GWS Giants receive dual boost to future - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

GWS Giants receive dual boost to future

Joe Barton 25/11/2010 05:04:30 PM Comments (0)

The AFL's foray into western Sydney received a dual boost on Thursday with the Giants set to play in a knockout competition next year and Blacktown Oval likely to host an elite fixture in 2013.

While the kinks need to be ironed out in the coming weeks, AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said the impending second-tier knockout competition featuring the cream of the non-AFL teams had received significant support.

The competition - likely to be called the Champions League or Premiers Cup - is set to run from March through to August.

It will feature the likes of SANFL powerhouse Central District and leading VFL clubs North Ballarat and Williamstown, along with Greater Western Sydney and a second NSW club.

The matches would be played as curtain raisers to AFL clashes in 2011 and shown live on Foxtel.

Demetriou said the knockout competition would be supported by all of the second-tier competitions as another way of developing the lower-tier AFL players.

"It will be highly complementary, we've spoken to all the other leagues and they were very, very supportive," he said.

"Anything they can do to enhance their league and their profile they're supportive (of).

"It's got a lot of positives and a lot of boxes ticked.

"This is something that will enhance the standard of the other competitions as well. We're looking forward to it."

Demetriou said the timing of the new competition was perfect and predicted an official announcement before Christmas.

"(The idea) actually hasn't (been floated before), the timing seems to be absolutely on the money, whether it can get up for next year, they're the sort of issues were working through at the moment," he said.

"We're looking to do it very quickly in the next couple of weeks."

In a further boost to the game in Sydney's west, Demetriou added that Blacktown Olympic Park was favourite to host the 2013 Indigenous All Stars game.

The Giants' training venue has been short-listed by the AFL as the next host of the biennial event which showcases the AFL's best indigenous talent against an AFL club.

"Absolutely, our desire is to get an All Stars game at Blacktown," Demetriou confirmed before adding that the AFL's annual indigenous camp would be held in Sydney in 2011.

"It would be a great venue for it and that's something we'll be looking at very, very closely the next time we play the indigenous game.

"We've had preliminary discussions and it's our desire, so barring some unforseen circumstances I can't imagine why it's not something we would do.

"First of all we've got a new team coming in there, second of all there's a very large indigenous population in greater western Sydney.

"And certainly we've got the maestro out there, Kevin Sheedy, who has been one of the great pioneers of indigenous players so there's a lot going for it."

Next year's Indigenous All Stars match involving Richmond will be played in Darwin.

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