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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more

International Cup 2011

Footy in GB

Although small in geography Great Britain has a relatively large population of 60 million and slowly but surely Australian football is marking its mark all over the isles. Footy in Britain exploded from its early years as purely London-based, to now being played in all corners of England, Wales and Scotland. Some regional cities can boast clubs that have now begun to show longevity, being established for 5 to 10 years. As well as promoting the growth of the sport, this has also given rise to a much larger pool of players for the Bulldogs' coaches to choose from - and made for a lot more travel around the country to do so!

Competition for squad spots has increased and from a coaching point of view, it's been great to see the dedication that players have shown to improve their game in pursuit of this opportunity to represent their country. The growth of the game around the country and the increased number of juniors beginning to get exposure to the sport should support its continued development and provide a pipeline of new players in years to come.
Perhaps the most remarkable statistic is that Great Britain has only one returning player from the 2008 Cup campaign, something that suggests a fresh new group but will also come with challenges in terms of experience.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The Bulldogs have always played a physical game and uncompromising tackling has become a trademark. Building on this, the coaches and senior players have worked hard to improve the technical ability of the squad and develop a direct gameplan to match the squad makeup. With the addition of some exciting key position players, the Bulldogs may surprise some teams come the crunch.

A weakness that demonstrated itself at the 2010 European Championships was the conversion from the small-sided game to the full oval, for the players coming from the regional clubs around Britain. Coping with the additional space meant a steep learning curve and the experiences of many of these regional players this Summer, having games in the full London league will pay dividends in countering this.

Players to watch

Only 1 player survives from the 2008 squad, with Captain Paul Harris playing in his 3rd consecutive IC. With this influx of new talent comes a lot of potential and there are several players who can ignite a game.

Martyn Hinchey is a 6 foot 5 basketball convert who made his mark with the Southampton Titans before earning a Team Europe jersey at the European Championships in Denmark and Sweden last year. A strong player with a great leap, he has also benefitted from several months in Australia prior to the tournament.

Tom Mercer is one of this season's rookie entries into the squad, but has already been making an impression in the London leagues with the Putney Magpies. A strong short player, his pace and step are reminiscent of Aidan Dillane, one of GB's World Team players from 2008.

Form guide

Whilst the Bulldogs have not enjoyed many wins in the build-up to the event, all their matches have been challenging and productive in giving the coaches valuable information for the tournament. Two defeats against reigning European Champions Ireland, one by 5 points, defeat by the London Swans and a narrow victory over the Wimbledon Hawks have all been stern tests and will have set the level of expectations accurately for what the players will face in Sydney and Melbourne.

Ranked 10th in the WFN World Rankings (which includes Australia) and seeded 9th at IC11 by the AFL.

Summary

The Bulldogs are coming into the event wanting to make a statement - that they can raise the level and challenge the world's best, as they showed against Papua New Guinea in Warnambool in 2008 and recently in Dublin against the Irish. The team needs to start strong and build up, without the lapses that have set them back in the past. There is plenty of experience to support the natural ability and hard-earned individual development. Preparation has not been ideal, with late injuries ruling out several first choice players, but if the squad can settle quickly and find their stride, they could cause someone some unexpected problems.

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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more | 20 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: kolja51 on Wednesday, July 20 2011 @ 04:00 am ACST

 Is this what jumper will look like? This must be a joke, right? It's absolutely horrid. I'll just assume it's someone's joke.

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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Wednesday, July 20 2011 @ 10:42 am ACST

Wow, that's the first I've seen of that jumper too.  Just looks like there's too much crammed onto it.  If the Bulldog/Union Jack one wasn't kosher as far as representing all 3 constiuent home nations goes, then I would have started again from scratch rather than just trying to fit everything onto the previously existing jumper.

Also, not sure if the colours are correct, shouldn't the dragon be red?

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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: Tobietta Rhyman on Wednesday, July 20 2011 @ 01:01 pm ACST

Personally I'd still wear it with pride if I got half the chance, but I admit it's got a way to go before looking cool. Footy people don't seem to understand that psychology has a huge effect when you're playing in front of a crowd and what you're wearing is central to self-image. I'll add it to the list of things to work on when I get back home.

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Little Pommy Girl
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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: Rog on Wednesday, July 20 2011 @ 03:15 pm ACST

Do we have an official squad list? From the preliminary lists earlier there was certainly more then 1 player backing up from IC08, so it would be interesting to see who missed out on the final cut.

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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Wednesday, July 20 2011 @ 05:49 pm ACST

 Ads mentioned to us a day or two ago that they've had some injury/work-related withdrawals, so they're currently bringing in emergencies.

Final lists I think are due to the AFL by Friday, so I reckon we'll hear soon.

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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, July 20 2011 @ 08:17 pm ACST

Gee, when I put the jumper image in the story yesterday I quite liked the new look.  I know Ads did too.  Was surprised to read this reaction.

I guess there's some clutter, but in a bigger image that I saw, or in real life, I reckon it was okay.

If I was British I'd be proud to wear it.  Most of the jumpers are really good.  And nothing goes close to as bad as the mostly white away/clash jumpers worn by many AFL clubs.  If your jumper design makes a difference then those white ones must worth negative 10 goals.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: Tobietta Rhyman on Wednesday, July 20 2011 @ 10:43 pm ACST

Tell me about it- Carlton's clash stip is the same colour as Collingwood's training strip. Not good! But I like St Kilda's clash strip. Not paying $90 for one though!!

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Little Pommy Girl
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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: Ian Mitchell on Thursday, July 21 2011 @ 12:41 am ACST

I am speaking from a player's point of view here and i hope i speak for all the players when i say we will all be desperatey proud to pull on the jumper in three weeks time. Regardless of the design it is the man IN the jumper who can affect the outcome of the game. 

And for the record, i actually like it anyway!

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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: kolja51 on Thursday, July 21 2011 @ 05:38 am ACST

I'm sorry if I offend anyone, it wasn't my intention. I'm sure everyone who dons this jumper will be proud to represent GB, but I was really thinking that this monstrosity was a joke. Sad to find out that it's actually not. As a designer I can make a case study about things that are wrong in this jumper by any design standards, and it's so easy to see that the Union Jack and Bulldog are done by someone who has a clue about design, and that other stuff is just thrown together in a hurry. 

Anyway, even jumper design has an importance in a players performance. If you don't feel good in it (either by material or by design) you will not perform in full capacity as that will throw off your concentration, and even your opponent will have a extra topic for trash talking. 

Good luck to GB, they might not be the best looking team, but might come home with a trophy.

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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, July 21 2011 @ 07:16 pm ACST

Kolja how can you say you don't mean to offend anyone but then call it a monstrosity?!  I'd hate to hear you when you decide to be nasty on purpose!  Someone out there designed it.

For what it's worth, maybe it could be better, but I seriously think it will make not one single point difference to their performance.  It's still based on the Union Jack and they'll be proud to pull it on.

I know players have to be proud of their jumper but it's still the Union Jack.  Maybe there's some touchy feely people or designers who would feel less determined to play well but I just couldn't imagine even the slightest let down myself, not even some subsconscious thing..

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: Harley Vague on Friday, July 22 2011 @ 07:01 pm ACST

I'd be more worried about  the person who felt obiliged to put a dirty big red arrow pointing to the UK . If the Union Jack represents Britain what represents the UK ?

.

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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Friday, July 22 2011 @ 07:19 pm ACST

 Well, you could argue that the Union Jack represents the UK (ie England/Scotland/Wales and Northern Ireland), but Northern Ireland's footy talent (ie the Belfast Redbacks) plays as part of the Irish Warriors, so therefore the Union Jack isn't 100% accurate either.  But I think that might be splitting hairs.

They don't call themselves the UK Bulldogs (which would be inaccurate), but rather the Great Britain Bulldogs, which refers to the island of Great Britain (basically the UK minus Northern Ireland).

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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: Brett Northey on Friday, July 22 2011 @ 10:21 pm ACST

I do the maps Cos, so it's my arrow.  And for the life of me I can't work out what your point was.  If you can explain the question I'll try to answer it.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: Brett Northey on Friday, July 22 2011 @ 10:24 pm ACST

Or is it what Aaron is talking about - do you feel it shouldn't point at the UK but instead GB?  In which case my answer would be it's pointing at the same thing, and as Aaron says, ARFLI gets first crack at any players in Northern Ireland.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: Harley Vague on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 11:07 am ACST

Just a light hearted attempt to deflect criticism away from the GB jumper which IMO will be fine full scale .Thanks for confirming the GB/UK arrangement .It's interesting how RU has GB operating under it's member countries .It'd be nice to see how a Scandavian , North American and a British isles teams would operate (but not in the IC) 

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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: Brett Northey on Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 02:39 pm ACST

Ok no worries.

Speaking of region rep sides, I'll still love to see an effort made to get a South American team to an IC.  I would've liked IC11 but oviously not going to happen, so how about 2014.  Will modest growth there should be enough players from Argentina, Chile and maybe Peru and Brazil to put together a squad.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: kolja51 on Sunday, July 24 2011 @ 03:24 am ACST

 Brett, I wasn't offensive to anyone in particular, to any person, I was just commenting the design, so I might be offensive to that design, or you can say that I don't like the taste of the designer's work, but I didn't say anything against person that designed it. Reading back, I still think the same, and when someone gives me a constructive criticism I don't feel personally attacked. 

Maybe it's just me, but if I would be playing in that jumper I would keep thinking about it, therefore it would distract me from playing, but yes, that could just be for visual people, people that are design savvy. 

One more time sorry if I offended anyone in person, I was only harsh to the design, not a designer, maybe designer just had a bad day. 

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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: Charlie Slim on Wednesday, July 27 2011 @ 07:18 am ACST

You are a muppet!!! You have no idea about what its like to wear a jumper and play with pride and passion...... no matter what it looks like!!

Jumper does look a bit messy but it symbolises the Scottish, Welsh and English aspect of the Great Britain Aussie Rules. There has been a big divide between the countries in recent years and this jumper was designed to ease that pain. Hence there is a Scottish thistle, Welsh dragon and English rose.

The Scots, Welsh and English all compete individually in the 9-a-side EU Cup but only come together for tournaments like the International Cup, EU Championships and one-off 18-a-side matches against opposition like Ireland, Denmark, etc

We have four guys in our squad who are from Wales and one from Scotland and I bet they are pumped to being able to play in a jumper that symbolises were they are from and how much they have sacrificed (money) just to get to Australia!!! Rather than just having a Union Jack on their...

List to the anthems of New Zealand, South Africa, etc and they incorpate different parts of their history and culture and sing in different languages... (South Africa has 3 Africains, Zulu, English) Would you say their SA's flag looks a bit ugly??? 

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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: Goal Sneak on Friday, July 29 2011 @ 08:17 am ACST

once again speaking from a players perspective, regardless of the jumper style, whether an outsider likes it or not, there are literally hundreads of blokes in Great Britain who would itch to play for "Great Britain" and there are millions upon millions of people in the whole of the United Kingdom who will never get the chance to say "i represented Great Britain at a sport i love" so the fact you are being pathetic and criticising the way a jumper looks, well to be honest it just makes you less of a person im sorry to say.

i as a player wasnt first choice for the squad but i bust my ass off during season, down the gym and out in my back field training so that i could get a sniff at an oppertunity like this. i dont care what my jersey looks like, it could be pink with daisies and sunflowers on it as far as i care, its who im representing that counts, and thats GREAT Britain.

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IC11 Preview - All new GB Bulldogs pushing to achieve more
Authored by: Darren_C on Friday, July 22 2011 @ 07:48 pm ACST

Looking forward to potentially Scotland IC 2014 in their own right ;)

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