IC11 action starts this Saturday 13th August at Blacktown International Sportspark Sydney.
The best place to find out the weather in Australia is the Bureau of Meteorology and in particular for the Blacktown area the closest forecast will be that for Paramatta. At time of writing the prediction for this Saturday is "7C overnight and 18C maximum during the day, a shower or two. Partly cloudy. Isolated showers. Light winds".
The Sweden Elks this year return for their second IC, after finishing 12th on debut in 2008. Captained by Johan Lantz and coached by Daniel McClaer, at the IC11 the Elks will be hoping to break out of the "middle field" of nations who are well ahead of the minnows, but yet to prove they are able to challenge the powerhouse nations at the front of the field.
The Country and Australian Football
Swedish footy had its roots with the Helsinborg Saints, who were formed in 1996 to compete in the Danish Australian Football League, just over the water in Denmark. The southern region clubs continue to compete in the DAFL, with the Saints today joined by the Port Malmö Maulers, both clubs supported by a Scanian Local League.
With just a few days to go before IC11 we thought we'd flashback to the most controversial moment in International Cup history.
South Africa, regarded by some as the AFL's favoured nation, trailed Ireland by 5 points in the playoff for 3rd, with just seconds to go in the match. A controversial free kick was paid but the South African was almost certainly too far out to score the needed goal. The siren sounded and he was forced to kick to win the match... as he ran in... well there are 2 versions. The Irish say he ran around the mark, thus play on, game over. The umpire said the Irishman on the mark moved over the mark first, thus a 25 metre penalty. The result was a shot at goal from much closer in, a straight kick and joy for the Africans and bitter anger for Ireland.
The AFL released video of the incident which they said supported the umpires decision. This author saw it live at the ground and first instinct was umpire error. Watching the video many times I felt it was just too difficult to really know one way or the other.
Is this now the greatest rivalry in international footy? Will the two nations cross paths again in 2011?
AFL Players have come together to send a strong message to fans and the broader community that racism – on or off the field – is unacceptable.
With the message, Our team is made up of many colours. Wear them with pride, not prejudice, the campaign encourages footy fans to celebrate and respect the diversity of people playing football at all levels.
The campaign features players from a diverse range of backgrounds, including Matthew Stokes, James Frawley, Aaron Davey, Setanta O’hAilpin, Nathan Grima, Raphael Clarke and Shaun Burgoyne.
Sadly the Papua New Guinea team has been struck by tragedy on the eve of their International Cup defence.
Scott Reid, the Chairman of AFL PNG Ltd has informed us that Peter Meli, the Team Manager and a member of the 2002 International Cup side and father of current player David Meli, was killed in Port Moresby after a send off function for the Mosquitoes squad on Saturday night.
The incident occurred where he and several PNG players and staff were held up and Peter was stabbed and died in hospital later that night.
Walter Yangomina, the National Manager Development was with Peter at the hospital. Peter was dropping off PNG players after a send off BBQ for IC2011.
His son David Meli is a scholarship list player with Essendon and was expected to star for PNG at the upcoming Cup.
It's a shocking thing for the PNG footy community. It's early days but the thought is to award the Peter Meli medal to the best PNG Mosquito of the Cup, and that the medal will commemorate Peter by being awarded at every International Cup in future.
I'm sure the entire international footy community join with us in passing on their sincere condolences to the PNG camp and especially the Meli family.
The US national team, the American Revolution or "Revos" as they are affectionately known, are heading to Australia to take on the best teams in the world in the Australian Football International Cup. In 2008 they finished seventh; back in 2005 the Revos finished a very respectable third after beating 2002 winners, Ireland twice.
With the top nations powering ahead in their footy programs, can the Revos wind back the clock and capture a top four spot? Up against fast opposition they've selected for speed whilst still fielding an experienced side, in part due to the demographics of footy in the US.
The Denmark Vikings are back for their third IC campaign this year, after strong showings in 2002 and 2008. The Danes have one of international footy's longest history of matches, and have generally fielded a strong team, but so far haven't been able to challenge the top flight sides like PNG and NZ.
With a fit and relatively young side, the Vikings will be eager to show that this year they can hold it with the best of the field.
The International Cup is the undisputed pinnacle of worldwide Aussie Rules. But in recent times there have been a number of tournaments scattered across the globe that have fast become prestigious in their own right, capturing an “FA Cup” type aura, and are a much sought after addition to any team’s trophy cabinet.
In North America it’s the U.S Nationals, for Europe the European Championships and Euro Cup, and on August 13th we'll see the thirteenth annual Asian Championships held in Bangkok, Thailand.
While China is fighting out IC2011 in Australia, their Aussie ex-pat dominated sister team will be battling out the Asian Champs alongside ten other mainly ex-pat teams in what is the holy grail of Asian football. The eleven participating clubs include hosts the Thailand Tigers and visitors the Singapore Wombats, Hong Kong Dragons, Indonesia Bintangs, China Reds, Malaysian Warriors, Vietnam Swans, Laos Elephants, Macau Lightning, Cambodia Cobras and Asian Barbarians.
Thanks to Luke Anderson for this report. Luke is currently based in Singapore, but has experience in footy in Canada, and is an assistant coach with the French national team at this year's IC.
The Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) has named its squad to tour Ireland in October. The team was chosen from the players in the final squads for the Senior and Premier-Div 4 teams that played against the VCFL in July.
Players from twenty-six clubs represented the Big V on that weekend. Players from fifteen of those clubs submitted applications. The selectors chose at least one player from each of those clubs, with a maximum of two players from any one club.
VAFA President Bruno Conti said that the tour selectors had some tough decisions to make, but importantly had spread the representation to clubs from Premier through Division 2.
Entries close for the worldfootynews.com IC11 Tipping Competition at 10:00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (12pm GMT) this Wednesday 9th August.
Contestants that have already entered should receive an email later today asking for their tips for Game Day 1 (Saturday August 13th). If you do not receive that email today then please contact us. Tips will be due in by 9am AEST on each Game Day.
For a bit of extra incentive we've organised a couple of great prizes from Burley Sekem. Top spot will receive a Premier football (pictured left, recommended retail price AUD$109.95) and second spot gets a Match football.
As expected Williamstown Seagulls have claimed the inaugural Foxtel Cup.
The strong VFL side travelled to Perth to take on Claremont at Paterson's Stadium and encountered a spirited fight, with the locals just 5 points down at 3/4 time. But Williamstown took control in the final quarter, kicking three unanswered goals for a comfortable 21 point win.
Although the Foxtel Cup is a made for TV tournament it would've been nice to have the game played in front of more than the 1405 people who turned up to watch the tournament's finale. Perhaps it will grow in status in the coming years.
One of a number of debutants at this year's IC will be the Timor-Leste Crocs, representing one of Australia's closest neighbours and Asia's youngest independent nation.
The Crocs were founded only three years ago, but have since formed the AFL Timor-Leste and become a regular appearance in the Asian tournament circuit, as well as maintaining a domestic comp in and around the capital city Dili.
The Country and Australian Football
Footy had an on-again-off-again presence in Timor-Leste (also known as East Timor) since the late 1990s, but the current setup dates back to 2007, when Australian peacekeeping forces and aid workers formed a social footy club known as the East Dili Eels. From the Eels in 2008 grew the national team, christened the East Timor Crocs, who made their international debut at the Bali 9s Masters that year.
On the domestic scene, the AFLTL counts local teams representing both Australian military and development personnel, as well as local Timorese military and civilians, and players from other countries resident in Dili. Games are generally 9 to 11-a-side.