AFL focuses on converting New Zealanders

Last updated 16:52 31/10/2012
nick riewoldt celia wade-brown

BRUSHING UP: St Kilda AFL team captain Nick Riewoldt gives Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown a few pointers in preparation for next year's premiership game in Wellington.

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Beijing named as host city for 2022 Winter Olympics Lindsey Vonn: Winter Olympics belong in America or Europe Bowie Tupou's no footage policy is crazy, says Joseph Parker trainer Kevin Barry Almaty upbeat despite losing Winter Olympics bid IOC in no mood for risks, opts for Beijing's sure bet Joseph Parker vs Bowie Tupou: Undercard throws up some interesting bouts Wladimir Klitschko seeks Joseph Parker's help again to prepare for Tyson Fury fight Marcia Petley ready for World Masters Athletics Championships in Lyon, France Kiwi paddler Mike Dawson taken for a ride after win in India Waikato Muay Thai fighter Melody Downs wants gold at IFMA Royal World Cup: Video

New Zealand is the next frontier for the AFL - in the short term and beyond.

The AFL want to start attracting elite Kiwi sportsmen into the draft.

The league will make history on Anzac Day next year when St Kilda play Sydney in Wellington - the first match for premiership points outside Australia.

Their short-term priority remains ensuring the success of the Gold Coast and GWS expansion teams.

But AFL chief operating officer Gil McLachlan said that the game's bosses have thought about the potential of the NZ experiment.

''Long-term, who knows where it goes - I think there's 30,000 registered AFL players in NZ right now,'' he said.

''The dream maybe is that one day you could have a team over there, that's the long-term future.

''There's no time frame, it's just a dream, but in the short term it's taking our product into NZ, our near neighbour.

''It would be wonderful to have some talented kids coming out of NZ, being drafted.''

McLachlan added it made sense to expand the AFL into NZ.

''The time zone works, the travel works, they have a similar-minded, sports-mad group of people who will get behind our game,'' he said.

''It's just incredibly exciting, playing a game in NZ.

''It's a real reflection about the growth and scale of our game  ... I'm optimistic we'll sell that game out.

''To see a game played for premiership points in another country is a big step for this code.''

In addition to the Anzac Day clash between the Saints and the Swans, the AFL have committed to playing two games in NZ in both  2014 and 2015.

Ad Feedback

- AAP

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content