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NRL, AFL or Soccer – Canberra’s leading sport in the future.

By stirred408 26 August 2008 39

With the ACT government announcing funding for an A league soccer team, I am just wondering which of these three codes will be popular in years to come. 

Some of the old timers have said that AFL used to be Canberra’s leading sport.  Until the NRL boys from Sydney came and encouraged youngster to play rugby league.   

Will there be a resurgence of AFL in Canberra?  Will A league soccer be the sport of the future? I will let the rioters decide…

What’s Your opinion?


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39 Responses to
NRL, AFL or Soccer – Canberra’s leading sport in the future.
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Holden Caulfield 9:09 am 27 Aug 08

One issue for all A-league clubs is the loss of players to non-Australian leagues, mostly Europe. Makes it hard to generate strong and ongoing support at club level if your best players keep pissing off at the sign of a juicy contract. Good luck to the players, mind.

On that topic, former Canberra Cosmos player Vince Grella has just signed on for Blackburn after stints in Italy with Parma and Empoli.

astrojax 7:33 pm 26 Aug 08

happy new yeah. rekkun you nailed it – in the current business model of a-league, if a team is established here, it will prosper, ’cause one won’t get the first sod turned if it is likely to falter. lowy for aussie of the year, methinks…

afl will only be a side event, as passionately as i’d love to have an mcg in canberra, i can never see it – even if we won the bid for CG 2018. and without a big stadium and a 30k+ regular attendance, nothing doing. i can see union and league struggling as codes across the country in years to come.

fusbol, gol gol gol gol gooooooooooooooool most likely, for mine. if we get an a-league side, and post-2012 it is almost inevitable.

New Yeah 7:12 pm 26 Aug 08

Canberra’s leading sport of the future?

AFL – As long as people from Victoria and other far flung places keep coming to Canberra there will be some degree of interest. But unless the AFL hardens up and creates a new team here (not shaft some dodgy Melbourne unit to Manuka) then it is unlikely that AFL will get any bigger. Plus, the rectangalisation of Bruce put paid to the idea of AFL ever being played in a big modern arena.

Union – As long as the Brumbies keep going OK and the ARU doesn’t punt them to Melbourne then there will be a healthy interest in Canberra. To be honest though (and to generalise), their potential supporter base is a bit too focussed on the upper middle class (private schools, law firms etc) and New Zealand and Seth Efrican expats (who go to support the other teams).

League – the greatest game of all! Or so they told us in the 80s. For mine, the Raiders put on a better show than the Brumbies at the moment, but that might change in ’09 with both teams getting new coaches. I think the Raiders have a broader support in the community based on their longer history and more egalitarian appeal. Plus, I am a LT Raiders fan and like to see them do well.

Soccer – if Canberra gets an A League team then I see this being bigger than any of the other codes. Plus, it is played in summer and will not be a direct rival to the Raiders, Brumbies or North Melbourne. Too many kids, too much global momentum etc. Plus, I play soccer and think it is a fun and entertaining game.

Soccer it is!

But if no A League for Canberra, then the Raiders will continue to have the edge, but not dominate. At least until the Brumbies win the Super 12 again.

Overheard 5:34 pm 26 Aug 08

Actually, yeah, that rings a bell.

Trust reality to ruin a perfectly pathetic gag.

Wide Boy Jake 5:32 pm 26 Aug 08

QUOTE: We used to have a Canberra Bogongs team, but they had to pull out when they kept losing all their night games. The whistle would sound and they’d be on the sidelines, hovering around the lights…

Actually there was a real Canberra Bogongs team. They were an indigenous rugby league team who played at Boomanulla Oval in the 1990s.

Overheard 5:16 pm 26 Aug 08

Top notch rant, by the way, Beserk KW. Your nickname always reminds me of this poster I used to have from a Vikings exhibition at the maritime museum in Sydney a few years ago. The Beserker warrior used to get so worked up and revved up before battle that he would start gnawing on his shield! And there was a statue of said Beserker: nibbling on his shield.

Overheard 5:11 pm 26 Aug 08

We used to have a Canberra Bogongs team, but they had to pull out when they kept losing all their night games. The whistle would sound and they’d be on the sidelines, hovering around the lights…

stirred408 5:05 pm 26 Aug 08

I will follow any team that calls itself the “Canberra Bogongs”!

Beserk Keyboard Warrior 4:42 pm 26 Aug 08

Aurelius said :

How long before this thread devolves into slagging the codes we don’t like?

There ya go.

Beserk Keyboard Warrior 4:40 pm 26 Aug 08

Who here actually thinks an A-league team in Canberra is even remotely sustainable?!!

The Cosmos were about as well received as Craig MacLachlan’s stand-up career.

Bonafide Australian’s will never support a sport which has more diving than a Greg Louganis highlight box-set. Soccer, whilst skillful, lacks class & dignity. The players carry on like a bunch of histrionic Aussie-idol rejects with no respect for each other. The only reason its so popular is because of its simplicity, so don’t give me that “its the world game” shit. If you wanna argue soccer’s merits on the basis of popularity, then the Spice Girls must rank amongst the greatest musical acts of all time.

And who the hell gave this thread 5 stars when it neglected to mention the highest attended code in the ACT (Union)? What a joke.

FredJ 4:18 pm 26 Aug 08

Primal said :

Handball. I can’t be the only one who wants to see more of this after the Olympics.

I think you might be 😉

Spitfire3 3:59 pm 26 Aug 08

It doesn’t? Well that’s a relief. For a moment there I thought it was wonderful to be able to attend games contested by a long-term local team in a national competition.

S4anta 3:45 pm 26 Aug 08

I think the whole point of liking a sport is being missed here. From my point of view, when you play any sport your decision should be based solely on how much enjoyment you are getting out of it (including hanging out/participating with team/club mates). If you like it you play, if you dont, you dont.

As for watching or supporting it, the same applies. If it puts a smile on your dial whack that puppy to your hearts content.

Whether you are in a town doesn’t mean diddly squat.

Spitfire3 3:22 pm 26 Aug 08

“Raiders fans” to me means families, kids who have grown up following the green machine. Posters on walls, stickers on lunchboxes, going to the stadium all decked out in green scarves and beanies, following their heroes.

If/When I have kids, I’ll want that for them too.

Primal 3:21 pm 26 Aug 08

Handball. I can’t be the only one who wants to see more of this after the Olympics.

Mick 2:21 pm 26 Aug 08

I’m excited at the prospect of an A-League Team (although I haven’t forked over my 200 for a foundation membership…yet).

When I first moved in Canberra in the late 80’s, League and Basketball were the biggest sports in town. Unfortunately with the fickleness of the Canberra public (and rising AIS fees) we lost the Cannons, along with Cosmos, Comets and baseball team (what were they called again).

I went to the pre-season AFL match at Manuka and was less than impressed. The Brumbies fans seem to think they own this town, and although I’ve been to a number of games, the sport just doesn’t excite me like League.

Prejudices aside, I think League is still the top sport in Canberra….but only when the Raiders are doing well. I like the cross-section of the community that supports League as opposed to the AFL, Union and Football crowds.

Bogans? Probably. But hey, Canberra’s full of ’em 🙂

FredJ 1:47 pm 26 Aug 08

Why does one code need to dominate. Just go and see what you’re into. Canberra was stuck in the middle of nowhere so it could be nuetral after all…

Holden Caulfield 1:45 pm 26 Aug 08

I reckon an A-league team has potential to become well supported in Canberra. But it will be a very tough gig.

The future of the Raiders and Brumbies rest largely with their own success and, bigger picture, in the long term prospects of their codes. If the NRL keeps losing players overseas, to either code, then they’ll find themselves in all sorts of bother.

The AFL may be insular in that it is a national game only, but the sponsorship and TV rights dollars don’t lie. If the NRL can survive long term with piss poor crowds, bugger all FTA television and low club memberships I’ll be amazed.

Overheard 1:44 pm 26 Aug 08

Ggreg said :

Wide Boy Jake said :

AFL will not become popular because rugby is a far better game all round. The aerial ping-pong brigade have missed the bus totally and are now a fringe sport like curling and farnarkeling.

OK, I’ll feed the troll.

Fringe sports? Who can ever forget that wonderful match at Manuka back in ’77 between Ulladulla and Wagga, when Roberts arkled the gonad at the west end of the grommet – despite having broken his flukem on the leiderkrantz?

That’s what I call a spectacle!

Now that’s what this town really needs: a world class Farnakling team! So long as we can compete and give 110% through all four chuckers!

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