According to long-serving Deakin academic, Dr Stephen Alomes, Australian football could be thriving here and overseas when it reaches its bicentenary in 2058.
Dr Alomes, formerly Associate Professor of Australian Studies and now a Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Arts and Education, has just released his new book: Australian Football – The People’s Game 1958-2058.
“Despite the dire predictions of pessimists that Australian Football could be dead in 50 years, this book demonstrates that the Australian game is thriving and will prosper in 2058,” said Dr Alomes
“It celebrates ‘the finest form of football … the most athletic to play and the most exciting to watch’, as described by English cricketer C. B. Fry.
“It shows how the people’s game can remain Australia’s leading sport and compete effectively against global culture and sportainment. “
Dr Alomes enthusiasm for the long-term future is shared by the man who wrote the foreword for the book, enduring AFL coach, Kevin Sheedy.
Wrote Sheedy: “Even before I read Stephen Alomes’ book, I knew it would be a beauty … Australian Football The People’s Game 1958-2058.
“As coaches and as players we have to take it all one week at a time, but not all the time.
“Sometimes we’ve got to lift our eyes up out of the trenches and imagine where our home-grown game might be in 40 or even 140 years.
“People tell me it will never be a global game, or produce world famous athletes. I wonder if anyone said that to the Reverend James Naismith and his mates when they invented basketball in the 19th century, a sport which is now global and in people like Michael Jordan has produced players who are recognisable anywhere on earth.
“And it’s great to see an academic like Stephen writing about our game. We need all that is good about Australian football to be written down or recorded using other modern technologies so that it can be easily passed on to future generations.
“If you love Australian football, its past, its present and its future, then you have to read this book.
“I heartily congratulate Stephen and no doubt he, like me, looks forward to the day when the Los Angeles Coyotes play the London Wolves for four points.”
Australian Football - The People’s Game 1958-2058 is now available from Walla Walla Press.