If you ask me what AFL was last week, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. But it’s funny how fast one can get into the life of down under, because just a few days ago, I had my first taste of the famed Australian Footy. AFL, short for Australian Football League, is undeniably one of the biggest professional sporting events in Australia with regards to football. Having heard so much about footy, I couldn’t help but to experience it live with a few of my colleagues when the chance came up.
View from my seat
The cheapest tier tickets were sold out by then, so we only managed to get the Gold-tiered tickets at $40+ each. The good thing about watching a game here was the weather! Since it was an outdoor stadium, I can’t imagine how hot and sweaty it would be had it been in our tropical country. The weather that evening was cool with clear skies, perfect for an outdoor game. Our seats were quite close to the field, so we had a good view of the players.
Sea of spectators to my right
View to my left
The game that evening was between Sydney Swans and Melbourne, held at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). The atmosphere was quite amazing. According to the host, there were more than 21,000 people in the stadium that night! I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to understand the game at first, but it was actually quite straightforward. We really just need to know that when the ball goes in between the centre 2 posts, then a goal is scored and 6 points given. If, however, the ball misses and goes in between the poles on the left or right, the team will get 1 point for scoring a behind. Simple!
The match that night was rather single-sided, with the Sydney Swans leading the game by a huge margin. There was a group of Melbourne supporters nearby and when their team scored, they would stand up and start dancing with their flags. Unfortunately, they didn’t manage to do that many times that night.
Sydney Swans supporters
Of course, being the home ground, the Sydney Swans had the majority of the supporters in the stadium that night. Their fans could be easily recognized by their red and white outfits. In fact, they reminded me of Santa Claus colors – so festive! Every time the Sydney Swans scored a goal, the cheer was deafening. I suppose that is the big difference between watching a game live and watching it from the TV.
Kick to Kick
After more than 2 hours of watching the match, Sydney Swans won by a whopping margin or 101 points (138 vs 37). At the end of the game, it was announced that ‘Kick to Kick’ was on that night, which meant that the audience had the chance to go down to the field and had a shot at playing football there! Many football fans brought their football with them, and took their time playing and kicking it around.
Getting a taste of football in the field
Is he going to catch it?
First experience at a footy game
Watching Australian football was very much like watching soccer, where everyone went after a ball and tried to shoot it past the goal. The biggest difference is perhaps how tackling is allowed and in some cases, could be hazardous. It was overall quite an interesting experience for me, although I did wish that the game was more competitive. With such a big margin of win, there was no question on who the winner would be after the second quarter was played. There’s always the chance for another match, especially when Saucer is here.
Score of Sydney Swans vs Melbourne