AFL bites the bullet

In a bid to finally fix the inequity of the fixture – where 18 teams play 22 rounds – the AFL has bitten the bullet and will embark on the most sensible option.

It will introduce five more teams.

Commercial realties dictate a 22-round season must be maintained. Except for this year, when a 23-round season is of the utmost importance.

Therefore, a bold national expansion plan will be launched.

Taking a leaf from Football Federation Australia, and in consultation with the most important stakeholders of the game (the AFL’s corporate partners), the new teams will be in operation within 6 months.

The news will be welcomed in Australia’s apparent home of football, Tasmania. For more detailed information, see tomorrow’s Age, which will include a 24-page report on the Apple Isle’s inclusion penned entirely by Martin Flanagan and Tim Lane.

Essentially, the AFL overcame the State’s north-south divide by allocating two teams to Tasmania, to be located in Launceston and Hobart.

To offset any potential goodwill from the Island community towards AFL House, Adrian Anderson was quickly on the front foot stating the new teams would be called the Launceston Leopards and the Hobart Hurricanes. Anderson said these names tested positively in research polls with children aged 14-16.

The two teams will be allocated any colours not used by any of the remaining teams.

The new Tassie teams means all sponsorship contracts between the Tas Government and Hawthorn and North Melbourne will be declared null and void. Both teams have said they will have no choice but to merge.

The AFL has said the new team will be known as the Hawthorn Kangaroos and play out of the Adelaide suburb of Hawthorn to escape the crowded Melbourne marketplace. It will be known in all marketing and on the official ladder as the Kangaroos in a bold move to capture all unaligned football fans in the country.

In a bid to ensure the closeness of the competition is retained in the expanded format, perennial straggler Port Adelaide will merge with the newly formed Kangaroos, which will wear a thunderbolt on the shorts of its reserves side.

Complaints from Adelaide have been minimal. You can also get a really good deal on large tarpaulins if you’re quick.

Geelong’s reserves team will be admitted as a standalone team – again in the name of evening out the competition – but will retain the same name, nickname, mascot and colours.

When playing Geelong, Geelong will wear white and blue hoops and white shorts. Unless Adrian Anderson decrees they wear the blue shorts. He alone will decide.

Canberra will not receive its own team – as the GWS Giants need all the extra fans and additional sponsorship it can get.

Malcolm Blight has agreed to coach the new Darwin side. This is good for football. It is also good for Bluey McKenna’s career.

WA will receive its third football side. Andrew Demetriou said in a completely unrelated matter, Gina Rinehart has decided to set aside her aggressive takeover bid of the league and all its assets. The Central WA Miners will open the season under lights in a new stadium completely paid for by the WA Government.

Richmond has accepted a lucrative cash sum from the AFL to relocate to Cairns in a bid to ensure its survival. “We could have knuckled down and worked hard in a slower but more long-term effective bid to get out of the red or just take the money on offer, even though it will cause great heartache to our supporter base,” CEO Benny Gale said.

The AFL has not released details on the 22nd team as the NRL is yet to make a decision on its expansion club. The AFL will place theirs about 10km further down the road. The communities of either Central NSW Coast, Brisbane or Rockhampton in Central Queensland are said to be as excited as, well, the populace of Greater Western Sydney.

With the demise of Richmond, Hawthorn and North Melbourne in Victoria, the AFL will locate its final club in inner northern Melbourne to shore up the heartland of the game (and because Channel 7 said so).

The new club will be called Fitzroy and play in a boutique stadium built on parkland in Brunswick St.

About Stephen Cooke

Cumbersome ruckman of the garden variety

Comments

  1. David Downer says:

    Cookie I think there’s also an opportunity for the triumphant return of University here. Their supporters have been waiting a long, long time

  2. University certainly crossed my mind but they are behind Deakin Uni Sharks in the queue

  3. I’m working on that bid submission as we speak.

    The Fletcher Jones demise as resulted in a bit of a re-working and our home ground is not yet up to AFL standards.

    The later is not a problem as we’re proposing to sell our 11 home games — three to Cairns ($1.5m, right there), two to Darwin, two to Canberra, 2 to Hobart and two to the Central Coast of New South Wales (our supporter base includes a disproportionate number of recreational drug users).

  4. Litza,
    You can’t have Hobart…we are busily selling our home games to them.

  5. Given this has introduced geographical normalisation, can we expect a radical new plan where the AFL introduces a concept called zones, and does away with the draft.

  6. Please don’t give the AFL so many bright ideas at once Cookie, they’ll get confused and make Fitzroy the second team in Brisbane or something really silly.

    Btw, I’m predicting one of these visions will actually come true in the next 3 years.

  7. Shark Shuffle says:

    The Deakin Uni Sharks playing out of the pond in Warrnambool. Can you imagine the channel 7 cameras as they perform the shuffle after a win!! Good call cookie

  8. Phantom says:

    For fear of making an opporunistic poor taste comment Shark Shuffle, surely the sharks would have to be located on Rotnest Island.

  9. Stephen Cooke says:

    Jeff, dare to predict which will come true in the next 3 years? I’ll put it in the vault

  10. Brilliant! Of course the Tassie North/South divide can never be healed, and two teams there would be a great rivalry. Surely Bomber Thompson could bankroll the second Geelong team with the millions he has made from his Armstrong Creek developement and base the team there. And could a whole NRL club “do a Karmichael” and switch codes? Maybe South Sydney, their colours wouldn’t clash with anyone…

  11. Stephen Cooke says:

    Luke, a whole NRL team doing a Karmichael. I love it!

  12. I didn’t watch the last quarter of the Richmond-Suns game, so I didn’t see K’s after the siren goal until it was replayed on the news. The odd thing was I saw a cameo of KH earlier in the match which was a very telling reminder of where he has come from. I think it was the 2nd quarter, he was tackled from behind, but he still had his hands free; his earlier football education kicked in, and he instinctively played a perfect two handed throw pass behind on his left to a moving GC player. It was blatant enough to draw a whistle.

  13. The Wrap says:

    I wish I’d seen that. Because I reckon we should bring in the backwards throw-pass. Going forwards, the traditional closed fish hand pass, going backwards the rugby/gridiron pass. Just image the amount of interest it would create in knuckledragger territory, where they’re used to throwing the ball.

    Like New Zild. Yes Cookie, my plug for the 5th team is on the Shaky Isles. Then the 6th new team, and the 7th. Then the 8th, 9th & 10th. And remember, this ia the game that’s played round the World. So the 11th, 12th & 13th new team could be relocated across the Indian Ocean in the Rainbow Republic.

    Of course, all this is focussed on breaking into the US market. What could Champs & John O’Grady do with a team song for The Amarillo Armadillos? And The Salt Lake City Rattlesnakes? Don’t laugh; on a recent visit to our American cousins, when they found out we were from Oz in LA, they wanted to know how The Collingwoods were going. And whether they’d settled down under coach Figjam.

  14. Trevor Blainey says:

    The Uluru Rockies anyone?

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