Despite the fact that it was a) terrible to watch, b) poorly attended, and c) needlessly expensive, the AFL is absolutely hell-bent on making its bruise-free bastardised experiment AFLX happen, and if league boss Gillon McLachlan has his way (which he usually does) it’ll be jetting off to foreign shores before the end of the year.

The rectangular-field version of the game, which if you looked away for approximately 30 seconds and then looked back you’d discover either 40 points had been scored or two entirely different teams were playing, was nonetheless declared a success by league bosses, even though scores of empty seats dotted arenas throughout the three individual “tournaments” in February.

And in the wake of that clear success, McLachlan is eyeing off a debut of the format in Hong Kong, which he reckons could be done as early as November this year.

More to that, he’s furiously keen on involving retired players to help boost the game’s profile.

McLachlan spoke to 3AW earlier this morning and revealed that plans are in motion to put teams of 10-12 into Hong Kong after the National Draft later this year, including club’s prized early draft picks.

I’d love to see us have a crack at a tournament in November and take a number of teams somewhere into Asia and take it there.

‘We’ve got venue availability, we’ve got new audiences that are closer to the game, it’s a bit easier for new people to consume so they’re the sort of things we’re talking about.

The one we’ve been talking about is Hong Kong. Take 10-12 players to Hong Kong, and take them after the draft, you have to take two of your top two draft picks, maybe you have to have one recently retired player, and then a number of other players and make it a bit interesting and have a look at it.

They’re some of the ideas we’re kicking around.

All this, presumably, will involve the league pouring untold extra millions into the project; money that definitely didn’t need to be spent on the AFLW or, heaven for-fucking-bid, giving attention to the dire state of Tasmanian football.

But, y’know, the AFL does what the AFL does. As always.

Source: The Age
Image: Getty Images / Michael Dodge