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Bold predictions at Women's Launch

International Cup 2011

The future of footy is bright. It might also be international, multicultural and female.

At the second day of the International Cup at Blacktown International Sportspark,  AFL Game Development Manager David Matthews remarked that now there were 70,000 footy players around the world, and that the next International Cup, IC14, might have 30 teams, rather than the 18 men’s and five women’s teams at IC11.

AFL Commissioner Sam Mostyn, speaking at the official launch of the Women’s International Cup  was also confident about the international future, expressing her aspiration that ‘the fifth International Cup will double the number of women’s teams here’.

She also remarked that she heard a number of men in the stands, when watching the exciting football played when the Irish Banshees played Canada’s Northern Lights, remark on how ‘we’re enjoying that brand of football’.

In Australia, she remarked, women’s football was ‘the fastest growing participation segment in footy today’.

Fatima Kouruche, a Sydney multicultural development enthusiast, remarked on the fact that Australian Football was the only game with a systematic multicultural development program and officers in the field.

Brett Kirk, former Sydney Swans captain, and a hard man of footy (as well as, unusually, a Buddhist) declared that ‘I feel very privileged to be part of it’, the International Cup.

He reflected that when he was ‘busy playing the game at the AFL level’…’I was pretty blinkered’ about the rise of the game around the world.
Travelling around the world as an international ambassador for Australian Football ‘I was amazed at the passion’ and the commitment of the players and the volunteer organisers. Reflecting on the game’s development overseas and on the teams which had come to the International Cup he saluted ‘all the players and volunteers who love the game’.

Significantly, in terms of a footy future which is female and multicultural and international, not just old Australia and male, he reflected on his wife Hayley’s experience of being ‘recruited’ to play a women’s match in Canada, ‘she felt the camaraderie and team spirit which is different to other sports’. As he concluded ‘Footy is an inclusive game. It is for everyone’.

Jan Cooper, the Perth-based AFL Women’s Development Officer, was understandably pleased with the success already of the Women’s IC11, and gave the credit for the inclusion to David Matthews.


Reflective Footballer: Brett Kirk before speaking at the Women's IC11 Launch

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Bold predictions at Women's Launch | 9 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Bold predictions at Women\'s Launch
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Tuesday, August 16 2011 @ 01:48 pm ACST

For a while, in the 'code vs code' debate on other sites, there would be pro-soccer people trumpeting their apparent growth in participation (real or imagined, i.e. based on actual registrations vs extrapolated survey data with potentially rubbery interpretations).

At any rate, the female side of soccer was accounting for most of the recent growth.  And that's not a bad thing.

For Aust Footy, the womens side of the game was all too long ignored - and when going head to head with basketball and soccer to line up at Govt's door looking for funding, that was an up front disadvantage (esp at the local level).

Ironically though, netball has for so long been the community partner with footy, esp in country regions.  I do just wonder going forward, will the rise of womens footy be to the detriment of netball?  and, if it is, should we even care??  I've seen recently with talk of a restructure of the VCFL, (Vic country footy) that some league chiefs reminded that the local netball had to be taken into account too.

re the 30 teams in 2014, in Australia?  what extra funding might be heading the IC's way??  Is there a magical benchmark by which the Fed Govt is effectively obliged to chip some decent dollars into it??  or is that sort of money reserved for FIFA WC bids??  (admission of bias here!!).

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Bold predictions at Women\'s Launch
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, August 16 2011 @ 01:57 pm ACST

Speaking as someone trying to coordinate and cover a network of volunteers at this International Cup, I'd like to say "noooo!!!!!".  Our desire to help grow the game is coming back to bite us, it's so hard with 23 teams.

Seriously though, with the arrival of 5 women's teams (4 of them international), it's clearly a call to all nations that play footy that do not have a women's program to have a look at home and, whilst acknowledging that everyone is very busy just staying afloat, ask themselves "how can we make sure we've got a program up and running in 2012, and could we aim to get a women's team to the IC in 2014, or at least be really close?".

I know WFN's very own women's writer Tobie has that goal for the UK, and Italy was close this time.  I wonder what other countries are already underway?  South Africa has girls in their FootyWILD program, so that's one possibility.  Do any of the NZ HANZUP programs have girls footy?

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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Bold predictions at Women\\\'s Launch
Authored by: Tobietta Rhyman on Tuesday, August 16 2011 @ 03:37 pm ACST

I spoke to one of the Kiwi team managers about that today- he told me 50% of their juniors are girls. Fantastic!

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Little Pommy Girl
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Bold predictions at Women\\\\\\\'s Launch
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, August 16 2011 @ 04:17 pm ACST

It'd be quite possible to have women's GB, NZ, SA, Italy and in men's we keep thinking Germany will make the step, plus Croatia were very close, Indonesia, Finland, Netherlands, Spain/Catalonia, Switzerland, Iceland, Italy, probably about 10 men's that would be close.  In Oceania we have Vanuatu, Samoa and Solomons that would be around the mark.

If there's about 4 new women's and 10 men's on the cards, but reasonable to expect that 2 or 3 may not return from IC11 for financial reasons, you can see that at least another 10 teams wouldn't be a crazy estimate.

So perhaps an 8 team women's comp and 26 men's teams (surely not seeding round, just straight to divisions), for 34 altogether.  That would require another oval in action, a whole lot more AFL staff to help coordinate, a further surge in volunteers.  It starts to become a massive event that really deserves significant sponsorship and a big contribution from the host city.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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Bold predictions at Women\'s Launch
Authored by: Peter Parry on Tuesday, August 16 2011 @ 05:48 pm ACST

I was at the AFL match between Adelaide and West Coast earlier this year when the Women's national football championships were in Adelaide.  At half-time highlights were shown as well as the state teams parade on the field.  All good stuff, though some of the highlights showed big hits and bumps that were effectively charging and seemingly serious injuries and there were some clearly injured players in the parade.   People in the crowd commented it'd be good if the Crows went in hard like the women.

My point is I wonder whether women's football has an even bigger future if there is modification of the rules.  Wouldn't this attract many of the women currently playing soccer and netball/basketball - if you could have all the skills but not be flattened by a hefty hip and shoulder?  Be interesting to see what the women currently competing in the international cup think.

In Ireland Women's Gaelic Football is huge in participation numbers and may one day rival the men's code.  But it does not have the bump unlike men's Gaelic football - and is probably a more fast slick version of Gaelic partly for that reason (also the ball can be picked directly from the ground unlike in men's Gaelic football).  I wonder if the participation rates would be that high if there was the bump? 

Women's Rugby has participants but seems to hit a threshold of those willing to risk serious injury.  I fear that Australian Women's footy could hit a similar ceiling without at least some slight modification.

Anyway perhaps I'll be howled down for being discriminatory.  I am actually also in favour of minimising the bump in men's footy too - and glad to see the AFL rules committee has come a fair way in this regard for player safety.

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Bold predictions at Women\\\'s Launch
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Wednesday, August 17 2011 @ 09:56 am ACST

Solomons and Vanuatu do certainly look good things to debut at IC14 in mens, and Vanuatu in particular might be a chance in womens too.

re womens footy and mod'd rules, there was also the issue not long back about getting a mod'd jumper more suitable for girls/women.

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Bold predictions at Women\\\\\\\'s Launch
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, August 17 2011 @ 12:44 pm ACST

Some even bigger predictions out of the International Development Forum held yesterday - full report to come.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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Bold predictions at Women\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s Launch
Authored by: Rod Shaw on Wednesday, August 17 2011 @ 04:18 pm ACST

O'k Brett I'm interested............

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Bold predictions at Women\'s Launch
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, August 17 2011 @ 04:51 pm ACST

Haha!  Tobie has a full report which I'll have up as soon as I've done two million other things.

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Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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