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World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list

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worldfootynews.com is pleased to present our inaugural list of statistically based World Rankings using a modified version of the system proposed by Cam Homes earlier in the year (which was in turn inspired by the IRB rankings system). Note that we stand by our 2006 and 2008 rankings, but as of August 8th 2010 we now defer to our new statistical system. We emphasise none of these are official rankings as anointed by the international Leagues or the widely recognised world governing body, the AFL, but given a lack of a recognised alternative, we hope they provide a talking point and become respected enough to at least play a de-facto official role.

The honorary top spot is awarded to Australia until such time that a credible argument can be made that they do not deserve that position. Second spot goes to reigning International Cup champions and three time IC Grand Finalists Papua New Guinea. They narrowly edge out 2005 IC winners New Zealand.

There is a substantial gap to a tight bunch of three, headed by inaugural European Championship winners Ireland in 4th, followed by IC2008 surprise packets Nauru (5th) and the United States (6th). The top 10 is rounded out by the rising stars of South Africa (7th), European Championships runners-up Denmark (8th), Samoa (9th) and Great Britain (10th), who dropped valuable points with a relatively low finish at the recent European tournament.

There are 15 countries ranked, and a further 6 countries listed with a provisional value but are not actually awarded a position until they have played 8 qualifying matches (this was increased from a previously proposed 5, after which it was deemed sides had not settled into a ranking reflecting their true strength). Other requirements are that if a country does not play for more than 4 years they lose their position but not their ranking points. If a country does not play for 8 years they will also lose their ranking points, starting from scratch when/if they resume competition, unless a special case is considered.

The full rankings are listed below, which are valid from 8th August 2010 with data including the 2010 European Championships and the 2010 49th Parallel Cup between the US and Canada.

World Footy News / Homes Australian Football World Rankings (as at 8th August 2010)

Rank        Team Points Games
1 Australia - -
2 Papua New Guinea 53.89 23
3 New Zealand 53.84 24
4 Ireland 47.37 30
5 Nauru 47.06 13
6 United States 46.53 29
7 South Africa 43.92 16
8 Denmark 43.46 34
9 Samoa 41.85 18
10 Great Britain 41.10 35
Prov. Croatia 40.60 4 *
Prov. Peace Team 39.88 5 *
11 Sweden 39.81 18
12 Canada 38.01 29
Prov. Iceland 35.64 4 *
13 Germany 34.37 9
Prov. China 34.00 5 *
14 Japan 33.33 18
15 Finland 29.02 13
Prov. India 28.33 5 *
Prov. Spain 28.00 6 *

* Nations marked in grey with an asterisk have played less than eight (8) matches under our criteria, and currently hold a provisional ranking, but are not yet officially ranked.

In the coming weeks we'll modify our World Rankings page to reflect these rankings, and update them as new matches which qualify are played. We'll also include a full list of eligible games and criteria.

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World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list | 32 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: duffman on Saturday, September 11 2010 @ 07:30 AM ACST

I just dont agree with this. You give Australia the top spot because no one would beat them yet if Ireland were allowed to include their AFL or ex AFL players no one would beside Austrailia beat them either. The reality is Ireland could gather togeather together some half decent club gaelic players ( not county) train for 5 or six weeks and hammer any other country except Oz. Either you accept the fantasy team or you dont. You seem only to be accepting for Aussie and not Ireland.

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Ash Nugent on Saturday, September 11 2010 @ 10:33 AM ACST

Remember, it's an Australian Football ranking system. According to your statement any country with international class sportsmen could put them through an intense training regime and beat anyone but perhaps Australia at Australian Football. But only after (and if) these sportsmen actually start representing their country at Australian Football will these results filter through. Australia on the other hand sets the standard for Australian Football. Whilst the AFL's best mightn't have competed against other (amatuer) national sides, other Australian representative sides i.e. the Boomerangs and AIS have proved that Australians remain in a league of their own when it comes to Australian Football. The WFN Homes system is based on results bar one very educated assumption in Australia. It is not a hypothetical.

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Brett Northey on Saturday, September 11 2010 @ 12:19 PM ACST


Yep, exactly what Ash has said. We have had some debates on this in the past too but the only real conclusion we could come to was to do it this way. I'm sure if the American NFL and NBA decided to send their guys into a 2 month camp they could come out to the International Cup and rank #2 as well.

Whereas Australia, right now, could field its All-Australian side and win every game by 300+ points. But the reality is that in the present state of international football the fully professional players will not play. And the same goes for Ireland's AFL players. But Australia could easily field an All-Australian State league side and still win easily, or an All-Australian amateur side or country side.

The results we present are based on actual performances of actual Australian Rules football players, not theoretical players, the only exception being Australia, but they are not theoretical players, they exist, it's just that the AFL does not allow any form of Australian team in the International Cup etc, out of fairness to the other teams, not because they are shirking the challenge (although I personally would like some kind of All-Australian Under 19 amateur side compete at the next IC).

Perhaps in even as little as 10 years those assumptions might be challenged, but not now. And the reality is that PNG will start to have its best players unavailable too, as they feed into the AFL. A statistical based system like this can only judge on the actual data, or in the case of Australia we make the very obvious judgement they are #1, which is well informed by the dominant performance of their youth sides even e.g against South Africa's senior team.

It may be that at some point we declare this to be the amateur rankings only, but there is no clear line between amateur and professional these days. For now we just make what we think are sensible rules and the results should be viewed in that context. The alternative is to imagine how could every country COULD be, which means it would have nothing to do with the actual matches played, or we exclude Australia, so we'd be saying here is the list of best Australian football nations in the world, and Australia isn't one of them. To the bulk of the general public taking just a mild interest that just doesn't make sense.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Cam Homes on Sunday, September 12 2010 @ 11:58 AM ACST

G'day Duffman
You say we accept the Fantasy or we don't. Well we don't. Every rating point that the nations hold is the result of Fact, something like 170 actual matches played since 1994. The wins, losses, scores and the Fact of homeground advantage or not of every match that each nation and every player each nation has put on the park are Fact. There is no fantasy of injured 90metre goal kickers or 8ft 10in ruckman or Ireland not being able to play their best team or for that matter any other team (all the nations can probably say they haven't been able to put their best team on the park in some or all of their matches), but you say we are accepting a fantasy that Australia is better than all the rest.
Australia IS better than all the other nations. That is NO Fantasy, it is FACT, we have just not been able to quantify that Fact.
When Ireland puts your Fantasy team on the park and gives PNG or New Zealand a flogging then the result would be reflected in the rating points of each of those teams.
By the way, Ireland were second after Australia at the conclusion of IC02 when in actual Fact they had beaten both PNG and NZ, and without any AFL or ex-AFL players on the park.
This system has eliminated all "fantasy" it is only based on results, NOT the Might haves or Couldabeens
Stuffs my fantasy that Elizabeth North B's (my old team) were better than Nunjikopita Bs (a team the great Neil Kerley once said could have beaten Norwood (or was it West Adelaide)) one day back in the 1960's because they were playing so badly. NO facts there, just supposition/fantasy :-)
Our system does NOT accept any fantasy That is its strength.
Cam

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, September 12 2010 @ 01:57 PM ACST


I'm guessing Cam is the only one that has heard of Nunjikopita ! Apparently it's "not far" from Ceduna, which is a reasonable way from Port Lincoln, which is a fair way from Adelaide, which is the capital of South Australia, which hopefully most of you have heard of!

Anyway, we do accept the system isn't perfect, but at some point we have to move towards a mostly statistical system, as this is, to remove questions of bias and hopefully get wide acceptance.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Cam Homes on Monday, September 13 2010 @ 05:20 PM ACST

Yes! Bret your directions are pretty good. Nunjikompita does exist, it has some wheat silos, 3 tennis courts and a Fire Station. It even had a telephone exchange and a shop once, but I reckon if you drive too fast thru the place now and blink you might miss seeing it.
But Hell! mate we were better then the Nunjikompita B's. We were cr-p but we were better than that bunch-a-cockies. Don't know even if they ever had a footy team. Oodnagalahbi doesn't exist even tho it has an International Airport. Its just my way of saying a ranking scheme based on what "might be" or "could have" just can't work.

I will publish via comments the ranks at each stage of the Euros in the next couple of days if I get a bit of spare time.
Cam

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Cam Homes on Tuesday, September 14 2010 @ 10:59 AM ACST

I said I would publish the ranks at each stage of the Euro Champs so here goes with the 1st Round. 1/8/10
* Last Number is rank before this round.
Rank
1 Australia N/A 1*
2 PNG 53.89 2
3 New Zealand 53.84 3
4 Nauru 47.06 4
5 USA 46.53 5
6 Ireland 45.10 7 Rise
7 Great Britain 44.65 6 Fall
8 South Africa 43.89 8
9 Denmark 42.89 10 Rise
10 Samoa 41.85 9 Fall
11 Canada 38.01 11
12 Sweden 36.34 12
13 Japan 33.33 13
14 Finland 30.52 14

Provisional Nations with Games Played.#
39.88 Peace Team #5
37.94 Iceland 1
37.00 Croatia 1
36.94 Germany 6
34.00 China 5
28.33 India 5
28.00 Spain 6

Try to get Rnd 2 out tomorrow.
Cam

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Cam Homes on Tuesday, September 14 2010 @ 02:29 PM ACST

Ranks after Round 2 Euro Champs.
* last number is rank at end of round 1

1 Australia N/A *1
2 PNG 53.89 2
3 New Zealand 53.84 3
4 Nauru 47.06 4
5 USA 46.53 5
6 Ireland 45.52 6
7 Great Britain 45.39 7
8 South Africa 43.89 8
9 Denmark 42.89 9
10 Samoa 41.85 10
11 Canada 38.01 11
12 Sweden 36.34 12
13 Japan 33.33 13
14 Finland 30.52 14

Provisional Nations with games played. #
39.88 Peace Team #5
37.20 Iceland 2
36.57 Croatia 2
35.35 Germany 7
34.00 China 5
28.33 India 5
28.00 Spain 6

Note! no rise or fall this round also no rate advantage to Denmark nor any rating penalty against Finland as Rating gap was greater than 10.00 between these teams.

Round 3 just might have to wait till tomorrow.

To Mister Football, Tonga hasn't made it onto the ranks because I didn't find the results of any 'Internationals' for them. They may have played in an Arafura games match or two but if they did my memory tells me it was against the Australian Military personel based in Darwin at the time or against an all aussie Singapore or Hong Kong side.
Cam

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, September 14 2010 @ 05:41 PM ACST


Tonga's first International Cup was 2008, but there were issues with whether they would actually make it. I gather they were not confirmed and no one expected them to show, so they were left out of the draw, then turned up. It was too late to shift around all the matches, so they played in the multicultural grouping that run parallel to the IC, against locally based players, which means they aren't eligible games.

Their only other matches I know of are at junior level. Hopefully we'll see them in action in Oceania later this year and at IC2011.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: snap1 on Monday, September 13 2010 @ 06:02 AM ACST

Canada ranked lower then sweden and peace team? that made me laugh.

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Brett Northey on Monday, September 13 2010 @ 11:00 AM ACST


No, they are not ranked lower than the Peace Team. The Peace Team have not played enough games to be ranked - they are shown without a ranking and in grey to indicate where they are provisionally placed. If they played a few more games against similarly positioned teams they would probably lose and quickly fall below Canada.

Sweden are just ahead of Canada. I'm guessing that's due to two factors - their good performance at the European Championships including a win against Great Britain, and an admitted weakness in our system currently, which I think of as the US-Canada effect. Because those two teams always play each other each year and the US almost always win it continuously pushed the US up and Canada down. Because they are not a long way apart in ranking, it continues to make a difference (if one was a long way ahead of the other than then beating their lower ranked rival would yield no ranking points and not cause this problem). The trouble is that they are similar in strength, so one might expect that if they are similar in ability then Canada would win now and then, but for some reason, despite performing better at some International Cups, they have off the top of my head I think only 1 win over the US. More interplay between teams across the rankings would help adjust this, but I agree it is my biggest concern for this system.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Brett Northey on Monday, September 13 2010 @ 11:17 AM ACST


Although I agree Canada should probably be a bit higher, quick sift through all the games shows this for Canada:

lost to US
lost to US
lost to US
lost to GB
lost to Denmark
lost to US
lost to Ireland
lost to Ireland
beat South Africa (who were very low then)
lost to NZ
lost to US
lost to Samoa
beat Japan
lost to US
lost to US
lost to Ireland
lost to PNG
lost to Samoa
lost to GB
won on forfeit over Spain
beat South Africa
lost to US
lost to US
beat US (it finally happened!)
beat Finland
beat Sweden
lost to Ireland
beat Japan
lost to Nauru
lost to US
lost to US

A lot of those losses were by over 40 points as well, which we consider a bonus situation (they are downgraded more severely). It will take a while to recover ranking points for so many losses. Perhaps with relatively few matches in the system Sweden are a bit it higher too, hence getting over Canada, although they are improving. And it's easy to judge Sweden on just IC form, whereas in Europe they have performed better. But certainly if Canada played Sweden tomorrow I'd expect Canada to still be too strong.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Rod Shaw on Monday, September 13 2010 @ 12:55 PM ACST

Would it be possible to hyperlink the teams so that you could click and see their results- scores, opposition, country game played and year?

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Cam Homes on Monday, September 13 2010 @ 05:43 PM ACST

G'day Rod.
Brett has already published all the matches played with scores, dates etc. used to arrive at the ranks as they stood just before the 2010 Euro Champs. He did it in several instalments in some articles back in August. He should be able to tell you where to look better than I.
Cam

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Brett Northey on Monday, September 13 2010 @ 09:47 PM ACST


It would take a fair bit more work to have each team linked to meaningful pages. But as Cam said, I did list eligible matches recently, just type in world rankings in the search window above left.

Later on we'll have a world rankings page where all that data can easily be accessed and kept up to date. I guess we need a FAQ, because people ask a lot of questions and we've got answers spread out over various stories and comments over the last few months.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Cam Homes on Monday, September 13 2010 @ 05:35 PM ACST

Brett, I'd really like to see that Canada v Sweden match, ya see I reckon it would be a close one. But Gee! I could be wrong! But Gee! so could you! The ultimate test is that unplayed match. If you go back thru the results of all the matches the higher ranked team wins more often than not and that is the real test of the scheme.
Cam

World Footy Rank = money + home games
Authored by: EU Footy Fan on Tuesday, September 14 2010 @ 04:13 AM ACST

I would suggest that the rankings below about GB* are pretty meaningless. The nature of the game in those countries is such that the team playing in a match tends to be made up of those that can afford the trip. So the final score can have absolutely no resemblance to a rank based expectation, or any indication of future performance, because a completely different set of players will be involved. Even Germany with a strong domestic league has a poor travelling record.
In addition the nature of tournaments (Melbourne '08 or Denmark '10) for example on Finland, travelling with a bare minimum of a squad, is that by the end of the tournament they don't have enough uninjured players to run out and play the last game or two. This leads to quite misleading results in terms of the skill level of the game in each country, and hence the ranking they should have. If there were more home games for some of the lower ranked teams, then their rankings would rapidly rise.
*PS Sorry Canada, Japan, I have no idea what the state of your teams are, so these comments may or may not apply to you.

World Footy Rank = money + home games
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, September 14 2010 @ 10:10 AM ACST


Personally I won't really argue with that. I had a lot of reservations about doing this system for reasons of lack of matches, lack of availability of players for travelling teams, queries over the model used (I still see some issues although we did modify the model a bit). But in the end there seemed to be a groundswell of support and I suppose things like this have to start somewhere, so we've given it a go and it is what it is. All this feedback is appreciated.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

World Footy Rank = money + home games
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, September 14 2010 @ 10:20 AM ACST


Having said that, I think it currently provides a reasonable indication of where teams are in relative strength. You can make a very strong argument that the top 3 are right, then Ireland are always about the mark, Nauru were very impressive at the last IC, the US have always been one of the stronger nations without quite threatening for the top 3 spots, and South Africa did really well at the last IC but are coming from a long way down.

Next comes Denmark, Samoa and Great Britain and they are a mixed bag, with Samoa's best often very good with talented aggressive athletes, and their worst some mis-directed aggressive footy with a much more of a Rugby look to it. Denmark have had some impressive international form and some disappointments. GB have been more consistent but can only be judged by their form on the field, which slipped a bit at EC2010.

As I said, Canada is probably a bit low due to the number of losses to the US. Sweden had some good recent form, and that just leaves Germany, Japan and Finland. Maybe their order could shuffle a bit amongst themselves but I don't think there is much argument that they should sit any higher on the ladder.

Remember, the greyed out provisional positions are indicative, not accepted positions on the ladder. I thought it would be helpful to show where they are currently notionally sitting, but perhaps I should put them down below (like Cam suggested to me).

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

World Footy Rank = money + home games
Authored by: Cam Homes on Tuesday, September 14 2010 @ 11:09 AM ACST

Brett, your second comment was a tad quicker than mine. Might just be a better way to show the ranks.
Cam

World Footy Rank = money + home games
Authored by: Cam Homes on Tuesday, September 14 2010 @ 11:11 AM ACST

Looks even better if in columns!
Cam

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Mister Football on Tuesday, September 14 2010 @ 01:15 PM ACST

Despite a couple of anomalies, I reckon WFN has done a terrific job with this, and it represents a good starting point.

After the next IC, and another European championship, we'd start to see some of these anomalies flatten out a bit.

I'm not sure if the Peace team will ever compete again, and if it doesn't, it might be best to just drop it off.

Is there a reason why Tonga doesn't make an appearance?

---
Mister Football

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, September 14 2010 @ 05:48 PM ACST


Regarding the Peace Team, we've started in the article above that:

"Other requirements are that if a country does not play for more than 4 years they lose their position but not their ranking points. If a country does not play for 8 years they will also lose their ranking points, starting from scratch when/if they resume competition, unless a special case is considered."

So IF they had played enough eligible games but did not play at IC2011 then they would drop off the list in August 2012 (4 year rule). But since they have played less than 8 matches and are provisional only we'll leave them that way until 2016 - perhaps another good reason though why I should list provisional teams in a separate column.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: dantez on Tuesday, September 14 2010 @ 06:40 PM ACST

What exactly are the qualification criteria? If it is number of games against international teams, or games under the current international eligibility rules, then Australia don't qualify. Australia have only ever played against Ireland in International Rules games, which is not Australian Football.

Also, given that IC2011 is in August, this is toward the end of most domestic seasons, and you would be hard pressed to find decent clubs that would release players to participate, therefore even the assumption that an Australian team would win by default is unfounded.

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, September 14 2010 @ 09:15 PM ACST


Dantez, there was no criteria that said Australia would have to be able to field a team at IC2011 to be the best side. But if you really want to fit to that tight criteria, do you honestly think that Australia could not assemble the best team, anywhere anytime?

The top international sides are improving steadily and play good quality footy, but there are probably 10,000+ quality footballers in Australia that could slip into those sides, so I'm sure Australia could find a handy 22 even during finals. There's over 100,000 senior footballers in Australia. I'm curious, are you from Australia yourself, are you aware of the standard of top suburban and country leagues in Australia?

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Cam Homes on Tuesday, September 14 2010 @ 08:25 PM ACST

Ranking after Round 3 Euro Champs 2010
*last number is rank before this round.

1 Australia N/A *1
2 PNG 53.89 2
3 New Zealnd 53.84 3
4 Nauru 47.06 4
5 USA 46.53 5
6 Ireland 46.07 6
7 Denmark 44.77 9 Rise
8 South Africa 43.92 8
9 Great Britain 43.51 7 Fall
10 Samoa 41.85 10
11 Canada 38.01 11
12 Sweden 37.39 12
13 Germany 33.37 Provisional
14 Japan 33.33 13 Fall
15 Finland 30.02 14 Fall

Provisional Nations with Games Played #
39.88 Peace Team #5
38.55 Croatia 3
37.70 Iceland 3
34.00 China 5
28.33 India 5
28.00 Spain 6 Spain is Dormant as now over 5 years since last played.

Denmark's win over GB has pushed Denmark up and GB down, Japan and Finland have slipped as Germany has entered the ranks fully.
Cam

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Cam Homes on Tuesday, September 14 2010 @ 08:49 PM ACST

Ranks after Round 4/Finals Euro Champs 2010
These are as published by WFN but I will show how some movement took place from round 3.
* last number is ranks at round 3

1 Australia N/A *1
2 PNG 53.89 2
3 New Zealand 53.84 3
4 Ireland 47.48 6 Rise
5 Nauru 47.06 4 Fall
6 USA 46.53 5 Fall
7 South Africa 43.92 8 Rise
8 Denmark 43.35 7 Fall
9 Samoa 41.85 10 Rise
10 Great Britain 41.61 9 Fall
11 Sweden 39.30 12 Rise
12 Canada 38.01 11 Fall
13 Germany 34.65 13
14 Japan 33.33 14
15 Finland 28.74 15

Provisional Nations with games played#
40.71 Croatia #4
39.88 Peace Team 5
35.53 Iceland 4
34.00 China 5
28.33 India 5
28.00 Spain 6 Dormant.

Note! here that Sweden's win over GB did not push Sweden above GB but the loss by GB did see Samoa rise above GB. Sweden's success at this comp did see them rise above Canada. Now wouldn't a Canada v Sweden match be great to see, would test the system! Sweden could just be the one's laughing.
Cam

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Cam Homes on Tuesday, September 14 2010 @ 09:16 PM ACST

By the way, nobody has jumped up and down about the fact that Croatia has a higher rating than Sweden even tho Sweden just managed to defeat Croatia by 90+ points :-) This result is a glaring example of why we MUST NOT take the rates of the provisional nations too seriously, although we have included them in our system. It at least shows where they stand at present and where they "might" slot in when they play that 8th match.
Cam

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: dantez on Wednesday, September 15 2010 @ 07:51 AM ACST

@Brett - Yep, grew up here, played 10 years as a junior, been to plenty of VFL games and go to AFL games every second week.
And played (and actively involved in the management of) in European league and was in last year's EAFA formation conference.

Of course I know that if you were to assemble the All-Australian team to play against any of these teams, the biggest worry would be running out of numbers on the scoreboard. And it would be similar even if it was a local divisional team. And also that IC2011 isn't the only competition, but it's the only one that Australia would actively be involved in (they don't qualify for Europe, North America, Asia, Africa etc.). Maybe if the AFL included an Australian team in a NZ & Pacific Islands comp? Test the availability of a consistent team of players during a normal season? And give them the same resources as teams in other regions have (find their own grounds, funding etc.) and not have it handed to them by the AFL. As others have said, if international teams had the same resources, it may be a bit more competitive.

My point is there are qualification criteria that exclude other countries from being listed, so following those rules, Australia shouldn't qualify. Maybe awarding 50% points for 9-a-side?

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, September 15 2010 @ 11:11 AM ACST


Regarding 50% for 9-a-side, I was in favour of including those matches that featured all locals, but the consensus seemed to be not to - my powers of persuasion failed! We try to go with consensus, even though it means I don't always get what I want. 8)

In terms of criteria for teams, including Australia, if the AFL said Australia can field a team at IC2011, and it's in August, Australia would still easily field a great team, there would be plenty of guys volunteering who would either miss their own club finals, or are just returning from injury, or retired the year before, or were having a year off, etc. Or the AFL could just give the elite Under 18s two weeks off. In those conditions I still think Australia would win, so the argument that Australia is still notionally number one holds true. No other country would be able to do that. There have even been very good Australian sides put together in Europe just drawing from expats.

Frankly, although it causes a little disquiet that Australia is given the honorary #1 spot, I think there would be far more concern if they were not ranked #1. It would make the list seem a little farcical. The allowance is pretty much summed up by "could Australia roll out say 25 players that could win the IC tournament, drawn from existing footballers, not training people up from other sports, and not relying on AFL players" and the answer is very clearly "yes", and no other country could do that. If you do want to include AFL players in that, then Ireland probably would jump to #2 with PNG hot on their heels over the next few years, but then there is no real way to measure any of that, we may as well throw out all the match results and revert to an opinion-based ranking system.

I'm hoping in the next 10 years Australia will put up something like an All-Australian Under 20 amateur side to compete at the IC, and then we can throw out the honorary rank and base it on the results (and if they lose then bad luck, they should field an Under 23 side, or open age, or whatever it takes).

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Mister Football on Wednesday, September 15 2010 @ 03:29 PM ACST

I mentioned Tonga because I was vaguely aware that they had won some regional comp recently - but perhaps that was an underage comp?

On the subject of Australia being ranked number one, it might look anomalous, but it would look more ludicrous if PNG or NZ were shown up as being number one.

At this point of their development, their national teams can be defeated by Australian country teams, and even a team in the Canberra competition (which is not amongst the stronger comps in Australia), would give both those national teams a hiding.

It may sound crude and harsh, but that's the fact of the matter.

Having said that, I would dearly love to see PNG and NZ getting regular opportunities to play against that sort of competition, leading up to a day when, for example, they might be competitive against a SANFL team - but even at that point, you'd still be some way from pitting such teams against a team made up entirely of AFL grade players.


---
Mister Football

World Footy Rankings - the inaugural list
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, September 15 2010 @ 03:58 PM ACST


Yes, Tonga won the Oceania youth champs. PNG were a late withdrawal.

There's talk later in the year of PNG versus an All-Stars side drawn from Queensland Gold Coast clubs - that should be pretty interesting if PNG can get something close to their best team on the field - the first chance to see the development of their AFL rookies combined with their AFLQ talent. I think PNG's best squad is actually getting close to the quality of some state leagues sides, but they still lack key position side - some improvement but they don't have 4 or 5 good quality 190cm + players as far as I know. The two tallest listed for IC2008 was 184cm for Overa Gibson and Amua Pirika, who both proved to be key players. Their tallest player in the South Pacific squad was John Ikupu at 188cm at 17 years old - perhaps he'll get into the 190s.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN