AFL Sydney ready for expansion

The AFL community is preparing for the expansion of the national competition with the introduction of Team GWS and the Gold Coast, so too are local leagues as the demand for more clubs and teams grows.

The AFL Sydney competition is no exception to this with the introduction of two new clubs this season. Auburn from Sydney’s west and the Saints afc, from Maroubra, have joined the local AFL competition in Sydney and have made an immediate impact.

Both clubs have posted emphatic victories in their opening two matches, with the Saints winning by an accumulative margin of 202 points and Auburn by 148 points.

AFL (NSW/ACT) senior football operations, Garry Burkinshaw, said the AFL Sydney competition is in the ideal situation with more people wanting to play the game.

“It’s fantastic to have two new clubs enter the competition. It’s a reflection on the growth of the AFL in Sydney and the development of the junior program,” he said.

“The promising aspect is the two new clubs are bringing new people to the game without affecting neighbouring existing clubs.”

The formation of Auburn has resulted from the Kassem family’s passion for the game and their desire to play footy for their local suburb.

With the assistance of the AFL (NSW/ACT) the Auburn Redlegs was reborn, after the club was forced to fold in 1990.

Now five family members are playing alongside one another as the club offers people in Auburn an opportunity to play another sport other than rugby league and soccer.

“This is an initiative by the AFL (NSW/ACT) to create opportunities for multicultural and diverse youth to play the game,” Team GWS’ development officer Ali Faraj said.

“It’s great to see so many people from different backgrounds getting involved and giving AFL a go.”

Next weekend, May 1, Auburn and the Saints will play one another for the first time this season.