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Squad size confusion but resolution seems likely

International Cup 2005

With just three months until the International Cup in Melbourne, there has been some confusion amongst countries over the squad sizes allowed. The 2002 Cup saw 30 players each, but some sides couldn't field fit teams by the end of the tournament. An extension to 35 players was argued for, and apparently some countries thought they had secured it.

Several nations had named or planned to name 35 players, and there has been some distress when they realised that the limit was again 30. It would seem sensible to allow more. In most games at AFL level, sides lose 1 to 3 players through injury each week. With 6 matches in a week and a half, it is likely that the International Cup teams will lose at least 10 players over the series. On the other hand, allowing large squads encourages countries to spend more on player transport and accomodation, which takes away from funding for development, so a balance must be struck.

World Footy News spoke with AFL Community Development Manager Ed Biggs regarding the squad size issue. He stated that "It should have been 30, but as one team has apparently already selected 35 we will look seriously at allowing that". Biggs said he would consult the International Development Committee before making a decision. Given that it would be devastating for selected players to have to be cut from rosters, and several countries have quality players they would like to include, hopefully the final decision will come down in favour of 35 player squads.

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Squad size confusion but resolution seems likely | 7 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Squad size confusion but resolution seems likely
Authored by: Ian Hill on Thursday, May 05 2005 @ 07:38 am ACST

It also needs to be remembered that some teams have to spend a hell of a lot more money than others. It will be a damn site easier for NZ to send those extra five blokes than it will for Great Britain.
The cricket world cup has squad limits just so the host team doesn't have the same kind of advantage.

Squad size confusion but resolution seems likely
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, May 05 2005 @ 08:44 am ACST

And of course each country has a different capacity to raise the money. But my personal view is that with 30 you'd defintely be at risk of having some teams not able to field fit men towards the end. I gather that happened last time. Definitely a balancing act.

Brett Northey - Co-founder of WFN, Chief Editor and Editor for North America

Funny argument
Authored by: Niels Schønnemann on Thursday, May 05 2005 @ 02:31 pm ACST

The reason for changing the rules should, as stated, be that a squad of 30 are too few. But actually allowing for 35, simply because a country was about to break (even because of the confusion) the rules is ridiculous. That's like raising the speed limits on roads, because people in general are driving too fast. They should have made the rules clear earlier on.
Maybe 16 a side is the way to go, as there would be more space per player and thereby fewer injuires. A lot of the international leagues are playing that anyway

Funny argument
Authored by: Ash Nugent on Friday, May 06 2005 @ 05:41 am ACST

35 is the way to go. As many Australians are unaware our game is being played overseas, we want each team to put on their best possible performance.

As for the 16-a-side teams, is that a joke? We don't want the rules of our game modified. The only reason for the smaller sides overseas is to allow a league to run in a small area.

Funny argument
Authored by: Brett Northey on Friday, May 06 2005 @ 07:19 am ACST

I think there is a league in Victoria that is 16 on the field. With the massive increase in fitness and running in the game these days, with ugly flooding tactics, I actually think 16 per side would be better. The reason Aussie Rules isn't Rugby Union is that the rules have been changed continually for 150 years to ensure it remains an attractive sport. Let's face it, how often does a team line up and stay with 2 forward pockets as well as a full forward? But that's a whole different debate.

Brett Northey - Co-founder of WFN, Chief Editor and Editor for North America

Funny argument
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Saturday, May 07 2005 @ 07:31 pm ACST

The VFA played 16-a-side for a while didn't they? Used to name the squad without anyone on the wings... When I played juniors it'd quite often be 15-a-side (no wings, no ruck-rover).

Funny argument
Authored by: cudaman on Saturday, May 07 2005 @ 07:39 pm ACST

The VFA had played for nearly 100 years with 16 on the field, which made a far a more attractive game of football. So I don't think it is so much of a joke?, but a realistic alternatiive.!!