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Canberra – a footy success story

Maddy Friend Columnist

By Maddy Friend, Maddy Friend is a Roar Expert

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152 Have your say

    When you think of sporting cities in Australia, Canberra is probably not one that comes to mind.

    The Australian capital is known more for its museums, public servants and political institutions, rather than sport. As an AFL destination, Canberra is in a strange situation, being an autonomous territory in the middle of rugby heartland in New South Wales. And its major stadium, Manuka Oval, is hardly an iconic venue.

    When I first moved to Canberra from Melbourne four years ago, I had the above assumptions, and wondered what sporting life in Canberra would be like. I quickly discovered that Canberra’s AFL culture is developing in leaps and bounds.

    GWS’ prescient decision to play three home games a year at Manuka Oval, the advent of the AFLW and the development of first-class sporting culture in Canberra in general, make Canberra a viable AFL growth destination going forward.

    One of the biggest factors here is the make-up of Canberra’s population. Most of Canberra’s residents have moved to the city for work, bringing with them different sporting cultures and views. Canberra is partly a rugby town, with both an NRL and rugby union team, but AFL is equally as followed, with the city’s large number of Melbourne expats driving an expanding AFL industry.

    This bodes well for AFL head office in its attempts to grow the game. It’s become evident over the past few years that sports which have tried to expand outside the major sporting cities have struggled to find a foothold in the environment – Gold Coast Titans and Suns are two that come to mind. Canberra’s willingness and desire to embrace footy makes it ripe for investment.

    Steve Johnson GWS Giants Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL 2016

    (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

    In Manuka Oval, Canberra has what we might term a ‘boutique’ stadium, with a maximum capacity of around 15,000-17,000 people. At capacity, the atmosphere is as good as any AFL ground in Australia.

    What sets Canberra crowds apart is the diversity of allegiances, as evidenced by last weekend’s GWS vs Melbourne game. While large portions of the crowd supported one of those two teams, many others (myself included) attended as neutral fans.

    This makes for a collegial atmosphere of fans brought together by their love of footy, rather than support for a particular team.

    GWS’ decision to play three of its home games each year at Manuka Oval has proved a masterstroke. The Giants played their first game in Canberra in 2012, and have a ten-year deal to play three games in the ACT each year.

    Not only has it brought the club more members thanks to its three-game Canberra memberships, it has put AFL front and centre of the sporting landscape in Canberra. It helps that GWS is performing well. In the first few years of its Canberra deal, the Giants were thrashed by their opponents, but their good form over the past two years has given them a solid base of Canberra supporters.

    Fixturing has been a big factor in AFL’s expansion in Canberra as well. This year, GWS hosted matches against Port Adelaide, Western Bulldogs and Melbourne, three clubs vying for a spot in the top eight. The game against the Bulldogs was Manuka’s first ever night game and first played in a prime-time slot on Friday evening.

    While playing football in Canberra in winter is certainly a chilly experience, the atmosphere around the stadium was electric, and the growing rivalry between the two teams is certainly something Canberra fans have bought into. For footy to continue to grow in Canberra, the AFL should ensure it continues to schedule high-performing teams and more marquee games.

    Jonathan Patton GWS Giants AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

    At a grassroots level, the game has also gone from strength to strength. AFL Canberra figures from earlier this year show that junior participation rates in Canberra are at their highest level for 30 years, with 125 junior teams involved in the competition this year.

    In total, the number participants from across the ACT and NSW has reached 237,549, an increase of 10.4 per cent from 2015 numbers. This has largely been driven by a 23 per cent increase in women’s participation numbers.

    The main issue facing AFL expansion in Canberra is the future of Manuka Oval as a sporting precinct. Cricket Australia noted that one of the main impediments to Manuka Oval hosting a Test match was the ground’s relative sub-standard facilities, including change rooms and broadcast booths.

    With an eye to this, in 2016 GWS and construction company Grocon presented the ACT Government with an $800-million plan to redevelop the precinct, which would include new apartments, a hotel and retail stores.

    Earlier this year, the ACT Government pushed back on this plan, noting that it was unrealistic in scope for a small city such as Canberra. While it has acknowledged the need for some redevelopment to make the stadium into a first-class venue, it has stated its desire that any such works be led by the Government, rather than GWS (who, for its part, has noted its desire to remain involved in the development).

    The AFL has shown it is eager to expand the game into new areas, and in Canberra, it has a ready and willing audience, and all the ingredients to develop a new football heartland.

    Getting hassled by a parent or partner about spending too much time playing video games? Now, you can tell them the story of how some ordinary gamers scored $225k for just seven weeks of work.

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    The Crowd Says (152)

    • August 17th 2017 @ 6:09am
      Magic Lyrebird said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:09am | ! Report

      The title of this article is misleading. Canberra is certainly a footy success story if you are talking about the Raiders. Footy in Australia can mean either rugby league or AFL, yet there seems to have been a trend lately on the Roar of using the word in the titles of AFL articles only. It really annoys me that the AFL and its boosters appear to be trying to take ownership of the term, to the exclusion of other codes. Editors, please stop using the word footy in the titles of AFL articles, or else start using it in the titles of stories about NRL!

      • August 17th 2017 @ 6:58am
        I ate pies said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:58am | ! Report

        We call it footy; always have; get over it. It’s footy.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 8:37am
          Magic Lyrebird said | August 17th 2017 @ 8:37am | ! Report

          That’s nice, but it’s not the only game called footy.

          • Roar Guru

            August 17th 2017 @ 9:48am
            Paul Dawson said | August 17th 2017 @ 9:48am | ! Report

            What a pointless criticism. This article is on the Aussie Rules tab, not the League tab – you clearly knew what the article was about, but rather than address the economic and demographic substance of the article you decided to make a lazy intellectual attack on a term only you seem confused by.


            • August 17th 2017 @ 11:31am
              clipper said | August 17th 2017 @ 11:31am | ! Report

              Agree – it’s on an AFL tab. It’s a simple rule to follow – if on the AFL tab, refer to it as footy, if on a Football tab refer to it as Football, not soccer. AFL is far more known as footy than NRL – in Sydney if someone said they were going to play footy, I just wouldn’t know what code they were talking about.

              • August 17th 2017 @ 11:10pm
                Magic Lyrebird said | August 17th 2017 @ 11:10pm | ! Report

                That’s right – and given that The Roar is a national forum, footy could mean anything.

              • Roar Guru

                August 17th 2017 @ 11:48pm
                AdelaideDocker said | August 17th 2017 @ 11:48pm | ! Report

                With all due respect, Mr Lyrebird – you’d be pretty thick if you didn’t realise footy – when referred to as such on the AFL tab – meant AFL.

                Who gives a stuff if it’s a national forum – there’s three distinct tabs – AFL, league and football. Even the most casual of observers would be able to tell the difference, one would assume.

            • August 17th 2017 @ 11:09pm
              Magic Lyrebird said | August 17th 2017 @ 11:09pm | ! Report

              Not pointless, PD. First, The Roar sometimes features articles that treat more than one sport simultaneously – and in those cases, the editors seem limited to only a single icon (e.g. either Sherrin or Steeden, but not both). So its appearance on the Aussie Rules tab does not preclude it from dealing with other forms of footy.

              And my point – which refers mainly to the title of the article (often the responsibility of the editors), not the article itself – is an important one. It’s hard to think of a more Australian word than ‘footy’. From the point of view of an NRL footy fan, it would be a tragedy if AFL followers were able to monopolise this term, as they seem to be trying to do (viz FoxFooty, RealFooty on Fairfax). So I think it’s crucial to point out that footy means NRL at least as much as it means AFL.

              • Roar Guru

                August 17th 2017 @ 11:49pm
                AdelaideDocker said | August 17th 2017 @ 11:49pm | ! Report

                In my 19 years of life, I have never heard NRL referred as as footy.

                That’s just me, though.

              • August 18th 2017 @ 1:52pm
                spruce moose said | August 18th 2017 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

                Considering you live in Adelaide, I think you should recuse yourself from this debate.

                Both AFL and NRL are called footy depending on your preference. As Sydney is enlightened enough to have all 4 codes, I do know as fact that fans of any of said codes will call it footy.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 7:29am
        Connor said | August 17th 2017 @ 7:29am | ! Report

        Even though the sports are officially known as rugby league and union? I just dont get why NRL fans call it footy when thats not even in the league’s name.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 8:40am
          Magic Lyrebird said | August 17th 2017 @ 8:40am | ! Report

          Because we’ve always called it footy, and for many of us it’s always been the ONLY footy. Also, the game was originally known as Rugby League Football.

          • August 17th 2017 @ 10:01am
            Cugel said | August 17th 2017 @ 10:01am | ! Report

            Yeah, who would have thought ALF fans knew nothing of another sport’s history. They’re normally so knowledgeable, and self-effacing to boot.

            • August 17th 2017 @ 10:45am
              Tony said | August 17th 2017 @ 10:45am | ! Report

              Similar to all the NRL trolls on The Roar who refuse to acknowledge that Aussie Rules is an Australian game & call it Victorian Rules!

              • August 17th 2017 @ 11:12am
                Beavis said | August 17th 2017 @ 11:12am | ! Report

                RL is last developed of the four footy codes and the Fairfax Melbourne Age calls AFL football and soccer “soccer” while the Fairfax Sydney Herald and Canberra Times call soccer “football”. However I wish AFL fans would distinguish between rugby and League as Rugby League was derived from rugby Union and arguably shouldn’t have the term rugby in it – I wonder what UK Rugby school where rugby union started hinks of all of this.

              • August 17th 2017 @ 2:37pm
                I ate pies said | August 17th 2017 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

                Footy fans couldn’t give a rats about rugby or rugby league. As far as we’re concerned they’re pretty much the same game anyway. They’re both rugby.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 9:29am
        Punter said | August 17th 2017 @ 9:29am | ! Report

        I have never understood why NRL fans call it footy, when the dominant play in Rugby League is the pass by hand.

        Whereas in AFL, the game is predicated on kicking, lending itself to be called football and therefore ‘Footy’.

        Maybe NRL fans should call it ‘Throwy’, ‘Passy’ or even ‘Handy’ ? It would make more logical sense..

      • Roar Guru

        August 17th 2017 @ 10:42am
        Riley Pettigrew said | August 17th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

        Who cares what it is called? It doesn’t matter where the term ‘footy’ originated and who it belongs to. It’s not an exclusive term to rugby league nor AFL nor soccer nor rugby union nor any sport. Just learn to embrace it’s polysemous meaning.

      • Roar Guru

        August 17th 2017 @ 2:35pm
        Penster said | August 17th 2017 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

        AFL – Australian Football League.
        NRL – National Rugby League.

        Am I missing something here?

      • August 17th 2017 @ 3:15pm
        republican said | August 17th 2017 @ 3:15pm | ! Report


    • August 17th 2017 @ 7:22am
      Onside said | August 17th 2017 @ 7:22am | ! Report

      shake your booty , at the footy.

    • August 17th 2017 @ 7:22am
      truetigerfan said | August 17th 2017 @ 7:22am | ! Report

      Don’t be so precious, Birdie. Australian Rules ‘Football’ has been referred to as ‘footy’ for ever and a day. It is recognised by the majority . . . footy is Aussie Rules.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 8:12am
        Magic Lyrebird said | August 17th 2017 @ 8:12am | ! Report

        An arrogant attitude TTF. What majority are you talking about? Certainly not in NSW or QLD! Yes, Aussie Rules is footy, but footy is not (only) Aussie Rules. Footy is Rugby League as well.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 9:51am
          Gyfox said | August 17th 2017 @ 9:51am | ! Report

          Using the term “footy” for rugby league is a recent invention. It was the Sydney version of The Footy Show (which I think started after Melbourne’s) that made it popular. certainly when I was growing up NRL was called League & Union called Rugby.

          Aussie Rules has been called Footy in the Riverina & southern States forever. In fact, some of my Sydney friends refused to call League “footy” because they saw it as a Victorian term. Anything from Victoria was verboten – including Aussie Rules Football!

          • August 17th 2017 @ 10:34am
            Agent11 said | August 17th 2017 @ 10:34am | ! Report

            So if no one called League “footy” before, why would the TV show just suddenly call itself “The Footy Show” when it first aired in 1994? doesn’t make any sense…

            • August 17th 2017 @ 10:47am
              Gyfox said | August 17th 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report

              They just copied Melbourne…….a common thing NRL habit

              • August 17th 2017 @ 11:14am
                Beavis said | August 17th 2017 @ 11:14am | ! Report

                The thing about Sydney is that footy in one suburb would mean something entirely different from a suburb 2 miles away esp after the rise of soccer. In Canberra footy could mean anything but in Melbourne its AFL.

              • August 18th 2017 @ 9:41am
                clipper said | August 18th 2017 @ 9:41am | ! Report

                Concur, Beavis, as I’ve mentioned above. Now that Sydney is an all code city, it’s hard to know what footy refers to.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 4:11pm
          13th Man said | August 17th 2017 @ 4:11pm | ! Report

          But in WA, VIC, SA, NT, TAS AFL is known as ‘footy’ and NRL is league so hence for the majority of states AFL is footy. Just because NSW and QLD want to be different doesn’t mean the rest of us have to change

          • August 17th 2017 @ 4:21pm
            Agent11 said | August 17th 2017 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

            damn those 2 little rebellious states that have 55% of the population…

            • August 17th 2017 @ 6:33pm
              Alicesprings said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

              To be precise the population of NSW & QLD = 52.1%. Either way the traditional bases of AFL and NRL in a population sense are basically even. Plus not to mention the fact that state lines are meaning less and less.

              The AFL’s great advantage is the crowds/revenue that they have been able to generate in the ACT NSW & QLD.

          • August 17th 2017 @ 7:23pm
            Magic Lyrebird said | August 17th 2017 @ 7:23pm | ! Report

            I would reply to you 13th Man, but Thursday night footy’s about to kick off!

            • August 17th 2017 @ 8:16pm
              Alchemist said | August 17th 2017 @ 8:16pm | ! Report

              Yet you took the time to reply with that? Bravo.

        • August 18th 2017 @ 12:23am
          Martin said | August 18th 2017 @ 12:23am | ! Report

          I don’t like the term ‘footy’ myself and much prefer to say ‘football’. If I said to someone that I going to watch a football match then everybody would understand that I am going to watch a football match. Whereas if I were to say I was going to watch the footy, people could be confused into thinking I’m going to watch the rugby. So it’s much better to use the term football to avoid any confusion.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 9:21am
        Hrundi Bakshi said | August 17th 2017 @ 9:21am | ! Report

        A truer word has not been uttered.

        And what’s more, people in Australia were calling the native game football before the likes of soccer(1864), rugby(1873), rugby league (1908) even existed.

        Those who insist on those English games using what is rightfully our own game’s name are just cultural cringe Euro wannabees.

        How much foreign culture do we need polluting our own? Don’t we have enough already?

        • August 17th 2017 @ 11:16am
          Beavis said | August 17th 2017 @ 11:16am | ! Report

          Sydney University Rugby Union club at least started in 1863

        • August 17th 2017 @ 1:50pm
          Ken Spacey said | August 17th 2017 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

          There seems to be a gap between the codification of Aussie Rules and the common expression “Football”. So what is implied is that Wills and co. invented a new word in the way home and work became homework by combining existing terms. Few, if any, have ever credited Wills with coining the phrase ‘football” for the first time. The term and the description of variations of the basic idea of a type of football can be traced back many centuries. So Aussie Rules claim of being the oldest organised code does no necessarily mean they can lay claim to being the first to use the term football.

          I don’t think its that hard for people to qualify which football they are referring to. I also dispute that the sudden increase in its use to describe ‘soccer’ is an attempt to usurp or deny others. The FFA decided to use the term when it left the National Soccer League behind and the baggage associated with the term. I also moved to a bigger and more powerful federation where the term football more widely used. Its not about anything more than accuracy and consistency.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 3:34pm
          northerner said | August 17th 2017 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

          So far as I know, the oldest football club which has been in continuous existence is Dublin University Football Club, established in 1853. It is and always has been a rugby union club.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 3:17pm
        republican said | August 17th 2017 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

        ……but the AFL should NOT assume this title. They are simply the governing body rather than the code itself……….

    • August 17th 2017 @ 7:33am
      Glen said | August 17th 2017 @ 7:33am | ! Report

      As a Canberra resident, I have to say that I too thought of the NRL when the headline used the term footy. Footy will always be NRL to me and my family. In no sense is AFL footy in our household. But it is under the AFL tab after all and vocabulary varies across the country.

      The large number of Melbourne ‘immigrants’ to Canberra has indeed helped the sport here particularly when it comes to neutrals attending games. I think also the fact that there are only 3 proper games per year helps that cause.

      The NRL has a similar issue in Canberra with Sydney immigrants but it is a disadvantage not an advantage. NRL fans rarely go to games as a neutral. Many Canberra based NRL fans only attend if their team comes to town. An issue that the NRL should seek to address across the board.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 10:10am
        Mickyo said | August 17th 2017 @ 10:10am | ! Report

        Australian football has a longer and stronger history than RL in Canberra, it was arguably a bigger code until the early 1980’s.

        The early builders, labourers and public servants of Canberra moved from the south and started clubs such as Ainslie, Eastlake, Manuka, Turner,QBY etc which survive in one form or another to this day, we are talking about the 1920’s or earlier here and way earlier than RL clubs which find their strength in general in the rural surrounds of the ACT and QBY.

        There are plenty of 4-5th generational Canberrans who are still involved in local football, not everyone is a new resident.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 10:45am
          Agent11 said | August 17th 2017 @ 10:45am | ! Report

          who cares who was there first. The fact is the Raiders have a strong culture and have developed many, many great Rugby League players from the Canberra and southern NSW area. They won 3 grand finals in the late 80s and early 90s and put Canberra on the map as a Rugby League city and the Raiders rightly dominated the media in Canberra during that period. There is a statue of Laurie Daley outside Bruce, who came from the Riverina. No statues of AFL players in Canberra. I don’t begrudge the AFL expanding and growing its game but geez i get sick of AFL followers laying claim to every corner of the country as if it has more right to be there than other codes.

          • August 17th 2017 @ 10:55am
            Mickyo said | August 17th 2017 @ 10:55am | ! Report

            Never said they have more right, but many people have no idea of history or attempt to rewrite it, fact is in Canberra even to this day Australian football even at grassroots level is bigger than RL in Canberra itself, include QBY, Yass, Goulburn etc etc and RL is bigger.

            9 teams in the CDRL FIRST GRADE, QBY teams are first and second and Yass is third, Yass has a population of a couple of thousand, approximately half of all grass roots teams that play RL are not even in Canberra but the less populated surrounds, it has been this way for a hundred years, the exact opposite is true for AF most of the grass roots teams are within Canberra.

            • August 17th 2017 @ 8:11pm
              republican said | August 17th 2017 @ 8:11pm | ! Report

              …….spot on Micko. League has always gleaned its support more regionally rather than domestically, in respect of Canberra.
              Of course it should also be mentioned that the Riverina and South Coast of NSW are bigger Australian Footy regions……….

          • August 17th 2017 @ 11:11am
            Mickyo said | August 17th 2017 @ 11:11am | ! Report

            Just to make a point and comparing senior men’s team playing RL or AFL.

            There are 28 senior mens teams playing RL the Canberra RL, 14 are from outside the ACT including Crookwell, Binalong, Bungendore etc ect most are tiny towns.

            There are 32 senior men’s teams playing in AFL Canberra, 7 are from outside Canberra including Batemans bay (2) Yass, Goulburn, Cootamundra and QBY (2)

            Quite a disparity and representative of the support for the respective games in Canberra itself and the surrounds.

            • August 17th 2017 @ 11:21am
              Beavis said | August 17th 2017 @ 11:21am | ! Report

              AFL was the big game in the city in the 70s and NRL was the big game in the surrounds (2 Queanbeyan sides dominated) before the Raiders. RU was also strong with the private schools funnelling players into the local comp. Soccer had the first team in a national comp but of course has folded. I’d say depending on the metric they are all about equal but the Raiders fortnightly appearance put them in front. But most people follow more than one and like Wagga should be a template for the rest of Australia.

              • August 17th 2017 @ 11:27am
                mickyo said | August 17th 2017 @ 11:27am | ! Report

                Yep pretty fair points.

              • August 17th 2017 @ 11:50am
                Mickyo said | August 17th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

                The nation’s capital celebrates 100 years – by the Cattery from 2011.
                Anyone interested in the history of Canberra football should look up this roar article.

                1911 is the first game of Australian football in Canberra, although a comment on that article says earlier.

                Quite a lively debate between many posters and also Sean Fagan a RL historian.

          • August 17th 2017 @ 5:34pm
            Col in paradise said | August 17th 2017 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

            Alex Jezzalinko and Cowboy Neil two Canberra greats !!!

            • August 17th 2017 @ 8:16pm
              republican said | August 17th 2017 @ 8:16pm | ! Report

              ……the honour board is far more comprehensive than this while Cowboy Neale came here at the end of his career from St Kilda, representing the ACT when we defeated the big V, playing his days out for AINSLIE…………

            • August 17th 2017 @ 8:20pm
              Nick said | August 17th 2017 @ 8:20pm | ! Report

              Hird of James? – Don Pyke, Buckley, Blumfiled, Aaron Hamill

              • August 17th 2017 @ 8:27pm
                Col in paradise said | August 17th 2017 @ 8:27pm | ! Report

                Yep and down the road in Wagga where I grew up came players like the Danihers, Paul Kelly, Crawford etc etc – one reason the Vic controlled AFL didn’t give Tassie or. ACT/Riverina teams was it was a great recruiting area for them…still is

              • August 17th 2017 @ 8:40pm
                republican said | August 17th 2017 @ 8:40pm | ! Report

                …….& more even pre AFL, of those who went onto play in the VFL, SANFL & WAFL.
                Allison ( North Melbourne) & Kenny (Carlton) are two more that spring to mind, the latter a product of my old school as was Jezza………..

    • August 17th 2017 @ 8:03am
      anthony15 said | August 17th 2017 @ 8:03am | ! Report

      AFL is equally as followed as league and union? No one gives a stuff about AFL in Canberra. Not to mention that the AFL junior comps in Canberra have no where near the participation rates as the real football. Should have put the money we gave GWS towards Canberra United…

      • August 17th 2017 @ 10:05am
        Tony said | August 17th 2017 @ 10:05am | ! Report

        When Canberra was established before WW2 it was very much an Aussie Rules town. CANFL was established in 1927 (initially in 1924) & some of those clubs have continued to this day. There was no Canberra RL until after the War.
        Rugby League started to dominate then because Canberra teachers came from the NSW education dept. Aussie Rules disappeared from schools, but was still popular in the local clubs.
        With the formation of the Raiders, RL became the dominant sport, assisted by the rebuilding of their stadium. Manuka is way down the list when it comes to similar facilities. However, playing & membership figures of the AFL in Canberra now exceed RL.
        Soccer, of course, has the highest participation rates amongst kids. But they don’t become spectators.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 6:05pm
          Col in paradise said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:05pm | ! Report

          Spot on and sums it up well – grew up n played all codes in Canberra. Until the Raiders started it was mainly a rugby union and Afl town – when the Raiders started the whole place got behind it even if at first really based in Queanbeyan – saw the first game at Seiffert Oval – and eventually first win against Parra!

          Canberrans love beating Sydney back then in any code !!!! The AFL should have put a side in Tassie n Canberra (ACT/Riverina) rather than Sun’s and Western Sydney !!!

      • August 17th 2017 @ 10:52am
        josh said | August 17th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

        From a resident of Western Sydney, you can have the Giants.

        Please take them, people in Canberra actually want them.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 7:28pm
          republican said | August 17th 2017 @ 7:28pm | ! Report

          …….can you kindly relay this fact to the bankers at AFL house please?

      • August 17th 2017 @ 6:11pm
        Deladi said | August 17th 2017 @ 6:11pm | ! Report

        Well last year those 3 games had bigger crowds on average then the raiders. So although smaller than League AFL still has a sizeable following in Canberra.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 8:33pm
          Col in paradise said | August 17th 2017 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

          Your right – Anthony15 doesn’t have a clue – probably spends all day at the Raiders Weston Club!!!

    • August 17th 2017 @ 8:36am
      Pope Paul VII said | August 17th 2017 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      Love the fight over naming rights.

      All codes claiming footy, although soccer fanatics claim the more formal “football” and mostly despise the use of “soccer”.

      Where I grew up in southern NSW an awful lot of Aussie Rules followers referred to League and Union as “Rugby” without distinguishing between the 2. This is common for Vics as well.

      When I moved to Sydney many referred to aussie rules as “VFL” as in “so you play VFL?”

      Now Aussie Rules is almost always referred to as AFL in NSW at least.

      I think we can agree that “footy” is universal.

      • August 17th 2017 @ 8:43am
        Magic Lyrebird said | August 17th 2017 @ 8:43am | ! Report

        Right on! My point was not that AFL shouldn’t be called footy, but that AFL followers seem to be trying to annex the word, possibly in ignorance of its application to other codes. I don’t have a problem with AFL being called Footy on the Roar, so long as Rugby League football is also referred to as Footy.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 12:16pm
          Jack Russell said | August 17th 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

          Then write some articles and call it what you want.

          There’s nothing in the article above that suggests you can’t.

        • August 17th 2017 @ 12:40pm
          DB said | August 17th 2017 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

          I agree with you ML, that goes for soccer with the term “football” as well

        • August 17th 2017 @ 2:42pm
          I ate pies said | August 17th 2017 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

          That’s up to the league people Magic, not the footy people. If you want to call league footy go right ahead. We really don’t care

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