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Official AFL, NRL and Collingwood Merchandise. Shop 28, Ringwood Square Shopping Centre, Ringwood VIC 3134, Australia. PH: 03 9876 0488, FAX: 03 9436 0871. http://www.spectatorsportsonline.com.au



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5 Great Footy Presents For the Babies in Your Life

Tue, 14 Jul 2015 06:17:00 +0000

Football is a way of life for some and there’s nothing more fun than bringing new people in to your passion. If there is a baby in your life you want to make sure experiences your teams greatest wins and follows their every move, here are some great ideas to help them enjoy their very first footy experience.Collingwood Magpies Baby Romper OnesieThis adorable onesie is perfect for the tiniest of people. It is very comfortable for your bub and will protects their feet from the cold with built in socks. This onesie is made from 100% cotton and is an AFL endorsed product.Sydney Swans Toddler Winter Pyjamas SleepwearThese pyjamas are made from a warm flannel material featuring the Sydney Swans official logo on them. This cute outfit is not only very comfortable and easy to put on but will also help your little one to support their team! This ensemble is rated low fire danger and is available in several different sizes.Carlton Blues High Bounce BallThis is a really fun present for kids young and old. You can give your kids the opportunity to develop a passion for football at an early age by giving them this standard size, brightly coloured high bounce ball. The ball comes with AFL team logo on it so no one will ever wonder who they support!Hawthorn Hawks Beanie Kids Give your kid a cute Beanie Kids Bear dressed in the Hawthorn Hawks supporter hoody with lovely soft feel lining and soft bean filling. These bears can be a great gift for the little ones and are popular with avid collectors.North Melbourne Kangaroos Baby Infant Nonslip Socks These socks are an official AFL endorsed product. You can support your team with your beloved little one. These are made of 78% Cotton, 20% Nylon and 2% Elastane. They are available in different sizes, from 0 months to 24 months so that you can choose the best one for your toddler. When it comes to the special baby in your life, you always want to give him or her the best that you ever can. Helping them develop a passion for football and follow in your footsteps by supporting your favourite team guarantees them wonderful life long memories. There are so many great, fun products to choose from, it’s so easy to start the children in your life on their way to fandom![...]



10 Different Cool Ways to Tie a Tie That Every Man Should Know

Tue, 02 Jun 2015 09:53:00 +0000

Necktie knots come in all different kinds. Some are meant for formal occasions, some fit casual ones and others go with any. If you know how to tie these 10 great knots, you don’t need to learn more since you know how to fix one for any occasion!The Eldredge KnotThe Eldredge knot was created by Jeffrey Eldredge who came up with the idea of it, when he was 27 years old. He used to work as a technical instructor at a tie-mandatory workplace and the four-in-hand got too old for him one day. He looked up other ways to tie knots, came across several things, merged them and blended it all into a new kind of knot. The Van Wijk KnotThis was invented by artist Lisa van Wijk in an attempt to create the tallest knot possible. When done perfectly, this emits and aura of elegance and artistry. The Van Wijk is an augmentation of the Prince Albert. A striking and helical effect is created when the knot is done correctly.The Christensen Necktie KnotThe Christensen or the Cross knot is a perfect for shirts with narrow collars because it’s a long knot. Although. Similar knots to this one are the Van Wijk and the Four-in-Hand in the sense that they’re both long and narrow knots. Although it’s a little more difficult to tie than an average knot, once done, it’s suitable for formal occasions as well as casual parties.The Cape Tie KnotThe Cape Tie knot never ceases to get compliments. It only takes 5 accurate moves to get through to a perfect knot. Even though a considerable amount of fabric is needed, the knot is pretty small so the consumption should be manageable. If done correctly, it should be perfectly symmetrical.The Onassis knotThis knot was first seen on the Greek shipping tycoon, Aristotle Onassis in 1989. Although he wasn’t the inventor, he is definitely the innovator. Ironically, this knot is great because of the absence of the knot! This knot is one of the simplest to tie up and uses the same or a lesser amount of fabric than the Windsor knot.  Done correctly, it should give a full square and symmetrical appearance.The Hanover KnotThis is a large and symmetrical knot. It’s only a little different from the Windsor knot in a way that it forms a bulkier knot than the Windsor. It starts from an upside-down starting position. The knot is very popular and definitely worth a try. It’s only fit for a very few occasions however.The Four in Hand KnotThe beauty of this knot lies in its slight asymmetrical appearance. It’s also the easiest knot to learn and almost everyone who knows how to tie a knot knows how to get this one done perfectly. Some knots are easier for right-handed or left-handed people. This one however, works both ways. Conventionally, this can be worn to any occasion you can think of.The Diagonal KnotThis is best suited for ties made of light fabric. Patterned ties should be avoided for this as this can distract from the complex shape of the knot. Although this knot is a little difficult to do, it is also just as striking which means people will appreciate what you’re wearing around your neck wherever you’re headed.The Trinity KnotThe trinity knot is everyone’s favourite. It’s named after traditions based on the celtic culture. It’s one of the best looking knots and very little fabric is needed to make it as well. Its pattern is most pronounced by solid colors but polka dots or diamonds work fine as well. If you get it right, the stripes can converge into the centre to create a pinwheel effect.The Pratt knot The Pratt knot speaks of symmetry. It speaks of class and composure. It requires very little fabric and is also fit for all occasions although many formal ones require that you do a pratt knot! As simple as it looks, it’s just as easy to learn. If you’re an AFL fan and also your favourite teams’ merchandise, you might want to try out their ties. Tie up any of these knots, pick a great colour combination to go with it and you’ll see heads turning in respect. [...]



The AFL Player Stats That Give Players an Advantage

Tue, 05 May 2015 07:40:00 +0000

The AFL has a long history of sporting legends that have gone on to prove their worth for their teams. Each legend has certain something have set them ahead of the pack when it comes to physical and mental strength and focus. From the tallest AFL player in history, to some of the fastest AFL players that you see in the modern game, here are a few of the AFL player stats that have changed the way the modern game is played.The Oldest AFL PlayerIn some sports, age is just a number, but in the aggressive, physically demanding world of the AFL age can be a factor in determining your presence on the pitch. It may seem as though modern players are getting younger with each season, but don’t tell that to DustinFletcher – currently the oldest active player in the AFL at 39 yrs.Fletcher, who currently plays for Essendon is one of the modern game’s finest defenders, having played in over 396 games for the club and 7 major games for the national side. Retiring from international duty in 2014, Fletcher continues to show his wise head at the back of the field for Essendon, running the game from the back and earning his place in history as the oldest active player.The oldest AFL player in history was St. Kilda legend Vic Cumberland. Playing up to the age of 43 before retiring, Vic was known for his ruthless style and passion for the game. He died a few years after retirement from a motorcycle accident, but that didn’t stop him from taking his place in the history books, and to this day is the oldest ever player of professional AFL football.The Highest Paid AFL PlayerDue to the immense popularity that AFL has always had, money in the sport has never been hard to come by. As clubs get richer from the ticket sales and merchandise the price of players also increases, with a number of high profile acquisitions taking place in recent seasons. Although the number of $1m plus players has diminished over previous seasons, more players are earning in the region of $500,000 a year.It is believed that the two top earners in AFL are Gold Coast’s Gary Ablett who is thought to be earning at least $1m per season, Carlton’s Chris Judd and Nick Riewoldt of St. Kilda.The Average AFL salary is thought to increase to a whopping $300,000 this season based on previous figures, with all teams spending roughly $181.5 million on players and wages. This trend is expected to continue, but with salary caps and regulations coming into force, it will take an impressive accountant to pick the perfect team.The Shortest AFL PlayerThough many people think that size and strength is an important factor in determining your abilities at a given sport, team sports such as AFL require a good balance of speed, power, strength and intelligence to create the perfect side. Some players have what it takes in the form of many of these factors, while others break the rules on physical presence even at short statures.The shortest player to ever play in the AFL was Jim “Nipper” Bradford who played for North Melbourne and Collingwood during the 1940s. He stood at a height of 153cm but didn’t let his diminutive size hold him back as he was named as the rover in Camberwell Football Club’s team of the century.The shortest AFL player in the modern game is Caleb Daniel who plays for Western Bulldogs. Again, not letting his smaller size hold him back, in the draft combine he scored an equal best of 16.1 in the beep test.The Tallest AFL PlayerHeight plays a part in certain aspects of the game, but jumping ability proves even more important in the air. If you combine those two attributes you get one of the best tactical advantages in the fast, modern game. The title of the tallest AFL player in the modern game goes to Fremantle player Aaron Sandilands at a whopping 211cm.Sandiland’s height plays an important factor in the way he plays, with his massive reach and leaping ability, Sandilands controls the air in devastating form as ruckman. Sandilands is the tallest AFL player ever along with Western Bulldogs player Pet[...]



AFL Goal Kicking Records and the Impact They Have Had On the Sport

Wed, 01 Apr 2015 07:59:00 +0000

With another record breaking season underway, the AFL has grown into a true sport of legends when it comes to iconic games, legendary players and unforgettable moments. Over the course of the past season, new records have been broken, igniting passion in fans across the globe. Let’s look at some of the games’ most notable exceptions to the rules and those classic records that may never be broken. As the old saying goes, in the end the only thing that matters is who scores the most goals in a game, but within those lines there are outstanding players who stand head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to accuracy and potency. Some of the biggest targets for any would-be record breakers out there go to the players who have scored the most career goals.Most AFL Goals of All TimeThe records for the most AFL goals line up to show a picture of how the sport has evolved over time, bringing modern, physically stronger and fitter players into the equation. Tony Lockett currently holds the top spot for most AFL career goals, with an outstanding 1,360 in his playing career.This St. Kilda and Sydney legend amassed this huge tally over 20 years, playing in some of the most memorable games in the history of the sport. Tony beat out his long-standing record holder rival, a legend by the name of Gordon Coventry who amassed a particularly amazing 1,299 goals in his career.  Lance Franklin is the leader in the current crop of players in action. With a total of 641, Tony had better watch his back!Most Goals in a Single Game AFL is predominantly a team sport when it boils down to it, but in some cases a larger than life character can carry a team. It is with these match-winning players that you get the special talent for scoring goals. Multiple goals per game isn’t a particularly rare event these days, but when you see players like the legendary Fred Manning who scored a total of 18.1 goals in a single game, you might conclude that these young players nowadays have a lot of learning to do.Playing for Melbourne, Manning managed to overcome his opponents almost single-handedly with his winning routine. In 1947’s Junction Oval, the crowd must have been thrilled with excitement to see Melbourne wipe the floor their opponents, St. Kilda in round 19. The only other player in recent times to come close to Manning is Jason Dunstall of Hawthorn who managed a total of 17.5 in 1992’s round 7 against Richmond. Most Goals in a Single SeasonThe end of the season is typically when the tough get tougher, so to end out your season on a high with a record breaking season goal total would put a smile (and a large sponsorship deal) within reach. Bob Prattof South Melbourne managed to haul in a whopping 150 goals in a single season, earning him the legendary status he deserves.Playing for South Melbourne in the 1934 season, Pratt was having the game of his life nearly every match, being the go-to player for his team mates whenever they got the ball. The Hawthorn legend Jason Dunstallmanaged a similar achievement in his record breaking season, scoring a total of 145 goals, marking his place in history as one of the all-time greats.These AFL goal kicking records have sat for a long time, just waiting to be broken. Do you think some of these records can even be beaten? With a new group of talented players now reaching the heights of success around the game, it is yet to be seen if the players we are seeing play now finish their careers with all of the illustrious success of their forebears.Resource: wikipedia.org,  boylesfootballphotos.net.au, theaustralianbookofrecords.com, afl.com.au[...]



The Glorious History of the Humble AFL Ball

Thu, 19 Feb 2015 11:01:00 +0000

From dubious goals to mishandling and disputes, rule changes and Grand Final after Grand Final, the humble AFL ball has been at the heart of the best and worst moments for well over 130 years, with multiple incarnations abound. Footy wouldn’t be footy without the infamous oval leather ball, but there are strict rules and specifications that determine if an AFL ball is really an AFL ball. Back in 1880, Thomas William Sherrin was working on patching up a damaged rugby ball, but in the process decided to invent a better ball by giving it indented ends which led it displaying a better bounce. After the initial production and working on different types of ball, the KB or Kangaroo Brand Sherrin ball remains to this day the highest standard, full-size match ball still in production. Crafted For the Thrills of the Sport It InspiredIt wasn’t until 1897 that Thomas Sherrin put the ball into production in a workshop in Collingwood and soon played a significant role in the popularity of the sport of Footy, as the ball Sherrin had created was the first of its kind, specially crafted for Australian Rules football. The Sherrin brand was later sold in 1972 to Spalding, but still retains the historic Sherrin name on each ball.Sherrin has continued to be the official brand of football used in the AFL, ever since the 1880s, with a number of additional types of ball that were introduced at a later period. The official AFL game ball, or AFL regulation ball has a regulation circumference of 720-730mm from the parallel to the stitched seam and a total length of 300mm from end to end.The official AFL ball is made from cow hide which is lined and then machine stitched. The introduction in 1971 of the AFLs first ever yellow ball to be used in night games for added visibility, as opposed the red match day ball used in every day games. Other types of AFL footballs include: Bounce BallBounce balls or textured rubber high bounce balls are used in all different types of games in order for players to associate themselves with catching the ball and receiving the ball when in the air. They play an important role in the learning curve of many different games, resembling a basketball, and offer an added set of skills to bring to your AFL game. Touch BallTouch balls are soft, mini versions of official AFL balls used by children and families that love the game of AFL but enjoy touch AFL or no-contact games. They are great for all ages and allow the game to be taught in a safe way. Supporter BallThese balls are available in a range of sizes, from regulation size all the way down to micro versions. Usually displaying a teams’ colour and logos, they are intended for fun games in the park or collectors to support their team. Song BallSong Balls are padded PVC AFL balls that allow even the youngest of kids the chance to sing along with their favourite team’s anthem. These balls have a micro speaker in them to play the teams anthem whenever they are pressed, bringing even the shyest of supporter into chorus! Softie BallThese AFL balls are exactly what they sound like, soft balls made for both children and adults that display branding and logos of your favourite team that are the perfect addition to any fan’s collection. Usually 20cm in size, they are perfect for all ages for a random game in the park! Crowd BallA crowd ball is a great addition to any fan’s collection, with the rubber gripped all-weather design; they are perfect for impromptu games on just about any surface. Featuring all of your favourite club’s logos and colours, these are some of the most popular balls in the game. Mascot BallThe mascot ball is similar to team themed balls in which the mascot of your favourite club is emblazoned on the front. These popular balls are perfect for the fan that has everything, and needs that little more AFL in their life. Sherrin KB BallThe KB or Kangaroo Brand ball is the official match ball of the AFL. Its size and shape, materials[...]



5 Hilariously Funny Moments of AFL - 2014 Season

Wed, 07 Jan 2015 09:27:00 +0000

This past year in the AFL has been one of the most action-packed seasons many fans have witnessed. There have been thrills and spills throughout the year, injuries, retirements and new blood looking to make headway in the coming season. With all of this drama packed into a single season, let’s look at some of the more light-hearted, funny moments that the 2014 AFL season gave us.5) Jonathon Patton’s Wayward Penalty Kick  allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/egOPo5932G0?showinfo=0" width="640"> This AFL rising star has taken AFL by storm for his speed, presence and his ability to take those outstanding contested marks. But, everyone can have an off-day. Starring against Gold Coast, Patton takes a penalty kick late on in the game and completely shanks it into the second tier of the stadium.The ball didn’t even come into play, leaving a throw in for his Gold Coast opponents to lap up. Patton’s Giants teammates couldn’t have appreciated his accuracy in this instance, but one lucky fella in the audience certainly did.4) Brendon Goddard Slaps Teammate  allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/JEfkJwJtm-U?list=UU40wS4wlnI67foZSfYplJEQ" width="640"> Brendon Goddard isn’t one to shy away from controversy, and in this instance has a little too much aggression for his own teammate. After an umpire decision goes against him, Goddard lashes out at the first person in front of him, only to find out that it is in fact his own teammate Ben Howlett. Howlett looks a little shocked when he realises who just dished out the justice as Goddard continues to berate the Umpire. 3) Umpire Takes down Freo’s Christopher Mayne  allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/xVGLWiPaork?list=UU40wS4wlnI67foZSfYplJEQ" width="640"> In a hotly contested match between West Coast Eagles and Fremantle, one of the umpires got a little bit carried away in the action to see Chris Mayne getting a closer look at the action. The umpire runs along the boundary line without seeing what is in front of him, slipping and sliding into Mayne as the pair fall to the floor. Ross Lyon has already had to cope with a number of injuries this season, now he may have to look at protecting his players from the officials, too.2) Jarrad Waite Feigns Facial Injury  allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/n_0IXXU2d2s?list=UU40wS4wlnI67foZSfYplJEQ" width="640"> Carlton (and now North Melbourne) player Jarrad Waite is watching play after losing the ball to his Richmond opposition when a player he takes down kicks out a foot in anger. Jarrad furiously holds his face in what appears to be a terrible kick to the face, but instant replays show Jarrard was gently brushed on the chest by his opposition player Jake King. Jarrard may be drafted with North Melbourne for the forthcoming 2015 season, but there may be a chance his acting career may reach new heights if he keeps this simulation malarkey up!1) The Back-Heel-Kick in His Stride  allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/S_YhbclRneE?list=UU40wS4wlnI67foZSfYplJEQ" width="640"> Essendon number 16 Courtenay Dempsey takes it all in his stride as he makes a powerful run through the midfield against Gold Coast this season. He stumbles and loses the ball from his grip and the ball falls behind him. Not even turning to look for the ball, he sticks out a foot and back-heels the ball back over his head and grabs the ball out of the air to continue his run. Unfortunately he gives the ball away further up the field, but if this is a sign of his true potential, he has yet to reach the heights this demonstration of technique is yet to afford him.The 2015 season is looking like one of the best to come this New Year, so keep an eye out for the highs and lows, thrills and spills that are yet t[...]



How Hawthorn Pulled Off the Repeat In 2014

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 04:51:00 +0000

As the celebration dies down in anticipation for the forthcoming season, the AFL is gearing up to have one of the biggest seasons yet. With viewing figures at an all-time high, record attendances and shop sales of Hawthorn merchandise going through the roof, let’s take a look over the highs and the lows of the 2014 season and see how Hawthorn Hawks managed their greatest achievement.For the second time in their history, Hawthorn Hawks have done the double on back to back flags with a thrashing of Swans in front of a capacity 99,454 crowd at the MCG. The margin of victory proved all of the naysayers wrong before the match, as Hawthorn went on to dominate the game and win by a margin of 63 points.Back To Back Titles for the Second Time In HistoryThe 2014 season kicked off in Great Spirit on the back of 2013s flag victory in the grand finale. With bundles of confidence in their abilities and a few new hopefuls in the ranks, Hawthorn were bound to do something great, but could they repeat the ultimate success?Celebrating the club’s 90th season in the AFL, Hawthorn got off to a great start, winning its first four games in a row. Their unbeaten run came to an end though at the hands of Geelong by 19 points. Being bitter rivals, Geelong continued their prowess against the Hawks at the MCG, being unbeaten against them at the MCG since 2002.After back to back losses later on in the season against Sydney and Port Adelaide, the Hawks looked to start afresh in the next match, having never led a single point in the game against Adelaide, who was currently in first position in the league.The Perfect Time for an Unbeaten RunHawthorn broke their losing streak by picking up form at the perfect time. They went on a five-run unbeaten streak ending with an immense turnaround against Gold Coast at the Aurora, whom they let slip to in the first quarter, only to turn the game on its head under wet conditions to eventually win the game with by a 53 point margin to regain the 1st position.In the final two game of the season before the qualifying finals, Hawthorn broke a long standing losing record to Geelong at the MCG with a remarkable turnaround yet again to win the game by 33 points. In the grand final itself, the Hawks were considered the underdogs by many commentators, but managed a memorable performance by beating Swans by a point margin of 53.Looking Ahead To Next SeasonThe 2015 season is looking bright for Hawthorn who are looking to build on their successes both on and off the field with new signings and Hawthorn merchandise flying off the shelves. We will be waiting to see whether they can manage to pull off a third flag in a row, but with the winning spirit flowing through the camp, they might very well pull it off.Image source: ultimatesportsmemorabilia, abc, southeast, shopdesq, miffedoff[...]



Kia's Sponsporship Agreement with the Essendon Bombers Presents - The New Optima

Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:06:00 +0000

There has never been a better time to fly the flag of the Essendon Bombers than this season. With the guys on the pitch showing the rest of the league their speed and finesse, the fans have played their role in getting behind the team as the 19th man in the stands. Why not show your support in style for the Bombers with a replica Guernsey, novelty Essendon merchandise, and for those who really wish to show their support, possibly a new car.Essendon Bombers recently signed a lucrative sponsorship deal with car manufacturer Kia to sponsor the team for the next 5 years. This major sponsorship deal has reflected both the recent success of the Essendon Bombers as well as the league on a whole. With big money now coming into the sport on an international level, both Essendon and the AFL have a bright future ahead of them.Merchandising Skyrockets for EssendonMerchandise sales have skyrocketed over recent seasons to make Essendon one of the most popular franchises in not only the AFL league, but in Australian sport as a whole. Like any other sport, merchandising and branding of a team to its fans is often paramount in securing a regular income for the team. Not only do television rights play a huge part in ensuring this regular income, but merchandising plays a vital role in garnering bigger revenues, as well as revenue.The new Kia sponsorship deal not only will help the branding image of Kia to its Australian market, but will also help the Essendon Bombers to reach an audience further afield. Kia is a proud sponsor that will include the new deal in many of its advertisements on television, radio, the internet and in the press. This level of advertising will help Essendon Merchandise sales and attendance figures tremendously by partnering up with a large international brand such as Kia.So What Does This Mean For The Average Fan? Previously, the scope of merchandise for AFL teams had mainly relied on Guernsey and replica kit sales to offer a revenue stream for the team, and a way for the fans to support their team whilst watching the games. Recently however, teams in the AFL have realised that merchandising can play this huge role as a revenue stream for the teams, as well as for the enjoyment and continuation of support seen by the fans. The Essendon merchandise available now comes in many forms, for every type of fan from young to old. You can find Bombers baby grows, replica kits, mugs, t-shirts, hats and flags as well as a number of novelty items that are sure to bring a smile to any Essendon fans’ faces. Along with the new range of merchandise for the dedicated fans, you will find a number of items that will help secure an international audience to spread the electricity of AFL to the wider public.Essendon continues to be one of the most supported teams in the AFL, with a rich history in the league you can understand why. With regular matches being sold out game after game, and the viewing figures for each game rising season after season, there has never been a better time to get behind the Bombers and show how much of a dedicated fan you are.Image Source: spectatorsportsonline, essendonfc, carshowroom, krockfootball[...]



With Official Brisbane Lions Merchandise Encourage Your Children to Get Into the Footy

Thu, 04 Sep 2014 06:10:00 +0000

Are you a die-hard AFL fan that wants the whole family to get involved? Have a small child that loves to watch the games with you? Then why not get the newest AFL fan all of the gear they need to start enjoying AFL to the fullest. With a wide range of Brisbane Lions merchandise aimed directly at small children, you can enjoy each home game in style and show your support with the youngsters of the family!  The range of AFL merchandise for kids is surprisingly just as large as that available for adults –with a few extra additions! Why not get your little one a baby jumpsuit with your favourite teams’ badge emblazoned on it? Think that’s a little too much? Then why not opt for other Brisbane Lions merchandise such as a toddler’s hoodie, team mascot tee or a baby beanie hat.Start Them Early, Get Them for Life!Romper suits are available for the smallest of fans, along with scarfs, replica shirts and Guernsey’s to fit the whole family, no matter how big or small they may be. For those looking for an authentic look, you can find an entire replica look that has all of the hallmarks that makes the seniors kit so impressive.You can dress your little angel in official Lions socks, which come with a special non-slip sole to ensure when your baby takes their first steps they will be in full Lions regalia. The shorts and team Guernsey will go perfectly to finish the look. Merchandise for Every Occasion!With so much more AFL merchandise to choose from for your toddler, you will have a great time dressing your little one up in all of your teams gear. There is merchandise for every occasion, dinner time? No problem, just slip junior into a Brisbane Lions bib for them to enjoy their meal before the big game. It’s important to encourage young kids to get involved with sport and be passionate. Not only is it good for their health, but it’s great to have active interests from a young age.Starting off soon to be a die-hard Brisbane Lions fan is a sure fire way to continue the tradition in your household. Ensuring the spirit stays strong is an important aspect of any fanatic, so starting them early may see you wearing their shirt when they are playing for the team you love.Image Source:  imageshack, spectatorsporsonline.com.au[...]



The Rise in Popularity of AFL Team Merchandise

Wed, 06 Aug 2014 06:02:00 +0000

The AFL has been making headlines around the world this season for continuing its rise in popularity amongst competitive sports on a global scale. The reasons for this has been the enthusiasm shown by the fans, which reflects the on the pitch performances by some of the leagues’ top players. Attendance numbers are among the highest of any sport and in a relatively small country population wise, footy fans hold their own against the most popular sporting leagues in the world. This is reflected in the fact that AFL merchandise has hit an all-time high in both sales figures and demand, so finding the latest merchandise bearing the name of your favourite teams has become an online sensation.The explosion in popularity has meant that some team merchandise was starting to sell out even early on in the season. Thousands of fans have been clamouring to get hold of this season’s jerseys with their star players name and number on it being the number one essential fan item. But the league has cottoned on to the idea of mass merchandising, so this season expect to find those rarer, sought after objects you need most.The Range Of Merchandise is Huge From t shirts, baseball hats and socks, Brisbane Lions merchandise and Sydney Swans merchandise has risen to the top of the league when it comes to team promotion. Many fans love to get fully decked out in their teams gear and head off to the stadium to watch the latest game. Buying team merchandise via a vendor at the stadium has become a pricey addition for regulars, with many fans now looking online to score their team’s garb.Buying AFL team merchandise online has become easier thanks to the numerous websites that now stock the selected teams gear. Geelong Cats merchandise has risen thanks to online sports clothing retailers now offering a large variety of kits, shirts, stickers, beer holders and even tea towels.Take Pride in Your Team!Aside from the team jerseys, one of the most popular items of AFL team merchandise has been baseball caps with team logos. A great idea for those balmy nights of AFL under the setting sun, as well as for those proud to wear their teams colours away from the stadium.Buying merchandise online means that you will be able to make significant saving, as opposed to buying merchandise from a licenced vendor at your local stadium game. You will often see a sharp mark-up given to merchandise at a game, especially for rarer items that you may not be able to get all-year round at retail high street sports stores.Support Your Team for the Next RoundAdding to your collection is one of the great things about following your team, so making sure that you have access to the wide range of merchandise available to you is a key factor in enjoying the successes of your team. With a range of delivery options from online retailers offering free delivery on many items, buying now means you will be ready for the next round.Proud fans love to show their devotion to their team, so what better way to show how much of a true fun you are than to add to your merchandise collection with rarer items that you can pass down in the future. Those small AFL pin buttons and limited edition jerseys may be worth a lot more in the future if your team wins the Grand Final this year.Image Source: imageshack, spectatorsportsonline, google [...]



The Highs and Lows of the 2014 AFL Season So Far

Thu, 05 Jun 2014 09:59:00 +0000

With all of the thrills and spills we have seen so far, this year is one to remember for many teams and players. Now that we find ourselves at the mid-point of the 2014 AFL season, let us take a look at some of the highlights of the season so far, as well as how the form teams and stand-out players have been performing compared to other outstanding seasons in history.The 2014 season kicked off with a little drama on and off the field, with transfers making the most of the drama even before the season started. Most notably, Lance Franklin signed a nine-year contract with Sydney Swans – thought to be one of the most lucrative contracts in the leagues history. Buddy scored on his debut and has really rounded into form over the past month and a half or so. He’s currently ranked 8th in total for goals scored.Rising GiantsThis season has also been a chance to see some youngsters show their flare. Tom Boyd is one of those youngsters that were hyped up during the off season, but with a little more promise than others that have come before him. At just 18 years old, Boyd stands at a lofty 200cm and weighs in at 100kg, one of the many youngsters coming up today who seem built for the league.Being the #1 pick of the season, Boyd needed to set aside the hype off the pitch and concentrate on what he does best for GWS Giants. His performances so far this season have lived up to the high expectations surrounding him, showing finesse, flare and a leading role in many of the matches this season. Speaking earlier in the season, Giants reserves coach Brett Hand concluded that Boyd, despite his stellar performances this season still had a lot to learn.The leaders of the packOn an individual basis, the standout player this season for disposals has been Josh Kennedy. The Sydney Swans #1 has made 317 disposals so far, leading Gold Coast’s Gary Ablett by a narrow margin of 3. Brodie Grundy of Collingwood leads the clanger list with a total of 41 so far this season with Dion Prestia closely following.There have been a number of surprising victories this season, notably the Sydney Swans who have dazzled this season. Their fine form of late has made them favourites in the running to lead this second half of the season along with Freemantle. Gold Coast Suns have surprised many this season with their high ranking, but can their form continue through to the final games?Your pick for finalists?The eight teams in the running right now may contain the overall champions this season and with every game up for grabs, now is the time for teams like Hawthorn and Geelong to capitalise and not capitulate on their recent form. Port are certain contenders through the back end of the season as their confidence is high on the back of recent success, with Coach Ken Hinkley full of praise for his sides recent form. The Melbourne Demons have risen to recent form leading into their blockbuster showdown against North Melbourne which is sure to delight the fans. Both teams go into the local derby on fine form and with both looking to kick on for the rest of the season; it’s looking likely that one of these teams could finish in the running, making the back end of the 2014 AFL season one not to miss.Image Source:  abc, rickrifici, sportsbet, news[...]



The Highs and Lows of the Essendon Bombers

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 05:39:00 +0000

The Essendon Bombers have been a major force in the AFL over the years, but what has made them the success we see today? With Essendon merchandise sales and spectator numbers ever rising,  the Dons are a club with a rich history and have had their share of successes and dark times too. Let us look at some of the highs and the lows of how one of the oldest AFL clubs made its mark as a force to be reckoned with. Essendon was one of the founding clubs of then VFL and made its mark right away by winning the inaugural VFL season in 1897 in the VFL finals series. With several more premierships under its belt in 1901by defeating Collingwood in the Grand Final the Bombers took success later on in 1911 by winning another premiership title with defeat over Collingwood and again in 1912 with defeat over South Melbourne.An historic period of successEssendon played a large part in many firsts for the sport during the early years, such as competing in the very first night match against Melbourne in which the ball was painted white for better visibility. Their first title in any competitions was back in 1891 when they won the VFA premiership title. They continued this dominant display of success with premiership wins in 1892, 1983 and 1984 making an historic period of success, many say thanks to the legendary centre-half forward Albert Thurgood.Essendon was the only club to ever win a premiership without a grand final. In the 1924 season, no Challenge Final or Grand Final was staged and in place was a round-robin to determine the premiership. The top four clubs were pitted against each other to find the premiership winner. Essendon had already beaten their rivals Fitzroy and South Melbourne which meant that their 20-point loss to Richmond was all that was needed to clinch victory thanks to a higher point percentage over the Tigers.In the modern era of 2000 onward, Essendon started the new millennium with a 20-match unbeaten run before losing out to the Bulldogs. The Bombers finished the seasons as premiership winners for the 16th time with a defeat over Melbourne. This concluded the most dominant season of AFL by a single club in the history of the sport.The financial factorEssendon saw a decline in success after the spectacular season of 2000 and with the players salary cap coming into force, Essendon had to part ways with many key players in their squad. Some of the more popular players such as Chris Heffernan, Gary Moorcroft and Damien Hardwick left the club with terminated contracts whilst retirees Mark Mercuri, Joe Misti and Sean Wellman also left the club.The club continued its downward spiral with unsuccessful attempts at the premiership and saw its worse season in 70 years in 2006. The club had finished second from bottom in the league with just three wins and a single draw from 22 games in the season.The slow road to recovery started in 2011 with James Hird who took over as team coach. Essendon managed to finish 7th in the league thanks to Hird with the assistance of Mark Thompson. The club was in the process of recovery until the 2013 season when the AFL and the Australian sports anti-doping authority started an investigation as to the use of illegal substances.Multiple resignations followedThese investigations hurt Essendon merchandise sales and the public image of the club, and when the club was found to be guilty of bringing the game into disrepute, Essendon was fined $2m and stripped from early draft picks. James Hird was suspended for a period of 12 months and the chairman and CEO of the club resigned their posts due to the controversy.The club continues its goal of recovery in these troubled times. And being one of the oldest clubs with a remarkable history of success and firsts in the sport, the club has plenty of fans[...]



How the Popularity of the AFL is Booming to Record Levels

Fri, 28 Feb 2014 08:04:00 +0000

The Australian Football League is one of the world’s most popular national sports with booming numbers of both participants and spectators alike. With each coming season, scores of fans tune in to matches on sports networks, attend the blockbuster games and even watch online.The 2014 season is set to be the biggest season for AFL yet with huge ticket and merchandise sales leading the way. Let’s take a deeper look into the statistics.The average attendance for AFL games continues to grow year on year making the sport one of the most popular spectator sports in the country. In 2012, the total number of spectators for the entire season amounted to a staggering 6,778,559 spectators through the 207 games played leading to a season average of 32,747 per game across the board. The Collingwood Magpies achieves the highest gross attendance figures with a total of 1,145,476 for their 23-game season which averaged out as 45,819 per game.The 2013 AFL premiership season gained extra fans with its 207-game season long attendance figure of 6,931,085. This averaged out at 33,484 per game. 2013 saw Richmond increase their fan base attendance with a figure of 1,137,980 tickets sold for the season giving them an average of 49,477 per game.With these increasing attendance figures, the sport has grown in many different ways. Merchandising has become a huge growing sector for the AFL with jersey sales increasing year on year. With all popular sports comes sporting icons, and the AFL is no different. There are a few AFL players who sell more merchandise than others thanks to both their commercial appeal as well as their performances on the field.Lance Franklin is one of those players who has achieved the status of most popular merchandising icon, with the 2012 and 2013 seasons behind him he managed to sell more jerseys, badges, t-shirts and caps by more than double the sales of any other player. The percentage of jersey sales have also increased year on year to end a booming year of 2013.The highest number of jersey sales went to Essendon, Hawthorn and West Coast, with Franklin’s team mate Cyrol Rioli coming in a close second. Other notable shirt sellers include Carlton skipper Chris Judd, with Brownlow medallist Chris Judd making the top four.With spectacular sport on display at many of the AFLs more popular events, you can see why this sport has captivated the imagination of a nation. With a growing popularity year on year, many new household names are being etched into the history books to make the Australian Football league one of the biggest sports nationwide.Image source: spectatorsportsonline, alivemobile, markdadswell [...]



The Illustrious History of The Australian Football League

Thu, 30 Jan 2014 08:13:00 +0000

In 1857, Tom Willis returned to Australia and became one of the founders of arguably the most illustrious sport to ever grace the country. After becoming a seasoned rugby captain as well as a formidable cricketer during his school years, Willis got together with his cousin H.C.A Harrison and their associates J.B Thompson and W.J Hammersley to formulate the rules. What followed this momentous date included over 155 years of action packed and unforgettable sport. AFL has today grown into an international phenomenon, with television deals helping finance both the clubs and the league, advertising deals with shirt sponsors as well as merchandising sold in ALF shops making up huge revenue. Audience figures have steadily risen over the past 20 years making the AFL league today unrecognisable from its very early beginnings.On the 10th of July 1858, Melbourne Football Club was formed and soon had their first match against Scotch College in Yarra park. The two teams were joined by Geelong Football Club in 1859 and soon saw the arrivals of Adelaide F.C and Carlton Football Club joining the ranks. The sport was incredibly popular for a somewhat newly invented sport, but due to the rules and regulations, the spectacle of seeing a mix of different sports in a single area was hard to resist.Times of important rule changesOver the coming years, the sport saw numerous other teams joining the league including a second team from Melbourne in the form of North Melbourne Football Club. In 1873/4, new rules were drawn up to ensure that all players were required to be registered to one club only. Club kits were also introduced for the teams. In 1877 when the Victorian Football Association was established, the oval pitch design replaced the traditional rectangle like before.In 1886, the four quarters where introduced to take over the game of two halves that was previously played. This year also saw important changes in the rules to allow a centre bounce at the start of each game, each quarter and after a goal had been scored. Other important additions to the rules were brought in such as the addition of goal and boundary umpires and their ability to report players, the official sanctioning of player payments and further advancements.The modern era The 90s saw the league officially branded as the Australian Football league with modern branding and advertising. 1996 saw the league celebrate its centenary and quickly devised the Australian Football League hall of fame. The era was a time of fraught financial difficulty for many clubs and whilst talk of mergers lay on the table, the deal to merge Hawthorn with Melbourne fell through.Fitzroy finally merged with Brisbane to form the Brisbane lions and the AFL saw another addition to the league in the form of Port Adelaide. The era was also a time for rule changes that had a big impact on the game. New regulations came in the form of the Blood Rule, the introduction of a third umpire and the addition of allowing four interchange player to the field.With a new lease of life during the millennium, teams were able to move away from their smaller venue for league matches allowing for a huge increase in audience numbers. Waverley Park and the MCG in Melbourne were used to delight capacity crowds and further boost attendance revenue income for both the league and teams.In recent times, Geelong has come to dominate many seasons over the past few years contesting four grand finals and winning three of them gaining much acclaim. Hawthorn and Collingwood have also seen success in contesting three and winning two finals and contesting two and winning one final respectively.The sport continues to gain ever larger audiences, with access to ALF online matches a[...]



The funniest things we’ve seen on the footy field

Thu, 12 Dec 2013 04:31:00 +0000

Watching footy can bring up just about every kind of emotion imaginable. A single game can cause sheer joy, heartbreak, nerves, anger and relief all within a half an hour! But something that’s a bit rarer on the field is humour. While we all appreciate the lighter side of the game off field and in the media, it’s not every day you see a genuinely funny thing happening when you’re watching an intense game of footy. That’s what makes them so enjoyable! Here we count down some of the more memorable hilarious moments you might remember.1.Corey Enright running around in his jocks allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/7NbXDc9U1jM?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />This is truly one of the classic moments in recent times and has simply got to be at the top of the list. In a relatively one-sided matchup against the Brisbane Lions, Corey Enright side stepped a tackle on the forward flank, but the defender did manage to rip of his shorts before he got the kick away. This is something that happens from time to time, but what happened next was a bit out of the ordinary. There was no break in the play so Enright had to man his position or risk giving a kick or even a goal away to his opponent. When the ball came back into Geelong’s backline, the Cats regained possession and Enright received a handball before getting a kick in his jocks! Unfortunately it resulted in a turnover but the kick still brought a smile to the face of coach Bomber Thompson.2. Umpire marking the ball  allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/tmYDrBY6qiY?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />Peter Carey umpired 307 matches at the senior VFL/AFL level, including 4 grand finals. But the game we’ll always remember him for was played between Fremantle and St Kilda at Subiaco in 1997. The then-veteran ump marked a kick from Adrian Fletcher on his chest, before promptly blowing the whistle and calling a ball up. Most put this down to a moment of confusion for Carey, a mental blank where he acted impulsively. Some might even say it shows that he wished he could be playing at the professional level! We can’t even imagine what the consequences would be from the AFL today, but at the time it was more or less laughed off. Although Carey went on to umpire just 8 more senior matches.3. Mcnarmara going the wrong way  allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/jqXDJgnbjxY?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />This is a classic funny moment that can happen in just about every ball sport. We’ve seen it in basketball, soccer and many times in AFL. Jamie McNamara’s time came in 2009. Against the Cats, the West Coast youngster broke through getting a clearance out of a throw in on the wing, before taking off at lightning speed towards the Geelong goal. He even managed to get a kick away before pulling it (obviously realising what he’d done). This resulted in the kick more or less directly going to an opponent in the forward line and resulted in a goal for them. No doubt McNamara got a spray from his coach.4. Cale Morton picking a fight allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/ViwtwII83oE?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />There’s plenty of players in the AFL that you might not describe as big and burly, you’ve got to admire a player that can stand his ground a[...]



Premiership merchandise – the perfect gift for a Hawks fan this Christmas!

Fri, 06 Dec 2013 06:10:00 +0000

So the AFL season is well and truly over, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to forget about your favourite team!  Christmas is the perfect excuse to come to Spectator Sports Online and order your official premiership gear.If you’re struggling for gift ideas (let’s face it, most of us are) chances are you’re going to be able to find something suitable for your friend or family member on our website. Not to generalise, but Australian men are simple enough people – we like sports, beer and girls – so anything to do with that and you can’t go wrong!  If you’ve got a Hawthorn fan on your hands, you’re in luck. Yes the Hawks are a mighty club and they’ll probably be in the mix for the premiership again this coming season, but you never know – it could be years until Hawthorn bring home the bacon again! Any self respecting supporter knows that getting your hands on that gear that shows you were there when they went all the way is a must. So spoil your loved one without spending an arm and a leg. Check out these official premiership items:ApparelWe’ve got official Hawthorn 2013 premiership T-shirts and polo shirts in a range of styles, colours and sizes as well as caps, scarves and hoodies. You can even get a cap and shirt combo and save!  FootballsWe’ve got indoor and outdoor footballs in the Hawks colours. I can tell you from experience there’s nothing more fun than an indoor game of footy – just be sure not to break anything! Otherwise, why not kick your new footy outside with a few family members after Christmas lunch? Teddy BearsWe thought our Teddy’s deserved their own section because they’re just so awesome. Grab an official Hawks premiership Ralphy bear – the perfect gift for a Hawks supporter of any age, male or female!Other gear Spectator Sports Online stocks Hawks premiership gear ranging in price, so if your budget only allows you to splash out a little, we’ve got you looked after. Check out our stubby holders, bumper stickers, magnets, badges and more, all in that fabulous brown and gold. For more info don’t hesitate to give our shop a call![...]



4 Trading Blunders in the AFL

Tue, 12 Nov 2013 09:04:00 +0000

The AFL truly is a special kind of a game – it’s the best sport in the world to watch because it can be thrilling, intense and it’s tougher than any other ball sport in the world. It combines skill and strength, finesse and brawn and people of all shapes and sizes are suited to it.But another of the great things about the game of football is in the way that it’s governed. If you look at the soccer in Europe (and all over the world), you could argue that the sport is governed completely by money. In the English Premier League for instance, the richest clubs are the most competitive clubs, and the small market teams really can’t compete. Superstars that establish themselves at small clubs are almost immediately lured to bigger clubs for bigger wages. The NBA and NFL are also dominated by what might be considered overtrading – each team is so very different season to season.Footy, on the other hand, is a very even competition in comparison, and trades take place at an ideal frequency. We’ve certainly seen a number of questionable ones throughout the history of the game. Here are some of the more dubious decisions that footy clubs probably wish they could take back, many of which involve picks (which does blur the lines somewhat). Brendan Fevola to Brisbane (2009)Arguably one of the biggest trades of the last 5 or so years, Brisbane acquired Fevola and pick 27 in exchange for promising youngster Lachie Henderson and pick 12.  The Lions couldn’t resist the thought of having two of the then premier key position forwards in the competition. Unfortunately, this is one move that simply didn’t turn work out in the long term. A problem player with a string of off-field issues, Fevola went down with injury 11 rounds into the 2010 season, which was quite unfortunate. However, the offseason that followed was filled with indiscretions from the wayward forward, which ultimately took their toll on the Lions team and led to Fevola’s eventual sacking at the beginning of 2011. Meanwhile, Henderson has developed into a solid swing player for the Blue baggers and looks like he could kit up for many more matches. Trent Croad/McFarlane to Fremantle (2001)  This one’s is a little tricky because it involves a number of picks that were already highly touted and turned into exceptional players. As we’ve heard many times before, hindsight’s 20-20 but if there was one draft class the Dockers didn’t want to miss out on, it was this one. Freo had picks 1, 4, 20 and 36 in what could be described as the superdraft of the last 15 years. However, when Hawthorn offered a duo of versatile swingmen in Luke McPharlin and Trent Croad, the Dockers jumped at the chance, throwing in their pick 1, as well as their second and third round picks. While Croad only lasted in Freo for 2 years, McPharlin has had a long and prosperous career. But when you think of what could have been, you realise how good an opportunity the Dockers had. The first 3 picks of the draft were Luke Hodge, Luke Ball and Chris Judd, who have all been a part of premiership sides and have had fabulous careers. Further, Steve Johnson, Sam Mitchell Leigh Montagna wou ld have been up for grabs with Freo’s later picks. Meanwhile, they walked away with Graham Polak at pick 4, who retired after just 111 games. Jason Mooney to Geelong (1998) Another one of those poor-in-hindsight decisions that came about from a team’s need for a key position player. Geelong were after a big forward to replace Gary Ablett (always a tall task). They went for Jason Mooney, a middle of the road marking full forward – hardly worth a[...]



How to Deal With AFL Offseason Blues

Mon, 21 Oct 2013 03:30:00 +0000

We had a great AFL season this year. It had just about everything you could ask for - new stars emerging, young teams coming of age, controversy and best of all a highly thrilling and competitive finals series. The Grand Final was as exciting as ever; we watched Fremantle craw their way back against all odds only to fall short to the mighty Hawks. No doubt most of Australia was on the edge of their seats on that September day and we certainly got a deserving winner.Sadly, all good things must come to an end and now we all have to wait a good few months before we get back into the action again. If you’re as mad about AFL as we are, the wait can feel a lot longer than that and it can be a very difficult time. We don’t take offseason blues lightly here at Spectator Sports Online, and we’ve seen some very serious cases over the years. It’s especially painful if the end of the season has left a sour taste in your mouth as a footy fan. If you’re going through rough times this summer yearning for your footy fix, just remember that we’re feeling the pain with you.Here’s how the Spectator Sports Online team handles those offseason blues:   1. Keep an Eye on Offseason TransactionsWe’ve already seen some HUGE personnel changes this offseason. Lance Franklin is headed over to GWS in perhaps one of the biggest deals in AFL history, and Daisy Thomas is making the move to join Mick Malthouse over at Carlton, who seem to love poaching Collingwood people! Meanwhile, Heath Shaw is packing his bags for GWS and big man Ben McEvoy is headed to Hawthorn. Plus, there’s plenty of rumours flying around to keep you in the loop and excited for your teams future prospects!  2.  Watch Old TapeThis is where having Fox Footy is brilliant. They play footy replays all year round so you can relive the great moments from seasons past. Watch the legends of old battle it out and get yourself amped up for the 2014 season.  3.Follow Other SportsLet’s face facts - AFL footy is the best game on Earth and nothing really comes close. But there is plenty of great sporting action over the summer with the basketball (both the NBA and NBL) on the telly, American Football and of course the cricket, which is also great to throw on a warm summer’s day. While they might not completely cure you of this awful affliction, they’ll certainly numb the pain.   4. Plan a TripFootballers always head off on footy trip after the season’s end, and there’s a good reason for this. A summer’s vacation can really take the bite out of any end-of-season blues you might be experiencing as a supporter and it gives you a chance to reflect and regroup after the footy year is over.  5.  Stock Up on Footy GearLast but not least, you can always grab some club merchandise to make you feel closer to footy. This is something we can help you and it’s a sure fire way to beat the blues once and for all. We’ve got all sorts of gift items, playing gear and more - all authentic and at the best prices you’ll find online. We hope you all get through the off season without too much drama. Good luck!  [...]



Questionable All-Australian Selections?

Thu, 19 Sep 2013 03:05:00 +0000

It’s obviously a very exciting time of the year for footy fans. The Brownlow Medal count is just one week away and we’ll know who takes home the Premiership cup just 5 days after that! It’s been another fantastic season of football and this weekend, the semi finals, will be very interesting. We’ll be there to help you out if you want to grab some extra gear to support your team, so if you’re looking for AFL merchandise, we’ve got your back.The Fremantle Dockers have performed at a high level all season, and you’ve really got to tip your hat to coach Ross Lyon for implementing the defensive game plan that has made them so tough to beat. They are tipped by many to take care of last year’s premiers the Swans for their first ever grand final berth. Meanwhile, the Hawks – who remain the Premiership favourite according to the bookies – will have to defeat the team that has beaten them in the past 12 meetings since Hawthorn got up against Geelong in 2008 grand final. You’d think the Cats would have the mental edge in this matchup, but the Hawks have been brilliant all season and will be very difficult to beat.The All-Australian team was announced earlier this week, and like most years, there has been some discussion and debate in regards to who was deserving of a place, and who was possibly overlooked. More often than not it’s a given team’s supporters that point out when one of their players has been given the cold shoulder by selectors, though there are some legitimate shock omissions that most in the football world are wondering about. Though it was great to see 12 debutants make the side and Gary Ablett break the record for the number of consecutive selections (7).Luke Hodge is one whose non-selection is nothing short of baffling. The Hawks star captained the best team of the regular season and had a great year playing off half-back. Fellow Hawk Sam Mitchell – who was moved into a sweeping role this season – got the nod as did Coleman medallist Jarrod Roughhead. Lance Franklin probably played second fiddle to Roughhead most of the year, though they both managed to average the same number of goals (3).The Tigers, who were knocked out by Carlton in the opening week, expressed confusion that they finished 5th yet didn’t have a single player in the All-Australian squad, let alone the final team. They certainly have a point. Trent Cotchin managed 26 touches per game and had a very consistent season and even Daniel Jackson, who many are tipping will walk away with the club’s best and fairest, had a great end to the year.Nathan Fyfe of Fremantle is another that possibly deserved the honour – finishing with an average of 25.7 possessions per game and 6th in the contested ball stats. It is however, difficult to see which players you’d bring out of the side. Ultimately, it’s not easy splitting the best players in the competition and there were likely many deserving players than only missed out narrowly.We’ll be excited to see who will take out the Brownlow, though Ablett remains the strong favourite. And after that it’s on to the biggest day in September![...]



Big Stories in the AFL This Season

Fri, 06 Sep 2013 06:00:00 +0000

The most exciting part of the footy year is here and the team at Spectator Sports Online couldn’t be more excited! Over the next 4 weeks, the best teams in the AFL playoff for the premiership cup. As always, we’re predicting a fierce, intense finals series. Many feel as if the mob from down Glenferrie way are a shoe-in, but the teams in the top four are relatively close and each of Freo, the Cats and the Swans can beat the hawks on their day.If you’re headed to the finals, you’re obviously in for a treat! Plus, you’ll want to look the part so jump on our website for the biggest range of AFL merchandise with your favourite team’s logo and colours.In this article, we look at some of the year’s biggest stories to help you remember what a great, exciting season of AFL it was!The Bombers’ Drug Scandal  James HirdWithout a doubt, the biggest headline has been Essendon’s supplement program, and the subsequent penalties handed to them by the AFL which cost them a place in the final eight. Coach James Hird will be taking 12 months off, and there is probably a good chance that he won’t be returning after so long out of the game. This situation has ultimately shown us that our league is in the same boat as many other world sports; we are not immune from the drug problem. It has also probably prepared the AFL and put them in a position where they are able to deal with any future problems.  Young GunsJaeger O’MearaTwo players from the AFL’s two newest clubs have shown real promise, and we and many footy experts are predicting amazing, long careers from these young lads. Rising star winner Jaeger O’Meara averaged 21 touches and 5 tackles in his maiden season, which included a huge 3-goal performance in a win against Collingwood in round 17. The 19 year old from Perth has amazing balance and strength for his size, and he seems to have a veteran’s understanding of the game even in his first season!Jeremy CameronMeanwhile, Jeremy Cameron has been turning head over in Greater Western Sydney. At just 20 years of age, he booted 62 majors and experts are talking about him being the next Wayne Carey. Fremantle Dockers coach Ross Lyon has mentioned that he’s a freak and destined for ‘special things’. It’s certainly looking like he’ll have a fantastic career and all eyes will be on him in 2014.   Richmond Tigers Finals Bound Tigers fans haven’t had too much to smile about in the past few seasons; prior to 2013 they had finished in the top eight just twice since 1987. Many believe that this talented young team possibly should have been more successful earlier, and it’s been narrow missed chances and big games not going their way that have cost them. But the Tigers really showed what they’re capable of this season and stayed consistent throughout. We’re truly perplexed how none of their stars managed to make the All-Australian Squad! They’ve got a solid midfield with Cotchin, Martin and Daniel Jackson stepping up in a big way this season, not to mention their devastating forward line with the likes of Edwards and Riewoldt both having fabulous seasons. It will be interesting to see how far coach Damien Hardwick can take them. [...]



5 Affordable Father’s Day Gift Ideas!

Wed, 28 Aug 2013 02:23:00 +0000

Whether it’s for a birthday, Christmas or Father’s Day, buying for the old man is no easy task. While your Dad is probably likely to appreciate any effort you make, nobody is thrilled about getting socks and jocks on their special day.With Father’s Day just around the corner, we thought we’d give you some suggestions about relatively cheap gifts that will put you in the good books with Dad and - most importantly - bring a smile to his face. It’s time to reward the hard-worker in the family! Our AFL store stocks a huge range of perfect father’s day gifts. Below are some of our favourites if you’re watching your budget. A combination of items can make for a great present! Ballpoint Pen ($5)A business man can never have too many pens. These official AFL ballpoint pens are available in every team’s colours and are the perfect way for Dad to show his love of the game at the office.Luggage Tag ($10)If your father/husband travels a lot for work, an official AFL luggage tag will enable him to take his favourite team wherever he goes! A cute addition to a travel bag that serves a purpose too.Stubby Holder ($9.95) There’s nothing like enjoying a cold one while watching the footy. Your Dad will look that part these finals with his team’s colours wrapped around his beer!Beach Towel ($29.95) You might not believe, but it’s going to be summer time very soon which means no more footy and more time at the beach! A beach towel is a good way for your Dad or husband to show off his passion and love for the game in the offseason.Polar Fleece Throw Rug ($34.95)It’s true that it’s heating up in Melbourne as we approach spring (and summer eventually!), but the footy is still here and we’re headed towards what we think is going to be a fantastic finals series! Get your Dad an official AFL club throw rug and keep the whole family warm next time you’re at the footy.If you’re really looking to spoil the old man and splash out a little more, there are a host of perfect gift ideas on our website including jumpers, scarves, polos and more! Otherwise, you can come and visit us in store for more affordable gift ideas including coffee mugs, thermal cups, bottle coolers and bar packs.Here’s hoping you’re able to pick something up for the big fella that he loves![...]



Get all Your Footy Gear at Spectator Sports Online!

Thu, 15 Aug 2013 10:04:00 +0000

Like most Australians (Victorians especially), we love our AFL at Spectator Sports Online, it truly is a special kind of game. Footy is something that makes the weekends extra exciting and brings out people’s passion. Kids and adults alike take an active interest, and there’s a wonderful social aspect to the great game. Grand Final day is one of Australia’s favourite days, whether you’re attending the match or spending the day with family, friends and a couple of snags on the BBQ.You might be playing it, watching it or talking about it, but the biggest fans are always the ones that wear it the best. Lucky for you, we’re in the business of helping you look the part, providing a huge range of authentic footy jumpers, clothing and playing equipment at the best prices. Conveniently located in Ringwood right near the Eastlink exit and with an easy-to-use online store that is available to all, Spectator Sports is the team to talk to for all your AFL gear needs.Huge rangeLooking to deck yourself out for the next time you go to the footy? You’ve come to the right place. We like to say that if it’s got an AFL Football team’s logo on it, we sell it. Just check out our website, you’ll find everything from full playing kits and footballs to boxer shorts, lunchboxes and even onesies for kids.ConvenienceIf you don’t have time to visit us in-store, you can easily log onto our site and pick out the product you want. Our innovative website is simple and easy-to-navigate, so it’s probably easier to find what you’re looking for than it is in a physical shop! Not only that but we pride ourselves on the competitive nature of our prices, so you can be sure you’re getting the best value for money across our entire range.Gift IdeasEveryone finds it difficult to buy for other people at Christmas and birthdays. We take the stress out of it with great gift packs for young and old! We’ve got gear suitable for toddlers, young kids and adults too. What makes a better gift than a football to an Aussie male of any age? If it’s someone that interested in AFL, you’re set; Spectator Sports will do the rest. And with our wide range, you’re going to be spoilt for choice. Keep in mind that the new Costco warehouse is soon to open up just next door to our Ringwood store!For more information about our products or to check out our enormous range, visit our website today. You’re sure to find just what you’re looking for in your team’s colours![...]



Player Names Could Be on AFL Jumpers Soon

Mon, 15 Jul 2013 06:23:00 +0000

The Australia Football league is looking closely at the possibility of having players’ names on the back of playes’ football jumpers, the AFL website reports. According to Deputy CEO Gillon McLachlan, the idea is becoming popular and a number of people are pushing for the change.“There are a number of people that think...that now is the time,’ he said.Having numbers on the back of AFL jumpers became the norm in 1912, ultimately as a way for fans to identify players with the help of a Footy Record. But the two new teams that have joined the AFL in the past few years has meant that there have been a number of emerging players that fans have taken time to familiarise with.Kevin Sheedy, coach of the expansion side Greater Western Sydney, is one who has got behind the idea in a big way. He claims that having player names of the back of AFL jumpers will make it easier for borderline fans of the sport to get involved and learn about the players. In Sydney and NSW, football is often plays second fiddle to the more popular Rugby League, and if GWS are going to establish a significant fan base, it’s important that their younger, lesser-known players be easily recognisable.“I'm in the marketplace of explaining who we are so if people want to get to know Jeremy Cameron, people want to know Coniglio…we've got to try to make superstars in Sydney," he said.Having player names on the back of jerseys is a part of most professional team sports, including basketball and American football for instance. However, for some sports it is up to the club themselves as to whether player names appear on team jerseys (certain rugby leagues and baseball). It is also customary in certain cricket competitions - including 20/20 - and in Australia’s International Rules series with Ireland.The potential problem that the AFL have to think about how jumpers are going to accommodate for players with especially long surnames, such as Nathan Lovett-Murray and Lewis Roberts-Thompson. Further, you would think that surnames on players’ jumpers would not be readable to the majority of people in the stands, though it would certainly help when watching the replay on the big screen.Do player names have a place of AFL jumpers? Will this initiative work? It certainly looks like we could soon find out.[...]



Sport in Australia

Tue, 14 May 2013 13:12:00 +0000

Australians are known around the globe for being nuts about sport. While we have a relatively small population compared to other countries, we produce some of the best sportsman and athletes in the world and continually perform well in the Olympic Games and other sporting events. Our attendance numbers for sport are also sky-high. For instance, the average attendance for an AFL game in 2012 is the fourth highest of any sporting event ever. We also host some of the most prestigious events on the sporting calendar including the Australian Open for tennis and Grand Prix in Melbourne.So what’s the reason for this? Well, for one thing, we put a lot of money into our sporting programs and have institutions in place that look to develop young sportsmen and women. The other reason is that sport is a part of the Australian culture and identity. The media reflects our passion for sport with the anti-siphoning laws, which allow free-to-air channels to cover major sporting events, meaning that the majority of people in Australia are able to view them. The success of sporting programs is not only a testament to the Australian culture of sport, but may also contribute to it.The AFL is Australia’s national game, and as you’d expect, the nation’s passion for sport is no better illustrated than by its footy fans. And what better way to demonstrate your passion for the sport than to show your team colours next time you watch them play? It’s almost a prerequisite for all footy fans - and fans of any sport really - that they represent their club by getting the right gear.Spectator Sports Online is your one-stop AFL shop for all the footy gear you’re after. Just jump on this easy-to-use website and pick out the team apparel you want. It is then delivered it to your door, which saves you the trouble of having to go out and buy it from an AFL store. Expect competitive prices and you’re sure to be impressed by the huge range of merchandise.Everyone knows that die-hard fans will always support their team come rain, hail or shine. Whether it be cheering louder than the opponents’ fans or by looking a million bucks in the freshest gear from an AFL store, Australians know how to get behind a sporting team. It’s a part of our culture for crying out loud! For those colder nights and days, you’ll need to rug up with a scarf, beanie and jacket in your team’s colours. If it’s a little warmer, you can order a cap or an official playing top with any number on the back.So if you’re looking for AFL, NRL, A-League or Cricket merchandise, Spectator Sports are the people to talk to.[...]



AusKick and the Younger Generation

Wed, 24 Apr 2013 08:27:00 +0000

One of the great things about sport is that it attracts and involves people from all walks of life. It is a part of human nature to enjoy competitive physical activity, and both watching and playing sport can certainly give us a rush. Regardless of age, social status or income there’s something about sport that brings us together and gets us all fired up.Naturally, there are games that attract certain types of people. Polo, for instance, is traditionally seen as a sport that is played by the upper classes, while lawn bowls is generally considered to be appropriate for retirees. But popular Australian team sports such AFL and rugby seem to attract a significant cross section of the population, and many children develop an interest in these sports from a young age. Kids are naturally playful, energetic and – in many cases – perhaps even more competitive than a lot of adults, so it makes sense that they take a particular interest in sport from a young age.That’s part of why AusKick is so popular. Thousands of kids around the country get involved and it’s great to see how passionate they can be about the game. AusKick is not only a good way to keep your children active, but it also promotes a healthy competitive spirit and helps develop teamwork and general social skills. But perhaps the most important aspect of AusKick is how much fun and enjoyment it provides for the kids.  In today’s technological society, where more and more children are spending time indoors, it can be very valuable to encourage their involvement in a physical sport. In many cases, Auskick provides children with their first real taste of organised sport. Personally, I can’t remember being more excited about AFL Football than when I was a youngster. I played what was call ‘VicKick’, an early version of Auskick, and nothing made me more happy than getting out there and running around with the other kids. Another part of the game that really made me passionate was collecting team and player memorabilia, and, even today, one of the most important aspects of AusKick is allowing kids to show their colours and support their team. When I was young there were no AFL online stores, so your best bet at finding quality footy jumpers, scarves and other merchandise was by visiting the official AFL shop. Nowadays, however, a quality online AFL store stocks everything you need to show your support and it couldn’t be more convenient for you to log in and order the items you’re after. Team memorabilia can really inspire children and encourage their passion for the game. I know it did for me.If you want to get your kids involved in Auskick, visit www.aflauskick.com.au and follow the links to register. Just remember to make sure your child has the gear to support their team. Visit an online AFL store or retail AFL shop to find your child’s favourite player’s jumper and help encourage their passion for this great game![...]