The New Zealand women’s team is not yet ready for competition at the International Cup in 2014.
AFL New Zealands’s Mick Coulthard said “The main contributing factor is the age of the girls that we have currently in our system, aged between 14 and 18 years of age that come through our secondary school programmes”.
In an unfortunate blow to the upcoming International Cup the National women’s team, the PNG Flames will not now be coming to the event. This will be felt throughout the football community in Papua New Guinea (particularly women’s footy) and the game in PNG as a whole.
Just over two weeks ago World Footy News reported the announcement of the PNG Flames squad for the event here.
However, during the ensuing period the hoped for funding has not been forthcoming. As advised by Ben Drew, AFL Development Officer – Pacific, “the PNG women are no longer attending IC14. Time is tight and raising the required funding is very problematic.” When asked whether or not that decision might be changed, Ben was clear that the decision would not be reversed.
Not all nations can afford to make it to Australia for the International Cups, and it should not be seen as a measure of strength or support of the game if a nation doesn’t get there. There are more factors than just the love of the game, or relative strength of the game, which impact decisions – fiscal considerations arguably the highest of these.
A case in point is the Solomon Islands. According to the SIAFL (Solomon Islands Australian Football League), the desire is certainly there, but not the main mechanism to make it happen – funding.
“Yes, unfortunately we will not be attending the IC14 competition. The biggest barrier came down to a lack of funding and sponsorship. Unfortunately we were not able to secure any corporate backing.”
The Samurai IC14 Squad for AFL Japan was named today 3rd June 2014.
Twenty six Top League East players and two players currently playing in Australia have been named to play for the Samurai along with a Management and support staff of seven.
Senshu Powers have the largest contingent of players with seven, and Tokyo Bay Suns and R246 Lions are the next best represented clubs with six players each. The Komazawa Magpies have five representatives whilst brand new team Shonan Poseidons have provided 2 players.
Two players currently in Australia, Yuki Akita playing at North Gambier in country South Australia and Mitsugu Kazawa at West Footscray in Melbourne, Victoria have also been named in the squad.
After last week announcing the AFL PNG Flames Womens squad for the AFL International Cup 2014 - now it's the turn of the men with the AFL PNG Mosquitoes squad taking shame - now in their final month of training prior to the announcement of the 28 man travelling squad. The training group has been trimmed to 36 - and amongst those are many familiar names to the followers of PNG footy and readers of Worldfootynews.
The following press release is courtesy of AFL PNG :
The year 2014 presents itself as a great opportunity for international teams, and their players, to embrace and be embraced by Australian Rules football clubs across the world. Whilst there are carnivals such as the Euro Cup and the EEAFL throughout Asia which bring those parts of the world closer, it is the year of an International Cup which has the greatest potential to create lasting bonds between teams and players from across the world.
This year’s IC14 in Melbourne will be no exception as national teams, represented by many local clubs within their countries, make the journey to Australia where they will play hard against their opposition on the field, yet build lasting friendships afterwards off the field.
AFL Papua New Guinea has already established a solid pedigree in International Footy not only in the South Pacific region but also against all comers in the International Cup. And not just the men. The PNG Flames womens squad debuted in 2011 at the Inaugural AFL International Cup Womens division and AFL PNG has announced a squad to return in August this year.
The Pakistan Shaheens, based mainly on expat Pakistanis living in Melbourne, are continuing to gather their numbers as the 2014 AFL International Cup approaches. An article by Zain Nabi recently appeared in the Express Tribune.
After gaining impressive numbers early on it seems there was a drop off but the Shaheens are now rebuilding ready for IC14.
Once selection was complete, the players were trained rigorously including workouts and sessions on the technicalities of the game. However, many of them started dropping out and there came a time when the number of available players was barely 10. “I think it was good for us.” (Kashif) Bouns recalls. “It showed us how many of them were genuinely interested and we then built on from there to reach the stage where we have a bunch of dedicated players, some of whom will feature in the international cup.”
The Great Britain Bulldogs have named their squad for the 2014 International Cup, featuring a large contingent of UK nationals who are currently playing Down Under.
Of the 27 members in the primary squad, 13 are presently playing league football in Australia - 10 in Victoria and one each in Queensland, South Australia and NSW.
A number of players will be familiar to WFN readers from previous cups, including Anthony Trigg and Adam Ballard, who were offered places training with VFL clubs Preston and Port Melbourne respectively after the IC 2011 and have remained in Australia.
The squad's British-based component is mainly a mix of London and regional England players. No players from the Scottish league were selected, although two players from Welsh club the South Cardiff Panthers made the cut.