x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Season kicks off today

Organisers of AFL Middle East, the new season of which starts today, are eager to spread the word that Aussie Rules football is not just for Australians.

DUBAI // Organisers of AFL Middle East, the new season of which starts today, are eager to spread the word that Aussie Rules football is not just for Australians. Expatriates in the Gulf will renew battle under modified rules and use makeshift rugby fields. The Middle East League, which had its inaugural season last year, has seven teams, after a club from Bahrain joined in the summer. "We are trying to get as many nationalities involved as we can," said football operations manager for AFL Middle East, Cameron Hotton.

With no Aussie Rules ovals available, the AFL Middle East rules are amended to have nine players per side rather than the usual 18. The chase for the AFL Middle East VB Premiership Trophy begins at The Sevens today when Dubai Dragons host Bahrain Blues. pradley@thenational.ae