Swans back second Sydney AFL team - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans back second Sydney AFL team

By Cameron Tomarchio 08/04/2008 06:37:32 PM Comments (0)

Swans chief executive Myles Baron-Hay says the club will do whatever it takes to ensure a second AFL team in Sydney becomes a reality.

AFL boss And rew Demetriou met with Baron-Hay and Swans coach Paul Roos on Tuesday to discuss future plans for the sport in Sydney, which could see a western Sydney franchise introduced as soon as 2011.

Baron-Hay said the expansion plans, which also included a new Gold Coast team for the 2011 season, were "quite compelling".

He also believed the only way the AFL could become a truly national game was to have at least two teams in the biggest city in the country.

"I think the case for the second team is quite compelling. We get it, we support it and I think if the AFL is going to be a truly national code we need to increase our representation in two key strategic markets in both the Gold Coast and western Sydney ... and Australia's largest city will probably have more than one team," Baron-Hay said.

When news first surfaced of the expansion plans it was reported the Swans were opposed to a second Sydney team, but Baron-Hay said that was never the case.

"We, in principle, have always been supportive. We saw it as inevitable," he said.

"The point of difference was about how and when and we didn't want to be drawn in to comment on that until we had an understanding of exactly what the AFL had in mind."

Baron-Hay said it was unlikely the Swans would play more games out of ANZ Stadium in Homebush in a bid to grow the game's supporter base in the western suburbs because of a contractual obligation to the Sydney Cricket Ground.

He did however think it was an option for the AFL to feature games between two non-Sydney teams at ANZ, saying any form of exposure would be beneficial.

"There's a lot of work to be done between now and when that second team in Sydney does arrive and we're happy to play our part in support of the AFL to make that happen," said Baron-Hay.

"The job is enormous, the challenge significant, the AFL sees it as an absolute priority and we are absolutely committed to helping them. So rather than get bogged down in timing, it's more about getting the job done.

"We'll be working very closely with the AFL to make sure the market is ready in time.

"It's for the good of the game, as (Ron) Barassi would say."

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