Demetriou addresses club presidents

AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou met with community football presidents this week.

NEAFL and community football presidents had the chance to meet face-to-face with AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou, as part of his visit to Queensland, this week.

Club representatives were able to ask Demetriou about the issues facing their clubs, and the sport of AFL as a whole.

Demetriou also addressed the attendees on the state of Queensland footy and the importance of community footy in the development of the game.

“The secret to the AFL’s success is the connection to the community that the game has,” he said.

“The code, through players and clubs, puts a lot back into the community.

“I’m really proud that we get involved in lots of programs that are not just about football.”

As the code continues to grow, Demetriou said the role of community and second-tier football would only become more important.

“We never lose sight of our commitment to the community,” he said.

“We will keep investing in junior football and talent development and similar areas,” he said.

“Queensland is an exemplary model of that happening now.”

Maroochydore president, Craig Scrase, said it was a great opportunity to be able to speak directly to Demetriou on issues affecting community clubs.

“It’s wonderful just to be recognised,” Scrase said.

“The fact he’s prepared to take the time to speak to us and to hear us.”

“It’s just the recognition factor that makes you feel like we’re not isolated.”

With a lot of debate surrounding equality at AFL level, and similar discussions at a NEAFL level, Broadbeach President Geoff Bowers said it was good to engage with Demetriou on that issue.

“Personally, from Broadbeach footy club’s point of view, to see that they’re working at the processes of equalisation in the AFL and I think at NEAFL level we’ve got the same challenges,” he said.

“I think it was good to see that he was interested in that.”

Bowers said the meeting showed the AFL genuinely cared about the NEAFL and the Queensland football.

“Having Andrew get back to basics with us is a really important thing,” he said.

“It shows that he’s accessible and it’s good to get the sort of feedback tonight that we did.”

As well as meeting with club representatives, Demetriou met with GPS School principals on Wednesday, as well as Queensland Sports Minister, Steve Dickson.

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