Make sure you get the team right, check the team colours, and get planning!
Everybody knows that a party has to have streamers. But why keep it normal? You could throw up streamers in the team's colour, but why not find somewhere that will give you a bulk discount on footy scarves or flags and use them to decorate the room?
2. Cake Decorating
So you want to make the cake special, but you're no cake decorator! You can either get a cake decorated at a cake shop with the colours of your team, or you can do it at home. Either purchase or bake a cake and ice it with the main colour of your team. Using a piping bag, run a border of icing of the second colour around the top edge of the cake, and place a small piece of AFL merchandise in the middle as a decoration on top. Obviously you'll want to use something small and lightweight as decoration so as not to squish the cake - options could be a keyring or stand AFL pens up in the centre of the cake in place of candles.
Can't afford to purchase AFL balloons for the party? Understandable - parties certainly add up. Just purchase two bags of plain balloons in his favourite footy colours (for example, red and black for St Kilda) and string them up together. If it's a simple logo, you could even consider drawing the team's logo on the front of the balloon.
4. Table Decorations
If the birthday boy or girl is wanting AFL merchandise as part of their present (it would be fitting, given the theme of the party!), why not consider using it as the table centrepiece? Purchase an AFL cooler bag, unzip the top, and stuff it with the rest of his birthday present peeking out the top. Or fill it with cans of drink for the party guests to help themselves to. Consider sprinkling AFL confetti or stickers down the table centrepiece, or candies in his team colours.
5. Party Favours
Remember those scarves or flags you used in place of streamers? Send them home with the party goers when they leave. Perhaps they don't barrack for his team, but hey - propagating his team is a great way to make converts to the cause!
6. Party Food
What else would one have at an AFL party than footy food? Go for meat pies, chips, sausages, coke, beer - anything you would find at an AFL game.
7. AFL extras!
If this is a child's party, face painting is a must, painting each child's favourite team colours (don't force them to choose the party boy's team colours as there may be some tears and very strong opinions shared!).
Reruns of footy games playing in the background, particularly if the party boy's team has been in the premiership lately, would be a big hit.
Make sure that each part goer gets to take at least one item of AFL merchandise home with them - it doesn't have to be big - perhaps a keyring or a pen - keep it simple so you keep within your budget.
Really, when it comes down to it, just relax, have a good time, make sure there's plenty of team colour around with some pieces of AFL merchandise, and enjoy the party!