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Hot topics or hot air?

August 2010


I’m back again with my second rant for 2010, hopefully you all enjoyed my previous article. This time I’ve pulled out a few hot topics that have been going around the OAFL lately. Hopefully this increases the discussion of each.

The first one I’ll bring up is the most recent going around, of which teams Aussies are the main attributers to their side’s success. Apparently the OAFL’s bloggers seem to think that a few teams around the league only win because their Aussies are the only ones doing anything and their Canadians are just useless.

Interesting as the two teams that they are targeting have been two of the teams that have always promoted their Canadian talent. Is it all of a sudden a crime to have quality Aussies on your team these days? And when did winning become such a bad thing in sports?

Personally I don’t mind if a team has a bunch of quality Aussies on their side. In my opinion they help raise the standard at a club in both training and on the field on game day. Also these clubs have gone to the effort to get these guys to their club to help improve it so why not use them to their advantage.

Most would argue that the Canadians aren’t playing their role and the Aussies are doing all the work, but I would argue that most would expect the Aussies to stand out on the field. There’s also the argument of what will happen when these Aussies leave at the end of the year? Well that’s been an issue with every club so I don’t see it as valid. The way I see it as long as a club continues to grow their Canadian contingent, then what’s the harm?

Lastly, I know many of these players who are bunch of pretty decent blokes. They have come to Canada to get an experience and play a little footy in between. Now they have be coping some flak from the bloggers, but like most of us Aussies (now I say most because some take things a little too seriously) they just laugh it off which is good to see.

The second topic I’m going to discuss is talk about reducing the size of players allowed on the ground. There have been arguments to reduce the side from 18 to 16 for a few years now both for and against. 

Now I can understands why some people would like this idea as it would provide more opportunities around the ground and make games at the smaller grounds less congested. It was also pointed out that it could help in improving Division two.

Personally I think this would be a backwards step for the OAFL. In my opinion the league is a strong as it has ever been. Australian football is slowly growing in North America and I think we need to be content with that at this stage. The positives for us are that we have 10 senior sides, 5 reserve sides, 6 grounds and a youth league starting up. Not too bad if you ask me.

I think this is more of an issue of teams being able to get a full list every week. This is an issue for every club to contend with every year. Being involved with the league for a few years and a president of one of the clubs, I understand how hard it is.

Let’s be honest, giving up three days out of the week (Trainings and Game day) makes it hard to entice a new Canadian to join the club. But it’s interesting to see how some clubs still are able to recruit every year and the others struggle.

I think this may be an area that the OAFL could provide some assistance for clubs, in how to prepare for your following year. I know my own clubs recruitment is an ongoing process and we are planning for the following year in advance.

Who knows this could all change in the years to come as once the junior league starts to grow, clubs will have an avenue to get new players.
Now the final topic of discussion is that of this “gentlemen’s” code (A code in which two teams agree upon something with a hand shake and a smile) in concerns to not having a full list. I’m all for sportsmanship and fair play, but this is a tricky one as it raises a few questions.

Is this providing a disadvantage to a club? (I don’t mean game wise) Too knowingly show up to a game undermanned is a little inconsiderate. Don’t forget that the team with their full side has been training, selecting their squad and hoping to get all their selected players game time on the field.

Let’s face it, the players who will miss out are normally the Canadian players who are fighting to get a game. Is it fair that they may a) get reduce game time or b) miss out on a game altogether. I’m not too sure. Then again I can also sympathise with the team who has only 16 guys available.

My thoughts on how to improve this would be to make sure to communicate if this issue could eventuate. For instants, I can understand if a team only has a certain amount of players available for a game, but surely you could email a side a few days in advance to say there may be an issue. This makes your opposition aware that it could be a possibility. Could be the easiest way to remedy the situation.

So that’s the end of my very long rant, remember there just my opinions in which many will agree with or disagree. 

On an amusing note, it seems that people are still assuming that I’m involved with Jean Grey and the Phantom. If that’s what you want to think that, fine with me. I will state though that just like many others in the league, I do send information about or games to them both, that I am guilty of. But as I said in my last rant, unlike most in the league you’re obviously unaware of whom they are yet.


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