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The Joy Of X

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Joined February 2018









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@ Aligee

We know that male adult Australian Footballers have 0.7 ACL’s per 1,000 playing hours- and female Australian Footballers have 6.7 ACL’s per 1,000 playing hours. Women are being encouraged to do 90 minutes of knee-strengthening exercises pw, to greatly strengthen their ligaments. It is expected this will reduce their ACL injury rates.

Do you know what the female ACL injury rates, per 1,000 playing hours, are in netball, basketball and soccer? I have read they are also very high in these sports.

If women want to play these sports, and Australian Football, under the same Rules that men play the sports, and knowing the higher knee risks, is it ethical to deny them their wishes?

Why AFLW can look ugly, and what teams can do to fix it

@ Joel

Excellent detailed analysis, as usual.

Most AFLW games are entertaining, hard fought, with adequate scoring (shorter quarters; played in skill-sapping heat; women can, generally, only kick about 38-40 metres; and can’t handball as far).

We should simply ignore the fools who want to compare men and women playing the same sport- the physical differences are too great. If both are full time professionals with the same training etc, skills can be compared- but not when strength is a factor in the skill execution.

Horror games, such as Collingwood v. Melbourne, even though few in number, do much damage to the ‘AFLW’ brand.

I am surprised you were not more critical of the coaches; and their deliberate policy of constant congestion that was apparent in the Collingwood game; AND the AFLW generally. Congestion is the source of the ugliness and constant stoppages.

If we wish to see more attractive football, we must slash the interchange, and reduce the bench- perhaps two on the bench only, only 6 interchanges per team. These changes would prevent the constant flooding. The reduction in game day numbers from 21-18 would, also, have the beneficial effect of keeping the 3 most unskilled players out of a match- thus improving general AFLW skill levels.
Your views?

Perhaps, even, a Rule in the AFLW that 3 forwards and 3 backs must stay in their 50 metre arc at all times- with a free kick against teams who breach the Rule? The only concession is a player can take a maximum of 3 strides outside it, if chasing a ball that is just outside the 50, before immediately returning?
Your views?

Why AFLW can look ugly, and what teams can do to fix it

@ Geoff Parkes

I critiqued papanui’s analysis, and yours, on grassroots Union’s problems.
Do you wish to respond to my criticisms?

Amateur senior rugby has deep roots but may wither on the vine

@ papanui

I disagree with the accuracy of your comments (which seem to be, generally, supportive of RA’s grassroots’ recruitment efforts).

“RA triumphs increases in players, driven through juniors, sevens, and women’s participation, which is great news that should be CELEBRATED…I really believe RA is doing the right thing…”.

The reality is that there has been, in NSW and Qld, over several decades a SIGNIFICANT decline in junior and senior male Union 15’s numbers. The populations of Sydney and SE Qld have increased by nearly 100% over the last 40 years.

The Wallabies are the “shopfront” of Union in Australia, which drive media interest, Ratings, crowds, finances and general support for Union. The significant decline in males playing 15’s Union in NSW and SE Qld is, therefore, ominous for the Wallabies; and the long term future of grassroots Union in Australia.

The RA proclaimed 2018 “increases” are mainly fluff numbers They are not Club and school competition 15’s players.
Over 50% of RA Official Registered playing numbers are NON-contact Union activities eg primary school 5 week Game On (about 77,000), one-off Gala Days, school and other short term community programs. There would also be double-counting of many juniors.

The AFL, NRL, FFA, and many other sports, also have a majority of their Official registered players as being involved in short term, non-competition programs.

Sevens contact rugby, and female contact rugby, have both had very good growth.

In your analysis -and Geoff Parkes’ analysis-, you both completely fail to address these very important factors which have contributed to Union’s major decline in junior and senior male 15’s playing numbers :

. fear of injury/one-sided junior games due to the large increase of players from an Islander/Maori background (who are usually much heavier/stronger) playing junior Union.

.elite jnr and senior Union and League squads and teams comprise about 45% of players from an Islander or Maori ethnic background (but could have been born in Australia). This is incongruous, as there are only about 278,000 people in Australia of this ethnicity.

What does the 2016 census reveal about Pacific Islands communities in Australia?

This indicates the increasing importance “power/strength/size in elite Union and League”- which is causing a retreat in the number of players from a (smaller) European background wanting to play League and Union.

Nicholas Bishop’s article today states that international elite Union players are, on average, about 20 kilograms heavier, and 3 inches taller, than their elite counterparts in the 1970’s. The “little man” is being belted out of elite Union-but once, there were many.

.strong growth of community Australian Football in Sydney (mainly ES, NS, North Shore, inner west, NW) in recent years- which must negatively impact Union’s junior and senior contact playing numbers.

SMH Union/League/cricket journalist Malcolm Knox in 2018 wrote that “Sydney is an AFL town”; and Daily Telegraph League journalist Paul Kent wrote in 2018 that “AFL has almost a big a footprint in Sydney as rugby league”.

Many other Union, League, and soccer journalists, and former officials, administrators, and players have written about the recent strong Australian Football growth in Sydney. For their direct quotes on Australian Football in Sydney, with links attached, refer to

(The link also has a Daily Telegraph article, in December 2018, on how the NRL, also, is using fluff numbers to disguise the significant decline in Official registered contact League playing numbers)

.Sydney Union’s stronghold is in a very small number of private schools only.
This represents an existential threat, as Union is declining in these schools. Soccer has very strong numbers in all these private schools; and Australian Football, since 2013, has been introduced into these schools, and is also growing (including female private schools).

Amateur senior rugby has deep roots but may wither on the vine

@ Josh
The new name is North Melbourne Tasmania!

The boom in female Australian Football players in the last 2 years, since the AFLW started in 2017, has been a phenomenon. It is expected that about 90% of junior Clubs will form female teams in the next 5 years, so no end in sight to the juggernaut.
The obvious question- why didn’t the AFL promote female football much earlier?

Female Club growth is also greatly assisting Australian Football becoming a mainstream sport in NSW and Qld.- where it is, also, very widely played in primary and secondary schools, both state and private. Almost like a Trojan Horse, this female infiltration would have been unthinkable in NSW and Qld. 10 years ago.

AS Scott Morrison has said, at the announcement of the $70,000,000 Springfield, Brisbane new AFLW and men’s facility (capacity 10,000), “young girls have a pathway into AFL”. The AFL contributed $10,000,000, even though Ipswich Council owns the facility.

Female Australian Football is bringing vast funding/sponsorship/goodwill/more volunteers and community Club benefits etc. for the game.

AFLW crowds, averaging about 6,500 per game, are second in the world only to the WNBA- for a female stand alone Home and Away seasonal competition-non international.

AFLW has already come so far, and will go much further

Why do you propagate blatant falsehoods?
Instead of the facts on Australian Football participant numbers and its strong growth, you deflect to your “impressions/feelings”.

Why are you not willing to answer questions I put to you?

How to get better A-League crowds and TV ratings

@ Mike

As ALL AFLW games will be telecast this year for the first time, the aggregate ratings will certainly be far higher.
I also expect the average ratings per game will increase. The AFLW is only 2 years old-and its skill standards, according to the experts, are increasing; and because is getting more crucial TV exposure, it will attract more viewers. And, of course, female Australian Football player numbers are booming.

I note you have failed to respond to the other questions I put to you (re the AFLW’s impact on other sports, its likely massive growth when the other powerhouse Clubs are introduced etc.).
The AFLW is a juggernaut, and you are unable to challenge the issues I put to you- why?

Should we be excited about AFLW 2019?

@ AR
Your comments are valid that the “AFL spends almost zero dollars on overseas expansion”; but are mistaken it has “no real desire to grow outside of Australia”.

AFL officials have expressly stated that a principal reason for promoting AFLX is to create a version of the game overseas- where large ovals are very scarce, and big teams of 18 players are much more difficult to create than teams of 7.
It appears that China and India will be the main focus for the AFL. Could they develop an interest in 1% of their huge populations, whose middle classes now number in the hundreds of millions? If so, it would be lucrative for the AFL.

NZ also is growing at community level, off a very small base. There are even female Australian Football teams there- who will likely play in the 2020 International Cup.
In NZ and Australia, League and Union, at elite levels, are increasingly being dominated (40%+) by the bigger bodies of players from an Islander/Maori background. As elite players are becoming heavier, this trend will continue.

Union in NZ will never be displaced for general popularity- but soccer playing numbers in NZ far exceed Union numbers. This suggests Australian Football, if marketed well, could grow strongly in the next 30 years- it is only in the last 3 years that the AFL is providing funds, of about a paltry $500,000 pa.
As we see in NSW and Qld., an increasing number of players are wanting a body contact sport, and Australian Football numbers are having considerable growth. In comparison, male League and Union numbers are in a long term decline.

Two codes a world apart

@ Cat
Thanks for the information.
Are all WNBA games completely stand alone? (ie not played as double-headers with the NBA; and/or the very prestigeous/high profile College basketball -male or female).

Should we be excited about AFLW 2019?

@ Chris
and your comment ” It’s (AFL) reached it s natural level. Never to be more than a boutique novelty north of Victoria”. This is incorrect- and you know it is incorrect.

Sthn. NSW is Australian Football heartland, and it is also very strong in Canberra.

Community Australian Football numbers are showing strong growth throughout the rest of Sydney and NSW; and in SE Qld., Cairns, and parts of coastal Qld. There is, obviously, no “natural level” acting as a barrier to the growth of community Australian Football registered participant numbers.

Re the theme of this article/ A League skill level etc, what are your views on the comments of
. Archie Thompson, who said (after he retired) that the NSL was better at producing players who could play well in the top echelon European leagues ie EPL, Italian etc.

.Tim Cahill, who said (after he retired), that many players in the A league “are just going through the motions” ie not willing to play at their best?

How to get better A-League crowds and TV ratings

@ Mike

The 2018 AFLW GF was played during the day on a Saturday ie not prime time, so ratings are always lower- far fewer TV’s turned on.

Examples I can remember are the 2017 AFLW opening, prime time (and no concurrent AFL games/ no introduction of AFLX in 2017 during the AFLW season. During the 2018 AFLW season, AFLX was introduced- this loss of “clear media air” hurt the ratings (but not attendances of the AFLW).

Another example is the female Melbourne v. Western Bulldogs match in September 2016 (AFL had its pre-Finals bye). Earlier in 2016, a female Melbourne v. Western Bulldogs game (not concurrent with any AFL game) OUTRATED an AFL game the same weekend.

How much bigger do you think the AFLW will become when powerhouses West Coast, Richmond, Essendon, Hawthorn, Geelong (who will have a team in 2019), and Sydney have AFLW teams?

Why do you think the average AFLW ratings are smashing the A League’s ratings?

What is your estimate of the AFLW opening match ratings Geelong v.Collingwood? And the crowd at Kardinia park? (Hint: its going to be a very big crowd for women’s sport)

It is extraordinary that the AFLW , a new, competition and with women having elite training and facilities for the first time, are attracting average crowds of about 6,500 per match?
This is, possibly, a world record average for a female, stand alone home and away seasonal competition-non international.
Do you agree?

Why, in late 2016 and 2017, for their elite female athletes, did Aust. Super Netball, cricket, soccer, and basketball grant very large pay rises?

Should we be excited about AFLW 2019?

@ Rick
and your comment on AFLW crowds “don’t confuse (AFLW) entrance statistics with other codes that charge”.

What are your views on the accuracy and integrity of female sports’ crowd figures when they are played (directly before or after) a bigger, professional men’s game at the same venue?
(Eg A W League match played before an A League match. The A League match might have 8,000 in attendance who arrived just before the start of the A League match; the earlier W League match might have had 900 in attendance at half time- but the W League match is credited with 8,000!)

Should we be excited about AFLW 2019?

@ Rick

Yes, entry is free (except for the approximate 42,000 -an Aust. record for a female stand-alone Home and Away season game, non international- who paid $2 each to watch Freo v. Collingwood Perth Optus Stadium).
Attendance, for the vast majority of fans is not, however “free”. There are the costs of transport to the games; and the cost of food and drinks at the grounds (which are usually quite expensive, for the quality of food/beverages offered).

Female Australian Football playing numbers are booming all over Australia (about 500,000+ in 2018- including strong growth in NSW/ACT/Qld).
The AFL has wisely decided it wants the AFLW to obtain as much exposure as possible (and in 2019 ALL games will be broadcast on Ch.7 or Fox Sports) to increase this growth. Free entry is an excellent strategy to increase the popularity of its “new product”.

Furthermore, for a significant minority of AFL/AFLW fans, there is a social aspect- there is a strong tradition of meeting friends at a bar/cafe/ restaurant etc. near the ground, before or after the game. Thus, fans will have additional costs.

As for false, inflated crowd figures being reported, if there are no turnstiles at some grounds, it is a possibility.

The AFL has the largest average attendances in the world, on a per capita basis; and 4th on raw numbers. This is even after introducing “minnow” clubs GWS and Gold Coast; and playing about 14 games pa at very small cities eg Hobart, Launceston, Cairns, Ballarat, Darwin, Alice Springs etc.
I see no need or benefit in the AFL falsifying its crowds- Australian Football has been the best attended sport, over a season, since the 1870’s.

As you have raised the issue of falsified and inflated crowd numbers, what is your view on the VERY common and VOCIFEROUS social media comments by the sports’ own fans- that official crowds are regularly inflated, every year, in A League, NRL, And Super Rugby games?

Should we be excited about AFLW 2019?

I disagree with your comment that “Like it or not, as the AFLW evolves it will be compared to, and measured against the AFL”.
Firstly, it is inappropriate to compare a sport by men, with the same sport played by women- due to men’s generally superior strength and speed. Women’s sport should be analysed solely in the context that it is women playing- they are not men!

It is valid to compare males and females playing the same sports only on the level of skill, as long as strength and speed are not significant factors in executing the skills.

The VFA/VFL/AFL have existed since 1877. Until recent years, few women have played Australian Football/been in elite development programs. This is now changing, and in about 10 – 20 years, we should be able to compare skills- but ONLY, obviously, if AFLW players are full time professionals.

We can compare the AFLW as a spectacle to other female, semi-professional sports.

The AFLW is averaging world class (for stand-alone, home and away season competitions- not international) crowds of about 6500 per game. A few games in evening prime time ( main channel, without any AFL competition) have had ratings of about 1,000,000 viewers.
All games will be televised in 209, and it will be interesting to see the prime time ratings. Most games were played outside of prime time, so it is difficult to judge the true appeal of the AFLW to the casual football fan.

The Australian Football powerhouses of West Coast, Richmond, Essendon, Hawthorn, Geelong (until 2019) and Sydney dont have an AFLW team. This, obviously, diminishes the AFLW appeal to their fans.

Another major difference is that women cant kick as far a men, and average playing time is much shorter. It is inevitable, therefore, fewer goals will be kicked in the AFLW- but this has not stopped its critics bemoaning, unfairly, the “shortage” of goals.

Finally, the women are often playing in strong heat, which reduces skills, and induces fatigue and lesser concentration.

Your comment “given the amount of money the AFL is investing in the competition” implies significant funding is going into the AFLW. This is incorrect.
The net funding (ie after direct, large AFLW and individual female Club sponsorships etc, and now broadcast rights) is miniscule, compared to the $1.6+ billion revenues the AFL and its 18 Clubs generate each year. Perhaps a net loss, in total on the AFLW, of about $6,000,000 pa.

Should we be excited about AFLW 2019?

@ Sheek
Why do you say “eventually union and league will merge”?

Is it because of RA’s precarious financial position (which will deteriorate further, if the “showpiece” Wallabies also deteriorate- which is likely)?
Or other reasons?

If a merger occurs, how will professional League and Union be set up in Australia?

When do you think a merge might happen?

Why rugby is moving towards league

The views of Daisy Pearce and Tim Watson, and their reasoning, support that AFLW skill levels will continue to rise each year- even when expansion occurs.

Why I changed my mind on AFLW expansion

@ chris 8.44am

No, I make virtually no contributions to the soccer tab- except when false comments are made about Australian Football’s participation numbers.

I note midfielder has not tried to justify his deliberate falsehoods -he is usually quite voluable.

“Propaganda”- best you’ve got, anything substantive to say?

Perhaps you, or midfielder, may wish to comment on the Sydney Australian Football CLUB junior competition team numbers below, which cover the period from 2012- 2018.
AusKick, for very young children, is not included here

They also cover 2019, for the growing female team numbers for Sydney secondary schools such as MLC, Ravenswood, Pymble Ladies, Mont Sat’Angelo etc.
They don’t cover the other Sydney primary and secondary (state and private) school Australian Football competitions.

You will note that the numbers have been increasing by 100-200%.

Western Sydney Fixtures

Do you believe that League and Union journalists, sports’ commentators, ex- League/Union/Soccer officials and players (including John O’Neil, former FFA Chairman, Melissa Barbieri, former female Australian soccer captain) etc., are also involved in an AFL “propaganda” campaign?
They have all said community Australian Football and/or the AFL are growing in Sydney, and other non-traditional areas.
Some of their Australian Football growth comments have been DIRECTLY cited and linked below.

Football set for growth

@ concerned supporter, and your comment of “AFL propaganda”.

Oh dear.

Are Australia's coaches really developing the players they're working with?

@ concerned supporter
I note you don’t want to discuss the long term decline in male League and Union numbers in NSW, ACT, and Queensland.
Nor that this decline has, concurrently, seen a huge rise in players into the NRL from the small League outpost of NZ (mainly South Auckland). About 40%+ now of NRL players have a NZ euro/Maori/ pacific Islander heritage. Why is that?

Malcolm Knox is only one of many League and Union journalists/commentators/Officials/ex players etc who have written about the strong growth of Australian Football in NSW,ACT, and Queensland.
Do you believe they are saying falsehoods?

Saying that Sydney Naval FC no longer exists is irrelevant since, as you would know being from Sydney, many more Australian Football Clubs have emerged, for a vastly greater net increase in numbers.

Fixtures & Results

These junior Club competition figures, from 2012-2018, clearly show that Australian Football Team numbers have increased by between 100 -200% since 2012.
They cover Sydney Harbour comp., Western Sydney comp., and school comps.

I never claimed Australian Football has a significant international presence.

Are Australia's coaches really developing the players they're working with?

@ concerned supporter
Before I respond to your comments, so I can better appreciate your background, can you respond to the assertions and questions I put to Rebel334 at 2.53 pm today?

Also, Malcolm Knox is a multiple-award winning, very experienced general, and sports, journalist; and published author. He is now a specialist League and Union writer on the Sydney Morning Herald.
Do you consider him an authoritive journalist on Sydney sporting matters?

Are Australia's coaches really developing the players they're working with?

@ Midfielder

Your comment that “falling player numbers are just a few of the problems they face” is false, in reference to Australia’s biggest sport, Australian Football. And you know your statement is false.
Australian Football official registered participation numbers are at record highs, and are booming in all parts of Australia, except for males in Tasmania.

The record numbers have been well publicized by the AFL; and on The Roar (including in a Mike Tuckerman article in late March, 2018, where these participation numbers, and those for soccer, were heavily analysed in the Comments. You were involved in the Comments there).

Australian Football is growing at a very healthy rate in NSW, Queensland, and the ACT, in both male and female players.
Apart from clubs, it is now widely played in these areas (including capital city and regional) in state and private primary and secondary SCHOOLS (This includes Sydney’s GPS, CAS other independent private and Catholic systems. Similar Australian Football competitions also exist in Brisbane/SE Qld. for private and secondary state and private schools; with another Brisbane system -GPS-starting for Australian Football in 2019).

League and Union journalists/sports’ commentators, ex League and Union players and officials (including former FFA and ARU Chairman John O’ Neil) have commented on this growth of community Australian Football in NSW and Queensland.

You wrote an article for The Roar in 2016, claiming that increased A League Ratings were essential- for much needed additional funding for soccer expansion; and that the A League was on the brink (according to your “metrics of behavioural analysis/tipping points/connecting to the player base”) of greatly increasing its ratings.
In fact, A League ratings have plummetted to embarassing lows on FTA and Foxtel.

Soccer is a winter sport, and is played everywhere professionally as a winter sport (including Argentina and Chile- but Canada might be one of the few exceptions, as its winters are snowed out),
If the A League wants to ‘connect’ with its (winter) player base, why is it played in summer?

Do you agree that a summer A League is proof that the A League does not consider it viable to compete directly, in a winter season, with the AFL and NRL?
(The ‘clear media air’ soccer craves is an illusion now, after Test cricket starts in November; then BBL, WBBL, and the AFLW).

Football set for growth

@ Rebel334 2.53pm

Your comments are correct, except for one major factual error.

There has been a long term decline in junior and adult males playing League in NSW, ACT, and Queensland- so not all the top Qld. athletes “dream of being Brisbane broncos”.
This partially explains why there are so many NRL players ( about 40%) with a NZ euro, Maori, or Pacific islander background playing in the NRL; and why the NZ national League team is so competitive against the Aust. Kangaroos- even though League only is only popular, in NZ, in South Auckland!

League, however, still attracts the best athletes in Qld and NSW (though probably not ACT) . And Union still attracts the best athletes in the “top” NSW and Qld. private schools (though probably not ACT).

League journalists Paul Kent, Roy Masters, Phil Rothfield, Phil Gould etc. have stated that Australian Football is showing good growth in NSW and Queensland; and former ARU Chairman John O’Neil, and ex-Union senior players (eg Papworth etc.) have also commented on the growth of Australian Football in Sydney.
Your views on the growth of Australian Football in NSW and Queensland, in both participant numbers, and for general support for the AFL?
Do you think Australian Football’s growth will be at the expense of Union, League, and/or soccer?

Are Australia's coaches really developing the players they're working with?

For what it’s worth on the recent major sporting declines, my thoughts.

Has very good participant numbers, CA has plenty of money, BBL is very popular. The Test team will likely arise from its poor situation, probably in the next 5 years.
Also, Smith and Warner were 2 massive outs- if they were playing, results could have been reversed.

As it is experiencing a significant fall in adult males playing 15’s, has massive problems.
The Wallabies, the RA cash cow, are inept-with little chance of redemption in next 5 years

Its NSW, QLD, and ACT private school bedrocks are being whitanted by soccer and, in the last 2 years, Australian Football. Union, however, still easily attracts in these schools the best athletes.

Also, it is financially broke, and will continue to lose players to cashed-up NH teams.
Long term prognosis, therefore, is very poor.

It will probably continue at its present status- huge participant numbers, but Socceroos only fair to poor.
Soccer’s elite U17, U20, and U23 national teams are woeful at international tournaments, and have been in a long term decline-not even emerging from their initial Group stages.
This bodes very poorly for the Socceroos, and the A League. It is a mystery why Australian soccer can no longer produce players good enough to play in the Top 5 leagues in Europe. What caused the demise of the Golden Generation?

A League will attract greater crowds, as it expands in the next few years.
The expansion should also improve its current very poor ratings. If not, the A League funding from Fox Sports etc. will be slashed at the next Rights’ deal in 4 years, imperilling the A League’s growth (and possible sustainability).

Has excellent Funds now, and should expand to Perth and Brisbane in next 5 years- which will further boost its Funds, through greater ratings (already excellent), crowds, and popularity.

I believe the only threats to League’s growth are:

. failure to heavily fine and/or suspend NRL players, for lengthy periods, who are found guilty in the courts of serious off-field actions.
It must realize its reputation is being damaged in the minds of parents, sponsors, and broadcasters. It will, therefore, take strong action against against the miscreants- to deter others.

. about 50% of League’s elite squads are from a Pacific Islander background (either Australian Born, or emigrants).
This may cause a “perception problem” that the sport is increasingly unsafe/unsuitable for Euro players. Will this greatly erode the number of euro players, and general fan support?
(Union has a similar issue).

Australian Football
Participation numbers are booming all over Australia (except males in Tasmania)- and are likely to continue.

AFL crowds are excellent, at about 7,300,000 pa- even though 14 games pa are played in “small” markets of Tas., NT, Cairns and Ballarat.
Ratings were significantly down in 2018, and there is much dissatisfaction, by many fans, with ugly congestion, low scoring, and Rule changes.
AFL Clubs are very expensive to run, requiring revenues of about $40,000,000+ pa. If ratings continue to fall, the record $2.53 billion, 6 year Rights’ agreement, will be slashed.

A big reduction would create havoc in the AFL, for its Clubs and players, and for providing funding to the very expensive GWS and Gold Coast.
(The latter 2 Club require net funding from the AFL of about $15,000,000+ pa each. The extra game, pw, however delivers increased broadcast Rights for the AFL).

Tasmanian football is in crisis, it is no longer a major source of AFL recruitment. How many millions of dollars will need to be spent there, and for how many years?

Are Australia's coaches really developing the players they're working with?

@ Randy M
Your comments that Australian Football is in decline, compared to 20 years ago, are incorrect.
In fact, the exact opposite has happened.

Australian Football is booming in all parts of Australia, excluding males in Tasmania.
It is still clearly the number 1 sport in Vic., WA, SA, Tas, NT, and southern NSW. It is also growing strongly, for males and females, in NSW, ACT, and Queensland.

This boom is likely to continue, as female numbers have been booming since 2017, with the start of the AFLW- and there will be 2 additional AFLW teams in 2019 ( and heavyweights West Coast, Richmond, Essendon, Hawthorn, Sydney to follow in the next few years).

Are Australia's coaches really developing the players they're working with?

@ Rebel334
Your comments on the simplicity of soccer and its Rules, and the ease in which a small-sided game, scratch match etc. can be arranged, are correct.
Similarly, your comments that soccer is a very “soft” sport to play, without the physical intimidation/fear of pain and injury and requirement for courage, of the other 3 body contact sports are also correct.
The soccer boosters can never deny the widespread existence of “soccer mums”. Nor that the FFA etc. widely and effectively promote/reinforce soccer as a very safe game to play.

It should be noted that the AusPlay survey counts anyone as a “participant” if the person answers they have played a sport only ONCE in the last TWELVE months. This extremely narrow definition of a “participant” provides soccer with huge, and “inflated”, numbers- compared to the more difficult to organize, body contact, “threatening’ sports of Australian Football, League, and Union

Are Australia's coaches really developing the players they're working with?