Australia’s National Gridiron League Adds Central Coast Cyclones

The National Gridiron League (NGL) of Australia has added the Central Coast Cyclones to the league bringing the total number of teams up to six so far for the 2016 season. The Central Coast Cyclones represent the Central Coast in the state of New South Wales.

The Cyclones are the sixth team launched under the league’s banner joining the North Coast Heat, Brisbane Outlaws, Gold Coast Kings, Sydney Express and Logan City Wolverines.

The Central Coast Cyclones will replace a Canberra team for the 2016 Season. The NGL will not open with a team in Canberra opting instead to add a team from that city in 2017.

Team colors are a shade of navy blue and volt. The team is expected to practice in facilities located in the city of Gosford.

About the Central Coast

The Central Coast is an Australian peri-urban region in New South Wales, located on the coast north of Sydney and south of Lake Macquarie. The Central Coast has an estimated population of 323,079 as at June 2014, growing at 1% p.a. making it the third largest urban area in New South Wales and the ninth largest urban area in Australia. Geographically, the Central Coast is generally considered to include the region bounded by the Hawkesbury River in the south, the Watagan Mountains in the west and the southern end of Lake Macquarie in the north.

Australia - map - 2pic

Although many have questioned whether this new professional American football league will actually kick off in Australia, everything seems to be moving forward. The league, which has stated it will launch August 7, 2016, has been signing coaches and players for all six teams announced so far.

Plans are also underway to announce teams in other cities in New South Wales including Newcastle and Wollongong.

Full-time salaries

NGL player salaries in the initial stages are generally slightly higher than in other parts of the world outside of North America but still very modest. Rumours of extravagant wages are, according to the league, just rumours, although the intention is to be on a par with the Canadian Football League within five years. In addition to salaries, players and coaches receive accommodation, health insurance and other relevant expenses paid for. Some players can receive higher offers based on their value to the league.

According to NGL senior executives, the league is involved in a wide range of activities moving forward towards its launch later this year. Everything from additional funding to merchandising, regional combines, media, a television network, sales and marketing staffing and much more is underway. In fact, the league recently signed a fleet vehicle deal.

Australia - NGL - fleet vehicles

The NGL’s goal is ambitious. They want to transform American football into as popular a sport as there is in Australia, on a par with other sports such as the hugely popular Australian Rules Football which boasts an average attendance of more than 30,000 spectators per game.

Nevertheless, the league has made steady progress and intends to have all nine teams in place in time to play an 18-week schedule running between August and December. Each team will play 16 games with two bye weeks. All games will be played in stadiums and all games will be televised nationally.

The promoters and organizers of the NGL are optimistic about the reception of the league by the Australian general public and intend an aggressive expansion of the league in forthcoming years. This includes not only adding more franchises but also expanding facilities and coaching staffs. American football players, coaches and trainers from Australia and many other countries are being recruited and are joining the league.

AFI
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