In what is good news for countries that had thought squad sizes for the 2005 Australian Football International Cup would be 35, the AFL has announced squads up to 35 will indeed be allowed. This follows disappointment for those that had named more than the 30 player limit the AFL set in April.
Japan have won again at the Arafura Games, this time big winners over the Northern Territory Super Rules side. This brings them to two wins from two games and should guarantee them a playoff spot for the Gold medal.
The USAFL have announced that AFL club Essendon will host their national squad during the International Cup. Canada have previously reached agreement with the Sydney Swans and New Zealand with the Melbourne Demons.
In a press release, the AFL have announced that the two Western Australian sides, both doing very well in 2005, with the WC Eagles undefeated atop the ladder, will clash in the traditional end-of-season match at "The Oval" (now called Brit Oval) in England. Hopes are high that the AFL will be able to stage matches in Los Angeles and New Zealand in the near future too. The release follows.
The Arafura Games are underway in Darwin, capital of Australia's Northern Territory. As discussed previously, the games have a proud history in international Australian Rules football. The Japanese Samurai are using the tournament to fine tune their play before the Australian Football International Cup in August. The first round of matches were played today.
Gaelic football and Aussie rules are about evenly matched as developing codes in Asia, and there have been regular compromise or International Rules matches between Gaelic and Aussie Rules clubs in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. If anything Gaelic football has taken a bit of a lead in recent years, despite there being less Irish than Aussie expats in the region.
AFL South Africa has held the first of three training camps to select their national squad for the 2005 Australian Football International Cup. The top players will also be fine tuning their skills as the Buffaloes search for their first win in international competition.
James Brunmeier, of University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and the Milwaukee Bombers, started playing Aussie Rules in 2003. Since then he has rapidly developed as a player, making the US Revolution national squad and winning the 2005 Macquarie University Australian Football Scholarship to attend Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.
On June 11th, 2005, Denmark and Sweden will clash for Scandinavian footy's bragging rights. The Swedish and Danish national sides have only met once before, in 1997, and the rivalry is set to become one of the hottest in international footy.
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