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IC2011 - Divisions
Authored by: Brett Northey on Tuesday, April 27 2010 @ 07:21 pm ACST

Hi Eurofooty,

I agree with most of your points, in fact some of us at WFN have argued for many of those points too over the years. In particular:

  • a fixed number in the premier division, and developing nations division for the remainder
  • Ballarat has been suggested (rumoured) as a candidate for country rounds
  • shorter quarters; IC is always shorter quarters but I think 2008 had longer quarters than 2005, which was a step in the wrong direction, I'd probably go 14 mins for minor round, 18 for the finals. But if they were to go as short as 12 mins, since 12x4 is 48 mins total, I'd also give some thought to 22x2 halves instead, since stop starting for 1/4 breaks is a bit unnecessary and time consuming
  • playing a World 18 against some form of Australian side; agree in principle, in fact we tried to get a similar concept up along with the AFL Oceania guys in 2008. The idea being pushed by Andrew Cadzow was to make it a social event for all the teams to attend, but also feature the best say under 23 players, against a quality local junior side. The need has dissipated somewhat now that the World 18 and South Pacific are playing in the AFL Under 16s (as Under 18/19s). An open age World 18 would be interesting but obviously very much weakened if the grand finalists were unavailable. It'd be nice to get a major sponsor on board for that and bring them all out separately say in 2011 to play a couple of games against different tiers of Australian sides
  • lobbying SBS or Foxtel to cover on TV; that'd be a great thing
  • getting a major sponsor; we all say it every year, let's hope the AFL are trying hard, no doubt countries are again lobbying them for support

Where I disagree is a 16 team premier division. As Cam said, that is a recipe for absolute beltings. I know you speak from experience as an official with Sweden in 2008, but there seems to me to be an increasing acceptance by teams in the middle ranks (say 8 to 14) that they can't compete with the very top nations at this stage so why spend those €100,000+ just to get thrashed in 3 or 4 of your 5 games?

Our poll seems to indicate that most people are happy with 12 or less teams in the top division. Do you have a feeling for what most of the current Sweden players would like? They're right on the boundary of what might be a dividing line between divisions. If it went top 12 then based on 2008 Sweden would be in - IC08 finishing positions. Similarly our 2008 rankings, assuming no Australian side competes, would have Sweden 12th - World Rankings 2008.

I just fear 13th and certainly 16th would just get demolished in every game and it would do more harm to them than good.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

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