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Port Adelaide and AFL vision to grow the game internationally

Mike Cranmer  December 1, 2017 11:51 AM

AFL 2017 Round 02 - Port Adelaide v Fremantle

THE new and exciting AFLX will make its debut next year, with Port Adelaide facing the Pies, Dockers, Crows, Cats and Eagles at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide on Thursday, February 15. 

The fast-paced, modified version of AFL football will be played on soccer and rugby configured grounds, consisting of two 10-minute halves and 10 players per team (seven on-field, three interchange). 

Port Adelaide CEO Keith Thomas said he’s excited by the innovation of AFLX, and the opportunity that it brings on an international scale. 

“To be able to co-host the inaugural AFLX competition is something we are pretty excited about on a number of fronts,” Mr Thomas told portadelaidefc.com.au. 

“First and foremost, it’s great that our members and fans will get to see the launch of this exciting version of the game and we know they’ll support us with that. 

“February seems a long way away but it will be here before we know it and our fans will get a glimpse of what to expect from our squad in 2018, albeit in this modified format.” 

Thomas believes AFLX could play a significant role in Port Adelaide’s China strategy and the club’s vision to grow the game at a grassroots level internationally.

Full-sized football ovals are rarely found in China, but AFLX only requires a ground the size of a soccer pitch – of which there are many.

china tour.jpg

“Our AFL game in Shanghai is the showpiece for AFL in the region and will remain so, but AFLX provides a unique model to broaden that growth from a participation level,” he said. 

“One of our challenges in China are ground sizes, so a modified version of the game that can be played on a soccer pitch will work perfectly. 

“The ability to market a modified version of footy on an international scale is a tantalising one for us and for the AFL. 

“We are getting significant traction with our Power Footy program in schools in Shanghai and in southern China, so the AFLX product provides a genuine pathway for growth and development of the game.”

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