How to Start an Australian Rules Football Club

Whether you’ve stumbled across the sport for the first tim and want to start a brand new Australian rules football club, or want to revive a previously active club, here at AFL England, and with the help of AFL Europe, we’ve got a checklist that might help you make your dreams a reality!

Don’t worry if it looks like a lot of steps, each task has been broken down to a smaller steps to make the process easy to follow! And if you need any help with any of the steps you can always contact us on info@aflengland.org

Before You Start

The first thing to do is make sure that there is a need for a club in your area and whether you are committed to the work involved in not only getting things off the ground, but also in the day-to-day running of the club.

Be sure to contact AFL Europe and AFL England and inform them of your plans. We can put you in contact with clubs in your area who might be able to assist you, as well as informing you about the necessary steps that need to be taken in order to register the club as an official sports club.

The last thing to do before you start is to start looking for players! Try Facebook for “Aussies in X” groups or local rugby clubs whose players might want to branch out into Australian football.

In The Beginning

You will need to set up an intermit committee in order to delegate tasks and assist in the initial stages. Set up a WhatsApp or Facebook group in order to make plans and communicate updates, as well as a public page for the new club. During the early stages, it will be important to think about how the club committee will be structured going forward and how the finances will be managed.

Besides players, the most important thing for each club is equipment. AFL England have close links with Shea Sports who have all the equipment a new club might need. Once you’ve got the kit, you can start thinking about organising a first “kick” for the new club, as well as the first official committee meeting.

It is important to host your inaugural General Meeting in order to work on the roadmap for the club, discuss potential issues and make notes of the topics brought up for future use.

Next Steps

Once you’ve established a committee, you can set about finalising your club’s name, logo and colours (if not already decided!). If you opt to use the name of an existing club in Australia, it’s always worth reaching out to let them know, and see if they can offer any support. With the club registered and player numbers growing, it’s time to think about when and where you will start holding regular training sessions.

Money will always be an issue with voluntary clubs, so think about how you might go about accessing funding for community clubs. You might want to find an external sponsor, or even a sponsor pub that can offer you discounts on food and/or drink; somewhere you can build a relationship with and be used by the club community as an informal “clubhouse.”

Things are getting serious now, but to ensure the longterm future of the club, draft a recruitment plan so that your player numbers aren’t decimated after one or two seasons. With membership and membership fees finalised, set up a club bank account and contact AFL England to arrange club insurance.

Future Steps

Now it’s time for your first fixture! There are plenty of clubs across England who will be more than happy to host new clubs and who knows, you might be able to gain some advice from more established clubs.

At this stage, you might want to think about setting up a website, organising a fundraiser or designing your own kit. Once you’ve found your feet, then you can start thinking about integrating into your nearest league or attending one of the many tournaments held across the British Isles.

If you have any questions about the information here, please contact info@aflengland.org.

Contact adapted from AFL Europe. Accessible here.

 

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