The following article is courtesy of Zain Nabi. It follows the first match by the squad being assembled in Melbourne to represent Pakistan at the 2014 International Cup. This truly is a case of the first tentative steps towards international competition for a new footy nation.
Lo and behold! Perfect kicks, meticulous interceptions, scintillating mark, commendable team work, and, of course, crowd support were the highlights of the game as Shaheens took on their first actual opponents, Just Play – a local football team, and defeated them 44-26 under the overcast conditions at Princes Park Carlton.
It was the first real test of the relentless training sessions that the players had been through during the past couple of months. The Shaheens carried their skills from the training on to the playing field to display what Coach Andrew termed ‘an outstanding performance’.
“It is fantastic to see them performing like that,” he said during the post-game interview. “Honestly, I had not expected to see such professional approach from the players, but they surprised me.”
AFL PNG has been a top two finish in each of the 4 AFL International Cup tournaments to date and will look in 2014 to repeat their success of 2008 when they took out the big one at the MCG.
The following is a media release from AFL PNG announcing their initial IC14 squad.
AFL PNG has named an initial 42 man squad for the 2014 International Cup to be held in Melbourne in August next year. These selections have been based on performances by the emerging Mosquitoes in Lae in September, BSP Cup form, Australian form and past national performances. Injuries have also been considered.
The squad can and will be added to and deleted at any time.
AFL Canada today announced a 37 man Team Canada Northwind squad for the 2014 International Cup in Melbourne. The squad containing plenty of familiar names from the past International Cups and some fresh faces.
Pakistan Shaheen Team Manager Kashif Bouns has welcomed the overwhelming response from the Pakistani community in Australia, particularly the students, who have strongly backed the idea of entering the 2014 Australia Football League International Cup.
Following submission of nomination papers with the AFL, the Shaheens are now in the team building phase. Bouns believes students will play a handy role in forming a competitive unit. “I think the core of the team will be international students because the majority of Pakistanis here are students,” he says.
Apart from hiring athletes, the Shaheens are also shaping their organisational infrastructure and they have urged the Pakistani community here to participate in all the possible ways, and take up the ownership of this project.
It's now less than a year until the 2014 AFL International Cup and one of the exciting features every three years is the anticipation of new footy nations making their Cup debut. With rapid growth over recent tournaments it's possible there will be a plateauing in new teams, but if Kashif Bouns gets his way we'll see the entry of the Pakistan Shaheens to represent that country for the first time.
Kashif is an AFL Multicultural Officer but takes his passion for the game and his original homeland beyond business hours.
"I have been working in Football for last three years and when I first came across the International Cup in 2011, I straightaway dreamt of entering a Pakistani team, however it just remained a dream until, Tony Woods and Peter Romaniw (AFL International section) who work with me in Game Development department started preparing for the 2014 tournament. I had a chat with them and understood what the requirements were. I had some meeting with the leaders in Pakistani community and also touched base with Ash Nugent (President of Masala Football Club, a key off field member of the IC11 Indian team and a worldfootynews.com alumnus) before I really got going".
Tru Blu Entertainment announced today that AFL Live 2 is currently in development and will be released later this year on PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360®. AFL Live 2 promises to deliver a deeper and richer gameplay experience, as well as adding new features to the successful franchise.
AFL Live 2 now includes a comprehensive career mode, spanning 15 years, allowing fans to manage their players and their team all the way from the TAC Cup through the Peter Jackson VFL and into the Toyota AFL Premiership Season. The career manager mode also allows control over training, where players gain experience and can have individual statistics improved to suit your style of play. Sponsorships, staffing, tribunal, emails, drafting and trading are all included to be used as you progress throughout the Career Mode.
The 2014 AFL International Cup, to be played in Melbourne from Saturday August 9 to Saturday August 23, will once again feature a two division competition for men and one division competition for women. The men will be split after a day of short seeding matches, much the same as occurred in 2011.
New to the International Cup will be an AFL9s tournament, which the AFL describes as an "exciting and new evolution to the AFL International Cup with an objective of providing an entry level opportunity for a greater number of countries and teams to be involved". Indeed the lure of a shorter stay with less players required could see a number of new nations participate for the first time, hopefully with the goal of graduating to the full-side version in future Cups.
The AFL today announced the 2014 International Cup will be held in Melbourne from Saturday August 9 to Saturday August 23, 2014.
The fifth International Cup carnival will include two AFL curtain-raiser matches, matches played at AFL and VFL venues, a men’s and women’s competition, a standalone AFL 9s fixture and matches linked with community football leagues.
AFL International Development Manager Tony Woods said the aim was to make IC14 the biggest International Cup to date.
“We are committed to building on the success of IC11 and we believe we can once again deliver a great experience for all participating nations by hosting this event in the AFL’s heartland.
AFL Fiji has started a school holiday footy clinic in Albert Park, Suva, with the aim of increasing female participation in the game ahead of next year’s International Cup.
Despite low turnout on the first few days, as word has spread, more and more girls have begun turning up to the training sessions, many of them with experience playing other sports, such as rugby.
The boys also have a holiday clinic and some of them are staying on to help the senior players organise the girls’ training too.
AFL Fiji’s Lupe Wolfgramm told the Fiji Times that the school program to introduce the sport to women started in mid-April, adding that the response was overwhelming. On the back of their success in the Western Division, they are now turning their attention to Suva.
If the recruitment and training continues to go well, Wolfgramm says she would like to try the girls out in a game situation, possibly a women’s exhibition match during the Oceania Cup in December.