The AFL today announced that the FOXTEL Cup competition, which pits the best teams from each state league competition against each other in a knockout format, would not be continuing for a fifth season next year in 2015.
AFL General Manager Broadcasting, Scheduling and Major Projects Simon Lethlean said the midweek competition had been extremely positive for second-tier footballers.
“The FOXTEL Cup was designed to provide another pathway from the state leagues around Australia for players to showcase their wares for a potential AFL career,” Mr Lethlean said.
“In the four seasons across 2011-2014, a total of 25 players who had played in teams from the FOXTEL Cup were drafted on to AFL lists, including most recently West Adelaide's Sam Durdin who was selected by North Melbourne in round one of last week's NAB AFL Draft on the Gold Coast.
“However, as the competition has continued through multiple seasons, the demands of the FOXTEL Cup have had to work alongside the goals of senior state league sides, in regards to seeking team success within their state competition, which has proven to be an ongoing challenge" he said.
Mr Lethlean said he wanted to particularly thank FOXTEL and Burley-Sekem for their support of the competition across four years, which had seen each of the major state leagues win at least one title apiece with Williamstown (VFL, 2011 and 2014), Claremont (WAFL, 2012) and West Adelaide (SANFL, 2013) crowned as the respective winners.
“The AFL and our state leagues are greatly appreciative of the support of FOXTEL, and its vision, along with Fox Sports, for the broadcast of the FOXTEL Cup on the Fox Footy Channel, which took live state league contests into homes around the nation,” Mr Lethlean said.
“FOXTEL and Fox Footy continue to be great partners for our game and we look forward to their coverage of the AFL next year, starting with the 2015 NAB Challenge beginning in February,” Mr Lethlean said.
“Burley-Sekem strongly supported the competition for each of its four years and the AFL is also greatly appreciative of the enthusiasm of all state leagues and their senior clubs towards the FOXTEL Cup.”
Claremont’s Tom Lee (to St Kilda) and Kane Mitchell (to Port Adelaide), West Adelaide’s Steven Morris (to Richmond), Werribee’s Ben Brown (to North Melbourne), Morningside’s Tom Bell (to Carlton), Port Magpies’ Tim Broomhead (to Collingwood) and West Perth’s Mark Hutchings (to West Coast) are among those players to have also been drafted after playing in the Foxtel Cup over the past four seasons, with further players a chance to be drafted at the December Rookie Draft.