While I was in Australia I was determined to go and see an Aussie rules football match. I absolutely adore normal football (or soccer as some of you may know it!) and support both a Scottish team and a Spanish team so I was interested to see how AFL could compare.
My brother booked us tickets to see the West Coast Eagles versus St. Kilda at the Subiaco Oval. I was really surprised to learn that the seating is mixed seating, and the fans aren’t placed in particular sections. This would never happen at home, especially in Glasgow, as it would quickly descent into a complete farce, and in some cases, into violence. Clearly us Scottish people are just far too violent and caught up in our footy!
I was also even more surprised to learn that it’s totally cool for you to drink during AFL games. That definitely wouldn’t happen at home, because if everyone had a drink in them, there would be even more likely to be crowd trouble. Sad, but true. Everyone was getting stuck into a few drinks during the game, and there was nothing but light hearted banter.
Another big thing which surprised me, was the number of girls who were at the game. They were everywhere! When I go to football matches at home I’m normally one of very few girls in the crowd, which can be quite intimidating. The atmosphere at the game I attended was friendly and light, and I felt very at home as a girl in the crowd.
So, the game- I loved it! Watching 18 burly men in each team run around for a few hours wasn’t a bad way to spend an afternoon in the sun! The rules aren’t as difficult to follow as I thought they would be, and I only struggled to understand why free kicks had been awarded sometimes for incidents that didn’t look much to me. I liked the physicality of the game as I dislike the tendency to fall to ground in mock agony that happens all to often in European football.
Even if you’ve never seen an AFL match before, if you’re in Australia it’s a great event to experience. The atmosphere is exciting and the friendly banter between the different sets of fans was fun and exciting. I still don’t think it’s as good as real football, but I did thoroughly enjoy it!