New Zealand cup squad named
Monday, May 16 2005 @ 10:30 pm ACST
Contributed by: Jake Anson
The squad will be captained by Takapuna Eagles (Auckland AFL) star Andrew Congalton, with Canterbury player Geoff Thomas and North Shore Tiger Jason Pocock sharing the vice-captain duties. Each of these players has represented their province at NPC level, and Falcons coach Jim Lucy is hoping that they will form a leadership team capable of winning New Zealand the International Cup.
Half of the squad originates from New Zealand's largest Australian football league - the Auckland AFL. Auckland took out the 2004 NPC title and has long been at the forefront of football development in that nation. The Wellington and Canterbury leagues contribute the bulk of the remaining Falcons players, however it is heartening to see the inclusion of three squad members from the relatively-young Waikato league based in the central North Island.
Another interesting aspect of the squad is the broad spread of clubs that its players are drawn from. Players from 14 of New Zealand's 16 clubs have made the cut, indicating that Kiwi footballing talent is spread relatively evenly across each league. This is a good sign for the sport's future development, which hopefully will accelerate in New Zealand following their Cup participation.
The full Falcons squad list for the tournament, including emergencies and profiles of the leadership group, can be viewed at the NZAFL website.