean like this?

                http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/sport/afl/more-news/sa-police-threw-crows-fan-out-of-adelaide-oval-for-failing-to-cooperate-but-no-evidence-of-punch-to-woman/news-story/667f6e1b4c8217dd5a06d5c504bab747

                I find it convenient that a man was thrown out, social media was up in arms because people allegedly witnessed him hitting a woman, and yet no one took down any names.

                Either the A-league takes safety seriously unlike other codes in the country, or the police take themselves seriously at the A-league unlike other codes in the country.

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2016 @ 5:00pm
                Rick Disnick said | April 8th 2016 @ 5:00pm | ! Report

                Not a major incident involving riot control police like at some WSW games Kaks, but I’ll give you that article

                7 more to go.

              • April 8th 2016 @ 5:49pm
                marron said | April 8th 2016 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

                Rick, click the link above to find your 8 articles.

                Overtime of course is not an explanation for the perception. However, what it means is that because there are loads of police present, it is easier for the perception to be reinforced that they are needed.

                Likewise with your reference to the “riot” (singular, no matter what you call it). The reality is that agreed protocols were ignored for unknown reasons, police were heavy handed and after the walkout acted provocatively and with a clear desire to use force. Perception is it was a fully blown hooligan riot and that this is normal. Anywhere else – or even normally – and someone would have been evicted and that would be the end. But police presence, and perhaps a new command who’d decided to send in the riot squad that night for unknown reasons, resulted in a situation that would have been avoided.

                Of course, because news crews are on the lookout for anything to fit an existing narrative, and blurry footage with no context is highly prized, it’s an even bigger story. Vision sells. And helps fuel the perceptions. And vision of soccer trouble is more highly prized. The articles in the link attest to that.

                why do the police hold this view? Because they, and others including large sections of the public, don’t understand the culture of football and in particular of so called active support. This much is evident from the comments they make about cages and England on a regular basis. Security can deal with the vast majority of situations at the game. But a perception that soccer fans need this police presence because otherwise they’d burn the place down or start fighting each other allows them to make judgements about the high numbers required.

                You say certain elements will take advantage. .. how? Security prevent interaction with the away “cheersquad”. Surveillance nails anyone doing anything they shouldn’t. Where’s the need?

              • Roar Guru

                April 8th 2016 @ 6:44pm
                Rick Disnick said | April 8th 2016 @ 6:44pm | ! Report

                @marron

                Thanks for your reply. I can appreciate better than most here when someone takes the time to construct a good argument. Now whilst I don’t agree with it all, I can accept that argument.

                I just want to clear one thing up before finishing this discussion with you. I don’t for a second think a vast majority of Aleague fans are violent, which is why I came to this discussion on this thread to challenge Kaks comments. He knows he’s done wrong there, but won’t admit it. Let’s move on though.

                Over time I think the over-the-top police presence will subside. Hopefully we will see less police and more fans at Aleague games in the future.

                Enjoy the Aleague tonight.

            • April 7th 2016 @ 2:52pm
              Martyn50 said | April 7th 2016 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

              At least AFL and NRL are not involved in the “World Cup of fraud” involving NEW FIFA president Gianni Infantino reportedly signed off on a contract with two businessmen who have since been accused of bribery.

              • Roar Guru

                April 7th 2016 @ 3:43pm
                Kaks said | April 7th 2016 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

                True, but I’m sure AFL and NRL would love to be part of the biggest sporting competition in the world 😉

                I think it’s funny that you had to result to FIFA – an entity that Australian football has no control over – to get your kicks LOL

              • April 7th 2016 @ 5:43pm
                Sydneysider said | April 7th 2016 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

                On fire Martyn50.

                If Australia is squeaky clean then there wouldn’t be a need for ICAC or other independent bodies to investigate corruption in this country.

                Besides, the FFA isn’t FIFA. In saying that the FFA isn’t squeaky clean either…. but none of the sporting organisations in Australia are.

                What this shows is that corruption can happen in any country…. and in all sports.

                Put your head back in the sand.

          • April 7th 2016 @ 5:31pm
            AR said | April 7th 2016 @ 5:31pm | ! Report

            I’m not sure what Martyn50’s point could possibly be.

            It seems to range from “soccer has the most violent fans…soccer is only popular in western sydney…FIFA is corrupt etc”.

            How any of that is relevant to an article about AFL diversity is beyond me.

            • April 8th 2016 @ 6:23am
              Perry Bridge said | April 8th 2016 @ 6:23am | ! Report

              Had the same thought ready through this.

              Just shows that for some people if a code v code shooting gallery article does not exist then it’s necessary to invent (or recraft an existing) one.

              btw – the FFA’s 2009 bidding for the FIFA WC brought out all the soccerheads true colours onto social forums.

    • April 7th 2016 @ 9:10am
      harry houdini said | April 7th 2016 @ 9:10am | ! Report

      I wish i could play AFL, all i could was play Aussie rules, Australian Football or footy.

      Australian football has always been diverse, it has embraced migrants for 150 years, that is the only reason why the game still exists.

      • April 7th 2016 @ 11:21am
        Perry Bridge said | April 7th 2016 @ 11:21am | ! Report

        this is a key aspect – a niche isolated sport like Australian Football must, just like any healthy relationship — must keep working at it’s relationship with the public and especially where so many for so long have been born overseas or at least one parent born overseas.

        The irony is the AFL is in many respects the biggest local game – however – the contrast to cricket and soccer as examples is that many immigrants arrive here effectively as card carrying advocates. Those sports don’t have to ‘win over’ or educate in the rules/game play of the code. They only have to win over the hearts to follow local teams as well as participate. That’s a far simpler equation than for the AFL.

        The diversity point though is interesting. Soccer has for a long time in this country been over representative of recent European arrivals. And not a high representation in Aust indigenous/aboriginal participants.
        Cricket has a fairly mono-cultural representation at Australian state/national level – players like Richard Chee Quee being far more the exception than the rule and even sub continental origin cricketers at Aust top level are few and far between.

        The male / female divide is interesting too. For many years ‘football’ was a ‘mans game’. In many parts of Australia the men played footy (whatever code) and the women played netball. The growth of basketball first and more recently soccer as male/female games has challenged the paradigm. The AFL has taken a little while to come on board but have recognised an interest/demand and are facilitating a pathway for womens footy – that’s good for football. Is it good for netball?

        Certainly Govt’s via funding (grants at community level) look more favourably upon diverse participation – whether age range (juniors thru to masters), gender, ethnicity, disabilities. So – the sports are forced into competition on this front anyway.

        For now – womens sport is interesting – there are still more distinct seasons and semi-pro allows in the case of some top level participants to multi skill. It’s only 25 years ago that Craig Bradley played shield cricket and VFL/AFL for Carlton. That can’t happen anymore.

        • April 7th 2016 @ 1:28pm
          AR said | April 7th 2016 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

          Another rather unique feature of Australian football is its historical egalitarianism.

          The game has always been played, and supported, by chimney sweeps and merchant bankers.

          The historical class divide between the rugbies still has a limiting effect on both sports today. Soccer has outgrown its working class roots, due predominantly to the global spread of the sport. Golf increasingly has the same claim. So too tennis to a lesser degree perhaps.

          There’s few sports around the world (American football is one) which had a genuine thumbprint across all demographics and class-lines, and remain so to this day.

        • April 7th 2016 @ 8:55pm
          harry houdini said | April 7th 2016 @ 8:55pm | ! Report

          Good post

    • April 7th 2016 @ 9:34am
      johno said | April 7th 2016 @ 9:34am | ! Report

      Welcome to the Roar Grant – love your work on Marngrook.

      Bit of a sore point, but Joe Johnson wasn’t the first indigenous player of Aussie Rules at a senior level.

      He was the first in the VFL but Jimmy Melbourne from York in WA had already been playing in the WAFL for 4 years by the time Joe got a VFL guerney.

      Jimmy is recognised as the first Indigenous Australian to play senior Australian rules football in a major Australian football league. Jimmy was a Nyoongar, like the Krakouers, Polly Farmer, Barry Cable, Buddy Franklin, Paddy Ryder, Michael Walters, the Yarrans, the Jetta’s, the Hills, the Garletts …. a true trailblazer.

      Jimmy was also the first indigenous premiership player, playing for West Perth in their 1901 premiership side.He is currently honoured by the Jimmy Melbourne cup played between South Fremantle and Claremont every year. The ABC website has a great photo of the 1901 West Perth Premiership team with Jimmy in it.

      Jimmy moved to Melbourne, joined the air force in WWI. He fought and was wounded at Gallipoli, returned to Australia to live in Melbourne and was murdered in 1937. Last year they laid a headstone on his unmarked grave in Sprinvale.

      His is a great story that needs further telling.

      • April 7th 2016 @ 10:52am
        pjm said | April 7th 2016 @ 10:52am | ! Report

        There’s no record of him on the AWM site.

        • April 7th 2016 @ 11:25am
          johno said | April 7th 2016 @ 11:25am | ! Report

          Try http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/ – James Melbourne – Series number B2455 – you can view his enlistment papers that shows his wifes name of Florence on it as well.

          Quite fascinating – they have the newspaper report of his murder, his service extracts.

          Shows the notice to his wife of his return to Australia in 1916 from the 5th Battlion in WW1, which fought at Gallipoli

        • April 7th 2016 @ 11:42am
          johno said | April 7th 2016 @ 11:42am | ! Report

          Also shows him on the https://www.awm.gov.au site – if you search by James Melbourne and WWI and then look at First World War Embarkation Rolls
          Service number 2515

      • April 7th 2016 @ 12:03pm
        johno said | April 7th 2016 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

        Joined the AIF, not the air force. My mistake

      • April 7th 2016 @ 1:57pm
        jax said | April 7th 2016 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

        Great pick-up and acknowledgement johno, well done. The VFL has a long history of ignoring non-VFL state leagues, especially the WAFL and SANFL records for practically everything. It’s almost like they never existed as they rarely come into any calculations.

        Another recent example of an oversight was on Easter Monday when many commentators proclaimed that Dangerfield had the ‘best ever first game’ for a new VFL/AFL club. Polly Farmer had a better first game IMO – doing his knee in the opening minutes yet going on to kick 4 goals as a ruckman. You’ll need to go a long way to beat that one.

        “the AFL not only aspires to see an unbiased game that is a true reflection of our nation in terms of ethnicity, but also in the gender space.”

        I agree with you on the ethnicity and gender component of bias but I don’t agree when it comes to the on-going bias that the VFL/AFL has against the interstate clubs and the rich history of the non-VFL state leagues – it is doing next to nothing to change the status-quo, because it doesn’t care to.

        That’s bias against a national competition and there is a growing number of people that are feeling more and more disenfranchised with the stranglehold that the VFL holds over OUR national game, no exclusions. There is still a lot of work to be done in this area and it is going to take time but we will get there one day, if the fans keep reminding them of this.

        Also, when it comes to indigenous development programs the Clontarf Academy in WA, currently headed up Gearald Neesham has probably done more for indigenoius kids with a talent for footy than any other program that I can think of.

        I enjoyed the article Grant and welcome to the Roar. Please don’t view my feedback as a slight. I’m just picking up where johno left off and highlighting some other areas where we still work to do, thanks.

        • April 7th 2016 @ 3:00pm
          mattyb said | April 7th 2016 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

          Thanks johno and as a a Victorian it’s great to hear some of the forbidden history of our game.
          Jax,your points are again correct and well put forward. It appears the VFL bias is not only relevant to how the game is run and how it’s history is portrayed but even seems to stretch into what can be spoken about. This is a huge anchor that’s holding the game back in so many forms,surely for the game to diversify along with grow it needs to become national. Surely in another 25 years the path would have been changed but for that to happen discussion needs to start now.
          The Victorians may kick and scream if anyone goes anywhere near the toys in their cot but so what. The discussion points the Victorians latch onto like it’s mine or,that’s the way it’s always been or if you don’t like it to bad is exactly how a toddler would react and wouldn’t be tolerated so why are people so happy to accept it from the VFL contingent. The sooner we abandon the obscured notion of including VFL premierships as AFL the sooner we can move on to more pressing issues that are holding back the game nationally Maybe there is a smaller toy we could remove from the comforts. Maybe the first step could be to rename one of the league’s awards after a footballer from outside of the VFL bubble. Maybe the Coleman Medal could be renamed the

          • April 7th 2016 @ 3:38pm
            mattyb said | April 7th 2016 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

            Tim Evans or Austin Robertson Medal,maybe the Jock McHale medal the John Todd. Small steps I know but it could only help the game in the longer run.

            • April 9th 2016 @ 2:47am
              jax said | April 9th 2016 @ 2:47am | ! Report

              Geez, all incredible players Matty and I can’t cover them all but I’ll cover Toddy as few know anything about him and Austin was finally given some coverage at last years Brownlow – every footy purists should take a few minutes to look at the careers of the guys you named.

              Todd was 16 years old and 177cm when kicked 7 goals in a WAFL reserves GF. The next year he beat Polly Farmer to win the Sandover as a 17yo only to do his knee as an 18yo in the days when they couldn’t fix it. He was never the same player again yet he carved out a tough 132 games.

              He quite possibly could have been the greatest player the game has ever seen had he not done his knee.

              I’m not sure how many players have won a Sandover, Magarey or Brownlow in their debut season aged 17 but there can’t be many of them.

              He became coach of Swan Districts at age 21 and went on to win 6 flags as a coach. The AFL finally inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 2003 but he’s a bit of a legend to many out west.

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