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Demetriou & Blainey scared of soccer
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gkavner
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:41 pm    Post subject: Demetriou & Blainey scared of soccer Reply with quote

Where to now for the 'global' AFL?

Australia have qualified for the FIFA World Cup. The qualifying game against Uruguay (where?) was shown live in Australia and out-rated both the AFL grand final (with the 'it's great for our expansive game' Sydney and Perth based teams) and the Rugby League ('it's good to see our frontier North Queensland there') grand final. And all this on SBS which is a little-watched multi-cultural TV channel which most Australians never tune into.

Andrew Demetriou, the AFL CEO, when asked, compared the ratings to "Australian Idol" which is a talent show for singers most people in the world will be familiar with. But his problem is that the Soccer game was not a talent quest but a rival game of football.

Eminent Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey admitted in a Melbourne Age article (http://www.theage.com.au/news/soccer/why-i-fear-for-our-own-beautiful-game/2005/11/18/1132016988451.html) that he fears for AFL in the "globalised world" because of football's unique global attraction. He said that regional (non-city) AFL participation rates are dwindling and that juniors will now aspire to play on the world stage rather than just for a local suburban team like Collingwood or Carlton. It was no suprise that the "Border Mail" here in Albury-Wodonga (AFL heartland which produced the greatest ever AFL player, Hayden Bunton) chose to run the Socceroos on front and back page rather than the parade of the Swans AFL premiership winning team in the Abury main street with the premiership cup. Only 500 people turned up. But the pubs were full last Wednesday night for the Socceroos.

The AFL has a massive problem. If football is a brand (which, as all business people know, it is) then, how do you expand your market? How can the AFL go beyond Australia? (How can it go beyond Victoria, SA, WA, Tas?) If the Swans winning the AFL cup can't outrate soccer here then how will Madrid, Tokyo, New York, Delhi, Rio, Auckland, Cairo, Moscow, etc, etc ever come close to even recognising the game?

The 'International Rules' series against Ireland is a joke. First, it isn't footy. Second, Gaelic fotball is an amateur, dying code. Local Irish heroes such as Roy Keane are starring for global giants like Manchester United. An Irish consortium wants to bring a Premier League club to Dublin becuse soccer is huge there and there is MONEY in it. Third, what is the ultimate Irish interest? We beat them at a game which is weird. OK, great. They too are a threatened parochial game. Let's have Matthew Lloyd in goal for the Socceroos.

Let's have a hybrid Soccer-AFL code. Who really cares?

And apart from Ireland, what's next for global expansion? A hybrid AFL-Gridiron game?

Soccer in Australia doesn't need the AFL. But the AFL needs soccer. Witness Carlton and Collingwood's co-tenency soccer experiments.

The AFL has reached its maximum potential. Apart from maybe a 3rd Perth or Adelaide team (or maybe Darwin and Hobart, although how is it really feasible?) the AFL is now as good as it gets. An Auckland team has no hope whatsoever. They can't even play at Eden Park or Ericsson stadium, the grounds are too small for AFL. That's why the AFL NZ games are played in (the much smaller city of) Wellington at the archaic Basin reserve.

Australian Soccer's A-League has unlimited potential. And it is the only Austalian football code that is truly national. Soccer has massive support (at the grass roots) in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and you-name-it'sville. In Sydney, where I lived for 5 years, you are hard pressed to see a set of i l l i (AFL goalposts). EVERY school has soccer goals. Soccer is massive (at grassroots) in Melbourne too (where I lived for 2 years).

Sydney FC will be playing next month in Japan at the World Club Championship against the likes of Liverpool FC. Who can Essendon play against? Wodonga Bulldogs? Pre-season Sydney FC toured the UAE and took on (and defeated) Asian Champions Al-Ain. This is dreamland for the AFL.

Think about it. The AFL has 16 competitive clubs. World Football has hundreds, if not thousands. No wonder the AFL is worried. The AFL has a huge slice of the Australian pie. But the pie can't possibly get bigger. World football is an entire pie factory.

The AFL is a great Australian competition, but enjoy it for what it is, it aint goin' anywhere new, this is as good as it gets guys. Tell me... where is the next AFL franchise? When will it break out of Melbourne? Will the AFL convert the Gold Coast (biggest population in Oz without a AFL team?) Yipeee! NEXT STOP NEWCASTLE!!!!!!!!!

FYI: the worst AFL crowds ever were when the Brisbane Bears played at the Gold Coast (3000-ish). No wonder they couldn't get to the 'Gabba quick enough!

It's something to ponder.

Friendly against Washington DC United (http://dcunited.mlsnet.com/MLS/dcu/index.jsp) anyone?

BTW: Newcastle (that so not-AFL city) have a really good football team and are my dark horse for the inaugural A-League premiership.
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Gibbke
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of this is bull$h!t.

It ignores one very simple concept - Australian Rules supporters couldn't care less who outside themselves supports the game. And yet, it has just signed another ridiculously high tv rights deal, which more importantly slaughters anything any other sport in Australia can muster. Aussie Rules' insularity is the thing that makes it strong - it needs noone else, and nothing in our generation will challenge it. Soccer is doing all the right things to make itself viable in this country, and I'd love to see Australians excel in 4 big footy codes, not just a measly 3! But the big boys are the AFL, and Australians will not change their allegiances just because the Socceroos won one game. Sure, they'll tune in record numbers to see how we go against Brazil, Japan and Croatia. But as soon as it's over, it's the run home to the local finals...and sorry to say, soccerheads, the WC finals will be as important to Australians as the previous Olympics, wherever they were...
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soccer will in the future continue to grow rapidly in Australia. As a kid I played Aussie rules. In Melbourne that footy ground is now a soccer pitch. Many other reserves have also been converted to soccer pitches. It is true that at grass roots soccer is growing very fast.
My kids play soccer. Junior clubs are all in strong growth.

Australia doesn't ignore the world scene for sports. This is the other reason we will continue to develop a more competitive national team, and interest in the junior clubs. We are also more multicultural than ever before. Many immigrants will have an existing interest in soccer, not aussie rules.

Aussie rules is somewhat insulated, but soccer will become much bigger here, even after the world cup.
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gkavner
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welp, this is as big as Soccer gets in Australia! There is saturation in the media, at retail outlets and in advertising. I've always wondered what it would be like here if Aus made the World Cup, now I know. It's fantastic!!!

Sure, the main codes are still prominent, but it isn't like in America and ignored largely. There is a real media presence and the stores are full of Socceroos gear. The last friendly recently had a crowd od of 95000 (for a friendly!!!!)

Sure it'll die down after the cup but Soccer is here, it's real and we're GOOD!

Gotta love the Aussies.

PS. Go Sydney FC, SYDNEY TILL I DIE!!
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another secret Soccer Football supporter comes out of the closet on a Aussie Rules forum.
Must have got hit on the head with a soccer ball when he was a baby in India and unfortunately his vision and brain was impaired.
Go the Socceroos today - I hope we meet the poms somewhere in the group of 16 if we get through.
Australian sporting teams do not go on the ground to lose at any time. As Lucas Neill the Socceroos back line player said " We are born to be number one on the sporting field."
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paul
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eagles1 wrote:
I hope we meet the poms somewhere in the group of 16 if we get through.


Why's that? Do you enjoy humiliation? Wink

Paul
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe we have already given you Pommies an ass whooping in the last friendly we played. I' patriotic, but on the world scene our team is under rated. Brazil beat us 2 - 0, but we dominated much of the play. Most of our players play in UK and europe leagues.
The skill gap is reducing.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, the keyword is "friendly". If it were a WC qualifier or a WC finals match, I think you'd see a different approach/outcome. Wink

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Paul,
You have no idea how big that would be in Australia if we get to play England in the final 16. Forget Brazil etc etc its the England scalp we want if we keep going.
Aussie Rules topic---
Shortly I will post some 2005 stats on how Aussie Rules dominates the Australian football codes, and will keep doing so well into the future.
The AFL has now accepted TV and Radio and Internet rights worth about total 900 million Aussie dollars for 2007 - 2011. Soccer does not come remotely close.
That figure is huge for Australian sport. The AFL will spend in development about 50 million a yearfrom the above contracts. Soccer does not come remotely close.
We have about 550,000 participants -Soccer has about 600,000 for the outdoor version.
The Soccer A league in Australia will NEVER have the top players. The top 120 play in Europe and will always do so. The Soccer fans will never ever see the top players until near retirement.
I could go on but will stop at this point
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paul
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eagles1 wrote:
Hey Paul,
You have no idea how big that would be in Australia if we get to play England in the final 16. Forget Brazil etc etc its the England scalp we want if we keep going.


Why is it that Aussies (and Scots for that matter) are so pre-occupied with England's demise in sport, rather than concerned about just doing well themselves regardless of the opposition? I've never really quite understood it.

As for England and Australia meeting in the last 16, I haven't checked but wouldn't it require them both to reach the semi-finals? We might get there if we're lucky but I'm pretty sure you lot won't... Wink

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul the term "friendly" is an oxymoron in this situation. When we play England in Cricket, Rugby, Soccer or scrabble, friendly or not, we aim to kick ur ass. As Eagles 1 said, the English scalp is all the more enjoyable. I think it's the whole penal colony thing.

Eagles1: You are right in some things, but your crystal ball may be based more on emotion than reason. Soccer will not takeover AFL overnight, I agree. But the UK, European leagues are getting more players coming from Oz, Asia, Africa, US, Russia etc. The leagues there are only so big. There will be a flow on effect to these nations where soccer is developing. Oz is one of those. Soccer will continue to take market share. Grass roots junior levels growth should be the biggest wake up call.

PS...I was born a keen AFL supporter. Perhaps because I barrack for Richmond is the reason for my adultery?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Football's great and Australia will never beat England.

I love Aussie football I wish it was shown more internationally I think there'd definitely be a market with rugby fans.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiderbloke wrote:
Football's great and Australia will never beat England.

I love Aussie football I wish it was shown more internationally I think there'd definitely be a market with rugby fans.


I loved soccer when I was in England,but having been over here since 1967 I have been fully converted to AFL, the big difference between the two codes is, when a player goes down injured in AFL,you know he is badly injured, in soccer,it's 90% certain he is playing for a free kick or penalty,(Italy v Australia)?????
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know yeah I saw that props to the Aussies, for not diving.

You could always watch lower league football like me, where you would get sent off for diving, so it doesn't happen Very Happy
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paul
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiderbloke wrote:
You could always watch lower league football like me, where you would get sent off for diving, so it doesn't happen Very Happy


Lower league football (ie. soccer), spiderbloke? You're in Manchester, I see... who do you watch?

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