The AFL International Cup is held every 3 years, and this year alongside the men’s competition will be the first ever Women’s Division. The earlier rounds will be held in Sydney, and the later rounds and the finals will be held in Melbourne. Whilst the men start a little earlier on the 12th August, on the 15th there will be no men’s matches and the whole day will be reserved for the start of the women’s competition. The other women’s matches will coincide with men’s games. The Women’s Division competition will finish with the Grand Finals on the 26th August. The men’s finals and the closing ceremony will be held the next day on the 27th. The locations of the finals have not yet been arranged.
The women’s competition will be a “round robin” style tournament. There are six teams which will be randomly allocated a number. After four rounds of matches, the teams will be ranked 1-6 and the top two teams will advance to the finals. Additionally, the 3rd and 4th ranked teams, and the 5th and 6th ranked teams will also play each other as the match experience will help the ongoing development of the teams.
Teams competing in the Women’s Division are Canada, Ireland, Italy, PNG, USA and a combined Indigenous/Multicultural team.
AFL Fiji has named a training squad for IC11, with some of their talented Under 16s currently in contention.
Although we haven't had official comfirmation yet that the Fijians will definitely make it to Australia for the 4th installment of the International Cup, the squad will be preparing with every intention of being there.
The 40-member squad consists of mainly players that have only taken up the sport in less than four months but will be cut down to a final 30-member team by June 5th. AFL Fiji development officer and acting coach Glen Butler knows his side will be inexperienced but will gain a lot from the exposure. “These countries have competed in this competition already and know what to expect. This will be the first Fijian team to compete in the AFL International Cup” says Butler.
The CNFA have announced the French national squad who will be heading to Australia in August to make their International Cup debut. The squad is composed largely of players from the Paris Cockerels, Bordeaux Bombers and Toulouse Hawks, with the Bordeaux players coming off a premiership win last weekend with an all-France squad.
The Strasbourg Kangourous have one representative, and a contingent of French players currently playing in Canada are also making the trip. Six French nationals currently playing in Australia are listed with the squad, including the trio of Thomas Urban, Cyril Jan Mahamad and Grégoire Patack from the Toulouse Hawks, who are suiting up with the Coolangatta-Tweed Heads Blues reserve grade team this season.
Included in the squad are Wilfried Houvion and Sylvain Maylie, who were both selected to play with the European Legion against the AIS-AFL squad in London last month. Wilfried took part in the Legion match, although Sylvain was unable to make the trip to London due to work commitments.
Head Coach and Manager for the team is Cyril Talon, who is also the current CNFA President. His assistants will be Graham Andrews, who coached the Paris Cockerels over the past 3 seasons, and Luke Anderson, who coached the Montréal Saints in 2010 before moving to Singapore this year.
Team India are holding weekly training sessions in Melbourne in the lead-up to this year’s International Cup. Sessions commence at 1pm every Sunday at Ashwood Reserve on High Street Road in Melbourne’s East.
All Indians in Melbourne that are interested in playing football are urged to attend, regardless of their skill level or knowledge of the game. Non-playing roles are also available.
Like in 2008 Team India will be comprised of eligible players based both in India and Australia; an even split is expected. In 2008 the India-based players were drawn solely from Kolkata, whereas this year players from Mumbai and Kerala are also trying out for the squad. Hopefully this expanded talent pool results in India securing their first victory at an International Cup.
Burley Sekem have an international package available for countries competing at the 2011 Australian Football International Cup. Interested nations can check out the deal here. [For transparency please note that Burley Sekem advertise with worldfootynews.com]
The NZ Hawks will soon finalise their travelling squad of 26 players for the 2011 International Cup. Pleasingly the average age has continued to decrease from 25 in 2002, to 23 in 2008 to around 21 for 2011. What any youth-focused programme would wish to see is that players will ‘buy in’ to the sport and continue through to the seniors. With 18 players graduating from previous NZ Hawks Under 16 and Under 20 NZ teams can be happy that this is being achieved, as that represents 46% of the squad.
There is only one player of the 2002 squad looking to return nine years later and that is key forward Richard Bradley who was one of five teenagers in that team. He again returned in the 2005 Champion team and his team mates from then David Cory-Toussaint and Andrew Marsden are part of the extended squad. Eight players in total from the 2008 squad are hoping to return, which is just under a third. I would expect that that is fairly standard across the board for all the nations.
The squad currently comprises 21 from Auckland, 11 from Canterbury, 4 from Waikato and 3 from Wellington - giving a wide geographical spread across the nation.
The final squad will be decided after a camp this weekend, with other training camps to follow in Mid June and Mid July.
Missed out on selection for your country’s IC11 squad? Is your country not even sending a team to IC11? There’s still a chance to get involved - the AFL is looking for volunteers to help out in both the men’s and women’s competitions. The competition will be held this year in Sydney and Melbourne from 15-27 August and needs volunteers for a range of roles.
If you are interested, please fill out the information in the attachment below and return to Jan Cooper, firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
The Iceland Ravens today officially announced that they will not be attending the 2011 International Cup, with Icelandic AFL president Friðgeir "Fritz" Ásgeirsson making the following statement:
"It is with a heavy heart and great regret that I have to announce to you that the Icelandic National Team will not be participating in the IC11. We left it late to make the final decision, hoping that by some grace of god we would be able to participate, but to no avail. After weeks of deliberation we have concluded that we simply cannot risk overstraining the group. Most of our players are new to the game and such a big effort, as the IC11 trip and participation is, would put great strain on the guys, physically, mentally and not least financially.
We have therefore decided to concentrate on European competitions for the time being, hoping that we can build on our resent success here and bring an even stronger team to the IC14. Who knows, maybe we'll be able to generate some revenue during the meantime and subsidize the journey for the National Team to the IC14."
The IceAFL kicked off their 3-team domestic league in 2010, as well as making their full-field debut at the inaugural European Championship in Australian Football, held in Denmark and Sweden during last August. We wish the IceAFL all the best - they've achieved some impressive growth as a league in only a short period of time.
The Denmark Vikings have announced a preliminary squad list of 26 players for the 2011 International Cup, with a number of familiar names set to make the trip to Australia in August.
All Danish domestic clubs except for Århus have at least one member in the side, with power club Farum is again the most represented with 15 players - a reflection of the Cats having Denmark's largest and longest-running juniors program.
Five members of the European Legion are in the squad, including Mathias Biron who also travelled to Australia as part of the World 18 last year. Chris Campion and Nicholai Secher will also bring some Australian club experience to the team, having stayed on in Australia after the IC08 to play a season with Thomson in the Geelong & District FL.
National team coach Jim Campion notes that the squad is not 100% finalised, with some members still to confirm their availability, but the Vikings list as it currently stands is given below.
The seemingly inevitable has occurred, with several more teams confirmed as pulling out of the 2011 International Cup. Every 3 years the list of hopefuls shrinks as the event draws near, and we watch on hoping that the final number is at least higher than the previous tournaments. That still looks reasonably safe at this stage, especially as Timor-Leste are apparently back in contention, a surprise given their position in February. Note that this list is "in contention", not a list of 100% confirmed contestants.
WFN spoke to AFL Multicultural and International Coordinator Peter Romaniw and he confirmed that Croatia have pulled out due to the large financial challenge. Also missing from the last list we saw are Iceland, Finland and Indonesia. As a very young footy nation and a developing country the absence of Indonesia is no surprise.
The current list now stands at 21, including an Australian-based multicultural team. 2008 saw 16 nations in the main draw. Question marks remain over some candidates, such as the Swiss still needing some funding proposals to succeed.
With the original list of hopeful IC11 attendees having shrunk somewhat, some positive news has come out of Europe with the AFL Switzerland stating that they are still planning on making the trip Down Under this August.
At this point, it looks likely that France and Switzerland will be the only new European nations at the 2011 International Cup, with other nations including Croatia and the Netherlands keen early, but unable to clear financial or logistical hurdles to make it to Australia this time around. Italy were originally hoping to send both men's and women's teams, but eventually decided to only bring their women's side.
Peta Lowry, who is working with both the Swiss men's side and the Italian women's side, says that the Swiss are still very much focussed on getting to Australia in August, with a number of initiatives underway to source funding for the trip.
Head Coaches Stuart Grills and Jaye Macumber have named their initial twenty five players to represent Canada in the Men's Division for the 2011 International Cup in Melbourne and Sydney this coming August.
These men have been working extremely hard since November 2010 and are thrilled to have the opportunity to represent their country at this International tournament. The players for the five remaining spots will be chosen by the end of May.
Congratulations again to the twenty five players from across the country.