USAFL Presents 5 Year Strategic Plan to the AFL

AFL International Manager, Tony Woods visited the US at the end of April  for the second time since stepping into the role two years ago.  The occasion marked a significant opportunity for the USAFL to present a five year strategic plan in line with the AFL’s overall international goals.  USAFL representatives President, Andy Vanica, Treasurer, Adam Coleman, Vice-President Central, Dan Sarbacker and Operations Manager Doren James met with Woods in Chicago and gave an overview of the plan that will guide the USAFL’s development over the next five years.

The meeting began with an update from Woods on the AFL’s plans to hold US talent combines, in the coming years, which would look to identify elite US athletes with potential to play in the AFL.  The USAFL will continue to work closely with the AFL to determine the best strategy and approach.

Next on the agenda was a USAFL financial overview, dating back to 2007, presented by Treasurer, Adam Coleman.  Coleman has served as the USAFL treasurer since 2008 and has worked tirelessly in organizing and maintaining the financial records.  It was evident from the presentation (and reaction) that Woods will return to the AFL confident of the league’s ability to undertake, manage, and successfully complete large financial projects.

“It was really pleasing to spend some time with new President Andy Vanica and members of the USAFL in a strategy session during my recent trip to the USA." said Woods.

"Development of AFL in International marketplaces is a challenging undertaking relying in most cases on the efforts of passionate individuals. In the case of the USA, these individuals mobilizing in such an organized fashion over a sustained period provides us with the confidence to continue to invest in the growth of the game through the USAFL and to this end we are committed to supporting the USAFL in our collective endeavors. I am particularly excited by the prospect of a series of USA Combines over the coming years specifically targeting an elite USA athlete outcome and look forward to working with the USAFL to achieve this outcome." he continued.

As metro footy gets underway in most areas, I extend my best wishes to players and teams in their local competitions and wish you all success in the build up to the USA Nationals which I know will be another unique and wonderful AFL event”  Woods concluded.

Looking to the future, a five-year strategic growth plan for the league was presented, outlining key programs and projects.  These initiatives were agreed upon in accordance with AFL International Affiliate Requirements, the AFL Long-Term International Strategy and USAFL Goals.  Included in the discussions were plans to expand the USAFL talent pathway with the launch of an U25 Revolution program.  The strategic report is being finalized and will be available to the public upon completion. 

Said USAFL President Andy Vanica, “The Executive Board along with Operations Manager, Doren James has worked hard to create a realistic long-term strategy while outlining the programs that will help us reach those goals.  I am very excited about the next five years and believe with the help of the AFL, we can see a sizeable growth in Australian Football in the United States.”  He continued, “I’d like to specifically recognize Adam Coleman who will be stepping down from his role as Treasurer at the end of the month.  His efforts over the past five years have placed the league in a position where we can grow and think long-term.  Many thanks to Adam for his contributions to the USAFL.” 

The strategic document will be released shortly outlining the five-year plan and the goals for the League. Any questions may be directed to USAFL Executive Board through Andy Vanica,

Tony Woods at NY Magpies Training

In addition, Woods had the opportunity to experience footy in the US first hand.  While in New York he led a Magpies training session and came away impressed with the skill and knowledge displayed by both the men and women.  New York also hosted Woods at their annual ANZAC Day event where he was a special guest and had the unique experience of marking the occasion while on a boat in the Hudson River.  During his time in Los Angeles he took in a Dragons metro match which gave him some insight into the potential of local leagues.  Overall, the clubs made a positive impact on Woods demonstrating that the league has achieved significant milestones in fifteen years and is on the path to continued success.

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