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Feature Article: Melbourne in pole position for IC11
Authored by: Sean Finlayson on Monday, May 11 2009 @ 10:38 am ACST
I live in Melbourne and personally I think it is silly to again hold the cup here based on previous cups all the best crowds were played outside of the metro area. At the very least another Australian city should get a turn - just my 2 cents. I also think that if the AFL can't get it right in 2011 with three already under the belt - it won't ever. The timing is perfect for this comp to be taken seriously, otherwise it never will.

With regard to an Australian side participating - I find all this conjecture about All-Australian sides very frustrating. Where there is a will there is a way - why not think outside the square. We have a game which uses a lot of players. So why not play an Australian side with a player number handicap Australian against the IC winner or World Team ?

Doesn't matter how good they are, if you played 22 against - say 16 or 14. Even super fit or super skilled players find this hard to overcome. My old club used to do this in intra-club matches between seniors and reserves and despite the difference in quality of players, it always resulted in pretty even contests. In our game weight of numbers is a huge advantage (think Barry Hall vs Broadford juniors ;) - just look at the difference less players made when South Africa were able to defeat the Convicts. Combined with removing the home advantage (i.e. playing it in another country), this would be a pretty simple solution for Australian participation and is as credible as any. Its simple really - play a couple of test matches first, gauge the competitiveness - then try the real thing at the IC. What's more is that the handicap can be easily adjusted .... just food for thought anyway.

Feature Article: Melbourne in pole position for IC11
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Monday, May 11 2009 @ 01:22 pm ACST

The main issues as I see it around a 'best of' or the IC winner vs an Aust team effectively after the IC tournament is that an unknown team or unknown number of individuals will need to be able to hang around that long after the IC GF. They aren't being paid to be there and have jobs and families to get back to. It effectively means going from a known 2 week schedule in Australia to a 3 week one. Who will pay for them to stay around - - (the AFL and sponsors - - wouldn't that be great, but, not yet, - - - not yet).

Also - to try to 'gel' a team of 'internationals' in 4 days (language barriers???) after they've all just battled it out for 2 weeks (fatigue) to then take on a bunch of 'fresh' Australians would be a pretty big ask.

Therefore, to play vs 'Australians' - has to be incorporated into the tournament. Why not run a 'Flying Boomerangs' squad? It'd help highlight that. But, in reality - we then mix people who HAVE learned footy in this country with those who haven't.

The main question going forward might be around the merging of the multicultural cup and international cup in a meaningful manner - because, for now, the PNG lads and Scott Fleming and a host of Samoans and Kiwis who HAVE played footy in Australia were showing very much the benefits of that. So, the eligibility criteria perhaps needs a slight review?? Because, we now have African refugee kids playing in Australia who perhaps could just a validly represent Sudan, Ethiopia etc as the kids who represent PNG who actually now have 3 or 4 years of 'homeland' footy learning plus a year or 2 in Australia and so are actually AHEAD of the very recent arrivals here.

i.e. the logic of criteria that applied for IC02 when there was basically zero junior development OS is perhaps in need of review now that there are some meaningful junior programs in several countries.

Personally, I'd rather a 'rest of the world' team to be selected who then would build the core of a 'world' team to play in the perhaps the Australian country championships? (lowest division for now). Ideally I'd like to see an international 'junior' side in the Aust U18s national carnival playing in Div 2 (even if the international side were U21s for now - - and right now it'd probably be pretty well full of PNG kids with recent/current Aust experience)