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Community sports count, says AFL chief Demetriou

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou was a true crowd pleaser as guest speaker at Murray Business Network's meeting on Wednesday.

GEORDIE COWAN December 7, 2012 4:53am

Murray Business Network president Wayne Jenkin and AFL chief Andrew Demetriou, who was guest speaker at MBN's meeting on Wednesday.


Football-netball clubs still play a big role in local communities around the country, AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said on Wednesday evening.

Guest speaking at a Murray Business Network meeting at Rich River Golf Club Resort, Mr Demetriou talked about the most effective characteristics of leadership and which were the most important for him.

‘‘I think consistency, being decisive, leading by example, perseverance are great leadership qualities,’’ he said.

‘‘Negotiation, bringing a team together, who you work and align with and senior culture.

‘‘They’re all factors, but ultimately your leadership is judged by other people.’’

Mr Demetriou, who has seen the AFL competition grow into a billion-dollar industry under his leadership, said the most important aspect of local football-netball clubs was the community and how important they were in the community.

‘‘It bonds the community,’’ he said.

‘‘People who belong to a club (gain) a sense of esteem and belonging and I think that is sometimes a football-netball club’s greatest quality.’’

The chief executive said he was pleased with the health of Aussie rules in regional areas and around the country.

‘‘We’ve got great support from regional and metropolitan football leagues,’’ Mr Demetriou said.

‘‘We’ve got about 2500 clubs now.

‘‘There might not be as many clubs because some have merged, but in general they’re still strong, producing great participation rates around the country and great talent.’’

People having more alternatives to football as an activity was not a bad thing, Mr Demetriou said.

‘‘I think having more sport choices is a good thing for the community, because we want our children playing sport, being physically active,’’ he said.

‘‘Hopefully they’ll choose AFL football and if they don’t, that’s fine.’’

Having spoken about leadership and filling positions in his organisation with the right people, Mr Demetriou said the AFL’s football operations manager position would be filled soon, after Adrian Anderson resigned on Wednesday.

‘‘We’ve got to get the choice right because it’s a great job,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s not an easy job, but I’m sure in the coming weeks we’ll have a field of contenders to look at.’’

More than 200 people attended Wednesday’s event.

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