Today AFL Japan announced the Japan Samurai squad to contest the 2017 International Cup in Melbourne in August 2017. The squad announced 20/6/17 has an exciting blend of youth and experience look to it.
Once again the IC veteran Michito Sakaki (I believe this is his 6th IC) graces the squad with his experience and talent, which could well make him the only player in international footy to play in all the International Cups. Other IC veterans include Hisayoshi Oura, Toshiki Matsuhashi (4th IC), Yuosuke Kuno (suiting up for his 5th IC), Yuta Toyshima (played IC14), Jumpei Ito, Yuki Akita and Ryosuke Sato (each 2nd IC).
AFL Fiji is set to take IC17 by storm with the naming of it’s strongest team to date. The men’s team otherwise known as the Fiji Tribe, will take part in their third consecutive International Cup since 2011.
With a core group of men who have been together since 2010, The Fiji tribe will look to build on its strong performances in their local competition and push for a birth in the Division 1 final. Speaking with Head Coach Simon Highfield, he was very impressed with the level of dedication the team had shown over the last couple of months “They are very fit and their skills have really improved, we under performed in past International Cups, so we are hoping to come of age this year.”
The New Zealand Hawks (the squad formerly known as the Falcons) – have named a dynamic squad for the upcoming AFL International Cup. The Hawks previously won the tournament in 2005 with a strong win over Papua New Guinea, however, running 2nd in 2008 was the last time the New Zealand side tasted Grand Final action although they have never placed lower than third.
With 2 completed seasons now of the AFLNZ Premiership – the domestic preparation has never been better. The squad includes a majority of players who took part in season 2 of the AFLNZ Premiership including a fair sprinkling of team of the tournament reps. There are a number of current Australian based players including Joe Baker-Thomas.
As revealed in January, Melbourne (and surrounding) schools have been in talks to host an International Cup match in August. This will happen in the second round of the tournament, known as the 'Schools Round' on August 9th.
With one of the longest selection processes amongst the IC nations, the USA has named their national team to represent them in Australian football at the 2017 International Cup in Melbourne this August. Following a final camp last weekend in Texas where 50 players pushed their case for the trip to Australia in three months time the final 30 have been announced.
There are plenty of names that will be familiar to IC watchers and plenty of new talent too.
The Nauru Chiefs have named their final 30-man squad for the 2017 AFL International Cup to be held in Melbourne from August 5th. Fourteen returning members of the IC14 squad such as Yoshi Harris, Trent Depaune, Johnny Dagiaro (this will be Johnny's fourth International Cup) and Kenneth Oppenheimer will give the side some solid experience.
While there will also be plenty of excitement from newcomers such as Richmond Spanner, Niga Haulangi and Shawnkemp Maaki.
The Chiefs finished seventh at IC14 defeating the USA, Great Britain (twice), Indonesia and losing only to eventual runners up Ireland by 27 points in Bendigo after being just three points down at 3/4 time. They will be looking to push higher at IC17.
The Chiefs should be feared by all teams that give themselves a realistic chance at the IC17 title as their hard fast football will be complemented by a more thinking game around the stoppages. Domestically in Nauru the game has probably never been better organised both at senior and junior level I expect this squad will show the benefits of that.
The AFL today announced the venues for the Grand Final's for both the men's and women's divisions at the 2017 AFL International Cup to be held in Melbourne from August 5th.
The previous men's final was played at the MCG in 2014 with PNG defeating Ireland. The women's final was played earlier that day with Canada defeating Ireland at Punt Road oval. Details of competing nations and schedules are still being finalised and should be known in the coming weeks.
For the first time in the history of the International Cup, the AFLG are this year sending the German men's national team Down Under to compete for glory.
Footy has had a toehold in Germany since the Frankfurt Redbacks and Munich Kangaroos formed in the 1990s, and the domestic scene has grown over the past 20 years to also involve clubs in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Freiberg and Dresden, with some clubs also running local metro leagues.
However, until now the Germans only competed at European-based tournaments.
This is set to change in August, with the Eagles naming their initial 23-man squad, with another 5-7 players to be added in the coming weeks.
The European Crusaders team is on a mission. Slava Belov, the founder of the St Petersburg Cats in Russia, is also part of the management team for the European Crusaders for the upcoming IC17 tournament in Melbourne later this year. He is seeking players for the team and is scouring the world in pursuit of those who want to be a part of the honour and excitement.
According to Slava, “we are now gathering players for the Crusaders team for IC17. We want to give a shout to Europeans in Australia or elsewhere in the world who could possibly join the squad with the question “[are you] interested in heading to the AFL International Cup with the European Crusaders IC17?”
The Irish Banshees women’s team has had its initial list of selected players announced. More players will be added to the list in coming months, but for now the squad as it stands has been announced. Following is a release from the ARFLI Facebook page detailing selections to date.
The management and coaching staff of the Banshees are delighted to announce the updated list of Irish and U.K. based players who have earned their seats on the plane to Melbourne for IC17.
Great Britain today added 12 more women to their International Cup squad that will play in Melbourne in August. The selections followed the successful camp held in London on the weekend and were announced on the GB Swans Facebook page.
"In association with STA Travel & LWC Drinks Ltd the Great Britain Swans are proud to bring you a new squad announcement. After an exciting selection weekend the Head coach Garth Nevin and assistant coaches Ian Mitchell, Lauren Spark and Chloe Hall are proud to announce 12 more players, who will compete in the AFL International Cup 2017 in Melbourne, Australia, August 2017."