AFL NSW-ACT chief executive Sam Graham in Wagga to plan for big 2018

HEAVY HITTERS: AFL NSW-ACT's executive team of (from left) Sam Chadwick, Tiffany Robertson, Sam Graham, Anthony Brooks, Darren Denneman and Steve Mahar at Wagga Country Club on Thursday. Picture: Les Smith
HEAVY HITTERS: AFL NSW-ACT's executive team of (from left) Sam Chadwick, Tiffany Robertson, Sam Graham, Anthony Brooks, Darren Denneman and Steve Mahar at Wagga Country Club on Thursday. Picture: Les Smith

AFL NSW-ACT boss Sam Graham could not be happier with the state of the game in the Riverina.

Graham visited Wagga, along with the AFL NSW-ACT executive team, on Thursday for a review and planning session with their Southern NSW team.

They celebrated a ‘really successful year’ where participation numbers were up across the board.

Staff also planned for 2018, which Graham expects to even bigger.

“We expect further growth with the launch of the Southern NSW AFLW competition in February along with the Youth Girls competitions in MIA and Wagga continuing to grow,” Graham said.

“We’re also putting a lot into the competitive balance and sustainability of clubs.”

Graham is happy with the state of the game in the region and was happy to report that attendances at finals footy were also through the roof.

“In 2017 we had double digit growth in gate takings for finals footy, which was very pleasing,” he said.

Both the Farrer and Riverina Leagues voted for a ‘soft’ salary cap of $100,000 to be introduced next season.

Graham believes it is the way to go.

“They are being implemented across the country. It’s not a silver bullet but over time it will bring the competitive balance back to competitions and ensure the sustainability of clubs,” he said.