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Feature Article: Melbourne in pole position for IC11
Authored by: Peter Parry on Tuesday, May 12 2009 @ 05:54 pm ACST

There's a lot to be said for playing in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast. It would be a real buzz for the area and would coincide nicely with Gold Coast's first AFL season and show to Queenslanders how the game is internationalising (a factor in the rivalry for fans with soccer and the rugby codes, especially given the GC's A-league president's comments).

But for seeing more AFL games a round could be played in Melbourne and then the teams move up to the Gold Coast. Alternatively the teams move down to Melbourne for the finals round and play the GF on the MCG as in the past - hopefully with far more publicity that there is a curtain-raiser. I was at the MCG that night and seemed most arriving Hawthorn and Bulldogs fans were unaware of the game until they saw it.

Feature Article: Melbourne in pole position for IC11
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, May 12 2009 @ 06:47 pm ACST

I suspect you'll never get many people show up early for a curtain raiser.

In terms of format, if 22 teams commit, I reckon put 16 in the championship division and 6 in developmental - call it something nicer like the Futures Division.

Realistically only 3 or 4 teams are likely to be in a position to win it - Australia if present, PNG, NZ and maybe Ireland and RSA. So a more radical overhaul could see two divisions with the top 8 and the lower 14 or however many. That would add some certainty in terms of knowing that the main draw will have 8 even if there are some late withdrawals. And it would significantly reduce the blow-out margins, something that really needs to be managed better.

The soccer World Cup that gets so much focus is actually the finals, but they have the resources for organised qualifying leading into it. Perhaps the IC needs to become more like that, the main division is the finals, say top 8 with two pools of 4 playing 3 quality matches each and then cross-over semi finals then GF (so sticking to the 5 or possibly 4 matches each - any more is not realistic). The other 14 or however many would then effectively be the qualifying teams fighting for a spot in the top 8 at the next Cup. When the main division's top 4 are playing semi-finals, perhaps the bottom 4 of the main division would then be playing off against the best teams from the bottom 14, for the right to stay in the top 8.

That idea is warming on me as I type. Am I off track or does that sound reasonable? It would add real interest to the middle ranked sides later in the tournament so they are playing for something real, not just jostling for 1 or 2 positions on the ladder. If the Cups are to continue to be 3 years apart, we've seen the quality of nations doesn't change radically, so it's not like the 9th team would suddenly be top 2 and cruelly denied a shot at the title. They would finish atop the lower teams and then play the 5th to 8th teams to claim a spot from them, and would then be well placed 3 years later for a crack at the title.

So two divisions, the Dixon Premier Division and the Barassi Futures Division. The top 4 in the Dixon Premier Div go through to the Championship Rounds, and the Dixon bottom 4 and Barassi top 4 fight it out in the Sheedy Qualifying Rounds. The remainder can then play off for lower positions (I won't be rude and suggest any names for those rounds).

If necessary, with many very new teams, you could even have top 8, next 8, and then the rest, and potentially include multicultural teams in there as well, like Team Asian and Africa which played on the side last time.

Thoughts? Maybe sounds complicated at first. Easier to follow than the AFL McIntrye Final 8 isn't it?

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Feature Article: Melbourne in pole position for IC11
Authored by: Seth McElvaney on Wednesday, May 13 2009 @ 12:44 am ACST

Brett, that's a pretty good idea. I like it.

With the talk above about the World Cup in soccer, I was reminded of the fact that there is no UK soccer team. Someone told me it was done that way because in the early years the UK would have been too strong and dominant of a team and so they split the UK in to the Home Nations. But I found that the associations in England, Scotland, Wales, etc developed separately (as did the state leagues of Aussie Rules). The secondary effect was that UK teams did not dominate.

So, what about having separate amateur state teams in the IC? PNG v. NSW. That should be a good match. You would have the prospect of foreign teams beating Aussie teams and at the same time draw the focus of all of Australia as folks would be interested in how their state or territory went. It might get the AFL interested in brining State of Origin back.

my 2 c


Feature Article: Melbourne in pole position for IC11
Authored by: Joel Adin Porretta on Wednesday, May 13 2009 @ 10:39 am ACST

That sounds alright. In the the first Australasian Football Carnival back in 1908 New Zealand beat 2 states (NSW by 1 point and Queensland by 35 points).

Feature Article: Melbourne in pole position for IC11
Authored by: Seth McElvaney on Thursday, May 14 2009 @ 08:59 am ACST

And to add on, if there was a real desire for a team from all of Australia, then that could be when you get an all-star team from the States and Territories v. an all-star team from the rest of the world.
In that set up all the players have about the same amount of fatigue, but would probably enjoy the game nevertheless.

I guess I'm up to 4 cents now.