By Mark O’BrienThe Australian is in Singapore this week for the AFL International Championships and one of the things we’re seeing more and more is the growing interest in the universal language.
While most fans would prefer to play in English or French, many are more interested in signing with a national language of choice.
“I’m really glad we’ve seen that,” Melbourne’s Scott Thompson told AFL.com.au.
“Because of the way the game is, and the fact we’re at the Internationals, it’s a really good opportunity for the younger guys to get on the ground and play.”
And then of course the older guys, like myself, I love it, and it’s really nice to play the game, and I think it’s important for the game to be represented in that way.
“The Melbourne Demons and Adelaide Crows will play each other at the AFL Championships in Melbourne in May.
It’s no secret that many younger players have been wanting to sign up for the national AFL game and it has become a major part of the AFL’s strategy this year.
However, many teams have opted not to sign their young players in the international game because of the cost.
The AFL is looking at increasing the number of international players through the National Draft, and signing them in the national league would make the game more affordable.”
There’s been a lot of discussion around this, the cost of international cricket has been increasing,” AFL boss Gillon McLachlan said in August.”
We’ve looked at the cost per international match.
If you go back to 2007 when the national draft was implemented, and there was a total of $10,000 to play a game, that was the cost, we’ve looked back to the end of the year and there’s actually been less than half of that cost.
“It’s not just about money, it really is about what is the most important thing for a player to play for their country?”
That’s what the AFL is trying to establish with our National Draft.
“The cost of signing international players in national leagues has been a hot topic of conversation.
While many are keen to play international cricket, the AFL has made it clear that signing players in international leagues will be more expensive than playing in national competitions.
McLachlan is adamant the cost will not increase and said he wanted to make it a little easier to play overseas.”
In terms of the costs of playing the game internationally, if you look at the way we’ve managed the cost for players over the last two seasons, that has been the same,” McLachan said.”
The cost has not gone up, but we’ve just been very clear on the fact that the AFL doesn’t want to put any undue pressure on the player to come back home and be in that position.
“The AFL also has a new policy in place to help players find opportunities in the league.
The AFL says players in league will be given an opportunity to play at the highest level, while players in local leagues will have the option of playing in either the A-League or the AFL.”
As we look forward to the new season, we’re going to be providing a new opportunity for players to play competitive cricket at the best level, and then also providing opportunities for them to play with the best teams in the country,” McLchlan said.