Football: TAC Cup and VFL upon us once again

Eastern Ranges v Northern Knights, Apr 1, 2012 (photo mine)
Eastern Ranges v Northern Knights, Apr 1, 2012 (photo mine)

State football has always been in the shadow of the AFL.  However, if you go and watch a TAC Cup or VFL game, you will see just how good the talent pool is at both levels.

I had the privilege last year of watching a combined 7 VFL & TAC Cup home and away games, plus both grand finals.  I was amazed at just how well the teams both moved the ball and how mature the players were in the TAC Cup.

The VFL is possibly the best state-based competition in Australia.  I witnessed a VFL Grand Final played to AFL standard.

As a pathway for the AFL, the TAC Cup is blooding young stars that have a passion for footy and aspire to become the next Jonathan Brown or Chris Judd.  The coaches (some ex-AFL players) form bonds with the team and really push them to train hard, but still encourage them to keep their studies under control, as not all will ultimately get to the top level.

The VFL is high quality and the games are cheap to get in and watch.  I was able to witness the likes of Brent Macaffer, Aaron Davey and Luke Hodge strut their stuff without the huge throng of media and crowds associated with the AFL.

The media exposure of both competitions, however, has substantially increased as media organisations and talent agencies alike begin to reap the benefits of keeping track of potential AFL players.  A significant portion of the fanbase comes from the loyal parents and diehards.  Team spirit is massive, and the players always stay positive even if they’re behind the eight ball.

Also speaking to some of the coaches last year (including Darren Bewick of the Eastern Ranges and Gary Ayres of Port Melbourne) they knew what the drive was to push their teams to success.

Going on the successful comps run last year, it’s safe to say that there will not be a shortage of air time or spectators.  I urge you to get to a game whenever you can.  I will also be bringing you some coverage covering both comps this year via AFL Victoria.


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