Perth’s successful bid for the 2020 AFL Masters National Carnival in September could lay the foundations for a bumper year of masters rules competition throughout the South West, according to Bunbury Sharks club president Mick Seddon.
Seddon, who at 35 years of age is one of the youngest masters rules officials in the region, believes the anticipation of the eight-day extravaganza has the potential to enhance the already popular product. “I started playing when I was 33,” he said. “So when I came to the club I really enjoyed it because you do not just play with your own team and then go home.
“You catch up with the other team and relax.
“The rivalries are still there but it is not as competitive and probably brutal as football can be sometimes.”
Seddon said the Sharks, like other clubs throughout the region, had an average of five home games spread throughout the season, which are able to provide a number of lasting economical and social benefits — the same sought for Perth’s showcase event later this year.
“We have raffles, competitions and that sort of stuff,” Seddon said.
“There are often 10-20 kids running around just having an absolute great time, which allows them to get off social media and their tablets.
“Just having fun and doing what kids should be doing.”
Although unsure if any Sharks players will participate in the carnival, Seddon is hopeful the region will continue to embrace the code, and is exploring all options in order to increase awareness.
Tourism Minister Paul Papalia feels interstate visitors participating in the carnival would find it difficult to pass up visiting what regional WA has to offer.
“I look forward to welcoming this event back to WA after 17 years, and encourage visitors to explore transformed Perth and our diverse regional areas,” he said.
Former AFL greats Matt Priddis and Des Headland have already committed to the carnival, which begins on September 26.