The Indian side for the 2008 Australian Football International Cup has been named, and at time of writing just 16 players are listed. With matches of 18 on-field plus 6 interchange, you do the maths. Getting footy started in India has been an elusive goal for many years now, and the numbers don't bode well. Behind the scenes worldfootynews.com has been working to help secure some more recruits to the India cause. We'll update this table as new data arrives, and we're fairly confident that players have already been found since this squad was released. Lets hope India can spare a few more of their billion-plus population.
Update: The AFL has informed us that India now has 26 players. "The last ten were part of a selection process in Australia. They are all Indian nationals who have moved to Australia and fit the eligibility criteria". They have been added below (distinguished by surnames in capitals).
The Nauru Chiefs return to international competition after missing the International Cup in 2005. A small squad of just 26 players has been named, peppered with young men looking to lead the sport to a fresh start back home. It would be easy to write the Chiefs off, but with 17 players getting valuable experience in local Victorian footy this season, they may well surprise.
The People's Republic of China, home to the 2008 Olympics and a population of over 1.3 billion (that's around 60 Chinese for every one Australian). They are dominating the Summer Games, as expected, but in Australian football they are not so fancied. Making their international debut at the AFL International Cup, worldfootynews.com spoke to coach Darryl Hoffman about what we might expect to see from the Red Demons.
US Revolution Coach Rob Oliver today confirmed squad changes to the one originally selected earlier in the year. Out of the squad are James Brunmeier, JJ Cisneros, Mike Levalley and Mike Busse who are all injured, and Jarrod Brunmeier who is unavailable due to other commitments. “We will miss these players and thank them for their efforts over the past years as valuable and enthusiastic members of the Revolution squad. We wish them well in their recoveries and hope that they will get the chance to represent the USA again.” It is of course inevitable when choosing a large squad so far out that some changes will have to be made due to injury in a serious contact sport. We believe that James Brunmeier was injured quite badly while playing football in Western Australia, and was only a slight chance to see any football at the end of the season.
Those out of the squad have been replaced by Josh Loring and Jeff Persson from the alternates list plus former Revolution representatives from the 2002 International Cup BJ Gambaro, Jay Mueller and Jason Becker (Gambaro and Mueller also played in the 2005 IC) whose experience will help to cover the losses from the squad. Oliver was upbeat about the inclusions adding “we are a team and this gives the opportunity to players picked as alternates to come into the team and grab their chance.”
With just a week to go before the start of the 3rd International Cup, worldfootynews.com will soon switch to a somewhat different appearance on the front page. We'll have the Pool ladders, short pieces of video (resources permitting) and quick links to information such as the draw, results, team details, public transport guide, Melbourne and Warrnambool weather and the AFL's International Cup page. Below that will be our regular accruing list of stories, with the focus obviously being on the IC08. During matches we hope to have regular score updates on the front page.
Hopefully readers will find it a quick way to find out what they want fast. A few days after the Cup we'll return to our normal layout.
The official squad named by the Samoan Kangaroos for the 2008 Australian Football International Cup includes their champion and captain from 2005, Fia Tootoo. He was named best player at the last Cup, with PNG's Navu Maha. There was some concern about Tootoo's availability, but it looks like the big fella will play. Fia is currently playing for Nyora in the Victorian EDFL. Reports suggest he has been a dominant player at centre halfback. If he is to play for both Samoa and Nyora he'll have an amazing schedule, as their league's finals overlap with the International Cup - though only if both his sides make their Grand Finals would there be a direct clash. Seeing Tootoo named will boost Samoa's chances enormously, but with a large 40-man squad, one wonders whether all players will be available for all matches. In fact the Roos' cause has been hurt by the ineligibility of around ten players they had hoped could play but who don't meet the criteria.
Here's the final squad named for the US Revolution. However we believe two key players, the Brunmeier brothers, will be absent, which could be a major setback for the American plans to break-through for their first grand final appearance. Star forward James Brunmeier is believed to be injured.
Following the solid progress Australian Football has made in the Middle East in the last two years, AFL Middle East will kick off in October 2008. The league will run over six months, and feature six of the region's clubs, with matches in nine-a-side format. As expected, four clubs are from the Emirates; the Dubai Dingoes, Dubai Heat, Dubai Dragons and the Abu Dhabi Falcons. The Muscat Magpies and Doha Kangaroos complete the group.
Stephen Nugent, Commercial Manager of AFL Middle East was recently in Melbourne to meet with the AFL and finalise plans for the league. He was also fortunate enough to meet Melbourne Chairman Jim Stynes, who has pledged "coaching and structural support for the teams". Nugent will reveal more about the league to WFN in coming weeks. In the meantime, Chelsea Roffey provides a good summary for the AFL website.
The first-ever Sweden Elks IC campaign has drawn its squad from far and wide. All regions of Swedish footy - Stockholm, Karlstad, Gothenburg, Dalarna and Scania - are represented, with one player from the world's most northerly footy club, the Svärdsjö Crows.
The squad has some experienced faces, with captain Andreas Svensson having represented Denmark at the 2002 IC, in the days when Sweden only had one club, the Helsingborg Saints in the DAFL. The Elks also have some size on their side, with Mats Wurmbach from Stockholm club the Solna Axemen standing 208cm tall - almost 6 foot 10 in the old scale.
The three Stockholm sides (Solna, Bromma and Södermalm) have 9 representatives between them, as do the three Scanian sides (Landskrona, Helsingborg and Port Malmö). The Gothenburg Berserkers supply 5, Karlstad 3, and the Dalarna clubs (Falun and Svärdsjö) 2.
The Israel-Palestine Peace Team has been named, with 26 players headed for Australia. With different faiths and different languages, getting this side together was a daunting task. They now face further great hurdles - experienced opponents and understanding coach Robert DiPierdomenico (fortunately co-coached by Simon Jacobs). Some promising matches against expat-Aussies in Israel suggest this side will be tougher to beat than first expected, but a lack of experience will hurt and few tall players could be a problem if conditions are fine.
While Mal Michael is heading into retirement, another international connection is being explored by the Essendon Football Club, who have 19 year old Limerick lad Ian Ryan in Melbourne to trial with the club. The Limerick Leader has reported that Ryan is the first known player from the county to try out for an AFL club. And as far as we know it is the first time the Bombers have trialled a Gaelic footballer. The report implies player agent Ricky Nixon was involved, although at last check Essendon were not one of his signed up AFL clubs.
Meanwhile Tyrone's Sean Cavanagh has reportedly turned down a second offer of a contract by Carlton, and Nixon's two day talent camp at Breaffy's International Sports Hotel in County Mayo is schedule for Tuesday, 26 August and Wednesday, 27 August.