The AFL, Australian Football League, which is commonly referred to as Aussie Rules, is growing increasingly popular across the globe. Throughout the world, the sport is gaining widescale attention, especially in Ireland, where local teams are offering opportunities for all ages and genders. While the AFL remains unfamiliar to many, a UK-based media outlet, The Times, described the game as a combination of football and rugby thatâ€™s played on a cricket-like pitch.
As a result of Aussie Rulesâ€™ growing popularity, and the increased appreciation for the sport, weâ€™re going to highlight why the game has been able to attract new audiences.
Emerging All-Time Greats are Enhancing the Sportâ€™s Reputation
Over the last few years, Dustin Martin has become one of the AFLâ€™s biggest names and has reached new-found levels of stardom. After making his professional debut for them back in 2010, the 28-year-old midfielder has now played 224 matches for Richmond, and, in that time, Â he has scored 250 goals. Throughout his career, the Castlemaine-born star has secured many awards for his contributions, including two AFL premiers in 2017 and 2019.
In recent months, and following a match-winning display in the 2019 AFL grand final against Greater Western Sydney Giants, Martin has since been lauded as one of the sportâ€™s all-time greats, and he is one of the main reasons that Richmond are 23/100 with Aussie Rules betting to beat Carlton in the 2020 AFL season opener.
With the growth of digitalization, the online world has proved to be a highly effective way of reaching new audiences in a variety of different industries. Whether itâ€™s basketball, soccer or any other popular modern-day sport, including the AFL, fantasy platforms are thriving in contemporary society. Along with still being able to enjoy the game in its pure form, the emergence of fantasy sites takes immersion to a whole new level.
Additionally, with some providers offering a service that is free to sign-up for, the platforms arenâ€™t limited to players who possess certain levels of knowledge, allowing anybody to enjoy the sport both on and off the field. Moreover, with the ability to create private leagues, you can also compete with your colleagues or friends to see who knows more about the in-depth details of the sport.
More Opportunities to Play
While online platforms have become central to raising interest in the AFL, the ever-growing reputation of the sport has resulted in the formation of numerous leagues throughout the world. Most noticeably, the United Kingdom has seen real growth since 1989. The governing body in England, AFL England, encourages the creation of new teams across the country, and even assist in the form of insurance and establishment guidance to help get new clubs up and running.
Furthermore, one of the reasons why the AFL has continued to be the dominant Australian sport is due to the foundations that are in place to allow young players to realize their potential. In November 2019, Gold Coast awarded academy graduates Connor Budarick and Matthew Conroy new deals with the club, with both now aspiring to earn a regular spot in the team.
Reaching New Heights
Australian Rules football has been one of the biggest spectator sports in Australia for the last few years, and with the growth of the game on an international level, along with newly-developed digital fantasy platforms, there is scope to continue reaching new heights in the future. Moreover, as highlighted by graduate opportunities and the desire to form new teams, the sport possesses a forward-thinking mindset that will continue to enhance its reputation.