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IC2011 - current country attendance list
Authored by: Cam Homes on Wednesday, February 23 2011 @ 11:37 am ACDT

Brett. More crossovers between regions would all help prove the validity or not of the World Ranking for sure, but remember matches where the rating gap is more than 10.00 points do not make a skerrick of a difference for either team(unless a huge upset by lower ranked team).

Take the Tonga v NZ series last year, after three matches we still don't have any real idea where Tonga fit into the scheme of things other than they are at least 12 or 13 Rating points lower than NZ. Does that at this stage put them on Par with GB, Sweden, Croatia or Peace Team all nations on about 40 points. Cross over matches against those teams would certainly start to tell us where they really fit. Games against PNG would not.

Conyers.  I believe in the WFN World Rankings(probably more than Brett at least, Aaron is a little harder to figure) altho I do concede that the paupacity of regular games and the lack of crossover games between regions leave it a little shaky at times and despite the rankings of  Sweden and Japan(& Germany) being only a few ranking points below GB and Samoa their positions are probably inflated  a bit because of who they have beaten.

Canada's position and ranking is always raised as showning a weakness in the system(their almost regular annual loses to USA pushing them further down than they might should be). But Aaron does concede that even taking that into account  and I will point out that when they have played other nations they have only managed wins over Finland, Spain, Japan and SA(before SA's rise in strength) a win over Sweden at last IC when Sweden were over 7Rating points behind Canada.

More importantly thay have lost(some close games) to all of the power teams eg. Ireland, NZ, Samoa, Nauru, GB and USA. so despite our sentimentalism about Canada they just might rather have a go at winning the 2nd Div title and playing against a few more teams where the chances of a win are better.

Likewise Japan have two wins over Spain and a win over India. Their one game of glory was the shock win over Samoa at IC08. Might they just rather have a go at the Div 2 title as well.

Sweden's winning record includes 4 wins over Finland, one over Germany and Croatia. Mustn't forget their win over GB at EC10 tho, so could herald a movement up the ranks into about 9th or 10th, or was that Sweden's moment of glory. MIght they just rather have a go at that Div 2 title.

Point I'm trying to make is that I reckon that 3 Divisions based on as I suggested in an earlier comment  would produce much tighter contests in all 3 divisions than a 2 Division competition.

Only problem with 3 Divisions is that the AFL would have to buy 2 new trophies instead of one. That Third Div trophy tho, could become, in time, a prize for new and emerging footy nations to aspire to.

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IC2011 - current country attendance list
Authored by: Bruce Parker on Thursday, February 24 2011 @ 02:56 pm ACDT

"they just might rather have a go at winning the 2nd Div title and playing against a few more teams where the chances of a win are better."

That reference to Canada leaves me with a big question of why?

Why would anybody want to take that route. As a player to be told that we re going to play in a lower division because we are more likely to in it would be insulting. Using Canada as an example, they have had more than their share of close loses. A 4 or 5 goal lead against Samoa in 2005 at half only to impload in the second half. A close game in 2008 against ireland was the differnce between a top  4 finish. I would be crushed as a player if I were to suddenly be denied the opportunity to compete against those top teams with out the opportunity to at least qualify for a position in the top pool.

Unfortunate for Canada and the USA is that they are geographiclly isolated from the rest of the footy nations in Europe and the South Pacific. They get one game a year against each other. (Always thought it should be 2 games per year between them) Competition is the only way that any nation is going to get stronger. For teams like Canada they need the competition against the top nations to be able to make improvements to their national program. It's those improvements that have had a trickle down effect in the quality of football being played at the club level.

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IC2011 - current country attendance list
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, February 24 2011 @ 11:18 pm ACDT

I had a feeling Cam's comments on teams wanting to play div 2 may stir some disagreement.  I think it depends - some teams clearly will get smashed by the top teams so I think it's realistic to want to play lower, no shame there.  But established footy nations like Canada who are very competitive are not going to give up on div 1 lightly.  That's why I like a lightning carnival that would sort out the middle sides and the winners amongst them would remain in div 1, at least in my guess at how it might work.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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