by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Telstra Dome Renamed
While it was under construction, the Dome was known as the Docklands, then it became Colonial Stadium when it opened. Communications giant Telstra then bought the naming rights several years ago. Starting in March, the ground will be known as Etihad Stadium. United Arab Emirates airline Etihad Airways has signed a five year sponsorship deal for the naming rights. The deal also has an option for a further five years. The effective date of March coincides with the airline's first flight into Melbourne next year. Etihad Airways also sponsors British soccer team Chelsea, the Ferrari racing team and the English rugby team Harlequins.
Source: Herald Sun
AFL Drug Warning
The league has taken a page from the Olympics and issued a stern warning to clubs. Should a player be found to have taken performance-enhancing drugs which affect the outcome of a game could see the results be changed. Such change could even be retroactive if evidence surfaced later. According to Andrew Demetriou, even finals would come under the rules. Demetriou added that penalties could include the overturning of match results, fines to the club, loss of premiership points and the club being suspended. Retrospective punishment would require evidence against more than one player, but any single player testing positive on match day would allow the league to take immediate punitive action.
Frawley For CEO
Former Richmond coach Danny Frawley has been appointed to replace former Demon coach Neale Daniher as CEO of the AFL Coaches Association. A fellow Tiger administrator, Paul Armstrong, has also joined the Association as coaching development manager. Daniher stepped down to take up a position as assistant coach with the West Coast Eagles. Former Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy will remain as the Association president.
Source: Melbourne Age
Star forward Jonathan Brown has been named team captain. He has served as co-captain for the past two seasons with Simon Black, Luke Power, Nigel Lappin and Chris Johnson (in 2007).
Brown has built an impressive leadership CV over that time. In 2007, he was named the AFLPA Best Captain, was vice-captain of the 2007 All-Australian team and captained the Victorian team in the AFL's celebratory Tribute game this past season. He has also been named the AFLPA"s Most Courageous Player for the past two years, won the Coleman Medal in 2007 and has twice won Brisbane's best and fairest award.
New Coach Michael Voss and his coaching panel decided to revert to the traditional policy of one captain after an extensive review. Voss captained the club 2001-2006. He shared the captaincy role with forward Alistair Lynch 1997-2000. Black and Power will continue as part of the leadership group.
The just retired Beau McDonald has replaced former ruckman Clark Keating as ruck coach. Keating had to step down from his position due to his business interests.
The Vodafone Brisbane Lions wish to advise the following changes to the Club's Football Department in
Irish player Colm Begley has been delisted by the club. Begley was nominated as an international rookie in 2005. He played a total of 29 games for the Lions but was restricted to just eight this past season due to a quad injury. Begley will nominate for the national draft. If that fails, he will go into the preseason draft. Should all else fail, he said he would be content to return to Ireland and resume playing Gaelic football and continue his education.
Source: afl.com.au & Source: Stephen Buckley, Club Media Release
Long time club sponsor Allan Scott passed away in late October at the age of 85. He had been hospitalized and had been ill for several weeks before his death and was surrounded by family at the time of his passing.
Scott, who ran a large trucking firm, was a prominent businessman in South Australia. He began Scott Transport 1952 with just one truck and built it up into a major national and international business. Tributes poured in from all sectors of the community. Club president Greg Boulton said Scott's legacy would always be a part of the club and described Scott as a "hero" of Port Adelaide.
Scott first became involved with Port Adelaide in 1992. He was a joint major sponsor when the club joined the AFL in 1997 and remained a patron of the club. He was awarded life membership last year and helped set up a player development academy at the club, which is named in his honor. The club's training and administration facilities are also named in his honor.
His contributions to Australia, sport and business have also been recognized over the years. In 1986, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia and named South Australian of the Year. In 2006 he was named an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia. He also won awards for his service to the transportation industry and, in 2002, was inducted into the National Road Transport Hall of Fame.
Source: Melbourne Age
The club, the only one in the competition to have private stockholders, held a meeting in late October to vote on the issue. Members and shareholders voted to dissolve the stocks and revert to a membership based structure. Voters also voted to uphold a board proposal to put a moratorium on board elections until the end of 2010.
Club Chairman James Brayshaw acknowledged the contributions the shareholders had made to the club over the years but said the interests of the club would be best served in the future by membership support. Sixteen former shareholders were nominated as club patrons while six were nominated for life memberships.
Carey Escapes Jail Sentence
Former North Melbourne and Adelaide star Wayne Carey and his girlfriend Kate Neilson appeared in a Miami court in mid-October. Carey was facing serious charges stemming from an incident in a Miami hotel in which he hit her with a wine glass in the hotel restaurant. Carey said he did not mean to strike her with the glass but only intended to toss the wine over her. Prior to the hearing, she wrote a letter stating she would not press charges.
Security staff called police who entered Carey's room while he was asleep. Carey and his lawyer stated he did not realize they were "...genuine police officers...". His lawyer, Richard Sharpstein, further stated that Carey's fame resulted in the incident getting blown out of proportion and that Carey, who reacted "...as anyone would...:" upon being awoken by strangers in his room, did not mean any harm. At the time, Carey was verbally abusive towards the officers and attacked them and was eventually handcuffed. He was subsequently charged with two counts of battery against police and one count of resisting arrest. He pleaded guilty to all charges and was facing a maximum of 15 years in jail. Instead, he was required to write a letter of apology to the officers, attend anger management and alcohol abuse sessions and donate $500 US dollars to a police benevolent fund.
Carey, however, is still not out of trouble. He will again appear in court, this time in Melbourne next February to face charges of assaulting police (three counts) and resisting arrest at his Port Melbourne apartment. He was arrested last January and had to be subdued with pepper spray after a party at the apartment.
Source: Melbourne Age & John Murphy, Club Media Release
Former Eagle Ben Cousins has applied to be reinstated with the AFL but will be required to undergo a series of tests to prove he is clean from drugs and has remained so for a significant period of time. One of those tests will be a hair test, which can indicate whether a person is using or not for a much longer period than other standard tests. Cousins will have to face the AFL Commission when they meet in November and they will base their decision on medical opinion and advice. That information will include psychological assessments which will, in part, report on his progress in battling his addiction. Should Cousins be re-registered, he could nominate for either the national draft or the preseason draft.
Source: Melbourne Age
Gold Coast News
The group in charge of putting together the proposed Gold Coast team recently presented the AFL Commission with a 400-page document regarding the support infrastructure and other requirements to obtain the AFL license. Andrew Demetriou described the report, prepared by chairman John Witheroff, board member Graeme Downie (formerly of Brisbane) and Coach Guy McKenna, as "impressive" and noted that they had put in a significant amount of work for months to ensure community and business support of the new team. According to Demetriou, the report also showed "...how an AFL team would return significant economic and social...and...sporting benefits to the...community through increased jobs, greater economic and tourist activity and greater opportunities for local families".
As part of the effort to establish support for the Gold Coast team, the AFL has convinced Carlton, St. Kilda and Richmond to each play a "home" game on the Coast over the next two seasons. It is hoped the move would help boost fan support before the team joins the league in 2011. As compensation to members of the three clubs, who are entitled to 11 games in Melbourne, those members will be allowed free entry to any one designated away game over the two years to replace the Gold Coast games.
The three clubs were decided upon due to the large fan support they have in the area. All three have also attracted large numbers to the games they have played at the Gabba (Brisbane) and the Gold Coast Stadium (Carrara) over the past three years. The star attraction of Carlton's Chris Judd, Tiger Matthew Richardson and St. Kilda's Nick Riewoldt and Sam Gilbert are originally from Queensland as are Tigers Luke McGuane and Andrew Raines. Nick's cousin Jack also plays for Richmond.
Carlton CEO Greg Swann, St. Kilda CEO Archie Fraser and Richmond CEO Steven Wright are all enthusiastic about the prospect of their clubs playing up north. All three were in agreement that it presented an opportunity to further increase their clubs' supporter bases in the area as well as help promote the game.
As further compensation to the existing 16 clubs for the potential loss of players to GC17, the AFL will allow rookie elevations next year. The clubs will not have to have a senior player on the long term injury list to elevate a rookie. The elevations will be allowed from midseason next year and in 2010. In previous seasons, a club only elevate a rookie if a senior player was placed on the long term injury list for a minimum of eight weeks. Once that senior player returned, the rookie have to be dropped back. Currently, clubs without veteran listed players can nominate a rookie to play during the season.
A number of current stars began their careers on the rookie list before becoming senior players. Among them are Eagle Dean Cox, Sydney's Brett Kirk, Port Adelaide's Dean Brogan, Magpie Tarkyn Lockyer and Crow Ben Rutten. The Gold Coast club will have access to 16 uncontracted players plus selections 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15 in the 2011 national draft. The current 16 clubs will be allowed compensatory future draft selections for uncontracted players who sign with the new club. The AFL will have a formula in place at that time to determine the draft selection order.
Source: Melbourne Age, canberratimes.com.au, Herald Sun and Patrick Keane, AFL Media Release
The Tigers are on the verge of signing a guernsey sponsorship deal with AIG (American International Group). This comes in spite of the fact that the company recently received an $85 billion bailout by the US government due to the economic downturn. The American based global insurance and finance company also sponsors British soccer giant Manchester United.
Article last changed on Friday, November 14, 2008 - 3:15 PM EST